January 17

Parent Meetings & Activities

The state of Michigan legislation requires GSRP preschool classes to provide active and continuous participation of parents of currently enrolled preschool children. In Dearborn Public Schools, we do this by hosting a parent meeting, a field trip, or other parent-child activity once per month.

At the beginning of this current school year, each parent signed a paper stating they agree to come to all of the meetings/events – and that in the event they are not able to attend (i.e. work schedule, illness, etc…) they will send another responsible adult in their place. This paper also included the time and date for every event for the entirety of the current school year.

In order for children to be successful in school, it is extremely important to have healthy connections between school and home. During these meetings and activities, I strive to provide all of my families with the most up-to-date, factual, information along with hands-on engaging and simple activities you can replicate at home to strengthen your child’s learning.

These meetings/activities are just an important as one-on-one parent/teacher conferences. During these sessions, we discuss what the children are currently working on and learning about at school. We create new and updated learning goals for your children during this time.

Your children are excited to share their world with you – and they do this by having you come into our classroom to spend time with them, side by side, learning. Your child needs your help – in addition to mine – to be the most successful they can be.

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January 10

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing vacation from school!

This week we have been working on getting back into our classroom routine (children very quickly forget!). We have been back to practicing keeping our hands to ourselves, using our words to talk through a problem, using listening ears and following directions, and using school – appropriate terms and phrases.

During large group time we worked on building upper body strength while shaking the parachute, as well as listening and following directions. When the music was slow, the children had to shake the parachute slowly… when the music was fast, the children shook it fast while jumping!

We did a lot of work on our fine motor skills this week as well! We practice holding and using scissors the CORRECT way (thumb in the small hole, thumb on top) while using our other hand as a “helper hand”. Our helper hand is in charge of holding and turning the paper as we use our scissor hand to make the cuts.

The children had three pieces of paper: first cutting a straight line, second cutting a curvy line, lastly cutting a zig zag line. (Parents: please continue to have your children practice SUPERVISED cutting with scissors at home. Junk mail is tons of fun to cut apart! You can challenge your child to find letters to cut out, as well as numbers.)

We also used scissors to cut straws into pieces, which we then used our eyes-hands together to string the straws onto string to make bracelets and necklaces.

Important Upcoming Dates

Thursday January 16, 2020 is our next parent meeting. Please remember, at least ONE adult from EVERY family is REQUIRED to come to each parent meeting. We will begin at 8:45 AM and be finished by 10:15 AM. Younger siblings are welcome to attend as long as they are supervised well. (We have lots of tiny things in our classroom.)

Monday January 20, 2020 there is no school for all of Dearborn Public Schools due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Tuesday January 21, 2020 is a half day of school for all of Dearborn Public Schools. All preschool children MUST be picked up at 11:25 AM. Please plan accordingly.

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December 13

Weekly Learning Update

We began the week with working on using the muscles in our hands to pull and stretch rubber bands to connect them to teeny-tiny little pegs to make different shapes (to learn geometry) and lines that turned into letters (to learn alphabetic knowledge).

We developed more fine motor and math skills when we tried to duplicate and create our own patterns using pegs and peg boards.

On Thursday morning during Greeting Time, the children took turns assisting Mrs. Laurus in writing our messages for the day. This is an important skill for beginning to learn to read. Children first have to know how to interpret a picture or symbol into meaning. Mrs. Laurus wrote the first message (Yazan isn’t at school today because he is absent). The children wrote the message about 3 days home (three houses labeled with a #1, 2 and 3). Mrs. Laurus wrote a mystery message about the “helper of the day” by writing all of the letters of the helper’s name except for the first letter. Since the children have been using the first letter to help them identify each other’s names, we are now working on noticing and decoding the rest of the letters in each other’s names. This means they had to be able to know most or all of the letters in Abraham’s name… Abraham then came to the board to add the A to his name to complete it. Lastly, the children wrote the messages for a reminder to keep our hands on our own body at school and to use walking feet while we are inside.

We ended our week with a science experiment using two different kinds of peppermint candies. First we used our eyes to look them over carefully and describe what was the same and what was different about them. We then poured water into cups and added one mint to each cup to see what happened to the mints in the water. The end results were really cool!

