Garden Gazette February 3, 2023

~ Bulletin Board ~

Events, opportunities and resources for our Garden community.

Celebrating Black History Month

The Children’s Garden is proud to celebrate Black History month in thoughtful, age appropriate ways.  Our Curriculum page has examples of how we fold Black History Month into our curriculum and links for further information on talking to children about Black History month, race, or simply how to find more great books.

Families are invited up to our office to check our wonderful collection of books that explore black history, skin color, and stories revolving around black lives.

Please stop in, snuggle up and read some of these wonderful stories!

 

valentines_wood

Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is a special day here at The Garden!  Everyone gets to come to school in their jammies and bring Valentines for each of their classmates!

As in all things Garden, we love the children to have hands on experiences and so encourage children to create their own valentines.
Keep them as simple or as creative as you like.

Each child will have a large personal Valentine envelope that they have been decorating, hanging on the wall along the brick path. Before entering the classroom on the day of your Valentine’s celebration, please help your child ‘mail’ their valentines into each envelope. Please make sure that there is a valentine for each child in the class. There will be envelopes for the staff as well.

This week we sent home a class list with pictures.                                              

 

Children’s Garden Auction 2023

The theme for this year’s auction is 1977! In celebration of the inaugural year of the Garden, we’re throwing it back and boogying down. Get ready to break out your grooviest ‘70s threads and Let’s Party Like It’s 1977!

Get donation forms and information and fundraising details on our Auction page. 

~ Mousehole ~

News, pictures and videos from the classrooms.

Brr! What a cold week! The staff decided to keep the kids moving to keep them warm and spent as much time up in the forest as we could, hiking the trails, climbing the trees and looking for the beautiful ‘ice flowers’ that form on the low underbrush. If you have a chance, look up images of ice flowers online to see examples of this beautiful phenomenon.

This week we entered into a new month, celebrated Groundhog Day, began our Valentine’s Day preparations and had a wonderful time reading and acting out Three Billy Goats Gruff (find a wonderful version of this story to listen to here). In your child’s mail this week, you received a class list as well as class pictures to ‘address’ their valentines. Before class on the day of our celebration, there will be a ‘mailbox’ or decorated envelope for each student hung on the wall outside the movement room, for the greetings to be ‘mailed’. We are excited to see everyone’s handmade valentines! Check your student’s mail for the details on our Valentine’s Day celebrations in each class, as well as pictures and/or names of classmates to ‘address’ their home-made greetings.

The teachers will be using the classes in February to do assessments and gather information for our Parent Teacher Conferences, coming up on March 20, 21 and 22. If you have not signed up yet, please use the sign-up link below to find a timeslot that works for you. If any of the available appointments do not fit your calendar, please talk to a staff member and we will find a way to schedule something.

This afternoon we have an open house for new families interested in applying for enrollment at The Garden in the fall. The majority of the members of our Garden community have come to us by referral of current or alumni families. Thank you so much for that! Your support of our program is amazing!

Read on for Class News:

Ladybugs   

Oh! We have so much fun with our littlest littles! Our Ladybugs are maturing quickly, and we are now able to bring the box of cars out! Woo Hoo! It’s the little things that keep us going! The cars are such a main part of our front room rug play, we typically have playdough or manipulatives on the front yellow table, a tea party going on at the small table in the front room and lots of painting and coloring at the yellow table in the backroom. In the front room, there is also block building, train tracks and animals, and then soft puppets and stuffed animals in the critter corner. Once the children make their way to the back room, they hit the dress up bin, have fun birthday cakes and meals with the play food, or go up in the climbers to be princes and princesses. Some of the Bugs enjoy being Rapunzel and ‘letting down their hair’ so that someone can free them and take them to the magical tea party at the Festival of Lights! This group is really meshing well – the teachers all commented on the playground that they were moving to group play, monster chasing, chase me games and setting up fabulous cafes and restaurants by the mud kitchen.

