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.
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.
Rain, rain go away! Come again another day!
We have had a lot of rain this week! Even when the playground is wet and muddy, we still go outside twice a day, every day. In an effort to help keep our classroom clean – and to help keep your children’s feet and shoes dry – please send rain boots into school with your child and keep them here inside their locker.
The children are still adjusting to our daily routine. Many of the children appear to be settled in… a few others are still a little sad to say good-bye to mom and dad in the morning. This is completely normal. It is good for young children to learn how to navigate through these feelings. So far, strategies that are helping the children overcome their sadness/worry are holding their family picture, sitting with either Mrs. Laurus or Mrs. Alzuhd to get extra hugs, or helping a teacher or a friend complete an activity.
We have added many, many more materials into the classroom these past two weeks. We have added musical instruments, puzzles, pretend play doctor materials, and even more books. We also introduced the children to watercolor paints during small group time. Check out their colorful artwork on their lockers!
With all of the rain we have had this week, the children have also noticed worms outside on the cement and in the wood chips. Today we spent some time talking about how worms are actually very helpful because they make holes underground for food/water to get to plants so that we have yummy food to grow and eat. We also practiced our bravery skills with picking up and holding worms to see how squiggly they feel on our hands! (Mrs. Laurus went first!)
This summer I collected donations from friends and family members to have them sponsor the students in my classroom so each student could receive books at no cost to you. Each person who contributed to our classroom sponsored 1 or 2 students, for the entire year!
Every month this entire school year, your child will be bringing home a book as a part of this sponsorship. This book is theirs to keep, forever and ever. We read it together at school today. Please continue to read it to them repeatedly at home as well and add it to your personal home library.
For the month of September, I chose the book “I Was So Mad” by Mercer Mayer. Preschool children are learning how to verbally identify and name what they are feeling inside. They are also learning how to navigate through those feelings and understand what makes them feel that way.
Ahhh, the first few weeks of preschool are a time filled with very big emotions, from very little people, who are still learning both how to express as well as how to control their emotions.
There are some children who come in to school, every day, with a smile on their face and never exhibit any obvious symptoms of anxiety/sadness of saying good-bye to their parent(s) in the morning. Rest assured, even these children still take frequent trips over to their family photo to “see” mom/dad… they still talk about their family at home with the teachers in the classroom… they even say words such as “I miss my mom” or “I miss my house”. As teachers, we reassure these children by identifying with their emotions. We explain we also miss our loved one at home… yet we are also so happy and excited to be with your child at school and have fun together and learn new things while we are here.
There are other children who come in to school possibly crying, yelling, or even trying to run after their parent(s) when it is time to say good-bye in the morning. This is also normal. These expressions of feelings can continue either every day, or even only once every couple of days, for any length of time.
In my 15 years of teaching preschool, I have NEVER had a child who continues to cry every single day throughout the entire school year. It simply takes time to build relationships… for your children to trust us to keep them safe and be a place of learning and fun; as well as for them to build trust with you to know you are going to come back when you say you will.
Here are some tips to help make transitioning to preschool easier day by day:
#1 BE CONSISTENT: Bring your child to school at the same time, every single day. Also, remember to be consistent at the end of the day and pick your child up from school on time. (3:30 PM is the latest time for dismissal.)
#2 PREPARE A COMFORT OBJECT: Every child has a family picture in the classroom to help them feel better. Sometimes, a child has a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. It is ok to bring ONE soft stuffed animal or blanket from home if having this item is something you feel will help your child feel more secure.
#3 DON’T SNEAK AWAY: Be honest with your child. They know when you are not being honest and if they can’t trust you, they will think you are not coming back for them. Let your child know you are leaving, what you will be doing while they are at school. When you come back, remind your child daily that you returned when school was over just like you promised you would.
#4 BE IN CHARGE: It is important for children to know there are some things that are choices, and other things that are not choices. Children understand the concept of routines and they know when an adult will follow through on what they say and when they won’t. For children who are saying they don’t want to come to school, it’s ok to remind them they have to come to school. That part is not a choice. The part that is a choice, is what comfort item they want to bring (“Would you like to bring a blanket? Or a stuffed animal?”) Or, they can also choose how they are going to say good-bye (“Would you like a hug when I leave? Or a kiss? Or both?”) Setting clear limits and expectations for children when they are young will help them be successful in school throughout their academic years.
Our first week of preschool has been amazing! The days have started with smiles, some tears (sometimes the tears have been from the moms and dads!) and loads of fun! Your children have been spending time getting more comfortable with both myself and Mrs. Alzuhd, learning our classroom routines, procedures and expectations, and learning about our classroom environment and materials.
I have many pictures to share with all of you… however, I am still learning to navigate the new formatting procedures so it will be a bit before I get them all uploaded.
In the meantime, please remember to call me (313) 827-6845 or text me on Remind if your child is going to be absent for any reason. Please reach out for any questions or concerns. So far, we are off to a great start to a new school year!
Welcome to preschool at Whitmore-Bolles Elementary School!
All preschool parents should be in the process of receiving phone calls from their child’s teacher & setting up appointment times to complete the necessary paperwork to register for school. During this appointment, parents will also be able to set up their date/time for their child’s home visit.
The first day of preschool soft start will be on Wednesday September 11, 2019. On this day, both parent(s) and student will be at school together the entire time. We will be meeting in the auditorium at Whitmore-Bolles at 8:45 am and should be finished by 10:15 am.
Following the first day of preschool soft start, the students will have 3 half days of school. (Thurs Sept 12, Monday Sept 16 and Tues Sept 17). This is to help the children slowly adjust to their new learning environment. During our half days, school will begin promptly at 8:45 am and pick up time is at 11:30 am.
The first full day of preschool will be Wednesday September 18, 2019. The children will start school at 8:45 am and end at 3:20 pm.