Message from the Principal
Dear Merryhill Families,
The month of August has welcomed a bunch of NEW to our school! NEW Playgrounds, NEW Friends, and NEW Excitement among the students about what is going on in their classrooms. I love finding myself drifting away from my desk to hear the newest transition song, classroom chant, or phonics game being played — this is truly the best part of my job. Watching these students grab onto the excitement that teachers are fostering truly lights up my life, and I am blessed to be a part of such an amazing process.
Although we’ve settled into our new classrooms quite seamlessly, I do know this is just the beginning. Teachers are using this time to assess and build relationships with children. Understanding where each child is at developmentally requires understanding their cognitive, physical, and social/emotional capabilities. The teachers are writing lesson plans on a weekly basis based on these observations and assessments. This way, the lessons taught are directly implemented based on each child’s abilities.
Every child is going to be at a different developmental level. This is why you’re going to see that I have added a number of new faces to our Merryhill Family. This is to ensure that our curriculum is being fully implemented to the best of its potential and our students are receiving the best experience while here at Merryhill. So, please join me in welcoming Ms. Ana, Ms. Meagan, Ms. Hayley, Ms. Amanda, Ms. Hilary, and Ms. Beccah. This wonderful group of ladies joined us in positions all throughout the school. From support staff to fully qualified teachers, these additional new members of are team all bring something really exciting to the team of ladies I already have in place. Please check out their new teacher pictures in the lobby! I am really looking forward to the school year ahead of us!
As a team, we are firm believers that Merryhill offers the “perfect balance of learning and play.” This is the only way we are successful at reaching the children and helping them meet their full potential. They have a blast while learning so much, and that is what I love about this school. Speaking of play, we have another fun family event planned at the end of this month, August 20th from 6:00-7:30 PM. This is our International Festival, which is a cultural pot luck event. Keep an eye out for further details, as you do not want to miss this fun social gathering of Merryhill families.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach me at your convenience via email or phone at 530-753-9210.
Calendar of Events:
August 4: Paint Play Day
August 5: “Wear it Wednesday!”- Wear Orange
August 6: Merryhill Talent Show 5:00-6:00
August 12: “Wear it Wednesday!”- Wear Purple
August 13: Puppet Show 10:00am
August 14: School Closed: Professional Development Day
August 19: “Wear it Wednesday!”- Wear Red
August 20: International Festival 6:00-7:30pm
August 23: Spirit Week!
- Monday: Sports Team Day
- Tuesday: Hawaiian Day
- Wednesday: Pajama Day
- Thursday: Crazy Hair Day
- Friday: Neon Day
Save the Dates:
September 7th– School Closed: Labor Day
September 11th– Grandparent’s Day Celebration (9:30-10:45 AM)
News from our Classrooms
Welcome to August! We are so excited to be a part of you and your families’ lives! We are honored to make such an impact at such a crucial age of development for your child. So, thank you! The month of August is filled with fun activities to keep our minds busy learning new things. We start the month with “Exploring Creative Expression” where we will be learning about different textures by making a texture collage with our littles. The two new signs for the month will be “Hurt” and “Gentle.” We will use large flash cards and teach the signs daily with each infant. The week of Aug 10-Aug 14, we will be “Exploring Language and Literacy” using large animated flash cards to show: emotion, fear, love, jealousy, excitement, anger, and sadness. On our final week we will be ending it with “Spirit Week.” This week we will be working on some Motor Skills, spending time with each infant while we help them walk around as well as teaching them how to hold up on furniture so they can learn to use their feet and arms. We are all excited to see them learn all these new and fun things! We will take pictures so you can see all the fun and new things we all learned on this month of August.
Ms. Ana, Ms. Hayley, & Ms. Meagan
Ms. Kayla K. and Ms. Olga
Beginner 1 Classroom
During August we will continue to practice reoccurring skills along with new skills to get the children ready to dive into the curriculum. We will read some exciting new books and do fun learning activities that will connect to the themes in the books. We will practice shapes and the colors orange, purple, and red to go along with our last few summer weeks of Links to Learning exploration. The themes will be “Creative expression, Language and Literacy Exploration, Citizens of the world” & to end the month we have a summer spirit week.
