January 16, 2020

Literacy Parent Meeting

Thank you so much for joining us for our monthly parent meeting! This month we explored different activities and strategies you can use at home to teach letter names and sounds, writing skills, and hand strength. Here is a break down of what you and your child were learning together in our classroom:

What is Literacy?


Literacy is a lot of things! In preschool we focus on:

  • Speaking
  • Writing/drawing
  • Letter/Sound Recognition
  • Beginning Reading Skills

Today we explored:

  • Letter/Sound Recognition
  • Beginning Reading Skills
  • Writing/drawing

What is Letter Sound Recognition?

Letter recognition is the skill of seeing a letter and knowing it’s name.

Ex. Seeing the letter “A” and knowing it is an “A”

Sound Recognition is the skill of knowing the sound a letter makes.

Ex. A says “Ah”

How many letters should my child know by the end of preschool?

Research suggests that we should set a benchmark of children naming 18 upper case with letter sounds and 15 lowercase letters by the end of Preschool. This provides a strong foundation for knowledge growth in Kindergarten.

Beginning Reading Skills

All children can read no matter how young they are! Preschool children can read a story by…

  • Talking about the pictures
  • Retelling a familiar story (ex. The three bears)
  • Finding familiar letters/words

The most important thing you can do to help your child grow their reading skills is to read together every night!

Here are some ideas of things to talk about while you’re reading:

  • Concepts of Print (Cover, Title, Author, Pointing to the Words)
  • Talking about the Parts of Story (Characters, Setting, Plot)
  • New words
  • Finding Letters
  • Point out Rhymes
  • “What do you  think might happen next?”
  • “Tell me what you remember about the story?”

Beginning Writing Skills

Children learn to write by having access to (and using) many different types of writing materials such as:

  • pencils
  • crayons
  • markers
  • paint

You are most likely familiar with pencils, markers, and crayons, but water color painting also helps children develop writing skills. Children strengthen their finger muscles while holding the brush, and the fluid motion of applying paint on the paper mimics the motion of making lines and curves in letters.

Did you know that playdoh, hot wheels cars, and Legos also help children develop writing skills?! Using small toys like cars to “drive” on letter roads helps children who like to move focus on the lines and curves in letters, as well as recognizing letter names. Using a sensory material like playdoh promotes finger/grip strength. Children squeeze and push to form shapes in the dough. These motions exercise the same muscles children use to hold a pencil and write.

Odds and Ends

DNR Outdoor Adventure Center Field Trip

Permission slips went home last Thursday for our next field trip to the DNR. Please return these permission slips to school no later than Tuesday, January 21st so we can get an accurate count for the bus. I can take two parent chaperones with me for this trip, if you are interested please let me know by the end of the day today, January 16th. I will be putting all interested parents’ names in a hat and choosing during the school day in front of the children. To be a chaperone you must have an ichat clearance on file with the office.

You can let me know you are interested in chaperoning by messaging me on the Remind101 app, or through email at stortij@dearbornschools.org.

Drop Off Time

Children should be hanging up jackets, backpacks, etc by themselves as well as turning in folders and library books independently. This is a skill that will be necessary for them in Kindergarten next year. Starting Tuesday, January 21st no more parents in the coat hooks or at the tables! Sign in, hug and kiss, bye Mom and Dad! 

Upcoming Dates

  • No School- Monday, January 20th (MLK day)
  • Half Day- Tuesday, January 21st
  • Field Trip to DNR – Thursday, January 23rd (I can take two parent chaperones)
  • Field Trip to Michigan Science Center-Thursday, February 13th (I can take one parent chaperone)
  • No School – February 17-21st (Mid-Winter break)
  • Parent Meeting – February 27th 8:45am

Have a great weekend!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

January 10, 2020

Happy New Year!

Happy new year and welcome back to school! I hope everyone enjoyed their two weeks with your families. We are getting back into the swing of things at school .

iBlog Updates

I updated a few of the links on our classroom home page. Please take a minute to look through these. You can now find the district and program calendars for the current school year, as well as our classroom monthly calendar.

Daily 5 Bags

Daily 5 bags went home in children’s back packs. Please read these books together over the weekend and return to school on Monday. There is also a ring of the letters we have been working on. You and your child can practice these letters together over the weekend as well. Please make sure to put these rings back in their Daily 5 bags for Monday so I can add the new letter of the week.

