Gardening and Pizza Making - Newsletter

Dear Preschool Families,

Our last full week has been balanced with laughter, celebrations and gratitude for the returning sunshine.  We bundled up and embraced the rainy playground on Monday and Tuesday with everlasting interest in puddles and rivers mother nature creates.  Children have been working hard in the garden this week. Along with a usual tasks of weeding, checking plants growth, and watering, we also planted some new beds. Turning the soil, adding new compost, and the most rewarding step, planting! This week we planted some tomato, basil, thyme, kale, carrots, broccoli, and spinach! The interest in our outdoor sink has progressed from filling up buckets for pouring to focusing on the drain that produces large puddles in the digging sand area.  Preschoolers have been working to make fairyhouse like forts, creating small villages for their cars and animals to explore.  The creativity is endless!

Silly Steve visited us for the final time of the year and after reading us one last book he waved goodbye and took our checked out books back to the bookmobile.  What a treat it has been having Portland Public Library’s Bookmobile and Silly Steve become such a consistent and appreciated experience for the preschoolers. In celebrating the sunshine we conducted an entire day of preschool outside on Wednesday. After eating lunch at the picnic tables, the children spread across blankets under the trees reading and drawing while resting before returning to play.  What a silly and relaxing change it was for many.

After many weeks of requests, the preschoolers put their making and baking skills to work and made pizza for our Summer Birthday Celebration.  Whomever has a birthday in June, July, or August decorated a crown and were sung to when we gathered for pizza outside.  The children were very excited to flavor their own “bubble water” that they had made with a Sodastream.  Each child could flavor their water with fresh lemon, cherry juice, or a combination of both.  The preschoolers loved the fizzy water and flavor sharing shouts of, “...yummy!”

We completed the week with an exciting bike day.  Preschoolers were ecstatic when the teachers opened all of the playground pavement as biking space.  The children took on the hill and turns with confidence and control demonstrating all of their developed skills this year. What fun!

 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • How did the fizzy water taste like at the pizza party?  What flavor did you add?

  • What is happening in the preschool garden?  Is anything growing?

  • Who has a birthday in the Summer?

  • What do you use the outdoor sink for?  What happens to the water that drains out?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminders

  • Tuesday is our last bike day - Please take helmets home Tuesday afternoon.

  • Nap Items are coming home to be cleaned this weekend.

  • Our last day of school is this Wednesday, June 14th.  We will gather in the preschool garden with families for a end of year celebration circle at 11:30AM. At 12PM dismissal we will walk over and join the all school picnic.

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Outdoor Classroom & Journals in Art Studio

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20 and Bike Day

Wednesday- Outdoor Classroom, Farewell Circle, Last Day of School (Half Day)

Thursday- Happy Summer!

Friday- Happy Summer!

 

This Weeks Line Leaders in the Forest and Castle Room

Monday- Sammy & Henry Cabot

Tuesday- Willie & Henry Henrick

Wednesday- Shared Leadership!

Thursday- No School

Friday-  No School

 

With gratitude,

The Preschool Team

Kettle Cove , Bye to Buddies, and the Life Cycle

Dear Preschool Families,

What an exceptional week we’ve had. After the long weekend with some extra family time, we all met up at Kettle Cove. Despite some clouds it was quiet the day of exploration! Children loved balancing while walking along the seaweed covered rocks to look in tide pools. They were all hoping to find a live crab, which we did! Others enjoyed sending boats and other things that float down the stream, chasing them as they headed for the ocean. The day ended with some wild and silly running games up on the grass and some tasty lunch. We want to thank all of you, our wonderful community, for coming together to celebrate our year with a day of true adventure.

Back at school the children continued to observe the tadpoles and chickens grow, getting to witness the early stages of a life cycle.

It was our last chance to check out books from the book mobile until next year, although Silly Steve will be back to read one more story. The preschoolers love the chance to peruse the shelves and find something that sparks their interest. We encourage everyone to get their own library card this summer and take a few trips to the children’s section, and check out other great programs they offer. We love libraries!

This week we had rhubarb tasting! Children had a chance to taste rhubarb jam. Many of the children enjoyed it a lot, some a little, and a few said they did not like it at all.

We ended the week with a woods walk with our buddies. We sat by the water sang a song and gave each other appreciations. It was a beautiful sunny and green day. Perfect for saying farewell to our buddies.

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • How did it feel when you held the baby chickens?

  • What did the rhubarb taste like?

  • What song did you sing in the woods walk? (Follow this link to sing it with your preschooler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnVq2YRpbQc)

  • What do you appreciate?

  • What happens in the story of Abiyoyo?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminders

  • The last day of school is June 14th. It is a half-day with a 12:00pm dismissal. We are inviting all preschool parents to a celebratory party in our preschool garden beginning at 11:30am. We will hold a short circle to acknowledge all the work the preschoolers have done this year as well as wish our future Kindergartens well! We will then join the whole school for a catered picnic. You are welcome to bring your own lunch or order sandwiches. Please see Yazi or Molly for an order form.

  • If weather allows we will have a special water play day on Friday. Please send your child to school in their bathing suit!

