Tuesday, February 6, 2018

February News

February 5, 2018

Dear PreK Families,

This week we had our Reading Is Fundamental, RIF, program visit. Several times a year, all of the students at school receive a new book to take home. The students really love to choose a new forever book at these visits.

The students have really been enjoying doing some work about winter and snow.  We sang songs, did a snow dance, made several snow crafts, played with snow and ice in the sensory table, read lots of cold weather stories, including Snowmen at Night, The Biggest, Best Snowman, Snowflake Bentley, Hello, Snow, The Little Snowflake, and Snow Dance.  We also read the Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and then we made a class book (once we got some fresh snow). Our snowflakes finally grew crystals. It is an easy experiment that you can do at home too. Just mix Borax and hot water: in a ⅓ Borax to 2 cups boiling water. Then dip a pipe-cleaner shape into the mixture and let it sit for a few days. Then see what happens.

We are just about finished with our number journals, they will be coming home soon.  Next week, we will begin instruction on writing letters with straight lines.  When we return from the February vacation, we will be doing an author study on Dr. Seuss in honor of his birthday in early March.

About once a week, we use iPads in the classroom to reinforce early learning skills. The students have about 10 minutes to play a game independently or with a partner.  Starfall in the app store, makes several early learning games that are free and are age appropriate.  Each week, we try to review and play a new game, games focus on letters, numbers, patterns, matching, sorting, colors, and shapes. Occasionally, the teachers use the iPads during class time to record observations of students for TS Gold.

On Tuesday, March 13th, Parents/Caregivers are invited to visit the classroom for a bit after drop off to have a snack and make a purchase from our Valentine Card Store. In the am class, visit from 8:15 to 8:45. In the pm class, visit from 12:15 to 12:45. Parents may have a snack and then buy a card (for about $0.10(. We will donate the money that we raise to the Humane Society.

On next Wednesday, we will have our class Valentine Card Party. If you choose to, you may send in valentine cards with your child to pass out to his/her classmates. You do not need to label the cards with student names, just have your child sign his/her name or write it for him/her. Please do not send in candy. We will put out a list for party snacks later this week.

2/14 Valentine Party
2/16 PreK In Service: NO PREK
2/19-2/23 February Break NO SCHOOL

Thank you,

Mrs. Zayas & Mrs. Paronto

Monday, January 22, 2018

January News

January 22, 2018

Dear PreK Families,

We have been very busy at school during the month of January. We have been learning about animals in winter, some are active, while others migrate or hibernate. As a class, we made a chart about animal survival.  We have read many books, such as well known Jan Brett stories The Mitten and The Hat.  The students have also been busy making individual crafts and group art projects.  Last week, we made bird feeders that can be hung outside. Hang it in a spot that your child can see from the window. Also, we have been searching for animal tracks in the snow during recess. You can also hunt for tracks when you go outside at home, or take a walk. or go to the park. Next, we will be doing a study about snow.

Students have begun drawing and writing in journals on a weekly basis.  After a large group discussion, students draw/write/dictate their ideas in their journals and then share their work in circle. They enjoy looking at their work and noticing their progress. When one journal is completed, students will take their booklets home.

We are also going to begin to learn about how to write numbers.  All numbers are written from the top down. Students have been introduced to almost all of the letters in the alphabet. When we are finished in the next week, we will begin learning the written formation of the uppercase letters.

Next month on February 13th, we are inviting parents/families to school for a valentine card sale and snack. The am class will be open from 8:15 to 8:45 and the pm class will be open from 12:15 to 12:45. Please mark your calendars and look for more information to come soon.

Thank you families, you have been doing a great job of sending in proper snow clothes for your child to enjoy playing outside in the cold weather. Feel free to keep indoor shoes or an extra sweatshirt in your child’s cubby at school.  You should also check that your child’s change of clothes is appropriate for the weather and still fits your growing child.

1/22 HFD Firefighter Christian Visit
1/22- 2/1 Upper Valley Smiles Dental Program
Tuesday 2/13 Snack & Card Sale
Wednesday 2/14 Valentine Party
Friday 2/16 PreK In-Service

Thank you,

Mrs. Zayas & Mrs. Paronto

Monday, December 4, 2017

December News

December 4, 2017

Dear PreK Parents,

Thank you for being flexible for the WRS Thanksgiving Feast. We know that it is difficult to change your schedule. The children had a very nice time at the feast and many of them were very good eaters!

