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From the Director's Desk...
TGIM! (The M stands for March)
It has been a long winter. I know we've had more inches of snow in past years but the frequency of snow storms and frigid weather seemed to occur more this winter. I look forward to next month's newsletter when I can say "Happy Spring!"
Perhaps because of the cold, endless winter we have tentatively already chosen our graduation theme. Last year it was "Small World does Broadway". This year we are thinking of "Small World Swings into Summer". If you hear your preschooler singing summer songs and snow is still falling it is not just wishful thinking. J We will be trying out various summer theme songs to see if any are fun and appropriate to include in our graduation program. Because we use the VA basement for our graduation and it is frequently booked, a graduation date has been chosen for us. It will be Friday, June 20th. How is that for planning ahead?
Back to the present and near future, we have plenty of fun planned. In March we will have Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day AND the first day of Spring. Also, daylight savings time is coming. I like daylight savings. I wish it could just stay that way all the time. Spring forward - forget Fall back. J
I am very proud of our music, dance, and arts programs. Ms. Kate teaches dance and yoga. Ms. Jess and Ms. Marika work closely with each other teaching songs and instruments. Please be sure to read their section of the newsletter to get an update on their music curriculum.
We have a new addition to our arts program. You may hear your child speak of a "Rainbow Dance". Both Ms. Yoon and Ms. Namyeon have Master's degrees in Expressive Art and Ms. Namyeon initiated the Rainbow Dance. She works with all classes from Young Tods to Upper Pre. Read the Middle Pre newsletter for more of one classroom's description of their experience with Rainbow Dance. According to the teachers, it has been well received at every age level.
This month our annual NAEYC accreditation report will be due. Mid-month I will be sending out the annual parent surveys. If you ever do have an issue or concern, please do not wait for a survey to express your concern - make an appointment or pick up the phone and speak to me. I am so proud and fortunate with the wonderful group of parents we have at Small World and I know the teachers feel the same. No wonder our kids are so great! J But sometimes a problem or concern may come up. Feel free to speak to me anytime about any concern. Admittedly the biggest concern that parents have is the waitlist and when can their child get in. It is difficult. I wish we had more space. We maintain 50% VA and 50% community. Siblings get priority, but often it is still a wait. I thank waiting parents for their patience. I do understand how frustrating it can be.
It is also somewhat (but not as) frustrating to have to print our snow emergency policy again, but here goes - I long to print our sun block policy. J
The Center will be closed only if a State of Emergency is declared due to weather conditions. We do not advocate bringing your children out in unsafe conditions but we must remain open for the children of essential workers. If the school does close, it will be stated on our voicemail message. If the message is the "same old" message, we're open. Please note that we may experience delays in opening due to delayed travel times. Please call ahead to make sure that staffing is adequate.
Have a happy and safe rest of the winter. Think Spring - it starts this month.
The Infant Room
Warm greetings from the Infant Room! We cannot believe that February has come and gone, 2014 is going so fast! This month, we would like to say Happy Birthday to Riley and extend a birthday wish to Lucas who celebrated his first birthday on January 8th. For us, it is so exciting to watch our infants grow.
We have been keeping ourselves busy with all sorts of Valentine's activities. They all so enjoyed finger painting in order to make beautiful cards for Valentine's Day. This month, we have all been playing, singing and working on our social skills as well as reading lots of books together! Our infants have really liked Good Morning Baby by Cheryl Willis Hudson. They have also enjoyed singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."
Scarlett is growing stronger every day. She feels much more comfortable in the Infant Room and has been exploring the surroundings with excitement. She smiles a lot and laughs at her feet while her teachers sing songs.
Kaia enjoys taking toys to her mouth to give them a good bite and she is continuing to work on her gross motor skills. Kaia loves to communicate to her friends and teachers with her smiles and sounds.
Genevieve is an active girl who likes to reach for different toys and climb up our soft climber. She also enjoys watching other friends play around her.
Riley is ready to take a few steps without the support of her teachers...good job, Riley! She loves music and dancing and every time we play songs, she is always the first one to start dancing.
Gus is also expressing much interest in music these days. He loves listening to the different sounds songs and instruments make and will shake maracas and play the piano to discover what noise will come out. He is also beginning to interact more with his friends.
