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Week of October 18th

​Dear Parents/Guardians – Preschool has had a very busy last few weeks! First, I would like to say "Thank You" to all the parents who could join us on our field trips to Center Grove. We had beautiful weather all three days . I would also like to thank all of you for committing to your child's education by attending conferences this first round, preschool had a fantastic turn out. Hopefully we can finally get back on track a little bit before the holidays hit us! We have been working on a new theme which focuses on family and community. The focus is for the kiddos to learn about the people in their family and how others have similarities and differences in their families. We are also looking at neighbors and neighborhoods to see that there are houses, parks, and schools in our neighborhoods. A couple of the stories we have read were Buzz by Janet Wong. This is a great story about a family and all the things a boy and his family do in a day from morning until evening. The book uses great words as it explains how the boy's father shaves his face. Another story that we read was The Creaky Old Bed a Tale from Puerto Rico. This story was about a little boy whose favorite hiding place is under his grandparent's bed. One day when he is hiding under the bed it begins to creak and he becomes scared because he doesn't know what the noise is. The grandparents decide to buy the little boy different pets (dog, cat, mouse) to have as friends so he has someone to hide with and so he won't be scared, but they are scared too. The grandfather lays down to take a nap one day and the bed begins to creak, all of a sudden the bed comes crashing down and all of them begin to laugh because they finally figured out what the noise was. The final book is called On Our Street. This book talked about two children who lose their dog in their neighborhood. They begin looking in the neighborhood and find that their dog had visited each house. It was a great way for the kiddos to make comparisons about the houses in the neighborhood, not only in the book but to their own house and neighborhood. Our self-help skills are going well! The kiddos are doing a great job of washing hands before snack and then coming to the table and getting all their needed items. We have them get their bowl/plate, napkin, cup for water/milk carton, and they have begun scooping their own snacks out of a bowl if needed. Some days are a little messier than others but that's why we allow them to practice, so they get better. Snack time has proven to be a great time for them to choose when they would like to eat snack during centers and who to sit with. It's fun to see them sitting with different friends each day and listening to the conversations that take place  In math we matched the number of gems to the number of air bubbles a fish had, they used pegs and matched to number of pegs to the number on a peg board, played a game called Buckets of Berries to match the number of berries on a coin to their bucket, geometric shape pictures, number/item matching puzzles, Halloween eraser sort, pumpkin wheels & matching numbers, and Halloween clip cards matching items & numbers (Objective met: Sorting, Identifies Shapes, Classification, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities). Our dramatic play area was set up as a house, restaurant, and a fall store. The kiddos have enjoyed dressing up with the clothes and taking on different roles for each of these. The food was a huge hit for all the kiddos but we are still learning that we pretend to eat the foods and don't put them in our mouth. The fall store has also been a big hit with them! I bought a new cash register that has a credit card, money, and real sounds. There were many items for them to purchase in the store and the cashier could wear an apron as they checked the items out for the customers (Objective met: Regulates own emotions/behaviors, Establishes/sustains positive relationships, Participates cooperatively in group situations, Uses language to express thoughts/needs, Uses appropriate conversational/other communication skills). Our science sections have consisted of investigating some different rocks to look at shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Our sensory table began with some water play and being able to move water into different containers using scoops. We most recently have a fall variety with beans, lentils, Halloween items, and confetti. The weather is very unpredictable right now so please make sure you are dressing them for the weather each day. We do go outside daily for at least 15-25 minutes depending on how long it takes us to get coats, etc. on and lined up. The mornings seem to be a little chilly and cooler but sometimes it warms up in the afternoon. You may want to consider sending a jacket each day just as a precaution. I also need to remind parents to please send a backpack and folder every day. The best place for notes from me and projects that your kiddo has worked so hard on at school is in a folder so it does not get lost or ruined on the way home. Many parents tell me that when they ask what their child did at school they hear, "I played". I try to send writing sheets home twice a week so you are able to see their progress and growth. This will give you an idea of what we have been working on each week at school and help you understand what you can work on at home. Below is a list of important dates and upcoming events. Please be sure to watch for the days there is no school. If you ever have questions feel free to contact me here at school by phone (515-266-3433) or email (abarnes@stjosephschooldsm.org). Important Dates:  October 26th: Halloween party (3-yr olds only)  October 31st: Halloween parties (4-yr olds)  November 9th: Picture retakes (Parish Center 8:30 am – 10 am)  November 23rd: No school (Thanksgiving holiday)  November 24th: No school (Thanksgiving holiday)  November 25th: No school (Thanksgiving holiday)

