Aldersgate Preschool


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Get To Know Me

I wanted to give everyone a chance to get to know me a little better. My name is Megan Lynn and I am excited to be working beside Cyndi as a co-director this year. I am already learning so much about this wonderful preschool!

 

I’ll start with telling you a little about my professional background. I grew up in the Olathe area and went to Olathe East High School. After I graduated, I attended Baker University and majored in Elementary Education. I also received my provisional licensure in Special Education. I knew from the very beginning that early education and working with kids of all needs was my passion!

I taught Kindergarten in the Turner School District in KCK for my first three years, and then I taught three years in the Gardner-Edgerton School District. I cherish the memories that I made at both of these schools with all of my Kindergarteners. These years helped me to realize how important the early years are for instilling a love for learning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband, Branton, and I met at the wedding of our best friends. He was the best man and I was a bridesmaid. About a month after the wedding, Branton asked his friend to set us up on a double date, and the rest is history! We got married in April of 2016 and bought our first house in Gardner. Last summer, we moved out to Spring Hill, KS with our dog, Lorenzo. In September, our son Colton was born!

 

 

 

 

Colton’s story has been a challenging one, but one I am passionate about telling! He was born with a Congenital Heart Defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries. Basically, his two main arteries were switched, so oxygen was not getting where it needed to go. Colton was undiagnosed until hours after his birth, so his first day of life was very scary. Thankfully God was looking out for Colton, and a doctor was able to quickly diagnose his condition. He was taken to Children’s Mercy right away and had open heart surgery at 9 days old. He experienced many complications after the surgery that prolonged his stay, but after 99 days in the hospital, we were finally able to bring our baby boy home! He came home with a NG feeding tube, but after a month was fully eating on his own. He continues to make big growth and hit developmental milestones. We were so excited to celebrate Colton’s first birthday on September 10th! We are so proud of our heart warrior!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I feel so blessed to have found Aldersgate Preschool. With Colton’s unique situation, I was home with him for almost his whole first year. I was trying to decide what my next adventure would be when I heard about the director position. My mom had taught preschool when I was growing up and I had learned a lot about how important these first years are for children. My years in Kindergarten have taught me how we need to set a love for lifelong learning right from the very start. I loved how Aldesgate focused on learning through play and building a relationship with God.  After asking many questions and spending time praying about it, my family decided this would be a perfect fit for us!

These first few days meeting and getting to know your kids have been so much fun! Adersgate is special place filled with amazing teachers that truly care and love the kids.  I feel blessed to be have found this preschool and get to know all of you!


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You Grow Through What You Go Through – Staff Meeting 2020

We finally got to have our back-to-school staff meeting.  I always like to start the year learning about something relevant to where we are, and what we are doing.  This year our focus was on Growth Mindset.  If you haven’t heard this term before, it is a positive way to approach struggle and difficulty.  Seeing the world as possibility.  Carol Dweck is the leading author in this area.  She has spent her professional career studying how people develop a fixed or growth mindset.  Here is what Dweck says about Growth Mindset,

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

Even children as young as four years old showed a tendency toward either a fixed or growth mindset.  In a research study they gave four year old children puzzles.  Once the children mastered the first set they offered the children a choice of working on more complex puzzles or completing the ones they had mastered again.  The ones with a growth mindset chose to learn as they struggled to complete the more challenging puzzles.  One girl exclaimed, “I’m dying to figure them out!”  In essence, a person with a growth mindset sees struggles and set-backs as an opportunity to learn.

We have definitely had some struggles and set-backs with this whole pandemic.  Thus, the reason I felt this would be a great area for us to focus on Growth Mindset.  We usually have some sort of get-to-know-each-other activity at the beginning of our meetings.  This year each staff member had a flower picture on one side of a play coin.  They used these to find their matching partner and then they each shared about the hardest thing they have ever gone through.  Then I asked them to flip it and think about what they learned from that hard experience.  “There are always two sides to every coin.”

 

So we then thought about what we have learned (and continue to learn) as we faced Covid-19 and all the difficulties that has come with it.  The teachers quickly thought of several things:

flexibility, new technology: zoom, seesaw, google docs, etc., adaptability, faith, patience.

I mentioned that the thing I noticed through it all (regarding Aldersgate Preschool) is we continued to focus on the children; what they need, how to keep them safe, what would help them the most, etc.  It was with that focus that we made decisions, changed schedules and so much more.  This has been our focus for years and it continued to guide us as we faced this new struggle.