Currently, we are doing a unit on physical science. We are learning about magnets, rocks, and force and motion. The students have been very engaged in these hands-on science activities. We have also read several nonfiction books. To encourage your child to learn more about these topics, your child can play with magnets at home and explore magnetic and non-magnetic items. Many children also collect rocks. Your child go on a rock hunt, and or sort and count rocks from a rock collection.  In learning about force and motion, the students will build towns and ramps with classroom materials.  

As part of the study we read Stone Soup, a well known folktale. On Friday, we will be doing a cooking activity to make our own stone soup to taste at snack. Please send your child in with one vegetable of your choice for the soup on Friday.

The cold weather is coming. We go out for recess unless it is raining or below 10 degrees. When we have snow, please send a full set of snow gear: boots, snowpants, jacket, a hat and mittens. You may also send in a pair of indoor shoes to keep in your child’s cubby. If your child’s snow gear does not fit in his/her backpack, you should send an extra bag for the items.

Next week, we will start some work around holidays. We will have a special holiday snack on December 21st. The students are invited to wear pajamas that day and we will have hot chocolate and decorate cookies to eat at snack time.  We will put out a sign-up sheet for items needed for the party.

As mentioned at PTC, TS Gold reports will be sent home by December 22nd. Please let us know if you have any questions about your child’s progress report when you receive it.

12/8 Stone Soup- bring a vegetable
12/15 NO PREK Teacher In-Service
12/21 Class Holiday Party & PJ day
12/22-1/2  Winter Break

Thank you,

PreK Team

Monday, November 13, 2017

November News

November 13, 2017

Dear PreK Families,

Thank you to everyone who came in for PTC. It was great to meet with you all.

We have finished our study of fall and are now working on short unit on the five senses and being healthy. We have been reading many non-fiction texts and doing some hands-on activities. The students have enjoyed working at the science table, using mirrors, looking through color paddles, listening to different bells, making a texture collage, and listening to different things outside. We will also smell mystery items in closed containers, and do a taste test for sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. In the classroom, the children have had fun playing with the doctor kit, to check on our eyes, ears, and body to make sure that we are all healthy. However, they all really like to give shots.

We have continued to work on the alphabet using the Fundations and have covered letters A to J, learning the name, keyword and letter sound.  Next in math, we will be doing work around patterns.  First we will learn about AB patterns, and then move on to ABC patterns.

The Thanksgiving feast is coming up soon on November 21st. This is a memorable day for everyone at school. All of the students and teachers eat a full Thanksgiving dinner in the gym. Our class is responsible for the applesauce. Please send in a jar of applesauce to the classroom collection. Our schedule will also be different on that day so that all of the students can be present for the feast. The AM class will come to school from 10:15 to 1 pm.  The PM class will come from 11:45 to 2:30pm. Thank you for being flexible so that all students may enjoy this special day.

After the Thanksgiving Recess, we will be working on a physical science unit including magnets, rocks, and force and motion.

11/13  Book Orders due
11/17  No School- EEE In-Service
11/21  Thanksgiving Feast
11/22-11/24  No School Thanksgiving Break

Thank you,

Mrs. Zayas and Mrs. Paronto

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October News

October 17, 2017

Dear PreK Parents,

We have had a busy time at school so far this month. We did a study about farms, farm life and why farms are important to us. We read many books including: The Big Red Barn, Mrs, Wishy Washy, Ba Ba Black Sheep, From Cow to Milk, and Wake Up, Big Barn.  

Farm day was a great success. Here are some pictures from the events of the day. In the morning class, we visited the sheep and saw Mr. Fred shear the sheep. We saw the goats and got to pet and feed them. We were able to observe the bunnies in the cage. The morning class got to milk the cow and see the oxen.  We also got to try some homemade ice cream from Billings Farm.

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In the afternoon, class, we very busy as well. We visited the Holly the horse and the alpacas. We saw the oxen work together and got the brush and pet them. The highlight of the afternoon was going on a tractor ride.

This week, we have started to learn about the fall season.  We will be doing some work with pumpkins as well. If you have any pumpkins at home that you would like to send in, we would love to have them. We cannot guarantee that you will get them back. We will take pumpkins of any size, shape or color. We will compare them, and we will cut one open to learn about the inside of a pumpkin and the pumpkin life cycle. Thank you for your help!

This month, Mrs. Hutchins, the school nurse will be conducting vision and hearing screenings on all students. If there are any discrepancies in the assessments, she will give you a report to bring to your doctor.

In the classroom, we have started to work on the alphabet using the Fundations Literacy Program. This is a multisensory program that all students in grades PreK to 3 use in our school. In math, we have started doing some work around collecting, sorting and classifying. These are activities that are very common for PreK students to do, as they are developmentally appropriate.  You can encourage this at home too. 

