Preschool Weekly note

Dear Preschool Parents,

“Is it tea time yet?” asked one of our enthusiastic preschoolers before we embarked on a ‘first’ in the preschool—an organized tea party! Though Alice, Mad Hatter, and March Hare were short of luck on having a pleasant tea party—we enjoyed ours!

Each room assembled tables tea-party style and boiled water to add to our delicious teas. To everyone’s delight, the Explorers and Trailblazers loved sampling green tea. The Wonderers and Adventurers were treated to tea with our guest expert and former longtime teacher and tea connoisseur, Judith Parker. Judith taught at The Philadelphia School for nearly thirty years before retiring. We are lucky to still have Judith share her love of literature and tea with older students in one of our after school club offerings. Judith shared her collection of black teas – singular in taste – with us. We sampled English Breakfast, Early Grey and Keemun teas with your children. Complete with boiling water, porcelain tea cups and saucers, and Fortnam and Mason on display, some of us enjoyed our tea plain, while others asked for 1% milk and/or honey to their liking. What a pleasure it was to see your children handling such delicate porcelain ware while enjoying conversation and tea! Ask your child if they liked their tea and what they enjoyed most about their classroom’s party.

In addition to Judith’s visit, we also had Marisa Block (TPS alum and assistant teacher in the kindergarten) visit our classroom to share her love of teas with us. We were thrilled to learn more about one of Marisa’s favorites—matcha tea. Ask your child about the color of this beautifully scented tea and what else she brought in to share with the Wonderers and Adventurers!

Speaking of black teas, our very own Maureen Glaccum is an Irish breakfast tea lover and quite a connoisseur herself! Maureen shared picturesque photographs of a tea farm in China she visited a few years ago. We learned that both Oolong and black tea leaves grow on the same bush, and she demonstrated how the farmers collect these tea leaves from the lusciously green terrace. Your children were delighted to learn that green tea leaves are steamed while black tea leaves are roasted for preparation. Finally, Maureen shared a very special treat with each preschool class—a flowering tea! Ask your child how tea leaves are removed from the bushes and what happened when we placed the flowering tea in a glass bowl of boiling hot water. Let’s just say, it got us excited for springtime!

In Spanish this week both classes were introduced to “el guiro,” a musical instrument that originated in Puerto Rico. Your children heard the guiro first in a new song we introduced that will teach us more about the seasons—in Spanish! The guiro’s long, metal, prong-like tool (a pick) made the majority of listeners think the guiro sounds just like a cricket. Ask your child what this beautiful instrument is made from. In the coming weeks we will explore other musical instruments such as maracas, palitos, and campanas de vaca, which are integral to traditional Puerto Rican music as well as similar multicultural rhythms in Cuban and African music.

Noteworthy

We are documenting all of our work with Alice, and we’ve created an Alice timeline in the front hallway. Please stop by some morning or afternoon to see photos and artwork of our trip to Wonderland.

Friday, March 11: Preschool trip to the “Alice in Wonderland” exhibit at The Please Touch Museum. We will travel by yellow school bus, leaving TPS at 9:30 am and returning for lunch and a regular afternoon. Parents don’t need to do anything special for that day.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, March 24 and 25. Please let your child’s teacher know if you did not receive a link to the Doodle poll for sign-up.

If you would like to meet with Kait about art, you can sign up here: http://doodle.com/poll/7vua2c5ub3ihmzrf

If you would like to meet with Chris about music: http://doodle.com/poll/by944vma4sk7d34i

If you would like to meet with Meg about Movement, Meditation or Spanish, she will be sending out a Doodle link in the next few days.

Enjoy the weekend,

The Preschool Team