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First few weeks of school

Dear Parents/Guardians – Preschool is doing a great job of learning rules and what is expected of them here at school. Please help them work on using kind words, taking turns, raising their hands & waiting to be called on, and sharing when you are talking to them at home. Practicing these things and discussing them at home as well as at school will help all of us become better students. We began our religion sessions on Thursday, September 8th. The first day of school I spent explaining how the religion sessions work and showing them the handouts that will go home each week. Their favorite thing so far has been the ribbon bouquet and marching around the room to music with them! Those first days are a time for them to learn that they come in and hang up their backpacks, take their folders out and set them on the shelf of their cubby, and then go in and use the restroom and wash hands. Once they get into the routine of doing these steps it's a little bit easier to begin religion as a group. With math, reading, and mature play we will follow a theme, which we have also begun using. My themes will run kind of odd (Thursday thru Tuesday) in order to allow me time to plan and prep on Wednesday afternoons when I do not have kiddos in the afternoon. A couple of the books we have read were The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. This is a great story about a little raccoon who is nervous about going to school and leaving his mother. The mother raccoon gives him a kiss in the palm of his hand and tells him that the kissing hand will give him love from her whenever he is feeling lonely or afraid. This is where the art project came in as well, I hope you all enjoyed it! Another book that we read was First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. This story was about someone named Sarah who did not want to go to school on the first day because she was starting a new school and she didn't know anyone. The story leads you to believe it is a student, but the kiddos found out at the end of the story that it was actually the teacher who was nervous and afraid to start the year at a new school. This was a great way to help the kiddos understand that even teachers/adults get nervous and afraid at times. I opened up a discussion about what makes me nervous about the beginning of the school year and then allowed them to talk about their first day here at preschool. We also jumped right in on teaching those self-help skills daily in our classroom. One thing I could use some help with from you is for you to talk to your child about remembering to flush the toilet after they use it. We are giving daily reminders to all of the students but if you could please talk to them at home and remind them as well it would be greatly appreciated. None of us like to have a surprise in the toilet when we use the bathroom. Another thing you could help discuss with them is how important it is to use soap and water when we wash, not just water. We wash our hands several times during the day here at preschool, so please keep that in mind as we are nearing fall and winter time. Hands do tend to get a little dry and possibly chaffed during these seasons so you may want to put lotion on them. I would ask that you please do this at home and not send lotion to school. We have been working on understanding our feelings and what to do with those different feelings. I read a book titled, Lots of Feelings from our Houghton Mifflin series. This book did a great job of explaining the many feelings that we encounter and had detailed pictures showing the expressions that we might see with each one. This led to a great discussion about some of the feelings the kiddos have felt and why they felt that way. I also stressed to each of my classes that it's okay for us to feel angry or upset, however we need to use our words to express that feeling so the other person(s) know why we are feeling that way. Many of the kiddos answered "no" when they were asked if it is okay to feel angry or upset. Another activity that we did in class was to have each kiddo add facial features to a pre-printed picture of a head showing how they felt on the first day of school. This picture will be in their portfolio and will be shared with parents during conferences in October. (Objective met: Manages own feelings, responds to emotional cues, balances the needs and rights of self and others) We had many opportunities to learn about making friends at school as well. A couple of the books that we read in class together were: Chicken Chickens Go To School and My Friend and I. The first book was about a couple of chickens who did not want to go to school because they didn't know anyone. Even though they didn't think they had made any friends, they found that when they needed help going over some water that scared them because they couldn't swim; there were many friends willing to help them out. The other book was about a little girl who had a new neighbor. The two decided to play together with each other's' toys. Until one day the little boy and the little girl got into an argument. A toy had been broken, unkind words had been spoken, and feelings were hurt. Ask your child to see if they remember what happened in the story about the bunny. Did they two friends make up or not? How did the bunny get fixed? (Objective met: Responds to emotional cues, interacts with peers, Makes friends, Balances needs and rights of self and others, Solves social problems) In math we have been discussing shapes, positional words, counting, sorting and number recognition. We have been using items such as buttons, stringing beads, and geometric shapes. They have been sorting by color, shape, and size. Some other activities we have been doing the past couple of weeks were creating pictures on a magnetic board using a variety of shapes, patterning cards, and animal dominoes. We count on a daily basis at calendar time when we discuss what day of the month it is and how many days we have been in school, as well as counting all of our friends when we come in from recess to make sure we have everyone. (Objective met: Sorting, Identifies Shapes, Classification, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities, positional words) Below is a list of important dates and upcoming events. Please be sure to watch for the days there is no school. I have listed the dates for our first field trip out here and will provide more information at a later date. School pictures will be coming up as well but I have not heard about a date yet. I will let you know once I have that information. If you ever have questions feel free to contact me here at school by phone (515-266-3433) or email (abarnes@stjosephschooldsm.org). Important Dates:  October 4th: Picture Day (packets have been sent home w/a note)  October 5th: Field trip (3-yr olds only) Note has been sent home  October 6th: Field trip (**AM class only) – No school for PM class  October 7th: Field trip (**PM class only) – No school for AM class  October 10th: Parent Teacher Conferences 4-7 pm  October 11th: Parent Teacher Conferences 4-7 pm  October 13th: Parent Teacher Conferences 1-8 pm – No School  October 14th: No School

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District Contact

Phone: 515-266-3433
Fax: 515-266-2860
2107 E. 33rd St
Des Moines IA 50317