It’s so good to be back to school-and the children look happy to be back too!
Next week, In the kitchen, we will be painting with ice and doing a science experiment with ice and oil. In the block room, we will be jumping ropes and playing a listening bingo game.
I wanted to quickly remind parents when they are working either in the art area or when helping with small group projects, the children are just learning to use the materials. Experimentation is the best scenario for learning. There is no wrong or right way to create art. Please try to refrain from asking what they are making or even judging their art as good or encouraging them to do more -(It maybe just the way they like it).
If you really feel like you need to say something, say a fact like,”Wow, look at all that yellow”or” You made straight lines and curvy lines”
If you have more questions about this, please reply or ask me at school, I will explain more about how the wrong comments can stifle the creative process.
*Please remember to bring in your child’s baby picture between the ages of 6mos.-1 year-ish. I can’t start the game until I get everyone’s.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of phone conferencing for parents that aren’t sure what class to put your child in next year, or just have questions about the their child at school. It seems much easier for some than coming in for lots of parents. I really don’t mind at all. If you would like a phone conference, please reply back with your phone number and the best time to call. Registration for next year starts at the end of this week!
I hope you had a wonderful Holiday break! Mine was very eventful, Both my kids were home for Christmas, then we went to Santa Barbara, my father had a successful triple bypass surgery and moved into a new home a week later (His home burnt down when I was visiting last Christmas!), My best friend from high school got married and I got to see my old “gang” that I haven’t seen in 34 years! It was so much fun!
We are going to ease into the new year by reading “The Mitten” By Jan Brett and doing a symmetry painting project and a sequencing story telling project.
I would like you to bring a picture of your child as a baby to school-not too young, maybe between 6 months to a 1 year old) As soon as we get all the pictures in, we will start learning about babies, how we grow, how we changed, how to take care of a baby, how to diaper a baby, feed a baby. It’s really fun to see the children in a caring role and really learning about themselves.
In a couple weeks you will get a handout of all the different options you have for attending Valley Parent next year, It will also be time to register for next year.
I want to meet with any parents that have questions or concerns about the best placement for your child,or any questions about your child and their development. I will put a note out to sign up for conference spots. I will be doing this on Fridays, and your child will be able to play at school during our meeting.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our December Fundraisers: See’s Candy, Photo Charms, Stationery illustrated by our little ones, and our shopping night at Learning Express!
P.S. If you are still interested in purchasing pre-made photo charms (no new orders are being taken at this time) of your child or your child’s stationery, please email fundraising [at] valleyparent [dot] org.
What a fun time we had at the bank today for the Milk and Cookies with the Bears event! Thank you to all the families who donated stuffed animals and to those who were able to join us for cookies and milk today. An extra special, sprinkle-covered thank you goes to Margie Perry and Lin Radford of Community Bank of the Bay in Danville for hosting this event. The kids really enjoyed their cookies and milk and getting to cuddle their bears one more time! We are so thrilled that we could be part of this event again. Thank you for displaying our bears and putting them up for adoption. We are excited that the adoption proceeds will go to Capes4Heroes and that the bears will go to Project Night Night. Thank you to our very own VPP Parent Jeannie Dryfoos who will be transporting the bears next week to Project Night Night, and thank you to Kendra Stitt Robins at Project Night Night for making sure our bears make their way to Project Pride in Oakland and the Asian Women’s Shelter in SF. Thank you, Jane McInnis from the Danville Patch, for shining a light on our children’s efforts and publishing their deed, so that they might see how their community also values their compassion.
It is an indescribable feeling watching your own very young children learn what it means to practice compassion toward others. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of this collective effort.
Holidays are often a time we can set aside our daily routines to be with family and friends. Many of us think about eating special foods, singing or listening to holiday music, or decorating our homes with special items. For some, holiday traditions help us connect with our ancestors or engage us in thinking about religious or ethnic identity and how we want to continue it with our own children.
Valley Parent celebrates the holidays by acknowledging that:
Some families celebrate the same holiday in similar or in different ways
Some families celebrate different holidays in similar or in different ways
Some families celebrate multiple holidays
Some holidays are celebrated in December and many are not
Some families do not celebrate any holidays
What your family does, or does not do, is valued at Valley Parent Preschool
We can all learn about different holidays and how they are celebrated
All families, holidays and traditions are equally valued at Valley Parent Preschool
This month during talk-over we want to hear how your family spends the holidays. We would love to hear about the holidays you celebrate and if your family has any unique traditions, special meals you prepare, or favorite family activities.
