Garden Gazette October 8, 2021

Bulletin Board

Curriculum Corner

To start off our monthly curriculum corner we would like to focus on your child’s foundational work of attachment and bonding at Preschool.

Click the Curriculum button to read this month’s installment of Curriculum Corner.

Picture Day 

Crickets – Wednesday October 13

Ladybugs and Honeybees -Thursday, October 14

Our photographer Nigel will send out links to your password protected gallery where you can download your full resolution digital image. Click the form button to fill out and print your picture order form and bring it along with your cash or check payment on or before picture day

COVID-19 Testing Policy Update

As we enter cold and flu season, The Garden has updated our COVID-19 testing policies to match the current standards set by Public Health Seattle King County.  We recommend that families utilize the COVID-19 Return to Work/School Flow Chart when assessing their child’s symptoms and the need for appropriate testing/quarantine protocols.  PCR (molecular) testing is still required for all travel/potentially asymptomatic cases, but children actively presenting COVID-19 symptoms may utilize a rapid (antigen) test to determine if they are eligible to return to school after 24 hours with a negative test/reduction in symptoms.  Please note that it is always standard Garden policy that children with an active runny nose requiring tissues should be kept home from school.  You can find further details, including the return to school flow chart, on our Health & Wellness webpage.

From the Mousehole

We have had such an eventful week, here at The Children’s Garden! From Apples to Salmon to Sing-a-longs to Birthdays and Substitute Teachers, and different weather every day!

We hope you all enjoyed our Apple Sing-A-Long Celebration, we had such a great time learning our songs and poems for you, and fun making our apple art. The Honeybee kids enjoyed measuring and funneling the ingredients into the jars of Apple Bread mix for every Garden student. We hope you have the opportunity to bake some this weekend. Can you just imagine the smell that will fill your kitchen in the autumn weather? And, after all, what is an apple celebration without food?! (Please know that if you have let us know that your child is gluten or wheat sensitive, the staff substituted a 1 to 1 gluten free mix to their Apple Bread ingredients)

Larry the Fish Man, our dear friend who is a Hatchery “Salmbassador”, and alum Garden Dad, visited our Cricket and Honeybee class this week with a male and female adult salmon. Larry showed us how the female lays the eggs, and the male fertilizes them. The children had the opportunity to touch the eggs and/or the salmon. We sang our “I am a Salmon” song for Larry and at the end of the day, he took the salmon up the creek to dispose of them. Larry placed the salmon right in front of the Game Camera that David has set up back there, and we will check on the salmon throughout the next several days to see what happens to them!

Thank you to all three classes for the lovely birthday wishes and treats. The Garden is such a lovely place to celebrate a special day. Your children sang for me, made birthday crowns for me, beautiful cards and artwork, and I can’t count how many cakes I sampled this week, made in the mud kitchen with sand, mud, wood chip candles and love. :0)

Our rain barrel was installed this week! Thanks to Chris Kovac, teacher Cara’s husband, for building the sturdy base for us, and for David Edfeldt for hooking it up to the downspout on the playground. The children had such fun using the spigot to make the water fill up their buckets and pots for the mud kitchen. All of that heavy rain that came down this week, was used up in just one day! These children are now wanting more rain to fall, so that they can continue their water play and exploration.

With the colder weather in the early mornings, we are hearing a few of the children talking about cold hands. Some of you have sent the disposable hand warmers in backpacks and thank you all for including mittens and waterproof mittens. Teacher Donna would like to recommend the “Ocoopa Hand Warmers”. They are rechargeable, they lasted me the entire year last year and are working again this year. You only need one and it holds it’s charge for the whole day. I just plug it in at the end of the day and it is ready to go again in the morning. They have a loop handle on them that can be looped through a zipper pull, and I have my name written in sharpie on the warmer. They come in a variety of colors, and last year, when we were eating our family meals outside, I put one in each of my kids’ Christmas stockings. There are also other brands out there that are similar, but the Ocoopa is the only one that I have had experience with. Check them out. I found mine on Amazon.

Thank you, Ellie and Cari, for filling in for Teacher Donna as I visited my family back east in Western New York. I celebrated my sister’s 75th birthday, and had not seen her for 3 years, celebrated my brother moving into his new log home that he built himself, and had not seen him for 2 years, and got to see my oldest son, who lives in Toronto, and I had not seen him since Christmas of 2019. It was such a wonderful long weekend.

Next week, we have our Teacher Check ins, 20 minutes with a teacher to touch base about your student, how things are going for them, how things are going for you, and discuss any questions or concerns that you might have. If the sign ups did not offer  a time that works for you, please reach out to your teacher to set up another time.

Have a great weekend and read on for Class News.

Ladybugs

The ladybugs had a fun week learning apple songs, making their apple books and playing in the rain! We all made salt dough apples and the children decided if they wanted a pipe cleaner worm or caterpillar crawling through their creation. We think they are pretty adorable.

