Hello Preschool Parents!
During our Native American unit the preschoolers in Christin and Lois’ classroom studied several types of carrying devices like travios and pouches. The class compared Native American items to modern day items. During this comparison we discussed the Native American Parfleche. The parfleche was used to carry dried meats and other goods. The parfleche was typically made from rawhide and decorated by the owner.
The children in our preschool classroom have been working diligently to complete their parfleche. The children first colored a design, then watercolor washed their parfleche, sewed the sides together, added white paint, and completed their parfleche by practicing pattern work and beading.
We have had a smooth transition into 2014. The children came back ready to learn and play.
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We have been enjoying our celebrations of light as we notice the daylight going away. Our Santa Lucia parades were lots of fun–the oldest girls dressed up like St. Lucia with candles in a wreath on their heads, and everyone else wore their star children hats while we took the parade to deliver treats to our book partners. We also learned about Winter Solstice, which is the shortest day of the year, and how we know now that the daylight begins to come back on the winter solstice. You can celebrate with your preschooler this Saturday, the 21st!
Please take EVERYTHING home with you over the break. That will give you an opportunity to make sure everything fits, all extra clothing is season-appropriate, and that everything is clean and ready for a new year!
Your preschoolers have been working hard to be part of our preschool family. We talk often about being part of a team and how we can all help each other out to get all our jobs done. Most students are glad to help out when asked so we can get all our chores done and have more learning and fun. Some are beginning to notice what needs to be done and do it without being asked! Our preschoolers like knowing what jobs they can do to help and having an opportunity to show what good helpers they are! They are good at sorting, so they might enjoy helping sort clothes or silverware. They are good at finding lost things, and many are practicing their sweeping and table/floor-wiping skills to help with spills. They would probably love to help serve special snacks to your holiday visitors! We know you have a lot to do, and your preschoolers want to be part of your family team to get the job done! See below for a letter about family teamwork from one of the founders of Love and Logic, Jim Fey.
We wish you and your family the very best during this magical holiday season!!
Amber, Christin, Lois and Mary
Jim Fey asks: Is Your Family a Team?
Please tell me this doesn’t happen in your family.
Following our recent snow storm, the service and product providers known as fathers were out trying to clear the walks and driveways. There was not a kid to be seen anywhere.
I commented to a neighbor that in the past, kids would be out with their shovels helping clear the snow. After that they would be off shoveling walks to earn money.
“Is that where your kids are?” I asked.
“No,” he answered. “Kids today aren’t that motivated.”
He blames today’s kids. Little does he know that parents are the ones who train kids to believe they are honored guests in the home, rather than contributing members of a family team.
Many tasks, like snow removal or yard work, are family jobs where kids can and should become part of the team. Kids should be helping in any way that is appropriate for their age. Even small kids can help prepare drinks or snacks to serve the ones who are doing the hard work. The last thing I want to see is a kid sleeping in or playing video games while their parents do these jobs alone.
Hello Preschool Parents!
The Preschoolers have been hard at work this Fall. As we come upon the holidays we thought it would be fun to share a few of the moments we have shared. Enjoy !
Dear Preschool Parents,
Recently I attended an In-service presentation featuring Gary
Johnson email@example.com on ‘Turning Kids Into Readers’. I suspect many of
you already read at least 15-20 minutes everyday to your preschooler. That
is the foundation. Gary suggests that you don’t stop!
Learning to read well is hard and schools can teach children to read,
but to become a great reader, most of a child’s reading should be done
outside of school especially after they can begin to read it themselves (right
through all of elementary school).
Gary outlines 5 steps:
1. make it easy to read (limit screen time) & have a wide variety of
2. give them ‘good’ choices/’bad’ choices i.e. want to stay up with me &
read? Or just go to sleep?
3. blur the line between loving the reader and loving to read
4. stop reading before the child is ready (read no more then 10 minutes)
…never stop at end of chapter, but at a cliffhanger
5. make it easy to read (books in the car, on the breakfast table, in the
I wish I knew this when my children were in elementary school.
Doing this with your 3rd grader is the important part.
Interested in more? Contact Gary at address above.
Don’t forget to wear your Rivendell T-shirt to the Barnes & Noble night…
Tonight at 6:30.
