Rivendell Preschool

Safety Rules and Community Helpers

Preschool 2012 October Newsletter

We have had some busy and exciting days in the preschool classrooms! We are practicing our safety rules, developing our large motor skills with outside time, PE and Yoga, and beginning our academics with math and pre-literacy workjobs and continuing with our cutting curriculum.

Ancient Greece has moved out of Home Living to be replaced with things you would find in a vet clinic, store, kitchen or construction site, as we begin our unit on Community Helpers. Our Rivendell and Fort Collins communities are important places where people live and work together. We look forward to visits from firefighters and vets, and to studying all our community helpers, from teachers to nurses, plumbers to waste management workers, and everywhere in between.

October brings one of Rivendell’s favorite holidays: Halloween. We can still use volunteers for our class party on Halloween and for the school-wide Fun Fest on Friday, October 26. Please sign up on the bulletin board in the front for Fun Fest–it’s a special Rivendell tradition and really is a lot of fun! Please bring the whole family and any friends or other families who might enjoy it! See the Rivendell eNews or talk with Leslie in the front office for further information.

We are looking forward to our special Halloween Party on Wednesday, October 31. Please bring a costume that is easy for your children to get on and off by themselves or with minimal assistance (we continue to foster independence and help them to feel successful with their accomplishments!). Please also leave any accessories at home–anything they might drop, lose or use as a weapon in particular. 🙂

We had a great wagon ride and were excited by the pumpkins to take home. Thank you all for letting us take your children on such fun and world-expanding adventures! We were able to see signs of fall, sing songs, look for halloween decorations, and practice our tree identification.

If you haven’t signed up for parent-teacher conferences, each classroom has their sign-up sheets out now, so grab a time–they’re happening this week! We want to hear what you have to say about your child, answer your questions, and share our thoughts and plans with you. We look forward to continuing to play, learn and grow with your wonderful children.

Miller Farm and Rivendell t-shirts

Dear Parents,

Thank you Preschool Parents for attending our ‘Back To School’ Night. Please note that all the handouts are in your mailboxes. If you were unable to attend, please ask if you have any questions or email:

If your child will be absent, please email the office at
office@rivendell-school.org.. or leave a message with the office at (970) 493-9052.

If you know you are going to be late and you would like to order a hot lunch, please call in your lunch order to the office before 8:45 am.

On Tues. Sept. 24th we are going on a field trip to Miller Farm near Longmont. This trip is open to all of our children even if they are Tuesday children. We will take a large charter bus to the farm (an exciting adventure in itself). At the farm we will ride on the tractor wagon to the fields to harvest vegetables to bring back to our families. There will be a $10.00 fee per child to help pay for the bus and the entrance fee. We are in need of parents to join us for the trip (8:30 to about 2:00 pm). Hope you can come!!

Rivendell T-shirts will be arriving at the end of next week just in time to wear them as a group at Miller Farm.

Last weekend I a few of us attended an in service with Ernie Batson of The Learning House in Fort Collins. He suggested that 3 and 4 year old children’s brains respond more attentively if you hold their hands as you talk to them. Give it a try.

Have a great week…frolic in this rain.

The Early Childhood Team

Welcome to Preschool!

Dear Parents,

We have had such a great week, in spite of the heat! We have been using classroom toys safely, enjoying our specials classes, and doing cutting projects. For circle times (when we study our school-wide topic unit) we are building our Mayan villages in our Home Living areas and learning about what “ancient” means (a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, LONG time ago), how they built their homes and what materials they used, as well as what foods they ate. We will continue learning about what life was like for the ancient Maya next week.

We are really working on helping our students to feel independent and successful in our school setting. They are so proud of themselves when they can “do their job” (meaning meet the expectations of daily life in our preschool classroom). This includes being able to easily take their shoes on and off, as well as use the bathroom without having to ask for help with getting out of their clothes or back into their clothes (how frustrating must it be to not be able to finish putting your pants back on because you don’t have the strength yet to snap your jeans shut or know how to get out of a belt or jumper/overalls?). Everything we do with your children prepares them for a successful career as a student (which they will likely do for the next 20 years!!), and we want them to build self-confidence and make positive associations with school (school is fun; school is easy and interesting; I feel safe at school).

Thank you for continuing to send your child with safe running/play shoes with a velcro strap and socks. Our preschoolers grow and change so fast that they are continuously having to re-learn their relationship to the ground and the world around them; secure shoes take away an added level of stress. We have enough skinned knees and elbows as it is!! And sweaty feet are no fun to try to get back into sweaty shoes without socks. 🙂 It may be useful to have your preschooler practice getting their shoes on and off before having to do it at school so they feel comfortable, and you are certainly welcome to leave play shoes at school if your child prefers impractical shoes (thanks to those of you who have!).