Lucas loves to play catch with his teachers- he will throw a ball to one of his teachers and wait excitedly for his teacher to toss it back. He laughs when he catches the ball to show his excitement and how proud he is of his accomplishment.
Colt loves to play with his friend, Lucas, in the climber area with soft balls. He is also starting to use words more often. Colt can say "ball", "hi", "hello", "hola" and continues to practice his sign language, letting us know when he would like "more, more".
Next month, we will continue to focus on developing each child's gross motor skills (crawling, sitting, rolling, reaching and more!). Please feel free to stop in anytime to visit our room and say hello!
Ms. Angela, Ms. Alla, Ms. Amarilis and Ms. Linda
The Younger Toddler Room
Hello from the Younger Toddlers! This month, we have been learning about our theme, "Friendship". The children really enjoyed doing a variety of activities and learning to share with friends. We created a valentine book collage for our families as well as a heart collage using different shapes and sizes of hearts. Our friends also enjoyed finger painting with red paint, making red handprints! We were also lucky enough to watch a puppet show about friendship. They learned how to walk in partners while holding their friend's hand. During circle time, we sang songs such as "I Love You", "How are You Today", and "You Are My Sunshine". We read stories such as My Dad, I Love My Kitten, Let's Share, and My Mommy and I.
Connor has been doing a great job showing his friends how to be nice to others and how to use their words. He has also enjoyed the puppet show in the afternoons and will bring the puppets to his teachers and say "puppets please!"
Tyler is starting to use more words! He says "all done", "water", and "please". He is also showing more independence every day. He can wash his hands all by himself and when he wants to listen to a story, he will grab a book he likes and bring it to his teachers to show that he would like us to read him a story.
Emily enjoys listening to stories everyday! She especially likes Hands and Silly Sally. Emily is also starting to put sentences together and her favorite word right now is "why?"
Andrew was quite the busy boy this month- he always keeps himself entertained. He likes looking at books and playing with different toys. Andrew is also doing a good job showing how to be gentle with his friends by giving hugs and using his words instead of his body. Good job!
Julian enjoys all of our art activities. He loves painting with different colored paint, especially when he can finger paint. Julian is also becoming more independent and is starting to use his words to express what he wants.
Grace is starting to try out new things on her own. For example, she will take off her shoes and try to put them back on all by herself. She also loves to play dress up and will put on the different pieces all by herself. Grace has been communicating more and more with her friends when they play together.
Cameron is doing a great job using the potty and is learning how to tell his teachers when he needs to go potty. We are so proud! He is also doing a good job sharing with friends during group activities or while playing together during free play.
Kira enjoys sharing during activities and did a great job helping the other children with the heart collage. Also, Kira enjoys helping pass materials for activities and help others follow directions
Isaac enjoys practicing letters with teachers and go around the classroom singing the "ABCD" song. Also, Isaac is doing very well at comforting his friends, when they are sad, by giving them a hug or patting them on the back. Also, Isaac tries explaining to his teachers what he did during the day.
This month, we have to sadly say goodbye to Ms. Sarah. We want to thank her for all of her hard work and we will miss her so much!
-Ms. Marisela, Ms. Ana, Ms. Sarah, and Ms. Reina
The Older Toddler Room
Hello from the Older Toddler Room! We have enjoyed this month's theme, "Feelings". Some of our favorite books were Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale, When Sophie Gets Angry, Don't You Feel Well Sam? , and I'm a Tiger Too! We all enjoyed building snow people and rolling giant snow boulders.
For art projects we had fun painting with different colors that each felt reflected our own emotions, and made different faces with collage materials which showed different emotions. Next month's theme will be "Occupations". We will read stories illustrating the day to day goings on for police officers, fire fighters, doctors, and learn a little about construction, as well. We will paint and cut out the hats that they wear as well as create a collage reflecting their uniform.