Our Weekly Schedule (The last full one!)
Last Day of School is Wednesday, June 14 with Noon dismissal

Monday- Art Studio
Tuesday- Music with Danielle
Wednesday- Bookmobile
Thursday- Making and Baking day- Pizza Party for Summer Birthdays
Friday- Special Water Play Day

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for the Forest and Castle Room
Monday- Gus and William Carriere
Tuesday- Izzy and Rowan Van Donselaar
Wednesday- Maddie and William Ginn
Thursday- Neil and Zion
Friday- Rowan and Ana

With joy,
The Preschool Team

Baby Chicks and Tadpoles! - Newsletter

Dear Preschool Families,

 

It has been a very exciting week in preschool.  Baby chicks have begun cracking their shells and making their way into this world.  We were very excited to meet them!  The preschoolers have been organically taking turns sitting with the chicks and observing their exploration as as they become stronger.

On Wednesday, Krys Carriere brought the preschoolers a collection of tadpoles she and William borrowed from their pond.  The preschoolers observed their movements, sang them songs, and read about their life cycle.  Preschoolers noted that some were 8 weeks old because they had back legs and some were not because their limbs hadn’t grown yet. How cool!  Thank you so much Krys!

Rainy outdoor days have the preschoolers digging rivers and reading in cozy nooks together.  We have been busy at work sweeping puddles to appropriate locations and deciding where to dig when producing a river.  After noting some preschoolers were interested in the game of guessing, we brought out provocations on estimation. As a provocation a few mornings this week, teachers filled a big jug with some materials and preschoolers interested gave an estimation of the number of materials.  We love having math moments like these!

We weren’t able to see our buddies today.  Instead, preschoolers were offered materials to write their 3rd/4th buddies letters and/or pictures.  We will keep the basket of pictures and letters for the week as preschoolers may want to contribute more.

 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • What are tadpoles?  What will they grow to be?

  • What did the chick do when it came out of the egg?  How many chicks do you have? Do they have names?

  • What will the chicks live in?  Do they need anything special?

  • What is an estimation?  Is it thinking and guessing, or giving an answer?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminder!

  • End of year conferences are happening.  Please sign-up for your meeting time here,

  • Kettle Cove Field Trip is this Tuesday!  Please let Molly or Yazi know if you will meet us at Kettle Cove or at school in the morning, and if you plan on bringing your child back to school in the afternoon.  

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday - No School - Memorial Day

Tuesday- Kettle Cove Field Trip!

Wednesday- Community Day with Chicks and Tadpoles & Bookmobile

Thursday- Making and Baking Day

Friday- Learning Buddies

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for Forest and Castle Room

Monday-  No School - Memorial Day

Tuesday-  No Leader - Kettle Cove Field Trip

Wednesday- Carolyn & Lydia

Thursday- Chloe & Maeve

Friday- Eli & Mia

 

With care,

The Preschool Team

Farewell to Liz, Water Play, and Hot Days

Dear Preschool Families,

Our week started out on a rainy note, so the children made rain scene paintings, experimenting with how the crayon’s wax resists water. By the end of the week we were sweating in the sun, experimenting with all the ways we can use water on our playground. We’ve been watering our garden and noticing little seedlings coming up, radishes and sunflowers! The strawberry plants are flowering, too. The children enjoy using spray bottles on the playground to mist and clean the play structures, as one child exclaimed, “We are the cleaning team!” The sink is a great place to practice turn taking, as the children line up to fill their buckets. They use the water to create lakes or puddles, where they mix things in the mud kitchen or build bridges. The drain of the sink creates a river of sorts, which the children have been experimenting with damning up and then diverting through the wood chips. Inside the children have been using recycled materials to build boats that they test out in the water table.

Everyone was excited by a visit from Todd Michaelis, as he shared some helpful hints about being a doctor. He showed up with lots of colorful medical bandages and the children all fixed themselves up. For the rest of the day kids were wearing their bandages proudly. Look for them in the pictures. They also looked at a skeleton and talked about the bones in our body. Thank you Todd for visiting and sharing!

This week we also talked about traveling, trips, and “where are we going?” As a way to help the children think about change as a positive part of life, we looked at maps, made lists, and looked at pictures of different places. Liz was able to tell the children that she was leaving after this week to go all the way to Seattle, and show how far she is driving! The week ended with a surprise party for Liz, as she was thought we were going on a regular buddies woods walk. Surprise! The big buddies met us in the garden with banners, paper chain decorations, and baked goods. We enjoyed the treats and then sang a few songs together. Liz got lots of hugs and cards. We love you Liz!

Warmly,
The Preschool Team

Weekly Questions For Your Child

  • Where is Liz going? Where are you going?

  • Can you sing me a song from the concert?

  • What did you do with water this week?

  • What kind of book did Liz leave in your classroom?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminders

  • Early childhood is preparing for our annual trip to Kettle Cove. The field trip will take place on Tuesday, May 30th with a rain date of Wednesday, May 31st. We will be sending an e-mail out next week with details. Please RSVP to Molly or Yazi if you are able to chaperone your child.