Parent Meeting

Our next parent meeting will be Thursday, January 16th at 10:15am in our classroom. This is not a regular day of school. Children and parents will attend in our classroom together from 10:15-11:30am. When the meeting is over you and your child will go home together. This month’s topic is about literacy, looking forward to seeing you there!

DNR Outdoor Adventure Center Field Trip

Permission slips went home Thursday for our next field trip to the DNR. Please return these permission slips to school no later than Tuesday, January 21st so we can get an accurate count for the bus. I can take two parent chaperones with me for this trip, if you are interested please let me know. I will be putting all interested parents’ names in a hat and choosing during the school day in front of the children. To be a chaperone you must have an ichat clearance on file with the office.

Here is the link for the Outdoor Adventure Center’s website: https://www.michigan.gov/oac/

Have a great weekend and we will see everyone on Monday!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

December 20, 2019

Winter Fun in the Classroom!

During large group time the children “ice skated around the room during our pajama popcorn party!

Parent Fair

Thank you so much for joining us for the GSRP 2019 Parent Fair at Cotter. It was wonderful to see everyone and watch the children enjoying themselves at the activities in the classroom.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your generous gifts and kind words, it has been a wonderful start to the school year. We wish you well over the break and hope you enjoy the time with your family at home. We’ll see you back at school on Monday, January 6th, 2020!

Happy New Year!

Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

December 13, 2019

Hands on Museum

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our field trip to the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum yesterday!

Daily 5 Bags

I have added a letter/sight word ring to each child’s Daily 5 bag with the words and letters we are working on each week. Please review these rings with your children and then return them to school on Mondays in their Daily 5 bags.

Image result for preschool letter ring

Pajama Day

We will be having a pajama/movie day in our classroom in Wednesday, December 18th. Children may wear their pajamas to school if they wish.

Image result for pajama day

Parent Fair

GSRP Parent Fair will be Thursday, December 19th at Cotter. This is a fun day of activities, our classes time is 8:45am.

Have a great weekend!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

Ann Arbor Hands on Museum Field Trip

Hello families,

Tomorrow is our first field trip of the school year! We will be going to the Hands on Museum in Ann Arbor. Here is some important information for tomorrow:

  • Please be in our classroom by 9:00am, bus will be leaving Cotter at 9:15am.
  • No backpacks please, we do not need them for the field trip.
  • No siblings allowed.
  • Lunch is provided by the school for each child, please pack your own DISPOSABLE lunch. There are no places to buy food at the museum.
  • We leave the museum at 1:00 to head back to school, we will arrive back at Cotter around 2:00pm.
  • Your child is your responsibility while we are on the field trip.

This is a wonderful bonding experience for you and your child. Please keep cell phone usage to a minimum to get the most out of our time together.

Have a great evening!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

December 6, 2019

Field Trip Thursday, December 12th

Our first class field trip will be next Thursday, December 12th! Parents will meet in our classroom at 9:15am to load the bus and drive to the Hands on Museum. Adults and children will explore the Hands on Museum together, and we will load the bus at 1:00pm to arrive back at Cotter at 2:00pm. Sack lunches will be provided for all children. In you have not done so already, please make sure to fill out and return the permission slip in your child’s folder Monday so we have an accurate count.

Have a great weekend!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

November 22, 2019

Math

This week in our classroom we have been focusing on identifying single digit numbers as well as the skill of subitizing. This is when children can look a group of objects and know how many are in the set without counting each individually. To practice this skill we used dice and number cubes during small group time to play a game called “Number Roll.” Each child had a die with dots as well as a number cube. They practiced rolling the cubes together while matching the numbers with the dots.

Nutrition

During nutrition this week Mr. Matt and Ms. Hawra joined us from the LAHC to review the healthy foods we have talked about over the past 4 weeks, as well as exploring the nutrients plants need to grow. The children were able to plant their own seeds, and afterwards we used rice cakes, olives, tomatoes, green peppers, cheese, tomato sauce, pineapples, and carrots to make healthy pizzas!

