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March Newsletter

From the Desk of the Principal:

It looks like we might be leaping right from winter to spring. Our children will be so excited to have increased opportunities for outdoor fun and learning.  We will be hosting an upcoming Presenting: PRE-K night to showcase the interactive learning that prepares our children for Kindergarten.

We are also beginning our priority registration for the fall 2016-2017 school year. This gives our current families an opportunity to enroll early and ensure their spot. Look for a letter in your email. If you have any questions or would like a tour or teacher introduction for next year’s classroom please let me know. We would be thrilled to show you what we have planned.

As always thanks for being a part of our Chesterbrook community. My door is always open and I really appreciate your feedback so stop in anytime.

Mary Kay Stern

Check out what’s happening in….

Infant A: Our Infant A babies have been working on tummy time and sitting up independently! Their motor skills are improving every day!

Infant B: Infant B have been exploring colors. They have used different colors for painting rainbows and listened to their teachers talking about colors. They have sung songs about colors and looked at rainbows in books.

Toddlers: Toddlers have been learning about transportation! They used puffy paint to make airplanes in the clouds. They also drove toy cars through paint to create tire tracks and used blue paint

Beginners: Beginners have been learning about weather. They have done hands-on science experiments including a cloud in a jar experiment! They have been talking about appropriate clothing for different types of weather and monitoring the weather each school day.

Intermediates: Intermediates have been learning about keeping their teeth healthy. They have done an egg and soda experiment to see the effects of soda on our teeth. (yuck!)

Pre-K 1: Pre-K 1 have been learning new sight words including, “I,” “a,” “it” and “in.” They have been learning about keeping their teeth healthy through making positive food choices and brushing! They have been participating in interactive sensory experiences including “flossing” with play dough in legos, and painting with tooth brushes.

Pre-K 2: Pre-K 2 have been increasing their independent reading time, reading Star books to themselves. They have participated in learning new poems of the week and identifying new sight words including, “down,” “eat” and “for.” Pre-K 2 students have also learned about keeping their teeth healthy and maintaining healthy eating habits.

Dates to Remember:

Thursday, March 10th: Presenting Pre-K Night 5:30-6:30 (All Intermediate and Pre-K parents are encouraged to come learn more about our Pre-K 1 and Pre-K 2)

Saturday, March 12th: Open House 10am-1pm

Thursday, March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day Dance (Pre-K1 and Pre-K 2)

Monday-Friday, March 28th: April1st: Scholastic Book Fair



From our Education Department:

Introducing Your Preschooler
to the Fascinating World of Non-Fiction

When you think about children’s books, you might envision princesses in castles, talking animals or a flying magic school bus. Although it’s fun to read these types of stories with your child, it’s important to also introduce him to non-fiction books. You may be surprised to learn that he’s fascinated with exploring real people, places and things!

Non-fiction is not only interesting to children, but it also creates an important foundation for learning. It helps children build new vocabulary, develop critical thinking skills, fuel their curiosity and gain a better understanding about the world around them.

Below are ways we integrate non-fiction in the classroom, as well as activities you can try at home.


In the classroom: Infants love to look at faces, so our teachers choose non-fiction books that include photographs of people, such as Global Babies by Global Fund for Children. Afterward, they show the baby a photo of his own family and talk about the people in the photo. For example, “Look, Ben. Here’s your mom. Who’s she holding? That’s you.”

At home: Read multi-sensory picture books with your child. Choose non-fiction books with different textures and bright colors to help stimulate his growing sensory awareness.

Recommended reading: Families by Rena D. Grossman, Bathtime (Baby Touch & Feel) by DK Publishing

TODDLERS (ages 1-2):

In the classroom: Toddlers learn the names of different animals and vehicles and the sounds they make. While singing songs with students, our teachers ask, “What does a pig say?” or “What sound does a fire truck make?”

At home: Point out photographs of familiar animals and vehicles in magazines or books. Ask your child to mimic the noise that each item makes. This can also be done in the car as you’re driving around your neighborhood.

Recommended reading: Baby Animals by National Geographic Kids, Noisy Trucks by Tiger Tales

BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):

In the classroom: Teachers and students read non-fiction books by going on picture walks. A picture walk motivates children to rely on pictorial clues to decipher the story’s plot and make predictions. Before reading the story, they flip through the book, and the child is encouraged to make predictions about the characters and plot. The teacher then reads the book aloud to the student. When finished, the teacher asks questions to start a conversation about the text.

At home: Visit a library with your child, and let him choose a book. Take a picture walk through the book with him. When you’re finished, ask the librarian to recommend a non-fiction book about the same topic. For example, if you read Clifford the Big Red Dog, your child might also be interested in Puppies, Puppies, Puppies, a non-fiction book by Susan Meyers.

Recommended reading: My First Baseball Book by Sterling Children’s, Everything Spring by Jill Esbaum


In the classroom: Our Intermediate teachers combine non-fiction reading with dramatic play. After reading a book about farm life, children create their own farm in the dramatic play center and pretend to be farmers. Children gain a better understanding of the book, practice problem solving skills, and use new vocabulary.

At home: Select a book with large photographs or illustrations. Flip through the book, and let your child stop on pages that interest him. Don’t worry about reading every page. Ask him to tell you what is going on in the pictures, and encourage him to make comparisons to experiences he’s had in real life. For example, if you pick a book about weather, you might ask, “Where do we go in the summertime when it’s hot?” or “Why do we use an umbrella in the springtime?”

Recommended reading: Watching the Seasons by Edana Eckart, Wings by Melanie Mitchell

PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5):

In the classroom: Our older preschoolers read a non-fiction book paired with a fiction book, and compare and contrast the two stories. After reading Stella Luna and Bat Loves the Night, the teacher might ask, “In Stella Luna, the bat slept upright. Is that how a real bat sleeps?” Students may also create a Venn diagram that shows similarities and differences in the two books.

At home: Read various forms of non-fiction with your child, including books, brochures and flyers.  Challenge him to find sight words in the text. Afterward, ask him to write in his journal what he would like to learn about next. Use that information when choosing another piece of non-fiction.

Recommended reading: Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin (fiction), Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser (non-fiction)

By introducing children to both fiction and non-fiction texts in the preschool years, they become comfortable with a wide range of subjects and acquire the skills needed to comprehend important information in kindergarten and beyond. They are better able to tap into their interests and enjoy learning about real world people, places and things.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood

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