  • Hot weather and outdoor days mean children are getting lots of sun. Please be sure your child has a sunhat, sunscreen, and a water bottle everyday. We often bring lunch boxes outside to allow children to snack as needed, so it may be wise to pack an extra ice pack to keep food fresh.

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Outdoor Classroom & Art Studio with Yazi
Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20 and Music with Danielle
Wednesday- Outdoor Classroom, Community Day with Krys Carriere & Bookmobile
Thursday- Making and Baking Day
Friday- Outdoor Classroom and 3rd & 4th grade Learning Buddies

 

This Weeks Line Leaders in the Forest and Castle Room

Monday- William Ginn & Rowan Jaret
Tuesday- Zion & Neil
Wednesday- Ana & Sammy
Thursday- Charlie & Willie
Friday- Henry Cabot & Branden

 

Spring Concert Practice and Mother's Day Gifts

Even though this week was less than Spring, we embraced our outdoor classroom during the cloudy, rainy, and sunny days! On Monday, we spent the morning outside where friends planted carrot seeds and made a fence in our garden to stop little feet from stomping them. During the afternoons this week, the children have been excited to play soccer in the field. They’ve been working hard to use problem solving and compromising skills when developing the rules of the game and creating teams.

Tuesday, the preschoolers practiced letters with a hopscotch game and writing provocations. For some, instead of checking into the classroom with our rocks, we’ve been physically signing our name on a piece of paper. It is wonderful to see the children proud to sign their name in and recognizing the others who have gotten there before them. During music time we rehearsed for the upcoming spring concert. If you are interested in helping, sing John Denver’s “Country Road” with your child!

Wednesday was a very busy day in preschool! Jessica Hunken, Charlie’s mom, visited for Community Day to teach us about her job working for a company that does indoor air purification- thank you for your time and wisdom! Silly Steve was our second visitor and read us a fun story before inviting us to check out books on the mobile. We really do love our special time with our friends from the Portland Public Library. Students also foraged mint from around our school gardens to make a special treat for Mother’s Day. Finally, we shared popsicles after singing Happy Birthday for Neil’s 4th year!

For our final day of the week, we prepared our Mother’s Day gifts by adding our dehydrated mint and chamomile tea to cheese cloths tied with a string. Look for this gift in your child’s backpack (or cubby next week if forgotten) in an envelope with a homemade water color cards. A special thanks to all of the mom’s who share their wonderful children with us! Here are some quotes the preschoolers said while talking about their moms today… see if you can recognize one that might be about you!

“She lets me bring toys to a restaurant. She’s very nice and every day she tells me when the cat’s bowl is empty. Love my mommy! Go bananas, I love you, you’re the best mom ever than anything in the world!”

“You’re a great walker and I love you, mom! She’s sweet, she likes me, she lets me buy pretzels.”

“I love you, mom and you’re the best! I love you with all of my heart!”

“I love you, mom. You always pack me food that I want.”

“I love my mom and I can’t wait for her baby.”

“I love my mommy! Thanks for lego-ing with me.”

“I like our secret thing and when we listen to songs in the car.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • Where did you get the mint for the tea?

  • What was your team name in soccer?

  • When will the carrot seeds start to sprout?

  • Who did you ride bikes with this week?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminders

  • The All School Spring Music Concert will be held May 18 at 6:00PM in the Dan. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • Early childhood is preparing for our annual trip to Kettle Cove. The field trip will take place on Tuesday, May 30th with a rain date of Wednesday, May 31st. Keep an eye out for an email with more information about this special trip!

  • Outdoor drop-offs will continue on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless the rain keeps us away. Continue to keep your child’s cubby stocked with extra clothes in case of play in the rain and gardening.

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Outdoor Classroom & Art Studio with Josephine

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20 and Music rehearsal with Danielle

Wednesday- Outdoor Classroom, Community Day with Todd Michaelis, & Bookmobile

Thursday- Making and Baking Day

Friday- Outdoor Classroom and 3rd & 4th grade Learning Buddies

 

This Weeks Line Leaders in the Forest and Castle Room

Monday- Chloe & Lydia

Tuesday- Eli & Maeve

Wednesday- Gus & Mia

Thursday- Izzy & Rowan Van Donselaar

Friday-  Neil & William Carriere

 

Warmly,

The Preschool Team

Forts and Soccer - Newsletter

Dear Preschool Families,

Rain rain go away, our preschoolers want a bike day.  Although the rain can’t keep the preschoolers from bundling up and playing outside, it can keep us from biking on the wet pavement.  Thursday’s sunshine brought cheers (heard all the way from the office) as we unlocked the bike shed for the first time this spring.  Preschoolers worked hard to problem solve as the number of bikes is less than the number of children.

The preschool classrooms developed the gardens this week.  Some students took interest in weeding the Butterfly Garden and planting our classroom seedlings while others have been digging up the garden beds and searching for worms. We have also been shredding cloth into strips for weaving into our Butterfly Garden fence.  Math discussions have been booming with work around the garden.  How many square feet does a plant need?  How deep was the worm in the ground?  Which strips of cloth are longer or wider?

