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

A Winter Smorgasbord!

Hopefully, the majority of the bugs, viruses, flu, colds, coughs, and all other ailments have passed. Thank you to our parents for keeping your sick children home until they are all better. Thank you for helping us with handwashing, nose-blowing, sneeze & cough catching.

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Pajama Party Day!

Our Winter season birthday party was so cozy. The children piled onto the rug downstairs and watched Daniel Tiger together. We munched on some corn pops while we lounged in our PJs. I don’t know who enjoyed being in PJs more, the staff or the children.

We began counting in Italian when we returned from Christmas break. Some of the numbers were the same or similar to Spanish so the children caught on quickly. We learned to say Good Morning “Buongiorno” and Goodbye “Arrivederci”. We focused on Italian until Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day, we prepared a huge feast featuring Marcy’s delizioso pasta! Thank you again, Marcy! Marcy sent enough for 40 hungry construction workers. She even sent plenty for our vegetarian friends. The children got straight to work making garlic parmesan cheese bread, salad, and home-made salad dressing. For dessert, Miss Amy shared her Valentine’s gift from Mr. Mike & each child enjoyed one chocolate. Mmmmmmm Gooooood!  Thank you, parents, especially Marcy, for bringing items for our Valentine’s Italian Feast!

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Be My Valentine!

Our children thoroughly enjoyed Valentine’s Day! This wasn’t traditional, decorate a bag or an old shoebox and drop-in store-bought Valentines nor exchange of artwork which in my experience, usually results in tears. This was fun, different and a good experience. We measured, smelled ingredients like balsamic vinegar, garlic, & oregano. We mixed and stirred and used new words. Fractions and volume were demonstrated. A cooking lesson exposes children to so many opportunities to learn. I’m only highlighting a few. We like to reflect on past events and the comment that struck me the most was from one of our boys; he proclaimed “It’s not Valentine’s day anymore. I was really happy with that spaghetti”! Our students have evolved so much in the past eight months in every way. It looks streamlined with the new storage system. The riddance of the old carpet and the addition of the light-colored floor makes for a lighter, brighter classroom. The new traffic pattern and layout have created a cohesive floor that allows for more meaningful play.

We have decided on Chinese numbers, hello & goodbye. If you would like to follow along at home; a simple YouTube search will be helpful – that’s how I do it. We do two or three numbers at a time and I spend a whole week on each new addition of the two-three numbers. Currently, we are learning ‘Hello’ and numbers one – three. As of now, I’m not sure which direction our Chinese counting will take us. We will be watching play urges and listening to conversations from the children to see where this might lead us.

 

We remind our parents to label every item that their child brings from home. Even if it’s a one of a kind custom item, it is 100% necessary to write their child’s name on every single article. We go outside every day unless the temperature is below 20 degrees. We go outside even if it is raining. We are so very fortunate to have our porch as a play area. So, children MUST have a coat DAILY. We DO get dirty! They’re clothes, shoes will get soiled if not with dirt, mud, and sand. It will be with paint, markers, glue, flour, or some other amazing concoction.

 

Miss Stephanie, Miss Amy, and I are currently working on individual goals for each child. We will be involving our parents with this. This is something I’ve been working toward since I started in June. While it will be casual and informal, my hope is to make each child’s experience personalized in addition to being able to track progress with data and input from teachers, aides, and parents. It’ a work in progress!

Until next time,

Ms. Micha

‘Twas The Month Before Christmas Break

‘Twas the month before Christmas break & all through the center

All the teachers were scurrying & the children a ‘twitter

The artwork was hung on the walls with great care

In hopes that the parents soon would be there

The children were drawing & painting on easels

Dancing, singing using glue and glitter

Then settling down for circle & lunch

Then off to find their cots for a short winter’s rest

While visions of Amazon Wish Lists danced in their heads

Singing about the “Lil one” that rolled out of bed

With Miss Amy in her office & Tilly in her pen

Let the end of the year festivities begin

With Christmas break in all of our sights

The Teachers all elated danced in delight

Because the journals were all dated

The weekly count down was about to start

The days they did pass just like an abacus on an advent calendar

Sometimes slowly & sometimes much faster

With cheers of joy and ruckus laughter

With clay, felt, loose parts, and a few noodles

We finished on our artwork and some very good doodles

With cotton ball snowmen

Pipe cleaner reindeer

One with a red nose

One with a crooked antler

When outside there arose such a clatter

We all sprang from our posts to see what was the matter

Away to the artier windows, we flew

Oh, don’t children forget to put on your shoes

The sun glistening down on the sandbox below

Gave the illusion of a dream-like trance to the objects below

When what to our gazing eyes did appear

What? It’s early! Ate the parents really here!?!

