February 2022

This February started with stories about groundhogs, in celebration of that silly tradition of Groundhog Day.  Then we quickly switched into Valentine mode.  The project for Valentine’s Day was an adorable card with tiny folded hearts glued together to make an accordion.  The accordion hearts were then glued to a picture of a branch.  It is so amazing to see little hands putting these all together.  Paper bags were transformed into collage projects and used to collect Valentines from classmates.  The children also decorated homemade chocolate cupcakes with white buttercream and pink trims.  School baking projects are always sent home.  All projects are meant to be fun, however they are also carefully selected to involve multi-leveled skill and dexterity advancement, as well as concentration ability.  A good example of this is pin poking which covers pencil dexterity, finger strength and control, as well as hand to eye coordination and concentration skills.  There is always a wide variety of fine motor skill development activities to choose from in the classroom such as nutmeg grating, ring and bracelet making with tiny crystal seed beads, colour mixing with eye droppers, and gluing with mini spatulas.  By now, some of you have enough buttons sewn onto fabric squares to make your own patchwork quilt.  Gross motor exercises include whisking bubbles and carrot peeling.  We are seeing so much progress in your children’s abilities, and in their self-confidence.  A few pre-pandemic items will be slowly returning to the classroom.  The first was the hairdressing tray, which was a huge hit with a mini salon quickly opening.  Children can practice combing their hair with a big wide-toothed wood comb while facing a standing mirror.  This is a useful brain exercise (opposites), and a stress-free way to teach self-care.  Yoga is enjoyed by both morning and afternoon classes.  Friday afternoon dance parties are a favourite with the junior Kindergarten group (K-Prep) and an excellent way to get the heart pumping.  Attention to phonics, language, and math continue until the end of June, in groups and individually.  Practical Life, Sensorial and free art change throughout seasons and holidays.

The study of Europe continues with the focus on animals.  We work on recognition of continents through placement of indigenous animals to the continent maps.  Many older children have built the Roman Arch, which is a wooden block set similar to a 3-D puzzle that teaches problem solving, and spatial recognition. It also teaches Roman engineering which is the reason that ancient bridges have the stability to last through the centuries.  Once you take note of the Roman Arch you will start to see them everywhere.  To further the European studies, the children made little hedgehogs with the pine cones they collected in the playground.  As long as that pine tree keeps droppings cones, we will keep coming up with projects to use them.  Thank you giant pine tree.  There was also a small world tray inspired by the European forest animals.

Science Show and Tell began on Monday, February 28th and occurs daily for morning and afternoon classes until the Spring Break.  Please don’t forget your child’s date, and call us if you need a date change.  We want every child to have the opportunity to show their science skills.  Even in small groups and at early ages, public speaking is a wonderful way to build self-esteem and communication skills.

Tax receipts for 2021 were sent out in the children’s folders last month.  If you cannot find your receipt, please let us know and we will issue a new one.  March is already here.

School will be closed during Spring Break, which runs from Monday, March 14th through to Friday, March 25th.  The next school closure after Spring Break will be April 15th, 18th and 25th.  Please remember to forward school closure dates to family members, nannies and caregivers who come for pick-ups.  Many exercises we do at school can easily be continued at home.  Pin poking is an uncomplicated exercise that can be changed to suit any passing whim or theme.  All you need is a cork heat pad (Ikea 3pk @ $3.99), construction paper and a push pin.  The end result is a positive and a negative image.  Pretty simple technique, resulting with many skills.  To help your child with literacy, please note that lower case letters are what we first learn, not CAPITALS (except for the first letter of names).  Recognition of the letter shape is through sound, and each sound will be joined together to form a word.  Pretty cool.    The letter ‘b’ is taught as ‘buh’, not ‘bee’.  The sounds of ‘buh’, ‘ah’, and ‘tuh’, will eventually sound out and flow into ‘bat’.  Early reading will emerge organically and with self-confidence.   You will be so thrilled when you witness your child do this.  We still get excited.  It really and truly never gets old.

What to do, what to do? Look for the email attachment of our things to do for Spring Break.  Over the years, our teachers and many wonderful families have amassed an in-depth list of amazing things to (most absolutely free).  Have any ideas?  Send them to us and we will add them to our ‘What to do’ list for summer.