Wet days have encouraged preschoolers to build cozy forts with sticks and sheets.  The students’ worked together to collaborate and make a fort that each of them could share.  Also, preschool is now incubating 6 chicken eggs! It takes 21 days for chickens to hatch and we are excited to learn about their development over the course of the next 3 weeks. The sun came out just in time for our Community Day visitor, Nick Davala!  The preschoolers ran with enthusiasm to the field where Nick set up soccer goals and lots of balls to share.  The preschoolers partnered with a friend and practiced kicking at the goal and dribbling.  After soccer we did art with seashells that Nick brought in.  It was a great morning.  Thanks so much Nick for coming and sharing such fun activities with us.

Following the group interest of birds, we made bird feeders using sunbutter, pinecones and seeds.  The children chose to hang them in the trees around the playground.  Hopefully the birds will continue to visit us so we can to practice our bird calls.  To cap the week off we ventured up to the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms to visit our learning buddies.  The buddies snuggled up for a read aloud followed by painting,  block building,  and reading together.

 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • What did you do in the garden this week?

  • What plants are on your playground?

  • How many days until the chickens hatch? How many weeks?

  • What is your favorite way to bike? On your own high-rider, with a trailer, on a double bike?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminders

  • There will be no school Friday, May 12.  It is a Breakwater Professional Day.

  • Outdoor drop-offs will continue on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday unless the rain keeps us away.  

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Outdoor Classroom & Art Studio with Josephine

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20 and Music with Danielle

Wednesday- Outdoor Classroom, Community Day with Jessica Hunken, & Bookmobile

Thursday- Making and Baking Day

Friday- No School- Professional Development Day

 

This Weeks Line Leaders in the Forest and Castle Room

Monday- Sammy & Ana

Tuesday- Willie Ball & Charlie

Wednesday- Branden & Henry Cabot

Thursday- Carolyn & Henry Pearson Bond

Friday-  No School PD Day

 

With care,

The Preschool Team

Farm Field Trip and Other Great Discoveries

Dear Preschool Families,

What a wonderful week to return from our April vacation. Friends reunited with excitement and love and all the students jumped back into our daily routine with comfort. Our outdoor classroom has some new and open-ended loose parts that allowed for some creative investigations. We want to continue providing children with new materials that spark new avenues of interest. Look in your backyard, attic, or basement, if you have random odds and ends that may be an interesting addition to the playground bring it in and teachers can see if it would be a good fit.

A sad and terrible thing happened on Tuesday…. bike day got rained out. All of the children were strapped into helmets and marching out the front door when the first sprinkles of rain began. Some children were very distraught but by nature they moved on quickly and went to play on the big playground.  We are hoping for dry weather next week so children can ride in glory again! Disguised in the misfortune of rain, was a wonderful gift as well. Puddles! Big puddles, giant puddles, deep and long puddles. After our visit to the Bookmobile on Wednesday we stayed outside and embraced all the wet, by running and jumping into the puddles. It was glorious and before going inside the children dumped their boots out!

We also had Ben Grant come visit us on Wednesday. We talked about the people (and animals) in our family and talked about family trees. We imagined our arms as branches and family members sitting at the ends of each finger. Some children drew their own family trees and it would be a great project to do at home to talk about extended family members. Thanks for visiting Ben!

Thursday was the highlight of the week, as we all gathered at Broadturn farm for a wonderful tour. We got to visit the chickens (and a duck), approaching them slowly trying to pet them. Next we visited the greenhouse and walked up and down the aisles of baby plants. That lead us to a strawberry and spinach field. A lot of children enjoyed eating the sweet green spinach and have decided to plant some in our garden as well. We visited a surely sheep and pregnant cow, Clementine, as they hung out on their big bed of hay. To end the trip we walked down a path in the woods (which is open for public use if you are looking for a new nature trail to explore). The path led us to a rushing stream, that was moving fast. We ended the trip by yelling out “Goodbye Farm!” We look forward to see how this experience enriches play at school.

On Friday we had another wonderful outdoor morning. We dug up grass to make room for a butterfly garden and built a fence to protect seedlings from running feet. We are hoping to be planting next week! After a morning of play we took a walk to fore river sanctuary with our buddies and read some stories. Lots of children noticed the sounds of the rushing water.

What a perfect week in preschool!

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • What is new on the playground?

  • How did you get wet when you played in the rain?

  • Who is in our family? How big would our family tree be?

  • What was most interesting thing you saw at the farm?

  • What did you hear, smell, or see on the woods walk?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminders

  • Outdoor drop-offs will continue on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We hope to be outside even on the damper days, and as this spring may offer up a lot more rainy days please send in rain pants if your child has them.