As always, I had several quotes included in the presentation.  Here are a few I especially liked:

 

Growth mindset can apply to our intellect, our artistic abilities, our athletic abilities and our social/emotional abilities.  Most people fall at various points of a spectrum with this different areas.  Our staff took a little “quiz” to determine where they fit on this scale.  If you are interested in knowing more about your mindset, you can link to that quiz HERE.  It is also interesting to think about your beliefs regarding the different areas listed above.  I’ve often heard people say, “I’m not artistic.”  But, have you tried taking a class to learn how to see objects with specific lines, shadows, etc.

We also talked about the frontal lobe development of the brain.  This is the area that drives our emotions (such as perseverance) and our organization skills (such as knowing the next step, thinking of a new way to do something, etc.)  This frontal lobe is in the very beginning stages of developing while children are with us.  It actually takes about 20 years before the frontal love is fully mature.  So what does this mean as we think about the young children we teach. Teacher’s helped me think about how to finish the following statements:

Because our kids are in the baby stages of growing their frontal lobes they will:

make mistakes     have meltdowns      push limits      be distracted      constantly changing      challenge the way we think

So, then, we need to:

be flexible      be understanding      be patient     be supportive      engage them      know their developmental level      be persistent in finding ways that

reach them      remember they are doing things with a positive intent        educate their parents        give reminders

 

Megan then talked with the staff about how we go about teaching Growth Mindset ideas to our little ones.  She talked about giving the children a new way of saying things:

How to Teach Growth Mindset to Kids (The 4-Week Guide) | Teaching growth mindset, Growth mindset for kids, Growth mindset statements

Big Life Journal has a ton of information on their Growth Mindset blog.  I would suggest you take a look HERE.

Megan said that their are many videos available that have a growth mindset theme.  Sesame Street offers a good one HERE.   For those of you that like Bruno Mars, this will be a fun one for you.

Megan shared how she used this book to help children realize that we all struggle doing something while others struggle with something different.

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Then each teaching team took a book or resource and and had a chance to come up with their own ways to use it, or to develop a lesson plan.  It was great to hear their ideas and I will look forward to seeing some of these activities used with your children this year.

We also had a devotion and prayer focusing on being able to bloom right where we are.  Each year we honor a staff member (or two) that has shown grace and perserverance as she worked though a difficult time.  We call this our “Dancing in the Rain Award.”  Jennie Nichols, an Aldersgate Alum, died as a teenager from Osteosarcoma.  We give this award in her honor.

We sort of felt like we ALL deserved this award; having gotten this far through this pandemic.  I think maybe the whold world deserves this kind of award.

We did, however, select Ms. Kendra as our true recipient.  Kendra has worked so hard as we have changed our programming, re-enrolled families, given refunds, managed the paper work of all this, spear-headed the effort to apply for and receive a PPP Loan and . . . . . . .  All the extra challenges were met, faced and figured out.  I don’t know what I would have done without Kendra here this year!

 

We ended with each person making their own Growth Mindset flowers.  The picked a favorite quote that shows a growth mindset and then also included areas they are currently growing themselves.  I loved how they all turned out – so different but also working together so well.  This is fitting as this is how I believe our Aldersgate Staff are in general;

So different and yet work together so well.


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Good News, Christ is Born for you!

We had a full crowd for both of our Christmas worships this past Saturday.  Luckily the snowy weather waited so we could fit this in!  This is truly one of my favorite things (and one of the things I will most miss once I retire.)  The sound of children singing songs that tell the story of Jesus’ birth is precious to me and to all the teachers.  I hope this short, child-centered worship touched your hearts as well.

This year the message and the children’s story focused on the animals,  During the message the animals each brought something for baby Jesus.  The donkey carried them to Bethlehem.  The cow shared her manger and the hay to make a soft bed.   The sheep shared a blanket made from her wool.  And the dove shared her sweet song to sooth Jesus to sleep.

With snow on the ground this week we continue to have our morning music time (I get to kind-of be the indoor recess option.)  I love that children continue to ask for songs from our Wriggly Nativity story.  This story has definitely made a mark on their hearts as well.  If you were unable to attend, or you want to have your children share the songs with your extended family, you can find the song recordings on our website WHAT’S HAPPENING page.  Just simply click on those words and the link will take you there.

We are all so grateful for your generous donations to our mission; Mission Southside’s BackSnack program.  I know your kindness will be felt far into the new year!

We captured a little of the morning in pictures.

 

Good news, Christ is born for you!


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Fall Festival 2019

The weather decided to usher in fall just in time for this year’s festival.  I personally enjoyed that.  I also loved that it didn’t rain.  It is so much more fun when we can be outside for games and play instead of in the basement.  And we had a LOT of fun!  Here is the evening captured in photos.

 

 

I love it that our staff have fun while working!  I sure hope our families and kids had just as much fun as we did!

