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 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 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)
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
Mrs. Barnes’ Class Preschool News April 7-12 At School The month of April has been busy already! We have been on two field trips within a week and celebrated our 100th day of preschool  April 1st we had the opportunity to watch The Cat in the Hat at the Civic Center. The kiddos all seemed to enjoy this play a great deal! On April 5th, we visited the Temple Theater to watch Egg. Our 100th day of preschool was celebrated on April 7th in our classroom. I had several activities that were geared toward 100 and the kiddos were also able to enjoy a Dr. Seuss cookie with milk during snack time! Three Chicks Bakery in Polk City does a great job making my cookies each year, Thank you Amanda  We began a new lesson this week, Growing and Changing. The first part of this theme will focus on how people grow and change. We discuss how we begin as a baby, become a toddler/school aged child, and then grow into an adult. The last two sections will discuss plants and animals and how they grow and change. Some of the activities we began in math this week were sorting/grouping colored beads (using chop sticks), bubble count (matching the number of bubbles to the numeral), Writing our numerals, Matching a numeral with dots and placing that number of rings on a peg . (Objective met: Sorting, Patterns, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities, classification, and numeral identification) The dramatic play area was set up as Community Helpers. Because we are discussing how we grow up into adults it’s always a big hit to have the community helper dress up clothes out during this theme! They never get tired of dressing up as police officers, fire men/women, pilots, doctors, and nurses. They have even become quite imaginative with some of the items back there this time around. A few of the kiddos are using the pretend scissors and have become beauticians so they can make sure the police officers and other community helpers are being well groomed….Lol! The blood pressure item was used as a faucet to rinse hair, and the item they would give shots with is used to put shampoo in the hair so they can wash it before they cut it. We also had a very detailed discussion about how WE NEVER try to cut our own hair (or anyone else’s hair) and we only use the scissors for cutting paper when mom or dad is watching us at home. (Objective met: Manages feelings, responds to emotional cues, interacts with peers, makes friends, solve social problems, balances needs/rights of self and others, engages in conversation, sociodramatic play) In science we planted a Lima bean in a mini green house. Each kiddo has their own green house with a paper towel (for moisture) and a Lima bean. I wrote their name on the green house and hung them in our window for sunlight. We are going to check them daily and see what changes take place. As long as everything goes as planned, each kiddo will be able to transplant his/her Lima bean into a little cup and take it home. It’s fun for them to see how the roots, sprouts, and eventually leaves form in this process. (Objective met: classification, uses scientific inquiry skills, sorting) The sensory table has been filled with sand for a few weeks now. I tried to change it out but they won’t let me, they are enjoying the sand. I’m hoping to have something new in there at the end of the week. I think I’m just going to have to change it out and make it a surprise when they come in on Thursday. Our art project is a little time consuming so we have been working on it for over a week now. We are making a paper plate sheep with cotton balls and glue which tends to be a little messy and kind of lengthy because they like to see how many cotton balls they can fit on their plate  They sure are cute when they are complete though. Many of them want to make one and I just don’t have the heart to tell them no, so we will continue this project until nobody is asking to make one. (Objective met: hand-eye coordination, cutting, coloring, fine motor practice) The weather is finally beginning to get nicer and we are able to play outside almost every day again. Please remember that it is Spring and we never know what the weather is going to do. Please send a jacket/coat with your child each day just in case. I would rather have you send jackets/coats with them than not have them warm enough when we are outside. It does tend to get a little chilly some days and with the open space on the playground you really feel the wind when it’s blowing. I would also like to ask each of you to talk to your kiddos at home about classroom and playground rules. They are all excited to have nicer weather and be playing outside on the new playground equipment. With that being said, I have seen some “not so good” choices being made in our classroom and out on the playground. Please visit with them and remind them that we do still have six weeks left of school and that it is very important for them to learn as much as possible while we have school. This is always a struggle for teachers during this time of year because they would much rather be outside playing than sitting in a classroom. But with your help, I know we can finish this year smoothly  Important Dates:  April 19th: Hearing rescreening (for any student who was absent)  April 21st: Graduation pictures (4-yr olds only)  April 26th: Spring concert at 6:30 pm in the church ( all 3 & 4 yr olds)  May 11th: Field trip to the zoo (3-yr olds only)  May 13th: Kindergarten Connection (4-yr olds only)  May 24th: Last day of school for 4-yr olds  May 25th: Last day of school for 3-yr olds  May 26th: Preschool graduation (4-yr olds only)