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Outdoor Classroom & Art Studio with Yazi

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20 and Music with Danielle

Wednesday- Outdoor Classroom, Community Day with Nick Davala, & Bookmobile

Thursday- Making and Baking Day

Friday- Outdoor Classroom & 3rd and 4th grade Learning Buddies

 

This Weeks Line Leaders in the Forest and Castle Room

Monday- Lydia & Gus

Tuesday-Mia & Izzy

Wednesday- William Carriere & Maddie

Thursday- William Ginn & Neil

Friday- Zion & Rowan

 

Springs in our step,

The Preschool Team

 

Spring Has Sprung! Eagles, Smoothies, and Rainsticks

Dearest Preschool Families,

The preschool community was happy to welcome the physical signs of spring this week! The warm weather granted us plentiful and appreciated time outdoors without constraints of snow and snow pants to allow for lots of running and gross motor play. The talkative birds caught our attention and we continued to learn about and identify birds by their bodies and calls. After Josephine shared this article about the oldest reported eagle in Maine, the children proceeded to use loose parts to build their own eagle’s nest on the playground. It was amazing to witness all of the preschoolers cooperatively deciding how to construct this nest, and then playing dramatically as eagles. Coincidentally the next day, we spotted a large bald eagle and watched it almost the whole morning as it flew from tree to tree, being chased by a raven! The preschoolers started chanting, “Baldy, baldy!” as it fled the pesky raven. This was a wonderful event and enhanced the genuine love these preschoolers have for their interest and gained knowledge about birds throughout the school year.

Some children read this news article about an eagle in Maine. It is a great news piece to spark interesting conversation and questions:

http://wgme.com/news/local/warden-rescues-oldest-eagle-ever-documented-in-maine

On Monday during Art Studio the children made their own rain sticks! After using small blocks to hammer nails into a cardboard cylinder, the sticks were filled with assorted legumes and covered with colorful paper mache. This activity was so popular, it continued throughout the week and followed by joyful dancing, singing, and playing with rain sticks!

Music with Danielle took place outside on Tuesday where the preschoolers sang a crowd favorite, ‘John the Rabbit’, while shaking the parachute to make John dance. This activity always brings smiles and hoots of laughter- how lucky to have music in the spring sunshine!

Stethoscope, otoscope, and plexor are just a few of the new words the students learned on Wednesday’s community day with Lydia’s mom, Cate. In addition to exploring many special doctor tools, Cate taught us to eat the rainbow and handed out fun tongue depressors and a preschool crowd favorite: bandaids! Special thanks to Cate for sharing your profession and time with us.

Making and baking day on Thursday was another hit- this week the preschoolers created smoothies. Favorite fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and bananas were added to the blender for a tasty cold treat on the playground. We even froze the leftovers for fruity popsicles on Friday!

In honor of Earth Day, the preschoolers teamed up with their 3rd and 4th grade learning buddies on Friday, in their pajamas, to create nature art and to play a large game of Duck, Duck, Goose in the field. After a whole morning outside, we took the preschoolers on an adventure to the Sky Lounge on the 2nd floor. We watched an episode in the Life series on Birds as the preschoolers cuddled and relaxed with their blankets and stuffies. What a special way to end a wonderful week together.

 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • How did you make your rain stick?

  • What did you add to the smoothies?

  • Where did Silly Steve read to you this week?

  • Tell me about Baldy the eagle! How many years old was the oldest eagle in Maine?

  • What did you watch in the Sky Lounge?

 

Coming Up and Reminders!

  • Next week is April vacation. There will be no school Monday 4/17 - Friday 4/21.

  • The Thursday of our return from break, April 27th, is our field trip to Broadturn Farm with Toddlers and Kindergarteners. Please see your e-mail for detailed information.

  • Now that spring is here we are going to begin outdoor mornings again. We strive to accent our already rich outdoor space with materials that stimulate children’s problem-solving, communication, and cooperative skills. We are looking for LOOSE PARTS, materials that are open-ended and easily manipulated by the children to create endless opportunities. We would love your help in gathering these supplies. Our loose parts wish list includes:

    • Logs

    • Tree Cookies

    • Wooden crates

    • Wheels

    • Mug kitchen items (metal or wood materials only please)

    • Boards

    • Sticks

    • Rocks

If you are willing to donate these items, please let Molly or Yazi know so we can set up the best time to bring them in. Thank you!

  • Bike riding will begin after the break. Please send your child with a helmet when they come back to school!

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Outdoor Art Studio

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20AM & Music with Danielle (Bike day)

Wednesday- Community Day with Ben

Thursday- Baking and Making Day (Bike day)

Friday- Learning Buddies

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for Forest and Castle Room

Monday-  William Ginn and Branden

Tuesday-  Zion and Carolyn

Wednesday-  Ana and Chloe

Thursday-  Field Trip!

Friday-  Charlie and Eli

 

Have a wonderful April vacation and we will see you upon our return!

Happily,

Josephine, Liz, Molly, and Yazi

The Preschool Team

Rivers and Digging - Newsletter

Dear Preschool Families,

Even though mud season has been here for awhile, it has officially taken over our playground environment!  The preschoolers were so excited to inspect how the consistency of dirt changes and by the end of our play the children were covered head to toe in mud (as we are sure you noticed).  This kind of exploration is the root of our learning at Breakwater.  Children using their senses and noting seasonal transitions on how their everyday natural environment changes is where curiosity roots itself, and knowledge grows.  Monday we spent the whole morning outside painting snow and when it melted in the afternoon we made rivers to help empty the puddles.  We tasted a mystery food (watermelon radish) on Tuesday and the preschoolers noted their preference of liking it a lot, a little, or not at all.  Check out their responses on the Forest Room door.  After special requests from some preschoolers, Danielle brought drums to music and they were a hit!

