January 2020

Our first month of this new decade and year is busier than most.  We welcomed many new January start children and their families to our group.  Coming back from the break, we heard so many stories of outings and travels and parties.  Busy teachers, and busy families too!

We completed our travels across the North American continent at the end of last year.  The Junior Kindergarten (pre-K) students have completed their North America animal books, which were sent home.  Our focus in January has been on animals that sleep and hibernate in winter.  The pre-K children are working on mini books about animals that sleep and hibernate.  Europe books will begin in February.  There is a book for each continent, with the focus on animals that are indigenous or unique to that region. Our winter craft was a bird seed heart to hang outside to feed the little birdies that didn’t fly south for the winter.  The study of winter and its effects on weather, plant and animal life continues.

February will finish our winter festivals of light with Chinese New Year, and the year of the rat. Children made their Year of the Rat headbands, and practiced cutting by making the vents of their paper lanterns.  Every child folded up, stamped and stickered a lucky red envelope.  Teachers placed a chocolate coin into each envelope before they went home.

Our sudden snowfall not only gave us a snow closure day, but an opportunity to make snow candy the day we returned.  Miss Lori and Miss Stacy boiled molasses and cane sugar and drizzled it onto fresh snow gathered on baking sheets.  An easy activity, but so interesting from a science perspective.  Hot and cold, then liquid to solid.  Some popular activities this month; colour mixing, building snowmen (some from real snow and some from felt fabric), window and table washing, pin poking, lacing, button sewing, and of course beading.  There are many exercises that have multiple purposes (aside from fun).  A child may make a beautiful ring out of tiny crystal seed beads because they want to bring one home.  What they are learning is fine motor skills, hand and eye coordination, and concentration skills.  Orange juice squeezing requires gross motor skills, hand and eye coordination, and patience.  The result is a very a tasty beverage and more skills.  We went through 40 pounds of oranges this month!

Initial Progress Reports were sent home the first week we returned in January.  We use these reports to record what every child is working on and their individual progress in each area.  Although most reports have been returned, there are still a few that have not.  In order to continue documentation, reports must be returned as soon as possible.  They will be returned to you in June for your keeping.  If you have questions regarding your child’s report, please feel free to talk to us at any time.  To help your children with literacy, remember that lower case letters are what we first learn.  Look at most children’s books and you will see the use of lower case.  This is what is taught at school as well.  Sounds of the letter are taught first so recognition of the symbol is sounded.  The letter ‘b’ is taught as ‘buh’, not ‘bee’.  Eventually sound recognition to symbols (shapes) will sound out as ‘buh’ ‘ah’ ‘tuh’, and flowing into ‘bat’.  However the letters must be lower case to be consistent.

We have finished registration of returning students for September 2020.  We are happy to see so many returning children, and also welcome all new families.  As a small independent school we are not eligible for grants or funding.  In order to budget for the coming school year, we must get our ducks in a row in the first few months of the school year.  We truly appreciate everyone getting their registration packages back to us in a timely manner.  Thank you.  Our annual Open House was held last Sunday, February 2nd.  It is always the first Sunday of February, which always seems to coincide with Super Bowl Sunday.  We finish up by 3pm so game fans will be home in plenty of time for kick off.

Tax receipts for 2019 will be sent home in your child’s home folder during the month of February.  Please keep your eyes open for it.  If you cannot locate it, please let us know and we send another home.

Some children may wish to bring in Valentine cards on Valentines week, but it is not required. The idea will not be understood by the younger children, however the older children may want to hand out cards.  We will have placed a class list inside each folder for your convenience if you wish to participate.  We will be closed on Valentine’s Day, so our sheets indicate the names of children attending the 12th and the 13th.

A calendar reminder for February.  School will be closed on Friday, February 14th (Vancouver district school closure), and on Monday, February 17th (BC Family Day).  We sent out paper reminders in your child’s home folder last week.  Please remember to pass these dates on to caregivers and family members who pick up at school.  This year Spring Break in Vancouver runs from March 16th to March 27th.  Mark your calendars.  Reminders are always sent out prior to dates (we know everyone is very busy).

Last, a big thank you to Natalie (Tye’s mum) for starting the children’s winter coat and boot collection.  Thank you to all of the families who followed in.  Our school health nurse picked them up from the preschool and distributed them to families in need.  It takes a village.