For art projects we will do some water paint, and a marble painting activity. In the cooler mornings we will hold our circle time outside on our new playground turf! We also will do some water play outside with chalk.
Ms. Li and Ms. Francis
Beginner 2 Classroom
It has been a great transition with our new Beginners II Class. Our friends are transitioning well & we are so thrilled for the new Month of August. This month we will get the chance to focus on the children’s fine motor skills and give our friends the chance to experience with nature & exploring different types of where people & animals live. We have a lot to look forward to for the new month!
This month there will be 4 different Themes. The themes will be “Creative expression, Language and Literacy Exploration, Citizens of the world” & to end a long month we will have a summer spirit week.
Throughout the month of August we will be practicing our manners & using our big boy & big girl words! To incorporate the manners & Earth we will start our day’s by saying “Good morning” & “Buenos Dias”. During lunch time we will ask our friends “Quiere mas leche”. We will encourage the children to reply with “Si” or “no gracias”. We will review our colors & shapes and we will practice throughout the year!
We are so excited for the month of August with our Beginners II friends! We are also excited to welcome Ms. Amanda to our classroom. She is a wonderful teacher who is just as excited about teaching your students as we are. We welcomed her with a great big hug and lots of love, so please feel free to reach out to her with a welcome, as well. She will be our opening teacher in our classroom.
Ms. Jalisha, Ms. Amanda & Ms. Linda
Happy August Intermediate Families!
What a wonderful first month we have had together in the Intermediate classroom. Our new friends have adjusted so well to their new surroundings, friends and daily routine that we will now start introducing classroom helper jobs into our daily routine this month. Classroom helper jobs will be age appropriate and geared toward helping the children practice and master some of their Links to Learning skills.
This year in the intermediate class we have a class pet (stuffed Animal) and her name is Elsa. Elsa will be spending a whole week with each child in our class. As Elsa spends the week with you please write down a couple things Elsa did with your family and put it in Elsa’s Binder. If you would like to put pictures in the binder you are more than welcome to. We would love to see some pictures of our Elsa hanging out with all our Intermediate families.
This month we will be exploring the wonderful worlds of Creative expression. During this colorful week the children will explore famous artist, painting with many different textured objects and dancing to many kinds of music. Our new dramatic center will be themed as an art gallery where we will use some of the art the children made this week. During our Language and Literacy week we will have each student bring in their favorite book and we will read it during circle time. While exploring language we will teach the children how to say ‘Hello’ in 5 different languages, including sign language. We are very excited for our Citizens of the World week where we will learn how different cultures live such as their homes, meals and languages. This week we will ask each child to bring in a picture of their family and where their family originated from. We will put these items on a big map for the children to see where we all came from. The last week will be filled with School Spirit fun which will include crazy hair day, neon day, pajama day, Hawaiian day and sports day. We cannot wait to see all of our friend’s school spirit. On the 28th we will have a water exploration day to celebrate the end of summer.
Please join our class in welcoming Ms. Hilary to our class. She is going to be a big part of our days, as she will provide additional support throughout the day to help with implementing our curriculum and keeping everyone safe. So, please join us with a great big welcome as Ms. Hilary joins our class! A reminder for our families, please make sure you bring at least two extra sets of weather appropriate clothes in case of accidents.
We are looking forward to a very fun filled learning month with our Intermediate friends, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to come talk to us. Have a wonderful month!
Ms. Kayla, Ms. Hilary and Ms. Stacy
Dear Pre-K1 Parents,
Last month we focused on letters of the alphabets as well as the sounds of the alphabets. The children had class jobs where they can take on responsibilities within the classroom and learn to be more independent. Ms. Cristina and Ms. Cindy have seen a lot of improvement in the children’s writing, with that said we will continue to incorporate that in our weekly lesson plan for the upcoming month. Let’s take a glance look at what Pre-k 1 will be focusing on.