Carolyn’s dad, Doug Watts, joined us for the Community Day and brought with him children’s fishing poles with practice (foam) hooks and fish.  Our hallway was busy with preschoolers working with Doug on learning to cast and reel in fish.  Children were proud to share that they’ve gone fishing before and could show others who were excited to learn.  It was so much fun! Thank you to Doug for spending the morning with us and donating the poles to Breakwater.  They are great tools for hand eye coordination skills and we are excited to use them again.

Our Baking and Making Day has become one of our favorite days as we develop our math and science skills while cooking up scrumptious things.  This week we made a carrot cake with frosting and enjoyed it on our playground.  All of our recipes are developed with the classroom dietary needs in mind and sweetened with maple syrup or honey.  If you would like to make any of our makings at home with your children, let us know.  We post our recipes in the classrooms for children to refer back to.  

Friday was an exciting day.  Sari brought materials for birdhouse making to our hallway workspace and preschoolers worked with her tools building together.  Sari’s visits have become very popular and we have a rotating list so each child can participate the next visit if this round was full.  We met our learning buddies outside for mud play, digging, games, and soccer in the field.  We often hear from the preschoolers that buddy day is their favorite day and seeing their friendships grow explains why.  It’s pretty wonderful.  

 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • What did you think of the mystery food Barbara had for tasting?  Do you know what it was?

  • Is there any snow left on the playground?  What is on the ground now? Is there grass?  Is it green?

  • How did you use the drums with Danielle?  Do you sing while you play them?

  • Are you digging on the preschool playground? What are you finding in the dirt?

  • What did you bake this week?  How do you make carrot cake?  Did you like it?

 

Coming Up and Reminders!

  • Pajama Day!  This coming Friday, April 14th, is school-wide pajama day!  

  • Mark you calendars! April Break is the 17th-21st.

  • Please let Molly or Yazi know if you will be able to chaperone our Farm Field Trip on April 27th.

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Art Studio with Molly

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20AM & Music with Danielle

Wednesday- Community Day with Cate Gaynor and Book Mobile

Thursday- Baking and Making Day

Friday- Learning Buddies Walk

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for Forest and Castle Room

Monday-  Neil & Lydia

Tuesday-  Izzy & Maeve

Wednesday- Rowan Jaret & Mia

Thursday- Sammy & Rowan Van Donselaar

Friday-  Willie & William Carriere

 

Happily,

Josephine, Liz, Molly, and Yazi

The Preschool Team

Spring? It's us, Preschool

Dear Preschool Families,

Welcome to mud season in preschool! Okay, you’re right it’s been mud season for a long while now but isn’t it so fun? All those muddy mittens, dirty snow pants, and wet socks, are all signs of lots of amazing and natural play. It mean’s children are practicing skills, of transferring water (puddles), investigating new sensations (squishy mud), and working on muscle development (carrying big buckets). Our loose parts collection continues to grow outside as well, with more space to navigate. Boards, logs, and big sticks, require lots of problem-solving and communication opportunities as children turn them into shelters, fire pits for boiling those poisonous stews, and traps!  We have seen the teeniest, tiniest, signs of spring this week. Mostly the ground isn’t frozen when playing outside, but also the birds have been busy and chattering about the playground, the grass in the garden is looking a dull shade of green, and we are playing big running games in the field again. Ahh... those extra hours of sun does us all good. It is natural for children’s interests to follow the seasons and we look forward to continuing observing the birds and start growing seedlings for the garden next week!

Indoor investigations and play has also been lively. We’ve made playdough with coffee grounds in it, which mirrored the dark browns of soil outside. A lot of the children are not actually fans of the smell! Good thing, they don’t need any caffeine. With so many painting materials available, children explored different techniques, styles, and textures. In music, Danielle brought a big quilt. With two adults holding the corners, the children laid down and were rocked back and forth as we sang. Every child wanted extra turns. It is a simple activity you could do with your child at home. Don’t you wish someone would do it for you?

It was great to have Jenn Grant join us for Community Day as we explored the idea of diversity in families. We discussed how people in your family can look and be different then you, (eye color, skin color, or type of hair) but that’s what makes us each special. Many children then worked on family portraits, thinking about who are the members of our family? A big thank you to Jenn for coming in. Community day makes us appreciate our BIG Breakwater family.

As always Friday ended on a joyous reunion with our learning buddies. We took to the woods again and had sometime to do nature journaling and exploring. After the long walk, we were all happy to settle in for lunch and talk about all the tricks you can play on your parents on April fools day. Watch out!

Have a wonderful weekend with your family and we will see you in April!

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • What kinds of painting did you do in the Forest Room? Was there wet paint?  Was there dry paint?

  • What color playdough did you make in the Castle Room?  Does it smell like anything?

  • What did you learn about families with Jenn, Sammy and Zion’s Mom? Can families look different?

  • What do you do with the boards and logs on the playground?  What do you do with the white gutter on the playground?

  • How did it feel to be rocked in the blanket during music class?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminders!

