Miss Kristin’s March News

i May 2nd No Comments by

Dear families, 

Happy March! This month we welcome spring, growth, and embrace each other with luck and love. Our country of study this month will be Ireland. We will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a special treat and seasonal art project on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

Thank you for a month of February filled with kindness. We had so much fun talking about love and how we can spread love and kindness to one another. The students had a blast using all the fun Valentine’s Day materials in the classroom on their free art projects. They also loved making a card for someone they love at home as well as passing out Valentine’s to one another. 

Our building study was a lot of fun. We branched out from trees and items made of wood, to buildings and types of structures included in a community! We built our own community with blocks and figures in our block area and pretended to be builders in dramatic play using play tools! 

February was the Chinese New Year and our school study of China. The kids enjoyed the dragons associated with Chinese culture very much. We made our own dragons using materials like pipe cleaners, felt, feathers and a paper towel roll. The students tried their hand at making stars or found stars in different resource areas of the classroom to complete their flag. Some of the kids used two triangles; one upside down and one right side up to make a star. This was the completion of a six-pointed star. However, I was very impressed with the connection from our previous study of Israel and the six-pointed star or Star of David that appears on that flag. The students independently found other choices for the stars on the flags of China by accessing the art area. Some ideas were stickers and yellow paper. 

We had fun singing songs like “All you Need is Love”, “Light a Candle for Peace” and “I Love You, You Love Me” 

Thank you so much for an awesome month together.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr

Best, 

Miss Kristin 

Miss Heather’s & Miss Kathy’s February News

i May 2nd No Comments by

Hello preschool families! Well we have had another fun filled month with your kids! We visited Israel this month. Miss Kristin gave a wonderful presentation on the country. We learned about the Dead Sea, how nothing can live in the water because of the high salt content. But it also enables people to float in the water more easily because of it! Also, people come from all over the world to bathe in the water and spread the mineral filled mud on their bodies! The mud is healing to the skin! We also learned about the different cities, what they eat and how they buy their foods in open markets. We made the Israeli flags and did a fun science experiment to see if some tacks would float in water that had different products added to the water including sugar, salt, cornstarch, and our controlled variable with nothing added to the water. We stirred up all the glasses and added the thumbtacks. And guess what? They all sunk! We were guessing that the tacks in the salt would float since adding the salt makes the water denser, but it didn’t work for us. This is why we love to experiment, so we can find out what happens! 

Another fun project we worked on was our After Christmas Tree! We first read the book and then we made different kinds of edible ornaments for our animal friends to eat, and they love them! Each time we add new ornaments, the next morning they would be gone! We plan on redecorating as often as we can! 

We also read “The Mitten” and “The Hat”, both written by Jan Brett. We were able to act out both books using a real mitten and hat and toy animals that we have in the classroom. 

We practiced putting on her snow clothes after reading “Thomas’ Snowsuit” by Robert Munsch. It’s a very silly story! Your kids are getting very good at getting their snow clothes on all by themselves! Try practicing at home, including zippering! 

Friday afternoons we have what we like to call, Game Day Friday. Miss Heather and Miss Kathy each pick out a board game, we divide into two groups, play the game, then we switch if we have enough time. So much fun! Some of the games we have played so far are …a few different memory games, color/shape bingo, Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. The kids are having a great time! 

All in all we had a very successful month! Next month we will be visiting China and learning a lot about their New Year celebration! We will also be celebrating Valentine’s Day! Look for a list of your child’s classmates! This is a really great time for them to practice writing their names even if it’s only their first letter! We will also be talking about Groundhog’s Day and February is National Dental Month, so I’ll be talking a lot about how to keep our teeth healthy! 

Please keep those snow clothes coming including snow pants, even when there is no snow. They really help to keep us warm and dry! And if your child wears their snow boots to school, please make sure they have shoes or sneakers to change into as they are much easier for your child to navigate the classroom in. 

Thank you for all you do to support us!

Miss Heather and Miss Kathy

Miss Dawn’s February News

i May 2nd No Comments by

Hello UPK Families,

Happy Valentine’s Day!  This month is all about love.  I want you to know that I love and appreciate all of you.  Thank you so much for your support and for sharing your lovable children with me.  It is my honor to serve them.

As you know, we needed to go virtual for the entire month of January.  While this is not our preferred style of teaching, we wanted to err on the side of caution to keep everyone we love safe.  Thank you for understanding.

