Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Our First Month

  We made it! Everyone did an awesome job completing our first month of school. We have been having so much fun and learning so much. The kids have done well adjusting to being at school and following rules and are beginning to understand the routines and flow to the day. Please continue to encourage them to explore, have fun and get messy as well as listening and having good behavior.

 We are still covering a bit of all about me and apples this will help the kids to understand our field trip this week to the Willow brook apple farm. Its a very small farm and we get to do some very neat things like press cider, pet a pony, see some bees, take a tractor ride and taste some treats. When we return from our field trip we will still be covering fall and apples.

 Picture day is next week! On picture days we don't do any messy activities and if you are very concerned about their clothes send an extra outfit so they can change. We will take an individual photo of each child for our yearbook as well as a class photo all together.

 We are gearing up for our annual jubilee in October our class reps will be putting out messages regarding our game responsibilities and items we will need as well as information on tickets etc. Jubilee is October 9th.

 We are still working on how to get along which is very important. Please practice with your child using their words and talking with others to resolve problems instead of hitting or pushing. We are also working on sharing and taking turns. You can encourage this at home by roleplaying if your child is having issues with sharing like you play with a toy and then when they want it make them practice asking you for that toy don't allow them to just take it from you. Help them to learn the words to use and include please and thank you.

 Here are a few pictures from some classroom fun!

Friday, August 28, 2015

First week!

 We have had a great first week in the owl class! We are exploring our surroundings, learning about each other, and learning how school works. The kiddos have done a great job and some are still working on the transition from being home to being at school and some tears are to be expected. Please keep reassuring them that you will come back, school is fun and that they will have a great day.

 I sent home a few things this week one was a paper asking some questions for you the parents. I know you filled out some packets that are in the student file but this one is a quick reference for me to have and I also like to use them to find things some kids have in common and try to help them build relationships with other children who have similar interests. It also lets me know how to get a hold of you and others in a quick reference kind of way. Turn those in to me as soon as you can. The second was an all about me poster. This is another way to encourage kids to find things in common with others in a visual way. It also helps me get to know them and their family. Please turn in the posters by September 5th. One more thing I need is a family photo this way the kids have a picture of their family in class it makes them feel at home in our room. This picture will remain on the wall all year.

 A few reminders if your child is ill please review the guidelines in the handbook regarding when your child is too sick to be at school. We do wellness checks in the mornings and I hate to have to send friends home, but its best for us all. If your child was sick and is still recovering let me know so that I can keep an eye on them and note any changes in behavior. Also please help me in the mornings by making sure your child washes their hands as soon as they are in class. This and frequent hand washing during the day help us to reduce illness in the class.

  Next Wednesday and Thursday we are having an extra messy art exploration day! Be prepared for paint, water, shaving cream and lots of mess come prepared with clothes that can get messy and extras.

 I have added a poll on the side of the blog page asking if you would be interested in having a closed group facebook page for our class. We would use it to post messages for our class, a few pictures, a way to contact me and class reps etc. I would be the admin and would add in parents only! Pleasde answer the survey and if we have an interest we can work on getting that together.

 Enjoy your first weekend and I will see you all next week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Our first week of school!

  I am happy to say we are starting school earlier than anticipated! Our restoration company has done an amazing job and school is now ready for us to move back in and start on the 24th! I have a few reminders and some information on how the first week of school looks.

  All about me is our opening theme, I like to spend the first few weeks getting to know your child and all the children in my classes. We do this by exploring what their likes and dislikes are, who is in their family and who they are. There will be a lot of getting to know you games, activities and questions going on in class. This is my opportunity to explore who your children are and what needs and interests we have as a class. In the first two weeks I would also like for each family to send in a picture to class this is for our family wall. Each child will tell us about the people in their family and the picture will be placed on the wall for the remainder of the school year.

  A few reminders
  • Please make sure your child has a back pack with a full change of clothing or two for the first days of school. If you can please put those clothes in a Ziploc bag so I can return any wet or dirty clothes home.
  •  Make sure your child's bag is labeled with their name it will make it easier for me to know which belongs to your child.
  • We get messy at school please do not send your child to school in anything you are afraid to get paint, glue, food, water or anything messy on. I want them to explore freely and not feel like they have to worry about their clothes or shoes.

 A few things to not bring to school are
  • Toys from home
  • Medicines
  • Wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip gloss or chap stick (they like to share it with friends when they bring it)
  • Sunscreen (We as teachers are not allowed to apply sunscreen to your child)
Now that we got the business out of the way its time to address nervousness. I know many kids are nervous about school and so are the parents. Please try to reassure your child that things will be great and that school is fun and they are going to have a great time! If your child cries on the first day of school it's OK. Here is a list I borrowed from Ms. Mari to give you some ideas of ways to help.

