Rivendell Preschool

Preschool Family Literacy Night!

Hello Preschool Families!

Little Red Riding Hood outsmarting the wolf, Jack escaping the giant, or Brer Rabbit and the tar baby… Literacy is filled with fast talkers, quick thinkers, and problem solvers. Critical thinking is noted as one of the important skills that 21st century students need. Even as early as preschool, students can begin honing these skills through developing other academics.

Join Dylan and Alison to see how to use reading time with your child to develop comprehension skills, introduce and understand new vocabulary, and fine-tune critical thinking skills, all while enjoying one on one time with books at our Preschool Family Literacy Night. The tools that you will learn at this Literacy Night can be used for students just beginning their literacy journey all the way up to students who are reading independently.

Preschool Family Literacy Night will be on Monday, April 22nd from 3:30-4:00 p.m. This will be before our restaurant night and will be located in Alison/Lois’s room. Please RSVP for you and your child to either of our school emails. There will be a gift to take home so don’t miss out!

All Things Growing……

All things growing!

Sign of spring have sprung at Rivendell. The preschoolers are finding the signs of spring out in our playground. They are observing the tulips, crocuses, and daffodils blooming, the trees budding, and birds singing!

Checking on the tulip progress in the preschool garden boxes.

Five things a plant needs to Grow.

You probably have been hearing a lot about plants needing a seed, soil, water, sunlight, space, and time to grow. The preschoolers have been studying plants! We were very fortunate to have a botanist, one of our parents, come to the preschool classes and plant wheat and beans seeds with each of the students. Students will get a chance to observe the growth stages of these two plants and make comparisons!

Watering bean and wheat seeds.

Learning about the difference between bean and wheat seeds.

In science, students learned about the different parts of a flowers and got to design and keep their own flowers using real flower petals and contact paper. Preschoolers also got a chance to learn about plants we use as food and spices and got to sample a few too!

Student flower project from the scissor cutting curriculum.

With so many blossoming gardeners in preschool, this has been such a joyful science unit to study!

Yankee Doodle Went to Town

Hello families,

This Thursday is Science Share Night from 6-7:30 p.m. There will be interactive experiences set up in classrooms around the school. Remember that students must stay with their grown ups at all times.

In our science class, we have been working our way through the steps of the scientific method-prediction, hypothesis, observations, data, conclusions, etc. We did an experiment with skittles and water to walk through each step of the scientific method. We will continue to explore the scientific method in our next unit-plants.

Last week and this week, we have been immersed in our Colonial America unit. Each of the teachers planned a special circle and taught that circle in both classrooms! It was a great experience for us all. The students got to experience different teachers and the teachers got to experience different students.

We are finishing up Colonial America this week. We are making dip candles, silhouettes, and writing journal pages.

We hope everyone has a fun spring break!

Preschool Team

Stitching, Sewing, and Making Our Own Fun

They chopped the wood, got the fires going, fed the animals, tended to the garden, did the wash, and made breakfast.

They went to school, practiced the handwriting, and ate their homemade cornbread lunch!

They went to the market and bought and traded the things that they needed and couldn’t make themselves.

The young Colonial Americans in our class are finally ready for some fun!

The kids have been practicing a lot of different fine motor skills in all of the games they have been practicing so far! Marbles worked on finger strength, the chants and rhymes practiced phonemic awareness and recall, and the dramatic play area has been practicing social awareness and story telling abilities!

So of course we won’t stop there! We are now one week into making our rice babies and the kids have blown us away!

They are able to scoop, fill, measure and weigh all of the components needed for their creations. They are practicing large motor skills (lifting bags of rice), small motor skills (scooping and pouring), math skills (reading numerals, more and less, and measuring length).

Now nearly all the students have begun sewing the tops of their bags! Strong fingers and delicate touches are allowing the students to sew their bags independently! Some struggle at the beginning, fearful of being poked by the needle, but by the end of the 6 inches, the sewers feel accomplished and proud of their progress!

As Spring Break sneaks closer and closer, we will be giving students the opportunity for even more hands on exploration.

Students will get to use quills and ink, make dipped candles, have Colonial tea parties, and create their own silhouette art in the Colonial style.

Lots of fun on the horizon!

Remember that this weekend is the Rivendell Spring Event is this Saturday, March 9th. It will be a Casino Night themed event at the new Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Fort Collins! Get your tickets now!

If you have any questions, please let us know!

Your Preschool Team,

Dylan, Lois, Alison, and Christin


Parents, are you coming to the Casino Royale?! The spring fundraiser is an amazing night filled with community, games, and raising funds for Rivendell School. This year the Spring Fundraiser will be held at the Elizabeth Hotel in Old Town Fort Collins. Each ticket purchased comes with 100 chips to use while playing games such as black jack, poker, roulette, and craps. There will be dealers on hand to guide the games (for those that don’t have experience with casino games). There will also be a wide variety of silent auction items. Please see the following list for a sampling of silent auction items. Tickets can be purchased online or at the front table in the entryway. https://www.rivendell-school.org/spring-event/ Please let your classroom teacher know if you plan to attend the Spring Fundraiser.