Mrs. Barnes’ Class Preschool News Week of January 21-28, 2016 At School We have just finished up our unit on seasons and I think we could have spent another 2 weeks on it! There were some great questions from the kiddos with this unit and I’m hoping they have a better understanding of the difference between seasons and weather. Some of them are still a little confused on what type of weather to expect during each season. Some of the activities we did in math this week were making patterns and sorting with connecting people, picture card counting of items, recognition of numerals/written number words, tracing of numbers. (Objective met: Sorting, Patterns, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities, classification, numeral identification) The dramatic play area was still set up as our St. Joe’s Heavenly Cocoa shop. They really enjoyed this so it was set up for a couple of weeks. The kiddos were able to take turns role playing as workers and customers. They would take orders, pretend to make the cocoa and snacks, pay for their bills, order items, and clean the store up at the end of the day. (Objective met: Manages feelings, responds to emotional cues, interacts with peers, makes friends, solve social problems, balances needs/rights of self and others, engages in conversation, sociodramatic play) Our fine motor skills have been put to the test this week. The kiddos have been practicing stringing their own names as well as their peer’s names. Some of them were also stringing the letters of the alphabet in order. I put their cutting skills to work during our small group sessions with a season sorting activity. They had to cut the pictures out and sort them according to the season. We have had plenty of practice zipping those coats and snow pants also. I know I have mentioned this before, but please work with your students at home with self-dress skills. We are lucky to get 5 minutes of play time outside by the time 2 adults help all of the kiddos get everything on and zipped. Most of the time it isn’t that the kiddo doesn’t know how to put their coat on or zip it up, but they are just used to mom doing it for them. I know it is faster to do it yourself sometimes but they aren’t practicing those self-help skills if they aren’t encouraged to try by themselves. Trust me, it really does save time in the end if you take the time now to encourage them and allow them to practice. I am also very proud of my class for the progress they have made with spelling their names. Most of them no longer need a nameplate or any assistance when writing their names. YAY!!! (Objective met: Uses fingers and hands, letter identification) Science focused on classifying items according to our four seasons. The students played seasons bingo, which was a huge hit in our classroom. One person would show the group the pictures while the others played and then they would trade places. I also had an activity set up which required the kiddos to do some sorting. They had to look at a picture and decide which season it went under and then decide if it could also go under another season and tell me why. (Objective met: classification, uses scientific inquiry skills, sorting) I just want to mention that conferences will be coming up in a few weeks. Please watch for an email next week that comes directly from the school regarding sign ups through the parent portal. I am anticipating that my conference schedule will be a little more hectic this time around as my 3-yr old parents are able to sign up this round. If you are able to come earlier in the day I would encourage you to grab one of those times. A huge thank you to all of my parents! I really appreciate you hauling those extra bags around each day so your kiddos are able to participate fully at recess. I know it is a pain to have to haul the extra clothing and boots each day but they truly enjoy playing in the snow on our playground. Again, please check your child’s backpack and folder daily as we are approaching a very busy month and there will be several notes sent home in the next week or so. I have begun checking some of their folders to see if they need replaced due to tears or just plain falling apart. I will replace them as long as I was provided a second folder at the beginning of the year. I continue to see some students with notes and items in their folders from weeks ago. I am also having some students come to class without a folder or backpack. Please send both of these everyday as we have notes and other papers that need to be sent home daily and it makes it much easier for the students to have something to put them in. Thank you in advance. Important Dates:  January 28th: Cheer clinic (this does include pre-k if you signed up)  February 5th: Grandparent day  February 10th: 3-yr old Valentine’s party  February 11th: Preschool parent night 6 pm (for the upcoming year)  February 12th: Valentine’s parties (4 year olds)  February 15th: Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm  February 16th: Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm  February 18th: No School (Parent teacher conferences 1-8 pm)  February 19th: No School  February 23rd: 4 year olds field trip to Civic Center (Room on a Broom)