Mary & the early childhood team
As we make our way through our Native American unit we are discovering the many ways that tribes adapted to their environments, food sources, and so much more. The children have been discovering the advantages of a travois and how carrying weight in another way creates an efficient moving technique. Children have been using a travois on the playground to move a bundle of bird seed. It has been fascinating to watch them as they work alone or in teams to move the bundle from one area to the next. From tepees to wigwams and to pueblos we have been talking about the different styles of houses and how they were adapted in ways of environment, ease of move, or developed in accordance with the weather. Several animals have been discussed throughout the unit as well; bison (buffalo), horses, dogs, and the Rainbow Crow have been common themes in our stories and myths.The Native American unit will be coming to a close tomorrow.
During our time together on Monday and Tuesday we will be discussing Thanksgiving and traditions around the holiday. The children have already been working on their thankful turkeys that are hanging in the hallway. In the classrooms we have been talking about things we are thankful for and gaining an understanding of gratitude and thankfulness.
The holiday season is just around the corner. During this time of year there seems to be so much to do with every passing day. It is during these times that the preschoolers seem to have the most energy while we adults seem to be running on autopilot. To ease the stress of the holidays try including our preschoolers on some family traditions. Whether it be mashing potatoes with grandma, telling stories with cousins, placing crackers on an appetizer tray, etc. These opportunities will provide them with moments of connectivity with family and friends, give them a chance to use skills that they are so capable of completing, and give them a sense of independence.
Today we went on an adventure to the El Mercado (the Market) in the commons. The Older Kids made crafts, sweets, and much more for the children to purchase with their pesos. It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to practice speaking in Spanish, work on counting skills, and interact with the older students in the building.
As a reminder Rivendell school will be closed Nov 27th – Dec 2nd for the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday December 3rd. Upon our return we will be discussing several holidays from around the world. If you are planning to take vacation during December please let the teachers in the classroom know so that we can plan activities and crafts accordingly. Thank You
We have been linking our Thursday notes to our Preschool page on the Rivendell school website. The website is a fabulous way to catch up on current events, links to resources, and much more. Please visit the page often for updates.
Amber, Christin, Lois, and Mary
Our preschoolers have been busy enjoying our time with friends, engaging in open centers, the great fall weather, and learning! Our topic unit of Native Americans is well underway. We are have been exploring the Plains Indians culture from when the bison roamed the prairies (teepees, symbols, bison, hunting/gathering, leather clothing, fringe, legends, story-telling, horses, travois to move supplies, and more). We will continue to explore how the land changed the way different Native American tribes lived in different areas of the country. We are beginning to introduce Pueblo Indians of the southwest (homes: pueblos, adobe, clay pots, farming/corn, did not travel/sedentary) and eastern American Indian groups and homes (wigwams), like the Lenape of eastern Pennsylvania where Lois grew up and the Wampanoag of Massachusetts around Plymouth Plantation. The Old Town Library has a free Seven Falls Indian Dancers event at 2 pm this Saturday, November 16. What a great way to bring our unit to life!
Keep your eyes on the hallway walls and our changing bulletin boards for new work. We read the book Feeling Thankful by Shelley Rotner and Sheila Kelley, and have been sharing who and what we are thankful for. The book focuses on being grateful for the things that go right every day: a loving family and friends, a home and good food to eat, places to play and things to play with, as well as celebrations (like birthdays), and all the things that nature brings us (birds, flowers, the moon, the rain…). Look for the “I am thankful for…” turkey hand tracings to see what our students are thankful for in their lives.
You may appreciate this link http://www.wikihow.com/Teach-Gratitude-to-Kids , especially # 5 as a nice way to continue practicing gratitude at home: 5) Have your kids tell you three good things when you put them to bed each night. This should relate to things that happened to them that day or that they did during the day. This gives them a lens through gratitude glasses. Practicing this routine at the end of the day will help teach your children to slow down, savor the moment, and notice things that they feel appreciative about and should be thankful for. Here’s another great resource from a researcher and expert in sociology and happiness (series of short talks): http://www.kidsinthehouse.com/video/encouraging-children-practice-gratitude
Thanks for continuing to keep your children’s coats, boots, sneakers, slippers, hats, mittens, snow pants, and change of clothing up to date and hanging around while we go through the ups and downs of weather through fall in Colorado! It’s a lot to leave at school (or bring back and forth), but it really does help your children enjoy running, playing, and being an active and engaged preschooler!
Enjoy this magical time of fall and all the changes!
The Early Childhood Team – Amber, Christin, Lois, Mary