  • Mark you calendars! April Break is the 17th-21st.

  • All quiet time things were sent home this week, please be sure to send your child to school on Monday with everything they need to rest.

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Art Studio with Yazi

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20AM & Music with Danielle

Wednesday- Community Day with Doug Watts and Book Mobile

Thursday- Baking and Making Day

Friday- Learning Buddies Walk

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for Forest and Castle Room

Monday-  Carolyn & Zion

Tuesday-  Chloe & Ana

Wednesday- Eli & Charlie

Thursday- Izzy & Henry P.B.

Friday- Gus & Henry C.

 

With joy,

Josephine, Liz, Molly, and Yazi

The Preschool Team

 

Pasta, School Bus, and Beading!

Dear Preschool Families,

We have had a fun and full week of exploration with the preschoolers. The pirate ship from the last few weeks has become abandoned so the students voted and decided to turn it into a school bus! Teachers and students worked together to transform it by adding windows, a traffic light, and seats. We continued to create by painting and building throughout the week.

Sonya Hawkins joined us on Wednesday for Community Day and spent the morning making perler bead creations. Many students worked hard to use their fine motor skills to fit the tiny beads onto the platform. They also loved creating interesting patterns with the different colors and styles. What fun! Thank you, Sonya.

The kitchen area has become a bakery which has paralleled nicely with our new Thursday theme: making and baking. This week, Josephine enhanced this interest by making pasta from scratch. This popular activity has already been requested for future weeks!

Outside on the playground, preschoolers enjoyed the popular activity of playing with and in the puddles forming from the melting snow. We also collected ice sheets when this water froze again and worked together to figure out how to transport them from the field to the pile in the playground. The gutters have made their way around the space, creating long ramps from picnic tables, fences, and the slides. So much problem solving and compromising has emerged from this exciting play!

 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

What did you put in the pasta? What shape did you make?

How did you help create the school bus?

Where did you go to see your learning buddies this week?

What can you order at the bakery?

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Art Studio with Molly

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20, & Music with Danielle

Wednesday- Community Day with Jenn Grant

Thursday- Baking and Making Day

Friday-Bookmobile & 3rd and 4th grade Learning Buddies

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for Forest and Castle Room

Monday-  Maeve and Rowan Jaret

Tuesday- Mia and Neil

Wednesday-  Rowan Van Donselaar and Sammy

Thursday- William Carriere and Willie

Friday- William Ginn and Branden

 

Snow Adventures and Irish Music - Newsletter

Dear Preschool Families,

It has been a short and adventurous week.  We reunited on the playground as the preschoolers stomped through the snow greeting each other and shoveled tunnels to explore between the paths.  Winter materials provoked ideas as children used paper cups to make castles, shoveled piles to slide down, and used the buried picnic tables to create a running jump.

On Thursday, the children investigated new and familiar activities.   Some were experimenting with sand and shaving cream, mixing small amounts at a time and observing the change in consistency.  Growing games of family are developing in both classrooms and the roles and problem-solving skills are expanding! What happens when three people want to be the Mom?  What happens when your family has no pets but a peer only wants to be the kitty in the game?  These dynamics have incorporated lively conversations of inclusion and flexibility, growing our connections in the preschool community.  

Friday was filled with excitement as we welcome Silly Steve from the bookmobile and restocked our book basket.  Afterwards, we led our learning buddies on a Saint Patrick’s Day hike on the Fore River trail.  Along the way we noticed green sparkles in the snow leading us to a pot of gold! Well, a pot of special snacks to be exact.  The preschoolers and their buddies jumped for joy with their treats before exploring the woods together.  We look forward to what next week brings to our classrooms and adventures.  

 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

  • What did you do with the snow on the preschool playground?

  • What happens to sand when you add shaving cream?

  • What did you see on your hike with your learning buddies?  Was there something at the end of the walk?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminder!

  • Mark you calendars! April Break is the 17th-21st.

  • Thursdays is becoming our Baking and Making day! Cooking, baking, and anything that involves the science of measurement, mixing, and testing is a common activity in the preschool classroom. Now we are dedicating Thursdays for these projects that are always a top choice.

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Art Studio with Josephine

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20AM & Music with Danielle

Wednesday- Community Day with Jenn Grant

Thursday- Baking and Making Day

Friday- Bookmobile and Learning Buddies Walk

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for Forest and Castle Room

Monday-  Chloe & Ana

Tuesday-  Eli &  Charlie

Wednesday- Gus & Henry Pearson Bond

Thursday- Izzy & Lydia

Friday- Maddie & Henry Cabot

 

With joy,

Josephine, Liz, Molly, and Yazi

The Preschool Team

Magnets, Bread, Robots, and Pirates

Dear Preschool Families,

We had busy bodies and busy minds this week. Not long ago a child brought a magnet in for their leader share. During the morning circle all of the children wanted to see if their bodies were magnetic, like metal, and tested to see if the magnet stuck to them. We discovered our bodies must not be metal! From this interest we introduced a variety of magnets into the classroom for children to explore. They have enjoyed finding the strongest magnets as well as seeing what they can build with the strong connections.