There have been some new interests this month! Ariel has enjoyed trying to get his shoes on by himself, and has been serving "ice cream" to his friends on the playground. Bear lets us know he's "Chef Bear" when he's cooking in dramatic play and he also has been enjoying building towers with Legos or cardboard blocks. Cate has enjoyed feeding friends with the toy food in dramatic play, as well as serving the snow "ice cream" from the playground. Julian has enjoyed helping teachers by reminding friends to share toys and not to stand too close to the classroom door. Jacob has enjoyed adding toy people to the toy cars and driving them across the floor as well as dancing with the dolls. Molly has continued to enjoy cutting with scissors and has started to love drumming with pots and kitchen utensils. Nora has enjoyed taking the baby dolls on trips with her around the classroom, as well as playing in the water table. Reilly has enjoyed matching the foam number squares and making sure the toy cookies are all in place on the toy tray. Teddy has had fun pretending to cook new creations like mixing the chicken nuggets and the cookies together in one pot.
Have a great month!
Mr. Nick, Ms. Altagracia, and Ms. Yoon
Let the games begin! Or rather, end now that February is over and the Olympics came to a close. This month in Lower Preschool, we learned all about the winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia this year. Lucy told her mom all about the big games in a place called “Sushi”. We made Olympic rings, laced up skates and pretended to ski and snow tube. Angelina went ice skating just like the figure skaters in the Olympics. We learned that we all live in the United States of America! Go USA!
Between the fierce competitions of the Small World Olympics, Valentine’s Day brought a little love our way. We asked the lower preschool friends, “What is love?” and the answers were right on point. According to Sofia “love can be getting married”. Anna said “love is a choo choo train”. Raffaella said “love means its valentine’s day”, Lucy said she loves her sister. Angelina said “love is William” and William said “love is Mommy”... The Lower Preschool Valentine’s Day Dance was a success. Anna’s mom, Masha was able to join us for dancing and special Valentine’s Day treats. William, Anna, and Erica really know how to boogie, such great dancers! Raffaella came dressed to impress at the dance in a princess dress and including the tiara. Right after Valentine’s day Ms. Kate and Ava both had birthdays. Ava brought delicious cake to share. Happy birthday Ava and Ms. Kate!
We have been working on letter, number and word recognition and all of the friends in lower preschool are so intelligent! We will continue to work on these types of activities in our daily curriculum such as recognizing our names, the names of our friends and days of the week. Sofia and Ava are star recognizers!
In March we will begin to talk about the spring season and all the wonders that occur as the snow melts. We will explore feelings and emotions and of course celebrate St. Patricks day! We know how lower preschool loves to celebrate!
Miss Melissa and Miss Kate
This month, we have had so many wonderful things to celebrate! We had three birthdays this month and three delicious parties. We celebrated Valentine’s Day, as well, and had a big party with cards, treats and nail painting. Thank you to all the parents who helped make the day special by bringing something special to share! All of the children took turns making mailboxes to collect all their valentines in. Megan especially enjoyed this activity and proudly used her paintbrush to decorate her mailbox with polka-dots. We made valentines for Mom and Dad using stickers, doilies, and our own loving words. Philip really enjoyed picking special stickers to show his whole family how much he loved them. Patrick joined us for an art project to make fish out of hearts for our bulletin board. He chose beautiful colors for the fins and scales and even asked if he could add glitter to make it look shiny like a real fish. In addition to art projects, we played pairing games to make new friends and strengthen connections with the friends in our community to celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s Day.
The most special celebration of all was when we welcomed Ada’s new brother, Nicholas, into the world. We read books to celebrate and begin discussions about what it is like to have a new baby in your family. We picked out a special story tape, Julius, The Baby of The World, to listen to at lunch and before naptime. Juliet has been excited to share with Ada about what it has been like for her helping with her new baby sister this year, too!
February is also National Children’s Dental Health Month. We have read many books about teeth and dental health. We read The Tooth Book, ABC Dentist, Going to the Dentist, Wibble Wobble, When I See My Dentist, and many more. We talked about how we use our teeth and how other animals may use their teeth, too! We learned the correct way to brush our teeth, how to protect our teeth and gums, practiced flossing, and even painted big teeth with toothbrushes at the easel.
We also started a dance class called Rainbow Dance. Ms. Namyeon leads this dance class and we use props such as feathers to hold gently as if they were baby birds, communally danced with a parachute, moved colorful scarves to calming music, and learned new songs and dance movements. Ms. Namyeon even gave us each a valentine when we reached the end of our magic colorful steps that were set up across the classroom floor. Everyone really enjoyed these activities! Noah loved playing with the parachute and Layla was very sensitive in caring for her “baby bird” feathers, and collected a whole flock to mother. We look forward to enjoying this new addition to our schedule every week.
