August 19, 2019

WARNING!  THIS IS MY LONGEST POST OF THE YEAR!  I PROMISE!  PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY THROUGH FOR LOTS OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION!  THANKS!

Wow!  We have started off with a BANG!  In the past 2 weeks, our little guys have already made SO much progress with independence, tolerating the longer day, and welcoming all of the new things we have introduced to them.  This is going to be a great year!  We are very excited to continue nurturing them and watching them blossom even more! 

By now, you hopefully understand the “House” system here at Frey, and I will be sending more information as to which houses your children are in.  Those with siblings here at Frey will be in the same house with their family members.  Many of the competition points and behavior rewards do not apply to Preschool, but it’s a fun way to be a part of this big school family and meet new friends and mentors!  Our new principal, Mr. D., is excited to revive and expand on the House System, so look forward to more information about this!

As far as my blog goes, I will compose a new post every other week to fill you in on everything we are doing in class.  Sometimes I may have a special “Point of Interest” to share with you, and you can always find the “nuts and bolts” of everything we do on the permanent pages published at the top or side of every post.

Wrapping It Up 

We finished up our “Back to School” unit with the books If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff and Pete the Cat, Rocking My School Shoes by Eric Litwin. We have spent the last two weeks getting settled in to our new routines, and learning about our school and all the wonderful things that happen here!  We have ridden in several different versions of makeshift buses, we have learned about classroom rules and routines, and we are practicing how to be good friends! Just like Pete the Cat, we have visited the lunchroom, library, office, nurse, playground, sensory room, and other classrooms in this big, beautiful school, and so far, WE LOVE IT HERE!  Your kiddos all seem to be having lots of fun with their new friends, teachers, bus drivers, therapists, and routines.  I think they’ll be coming back for more! 🙂 

What’s Next?

             

We are beginning our “All About Me” unit with the book All By Myself by Aliki.  This book should be available at the library in the children’s fiction section.  The rhyming, predictable text introduces a little boy as he wakes up in the morning.  It follows him through each step of his day from getting ready for school, to afternoon chores, dinner, bath time, and another night of sleep.  The boy is proud of the many things he can do for himself.  Since our kids are learning to perform many of these same skills, we will continue to emphasize independence in dressing, eating, grooming, going to school, simple chores, etc. through a variety of language-rich, multi-sensory activities. You are your child’s best teacher when it comes to these self-care skills, so as always, let them be as independent as possible during their routines at home!  They can’t learn to “do it” unless you let them “do it!”  Your children are also old enough to have simple chores they are expected to do at home.  When you begin to foster this independence, and expect them to follow through with these tasks, they will develop a sense of pride and autonomy that will lead to more attempts to “do it MYSELF!”

Dini Dinosaur by Karen Beaumont uses a fun rhyming text to deliver a story of a little dinosaur who gets very dirty while playing in the mud and needs a bath when he comes in. When he gets in the tub…Oh no! He forgets that he needs to remove his clothes to get clean enough! The story follows him through his bathtime as he learns to remove each article of clothing while his mother gets him ready for bed.  We will learn about clothing, parts of the body, bathtime and bedtime routines.  We will emphasize personal hygiene and staying healthy in a humorous, “messy” sort of way.  Many of our kiddos have aversions to messy hands and touching various textures, so we regularly do activities with our hands in a variety of different materials to help desensitize them.  We WILL play in mud, and as usual, we will emphasize that we can always get clean afterwards. “Dini” will be a nice segue into our next unit featuring  dinosaurs!  You play the most important roles in helping to reinforce the concepts at home with your children throughout your daily routines!

As part of each new unit, we will continue posting a copy of the concept map, which includes the instructional standards we use to plan our lessons.  This concept map also includes the vocabulary and essential questions that we explore throughout the unit.  It would be very helpful for you to find copies of the books to keep at home.  The children become so familiar with the books, and they love to “read” to Mom and Dad.  Also, if you have the books at home, you can refer back to the pages to point out the answers to the questions.  This helps develop beginning “research” skills.

We will also continue to send a copy of the unit songs on a new CD for each unit. The songs are chosen carefully to help reinforce specific vocabulary and concepts throughout each unit.  Please make a point to play and sing this music with your children in the car or during “down times” at home.  They love it, and the music reinforces so many skills!  You may actually find a few you remember and/or enjoy!

We began our “letter of the week” routine last week with “s.”  The next two weeks will bring us the letters “e” and “d.”  Letters are carefully chosen within the units, and the activities are designed to introduce the children to relevant vocabulary and sounds associated with specific letters.  For this reason, we do not follow alphabetical order to introduce the letters. We will continue to focus on the color yellow and the rectangle through the end of the month.    Remember to check the pages to the right titled “Let’s Practice Our Letters!” and “Lets Practice Our Shapes!” to support the auditory cues we use for forming shapes and letters.

Must Check It Out!

Here is a wonderful article that will give you many more ideas on how to foster more communication at home:

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Coming Events and Dates to Remember

  • Thursday, August 22, 2019 – Fall School Pictures
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2019 – Early Release
  • Monday, September 2, 2019 – Labor Day, schools closed

Needs and Wishes

A very big THANK YOU to all who have sent in items from our supply and wish lists!  We are partners when it comes to the care of your little ones at school, and the items you provide help us ensure their comfort and well-being while they are with us!  One ongoing need we have is white cardstock. This is due to the way we present our stories and essential questions.  Both the stories and essential (comprehension) questions are now presented to our little guys in a completely interactive format, where they can physically manipulate the vocabulary.  They can make, and read, complete sentences all by themselves within this engaging platform we use to supplement each story!

Other ongoing needs will be listed here, when we are running low, if you are in a position to donate items. We were just informed that we will NOT get our $100 instructional allotment or our $65 home living funds this year (which is how we fund our science and cooking activities.)  We will NOT stop providing these experiences for our “littles,” however!  

Again, if you have any questions or concerns, please shoot me an email, call, or text!  We are working together to give your kiddos the best jumpstart to “big” school that we can!