Whole School News
Happy New Year!!!! The children did a great job returning to school! We missed them very much and were excited to hear about their holidays!
Something I found very interesting, when I asked the children what their favorite part of the holiday vacation was . . . . they all mentioned things they DID like; ‘going out do dinner just me and dad, playing games, going to the movies with my cousins, “. . . .not one of them made mention to Christmas gifts. . . . or anything they got.
In January, we’ve learned much about our healthy bodies! The children know that there are two kinds of bodies: girl bodies and boy bodies. They know the SIX things to do to keep their bodies healthy and growing strong: exercise every day, choose healthy food, drink lots of water, brush their teeth, wash hands and get a ton of sleep! The children began by identifying activities that are exercise and activities that are not. The first type of exercise we discussed was cardio; the type that makes your heart say “thank you, thank you, thank you”. We got very sweaty running, jogging, and dancing around the classroom. The next week we talked about muscle and bone strengthening exercises, like push ups, v-sits, jumping, and plank. All month, we have had fun with yoga! The children practiced almost everyday, and know the following poses: up-dog, down-dog, sandwich, tree (rocket), bridge, ramp, rag doll, star, and some prekers can even do crow! Our healthy food choices focused primarily on snacks and how they would help us grow big and strong! Here is a great resources for exercise and sleep recommendations for children:
And an interesting read on nutrition:
The kids were surprised to learn that too much screen time isn’t healthy for our bodies. Here’s some resources:
Audio books are an awesome alternative to screen time:
In prek we expanded on our “healthy bodies”. . . . . . Your children were so interested in learning about the “insides” of our bodies that we often times sat and looked at books and talked about how the body works. Ask your budding students these tricky questions. . .
What covers and protects your whole body?
What are the hard things just under our skin? What are the only bones you can see?
What is attached to the bones and helps our bodies move?
What is the boss of the body?
What gives the body energy?
What is the special name of the tubes that carry blood all around our whole body?
What is the pump that pushes the blood through our veins?
Thank goodness it is time to get into dental health month before they wanted to know more about the digestive system and waste!!! The book that sparked the interest, and frankly was the most requested (EVERY DAY) was: Me and my Amazing Body, by Joan Sweeny. We read that book everyday this month, and they NEVER tired of it!
The children continue to hear the daily classroom DO’s. Before every circle meeting we ask the children what it means to be a “great student”. . . . together they answer. . . “a great student is, Kind, Respectful, Safe, A first time listener, and an Optimist. . . . and we’ve added HARD WORKING”. The Harmony Angel continues to float around the school, and is another fun way to remind us of our school “Do’s”. We are proud! They are great students.
Winter has been so much fun! The children have been working hard dressing themselves to go outside. Breaking the process down into small sequential steps; then repeating the same order over and over, helps them learn how to tackle the big job of dressing in the wintertime. The order we have taught them is as follows:
1. Snow pants.
5. Mittens always last to have free hands for zipping!
We will try to sled/go for a walk anytime there is snow. We will always go outside if the weather is cold and sunny, but not tooo windy; even for a little while. It gets mucky here when the snow/ice melts; boots are the best choice for school shoes. Please, please, please pack clothes that your children can put on themselves; mittens instead of gloves and pull on boots over laced ones, please. It is most helpful to expect the children to put on their own coats and shoes (and snow gear) at home, practice makes progress. Thank you for your help!
Happy New Year! January brought us the Color (Blue), the Shape (Circle) and the Number (5).
Hopefully you are seeing some of the pictures on Bright Wheel of your children doing their morning jobs at our small group time. We have also posted pictures of the VIP's on their special day. The kids absolutely love having the spotlight!
Our topic for January has been Healthy Bodies. Learning about healthy foods, healthy drinks, the importance of daily exercise, brushing our teeth and getting enough sleep. Hopefully your children have been sleeping like angels.....they know that when they are sleeping their battery charges up and their bodies grow!!!!
Throughout the month we have been reading the book "The Mitten" by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Yaroslava. The children painted and sewed their very own mitten and colored animals that were mentioned in the story. We read the book one last time and the children followed along and tucked the animals into the mitten. It was a long project and we had many absences throughout the month so unfortunately not everyone was able to complete the project.
We continue to try and end our day outside. Sometimes on the playground, sometimes sledding and often with a nature walk. Please be sure to pack boots(always) and necessary items as the weather dictates.
Your Children are working hard and having fun!!
Happy New Year,
Miss Robin & Miss Lori
We have had a great month in Pre-K!
We began the month, as we always do, by putting together our calendar for the new month of January. This month was even more exciting as we had to change everything on our calendar, including the YEAR! Every day, we break the calendar down into the year, season, month, days of the week, and our “yesterday, today and tomorrows”. Every new month, the children take turns finding the calendar numbers and putting them in the proper sequence, week by week, to create the calendar. The children learn so much from our calendar work and are really gaining a wonderful understanding about the huge concept of TIME.
