Aldersgate Preschool


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CLICK, CLICK, CLICK, This Year is LOOKING GOOD!

It is always so good to have all the staff back for our back-to-school meeting.  This year we had a photography theme so it was the perfect way to use our HURRAH as the title.

For those of you new to us, we have little “hurrahs” we do at the end of music that just celebrate us and help indicate this is over and we are moving on to a new activity.  You can look forward to learning about those this year.

It is important for our staff to connect so we did that first.  With our photography theme we shared our first and last photos that are saved on our phones.  It really brought about some good conversation.

Next we covered the important items that we all need to know to keep children safe, help things run smoothly, etc.  I like to have fun, even in meetings, so we did this as a game show.

We spent some time talking about why we take so many photos of the kids.  We reinforced our belief that a . . .

a picture is worth a thousand words!

We have heard from families over the years how much they appreciate seeing their child’s day in action.  Having the DVD’s or printed pictures are also wonderful memory keepsakes.

So we spent some time talking about makes a good photo.  One of those aspects is light.  We talked about how we can bring the best “light” into our classrooms.  Through our connections with God we carry the light of his love to reach out to everyone; each other, our kids, our families and the community around us!

Another way to bring the best out of a child in a photo – well in EVERYTHING – is to really get to know them.  I shared this quote from one of my trainings this summer.

You have to reach a child before you teach a child.

Temperament is an important part of each child.  This is a topic we spent quite a bit of time learning about.

I used a lot of information from these two books for this in-service training.  I wish I had some of this information when I was raising my own kids.  We have these two books in our parent library if you are interested.

Temperament Tools; Working with Your Child’s Inborn traits, by Helen F. Neville, B.S., R.N. with Diane Clark Johnson

Raising Your Spirited Child, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Ed.D

We followed our meeting with a wonderful lunch provided by our Preschool Board.  These ladies worked hard for us!


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Back to school – there is a lot to get ready!

Its an exciting time of year!  I’m sure your are busy getting things ready for school. I remember that feeling even as I readied for High School.  Some children worry about things as the year approaches.  It is important to allow those nerves but also reassure children that our teachers are here to keep them safe and to help them enjoy school.

It is also a fun time for school supply shopping.  Every child will need a regular size back pack and we have sent out a suggested school supply list.  You can find that HERE.

Previously I posted information about other ways to prepare your child.  You can find it HERE and HERE.

We are busy too – only our busy is probably quite a bit different than yours.  Our office staff are busy with files, forms, lists and so much more.  I’m busy preparing for our Back-to-School staff meeting.  Our teachers return this week!  Last week we had our tile floors stripped and waxed and tomorrow the carpets are getting cleaned.

We have also done  a little renovating in our bathrooms this summer.  Ms. Virginia is helping out by painting those rooms.  Thanks so much Virginia

It’s a busy time but also a time filled with excitement as we look forward to another great year here at Aldersgate Preschool.  See you soon.


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It’s Ice Cream social time!!

Are your looking for something fun to do during the drab winter weather?

You won’t want to miss this year’s Ice Cream Social! It’s this Saturday!

I am taking a quick break from setting up the activities for the basement to write this.  I always enjoy watching the kids have fun with the obstacle course, the wind tunnel our Dance and Move room, and of course the awesome box tunnel our boy scouts from Troop 315 build for us.   Our board members come in tomorrow morning to scoop ice cream.  Once school is out on Friday we will get the upstairs ready for an afternoon of fun!!  Everyone is welcome.  You can purchase tickets at the door.

Our preschool board has worked hard to make this Silent Auction special, especially Brooke Curry!  We have some new, and very fun things for our auction.  Here is our preliminary list of baskets and I know some more fun items have come in this week. 2019 Silent Auction Item List

We hope to see you there! 


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Kindness Campaign

Therefore, as “children of God,” holy and beloved,

put on mercy, kindness, humility, meekness.

Colossians 3:12

This was the focus of our Devotion Worship this week.  

Kindness will be our focus through February.  Young children are naturally self focused.  This is a developmental thing.  It’s normal.  However, we can help children learn how to notice others, think about others needs and even care for others.  Jesus was a wonderful example of showing kindness to others.  I told the children the story of Jesus finding the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.  The man could not get into the healing waters since he couldn’t walk and people kept going before him.  Jesus asked him about it and then said, “Stand up, pick up your mat and walk.”  Jesus showed kindness.