Winter Clothes

Please make sure your child has snow boots, snow gloves, jacket, snow gloves, and a hat for outside time everyday. We will go outside twice a day (even if it is snowing) unless the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Important Dates

  • November 27-29th – No School (Happy Thanksgiving!)
  • December 12th – Field Trip to Ann Arbor Hands On Museum
  • December 19th – Parent Fair
  • December 23-January 5th – No School (Winter Break)
  • January 6th- School Reopens
  • January 16th – Classroom Parent Meeting
  • January 20th – No School (MLK day)
  • January 21th – Half Day
  • January 23rd- Field Trip to DNR Outdoor Adventure Center
  • January 30th – Field Trip to Esper Library

Have a great weekend!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

November 15,2019

Snow!!

Who would have thought we’d have a snow day on November 13th?! This week was all about the snow in our classroom, we capitalized on this unexpected weather by bringing snow into our lessons.

Math

During small group we brought snow into the classroom to use as a writing tool. The children choose wooden numbers out of a basket, and then practiced writing that number in the snow using a twig. Later we added water beads to our snow trays. The children were using a pincer grasp to place the beads in the numbers they had written, as well as count out the number of beads they could hide in their snow tray.

Daily 5

During Daily 5 the children practiced Listen To Reading during an interactive read-a-loud of Ezra Jack Keats’s The Snowy Day. After listening to the story and discussing what happened to Peter during his walk, the children wrote in their journals about things they might do outside during a snowy day.

Science

After reading and writing about a snowy day we took our explorations outside! After putting on our snow gear we went outside to explore the school ground and observe the changes that had happened while the snow was falling.

Parent Teacher Conferences

It has been a pleasure meeting with families to talk about the growth we have seen in the children since the beginning of the school year! Due to the snow day on Tuesday some meetings will have to be rescheduled. The District make up conference day will be Monday, November 18th after school.

Important Dates

  • November 27-29th- No School (Thanksgiving Break)
  • December 3rd- Picture Retake
  • December 12th – Field Trip to Ann Arbor Hands on Museum
  • December 19th – Parent Fair
  • December 21-January 5th No School (Winter Break)

Have a great weekend!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

November 8, 2019

Classroom Critters

The children were so excited to see Mr. Paul from Classroom Critters during our assembly this week!

We Love the Snow!

The children were so excited to play in the first snow of the season yesterday, we talked about all of the changes that occur in nature during this time of year and made observations and predictions about what might be changing over the next few weeks.

We will continue to go outside everyday in the morning and afternoon throughout the rest of the school year, if you have not sent in snow pants and boots for your child please do so as soon as possible.

Upcoming Dates

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

  • November 14-No school (Parent/teacher conferences)
  • November 27-29- No school (Thanksgiving Break)
  • December 3rd – Picture Retakes
  • December 12th- Field Trip to Ann Arbor Hands on Museum (All parents invited!)
  • December 19th – Parent Fair
  • December 21-January 5 – No School (Winter Break)
  • January 16th – Classroom Parent Meeting
  • January 23rd – Field trip to DNR
  • January 30th – Afternoon library Field Trip (All parents invited!)

Have a great weekend!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet

October 18, 2019

Zipper Club

Congratulations to the first members of our zipper club! Each week we will be adding more members as the children learn to zip their coats independently for outside time.

Parent Meeting

Thank you so much for attending our October parent meeting, the children were so excited to make a share their special snack! This was an example of the type of lessons the LAHC presents to our classroom during nutrition on Tuesdays.

Math

This week in our classroom counting and measuring have been our focus. The children used tweezers to place and count materials of different sizes in their trays, as well as using rulers during work time to measure the building and towers they were creating.

Science

With the changing weather have come many questions from the children about the leaves on the trees, as well as nature items we find on the playrgound. During Daily 5 we read the story “Leaf Man and later during large group we walked around the school grounds observing and collecting interesting natural items like bright red and yellow leaves, different colored rocks, and pine cones. Once back in the classroom we used these items and playdough to make self-portraits!

Nutrition

During nutrition this week Mr. Matt brought fruits and vegetables for the children to see and touch. We were able to explore a zucchini, coconut, egg plant, and turnip!

Outside Time

As the weather gets colder please make sure to send your child to school with a warm coat. We go outside twice a day and it is starting to be pretty chilly in the morning. Here is an idea of winter things to send to school with your child; Jacket, hat, gloves, snow boots, snow pants.

Have a great weekend!

~Mrs. Stortini and Ms. Thabet