We are progressing very nicely through the alphabet. This month we completed work on the letters N, O,P & Q. The children really enjoy all of the different items we use on our alphabet tray. We also continue working on our Pre-K Alphabet book, collecting our favorite words for each letter we complete.
PreKers, are working hard in the Handwriting Without Tears Workbooks; they are so excited, enthusiastic, and proud of working in their "big kid” workbooks! It has been going really well ! Learning how to use the “index”, move “forward” or “backward” in the workbook are awesome skills!
We have also started to practice writing our names aaaannnnndddd sing/dance ALPHABET WORKOUT!
Our questions of the week were:
"Do you like Noodles?"
"Do you like Oranges?"
The question of the week is purposeful in many ways. . . the students have to find their name amongst many others, they are learning simple sight words “yes” “no” “like”, they are learning the meaning of “greater and less than” as well as the word UNANIMOUS. . . . ask your preker what that means. This year. . . . some of the children are even sounding out the new words on our Question of the Week board. . . . I am amazed!
We enjoyed some fun SCIENCE experiments. . . . starting with WATER VOLUME. . . how much water different containers can hold. . .. the containers varied in height and width. . . and it was interesting to see how the same amount of water looked very different when inside each container. . . . . we also had fun with “sink/float” experiments. . . . . Soon we will have ice “races”. . . one cup outside, another in the freezer to see which cup of water would freeze first. . . and then the next day poured salt on one of the cups to explore salts effect on ice. . . . . very interesting stuff!!!!!
We consistently expect self-help independence, and the pre-kers are meeting that challenge fabulously!! The children are marching in, wearing their backpacks, and taking care of themselves and their belongings! I am so proud of them!! Thank you for the practice at home, your support with growing their self-help skills translates into big confidence gains!
We have been working hard and having fun! It has been a great month!
February.. . . already! (we are more than half-way through our school year) The children will learn about dental health…. even making their own (poorly tasting) toothpaste! We will also have a special “friendship week”, the week of
Valentines Day. The preschoolers will NOT need to bring valentines to school, as they will make each other valentines while here. The prekers DO need to make valentines at home and bring to school on Thursday 2/16 and Friday 2/17. . . the prekers will need 22 valentines each morning; 16 in the afternoon please.
NO CANDY; it is much easier for the children to “send” simple valentines to each friend.. Please do NOT address the valentines to anyone specific, BUT have your student sign their name to each valentine.
Thank you for the continued support in donating paper towels, hand soap!!! Such a Huge help!
Taxes: Anyone who is eligible for Pre-tax benefits or childcare deductions on their 2022 tax returns can use the Harmony invoice as it has the tax ID number.
Thank you for remembering to update your child’s updated immunization record with each annual physical to Brightwheel.
“Observation reports” were handed out during January.
When reviewing your child’s report, please keep in mind your child’s interests. Each child has their own individual developmental experience; they grow in each area at their own unique rates. Age, environment, genetics, interest, opportunities, and expectations are essential factors to be mindful of when thinking of any child’s development.
February vacation is coming up, the week of February 19th; Harmony will reopen on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH.
Notices for 2023-2024 deposits were emailed; and secure your child’s spot; non-payment releases the spot.
Harmony has a few 2023-2024 afternoon spots available.
Child Development Ditty 101:
Here, I’m getting off of the “typical modes of development” to bring “pre-reading” into your awareness. Pre-reading is everything we do to prepare our children for eventual independent reading. Some examples are: reading aloud to our children (and running your finger along the words as you read), encouraging children to look at books by themselves, looking at picture books (and talking about what is happening in the picture; maybe guessing what will happen next), playing with and learning the alphabet, making the alphabet and or words visually available daily (especially in bedrooms and bathrooms), learning/playing with letter sounds, beginning to organize information from left to right, making letters a part of every day play (driveway chalk (hop scotch), painting letters, letter stamps in paint or play dough) and “word play” picking a letter and brainstorming all of the words that begin with that letter. There’s a great website, starfall.com that is lots of fun for our pre-reading students. It has lots of alphabet games and sounds out the letters! Another great way we help children, are alphabet “flap” books. Children learn best when they have the opportunity to engage multiple sensories while gaining knowledge. Children are welcome to a library card at the age of 3!!! It is such a great idea to use the library card as a celebration of a milestone. . . we used to have a special wallet dedicated to the our library cards. . . of course Max (my youngest) couldn’t wait to get his.. . we would keep them in a special “wallet” in a hallway bowl, go to the library every other week or so, and get books relating to what ever was going on in their world. Now is the time to foster a love of reading. . . .
One more thing . . . I found a website, http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development/ that breaks down development by age; they use different language to describe the 5 primary areas of development: social, emotional, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive; but I found the information interesting. It’s no substitute for a book endorsed by the Academy of Pediatrics, but a decent “quick” read nonetheless.