 

 


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Ice Cream Social Fun! 2019

We had a great afternoon!!

Our entertainment this year was Scott Henderson.  He performed some fun magic!  Children were laughing and families were awed.  You can find out more about his performances HERE.

WE HAD FUN PLAYING AND PAINTING

ICE CREAM AND BAKE SALE EATING

TUNNEL CRAWLING, SCARF FLYING, CONVEYOR BELT MOVING, RAMP ROLLING, OBSTACLE COURSE MOVING AND BALLOON DANCING

FACE PAINTING

CUP PUNCHING AND SUCKER PULLING

AND FRIEND VISITING.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE BUSINESSES THAT DONATED OR SPONSORED ITEMS FOR THIS EVENT!

 

 


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Christmas Worship – There was no room at the Inn

We had a wonderful time celebrating Jesus’ birth at our two Christmas worship services this past Saturday.  Wow, we had large crowds.  I think we had the most people we’ve ever had before.  I’m so glad our families were able to join us!

It is wonderful to take a short time to focus on Jesus!  I love singing with the kids each day as we prepare to share the story through word and song.  I hope they sang out loud enough for you to hear their sweet voices.

We have the songs on our website but I thought we would add them here too so you can always have access to them.  I’m glad to know that the kids want to continue singing them well past the Christmas holiday.

Our Songs: 

Born in a Stable

Hush There’s a Baby

On the Day that Jesus was Born

Somethings Going to Happen in the Stable

We’ve got No Room

Here are some photos we took of the wonderful morning.

I thank all the staff and families that helped us share the message.  It is my hope to share a message that is meaningful for both the kids and the adults.  We hope everyone makes Christmas preparations and celebrations for focusing on Jesus – the true reason for Christmas!

We love the large crowds – and hope you were able to find a good spot to see your child.  I laughed when I saw this photo of a mom capturing the moment on her phone.  I hope you all appreciate how easy it is to get these moments with your kids.  Back in our day we had to lug in a large DSL camera if we wanted to have any quality pictures.  Just saying.  🙂

 

And, of course, we especially love the sound of those sweet voices.  Thank you for sharing your children with us.  Hearing them sing is truly a Christmas gift we enjoy each year!

        

Our Collection:

We are so thankful for you – our generous families.  Mission Southside is such an awesome ministry that serves youth right here in our area.  We are very glad to be able to share such a wealth of items to stock their BackSnack program.  THANK YOU

    

 

 


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Fall Festival Fun!

We had another great Fall Festival last night! 

It was fun to see everyone playing, eating, singing and pumpkin shopping together.  I appreciate all of our teachers, office staff and board members for their help making the night run smoothly – with the exception of not enough seating for dinner.  For those of you that couldn’t find a place to sit to eat I am making a note to set up more tables next year.  We appreciate  your patience.

Let’s focus on the successes though.  Here are some pictures that capture just a little of the fun!

               


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A great day for a great Ice Cream Social!

“Wow!”  “I’m having so much fun!”  “Ahhhh”  “Ms. Cyndi, look at me!”

These are just a few things I heard children exclaim as they played, ate, danced and then played some more.  It was a great day!

 

   

              

We send a HUGE thank-you to all of the people and businesses that contributed to our event!

9 Round Fitness
Abundant Blessings
Applebees
Backyard Specialists
Beauty Brands
Blackbob Pet Hospital
Bock’s Steam Cleaning
Brentano & Williams Team – Keller Williams
Bret’s Autoworks
Carol Wei
Cheryl Pierson
Chick-Fil-a
City Museum
Coco Bolos
Coco Key Water Resort
Conover Family
Consentino’s
Cote Family
Crown Center
Culver’s
Curry Family
Denise’s Dance
Dick’s Sporting Goods
Dino O’Dell
Drury Inn
Epic Landscape
Excel Wellness Studio
Family Eye Care
Feeney’s Hallmark
Frank & Jules
Fritz’s
Happy Food
Hen House
His & Her Fitness
Huston Farms
I9 Sports
JCPRD
Jill Kessler (La Vita Salon Suites)
Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Zoo
Kristy Smith
Lakeshore Learning
Learning Tree
Leawood Family Dental, LLC
Lowe’s
LuLaRoe -Gwen Luzader
Magic House
Midwest Aquatics
Mission Bowl
Mommy Shop
Monat – JulieCain
Norwex – Mindy Brenner
Museum at Prairie Fire
Omaha Zoo
Paint, Glaze & Fire
Panera
Paradise Park
Pinstripes
Red Door
Rock n’ Brews
Salty Iguana
Scheels
Science City
Sheraton Hotel
Silver Dollar City
Skyzone
Smiley’s
Specialists in Pediatric Dentistry
Stella & Dot – Mallory Pearson
Strouds
Target
T-Bones
Ted’s Café
Texas Roadhouse
The Red Door
Three Women & an Oven
Urban Air
Waterway
Witham Family
Wonderscope Children’s Museum

 

 


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Our Halloween fun – What? No Parties?