Luna’s group got plenty of rain on Tuesday, and had to be extra creative with our deck under construction. Cara and Thea handled it seamlessly, and they managed to have a birthday circle for Eddy as well! Luna’s Bugs also fed blueberries to the chickens.

Belleamie’s Bugs did a great job on Tuesday of changing out of their wet coats and shoes to switch into their indoor shoes.

We hope you enjoyed their sing-a-long! Their first performance in front of parents! Aren’t they a show in themselves, even those that are not singing!?  We sure love watching their confidence and comfort level grow. We know they would all love to help you make that Apple Bread and make your whole house smell delicious!

Crickets

Oh! My, these Crickets were hopping this week!

Elliot and Ember brought in the “C” sound baskets, and Mara and Hudson brought in the “3” number baskets. We hope you have fun helping your children search your home for the items for these baskets. This activity really helps them learn the connection between the ‘symbol’ of the letter or the number, and what it actually represents. We are just introducing the letters and their sounds to the Cricket class. Several of them are recognizing letters and letter names, while others will tell us how to spell their name, while others are still learning the difference between a number and a letter. All stages are ‘developmentally appropriate’. Our goal is to have them Kindergarten ready by the end of the Honeybee year. Each of these activities is just one of the beginning steps along this journey.

Just like we did apple stamping last week, this week we did salmon stamping! We will be sending those home next week. The children painted a beautiful background and using a stuffed animal salmon as a guide, painted a rubber salmon in similar color patterns (or not! :0) and used that as a ‘stamp’ to place on their papers. They really turned out pretty and we can’t wait for you to see them.

To prep for our visit from Larry the Fish Man, we learned a salmon song and acted out the life cycle of the salmon. Our crickets chose to be a salmon, a predator (duck, eagle, bear, raccoon, orca, sea lion, human, or audience) as they acted out the trip downstream, growing up in the ocean, and then the trip back upstream. Ask your child which role they chose. When Larry came on Wednesday, they were eager to share their knowledge to our Salmbassador alum Dad. Several of the kids were eager to touch the salmon and the eggs, while others were comfortable just sitting back and learning. Seeing Larry for the first time was a comfort for a lot of the Crickets who had envisioned some sort of Half human, half Fish sort of creature that was coming to their school!

The Crickets were the first class to enjoy the rain barrel installation, and they enjoyed it thoroughly! Along with the rainy weather, they may have come home a little wetter than usual. We could not keep them away from the ‘assembly line’ of collecting water, transferring it to the mud kitchen and sand box, to their amazing concoctions. This is such a lovely addition to our playground. We love to watch the kids experiment with ‘sink or float’, using language to describe half full, empty, or full, and learning how to balance a full bucket of water while walking, not to mention the strategy of taking turns, turning off the water when not using it, and cooperative and imaginative play and group play. Make sure you ask your kiddo if they played with the ‘spigot’ and if they turn it off when they are not using it.

We hope you enjoyed their sing-a-long! We loved learning our apple songs and practicing standing up together to sing them. We sure love watching their confidence and comfort level grow. We know they would all love to help you make that Apple Bread and make your whole house smell delicious!

Honeybees

What a fun and celebratory week we had with our super Bees!

Isabella and Aadit brought in such fun items for our “C” sound basket, and Miles and Rico were so creative in finding “3” similar items for the number basket. We hope you have fun helping your children search your home for the items for these baskets. This activity really helps them learn the connection between the ‘symbol’ of the letter or the number, and what it actually represents. We do this in several ways during the Honeybee year. We play “Spill the Beans” and count items, we learn patterns while looking at our daily calendar, and we have students count those present each day at circle and make math sentences to represent how many are absent for our numbers and we do name writing practice, letter writing practice and sounding out simple words and phrases throughout the week. Our goal is to have them Kindergarten ready by the end of the Honeybee year. Each of these activities is just one of the many steps along this journey.

We celebrated Aadit’s birthday this week! Our very first Honeybee birthday! The Bee Birthday circle is such a special celebration. Each classmate makes a special gift for the birthday friend and is something to be treasured for years to come. We will make a point of ensuring that each child is celebrated in their Honeybee year, if not around their actual birthday, then a half birthday will be celebrated. Happy birthday to Aadit, my birthday ‘twin’!