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December 10

Please be on time

It is important to make sure your child arrives at school on time daily, as well as that they are picked up from school on time daily. The GSRP program offers a time “window” to make it easier for families who have to get children to and from multiple school buildings – as well as to make it easier to drop off and pick up children attending school at Whitmore-Bolles at their correct arrival and dismissal times.

GSRP preschool students can be brought to school as early as 8:45 AM and as late as 9:00 AM. After 9:00 AM, any student being brought into the classroom will be marked ‘tardy’ for attendance. Children arriving after 9:00 AM are missing some vital academic and social experiences that will help them to be successful next year in kindergarten.

Arrival Time

  • Alphabetic Knowledge: During the 8:45-9:00 time frame, the children are working on identifying letters and letter sounds associated with their name. During this time we also work on a skill called ‘tracking’. Tracking is a skill everyone uses when they read. This is when we train our eyes to follow a line of text from left to right (as you are doing right now reading this). We also have been practicing writing our names as we sign in to work on fine motor skills and developing those muscles in the children’s hands to make sure their hands are ready for next year when they are expected to write multiple sentences at one time.
  • Building Relationships: Also during this 8:45-9:00 time frame the children are building social development skills. They are eating breakfast and having give & take conversations with friends and teachers at the table. They are working on projects together on the carpet and sharing information with one another. They are becoming problem-solvers and learning how to take turns.
  • The concept of time: The children know and understand routine. Routine is a critical concept for children to understand before they can learn to tell time on a clock. They know to turn in their folder first, work on their name second, eat breakfast third and an activity on the carpet last. When children arrive at school late and this part of the day is over, it leads them to be confused and irritated. It takes longer for them to settle in and longer to adjust to being at school.
  • Disruptions: When children arrive to school late, it is setting a precedence that it is ok to interrupt the learning process. All of the children in this class are very excited to see one another. When a child comes into school after 9:00 AM and we are in the middle of Greeting Time and discussing our day and learning new whole-group concepts, it disrupts the learning process of the other students in the classroom.

Dismissal Time

Dismissal Time has a window just like arrival time does. Dismissal time for the GSRP classrooms begins at 3:20 PM and ends at 3:30 PM. If you have children to pick up, you should be picking up your preschool child first, and then going to pick up other Whitmore students or heading to the next elementary building for their dismissal time. We understand the parking lot at Whitmore is small and gets very congested during dismissal time. This is why GSRP parents are able to pick up at 3:20 PM. By picking up your preschooler at 3:20, it gets you into the parking lot first and back out again before the other families arrive to pick up K-5 students.

When children are picked up later than 3:30 PM from the classroom, children become upset about being the “last one” at school. Often times teachers have meetings to attend after school hours as well. Parents picking up children late means teachers are getting to their meetings late as well.

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December 4

December Dates, Updates & Pictures

A quick reminder: Door #4 at the back of the building will be open from 8:45 AM until 9:00 AM daily. If you are arriving after 9:00 AM to bring your preschooler to school, they will be marked tardy in their attendance and you will also need to come in through the office to gain entry into the building. We are unable to keep the door opened past 9:00 AM as a safety precaution.

We have a few dates coming up I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention.

Wednesday December 18th is a late start day for the district. GSRP preschool does not participate in late start dates and we will still be starting our day of learning promptly at 8:45 AM. Also, Wednesday December 18th will be a pajama day for the GSRP preschool classrooms! We will be going on a gingerbread man hunt through our school, so please make sure to be on time so your child doesn’t miss the fun and excitement.

Thursday December 19th will NOT be a regular day of school for GSRP preschool students. Instead of bringing your child to Whitmore-Bolles for preschool, you will be bringing them to Cotter Early Childhood Center to join your child in our annual Winter Parent Fair. This Winter Parent Fair takes places of our monthly parent meeting. We will be at Cotter in the morning (time will be sent home on a separate note). There are many fun and engaging activities for you and your child to enjoy together that day! promise, you don’t want to miss out!

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November 22

Happy, Healthy Children Play Outdoors

Being outdoors every single day is a critical part of your child’s development and well-being. We are fortunate to live in an area where we are able to experience all four seasons throughout the year (and sometimes even within a week!) Due to our rapidly changing temperatures and weather conditions, it is extremely important to make sure your children are prepared for whatever outside weather we have on any given day.