Mrs. Barnes’ Class Preschool News Week of January 7-13, 2016 At School Our theme has been focused on Seasons this time around. The kiddos have been learning about our four seasons that we experience in Iowa. We have also been spending some good discussions on the weather that occurs with each season and how our weather this year has been off a little bit. During our calendar time we talk about the weather each day, the season, and we look at how the weather bear is dressed to determine if he is dressed for the weather or not. Some of the activities we did in math were our geometric pattern blocks, building our knowledge of more complex patterns (such as ABB or ABC), sorting pictures according to their season. This month we have been focused on an ABB pattern at calendar (tree, snowman, snowman). We also continue to work on building our counting skills by ones and tens. (Objective met: Sorting, Patterns, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities, classification, geometric shapes) The dramatic play area has been set up as a hot cocoa stand for the past couple of weeks. The kiddos have enjoyed playing with the fake cups of hot cocoa and snacks that can be enjoyed on a cold wintery day. I even put a plastic coffee pot and some empty cool whip and hot cocoa mix containers in there for them to play with. Two of them work the stand while two others are customers who order and pay. That area has been full every day! (Objective met: Manages feelings, responds to emotional cues, interacts with peers, makes friends, solve social problems, balances needs/rights of self and others, engages in conversation, sociodramatic play) I am very pleased to see the improvement in my classes when it comes to fine motor skills. Most of the kiddos are now able to write their own name independently without the use of a nameplate or assistance from myself or Ms. Lisa. Cutting skills have also made noticeable improvement. Thank you for taking time at home to continue working with your children! (Objective met: Uses fingers and hands, uses drawing and writing tools, uses print concepts, and demonstrates emergent writing skills) Our sensory table was another spot that was a HUGE hit for the kiddos. I decided to bring in a couple of large cans of hot cocoa mix and marshmallows for them to explore. If you noticed their arms and clothes looked really dirty it was just us having fun at preschool, sorry parents….Lol! I warned you that I am a VERY messy teacher. They were able to scoop, bury and dig up the marshmallows, and make mounds with the yummy smelling powder. We had a nice discussion about how the cocoa smelled really good and it was tempting to lick fingers and dip them into the cocoa mix, however once I explained all the germs that would be all over the cocoa they decided it didn’t sound that great. I also challenged them to earn hot cocoa for snack one day by not eating it. (Objective met: uses scientific inquiry skills, fine motor skills) Some of the stories we read this week were, Bear in Sunshine which is a story about a bear that likes to do different things in different kinds of weather. Rain discussed how different animals in the story use their senses to predict a rainstorm. How Thunder and Lightning Came to Be was a tale from Choctaw. We discussed how this was a make-believe story that explains where thunder and lightning come from. The kiddos really enjoyed this story because it used many new descriptive vocabulary words. The story basically talked about two birds that used the clouds as a nest for their eggs. The eggs began rolling away (which sounded like thunder) and the daddy bird ran so fast to catch the eggs that sparks (lightning) appeared from his heels. This past week was not playground friendly due to the frigid temperatures. We did have one really nice day last week that hit the 50’s. I know the weather is very unpredictable, but please continue to send those appropriate items for recess. In order to participate fully in recess activities, the kiddos must have the following items: Coat, hat, mittens/gloves, snow pants, and snow boots. The students are not allowed to play on the equipment or in the snow without all of these items. Again, this is not my rule but the school policy. You may check our school website for recess policies regarding attire and temperatures. Please continue to work with your child at home on those self-help skills with their coats, hats, and mittens. I am hearing many of the kiddos tell me they can’t do it by themselves. With 20 kiddos at one time it sometimes takes us 15 minutes to get everyone bundled up for outdoor play. That only leaves us about 5 minutes for playtime. I know that sometimes it seems easier to just do it yourself but in the long run it will save you time and help your child learn self-help skills if you encourage them to practice zipping on their own. I always have them try to zip by themselves first, then if they can’t I will start the zipper for them and encourage them to finish zipping it up the rest of the way. These are all things that are expected to be mastered for kindergarten readiness. Be sure to write your child’s name inside coats and sweatshirts as another student in the class may have the same one. Again, please check your child’s backpack and folder daily. I continue to see some students with notes and items in their folders from weeks ago. I am also having some students come to class without a folder or backpack. Please send both of these everyday as we have notes and other papers that need to be sent home daily and it makes it much easier for the students to have something to put them in. Thank you in advance. Important Dates:  January 28th: Cheer clinic (this does include pre-k if you signed up)  February 5th: Grandparent day  February 10th: 3-yr old Valentine’s party  February 11th: Preschool parent night 6 pm (for the upcoming year)  February 12th: Valentine’s parties (4 year olds)  February 15th: Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm  February 16th: Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm  February 18th: No School (Parent teacher conferences 1-8 pm)  February 19th: No School  February 23rd: 4 year olds field trip to Civic Center (Room on a Broom)
