Spring 2020

Sunflower

The spring of 2020 was probably the most uncertain time of all of our lives. I felt like I was waiting for something but didn’t know what I was waiting for nor when it was going to get here. It was an eerie feeling.

Kind of like that feeling before a snow storm. Although the spring of 2020 gave us so much to consider, I noticed it was a breathtakingly beautiful spring. The most beautiful spring I can remember. Unfortunately, our springs in this area have been reduced to a couple of weeks at best. This spring the colors were vibrant and vivid. The blooms were heavy, long lasting and big. The pear trees didn’t shed nearly as quickly as they usually do.

The sky was even bluer. We had a LOT of rain and unseasonably cool temperatures. This resulted in a technicolor spring. There are so many lilac bushes in Miss Amy’s neighborhood I could smell them every time we went outside. The tulips, daffodils, dogwood, red-buds all the early bloomers, really showed off. It gave me some comfort.

Getting to know the upstairs children took me out of my comfort zone and kept me on my toes as they are not easily impressed. We turned everything into a project. How many buckets does it take to return the sand to the playground from the dump buckets? The answer was 87.

We documented new birds that came to the feeders we made.

Mr. Peanuts, our squirrel, does indeed like peanuts although it took him 11 days to find them. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were very social, they made some duck friends and they all slept in the puddles outside.

We learned the Hand Jive – Bob Bop Clap Clap Side to Side. Everyone is very coordinated except for me. I made Bananas Foster French Toast with whipped cream. It was delicious! Now we are all back where we are more accustomed to being. It feels like home. We planted some impatiens but they failed to come up. We planted basil instead. We also turned grass seed, selfies, and plastic cups into a “Chia Pet”. We continued our seasonal tree art collaboration that was inspired by a project from a few years ago.

Seasonal Tree

Until next time,

Ms. Micha

TGI Fun Day!

Most people think Memorial Day weekend is the “unofficial” beginning of summer – little do they know; the OFFICIAL unofficial beginning of summer is Fun Day Friday at Miss Amy’s!

Fun Day may have looked a little different this year – our classes and playgrounds are separated, we had to forego water play activities, but none of that was able to put a damper on our fun!

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

The morning began with a little fog, and we excitedly watched it lift as we munched on fresh strawberries from our bountiful strawberry patch. YUM! We waited with bated breath for all of our friends to arrive and busied ourselves with quite the rousing game of GIANT checkers.

Giant Checkers!

At last! All of our friends arrived and so we gathered our paints, bubbles, and games. We slathered on the sunscreen and headed for the sandbox! Some of our friends enjoyed the bowling game. They seemed to get quite the kick out of seeing who could stand the pins up the fastest and most successfully!

While other friends took advantage of the beautiful morning and gathered all their tools to create a volcano surrounded by a river.

“A” was thrilled with her watercolor squirt bottle masterpiece.

Alas, into each of our lives, a little rain must fall. So, when it did, we grabbed our games and bubbles and ran for the upstairs porch. We enjoyed some more bowling, bubble-blowing, and some Beach Boys tunes. “Surfin’ USA” was a very popular song and may have incited a little (or maybe a lot…) of dancing.

C, R, & C were sad that our neighbors couldn’t come have fun day with us so they decided it would be a nice thing to blow bubbles into the air and hope they would find their way across the fence. What thoughtful boys!

We also managed to squeeze in a very intense game of “Simon Says” [*Spoiler alert* The teacher :::ahem::: was not the victor.] These guys are pro-level! Their favorite? ‘Simon says…”be a pretzel”’.

Finally, the rain subsided and we headed for the sandbox once again to complete the construction of our volcano & river. We also put the finishing touches on our paintings.

One advantage of working with children is viewing life through their eyes. Despite all of the changes in our world and in our lives, all we saw on Fun Day was FUN!! That, and ice cream sundaes.

Miss Stephanie

Back to School

     During the back to school season, I always get a feeling of melancholy. Going back to school after a summer break was a big deal! My favorite part was getting new “tennis” shoes. Some people may call them athletic shoes, or sneakers. I believe it depends on where you are from as to what you call them. It’s kind of like, do you say soda, cola, or pop. Most of us born and raised in Southwest Virginia call our athletic shoe tennis shoes and it doesn’t matter that some of us have never played tennis in our lives.
So, with new white Nikes or Reeboks and my new Levi’s that were so stiff, they could walk to the bus stop by themselves. I would make my way through the halls, stopping to catch up with my friends, finding out your schedule, your teachers, your homeroom, where your friend would be and of course your crush.
My teachers left such impressions on me there are things that I do in my classroom today that is a direct result of my teachers. My wish is to impact children in ways that hopefully stimulate lots of thinking and challenges them to step outside of the box.
We have completely conquered counting aloud in Spanish and are now learning to count in Japanese! It is great fun and the children enjoy it so much. This is an activity we do during transition times throughout the day. Transitions are the toughest part of a toddler and/or preschooler’s day. Adding signals or cues make transitions so much easier for all of us, plus it is a fun thing to do.
Our fairy garden is another huge success for us!