We are continuing to work on our safety rules: keep yourself safe, keep your friends safe, keep your things safe, “stop for good,” and “we don’t take toys from kids.” Your preschooler can tell you all about it. 🙂 This week we have been focusing on keeping our friends safe (especially our friends’ feelings, which means using kind words and working on helping them feel better when we make mistakes), and keeping ourselves safe (especially keeping our bodies under control, like walking in the school building, sitting in circle time, relaxing at rest time and making healthy choices at lunch time).

Don’t forget Back to School Night next Tuesday, September 10 from 6-6:25 pm. We will present as a Preschool Team in Mary and Amber’s room. More info about the board updates and specials teachers availability for that night can be found in last Sunday’s eNews. We’ll see you there!

The Early Childhood Team
Amber, Christin, Lois and Mary

Middle Ages and Valentines

Knights had heavy chain mail and armor.

Knights had heavy chain mail and armor.


Squires helped knights to get dressed.

Squires helped knights to get dressed.

Wow, what a great Middle Ages unit we’ve had!  We have been so excited to learn about castles, the people who live in them, and what they did in the time between ancient times, like ancient Greece (long, long, long, long, long ago), and present day (which is why we call it the Middle Ages).  Your students can probably tell you all about drawbridges and moats, and maybe even about the portcullis (the heavy iron gate that goes down before the drawbridge) and the crenelation (the alternating squares on top that people could hide behind or look around)!  

Ask them about the duties of a page and a squire, and how a squire gets to become a knight.  And they know how important it is to do good deeds, be on their best behavior, and help the ladies of the castle if they want to become knights.  Some of our students have completed their training and have been knighted.  We expect there to be more to follow!

Our school will have a special visit from the Society for Creative Anachronism in a few weeks to show and teach us more about food, clothing and everyday life in the Middle Ages.

This week we start our unit on Magnets and Electricity.  We will be doing a lot of hands-on experiments and have opportunities to try out some of these in our science center as well. This week also brings Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day–hooray for holidays!

Please bring in a cereal box that your child will decorate for their Valentine’s Day cards.  You should have received a list of the names of all the students in our class in your child’s take-home mailbox.  It’s a great opportunity to practice their name-writing!  Distributing Valentines is optional, but we ask that if you do participate that you bring cards for everyone in the class.  Also, please do bring them in early (by Wednesday, 2/13 at the latest). Once the boxes are up, you may distribute cards with your child, or we are happy to help them.

We look forward to a fun-filled February!

Winter Update

winter 2012 051

Happy Winter! (Well, almost.) Your preschooler should know when Winter officially begins, because we have been learning about many of the holidays that are celebrated this month, including Solstice. The Preschool Team dedicates each December to teaching your child how families have different traditions during this time of year. We like to highlight the common theme of lights–Christmas lights in our city, Menorah candles, Santa Lucia’s crown of candles, Kinara candles, and, of course, the sun’s light in the days that grow longer after Solstice, the first day of Winter!

winter 2012 038
We are celebrating the diversity of traditions represented in our community after having studied the human body. No doubt you’ve been hearing facts about the different systems (we really like the digestive system, because it’s sooooo gross!), and hopefully your preschooler has been using new vocabulary from this unit at home. Focus on our body and senses will continue as we enjoy holiday smells, eat special treats, listen to festive music and learn about what our neighbors and friends might be celebrating at home, while we perhaps observe a different holiday.

As always, we continue to be amazed by your children’s progress. Everyone is working on developing small motor strength, spatial awareness, skills in phonics, literacy and beginning math. Please continue to support your child’s independence over the Winter break, keeping him/her busy with little jobs, encouraging responsibility. We wish you a happy holiday season full of joy and rest! See you next year!


A great trip to Miller Farm!

We want to shout out a big THANK YOU to all of our parent volunteers who came with us to Miller Farm! It was a successful trip, and we made many special memories. We hope your families are able to enjoy a nice vegetable stew on these chilly days!

Coming Up – Miller Farm Field Trip!

All Preschoolers welcome!

Next Tuesday (October 2nd) we are going to Miller Farm. We will be harvesting vegetables and having a picnic lunch. This is a wonderful outdoor experience for the preschoolers!

A few things to remember:

  • Wear sneakers or good walking shoes, and long pants . (This is a working farm and we will be walking through fields and digging in the dirt.)
  • Pack a brown bag lunch. (We will provide water and snacks.)
  • Put sunscreen on in the morning!
  • Parent volunteers, You may want to bring a pair of gardening gloves. The pumpkin vines are prickly.

We need all preschoolers to be here by 8:40am, so we can do a head count, match them up with parent volunteers, and use the bathrooms before we leave on the bus.

Thank You!

Sustainable Living Fair this weekend!

Hi parents,

If you have never been to the Sustainable Living Fair, it’s a neat place to learn about lots of fun things that keep our planet safe. Check out the Family Planet, and maybe you’ll run into some of your teachers or friends at the fair!