The students are paying attention to the calendar and know that Halloween is getting closer. We will celebrate Halloween with a special snack in the classroom. We will put out a sign-up sheet for donations next week. We try to have some healthy choices because the children will get lots of treats from trick or treating. Please do not send in candy with your child for snack. Please do not send your child to school in a costume.

Parent teacher Conferences also coming up at the beginning of November on the 2nd and 3rd. There will be NO PreK on those days so that we may have time to meet for conferences. Next week, there will also be a sign-up sheet for parents to choose a time to meet.

Important Dates:
10/20: Nos School PreK In-Service
10/26: Picture Retake Day
111/2 and 11/3: No School for PreK Parent Teacher Conferences

Thank you,
Mrs. Zayas & Mrs. Paronto

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September News

September 25, 2017

Dear PreK Families,

We have finished our projects for All ABout Me, please look for your child’s book in his or her backpack. It will be a fun booklet to read together at home.  

We have started an integrated unit of study on apples. The students will do language, math, science, social studies, art, and cooking projects around the topic of apples. We will be reading fiction and nonfiction books about apples. Some of those titles are: Ten Apple up on Top, My Apple, Welcome Fall: Apples, Apple Grows, Ned’s New Home, and Ten Red Apples.

We have also been counting and sorting a lot. These are two activities that you can do with your child at home. They can sort coins, legoes, buttons, socks from the laundry, and other small items. We count every day in class. There are also many opportunities in the day for counting. One strategy to model is to count one item at a time by moving the items as your child counts aloud. If your child can already do this, encourage your child to count higher, or to count in sets.

The students have really enjoyed singing “Way Up High in the Apple Tree,” as a group at circle time. Singing songs is an important part of literacy development in young learners and is a foundation for reading readiness. “Singing helps to build vocabulary and develop sound discrimination. Both skills are crucial to the development of literacy. The size of a child’s vocabulary and his or her ability to discriminate sounds are strong predictors of how easily a child will learn to read when he or she is older. Oral language and phonological sensitivity (sound discrimination) are not the only skills that are developed when children are exposed to songs, chants, and rhyme.  They can also develop listening and thinking skills. Oral language (vocabulary), phonological awareness and comprehension (thinking skills) are the building blocks of literacy. With conscious effort, songs, chants and rhymes become a perfect springboard for developing all three of these critical skill areas” (http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_home.aspx?ArticleID=478).

As part of our study, we will be doing an apple taste test and making applesauce. We would use your help in this project. Please send in an apple with your child sometime this week. We hope to cook our sauce on Friday or early next week.

We also wanted to touch on birthdays. Many children will celebrate their birthdays on a school day. Parents are welcome to send in a special snack for your child to share with his/her classmates. Just please make sure that it is a nut free treat and check in with us before sending anything in for the class. Parents are also welcome to visit the class to read a special or favorite story/song with the group on the birthday.

Thank you,

Mrs. Zayas & Mrs. Paronto

Thursday, September 7, 2017

WELCOME: 2017-18 School Year

Hello PreK Parents,

We have had a great start to the school year and are having a lot of fun in the classroom. All of our returning students remembered the school routines after the summer break. Our new students are adjusting well to our classroom learning environment and making new friends.  

As we mentioned at Open House, the PreK team has professional development days on the third Friday of each month. The first one is next week on 9/15.  The rest of the dates are as follows: 10/20, 11/17, 12/15, 1/19, 2/16, 3/16, and 5/18.

We have started the year with an All About Me Unit. We are having discussions at circle time, reading books in the classroom, and making special memory books.  As part of this project, we need some help from home. Please send in a baby picture of your child for the memory book. If you do not have a printed photo, feel free to send one to me by e-mail at: zayasa@hartfordschoosl.net.  We also have another project for you to do with your child at home.

Family Collage Homework Project
    Here is your first PreK homework assignment. Enclosed is a piece of heavy stock paper. Please write “_______’s Family” (ex. Sally’s Family) on the top. Then, you can cut out pictures of members of your family (or others that are close to your child) and arrange them as you like on the paper - using glue, two-sided tape, etc. to adhere them. Make sure to write each person’s name next to their picture so that we can tell who they are. You can also cut pictures out from magazines of things that are your child’s favorites.  We will laminate them and hang them up to view.
    Usually the preschool “homework” will not be so involved, but these collages become a very important part of our classroom environment and the preschoolers love to share their family collages with their friends at school.

    Please try to have these done as soon as you can so we can have everybody’s family “join us” in class every day.

Thank you,

Mrs. Zayas & Mrs. Paronto