My husband actually said to me, “Oh, that’s right, you bah humbug Halloween.”  He was referring to our lack of costumes and parties in our preschool classes.  Don’t worry, I quickly set him straight.  🙂

At Aldersgate Preschool we elect to keep our kids’ holidays pretty low-key.  I know you can relate to the hype and “energy” surrounding holidays in our society.  That’s part of our thinking.  Here are a few of our thoughts driving our decision about holidays.  (Hang in there with me through this part – there are photos at the end.)

Routines

We work hard to provide routines for the children while they are in class.  Education.com says this,

” One of the most important things that you can do to make your young child feel safe is to establish as much routine in his life as possible. Children (and adults) feel the most secure when their lives are predictable. When adults provide environments that feel safe, children learn that they can trust others to take care of them and meet their needs, so they become free to relax and explore their world. “

Confusion and missing items

I directed a preschool that did have parties and a parade.  Oh, the tales I could tell about the missing pieces of costumes, the mix-ups about who are doing crafts, the crafts that were not age appropriate, the children upset or crying . . .   Sorry if I sound cynical but with preschool and younger children these are a few of the realities.

Family time becomes even more special

Think about how special Trick-or-Treating becomes when it is the real highlight for your child.    I know some children are also exhausted after parties and the change of routines.  Hopefully our low-key day allows children to have a “less melt down” experience while they trick-or-treat.

Young children can be scared of the unusual

I saw a perfect example of this in our three year old class.  Ms. Susan showed the children an electric jack-o-lantern.  Most of the children enjoyed the glow and the novelty as they talked about the shapes used in the face, etc.  However, even with this friendly faced item, one boy said, “Oh, that’s a scary face.”  He looked concerned until he was comforted by another teacher.  When the festivities are at home with parents, those fears are lessened and there is more more flexibility in how the activity must proceed to accommodate each child’s level of fear or excitement.

The holiday can generate interest in new learning 

As you will see below, we do talk about Halloween and the other holidays.  We use the children’s base of knowledge to encourage interest in different kinds of activities that build skills; social, cognitive, language, fine motor and many more.  (Okay, here are those pictures I promised.  Look for all the different kinds of opportunities the children enjoyed yesterday – on Halloween.)

Developmental opportunities:  Science, language, sensory, cooperation

Developmental opportunities: group dynamics, language (in the photo on the left each child got to talk to their class “puppet” and say what he or she will be for Halloween), self control, cognitive areas

 

Developmental opportunities:  dramatization & language (this two year old class had the children practice knocking on the door in the box and saying “Trick-or-treat!” and then “Thank You.” Of course there was a little playing of Peek-a-boo too.)

Developmental opportunities: group dynamics, cooperation, self control (it’s hard to WAIT!), physics, cognitive, language, large motor

 

Developmental opportunities:  cognitive skills, listening skills, fine motor control

Developmental opportunities:  Fine motor, project planning, persistence, creative exploration (the first picture is a creation of two monsters), language (there was a lot of talking between the artists)

 

Of course all the staff talked with the kids about their plans for Halloween and what costume they will wear.  Then, today we visited about their actual Halloween experience.  Today I heard lots of stories about trick-or-treating and of course LOTS of candy.

We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Halloween!


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Ice Cream, Music, Auction, Bubbles, Wind Tunnel and so much more!

Saturday afternoon we had another wonderful Ice Cream Social.  While this is our biggest fundraiser for the year, I call it a success even before we know any numbers!

Children played.  Families mingled.  People connected.

We saw smiles and wonder.  We ate ice cream and baked goodies.  We sang with Dino O’Dell.  We bid on auction items.  We won raffle items (well a few of us did ;o)  We played on the playground.  We navigated an obstacle course.  We braved a box maze.  I could go on and on and on!  It was a good afternoon!

     

  

  

   

I forgot to make a sign listing the two donors that sponsored the ice cream, toppings and supplies.  So, today I send a huge Thank You to HyVee for the ice cream and to the Bradley family for a donation to cover the toppings and all the paper goods!

Erin Thull organized an Usborne book sale.  I hope everyone had a chance to stop by and pick out one of their neat books.  She is holding the sale open through the week.  You can still order here.

We couldn’t do any of it without ALL of our wonderful donors!  We appreciate your support more than we can say!!