 

We then read the book A World of Kindness, from the Pajama Press.  This adorable book showed us a various ways that we can be kind to others such as

Helping people young and old,

Comforting someone who is sad,

Being a friend to someone new, 

We are sending home a kindness buddy with each preschool family.  (If you are reading this but aren’t a part of our preschool I would encourage you to use a stuffed animal as a kindness reminder.)  Children can show kindness to their buddy by making it a bed, a house, etc.  But mostly the buddy can help children think about a special way to be kind each day.

We also sent home strips of paper.  We hope our families will write on it the kind actions they see their kids doing.  You can send these in and we will celebrate with the child as we connect them to our Kindness Chain.  I started the chain with a link for each of our staff.  It was so easy to come up with a kind action for each person.  They exhibit kindness everyday!

We also added kind actions witnessed after our Worship yesterday.  

Our Kindness Chain is already growing!


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Christmas gift list 2018

CHRISTMAS GIFT LIST 2018

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Now everyone’s focus tends to turn toward Christmas.  Each year I try to make a post with some ideas for Christmas gifts for the kids.  I’ll put a link to our previous year’s lists at the end of this post.  All of the except a few are from Lakeshore Learning.  I’ve also done a post specifically about a few items we love from this store (located at Johnson Drive and I35.)

I remember as a parent of young children I wanted to find toys that could be used in a variety of ways and that would hold my kids’ interest for quite a while.  We have found the following toys to be just that!  Hopefully this will give you a few ideas you hadn’t thought of before.  Happy Shopping!

TODDLERS

My First Sorting Bears

This is a fun one with easy to handle pieces.  It’s a great way to introduce color and size to young kids.  The sorting cards are heavy and sort of “laminated.”  They hold up well to young kids’ play.

All About Me Personalized Photo Book

Children LOVE books about themselves.  If you don’t have a book like this that you can personalize for your toddler I would put this one high on your list.

 

What’s inside Soft Feely Box

Young children LOVE to put things into and out of a box.  These soft toys are easy to manipulate (and clean.)  As kids age you could even use these to play the what’s missing game.  For that you line up three toys and have them close their eyes while you take one away.  They try to guess what is missing.

PRESCHOOLERS

Around Town Play Carpet

You find these kind of play mats at various places.  Some children love them.  It’s sometimes hard to predict which ones will be drawn to them.  Typically those that love to play in structured ways enjoy it.  If your child like to be more creative and design his or her own play I think this might be too confining to their play.

Float and Play Alphabet Bubbles

We don’t have these at preschool.  In fact, I have never seen these before but they are on my “to purchase list.”  At home these would be fun in the bathtub but I can also see them used often in a tub of water or even sand.

 

Size and Color Teddy Bear Sorters

These are similar to the large counters above but older kids like playing with the smaller items.  These can be used in a variety of ways.  We have even made wood block houses for them to live in.  They have other small counters as well but I do like the size variation in these.

The Ultimate Fort Builder

We don’t have this specific set but we have something very similar.  As children grow developmentally you will see them begin to make plans and enjoy playing with this more independently.

Mold and Play Sensory Sand Set

We LOVE Kinetic sand.  It is very moldable and it feels so good.  Often play with this type of material with have a natural calming effect.  Don’t worry, it sweeps up easily.  Hint: my daughter sweeps the floor well before the kids begin this play and then anything she sweeps up after play is generally clean enough to toss back into the kit.

 

Easy Clean Craft Trays

You may have noticed we use trays under all of our kids art activities.  It’s a great way to keep small pieces contained and the mess easily cleaned.

Motorized Spin Art Center

This one does need adult assistance but it’s worth it!  I got my grand kids one of these and every time we get it out even the adults want a turn to create.  I purchased a small set of washable tempera paint that we use to refill the squirters (I water it down just a tiny bit.)  Be sure to mark one of each of the different shaped papers as “template.”  I just cut other paper to the size for additional spin fun.

Learning Resources Jumbo Dinosaurs

These are from Amazon.  We have large dinosaurs on the playground and they are used a lot!  For those that love dinosaurs, the big ones are very appealing.

As I was putting all these in the post I remembered that a school or office kit were some of my kids’ favorite gifts.  I guess I know what my next blog post will be about.