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Miss Amy found some nice galvanized trays. We then added some aquarium gravel. Then we put in some potting soil. Next, we spread the grass seed/mulch mixture and watered it. The children found some really great decorations and ornaments to go inside.

 

They chose objects that they felt may attract friendly fairy’s and then they waited….and waited….and waited some more. At last, we saw the first signs of bright green grass. That is when Miss Amy thought a ‘grow light’ may come in handy and how right she was. WOW! What a difference a day made. We now have a beautiful lush grass so thick and long that Miss Stephanie had to give it a ‘hair-cut’.

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We have been busy, busy, busy…We even made, and ate, Purple Stew!

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If you have been following our blog then you know that this is our most favorite song and dance. You can find it on YouTube GoNoodle Purple Stew. The recipe is rather simple; It contains purple potatoes, purple carrots, purple onions, purple cabbage, a couple of beets, corned beef hash, some V-8 juice, and little bit of blue food coloring. Viola! Purple Stew! We all liked making it and most everyone enjoyed eating it.
Back to school season is a time of renewal and reflection. I’m excited to begin the process and build new relationships. I am very proud to watch a few students graduate to the older classrooms upstairs and spread their wings a little. I fondly remember a teacher that let us go for a walk and brought in exotic fruits and vegetables for us to taste. The teacher that encouraged u to make a big mess and sing a little louder. So maybe this is why I always “need” a new pair of “tennis” shoes every August and why I now like “soft distressed” jeans rather than those 505’s that could stand alone.

Until next time ~ Miss Micha

Cowboy Camp

Howdy! Last week  at Miss Amy’s was our first music camp of the summer! It was Cowboy themed. We worked hard and had A LOT of fun!   

We started our mornings off by going over the cowboy code, listening to cowboy songs, and coloring! 

When Miss Janet, our music teacher, arrived the real fun started ! She taught the kids some wonderful cowboy songs! They sang and danced and even learned how to play recorders!  

  
After singing and dancing it was time for crafts! We did so many and the kids works very hard on them. I liked them all, but I think the pool noodle horses were my favorite! 

  
     

We love to play so we couldn’t forget games!  The kids had a blast tossing horseshoes and racing on the pony express! They learned how to milk a “cow” and even tried their luck at panning for gold, and I’m sure they will always remeber to check their boots for snakes !  

  On the last day of camp the kids put on a wonderful performance for their parents!   They learned so much and were eager to show off a little! It was a busy week but I know the can’t wait until our next camp! 
-Miss Amber 

Our morning of “Miss Janet Day”

As I came into work on Wednesday morning I was greeted by a few of my friends with big hugs and big “Hello’s ” and that will most definitely make my morning great. Once I got all settled in and ready for my morning to start my friend Elianna ask me if I knew what day it was.  I ask her what it was and she yelled ” Miss Janet Day ” (I was not expecting that reply) and it was Miss Janet Day.   Miss Janet teaches our Music Together class on Wednesday’s, music is one of Elianna’s favorite classes.  We had fun singing, dancing and playing various types of instruments. We finished up with music and then headed outside to enjoy the beautiful sunny Spring morning!

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A few of the girls took turns shooting hoops and they did a great job of it.  They actually made several baskets,  there were times that the ball went other places  instead of in the hoops, like on top of their heads, but they had a blast anyway.

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After our outside time we came back in for circle time. First some of the boys and girls sat around the table and looked at books.

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Then when Miss Maria was ready for our circle time we gathered all of our classes together to sit on the rug. We start with our ” Days of the week ” song.

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When we figure out what day of the week it is Miss Maria will pick someone to change the day on the calendar.

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Then we all count to see what the date is.

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She has another child add the number on the calendar.  They all want it to be their turn to change the calendar and most do fine when they don’t get picked but of course there are a few that will be upset if they aren’t picked.  The changing of the calendar is one of their most favorite things to do and they will sometimes take turns being the “teacher” and do the calendar with a few of their friends.
We had a few mintues left before lunch so Miss Maria read a couple of books to them.

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Then off to wash our hands and enjoy our lunches!!

Miss Susie

Music Music Music

Every Wednesday we get to enjoy our Music Together class with Miss Janet. Music Together is an international early childhood music and movement program.
We started our new “Bells” song collection for the second half of this school year just a few weeks ago.

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We always start with our “Hello” song, this is one of the most favorite songs among my 3 year old class. I have a few that will sing it off and on for the rest of the day. Miss Janet will have different songs, rhythmic chants and  movement activities for us to do, along with using different instruments and props.

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Everyone seems to have had a lot of fun today with Miss Janet!

Miss Susie (3’s teacher)