Mrs. Barnes’ Class Preschool News Week of January 4-7 At School We spent the first couple of days back from Christmas break going over the classroom rules and expectations. Some of the big reminders the past two days were remembering to raise their hands at group time, sitting body basics (bottoms flat, legs crisscrossed, hands in lap, voices off, ears listening, and eyes on the teacher), and using walking feet in the classroom. We also discussed several changes that occurred over our break, such as beginning a new month, new season, and a new year. I also created a seating chart on the floor because it seems like some of the kiddos became a little too chatty sitting by their friends during large group. Table spots will be rearranged on Monday as well in order to allow them a chance to get to know other peers better. The final change I will be making is an adjustment to the cubby spots. With winter here and all of the extra clothing that goes with it, I think I need to adjust the spaces so there is only one kiddo in each cubby. This will allow them to have enough room for their coats, boots, and backpacks without getting confused with someone else’s. Because I run my themes on a Thursday through Tuesday schedule and we came back on a Monday, we decided to have a variety of free centers for the first couple of days. I did introduce the kiddos to a new math game and they really seemed to enjoy it. They rolled two dice (one with colors and the other with numbers 1-6). The goal is to figure out how many of what colored flies they need to feed their frog. It also helped build those fine motors in their hands because they had to squeeze the frog’s cheeks in order to get the mouth to open. We read the book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown on Tuesday so the kiddos would be familiar with the story before our field trip to the Civic Center on Thursday. I also played a short Youtube video of the story the day of our field trip with Susan Sarandon narrating it with animation. They were all really engaged in this! The field trip was a huge success with the kiddos. The weather is unpredictable right now so please make sure you dress your child appropriately and always plan for outdoor recess. We will go outside every day, weather permitting. The school policy states that we go outside unless it is zero or below (including the wind chill). Our website (stjosephschooldsm.org) has information regarding the temperatures and amount of time we are allowed to be outside if you look under the parent resources – guidelines/policies – playground rules – winter rules. In order to play on the playground students must have a coat, hat, gloves/mittens, snow pants, and snow boots. Some of the girls have come to school with cute dress boots or suede type boots and these are not considered snow boots because they do not keep the snow and wet out. Because it is a little time consuming helping the students with winter gear, I have adjusted my schedule so that we are able to go outside at the end of the day. This will allow me to continue to include small groups, large group, reading buddies, centers, and other important curriculum in our schedule. One item I haven’t mentioned yet is appropriate foot ware. We have already seen some snow and lots of rain lately so I just wanted to ask that if you send your child in snow boots or rain boots, please send a pair of tennis shoes in his/her backpack so they are able to change into them after they come into the classroom. We meet on the carpet for religion and large group first thing in the morning. If they do not bring an extra pair of shoes to change into, the carpet becomes wet. When we sit on that carpet, clothing will become wet and/or muddy as well. The flu season has approached and some of the students at St. Joseph have already been ill with the dreaded virus. Please encourage your child to use good hand washing techniques at home as well as remembering to cover all coughs and sneezes. I have taught them to cover these by coughing and sneezing into the bending portion of their arms. The school nurse provided us with a reminder shortly before the break regarding common viruses and illnesses that are seen in classrooms, as well as time frames of how long your child should be absent from school. Please review these and be courteous of the other students and staff in our classroom. Please remember that even if your child has washed their hands before coming to school I would ask that you please allow us to continue our daily routine of washing hands when they enter our classroom. This is just another precaution that we use here at school. I would also recommend that you have your child wash their hands as soon as they get home, to keep our classroom germs out of your house. Our upcoming theme is going to focus on Seasons. We will look at the four different seasons, the weather we see with these seasons, what type of clothing is appropriate for each season, and the changes that may occur with each season. Our letter for the week is the letter G. There was a note sent home regarding cheerleading that stated it was for students K-5 . Preschool is also welcome to participate in this event if anyone would like to. I had some students last year who participated and they loved it! This is strictly voluntary but I wanted to mention it because the form does not state preschool, however we are included in the invitation. Important Dates:  January 15th : No school  January 18th : No school