Here are links to some of our previous posts with toy gift suggestions.

Christmas Gift Ideas 2016

Gift Ideas – Christmas 2015

My Christmas List – Batteries not Included

Furby, the Perfect Christmas Gift?

Board Games . . .Not Boring at all

There’s One in Kansas City

The above post is specifically about Lakeshore Learning.

Happy Shopping!

 

 

 


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Thankful for every Beautiful Child

We marvel everyday at the unique qualities of every child in our care.  God truly blesses this world with children and the many different characteristics; laughter, love, questions, spirit, wiggles, sincerity, songs, discoveries, friendship, struggles and overcoming those struggles.  

We know we are blessed to play a small part in each child’s life.  We created a video that celebrates our kids.  We wrote new words to the tune “For the Beauty of the Earth.”  We hope this represents the love we have for God’s precious children.

Unfortunately we are unable to have every child’s picture in the video. Please know we treasure your child even if they are not included. 

(Click on the words below for the video.)

THANKSGIVING VIDEO

Lord, today we share our joy for the beauty of each child.

All embraced for who they are; active bold and meek and mild.

Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

A child so busy, hard at work, focused and engaged in play.

It’s our gift to watch them grow, trying something new each day.

Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

Happy greetings, hugs so warm. Daily feel their love surround.

Stories, thoughts, discoveries, laughter fun and joy abound.

Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.


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What did you do at school today?

It was nice today to be able to walk around and check on the activities of all the classes.  While we had just a few tears as children arrived, they quickly subsided and the kids were BUSY!  Here’s a little snapshot of the activities I saw in a short 15 minutes.

These girls were intently drawing self portraits for their journals.  What a wonderful way to gauge their growth in drawing and writing by doing this at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the school year.

 

Our Brown class kids were busy cleaning up.  This is using sorting and classifying skills.  It also promotes emergent literacy as they see the photo and the written word for the item to go in each tub.  Of course self esteem develops as they realize they have an important job in the class.

 

Next it was time for circle.  Ms. Kim held up a symbol as the children watched for their corresponding symbol.  It was a great time to reinforce the school readiness skill of sitting in a spot during circle and also the names of each child in the class.

 

Our youngest ones today, the Discovery Days 2 class, were also sitting on their symbols – a specific animal on the rug.  This helps the children know an area to be which also helps them understand appropriate social cues such as how much distance we should have between people.  Ms. MaryBeth was reading the book God Made Me.  What a wonderful message as the children talk about the different body parts – how each is similar and yet unique.

The Yellow class was in the middle of their “Work Time.”  During this time children are busy playing – the work of childhood.  I loved the social interaction I had with the little guy with a camera.  He was dressed up and busy taking lots of pictures – what a wonderful way to try on different roles he may have seen or to use his imagination.  The car ramp (in the photo on the right) is a hot item in this class.  Just imagine the social coordination the children learn as they take turns, remember a certain person is using the “red” car, and engage each other in conversation.  As the year progresses we often see more experimentation with the items on the ramp – do the bigger cars go faster, etc.

These two often play in the dramatic play area.  In this instance the little guy is serving some pizza.  What a wonderful chance to practice nurturing another person.  The little girl was patiently waiting for her food and even said “Thanks.”  You just can’t practice those social graces enough.

During work time the Yellow (and Orange) class teachers are taking children a couple at a time to use the restroom.  This builds familiarity and comfort with those basic needs.  I love listening to the stories the children tell as they walk.  Children are also learning independence and self sufficiency.

Our morning Blue class was enjoying some playtime on the playground.  As I walked up to the boys on the gator-totter I heard the little one in the middle ask if he could play too.  The others quickly rearranged their positions to make room for him.  There was some trial and error as they figured out how they could all sit and still easily make the gator rock.  That’s physics folks!

The sandbox is another area of great interest.  Today I saw lots of math as the children worked with filling buckets (or dinosaurs) with sand.  “I wonder how many scoops of sand the dinosaur holds.” That’s the kind of support adults can add to their play which encourages more contemplative play.

  

The Red class Large Motor activity today happened to also be on the playground today.  Ms. Janel was busy having the children hop, run, balance and more.  The whole time she was recorded her observations.  This is called baseline information to compare with future attempts.

I couldn’t help but engage with the kids.  I love how quickly they comply with my request for a quick wave hello – for the camera of course!!