Minivans, SUV’s, and some compact cars

Thank our lucky stars!

The parents! The Parents! ALL OF THEM ~ They are HERE!

Come along children, come along children

Come one and come all

To the top of the sign out sheets, the names began to disappear

On their way out the door, we collected our gear

Hand in hand they crossed the crowded parking lot

Safely into the car seat was each tiny tot

Inside the center, the eerie silence was broken

With a roar & a cheer

Woo Hoo! Woo Hoo!

Christmas break is finally here!

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The staff all professional knew exactly what to do

Quickly to work we flew

Brainstorming plans for 2020

Jobs for everyone? Oh, yes, there’s plenty

We rotated materials exchanging this for that

Oh, look! New blocks, a ball, & a bat

Dolls galore & even a new hat

We put out new puppets, new paint, new glitter, new train tracks, different puzzles, new markers, & glue

Oh, Look! We found a lost shoe!

We vacuumed & cleaned up a slew

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We sprayed Lysol & bleach & every kind of cleaner

The teachers went to work with the kindest demeanor

As we stood back admiring our good work

Miss Amy so kindly and eloquently spoke

“Next year will be fun & full of surprises.

I can’t wait to see what’s beyond the horizon!

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Then with her head just slightly a’ tilt

Miss Amy said “I’m so proud of this community we’ve built.

I’m thankful for each child, each Mom, & each Dad.

Happy Christmas to all & to all a good night”!

The End

So, I got up early this morning and drank a lot of coffee. The caffeine boost inspired me to spin our version of ‘Twas The Month Before Christmas Break from the eyes of a pre-school teacher. I hope everyone gets a least a small chuckle at my festive attempt to be witty. Looking back, I have to say we have had an amazing Autumn.

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Thank you so much for your interest and enthusiasm concerning the Steampunk Fall Birthday Party. It certainly was not a cookie-cutter theme. I like to think that’s a reflection of our program here at Miss Amy’s. We are not a one size fits all generic program. It certainly is important to me to treat each child as an individual and with love, kindness, and respect.

With Love ~ Miss Micha

Messin’ & Gomin’

September was an action-filled month for sure. Filled with a lot of firsts; we received our first book orders of the year (which was very successful by the way), our first field trip to the Farmer’s Market, IMG_2052 our first ASQ-3 (Ages & Stages) assessments were conducted, and our first parent-teacher conferences took place. Yes, we were busy.IMG_1890

So, as the ‘downstairs’ (aptly named because the 2’s & 3’s classrooms are located downstairs) parents know, Ms. Micha likes to get messy! It’s always been a part of what I think is important in an Early Childhood classroom setting. I was ‘stim’ before ‘stim’ as a thing. I think about what I liked to do as a toddler.

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According to my mother, my two favorite activities were 1) messin’ 2) gomin’ followed up by prowlin’ as a close third. We will save prowlin’ for another day though. Today we are going to talk about messing and goming. If you are not familiar with these Appalachian terms, we will start with the definitions. These words can be used independently or interchangeably.

 

Goming/messing – (verb) To have a full-body experience in a substance. Typically, a common household product that’s usually sticky or equally obtrusive and/or invasive with the potential of being disturbingly messy and used not for the intended purpose, extremely difficult to clean up.

 

Examples of said substances that are prime candidates are shampoo, honey, syrup, cooking oil, lotion, hair gel, flour, sugar, baby powder, Vaseline, etc.  The list goes on and on, you get the picture. Like I said; according to my Mother, messing and goming were my two favorite things to do. My dear Mother went on to tell me a story about a two-year-old Ms. Micha, a four-year-old cousin, who liked to mess and gom as much as I did, and he was really good at it.

 

Easter eggs, grape juice, and a powder blue bedroom with wall to wall, pale blue carpet. Forty-nine years later, she could recall every detail. I think most children really enjoy the sensation of how these amazing substances feel.

 

My own love of mud mixing, sand building, silly putty, play dough, and the taboo substances like glue, oil, soap, and so on is where my inspiration to do the things that I do in your child’s classroom originated.

 

October is here and yes; it will be busy too! Classroom pictures, the Fall Birthday Party (Steampunk style), a Halloween Party, and Trick-or-Treating! Yes, you better believe we will be cutting open a pumpkin and scraping out the inside! We started our Fall Fairy Garden just this week.

 

The children are doing remarkably well of taking care of their belongings, recognizing their own names as well as classmates’ names. We finished up Japanese and we are already counting 1-10 in German plus a few phrases.

 

That’s all for now, we will update again in a few weeks.

Auf Wiedersehen,

Ms. Micha