·         Never bribe or negotiate a “deal” (if you stop crying I’ll give you this…)
·         Never send them home- this sends the message that they can get their own way if they throw a tantrum
·         Speak positively and cheerfully
·         Reassure your child you love them and will be back
·         Stay calm
·         Once you leave, DON’T COME BACK IN.  This makes it very confusing and teaches the child that crying works to get you to come back. 
·         If other children complain about noisy crying say, “Yes, Jimmy is crying because he misses his mom. He needs some time to learn how school works. Let’s show him how much fun ____ is and maybe he will join us.” Then move along to your next activity.
·         Acknowledge the child’s feelings (I know you miss your mom, you’ll see her soon.)
·         Invite the child to join in activities but don’t force them to participate if they are overly distraught.

This was an article I found many years ago that still applies today!  Some children may have no problem being left on their first day of school, but they may have a few tears after a week or two.  Some children from the beginning may have BIG FEELINGS about being left but with care and persistence it will pass and they will get used to the transition soon. 
Please know I am very compassionate with your children and will tell them “I know you are sad/mad, but I know your mom/dad is coming back!”  “Do you need a hug?” 
Also as parent helpers you may be asked to help with these children as well.   Some things to remember:
·         Don’t tell them not to cry, they need to express their feelings and we are here to help them name their feelings and learn to communicate HOW they are feeling.
·         Sit next to them and tell them and offer support by just being there and acknowledging their feelings.
·         Try and get them interested in an activity.

Please know we will love your child and try to make their transition away from you a positive experience.  Please also know if your child is REALLY inconsolable and we have exhausted all of our strategies we will call you!  
With a little love and compassion those that may be reluctant will soon be excited to come to school and have a great time!
Now for you I have an acronym I learned from a mentor teacher many years ago its called HELP.
Hug- Let your child know you are leaving with a quick hug and a kiss please don't sneak out.
 Encourage- Give them words of encouragement, help them to locate a friend or a teacher.
 Leave- Leave don't linger longer that actually makes it harder.
Pray- Pray for the teachers, the parents working and for your child that they receive the comfort and reassurance they need. I truly appreciate those prayers!
Have fun getting ready to come to school next week I'll be working hard setting up our "nest" for all my little owls!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Welcome to the Owl Class 2015

Welcome to my blog new and returning Owl families!

 If you are here you either followed my link from Facebook or you typed in the address from the outline you received at orientation. Either way welcome. I am working to build this blog with more postings, suggestions and class updates as the year progresses.

 Please add yourself as a follower on the side column and please make sure you get added to the school's Facebook page if your not already to get all the latest news and updates!

 Hope to see you all soon!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Marching to spring break

  Yes I am late with this its already March and we are already into the Dr. Seuss study. Days one and two have gone well a few kiddos are familiar with Dr. Seuss thanks to some popular movies that are out as well as the books. They are also enjoying the idea of crazy scenarios and funny words.

  In class we are covering the stories of doctor Seuss we plan to look at Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and a few of the shorter stories (as Dr. Seuss wrote some very long ones as well) Our main story and the theme for our room is One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Its a silly rhyming story with lots of fun made up creatures and fun pictures. At home you can continue the fun by reading Dr. Seuss stories at home. Local libraries have a good selection and you can sometimes find readings of the stories on Youtube and iTunes. You can also find the movies some are a bit long but can be watched in parts Horton Hears a Who, Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, and The Lorax are all available to see so Dr. Seuss's world is brought to life.

  We are continuing to work on names we have moved from recognition to writing names. I use a Font found online called dot lines and it creates the dots and all the lines you can use this at home as well if your child wants to practice at home. But it has to be fun! It needs to be kept light and interesting because if they feel pressured to write they may reject it. You can make the sheets at home and place them in a sheet protector and use a dry erase marker so you don't end up making multiple copies. The kids are doing awesome with all of this and they are really beginning to enjoy labeling things with their names.

  Some of you have seen that I have been doing little interviews with the kids this is in preparation for progress reports that you will receive in April. A few questions I have asked are what's your first and last name. Its important for your kids to know both names there are a lot of children with similar names so knowing both names is essential. Another question I asked is what are mom and dads names. This is important as well if your child is ever lost or needs help knowing their own name and parents names is very helpful. So you can practice this at home any time and especially review before you go to a large event or gathering place. I still do this with my own kids who are 6 and 9 and as they get older teaching them your cellphone number helps too. The interviews are always fun and I love the answers I get. It's fun to ask kids who now have their own opinions on what they like, don't like and how things in their world operate. It's important that your children can answer questions serious and not so serious when asked.

