Dear Garden Families….
Larry the Fish Guy
The Salmon run can be a fickle thing. Larry our Fish Guy has had to reschedule his visit to The Garden this week. The Chinook run this year was low and Larry was unable to get fish for the school. He believes the Coho run will be better and we are hoping he will have a couple of Coho for us in a couple of weeks.
The Crickets and Honeybees will still be able to view the salmon and the release of salmon eggs in our creek.
We’ve tentatively rescheduled Larry for Wednesday, October 28. You can view this and other scheduled events and school holidays on our online calendar here.
We will update our calendar regularly as our special events and celebrations take form.
Squeaks and Hoots
The children are all working on using their words to ask someone’s name, to ask for a turn, and to ask to be included in play. We are seeing great progress, but don’t be alarmed if we come to your car and say that your child had a rough day, or a day of figuring out empathy, or even if your child had a day where they just seemed overwhelmed! This quarantine has been hard for all of us, and this is a time in these littles’ lives where they really need time with their peers to learn all of these skills! Aren’t we lucky to have this opportunity?
We are trying to find a good balance between checking kids in quickly and ‘mingling’ with the parents, to chat about each child’s progress and catch up with growth and concerns, or just to hear what you did over the weekend! Bear with us as we navigate our new normal. We are looking forward to our zoom ‘check-in’ next month where you can choose to sign up for a one on one zoom with a teacher to talk about how your student is doing. A longer and more personalized conference will take place in the spring.
The Honeybees learned about “C” and “D” and the Crickets practiced some letter shapes, curves and straight lines. Bee parents, talk with your students to think of things that start with the hard ‘c’ sound, like cat and cactus, and words that start with d, like dog and dinosaur. We are working with both of these classes on pencil grips and tracing and letter shapes.
We love to collect news from our students, and all of our groups decorated salmon pictures with blue and green dot markers. The Honeybees labelled the fins of a salmon, and the Crickets and Bees learned a song about salmon, sung to the tune of BINGO:
“I am a salmon in this life and this is what I look like:
Nice long body, sideways eyes,
I have scales instead of skin
And gills for breathing out and in”
We are also learning the song, “1,2,3,4,5, Once I caught a fish alive”. Even the Ladybugs are singing this fun song. Honeybees are beginning to make their poetry anthology notebooks, and have practiced ‘reciting’ their poems at circle. Each time they stand at circle and recite the poem of the week, they receive a star on the star chart. This is wonderful practice for building confidence. The ladybugs too, are learning to stand at circle and recite their nursery rhymes. We just started with 1,2, Buckle my Shoe. It would be great to have you practice this at home. They will be bringing home a little booklet of each nursery rhyme that we learn, and you can ‘read’ it together.
Reading the news together is also a wonderful way to show the children that you ‘hear’ their words and connect with the other children in their class. If you see another child in the class, you could say: “Oh, Bobby! I heard that you got a new bike!” This reinforces their words back to them, that their words are important, and that they are communicating their exciting news to not just their classmates, but to other grownups. This is also a great start to show the kids how community building happens.
Honeybees started their weekly jobs this week. Check in with them to see if they remember what their jobs are. Each job lasts one full week of class. Ladybugs have been bringing home “I was the Bell Ringer” notices, and Crickets enjoy revolving daily bell ringer duties as well.
Each year at The Garden, we have a celebration of Art in the spring, where we present a school year worth of beautiful art projects that the children have been working on throughout the year. This year, in our Branching Out program, is no different, and we will be doing a fine art project each month or so to add to your child’s portfolio. This month, we are working on a beautiful project about fish, in all 3 classes.
The weather is changing, and we have experienced colder mornings and afternoons. We have learned that the forest is often chillier than the playground because there is less direct sun. It is important to have your children wear several layers each day to school. It is easy to remove layers if they get too warm, but we really do not want to have our kiddos be chilled during school. Please start sending your kiddos to school with gloves and hats as well. We have also found that hats are better than using their jacket hoods because they can hear much better with just hats on.
We always try to set our students up for success each day. We know that it can be challenging some days to get your children to eat a full breakfast or lunch before school. Please try to have your children well nourished before they start their school day – even if this means having them eat something in the car on the way to school. We have had a few kiddos get upset and then we realized that they were just hungry.
If your child seems tired, has a runny nose or is just not themselves, please keep them home for the day. We genuinely appreciate the parents who have already made these decisions. Again, part of our job is to have your children love coming to school. The best way to set them up for success is to make sure that they are feeling their best and are outfitted to make the most of our climate.
Thank you again for being a part of our Branching Out program. We are loving our beautiful campuses, and are thrilled to have the opportunity to safely work with your children. Please, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, let us know! We would love to talk with you.
Squeaks and Hoots from Donna, Thea and Cari
Another great two-week cycle behind us with a week in the forest, where we celebrated our first birthday circle of the year (Hooray! Hooray! Kensie!) and a week on the playground, where we had lots of rain and wind! We welcomed a couple of new Ladybugs, Giulia and Porter, to our sweet class. Everyone is learning names and we are all practicing our friendship skills, being together with playmates, after 6 months without.
Squeaks and Hoots from Brook and Cara
We had another wonderful two-week cycle in Cara and Brook’s class. The weather was amazing – ranging from wind to heavy rains. We have all genuinely enjoyed the different experiences in different weather. We have been studying salmon, their life cycle, predators and their body parts over the last 2 weeks. Please start a conversation with your child about what they have learned so far about salmon. We look forward to studying pumpkins and the life cycle of plants during the next two weeks. We welcome two new Ladybugs this week to our amazing class. Charlotte and Leo have jumped right in and are having a great time meeting new friends and exploring the forest.
A Note About Clothes
Our students have been comfortable on these colder wetter days with rainboots, rain jackets etc. Much thanks to all of our amazing parents and caregivers for layering and setting up your Gardeners for success with great clothing choices.
On that note, Ladybug mom to Mara and Board member Andrea has set up a discount program with an outdoor clothing company she recommends.
“Families can sign up under Polarn O. Pyret’s Outdoor school program and get 20% off outdoor gear. They have great outdoor great. I outfitted both my son and Mara in their outdoor gear, high quality stuff!”
Visit Polarn O. Pyret here. A Swedish children’s clothing company that has great outdoor clothes for kids. Below is a link to sign up and get 20% off full priced outdoor gear!
Fill in your information and then the schools information.
The Children’s Garden school – Branching Out Program
12706 Issaquah-Hobart Road
Issaquah, WA 98027