Teacher Talk December -February 2015

In this edition of teacher talk I would like to share with you some of the exciting plans we have for
winter. You can use this information to ask questions of your child and enhance their learning at home.
These items provide a starting point for great dinner conversations! As a reminder, we “go with the flow”
at preschool. Sometimes we add or subtract activities on the spur of the moment, or we will assess what
did or did not work for us on one day and modify our plans accordingly.

December: We will be learning about Winter Holidays, which this year includes Diwali, Kwanzaa, St.
Basil’s, and Christmas. On December 14th and 15th we will be walking to the 100 Building to sing carols
with our friends at the Senior Center, followed by our Gift Giving Party on December 16th and 17th.
• Winter Holidays (multi-cultural awareness, literacy, self-concept)
• Obwisana Rock Passing Game (rhythm, self-control, gross motor)
• Present Wrapping and Gift Giving (fine motor, self-concept, communication)
• Caroling at Senior Center Mini-Field Trip (community connections, self-concept)
• Candle See-Saw Magic Science (scientific principles, literacy)
• Dreidel Game (fine motor, math concepts, cooperation)

January: On our first day back from break, remember to wear your PJs and bring a snuggle item to tell the
class about during Share Time on Bedtime Day! Next will be our art units: Colors (3s class) and Art
Around the World (4s & mixed 3/4s class). We’ll save some artwork from these units for a student art
show and musical planned for the evening of Tuesday, March 8 — save the date!
• Parachute, 4 Corners, Red Light Green Light Games (gross motor, self-control, cooperation)
• Colors Unit (3s – fine motor, literacy, artistic expression, exploration)
• Color Share Days (3s – literacy, self-concept, communication)
• Art Around the World (4s & 3/4s – fine motor, literacy, artistic expression, cultural awareness)
• Colored Flowers, Exploding Colors, Egg in a Bottle Magic Science (literacy, scientific principles)

February: February brings us to a small unit about our musical (Cows in the Kitchen), followed by a field trip
to the Post Office and our Valentine’s Day Party. We will have another visit with our friends at the Senior
Center to start seeds that will be planted in the Intergenerational Garden in April. The 3s class will have a
fun-filled Beach Day (don’t worry 4s and 3/4s, your day will be in March!). The month wraps up with
Teeny Tiny and Giant Days.
• Butter Making (life skills, gross motor, scientific principles)
• Cows in the Kitchen Musical (literacy, self-concept, music awareness)
• Post Office Field Trip (literacy, community connections, self-control)
• Read and Seed Mini-Field Trip (community connections, scientific principles)
• Teeny Tiny and Giant Days (math concepts, self-concept, gross motor, fine motor)
Continued Through Winter:
• Class Mascot Journal (literacy, communication, self-concept)
• Letter days (4s) – multi-disciplinary activities related to letter of the day, for example:
o Letter M: Magnetic Marble painting (literacy, fine motor, scientific concepts)
• Listening Bingo (communication, fine motor)
• Rough and Tumble Play (gross motor, cooperation, self-concept, self-control)
• Crafts (fine motor, literacy, self-concept)
• Music (gross motor, literacy, communication, math concepts)
• Games (gross and fine motor, literacy, cooperation, self-control)
• Playtime outside (gross motor, cooperation)
• Free Choice Play Time (where the richest learning experiences take place!) Page 1/2

Teacher Talk Part 2: Transitions, Snow Gear, and Life Skills

Dear Parents,

As adults, it’s hard remember it wasn’t always easy for us to wait in line to use the
restroom, stop playing to pick-up our toys, walk down a hallway, or return our belongings to their
designated place. We all learned to manage these transitional portions of our day by having
opportunities to experience them. Outside of the wonderful learning through play we enjoy
during classroom time, your children are acquiring life skills. They are exercising their selfregulation,
responsibility ownership, and time management skills at preschool every day.
Zipping up a coat, taking turns during a game, returning mittens to a locker, and waiting in
line are all part of preschool learning. We are also gently teaching children how to manage
transitions to help them feel competent and become self-reliant. While these skills do in a sense
prepare them for Kindergarten, most importantly they are life skills that will benefit them through
adulthood.

One of the many wonderful attributes of our cooperative school is that parents provide
support and guidance regularly in our classroom. However, this means parents are also involved
in the messy business of early learning. You see the struggle children have and the time it takes as
they learn how to transition or practice new skills. Patience and guidance from friendly,
supportive adults during the daily routine is an integral part of what our program is designed to
offer.

For children growing up in Michigan, it is important to learn how to put winter clothing on
to play outside as well as remove winter clothes and return them to their place. It is a major test
of motor skills, sequencing, and patience. It is also something that your children are ready to learn
with guidance from supportive adults. It is so helpful if parents start taking the time to work with
their children at home. Yes, it does take longer to have preschoolers try to dress themselves, but it
is worth it in the long run. I guarantee you that you will be investing your time wisely!
Please remember to send in all winter gear for the following months: snow pants, boots,
hat, mittens, and warm coats. Usually mittens are much easier for children to put on than gloves,
plus they are warmer too. Please don’t forget to LABEL, LABEL, LABEL! Sometimes children
don’t recognize their own belongings or they won’t claim it as their own. Remember, if it is 20° or
warmer, we will go outside to enjoy gross motor, cooperative play.

Thank you for working alongside me to encourage and support the early learning of our
preschoolers. Your supportive role in our daily routine is what makes our preschool exceptional.
If you have any questions about our programs or procedures, I invite you to contact me at the
phone number or email listed below. Thank you for all you do!

Kindly,
Claire
cbaushke@chelseacoop.org