Linus also really enjoys indoor movement activities. We were all showing off our unique dance moves one day and Linus was excited to show us an excellent crab walk dance that his friends have enjoyed trying on their own. He also had some really cool moves when we each did solo dancing to the Cars soundtrack! We have had lots of fun indoors when the weather has not cooperated. We have done watercolors, stamping, play-dough, Bingo, and a number of activities at the discovery table. Chanwoo’s favorite was the finger-painting! He had so much fun he came back several time to get messy mixing colors together to see what new colors he could create!
Have a great month!
-Ms. Lisa and Mr. Brian
February passed quickly in Upper Pre but we managed to have a ball in spite of it. On Valentine’s Day Upper Pre had a party complete with fruit, muffins, and Valentine’s Day cards! Emily and Leena both took the time to create customized homemade Valentines for our friends complete with our names! Most of us brought in factory made cards and boy were temporary tattoos popular. Yolanda gave out valentines with a bicycle tattoo in each one.
February was also our month for learning about the Olympics! Caden and others have taken to racing to make their mats so that they can assign each other gold, silver, and bronze medals. Anna by contrast is biding her time until “for real life I’m going to be in the Olympics [for snowboarding] when I grow up!” Ryan cannot wait as long as adulthood and decided to be a bobsledder. Why? So that his whole family can be a team together without waiting so long. Both JJ (Juliet M.) and Julia are keen on becoming figure skaters. JJ prefers the elegance of the ice ballet while Julia plans to wear all of her outside gear to the figure skating Olympics and also plans to be ill when they happen. Samia prefers downhill skiing but is very aware of the media attention saying she would be nervous because "none of her usual friends would be there". Noah the daredevil has latched onto the skeleton because, well, it is the most dangerous Winter Olympic sport.
In the Enrichment Room this month we learned about electricity and the classification of animals and plants. We made our own electrical resistors using pencil lead on paper and used them to brighten and dim a light on our robot. We also learned about atoms and how electrons hold them together. Using a battery, buzzer, clothespin, and tinfoil we made and installed our very own working door alarm circuit. After many pranks on adults entering our room, we moved on to learning about mammals, reptiles, germs, birds, mollusks, annelids, plants and fungi. Madison made the comment that even though it took millions of years from the start of jellyfish to the start of butterflies, it makes sense because butterflies are so much prettier than jellyfish. Finally our nature all-star Harper has been rattling off not only mammalian attributes and examples but even exceptions like the platypus and the echidna (the only egg laying mammals).
~Ms. Abigail & Mr. Will
We have been exploring new ways to make and learn about music in preschool this month! From recording on the laptop, to making our own music videos with sound effects, and reading books about everything from ancient instruments to Duke Ellington we have enjoyed being creative and learning in different ways.
In Upper Pre we have finished recording our album!!!!! We have twelve songs; some are standards, some are original, and some are duets. The kids each had a turn singing their songs as well as watching and learning about the recording process. Our last step will be to determine our album art and the record release is set for early March so keep a look out. We’ve already begun preparing for graduation this summer, beginning to learn some new songs and working on writing our own.
Middle Pre made a music video to Baa Baa Black Sheep using iMovie. We sang the song to the guitar and then went back and edited it all together using fun sound effects like dinosaurs roaring and roosters crowing to make our video as silly as possible.
In Lower Pre we have been reading through the history of music. We’ve learned about string instruments, woodwinds, and brass. We have danced to ancient music, classical music and big band. We’ve also been reading a very popular book called Be Quiet Mike about a monkey who can’t stop drumming and learns to build his own drum kit. By the end of the book his familiy is saying "Play Louder Mike!"
The Older and Younger Toddlers continue to have weekly sing-a-longs with us. The Older Toddlers occasionally experiment with coming up and leading the class in a song! The Younger Toddlers are becoming more and more engaged with music and have been more actively participating by singing and clapping more to their favorite songs.
Miss Jess and Miss Marika