Oh, my goodness, these Honeybees were ready to knock Larry’s socks off with their knowledge of the salmon and the salmon life cycle. They sang the “I am a Salmon” song (which, because they already know it, and It’s the poem for next week, they can easily earn a star on the poetry chart!) By the way, their star chart is so full! They are doing a great job standing up and reciting their poems – but, back to the salmon! Our Bees all took turns touching the fish that Larry brought and ‘squeezing’ the eggs out of the female. We discussed the differences between the male and female fish, (males are more colorful, like birds, males have huge teeth to compete with other males for the females), and at the end of the lesson, Larry took the fish upstream with the Luna Bees to deposit them by the game camera so that we can monitor the carcasses and see what happens to them! So fun that David has a game camera installed that will video any movement or activity. On Thursday, both cohorts checked on the salmon and noticed that although one salmon had been dragged out of the water, no real ‘feasting’ had begun. David will check the video over the weekend, and we will share any activity with the class. We will continue to learn about the salmon these next few days – the names of the fins, completing our fish prints, and acting out the life cycle of these amazing fish. The Bees had fun stamping the life cycle of the salmon on their poem this week and we look forward to acting out of the life cycle next week to complete our study of salmon. We will also be learning about the parts of a salmon and the names of all of those fins!

When it comes to apples, we love to celebrate this favorite fruit of fall. Didn’t our kiddos do great with their Apple Sing-A Long celebration of our wonderful Washington fruit? We loved learning our songs and practicing them during our class circles. We hope you enjoyed our ‘concert’ and appreciated our kiddos standing in front of adults that they do not know and singing their hearts out. This is such a moment in time, and we want you to appreciate this as a step in the direction of our kids being confident and comfortable, presenting what they know and enjoying doing so.  Hopefully, you will all have an opportunity to make the apple bread this weekend. Won’t that smell wonderful in your kitchen on a crisp fall weekend? Your honeybees had fun measuring and funneling the ingredients into the jars for all of the Garden students. Have fun and let us know how it turned out!

Thank you so much for the beautiful Birthday book! These are the memories that we teachers treasure forever. You are all so thoughtful and kind. Thais, my birthday mask was a highlight that I wore all day, even when my husband took me out to dinner. Thank you dear ones.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Ladybugs

Crickets

Honeybees

Curriculum Corner

To start off our monthly curriculum corner we would like to focus on your child’s foundational work of attachment and bonding at Preschool. 

For many children, The time spent at The Children’s Garden School is their first time away from parents or family. This is a huge step for both children and families. 

It seems counter-intuitive to think attachment is something that children are learning as they go off to school, but in fact it is a foundational lesson essential to a confident child. The ability to tenderly say goodbye to their loving caretater, and trust that they will be just fine, and in fact able to have a great time exploring, learning, making new bonds gives children the confidence to individuate, and start their personal educational journey!

Larger picture, secure attachment builds optimistic attitude toward life, self confidence, and greater resilience to stress, stronger immune responses, and refines brain development creating nuro-pathways that lay strong the foundation for learning. 

Here are some ways the teachers at The Children’s Garden nourish bonds and attachment with our preschoolers: 

  • We understand that like a muscle, strong attachment is something that is built over time, it takes hard (and sometimes uncomfortable) work. It takes thoughtful care to build up, and maintenance to tend. 
  • We provide a safe, loving atmosphere where children are seen as the unique person they are. We actively work with with the individual child to cultivate mutual respect. 
  •  We explore and enjoy the world together in simple ways — reading and singing together, exploring the forest trails, or playing together on the playground.
  • We include our students in everyday jobs and chores. They enjoy a great sense of belonging when taught how to make a positive contribution. We Include ways that are scaled to a child’s age and abilities.
  • We are sensitive to your child’s stage of development. We nurture emerging skills with toys, games and interactions geared to your child’s abilities. The success children experience during play builds confidence and self-esteem.
  • We celebrate and applaud preschoolers’ growing attachments to others — classmates, siblings, teachers, and caretakers. To feel secure in love, preschoolers need to know we aren’t jealous or resentful of their attachments with others. 
  • The consistency of our core staff, is rare indeed, and the bonds we are able to build over our three years of programming is powerful. By the time of graduation, our staff is often in tears, as we see your children as part of our own, and we too become attached. 

To view an overview of The Children’s Garden curriculum as well as each Curriculum Corner installment view our curriculum page here.

Mark Your Calendar

Please mark you calendars with the following important dates. You can view these dates and more at our online School Calendar. Visit often as we update our calendar regularly as our special events get scheduled.

Teacher Check-In
Crickets and Honeybees October 11-13
Ladybugs October 12 (No School for Ladybugs)

Picture Day
Crickets – Wednesday October 13
Ladybugs and Honeybees -Thursday, October 14

Daily Class Schedule
We start the week off with our Cricket class on Monday morning, Honeybees Monday afternoon and Ladybugs on Tuesday morning. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to check in and get hands washed.
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 p

Health and Wellness

Is your child: Traveling out of state? Have a runny nose?

We have adjusted our programming and incorporated additional health safety practices and protocols to directly address the continued health concerns associated with COVID-19. Please view our Health and Wellness page for our health safety practices and protocols for the 2021-22 academic year.  

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