Steamboat Springs Summer Getaway Enjoy a 6-night vacation this June in fabulous Steamboat Springs. This 5-bedroom, 3.5 bath townhouse is just blocks away from the Steamboat Mountain base area. The Cascades at Eagle Ridge comfortably sleeps 12 on three levels. It’s a great getaway destination for multiple families. The property includes a private hot tub and free shuttle service. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2N4IWH6. Value: $5,000.

Family Membership at Whetstone Climbing Gym Enjoy a one-year family membership at Fort Collins’ newest gym. This plan includes unlimited access to the indoor climbing gym, yoga, and fitness room for four people. Childcare is also available at Whetstone. Value: $2,000.

Trailcraft Cycles Kids’ Mountain Bike Fort Collins-based Trailcraft Cycles builds dream bikes for kids. They specialize in lightweight, high performance mountain bikes. Your kid will flip for this Blue Sky 20″ bike with front suspension shock. Value: $1,000.

Rivendell Principal for a Day Your student can spend the day with Holly as “Principal for a Day.” Greet students as they enter the school in the morning, visit classrooms, enjoy lunch with Holly, and share your ideas on school events and issues. It’s never too early to be leader! Value: Priceless.    

Rivendell Premier Parking Spot Reserve your favorite parking spot for 2019/2020 school year. Rivendell provides the sign template and your family creates a one-of-a-kind customized sign complete with your family name. Value: Priceless.

Paint a Mural Masterpiece Team up with teachers Tina and Dylan to create a mural masterpiece inside Rivendell. This 4-person, half-day event is a one-of-a-kind creative experience. Value: $500.

Unicorn Birthday Party Fox Hollow Farm presents a magical, rainbow-filled birthday party. This 90-minute party features a pony-sized “unicorn” for kids to decorate and ride. Best for ages 7 and under, and up to 15 kids. Value: $500.

Colonial America Studies

The students in the preschool classrooms have been taking a few steps back in time. We have begun discussing Colonial America. The students have been using their skills to learn some Colonial American songs in music, working in collaborative games in PE, learning new games such as marbles, that many families did not have numerous possessions, and gaining an understanding of expectations of children both in the home and in the school house in Colonial American schools.

Over the course of our studies, we will be making our rice babies (using measuring skills as well as learning to sew), practice writing on chalkboards, and participating in a school wide hands-on experience with activities related to Colonial America.

Preschool students learning to play marbles
Students playing cooperative games in Physical Education

Earth Day shirts are now on sale. T-shirts are $15/each. Order forms are located in the front office and in all classrooms. You can either pay up front or have your account charged for your order amount. T-shirt orders will be submitted next Wed, order now so your child can wear them on Earth Day.


Roses are Red…

This week at Rivendell we focused on Chinese New Year, Spirit Week, and Valentine’s Day. We celebrated Chinese New Year on Tuesday by partaking in some special traditions. We learned about the legend that began this holiday, the significance of the color red, the zodiac (it is the year of the pig), practiced eating with chopsticks, and finished the day with a dragon parade. We hope that by celebrating all of these traditions, we will have a year filled with good luck, happiness, and good health.

Our spirit week themes were Sports Day, PJ Day, Book Character Day, Valentine’s Day, and Rivendell Spirit Day. We enjoyed seeing the creative outfits that the students wore each day. Our students especially enjoyed book character day. Each student brought the book that went along with their character. We got to share our favorite books with our friends. The teachers enjoyed seeing our students’ love for literacy in action.

And finally, who could forget Valentine’s Day. Each preschooler made a special valentine card for a grownup in their life. This may seem like an easy task but we incorporated many fine motor skills into this activity. First, we had to really take our time and think about the special things our grownups do each day that show us they love us. Second, we had to put that into a sentence and trace, copy, or write down our ideas. Third, we practiced a new cutting skill by cutting out hearts-how to keep the paper folded and cut around the curve. Finally, we had to plan the layout of our card and use our fine motor skills to glue and peel off stickers. We hope you enjoy them!

And for fun, and some more work with our fine motor skills, we brought out our play-doh. The Valentine’s Day menu as planned by the preschoolers included steak, strawberry pie, and cookies.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pink, purple, and red hearts!

Pink, purple, and red hearts! The preschoolers are getting ready for Valentine’s Day! For the next scissor cutting project, students will learn to cut hearts from folded paper. We will be making Valentines cards and learning Roses are red, Violets are blue poems. We will also be decorating our Valentine boxes and collecting cards.

Working on her map legend.

Adding the Pampas grasslands symbol to his map legend.

This week we’ll be wrapping up our geography unit on South America. Students learned about the Andes Mountains, Amazon River, Angel Falls and the Southern Most Point. The preschoolers have loved learning about the continents unique and diverse features. Take a look at our maps and legends on the bulletin boards!

Working on handwriting.

Working on spatial reasoning.