We started working on “Hey Diddle Diddle” and acted it out. The children took turns being the cat who played the fiddle and the little dog who laughed, the dish and the spoon, as well as the cow and the moon! So cute.

Our preparations for Valentines Day are well under way as the Ladybugs began decorating their ‘mailboxes/pouches’ to hold all their lovely greetings. We are also working on a little take home piece of art for this sweet little season of love.

Next week, we plan on getting back to our “Very Hungry Caterpillar” project, and begin to have our Ladybugs draw their ‘self-portraits’ to help us in our assessments preparing for our Parent Teacher Conferences.

Crickets

The Crickets enjoyed finding ice puddles up in Luna’s Forest and challenging themselves to keep their grip on a very cold ninja course!

We had a visit from Baby Burpee on Monday. Burpee is the puppet who comes to circle to ‘act out’ inappropriate behavior that the teachers might have seen during playtime. We then problem solve with the students on what Burpee is doing, and how they would do things differently, or more appropriate. Monday’s lesson was how to set boundaries with our friends and how to react if those boundaries are crossed. Another puppet was ‘walking’ by Burpee and accidentally bumped Burpee. Baby Burpee inappropriately yelled at the puppet, very loudly, saying “STOP THAT! I DON’T LIKE THAT!” Burpee learned to react less intensely, and we all learned a song about Boundary Setting.

We celebrated Liam’s half birthday on Wednesday and Harper’s birthday circle earlier today. It is so sweet to have our families present at our birthday circles again. Parsley Flakes sure hosts a sweet celebration for each of our kiddos!

We are very happy that Bear returned to class after a long absence of illness, travel and holidays on Wednesday. It felt as if he hadn’t missed a beat as his classmates were all so happy to see him and he enjoyed hanging out with his Cricket Comrade and getting caught up on some projects.

After we finished up our Chicken Little focus last week, we started reading different versions of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”. Our Crickets made stamper books and dictated their own versions of the tale, and we acted out the story as well. Our little company of actors and actresses sure enjoy bringing these tales to life. We’ve heard from some families who say that their student comes home and ‘directs’ their whole family to re-enact the story with their siblings and parents. Have fun trip trapping over the bridge!

We decorated our February calendars and started decorating our Valentine ‘mailboxes’. We’ve got a fun month ahead of us!

Honeybees

It was so fun to kick off our week with a birthday circle for Porter, who completed her 5th trip around the sun on Monday! Porter is one of our ‘magical name changers’. Parsley Flakes, our birthday unicorn, pointed out that before she was born, it was Adelaide and Marek, but after Porter was born, their names changed to Mama and Papa!

Hudson brought in a fun “R” sound basket for the week, and we got almost everyone caught up on their poetry chart. One of our Bee parents suggested dividing our opening circle into two smaller circles once or twice a week, so that everyone has an opportunity to recite their poems. We love this idea and are finding that we do hand out more stars and the students do not have to sit for too long at one time. We are also experimenting with dividing the ‘hive’ into two groups during outdoor play time. This allows us to use our beautiful forest more, and encourages the Bees to break their routines and find new friends to play with. As we speed toward the end of the school year, our goal is to set these kids up for success as they go to a new school in the fall, easily finding ways to make new friends and invite themselves and others to play.

Most of you know that our amazing friend Emily also works at Trader Joes in the mornings. She does most of the artwork at the store and is in charge of the floral department. She lovingly rescues the cut flowers and potted plants that are no longer ‘sellable’ and brings many of them to our school! The kids have been having such a nice time making sweet little bouquets and arrangements to bring home to their loved ones. We hope you have been enjoying them and recognizing their floral arrangement skills! Thank you, Emily!

Wednesday brought us a brand new month and we made our calendars as well as prepared for February 2nd, and made some adorable groundhogs out of potatoes so that they could look for their shadows on Thursday morning! Our Honeybees also started learning about their names this week – What does their name mean, and why did their parents choose that name for them? Do they have any nicknames? One year, we sent home a similar questionnaire to our Honeybee parents, and in the blank after “What does my middle name mean?” the student wrote, “It means I am in trouble!”  :0) We loved hearing each Bee report why they were named what they were named on Thursday.