We always welcome families to come in and share with the class a special part of your culture or heritage. In the past we have had dancing, stories, special music, and even cooking and food. Please talk with your child’s teacher if you would like to set up a time to share with the class, either in December or later in the year.
In addition to sharing your traditions at our end of the day talk-over, we invite you to post them in the comment section below. You never know when you might find something new to start with your family! You can also post your traditions on our VPP Facebook page here.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I spent Thanksgiving in Napa with my husband and son. It is so beautiful up there this time of the year, and we had a great time!
This week we are going to make a holiday gift for you. (If you are working, please sign up to work in the Library, Activity ,Structure or Sand/Grass area, if you want your gift to be a surprise.) We will also be making stationary for a project the fundraising committee working on. During circle, I will do a Hanukah demonstration and talk a little about how I celebrated as a child.
Sarah sent out a message last week informing you that the talk over subject this month is Holiday Traditions. I want to know if there is anyone in the class that does not celebrate Christmas. We keep the celebration at school very low-key, but I want to make sure we are sensitive to all the children and the way their families celebrate.
Please e-mail me back if you have any concerns or requests about this holiday season and how we celebrate at school.
What a great feast we had! I can’t tell you how proud I was of your children sitting and singing to you all! We have come a long way since September!
Last week a few parents admitted to me that they never read this newsletter I send out each week. I know all you parents are so busy and it’s tough to go through all your e-mails. BUT beside news, please think of these notes as a way to initiate more conversation with your child about school. Instead of asking your child, “what did you do today at school?” ( most kids will say “nothing-the question is too broad” )You can see what I had planned and then ask a more specific question like, ” What happened when you mixed vinegar with baking soda?” or “What was the story about with Joseph’s coat?” I promised you will get more information and better conversation out of them. That helps build their language skills and helps them think again about what they did. It’s also wonderful to share a little about your day with your child, that helps build their listening skills and models a better back and forth conversation.
This week we are going to count colored feathers and make a cute turkey picture out of our hand tracing. We will also be doing a fun science experiement in the kitchen using baking soda and vinegar and watercolors.
This week we will read ,”If You Give a Cat a Cupcake” and “Joseph had a Little Overcoat.”
Our Director, Sarah Bradford is having surgery on her neck this week and will be out for a couple weeks. If you have any questions please talk to me. She will not be answering emails or phone calls. We wish Sarah a quick recovery and a pain free outcome!
Also please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or concerns you maybe having about my class, your child or the school.
We are approaching the time of year when we reflect on the joys we share as a family, as well as the joys that come from being a part of a greater school community that values the whole child and service learning. At VPP we have a very special tradition we hope will prove to be a great way to teach our youngsters the power and joy of giving back to our community.
VPP has teamed up with Community Bank of the Bay in a wonderful fundraising event that will benefit kids just like ours who are going through difficult times. We want to stress that participation is voluntary.
What we are asking is for our kids to donate a new teddy bear, 18” or smaller, with the tag on. We are going to have bins at school to collect the Bears from November 12th to the 19th. The kids will write their names on tags and place a special ribbon on it.
All of the Bears are going to be donated to “Project Night Night”, a wonderful Bay-Area-Based Non-Profit that provides a tote bag with a blanket, a book, and a stuffed animal to homeless children across the country.
Community Bank of the Bay is making it more special by first displaying the Bears at their bank for a couple of weeks for them to be “adopted” by their clients. All the money raised with the adoption of the bears is going to be donated to “Capes 4 Heroes” which is a Danville-based non-profit run by our very own VPP parent Barbara Casados. She makes and donates superhero capes for critically and terminally ill children across the country.
Once all of the bears are adopted, Community Bank of the Bay has invited the kids to have milk and cookies at the bank where they will see the bears once again. This is absolutely voluntary and is going to be after school hours, with more information to come on the date(s) and time(s). We will also have some press coverage at this event.
We encourage you to visit www.projectnightnight.org and http://capes4heroes.com/to see the work they are doing for the kids in our area and across the country. We want you to be the one to tell your kids how important the bear she/he is donating and how it is going to be special for someone just like them.
At VPP our priority is the education of the whole child and this could be an experience and an opportunity to empower and help the next generations to be compassionate and active in our communities.