During the month of January we were very busy.  We began our Creative Curriculum unit on clothes.  The children seemed to thoroughly enjoy learning about different types of clothes and their features such as buttons, zippers, pockets, hoods, and collars.  We had a wonderful time together reading such favorite stories as The Mitten, The Hat, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Three Little Bears.  

During the month of January we also studied the country of Israel.  The children enjoyed learning about some animals that live in the Negev Desert such as viper snakes and camels.  They also enjoyed learning about the Dead Sea and created their very own Dead Sea murals using blue glitter paint and table salt.  We also had some fun with salt water play.  Thank you Miss Kristen for posting your amazing and informative Powerpoint Presentation on Israel.

Last month we also discussed Martin Luther King, Jr. and discussed what it means to have a dream and what it means to be kind.  We talked about feelings and read the story titled Today I Feel Silly and other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis.  We also continued our study of the alphabet and numbers and practiced writing the capital letters D, P, B, R and the numbers 6, 7, 8, and 9.

I am hoping that we will be back in the classroom for the month of February.  I am so grateful for all of your help and understanding during these difficult times.  I’m sure it has not been easy.  We appreciate your support.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.  Your concerns are my concerns.  

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – Which is everything.” – Katharine Hepburn

With love,

Miss Dawn and the UPK Team

Miss Kristin’s February News

i May 2nd No Comments by

Hello families !

We welcome February with love and hope as we continue to learn and grow together. The New Year is going great! We have been virtual for the month of January. We all focused on staying connected, staying healthy, and staying excited about learning. We remained hopeful and in high spirits. We are happy to be together face-to-face laughing and playing soon. We had a lot of fun online and all did our very best this past month. Thank you all for supporting your child’s online learning and for your kindness and encouragement.

We learned all about forest animals we are familiar with and see in our environment. We learned how these animals behave during winter. Students soared through this study as friends were using big words like hibernation and adapt. The children maintained a broad understanding of forest animals in winter, while focusing and reflecting on their favorite of the animals. Students remained inquisitive and excited as they asked focus questions about animals they colored in their hibernation book; “How does a bee hibernate?” and “Where do bats hibernate?” were just a few inquiries from our half-day class.  I am so proud of everyone!

We gathered information all about trees! We had fun with pretend stories like talking letters in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We looked at pictures of trees we are familiar with in our environment and discussed why trees are important. They make paper, help us breath and are a resource for furniture and warmth!

We also studied the Israel Flag and the Dead Sea as part of our country of the month unit. We learned all about the salt that inhibits the beautiful Sea and how that salt prevents any fish or plants from making a home there. We talked about the power of the salt and how it can crystalize items that soak in it. The students enjoyed seeing pictures of the extra salted sea and the mineral mud that people travel near and far to spread on their skin.

We look forward to another exciting and adventures month of learning together. Thank you all for sharing your blessings with us.

Thank You,

Miss Kristin

“The time is always right to do what is right”

-Martin Luther King JR

Miss Heather & Miss Kathy’s January News

i Jan 12th No Comments by

Hello preschool families! 

We have had a fun filled month working with your kids! December was a whirlwind month! 

We visited Holland this month and had so much fun learning about the canals, tulips and windmills. We were even able to get a taste of Holland by trying Dutch cookies and Gouda cheese. Yum! Thank you Miss Kathy for teaching us about Holland.

We also spent some time this month talking about woodland animals and how they prepare for winter. The children discovered which animals hibernate, migrate or adapt. Your kids can tell you all about it! We did an awesome science experiment using lard in a baggie and ice cubes to show how animals fatten up for winter in order to stay warm! It works! The kids also created a bear cave in the classroom to hibernate. They really enjoy discovering all the animals that live around us!

We were excited to talk about all the holidays and traditions that are in December. We had two guest speakers this month!

Miss Linda shared her family’s tradition of celebrating Saint Nicholas Day, another Dutch tradition. She told the children a felt board story and while we were discussing how we could be kind to each other, Saint Nicholas put trinkets into their shoes that were left in the hallway, as the legend goes. Thank you Miss Linda!

Asa’s dad Ariel, taught us about Hanukkah and the traditions that he shares with his family. We lit the candles on the menorah as Ariel sang the prayers. We played with dreidels and ate some delicious latkes!! Thank you Ariel we all had so much fun!