February is Black History Month, and our Honeybees are preparing their next report on a Black American who inspires their family. Cassie’s mom, Jasmine, who is on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee at Open Window School, kindly reviewed our books, curriculum and themes to help us ensure that we are current and advised us on areas where we could develop further. Thank you so much Jasmine! We are so appreciative of our community! Cassie had fun handing out little notebooks and pencils to celebrate Black History month on Thursday and brought a game in for our students to play. Again, if you have any special skills, family traditions, or unique backgrounds to share, we would love to hear from you!

Another great week is in the books!

Enjoy the weekend!

Ladybugs

Crickets

Honeybees

~ Gratitude Corner ~

We love our community and are so grateful and humbled by the support and love you so generously give! Thank you!

Did you all notice our beautiful seasonal pots out front of the gazebo? Lisa Reinitz, Cricket Cooper’s Grandma, took the adorable winter pots that she designed last Friday and freshened them up, with Cooper’s help, to brighten up the gazebo for this next season! Thanks Lisa!

Cassie’s mom, Jasmine, who is on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee at Open Window School, kindly reviewed our books, curriculum and themes to help us ensure that we are current and advised us on areas where we could develop further. Thank you so much Jasmine!

We are so appreciative of our community!

~ Office Notes~

Honeybee
Parent Teacher Conferences

Monday
March 20 During Class via Zoom
(No school for Honeybees this day)

Ladybug
Parent Teacher Conferences

Tuesday
March 21 During Class via Zoom

(No school for Ladybugs this day)

Cricket
Parent Teacher Conferences

Wednesday
March 22 During Class via Zoom
(No school for Crickets this day)

~ Upcoming Events~

Please mark your calendar with these important dates.

Month at a glance

January

January 16- No School for students in observation on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 21 – Auction Kickoff Party

January 23 – Lunar New Year Celebration Crickets and Honeybees

January 24 – Lunar New Year Celebration Ladybugs

January 27 – In-house priority registration due

February

February 2 – Groundhog Day

February 13 – Valentine’s Day Cricket Class

February 14 – Valentine’s Day Ladybug and Honeybee classes

February 20-24 Second Winter Break. No School for students

February 27 – Black, white and zebra stipes! Exploring color contrast in the Honeybee and Cricket classes.

February 28 – Black, white and zebra stipes! Exploring color contrast in the Ladybug class.

March

March 1 – Conference Planning. No School for Students

March 16 – Leprechaun Day. A You and Me day in the Ladybug and Honeybee classes.

March 16 – Leprechaun Day. A You and Me day in the Cricket class.

March 20 – Honeybee Conferences during class time. No School for Honeybees

March 21 – Ladybug Conferences during class time. No School for Ladybugs

March 22 – Cricket Conferences during class time. No school for Crickets

Daily Class Schedule

Ladybugs
Tuesday and Thursday  8:15 – 10:45 am

Crickets
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:15 – 11:15 am

Honeybees
Monday-Thursday 12:15 – 3:15 pm

~ Quick Links~

Quick access to informative Garden pages.

Health and Wellness

What are the protocols for a stuffy nose?

 Please view our Health and Wellness page for our health safety practices and protocols for the 2022-2023 school year.  

Curriculum

Explore our Curriculum page for the foundational elements of our programming to see how we integrate social skills, literacy and math readiness, science, cultural enrichment, and the creative arts in an emergent, play-based environment in our unique natural setting.

Inclement Weather Gazette-01

Closure and Inclement Weather

With winter weather upon us, you can view our Closure and Inclement Weather page for policy information and pick up a hard copy from the bulletin board. 

While we monitor conditions at the school, please note our families live across a broad geographical area and conditions in your neighborhood or on your route to/from school may differ from that at The Children’s Garden. If you are concerned that it is not safe for you or your child to be on the road, please do not hesitate to stay home.