Mrs. Barnes’ Class Preschool News Week of November 23-30 At School We spent the last few weeks focused on fall and Thanksgiving. Because there were only a couple of days of school last week I kept most of the centers the same for the kiddos. A huge “thank you” to Ms. Sue for stepping in while I was out of the classroom Monday and Tuesday. The class really seemed to enjoy having her in the classroom filling in. Also a big “thanks” to Ms. Lisa for making sure things ran smoothly as well. Some of the activities we did in math were matching colored clothes pin feathers to colors on a turkey, matching the number of feathers to the number on a turkeys belly, simple addition using math cards and apple/pumpkin counters, and writing numbers 1-5 in a Five Little Turkeys book. (Objective met: Sorting, Patterns, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities) The dramatic play area continued to be set up as a restaurant. The kiddos were really enjoying this set up so I left it for those few days of school before our break. (Objective met: Manages feelings, responds to emotional cues, interacts with peers, makes friends, solve social problems, balances needs/rights of self and others, engages in conversation, sociodramatic play) In our art center students were able to make a turkey headband. The kiddos worked on fine motor skills by coloring and cutting for this project. Once this project was completed, they enjoyed some free drawing and a Thanksgiving sheet that was color by number. (Objective met: Uses drawing and writing tools, uses fingers and hands) Some of the other activities that the kiddos enjoyed were leaf sorting, lacing of squirrel cards, story retells of I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie and Five Little Turkeys. They were able to retell the story of an old lady by feeding pictures of the items she swallowed into her mouth; picture of her with her mouth open on a shoe box. The turkey story was a pocket chart retell which allowed them to count down from 5 to 1 using turkey picture cards to go with each line. (Objective met: classification, sorting, story retell, knowledge of print & its uses, comprehends & responds to books and other text) The weather is unpredictable right now so please make sure you dress your child appropriately and always plan for outdoor recess. One item I haven’t mentioned yet is appropriate foot ware. We have already seen some snow and lots of rain lately so I just wanted to ask that if you send your child in snow boots or rain boots, please send a pair of tennis shoes in his/her backpack so they are able to change into them after they come into the classroom. We meet on the carpet for religion and large group first thing in the morning. If they do not bring an extra pair of shoes to change into, the carpet becomes wet. When we sit on that carpet, clothing will become wet and/or muddy as well. The flu season has approached and some of the preschoolers have already been ill with the dreaded virus. Please encourage your child to use good hand washing techniques at home as well as remembering to cover all coughs and sneezes. I have taught them to cover these by coughing and sneezing into the bending portion of their arms. Even if your child has washed their hands before coming to school I would ask that you please allow us to continue our daily routine of washing hands when they enter our classroom. One last note that I would like to share with you is that I will begin celebrating half birthdays for all those kiddos who have summer birthdays. Since they do not have the opportunity to celebrate their actual birthday I would like to allow them to bring in treats and celebrate on their half birthday. I will check in with you about a week or so in advance if your child has a summer birthday to see if you would like to send treats or not. Important Dates:  December 16th : 3-yr old Christmas party  December 18th : 4-yr old Christmas parties  December 21st – January 1st : Christmas break  January 4th : School resumes
Mrs. Barnes’ Class Preschool News November 12th -17th At School It has been a busy week in the preschool classroom! Our friends from the Lion’s Club came in to visit on Tuesday and completed the eye exams on any student who sent the permission slip back to school. The kiddos did a great job and all students received a sticker that day, even if they didn’t have a picture of their eyes taken. We have been working hard on our letter U this week and will begin working on the letter C next. All of the kiddos have been working very hard on their cutting skills and practicing writing their names. Ms. Sue has also been visiting our classroom a couple of times a week in order to get acquainted with all of the kiddos. I will be out of the classroom on Monday and Tuesday next week and she will be filling in for me those days with Ms. Lisa. Some of the activities we did in math this past week were counting to 10 (both ascending and descending), a couple of patterning activities including mats and fall objects, some simple addition using colored rocks, sorting by colors, shape building with different objects. (Objective met: Sorting, Patterns, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities, classification, geometric shapes) The dramatic play area was set up as a restaurant. Students took turns being the cook, waiter/waitress, and customers. There is a menu board that allows them to change the foods being served and the prices they charge. They also have a dry erase bill of sell that they can write on and hand to the customers when they are done eating. The kiddos have really enjoyed the restaurant so I may leave this for the last few days before Thanksgiving break. (Objective met: Manages