Tuesday, 27 September 2016 00:00

First few weeks of school

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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 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 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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