April 2016 Newsletter
April showers bring May Flowers, but April is also bringing a lot to our school. This month will be very busy for us! I have highlighted some of the exciting events below.
State Inspection – We received notice that our PA state inspector will be visiting our school this month. We have been double checking all of our files and making sure everything is well prepared and ready for their visit. We are not nervous about this at all and I am feeling very confident that the teachers are well prepared for this visit. Thank you to all of you who we asked to update a form here or there to make sure we are in compliance.
Spring Cleaning – As with everyone in their homes spring cleaning is a necessity. We will be doing the same for our school. Spring cleaning got its term from the older days of when homes were heated with coal and wood products. Spring cleaning was devised for families to get rid of the dingy dark oils and soot that might be in their home and on the walls from the winter heating season. While we do not have that kind or “dirt” here at our school we will be focusing on airing out the classrooms and making sure all those nasty winter germs are long gone. While we are in this process, please double check your child’s cubby to make sure he/she has season appropriate clothing. Please remember we do go outside on a daily basis – so don’t forget to send in a jacket or sweatshirt if the mornings are a bit chilly.
State Grant Money – The budget has passed for education grants. As soon as we are made aware we will be ordering all of our new toys and supplies for the classroom. Everyone is very excited about this. It truly will be like everyone’s birthday with learning materials galore. Please excuse our mess as we start getting all of these new items in!
Merger – The merger of the Royersford Chesterbrook Academy to our school is quickly approaching us. This month we will be hosting a staff meeting to help the teachers who will be transferring get acclimated to our school. At this point the final teacher count is not complete. As soon as we are more familiar with where needs are for the placement of these teachers we will let you know. With our growth due to the merger we will also be receiving learning materials and teaching supplies from this school. There are signs of us growing leaps and bounds all around!
Buy One Get One Book Fair – We will be hosting a book fair this month. The fair is scheduled as a buy one book; get one free for yourself or the classroom of equal or lesser value. The teachers will be posting wish list cards on their classroom doors if you would like to purchase a book to donate to the classroom.
Other events coming up this month to watch out for Ladybug Release/Earth Day, Child Appreciation Week, and Staff Appreciation Week.
Have a great month of April!
Linking Learning with Nature
Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. Now is a great time for children to explore these environmental changes happening in the world around them.
Not only are children curious about nature, but research shows that it has a profound influence on their problem solving skills, creativity, imagination and cognitive ability. Because of this, our teachers incorporate nature in all aspects of our Links to Learning curriculumm.
Below are ways we connect learning with nature, as well as activities you can do with your child at home.
In the classroom: After reading a book about springtime, teachers bring children outdoors to explore and investigate objects in nature. The children have fun crumbling leaves, smelling flowers and looking at clouds.
At home: Take tummy time outdoors and allow your infant to explore different sights, sounds and textures. Encourage him to move and grab things by placing objects just beyond his reach. For toddlers, ask questions like, “Who made that chirping sound” or “Can you point to the flowers?”
Recommended reading: Wake Up! Wake Up! A Springtime Lift-the-Flap Book by Kathryn Davis,
Welcome Spring by Little Scholastic
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: Our Beginners read books about seasonal changes, then bring the story to life by going outdoors to find real-world examples.
At home: Help make your child aware of the seasonal changes going on around him. Talk a walk with him and ask questions such as “Why do we see flowers growing now?” or “What do flowers need in order to grow?” Encourage him to use his creativity when answering.
Recommended reading: Over in the Meadow by Olive Wadsworth, Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: Students plant seeds in their school garden and learn about the importance of caring for them. Through this activity, they practice math skills such as measuring, sorting, counting and making predictions.
At home: Set up a bird feeder outside a window that your child can easily see. Let him help you fill it with birdfeed. As the birds come to eat, ask your child to talk about them. “What color are they?” “Are they big or small?” “What are they doing?”
Recommended reading: Little Seed by Eric Carle, Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Pre-K and Pre-K 2 students explore the sounds they hear in nature while playing outdoors. They then use recycled and natural materials, such as string and pine cones, to make their own wind chime.
At home: Reuse junk mail for a fun arts and crafts activity with your child. Encourage him to look through flyers and magazines to find words and pictures that he recognizes. Then, ask him to create a collage by cutting and gluing them to a piece of paper or poster board.
Recommended reading: And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, About Springtime, Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
We provide many opportunities for our preschoolers to think creatively and imaginatively about the world around them. By setting this foundation, children build confidence in their own unique thoughts and maintain a thirst for learning as they enter elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education