Welcome to the Mousehole!
How lovely to be back at school after break and seeing all around us, the wonderful signs of spring! After snow, heavy rains and floods, each tiny green bud is celebrated! Speaking of the floods, we want to give a huge thank you to Brook’s hubby and future Garden Daddy, Mick Holsbeke, Garden Dads, Nick Nied, Bennett Ashbaugh, Eric Greene, Alum Dad and neighbor, Luke Tarp, for basically, saving the school! With the roads closed down to the school, it was all the staff could do to just wait for news from the ‘front line’. We are so appreciative and were so thrilled to get back to school to see how everything was held together!
Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Pajama Day are all behind us, and what lovely treasures and gifts we all enjoyed as we explored our Valentine envelopes. Thank you for the time and thought that you put into your child’s greetings. We hope you had as much fun making them as we had reading them. Our envelopes were truly overflowing with love.
We are now on to all of the fun events of spring – Leprechaun Day, Egg Hunt, and Art Show. Can you believe how quickly the school year is going by? As I write this, we have staff at the craft store getting materials for Leprechaun Day, staff are scheduling our egg hunt décor, and we are communicating with Art Show chairs about final details for our memorable evening. Watch for sign-up sheets in the gazebo in the next few weeks for set up help, food sign ups and other opportunities to help us out as we plan these events. They are truly life-long memories and we couldn’t put them on without all of your help.
Speaking of a community all coming together to have an amazing impact on the future of the school, our auction “Green for The Garden” is rolling along so well, with procurements and volunteers signing up” This is The Garden’s biggest fundraiser of the year and totally depends on all of our community pitching in and fulfilling their commitment to 100% participation in our efforts. Thank you to those that have signed up to help already and to those that have procured such fun items! We are so appreciative and looking forward to spending a fun evening with our community on May 2nd!
With so much news to report, please read on for class news!
The Bugs have been so busy. I don’t know if we told you or not, but throughout the school year, the bugs have had fun using the big blocks on the circle rug, building a stage and taking turns performing. We have kids stepping up to sing the ABC song, “Shimmer and Shine”, Twinkle Twinkle, and whatever nursery rhyme we are working on. It has been so fun to watch, and yet, at circle time, when we ask the kids to take a stab at our weekly nursery rhyme, the shyness has kicked in and they didn’t want to do it. We started to set up the ‘stage’ at circle time and EVERY child lined up to recite the rhyme! We were blown away! (and we started using the ‘stage’ in the other classes also!)
We have focused on sheep, learning ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ and ‘Little Bo Peep’ and loved watching the little ones ‘wag their tails’ as they recited their nursery rhymes. Now having a full class of 18, we love watching the children bond together as a group. Most of the Bugs know all the names of the kiddos and the teachers and are comfortable saying goodbye to Mom or Dad at the beginning of class. We have so enjoyed watching the Bugs learn how to share, use their words in solving problems and are excited to watch the kids bond together as a group.
We have also done some beautiful art pieces for the Art Show. The staff cannot wait until you see the beautiful display of the year’s art pieces and the dance that the children have learned for the Art Show. They have come a long way since the Winter Celebration!
In family news, Jazz went in a few weeks early to have a new baby brother for Makodyn – Korzen was born earlier this week and Momma and baby and family are doing fine.
Wow, what a wonderful winter we have had with these little crickets! The growth is amazing! We have loved focusing on the sound basket each week and are almost finished with the alphabet. We have looked at Goldilocks and are now focusing on The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
We are so impressed with how much growth the Crickets have done to be able to compare and contrast the different versions of the story that we have shared. They then do a stamper book and act out the tale as well.
During the Cricket year, we truly see the development of friendship skills grow from learning how to make a friend to learning how to share a friend. Several kiddos have talked to a teacher about how their friend has ‘broken up with them’, ‘does not want to be friends with them’, etc. It is all part of the process and the staff works with it all as a natural process. Cara works with the kids at each circle with a curriculum called “second step”, which deals with reading body language, facial expressions and ‘how to check in’ with a friend who looks like they are dealing with some emotions. The Crickets are doing great, learning how to check in, how to read faces and body language and how to react and help our friends as they deal with emotions.
We have done some very fun art projects for the Art Show, and have also enjoyed learning about shapes and colors. Ask your Cricket about the difference between circles, squares and rectangles!
Oh my goodness…the World Culture Reports have started. Can you believe it? We started back in December, when Samantha, Donna’s daughter serving in the Peace Corps, did a presentation on Senegal. Anika did a wonderful presentation on Japan and then we had break. Since break, we have learned about Mexico from Sanna and Antarctica from Annalise.
The World Culture Reports are such a rite of passage, but also a huge confidence booster for our Bees. At first, they feel nervous and self-conscious, but after their presentation, they feel empowered and strong. It is so wonderful to watch.
The Bees started the month of February looking at “Where I live”. Starting with ‘in my body’ to in my home, on my street, in my neighborhood, in my city, state, country, continent, planet. They have wonderful books to depict each of these levels of where we live. We will be sending them home after our World Culture Fair.
Working on amazing ‘Honeybee Only’ Art Show pieces continues and we are beginning to learn the dances that will be life long memories for our parents and kiddos at the Art Show on April 9th. Mark your calendars now! It’s gonna be wonderful!
As we begin our spring curriculum, we recognize that our Bees are beginning to experience the emotions of transition. They are excited about the spend the night and graduation, but some of them are feeling blue about the upcoming end of their time at The Garden. This is a natural emotion for 5 and 6 year olds to experience. It is also a hard one to watch for parents. Please let the teachers know and keep us abreast of the emotions that our Bees are feeling. We work with them at circle throughout the year to recognize and understand their emotions.
We have finished letter of the week and sound of the week and are now working on “Spill the Beans” where the kids have so many beans in their cup, ‘spill’ them and make number sentences. They are doing so well at learning the different ways to make a number! (eg. 2+3, 3+2, 1+4, 4+1, 5+0, 0+5)
Since Christmas, we have also been doing music classes once a week in the Movement Room with Miss Melody. An alum parent donated a music curriculum to the school and we enjoy introducing it at this time of the year as we not only learn fundamental ideas of beat, rhythm and pitch, but we also learn about an instrument from around the world in each weekly session