Preschool Weekly Note

Dear Preschool Families,

“At home, you can love and be loved.” The Adventurers and Wonderers heard this simple sentiment in the book Home by Shelley Rotner and Amy Goldbas. Shelley Rotner’s colorful photography toured us through a number of homes and families enjoying time spent together under the same roof. After our shared reading, each child created their own home on a scroll of paper—adding zigzags for staircases, rectangles for doors, squares for windows, and triangles for roofing! A wonderful discussion about drawing shapes ensued and before we could blink, a stunning mural of our homes was born! Your children enjoyed visiting their very own “Home” mural exhibit (located in the hallway past the front office) and look forward to sharing their artwork with home companions—all of you!

To complement our discussions of home, our “family stories” series continued this week. Jude and his two dads, Laurentius and Steve, regaled us with a story about traveling to a hospital where Jude was born in Hyderabad, India. We saw photos of Jude during the Namakarana, an Indian naming ceremony that blesses babies with a painted red bindi on their forehead. Ask your child which animal Jude rode on for his return trip to Indonesia, to the beautiful island of Bali!  Layla, joined by mom, Miss Daneen, told us all about what Layla and her big sister, TPS graduate and alum, Mariama, like to do when they are together. Layla is very much enjoying a big, big sister who can do lots of things with her. Ask your child which activities are their favorites. Dylan and his parents shared a family ritual of adding sentiments of thanks to what they refer to as a "grateful jar." They also read a story of thanks called Bear Gives Thanks, written by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. Ask your child how it works! For our final closing meeting this week, Remy and her parents shared a collection of beautiful shells and sea glass from one of their favorite places—Cape Cod! Ask your child about their family beach escape.

In the Trailblazer and Explorer’s classroom, we continue to post careful observers at our “mouse watch window.” One day last week, the children loudly announced across the room, “Now there are three mice. There is a tiny baby.” Sure enough, a wee little mouse ventured to our windowsill to nibble at the dried sunflower. This week the children called out, “Now there are four mice!” It is true. The mouse family is growing. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we are feeding them like royalty! We also worked this week to begin tucking the garden into bed for the winter. The children picked a giant bowl full of green tomatoes and beans so that the kindergarteners can start cutting back the vines. We will use our garden time next week to plant flower and garlic bulbs for the spring.

On Wednesday, we hosted our good friend and math specialist Barbara Stanley from the Learning Resources department. She visits both preschool classrooms on a weekly basis, bringing math games and materials to enrich our morning activity time. Maureen is working with the children on sewing projects. Using burlap fabric, yarn and plastic needles, each child chose whether they wanted to sew a pillow or a tote bag. This is such great practice for small finger muscles. Lastly, the Trailblazers and Explorers continued work on their Family Books. Most of the pages are filled with drawings of parents, siblings, pets, grandparents and our homes. This will surely become a family heirloom!

Noteworthy:

Next week we will walk over the the Garage at 8:30 am on the morning of  Friday, November 20th for a special all-school gathering (Encuentro) that will include salsa dancing for Preschool through third grade students. Please be sure to arrive early enough for your child to join us. If we are not in the classroom, you can walk your child across the garden to the Garage—we’ll meet you there!

Every year before we part ways for Thanksgiving Break, TPS has a wonderful community tradition of gathering students, faculty, and staff together in the Lombard building gym to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving feast. Each unit is responsible for preparing food for the feast and Preschool attends, too! Here’s what you need to know. The feast will take place the last day of school before Thanksgiving break- Tuesday, November 24th. This is a regular, full day of school but you do not need to send a lunch in with your child that day. They will be offered a choice of pasta with butter, vegan and gluten-free noodles, lasagna, cornbread, salad, and brownies (there will also be gluten-free lasagna, cornbread and brownies available). The feast is for students only. School is closed for Thanksgiving break beginning on Wednesday, November 25th.

Speaking of the main office in our building, thank you to all the families who have shared photos to display on our family tree. Neighbors with our new HOME exhibit, the family tree’s adornment of photos delighted your children! If you have not yet done so, you can send an image via email to your child’s teacher and we will be sure to add it to our preschool family tree.

Have a wonderful weekend,

The Preschool Team