feelings, responds to emotional cues, interacts with peers, makes friends, solve social problems, balances needs/rights of self and others, engages in conversation, sociodramatic play, take turns) We continue to work on those fine motor skills through our daily graphic practice and cutting activities. I have already seen some improvements in the short time we have been in school. The kiddos are being asked to write their names more frequently at school and I would encourage parents to do the same at home. You do not have to spend hours working on writing and cutting but it is helpful if you could spend 10-15 minutes two or three times a week with your child working on these skills. (Objective met: Uses fingers and hands, uses drawing and writing tools, letter identification, and demonstrates emergent writing skills) Science focused on the five senses this week. The kiddos have been doing a great job of being able to identify what our five senses are and which parts of our bodies we use for each sense. There was an activity that allowed them to sort and classify pictures of objects by sense. The tricky part was that some of the objects could be classified under more than one sense. I also brought in some different types of rocks for the students to observe with a magnifying glass. They were able to touch them and feel the different textures as well. (Objective met: classification, uses scientific inquiry skills, sorting) We enjoyed some stories from our Houghton Mifflin Series. Red is for Dragon, The Listening Walk. Our letters of the week have been the letter I and U. We spend time working on recognition of the letter, writing the letter, and the sound for each letter. Ask your child to show you some of the signs that we use at school for our letters and what sounds they make. We are currently looking at the letter C this week. I have also been stressing how important it is to learn these things because words are made up of letters and sounds. We practice these things when we discuss our days of the week, months of the year, and in our message of the day. (Objective met: Demonstrates knowledge of the alphabet, demonstrates knowledge of print and its uses, comprehends and responds to books and other texts) We continue to play outside when we have the opportunity. Our playground is being worked on so it has been difficult to play in our fenced in area, but we have found other ways to get fresh air. Sometimes we use sidewalk chalk or go for walks, and other times we are able to use the gym to run off some of our energy. We found that a few of the pieces to our playground were missing so they have been ordered and should arrive shortly so our playground is able to be completed soon! Please remember to dress your child appropriately for the weather. I am seeing many kiddos coming to school without a coat. The weather continues to cool off and will only get colder, so it’s important to keep in mind that colds and the flu are creeping around the corner. It takes a team effort to keep our classroom healthy and the kiddos well. I am also going to ask you to work with your child on learning to put their own coats, hats, mittens, and boots on, as well as learning to zip. With up to 20 kiddos at one time it sometimes takes us 15 minutes to get everyone bundled up for outdoor play. That only leaves us about 5 minutes for playtime. I know that sometimes it seems easier to just do it yourself but in the long run it will save you time and help your child learn self-help skills if you encourage them to practice these skills on their own. I always have them try to zip by themselves first, then if they can’t I will start the zipper for them and encourage them to finish zipping it up the rest of the way. Be sure to write your child’s name inside coats and sweatshirts as another student in the class may have the same one. You will also want to change out the extra set of clothing in their backpacks. Some kiddos still have summer clothes instead of fall/winter clothes. Again, please check your child’s backpack and folder daily. I continue to see some students with notes and items in their folders from weeks ago. I am also having some students come to class without a folder or backpack. Please send both of these everyday as we have notes and other papers that need to be sent home daily and it makes it much easier for the students to have something to put them in. This is something that they will need to be responsible for in kindergarten as well. Thank you in advance. If your child is going to be gone from school for any reason (illness, vacation, etc.) please call the school at 515-266-3433 and let them know. There have been a few absences lately with no phone calls to let us know that a student is going to be absent. One last thing I need to mention is that we are having some issues with parking. I have been addressed several times by the office in regards to preschool parents parking in the front of the building when dropping students off or picking them up. Father Ross has been blocked from parking in his normal spot or pulling into his garage on a few occasions. Preschool parents are to park in the BACK LOT and walk your student up to the side door. I know that some of you have little ones that you bring in with you, but you need to park in the designated lot instead of pulling in front of the building. Important Dates:  November 23rd : Mrs. Barnes out of classroom (Ms. Sue filling in)  November 24th : Mrs. Barnes out of classroom (Ms. Sue filling in)  November 25th : No School – Thanksgiving break  November 26th : No School – Thanksgiving break  November 27th : No School – Thanksgiving break