Please, please, please, PLEASE make sure your children have the following items with them EVERY SINGLE DAY at school:

  1. Snow Pants – These are not only used when there is snow on the ground. We also use these as “water” pants (when the snow is melting), “mud” pants (to keep our inside clothes clean and dry), and also as “cold” pants (to keep us warm when there is no snow, or rain, or mud… but just hard, very cold ground and air).

2. Snow Boots – These are boots that are waterproof as well as warm! Your child can wear them to school in the morning, take them off and put them inside their locker on the bottom shelf, and put their shoes on to come into the classroom.

3. Jacket – Please make sure your child is wearing their warmest jacket to school in the winter. During the warmer months, it is always good to wear layers (short sleeve t-shirt with a light jacket, sweater or hoodie that can be taken off if your child becomes too warm).

4. Mittens/Gloves – Again, these should be waterproof to keep your child’s hands as warm and as dry as possible.

5. Hat – The hood on a child’s jacket do not stay up to keep their heads and ears covered and warm as they are running, galloping, jumping, climbing and swinging outside. Please make sure your child brings their hat to school every day.

6. Scarf – The scarf comes in handy when it really gets cold or windy outside. We help your child wrap their scarf around their face to protect their cheeks and noses from the cold air.

We will be going outside every day, twice a day, as long as the temperature is 20 degrees or warmer. The children look forward to going outside to learn about nature, to get fresh air to keep their lungs and bodies healthy, to get Vitamin D from the sunshine, to gain social friendships with children their same age from other classes, and to be able to engage in gross motor and fine motor skills that will help them be successful in preschool, kindergarten and beyond.

At the end of the day, your child will be wearing all of their outside clothes when you come to pick them up from school. You can either have your child take off their boots and snow pants to put in their locker and keep them at school, or they can wear the items home and just bring them back to school with you the next morning. If anyone would like assistance with getting any of these items, please let me know.

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November 18

Sharing ISN’T Caring…

There is a reason I don’t ever use the saying “Sharing is Caring”… here’s the reason – GERMS are NOT for sharing! (haha!)

When children start coming to school, their bodies are exposed to many different types of new germs, and it happens all year long. Throughout the school day, we work hard to encourage the children in our classroom to wash their hands thoroughly with warm water and soap (upon arriving at school, after using the bathroom, before we eat food, and after cleaning our noses). We disinfect our classroom materials and cots on a regular basis. We send sick children home so they can rest and recover. However, those pesky germs are EVERYWHERE no matter how hard we try to prevent them.
Here is a chart to help you remember when your child needs to stay home instead of bringing their germs to school to share with their classmates.

If you would like to have more specific information regarding Dearborn Public School’s illness policy, please click the link below.

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November 7

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt…

This week we have been talking about nature and the changes we see occurring outside. The children have noticed leaves turning colors, falling down from the tree limbs, and have been enjoying having leaf battles during outside time. We decided to take the children on a “leaf hunt” this week to see what nature we could find near our school building.

Here were our results:

My apologies if I’m missing pictures of anyone. My camera kept running out of battery life and turning off on me.

We found many different types of leaves from different types of trees… including leaves that were bigger than our heads! We also found leaves in a variety of colors. We were able to notice pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns on nearby houses front porches as well as find lots of sticks and branches, wild mushrooms, acorns and seeds! We also found many signs that the students noticed had words/writing on them that we read together as well. When we came inside, we worked on gluing our favorite items to paper to make fall art.

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October 24

Critter Guy

The first animal we met is Woody. Woody is a tree frog. He lives high up in the trees and has dry, rubbery skin on top of his body, and cool, wet skin on the underside of his body. He uses his suction-cup toes to hold onto things and to help him climb.

The second animal we met were a pair of ring-neck doves named Squib and Squab. They had special “hair cuts” where their feathers were trimmed so they cannot fly. When they are apart for more than a minute, when they are reunited, Mr. Dove makes a laughing sound because he is so happy to see Mrs. Dove again!

After the doves, we were introduced to a lizard! The lizard was a bearded dragon named Puff. He felt very rough (like sandpaper). We also got to watch him be fed mealworms!

Next up was a friendly, small mouse named Ginger. She likes to walk and climb on people and it feels very tickly!

Near the end we met the softest animal ever! She was a grey chinchilla named Cotton!

Our last animal of the day was a snake named Candy.

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