In the classrooms, students have been working on literacy skills and math concepts and creative reasoning. In music, preschoolers have learned a new song about friendship- Will Be Your Friend, by Guy Davis.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoEDiunazOg and in art they have made bells out of clay. The preschoolers are excited to see what they look like after they are fired in the kiln. We have also started having weekly classroom jobs from collecting lunch tickets to being a class line leader.

Rolling clay into a ball.

Almost ready to begin shaping bell.

Working on classroom job- putting away Question of the Day.

Next week we will take a break from our school wide units and learn about and celebrate Chinese New Year on Tuesday and then Valentine’s Day with a party on Thursday.

Happy Hearts and Smiling Faces

We are quickly approaching conferences, and the students are working hard! We are checking in with the kids, reviewing their goals, and seeing how far the students have progressed. And oh my goodness! How far they have come! All of the students have grown so much and matured over the months they have been in school. We are lucky enough to see them get taller, faster, more confident, and more independent as the weeks tick by.

Some of the most apparent growth we can see in our students is in their journal pages! We have begun working on the South America Journal pages and these kids are sponges. They can recall and write, dictate and draw! So many have mastered the proper writing posture, it’s unbelievable.

With journal pages, we mark the last few days of our South America Unit! After conferences, we will take a week to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Stories, songs, poems, and projects will be our fun reprieve, after a long academic unit. We ask that for Valentine’s Day, each child brings in a cereal box that is pre-wrapped so we can decorate it at school with markers and stickers!

That same week is Rivendell Has Heart Week, from February 11th through 15th. Every year we choose an organization in the community to help with our Rivendell kindness. This year, for our service project, we will be collecting disposable diapers for The Nappie Project, which is a local charity that provides diapers to families in need in Larimer County. Diapers are not approved items to be purchased with any kind of public assistance, so often these families struggle to keep enough on hand. They are also required to have diapers in order to drop their children off at daycare, which creates an added stress. The Nappie Project is looking for any size, new, disposable diapers, but especially sizes 4, 5, and 6. You can drop off your diaper donation in the front lobby of Rivendell. Thank you for your generosity!

During Rivendell Has Heart Week, we will also be having our “Spirit” dress up days. Those are as follows:

Monday – February 11th – Sports Day (show your pride for your favorite sports team)

Tuesday – February 12th – Pajama Day (be aware of weather too, we will still play outside)

Wednesday – February 13th – Book Character Day (dress as your favorite literary character)

Thursday – February 14th – Valentine’s Day (wear all your hearts and valentine designs)

Friday – February 15th – Rivendell Pride Day (show your love by wearing your Rivendell gear)

Thanks for helping us make this a great week!

After Valentine’s Day we will begin our transition to Colonial America! Our big project for Colonial America is Rice Babies. Similar to colonial American children, we will be sewing and creating our own babies from cloth bags filled with rice that are equivalent to your child’s birth weight and length. From parents we will need a bag of rice that is the student’s birth weight, and information on the student’s eye color, and hair color at birth!

Thanks, and have a great night!

Dylan, Lois, Christin, and Alison

Where on the map?

We have begun exploring the continent of South America. But what do you need to help you find your way in a new place (iphones not included)? A map! We are learning about all of the parts of a map and are beginning to build one of our own. As we build our map, we will focus on different geographical features of South America, perhaps the tallest mountain or the lowest coastline or the longest river.

A map of our classroom
Where we are (pink) versus where South America is (red)

A look into specials…

This week during True Colors with Jessica, we refreshed our memories on the zones of regulation. We also used our clues to decide what were good choices and what were bad choices. Then, we wrapped up with some exercises that can either calm us down, wake us up, or build connections from the right brain to the left brain.

Good choices vs. bad choices
The zones
Crossing the mid-line

In Music and Art, we are incorporating ideas, images, and styles from South America. We drew parrots and played instruments.

Oil pastel parrot
Water color jungle

In P.E. we are getting our heart rates up and moving our bodies in different ways.

Balance beam
Bean bag toss
Jumping from spot to spot
Zigzagging around cones
Passing the ball

We look forward to continuing to explore new places, new ideas, new skills, and new ways to move. And the teachers look forward to sharing all that your preschooler(s) has learned at conferences.

Heading to new places

Heading to new places

And we’re off to new heights and new places! Our dramatic play areas are set up with airplanes and explorer’s gear in anticipation of studying the geography of South America. We will learn about some of the amazing features of this continent and each student will create a map with mountains, rivers, jungles, and plains.

Rivendell Airport

Flight leaving for all points -South America

The students worked on self portraits this week. It amazing to see the a new level of self awareness emerge as preschoolers are now adding more details like eyelashes, jewelry, and clothing details.

Drawing Self Portraits

We also eased back into the scissors curriculum with an owl fringing project. Students worked on fringing owl feathers and followed three step directions in gluing together the pieces. The owls tried out so well!

Fringed Owls

The preschool classes will be adding a weekly rotating job schedule. Preschoolers will be responsible for picking up lunch tickets, straightening out the classroom bookshelves, holding the outside doors open, and leading the line down the hallways. Each student will get a chance to have job.

Students have also been busy working on math and literacy skills and we look forward to sharing their growth with you during parent/teacher conferences next month!