Dear Parents/Guardians – Preschool is doing a great job of learning rules and what is expected of them here at school. Please continue to help them work on using kind words, taking turns, raising their hands, and sharing when you are talking to them at home. A couple of books we read in class together that the kiddos really enjoyed were: The Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein and My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook (these focused on blurting out or talking while others are talking). And the last book was Please Say Please: A Penguin’s Guide to Manners by Margery Cuyler (this focused on using good manners). Practicing these things and discussing them at home as well as at school will help all of us become better students. 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 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, geometric shapes. They have been sorting by color, shape, and size. Another activity we did this week was creating pictures on a magnetic board using a variety of shapes. 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. (Objective met: Sorting, Identifies Shapes, Classification, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities) In science this past week we worked on using some of our five senses. I took the class on a nature walk one day and we used our eyes, ears, noses, and hands to describe some different things on our walk. The kiddos told me about some sounds they heard like traffic, the wind, leaves, and other things. They saw many colors, shapes, and other fun things as well. Our smell was mainly used for some roses that are in front of the church. And our touch was used for a couple of pine cones and some branches off an Evergreen tree. (Objectives met: Scientific inquiry skills, Five senses) We continue to work on 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. I have also taught them to sneeze and cough into the part of their arm that bends at the elbow. This helps catch all of the germs or spray that comes out of their mouths. We have had several students sneeze and not cover their mouth, which has led to other students feeling that sneeze on their arms, back, or face. Any help or practice that you can provide at home is greatly appreciated. Important Dates:  October 1st: Field trip for AM class only, no school for PM class this day  October 2nd: Field trip for PM class only, no school for AM class this day  October 5th : Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm  October 6th: Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm  October 7th : Field trip for 3 year-olds  October 8th: Parent teacher conferences 1-8 pm (No School)  October 9th: No School  October 13th: School pictures  October 19th: No School  October 28th: Halloween party (3 yr-old class)  October 30th: Halloween party (AM and PM classes)
Dear Parents/Guardians – Preschool is doing a great job of learning rules and what is expected of them here at school. Please continue to help them work on using kind words, taking turns, raising their hands, and sharing when you are talking to them at home. A couple of books we read in class together that the kiddos really enjoyed were: The Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein and My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook (these focused on blurting out or talking while others are talking). And the last book was Please Say Please: A Penguin’s Guide to Manners by Margery Cuyler (this focused on using good manners). Practicing these things and discussing them at home as well as at school will help all of us become better students. 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 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, geometric shapes. They have been sorting by color, shape, and size. Another activity we did this week was creating pictures on a magnetic board using a variety of shapes. 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. (Objective met: Sorting, Identifies Shapes, Classification, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities) In science this past week we worked on using some of our five senses. I took the class on a nature walk one day and we used our eyes, ears, noses, and hands to describe some different things on our walk. The kiddos told me about some sounds they heard like traffic, the wind, leaves, and other things. They saw many colors, shapes, and other fun things as well. Our smell was mainly used for some roses that are in front of the church. And our touch was used for a couple of pine cones and some branches off an Evergreen tree. (Objectives met: Scientific inquiry skills, Five senses) We continue to work on 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. I have also taught them to sneeze and cough into the part of their arm that bends at the elbow. This helps catch all of the germs or spray that comes out of their mouths. We have had several students sneeze and not cover their mouth, which has led to other students feeling that sneeze on their arms, back, or face. Any help or practice that you can provide at home is greatly appreciated. Important Dates:  October 1st: Field trip for AM class only, no school for PM class this day  October 2nd: Field trip for PM class only, no school for AM class this day  October 5th : Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm  October 6th: Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm  October 7th : Field trip for 3 year-olds  October 8th: Parent teacher conferences 1-8 pm (No School)  October 9th: No School  October 13th: School pictures  October 19th: No School  October 28th: Halloween party (3 yr-old class)  October 30th: Halloween party (AM and PM classes)
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