  After the un-birthday party we head to spring break its a good time to relax a little and get in some fun family time. I always see spring break as a good time to take a fun/educational field trip. I used to love taking my preschoolers to the discovery museums in Rancho Mirage and Hemet. We would go on hikes or to the zoo or something fun every break. We would read a lot! My kids are readers so I always encourage breaks as a great time to get into a good book your children even at age 3/4 can become involved in a longer story Breven and Aubree loved The Magic Tree house stories at that age. I would read a chapter or two at a time and they always got excited about cliffhangers and waiting for that next chapter.

  When we return its a new study and celebrating Spring and all that comes with it. I am excited to finish up our year and see the continued growth as we finish it together!

 Let's have an awesome 2 weeks!

Ms. Charlee

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Februrary friendship and love!

 February 3rd already! Its a short month full of love and friendship. There is a lot going on at school so here are a few updates.

 Please remember to check the work calendars online the link is on my blog under work calendars or take a picture on your mobile phone of it to ensure you are at school on your designated work days. If you are unable to work please try and find a sub early there are a few and they get called often. Calendars are up through March.

 This week we have been continuing with space and we read a fun book about aliens and underpants ask your child they can tell you some funny details! Next week we have a short week there is no school Monday February 9th. We will start off the week by celebrating the 100th day of school we will be talking about 100, counting 100 items (by 10's), and we will be doing some fun crafts. Then Thursday and Friday we will celebrate Valentines day. Party sign ups are posted in class and we will be making English muffin pizzas! Our party theme is love bugs so we will have a few crafts about that. If you plan to send valentines with your child please make sure we have one for every child in class there are 17 kids in each class. If candy or treats are a part of your valentine make sure they are nut free for our friends with allergies. I will also not allow the kids to open goodies and treats at school they will be sent home so you can check things first. Children will pass out their own cards at a designated time.

 February 16th is another holiday and we return for another short week and we may continue with space or we may move on not quite sure yet. Our class will continue working on name recognition and name writing for those interested. There has been a huge interest in writing names and its very exciting. If you want to practice writing at home please help your child by showing them the name written as it would appear starting with a capital letter then followed by lowercase letters. Its harder to recognize their name when its written in all capitals because that's not how it appears on paper. 90% of what we read is in lowercase so that's why the Zoophonics program focuses so much on lower case letters. Capitals will come later as they go through the Zoophonics program. We have also been working a lot on kindness in class. From kind words, to gentile hands, and taking turns and sharing. We will continue to practice and talk about these skills as the year continues on.

  We bumped circle time up to first thing in the morning and it has been working much better for us. More kids are engaging and we are getting a lot more participation.

 Looking ahead March is when we celebrate Dr. Seuss and all he has brought to literature and wrapping it up with our 3rd annual un-birthday party. More details on that will be coming soon! Then we head to spring break! I know its crazy we are already talking about spring break.

 As always if you have any questions feel free to email me or call me at school.

Looking forward to another great month.

Ms. Charlee

Monday, January 5, 2015


 Welcome back families! I hope everyone had a great Christmas break and that everyone is ready to return to class this week.

 When we return our topic is space. So think astronauts, planets, stars and moons. We will talk about these things when we return and see what the kids really take an interest in. This week is a transition week as we all return to the routine of school and we will be working on continuing to follow the rules and routines of school after our 2 week break. Encourage good listening and being a good friend.

 This month I want to work on name recognition. Not necessarily knowing how to spell their name but being able to find it in the world. So at home encourage your child to look for letters that are in their name and the order they go in. Find opportunities for them to find their name on things. Here I will be working on a matching game of faces to names, making name rockets, and practicing the letters in zoo phonics that make their name.

 We will get back to our regular routine of calendar and looking at patterns the simple AB pattern is our first goal for them to recognize what is a pattern and how its made. We will practice this in class with colors and items.

 Since we are covering space what better way to do that than to make a rocket. So I will be needing some scrap items for the kids to make their own rockets. I need some foam stickers in basic shapes, plastic solo cups, things to make cones for the tops. If you have any of these items at home that your willing to donate please bring them in. I am also in need of TP, and paper towel tubes. We will be making simple rockets with them this first week but we may need more to build taller more complicated things.

 This week Wednesday the 7th and Thursday the 8th is a parent meeting right after drop off with Ms. Tamara. The 19th is Martin Luther King day and we will be off and we are working on scheduling a field trip.

 I will update the blog as we go along please watch facebook for any parent power hours and special requests!

See you this week!