The kids really loved making ornaments for our Christmas tree in school. We also painted a giant menorah to hang in our window. There were lots of opportunities to explore holiday themed water trays and slime. There was so much to do to prepare for the holidays!

Please remember we go outside twice a day even in the snow and cold weather! We ask that you send snow pants, boots, waterproof mittens, hats, etc. We are happy to keep these items at school to make your drop off easier. Please make sure your child’s clothing is labeled to avoid confusion. It’s important that we go outside and having clothes to keep us warm and dry make it so much more fun! Thank you! 

Hope you all enjoyed your holidays at home. We wish you a healthy, happy New Year!

Miss Kathy and Miss Heather

Miss Dawn’s January News

i Jan 12th No Comments by

Hello UPK Families,

Happy New Year!  May many blessings be upon you and your families in this New Year!  I am so excited for this new beginning.

As you know, the UPK classes went virtual for most of the month of December.  Thank you so much for doing your part to encourage your children to be present for all of our Zoom calls.  I know it wasn’t easy but the children did a fantastic job!  I am so proud of them and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them on the calls each day.  They are truly a blessing in my life.

During the month of December, we began our Creative Curriculum unit study on balls.  The children showed great interest as we examined many different kinds of balls.  We discussed how they are the same and how they are different.  We discovered that balls are made of different materials and are made for different purposes.  We learned that some balls are solid and some balls are hollow. The children enjoyed sharing their balls virtually and playing ball with their families and pets at home.  We will continue our ball study this month when we get back to the classroom mid month. 

This December we also studied the holidays.  We read books, such as, “What is Hanukkah” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  The children learned about some of the yummy foods eaten during Hanukkah such as, potato latkes and jelly donuts.  They learned about the miracle of Hanukkah, the menorah, and the dreidel game.  The children also watched a video of one of our First Steps dads as he shared how his family celebrates Hanukkah.  Thank you, Abba, for an exciting and educational presentation. We also made Gingerbread people and created our very own pom pom filled Christmas balls.  

Last month, we also learned about the country of Holland.  The children watched videos about this beautiful country and made their very own flags of Holland.  Miss Kathy created a wonderful presentation of Holland and posted the video on our Google Classroom.  Thank you Miss Kathy for sharing your knowledge of this amazing country with us.

In December, we also continued our Handwriting Without Tears program.  The children focused on writing the letters G and S and the sound these letters make.  We also practiced writing the number four and learned its value.  As always, the children did a fantastic job!  

As we go virtual for the first two weeks in January, I want to thank you in advance for your continued support and encouragement.  I am always here to answer any questions you may have.  Please reach out to me if there is anything I can do to support you at home.

Once again, I’d like to wish you all a happy new year as we continue to navigate together through these unprecedented times.

With love,

Miss Dawn

Miss Kristen’s January News

Hello first steps Friends and families. I hope you all had a nice holiday. We welcome the month of January with warmth and joy in our hearts.

As we know, we went virtual for some time in December. I want to thank all families and guardians for the support and encouragement you provided at each zoom meeting. Remote learning is not easy and can be a process. We all did a great job!

In the month of December we started our unit on balls. Studying balls was quite fun. We did things like examine different types of balls; talked about how some balls are not round, and even got to see Miss Kristin juggle.

December was so much fun as we studied the holidays. The students enjoyed learning about different types of holiday celebrations. We learned all about Hanukkah and how long it lasts. We discovered the menorah and dreidels both on zoom and in person! We even learned the song, Dreidel Dreidel! We talked all about Christmas and the blessings of love and family. We read “The Christmas Tree” by Barbara and Lynne Lockhart. We also read “Snowmen at Christmas” by Catalan Buehner and of course “The Gingerbread Man”! Following the gingerbread man students got to make their very own ginger person. We welcomed many holiday art projects and pictures. The students had a blast expressing their excitement as the holidays neared.

Holland was our country of study for December. The students enjoyed a fun and informative presentation by Miss Kathy. Thank you Miss Kathy. In talking all about the holidays, the students learned about St. Nicholas and how children in Holland get gifts around this time of year. Thank you Miss Linda! We have had a fun and magical time here at first steps in December.

We are so excited to continue learning and growing together in the New Year.

