What’s happening in the preschool class!

Dear Parents,

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!
 
Have a fun weekend!
 
Teacher Leslie
 

Welcome Back!

Dear Preschool Parents,

   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*:( sad!), 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.

Enjoy the last few days of the break!

Leslie Szumowski

Preschool Class this week!

Dear Parents,

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.

 See you all on Tuesday!

This week in Preschool!

Dear Parents,
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.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Leslie Szumowski

Preschool News!

Dear Parents,

Tuesday we have a fireman coming to speak to our class! We will also be making cornbread muffins for the feast.

Thursday is the feast! Please drop your child off at the regular time and return back to the school at 10:15 for the feast. We will start in the block room with a couple songs and then enjoy the Thanksgiving meal together. Please arrive on time-we start singing right way because it’s hard to keep 3 and 4 year olds waiting. If you can’t make it to the feast ,please e-mail me so Viki or I can make sure to help serve and sit with your child.

 There are still plenty of spots left on the sign up list for the meal-here’s is the sign up list-

www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C044AA8AE23A13-thanksgiving2

 

If you are looking for something to do today, The Danville Library is celebrating their 100th birthday! I will be working in the holiday boutique from 10-12.

Here’s the info for today-

Birthday Family Story Time
Event Type: Storytime
Age Group(s): Kids (5-11), All Ages
Date: 11/9/2013
Start Time: 11:00 AM
End Time: 12:00 PM

Description:
Danville Library Centennial Event
Saturday, November 9, 11am – 4pm
Enjoy birthday refreshments courtesy of the Friends of the Danville Library and a historical Danville Library Centennial exhibit in partnership with the Museum of the San Ramon Valley along with special events throughout the day for all ages!

• 11am: Birthday Family Story Time
The Danville Library turns 100 and is kicking off the celebrations with a special family story time for readers of all ages with birthday stories, crafts, and treats.
Children’s Reading Room, Danville Library

• 1pm: Alex Ramon Magic
No birthday party is complete without a master of illusion! Alex Ramon, Magician, has mesmerized millions around the world with his magic touring as the star of Disney Live! and Ringling Bros.’ first-ever magician ring-master.
Children’s Reading Room, Danville Library

• 3pm: Richard Bolles, Best-selling Author of What Color is Your Parachute?
Recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of today’s top twenty “Wealth Wizards,” international best-selling author, Richard Bolles, will do a special presentation and signing. Designated by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 All-TIME best non-fiction books, the 14th edition of his book will be released in August.
Valley Oak Room, Danville Community Center

Danville Library Centennial Celebration programs in partnership with the Town of Danville, Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Friends of the Danville Library, Danville Library Endowment, and Danville Library Foundation.

Library: Danville Library

 Have a wonderful weekend!
Leslie Szumowski
 

Next week in the Preschool Class!

Dear Parents,

I hope you all had a fun Halloween!

Now on to Thanksgiving! This week we will be painting thankful leaves and making a leaf wreath with fall leaves! 

Last week,Viki and I asked the children what they were thankful for. Most said-mommies and daddies, or a special time spent with their mommies and daddies. We will hang the Thankful leaves with the children’s quotes up for the Thanksgiving feast.

We will also learn a few Thanksgiving songs to sing to you at the Thanksgiving feast!

This year the Thanksgiving Feast is early so we can spend it with Sarah before she has her surgery. The Feasts will be November 13th (Wednesday) and November 14th (Thursday) Please mark your calendars! Sign ups for food will be coming soon.

Here’s a great article I love about raising Thankful children.

 

Raising Thankful Children

Most parents want their children to be happy, yet we shower them with gifts, protect them from the natural consequences of their actions and do all kinds of things that actually make them less happy. If we really want our kids to be happy, we need to instill an attitude of gratitude. But how can we instill gratitude in children who are naturally self-centered and growing up in an entitlement-driven society?

Model Gratitude. Gratitude isn’t just a lesson to be taught to children, but also an ongoing exercise in learning for parents. Instead of clamoring for the newest gadget, work on being grateful for what you have right now. When interacting with your kids, say please and thank you so that good manners are “what we do” not just what we say we do.

Share the Gift of Giving. Experienced parents have learned that the more kids get, the less they appreciate what they have. Receiving gifts can be fun, but make sure your children also recognize the joy of giving. Around the holidays, focus on celebrating, making memories and visiting with friends and family rather than who gets the most presents.

Teach Family Values. Many children grow up believing that life is about acquiring money and material possessions. If your family values hard work, saving money and simple joys, make sure your principles are being communicated regularly.

Start a Family Tradition. Make gratitude a habit; for example, by going around the dinner table saying one thing you’re grateful for or reflecting on the day at bedtime, noting the small things you enjoyed.

Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks. The more children contribute around the house, the more they realize how much effort it takes to keep a household running. Even if it takes twice as long or ends up creating another mess, give your child age-appropriate chores like setting the table or feeding a pet. Not only will they appreciate that these tasks require effort but they will feel the satisfaction of earning what they have and making a valuable contribution to the family.

Serve Others. Service can be part of a child’s life from a young age. Get young kids involved in decorating thank-you notes, baking cookies for a friend or donating belongings to less fortunate children — and point out how good it feels to make someone else’s day brighter.

Practice Mindfulness. Some kids spend much of their day in front of television and computer screens, too often losing sight of the small but enduring pleasures found in nature and in their interactions with other people. Take time to appreciate the sights, smells and sounds around you, and you’ll model mindfulness for your kids.

You’ve probably heard it said that “happiness is a choice.” While it can be difficult to choose happiness in tough times, research suggests that happiness is, in fact, less the result of circumstance and more the product of our own thinking and habits. In other words, you don’t have to wait until you have the perfect life to be happy — you can choose it right now by focusing on what you’re grateful for and encouraging your children to do the same.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Teacher Leslie

 

 

 

Halloween Week in the Preschool Class!

Dear Parents,
I hope you are all having a good Pre-Halloween weekend!  
This week at school we are going to make a spider Halloween decoration that you can hang near your door! At circle time, we will go over Halloween safety tips and play a Halloween game.
 
On Wednesday and Thursday we have our Halloween Party! 
Here is our plan-

9:00 - Children arrive in costume & go to their circle areas. Parents go to the back yard to line the parade route.

9:10 -  Children parade around the yard two times and end in the block room.

9:20 -  Parents help children change out of their costumes and leave (with the costumes!)

9:30 -10:15 -all children outside for free choice. Snack open on back yard table.

10:15 - All children to the block room to explain party activities.

10:20-11:25  Party!

11:30- Parents pick up children.

Please remember no pretend weapons at school and if your child is wearing a mask, make sure they can see clearly out of it.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Teacher Leslie

 

Next Week in the Preschool Class!

Dear Parents,

We have really fun week planned! We will be making pumpkin pudding pie, carving pumpkins, seeing whats inside the pumpkin, reading a few great Halloween books.(Nothing scary) and talking about our Halloween plans and learning a few safety tips. Please tell me if you do not celebrate halloween at your home.

I have not been doing the mini conferences that I said I would do several weeks ago because I needed to help the children settle into school. I think we are almost all settled in! If you want to talk with me about anything, please reply back and we can set up a time. We have such a great group of children that all seem to get along so well!

 Teacher Leslie

Dear Parents,

Last week went really well! We learned a few halloween songs, painted a paper bag pumpkin (they will be out front for you to take home next week) and had some really cute puppet shows.

Monday and Wednesday are Picture Day. We won’t be using any paint those days, so if you want your picture in a special outfit-it should survive.

Next week we will be learning about shapes. We will play games with shapes and do a couple different projects putting shapes together to make pictures.

A couple parents have told me that when they ask their child what they did that day at school, the answer is always,”nothing”. Most times that question maybe too broad. If you would like to get a little more detail, it may help to read what we are doing that week and ask specific questions, like- Do you remember the words to the halloween songs?, What is your favorite shape? What did you do with the shapes? This helps them remember the activity and better able to give you details.

Here’s the words to the five little pumpkins song (Chant)

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said “Oh my, it’s getting late!”
The second one said “There are witches in the air,”
The third one said “We don’t care!”
The fourth one said “Let’s run and run and run.”
And the fifth one said “I’m ready for some fun!”
Then Ooo ooo went the wind, and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Teacher Leslie 
 

Preschool Class -Oct.7th-10th

Dear Parents,
It was great to see most of you at the Pumpkin Patch this week! It looked like everyone had a really good time.
Next week we are going to start learning a few Halloween songs and read “Where the Wild Things Are” and ”Buenos Noches Gorilla”. In the kitchen we will make a pumpkin out of a paper bag and paint it.
I’ve noticed a lot of the children really enjoy the puppets in the block room, so this week we will make our own puppets and have a puppet show! I love Puppets because -puppets foster leadership, performance, courage to stand in front of our peers, social interaction, communication, role playing, imagination, story telling, listening, and much more.
Some children will just hold the puppet on the stage and not say a thing or move, but that can be a great step for them. If you are working with me in the block room this week, Please make sure not to play “director” of the puppet show,being an audience and clapping is the most important thing you can do.
Have a wonderful weekend! My husband and I will be walking the Bridge to Bridge in San Francisco for Special Olympics. It is also Fleet Week so it should be really fun.
Teacher Leslie