A Monthly Newsletter from the Islesboro Preschool
Notes from the Director
with Lexy Martinez
November flew by in a whirlwind of half days, holidays and colds. But it was also about rooting down and finding ways to feel and express gratitude. We spent the month reading books like All the World and My Heart Fills With Happiness which helped to draw attention to the many small things that can make us happy each day. We took time to reflect and expressed our gratitude on leaf cut-outs. With the help of teachers, everyone added their leaves to our gratitude tree, which has lived in the front hall this month. It really is a beautiful sight!
The kids engaged in many wonderful seasonal activities this month–from preparing their own snacks once a week to printing with apples. They all worked diligently on their lanterns and are still very excited to show them off. Since we had to postpone the Lantern Walk, we will be combining it with some holiday caroling on December 8th at 3:30. We’ll meet here at the school, walk together to Town Office and Boardman Cottage, then return here for hot cider. We hope you can join us!
The theme this month is gifts. Of course, we’ll be making some handmade gifts here at school (you’ll have to wait and see what they are). We will also be exploring the concept of gifts as they relate to the talents, flairs and strengths that each of us brings to the world–the family, the classroom and the community. Take a moment to reflect on and acknowledge your child’s special set of gifts, whether it’s a sense of humor, their energy, or the intensity of their feelings. And please, take a moment to acknowledge your contributions. Let’s honor these gifts.
Melissa Olson will be coming 12/1 to deliver our December books and read a few stories. Miss Chloe will be visiting 12/8 to explore snow and ice storms. We will continue to meet outside for these events as weather allows. Otherwise, we will connect virtually or explore the idea of a distanced indoor meeting.
This year we will be doing a holiday book swap. Each child should bring in a book in good condition–it can be winter or holiday-themed (or not). Please don’t spend more than $10 and make sure the book is wrapped and has a tag with the gift-giver’s name on it. Each child will choose a book from under the tree during our Holiday Party on December 16th. We know each child will be watching excitedly to see who chooses their book and have fun unwrapping a gift at school!
Winter is the time for dreaming and planning! At our last board meeting, we formed a playground committee (and will continue to add new members). Now it’s time to make a vision. Bonnie Mackenzie had the wonderful idea of asking for parent input on playground improvements. If you have any ideas, come across inspiring images or relevant articles, please email to email@example.com. They will be included in a binder and referred to in the planning process.
with Jen Bailey & Morgan Landry
Making the lanterns was the highlight of the month in this classroom. The autumn spice play dough was a fun sensory experience that also provided some strengthening for the hands to get them ready for practicing their letters. This month we introduced the letters I, U and C. The children made islands, unicorns and cats and formed the letters on dry erase boards and chalkboards. They got even more fine motor practice creating their gratitude leaves (punching holes, threading pipe cleaners and hanging on the tree) and writing a thank you card for the Sewing Circle for their donation of children’s masks.
with Lindsey Govoni & Ginny Drew
This month, we read about being thankful for our families, our friends, and the things around us. The kids colored leaves for our gratitude tree and worked hard to thread pipe cleaners through small holes before hanging them on the branches of the tree. So much concentration! We focused crafts and activities on helping the little ones master some fine motor skills (grasping small objects, pouring, scooping, squeezing). We even introduced a new weekly music activity with scarves and shakers–a new classroom fave! They have all come such a long way this month and we are very proud of them!
Bringing It Home
There are so many winter activities you can do at home with your little ones to support their learning. These activities are good for fine and gross motor coordination, provide calming sensory input and, most importantly, are a great way to connect as a family. Here are a few ideas:
- Go for a winter walk together. Notice the sights and sounds around you.
- Make a garland. Use a large blunt embroidery needle to thread cranberries, popcorn or orange slices
- Set up a winter sensory bin with water, pine sprigs, cranberries, measuring spoons, tongs, whatever you have in the kitchen. Put the items in a baking dish or pot and set on a baking sheet to contain the inevitable spill.
- Make gift tags together: color, cut, hole punch, thread yarn, tape. Older kids can write names.
- Sing holiday songs and do finger plays together. Here are a few to inspire you: https://childhood101.com/12-christmas-action-songs-finger-plays-for-preschool-kindergarten/
- Bake a holiday treat together. A great way to work on numbers!
We are looking for an outdoor side table of sorts: a place to put teachers’ coffee thermoses and contain all the mittens and other accessories that go on and off during our outdoor play time. If you have anything that could fit the bill or can whip something together yourself, please reach out. We could also use scrap pieces of fabric and ribbon for an upcoming activity.
It’s getting cold out there! Please dress your child in layers and send in hats and gloves/mittens/scarves so your little one can play comfortably outside.
12/1: Story Time with Miss Melissa
12/8: Nature Time with Miss Chloe &
Lantern Walk & Caroling at 3:30
12/16: Book Swap & Holiday Party
12/17: Half day (dismissal at 12:30)
12/20-12/31: School closed for winter break