All my best,

Miss Kristin

Miss Dawn’s December News

Hello UPK families,

Can you believe it’s December already?  The holiday season is upon us!!  I hope you all had a very warm and loving Thanksgiving Day spent with loved ones and friends.  December is sure to be festive, fun, and filled with holiday cheer!

Our country of study this month is Holland.  Miss Kathy will lead us through this study as she shares her knowledge and love of this beautiful country with us.  We look forward to her PowerPoint presentation and a yummy treat that is traditionally eaten in Holland.  Thank you, Miss Kathy, for bringing this amazing country to life for us.

This month we will also learn about St. Nick, Christmas, and Hanukkah. The children will learn how to play the dreidel game and learn the significance of the Hanukkah menorah.  One of our First Steps parents will be a guest speaker to teach us all about Hanukkah and how he celebrates this holiday with his family.  We are very much looking forward to his visit here at the school.

Our holiday party is scheduled for December 22nd.  Unfortunately, due to Covid19, we will not be able to have parents attend this year.  Please know that we will be thinking of you and making this event as exciting for the children as possible.  Who knows, we may even get a visit from old St. Nick himself. We also plan to sing lots of holidays songs with the children and we may even go caroling inside our school building.  That should be lots of fun!

This month we will also be doing a mini unit on balls.  We will be asking investigative questions such as:  What do know about balls?  Do all balls bounce?  Do all balls roll?  Who uses balls?  What are balls made of?  This study should be lots of fun for the children, as we all know how much they love balls.  

As the colder weather approaches, please remember to pack mittens, a hat, snow pants and boots for the children. We love to play outside, especially in the snow.  The cold weather is always more enjoyable when we are dressed for it.

Happy Holidays to all of you and thank you so much for sharing your children with us!!!

With love,

Miss Dawn and the UPK Team

Miss Kristin’s December News

Happy December Families 

We welcome the holiday season!
We are having so much fun learning and growing together. December is a time of love and togetherness. We want to share that with one another by having a holiday celebration! This will take place the morning of December 22nd. The children will sing songs with one another, make decorations and have yummy treats. We apologize that parents and guardians cannot attend and this will just be a staff and student get together. We are so excited to share the love we practice everyday in the classroom and emulate through one another here at First Steps. So pictures will be a part of the event and presented to all of you via online networks like email or First Steps Facebook page.

December will be so much fun! Our studies this month are the holidays, forest animals, balls, and the country of Holland. This month the children will be doing lots of holiday artwork, talking about the gifts we give by just being ourselves, and even preparing a gift to bring home! 

We will have two guest speakers in December! Miss Linda will be coming in to share about St.Nicholas and Airel Bailey Asa’s father; will be coming to teach about Hanukkah! 

Thank you for being you,

Peace and love, 

Miss Kristin 

Friendly Reminders: 

The excitement of snow is headed our way! New exploratory play and temperature lows will be upon us. Please make sure your child has a pair of snow pants to wear at school. Please also make sure your child is bringing gloves, a hat, and snow boots if there is snow on the ground.

Miss Dawn’s November News

Hello UPK families,

Welcome to the month of November.  This month is sure to be exciting and educational for your children.  

As we celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we will focus on what it means to have a truly grateful heart.  The children will reflect on all of the special things and people in their lives that they appreciate and are grateful for. This study will include a mini unit on families and all the aspects of family life that make them so unique and special.  We will also include some history of the first Thanksgiving as it was celebrated, by the Pilgrims and Native Americans.  We will even have our very own special Thanksgiving snack to celebrate this holiday together.

Our country of study this month is Japan.  One of our First Steps’ parents will lead us through this study as she shares her knowledge and love of this beautiful country with us.  I look forward to learning more about Japan and the Japanese people.  Their rich culture and traditions are sure to surprise and delight the children and adults alike.

This month we will also take a close look at how animals prepare for winter.  We will discuss migration and hibernation.  The children are always fascinated by this study as they discover the intelligence and instincts of the animal kingdom.  Our study will include how bears and birds make adjustments in order to survive the cold winter.  

As the weather changes, please be sure to dress your child in layers.  We spend a lot of time out on the playground and proper attire certainly makes our playtime more enjoyable.

Happy Thanksgiving!!  I am grateful to share my life with your children!!

Sincerely,

Miss Dawn and the UPK Team