The play structure on our playground has transformed many times into a pirate ship. Following children’s interest in understanding ideas around stealing, fighting, and heroism, we’ve build a pirate ship inside as well! The children have made (safe) card board swords as well as filled their ship with plundered treasure. Sometimes themes of bad guys and fighting can seem initially alarming for adults to witness but it is natural for children to explore these themes in their play and teachers can more easily provide safe guidance when needed.

A continued interest has been making cakes and soups in our mud kitchen. Watch out though, it is usually poisoned! This week the children experimented with making up their own recipe for bread. Flour, salt, yeast, applesauce, water, honey, and vanilla, were provided and with some basic guidelines children decided how much of each ingredient they wanted and went to town mixing and kneading. Most of the rolls were all eaten up, so our tummies say it was a success! We can’t share the recipe though…

Our outdoor space is slowly beginning to fill back up, as the absence of snow allows for different play. The children have been digging a very deep hole in the sand box with some help of archaeologists (kindergarten)! We are hoping to find some dinosaur bones soon. The children all continue to explore how ramps work, building complex designs with tubes and boards, as well as finding the highest place possible to prop up the rain gutter. Down goes the tennis ball, a car, a boat, and stuffed raccoon! As the ground thaws, we are also beginning to plan our wonderful, green, veggie-filled, garden. Children made collages of their favorite foods so we can decide what to plant.

Our Community Day visit this week was with James Cabot, who works for Southworth International Group, which makes a manner of machines that can do lifting. The children were ecstatic to watch a demo of Henry Cabot sitting on a small lift table that was powered by a hand drill slowly move upward. Then they were equally thrilled to see a video of another cool machine, a robot!

We finished the week with our beloved buddy time. Buddies spent time writing and playing out stories, or reading books together. Then, we went outside for some big running games in the field. We also had Sari come back for some more tinkering! Children made knob racks that can be used for hanging “jammies” on as one student explained.


 

Weekly Questions for Your Child

What did you put in your bread?

What is the coolest thing about pirates?

What happened when James turned the drill on and Henry was sitting on the table?

What is the best thing to play on the playground? Do you enjoy using the ramps, the shovels, or planks?

What is your favorite food? Do any of the ingredients come from a garden?

 

Coming up this week and reminders

  • We don’t have a special visitor planned for this Wednesday. We would love for you to come into preschool to help run an activity to present something intriguing to the class. E-mail Molly and Yazi if you are interested in spending time with use Wednesday between 8:30-10.

  • There will be no school Monday, March 13th. Teachers will be busy at work to enrich our programs.

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- No School- Professional Development

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20, & Music with Danielle

Wednesday- Community Day - It could be you!

Thursday- Stay tuned for a new Thursday theme!

Friday-Bookmobile, &  3rd and 4th grade Learning Buddies

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for Forest and Castle Room

Monday-  No School- Professional Development Day

Tuesday- Willie Ball & Rowan Van Donselaar

Wednesday- Branden & William Ginn

Thursday-Carolyn & William Carriere

Friday-  Chloe & Zion

Sincerely,

The Preschool Team

 

A Muddy Reunion - Newsletter

Dear Preschool Families,

The preschoolers have enjoyed being back at school with their friends. We reflected over the pictures families sent and posted them in the hallway with dialogue for all to see. Throughout the week, we spent as much time as possible outside, soaking up this unusually warm February weather. The loose parts see-saw has been a favorite outdoor activity and the students have gotten better at balancing after practicing for a few days in a row. The children loved watching the snow melt and playing in the puddles and mud. The doctor dramatic play area has been busy as children test out the stethoscope and to give each other and our bear friends pretend shots!

Monday, we spent the entire morning outdoors! Tuesday we saw a slideshow of the big kids on an outdoor overnight adventure and the children had many questions about the trip. Wednesday we celebrated 100 days of school with Cheerio necklaces and counting activities. On Thursday, students mapped out the preschool garden on paper and came up with ideas for spring planting. Learning buddies came down to us on Friday and wrote imaginative stories together. What a fun and full week!

Weekly Questions for Your Child

What did you and your learning buddies write a story about?

What animal have you been looking for outdoors all week?

What instrument did you get to play with during music with Danielle?

Did you see Silly Steve this week? Where do you think he has been?

 

Coming Up This Week and Reminders

  • If your child would like to bring a special toy from home to school, please encourage them to wait until their leader day. We promote leaving personal toys at home to encourage the developmental skill of sharing the classroom toys and to avoid disruptions in the classroom. Comfort items such as dolls and stuffies are permitted during rest time. Thank you for your attention to this!

 

Our Weekly Schedule

Monday- Art Studio with Liz

Tuesday- All School Meeting at 8:20 & Music with Danielle

Wednesday- Community Day with James Cabot

Thursday- Bookmobile

Friday- 3rd and 4th Learning Buddies Woods Walk!

 

This Weeks Line Leaders for Forest and Castle Room

Monday-  Maddie & Henry Cabot

Tuesday- Izzy & Henry Pearson Bond

Wednesday- Neil & Lydia

Thursday- Rowan & Maeve

Friday-  Sammy & Mia

 

Warmly,

The Preschool Team