The first week of August the students will be using their journals daily to practice writing sights words. They will have sight words listed for them to read, recognize and copy.
Second week we will explore and bring in different objects and materials for children to group them to compare which group is greater than or less than or equal to the number of objects provided for the children.
Third week for our book of the week we will ask the children to compare how similar or different the characters are in the book. Also, discuss how we are similar and different from each other for example, traditions and practices. Since we are discussing different family traditions we will incorporate our monthly Spanish vocabulary la tia (the aunt), el tio (the uncle), el primo (the cousin (m)) and la prima (the cousin (f)) as well as practicing Days of the week in Spanish.
Forth week of August will be teaching students the concepts of sink and float objects. We ask our little scientists to make predictions of what they think will happen. We encourage the children to write the object name under what sinks and what floats on a board. Every science experiment we will be introducing this month we encourage children to make predictions and draw what will happen next.
Ms. Cristina and Ms Cindy are excited about this month because the upcoming events and the fun activities we get to introduce to the children. This months upcoming events that Merryhill will be hosting we look forward to are Merryhill Talent Show (Aug. 6) ,Puppet show (Aug. 13th) , international festival (Aug. 20) and of course, last week is end of the summer spirit week! The last week of August each day will be a different theme, Sports Monday, Hawaiian Tuesday, Pajama Wednesday, Crazy Hair Thursday and Neon Friday!
Our last big announcement is a big warm welcome for Ms. Beccah, who will be an additional teacher in our classroom. Her added support will really help us in our efforts to maintain classroom management and an enriching environment for each of your students. Please join us in welcoming her to the class!
Ms. Cindy, Ms. Beccah and Ms. Cristina
August will be the final month of our summer curriculum. We will be exploring Creative Expression, Language & Literacy, Citizens of the World, and sending off the summer with Spirit Week!
Children will also continue to explore the first phase of our letter links: B, D, F, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, T, V, X, Z. We will be practicing our printing skills, as well as linking letters phonologically and making the connection between rhyming words.
We are having a great time reviewing our Spanish vocabulary: weather, seasons, and shapes. My students are ready for a challenge, and so we will be moving on to re introduce numerals 10-30.
The children really enjoy counting and reviewing the number line using our fun flashcard games. We will be practicing addition & subtraction skills, utilizing dice and number stories as well.
The students are responding very positively to the new Economy System we have begun instituting in our classroom. Every child has a job, and each child will be rewarded their Behavior Buck daily. On Fridays, students can cash in their earnings for the reward of their choice. If you would like to learn more about this system, or are interested in checking your child’s collection of Bucks, please stop by our Social-Emotional Character Board anytime!
As usual, all classroom notices & sign up sheets for any upcoming events will be posted on our door. Thank you for all of your continued support & contributions. Enjoy these last days of Summer!
News from the Education Department
Reestablishing Routines for Your Preschooler
Maintaining Order & Staying on Track
As we reach the end of summer, now is a great time to reestablish comforting routines for your preschooler. Routines help children build self-confidence and independence, cope with transitions, and gain a better understanding of the world around them.
Our Links to Learning curriculum promotes students’ social and emotional development, which is necessary for following directions and demonstrating self-control. Our teachers focus on the importance of healthy living and safety routines in the Wellness component of our curriculum.
Here are some examples of ways we establish routines in the classroom, as well as ideas for you and your child to do at home.
TODDLERS (ages 1-2):
In the classroom: Naptime gives children an opportunity to recharge and reboot. Our toddlers transition from napping in cribs to napping in cots. Teachers schedule naps at the same time and in the same area of the classroom every day. Soothing music is played to help toddlers wind down.
At home: Talk with your child’s teacher about the naptime routine at school. Minimize naptime battles by attempting to maintain the same routine at home.
Recommended reading: Naptime by Elizabeth Verdick
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: Around age two, children begin to learn basic self-help skills such as dressing themselves. Our Beginner students practice snaps and zippers, and are encouraged to complete basic sequences like putting on socks before shoes.
At home: Offer your child a choice during routines in order to increase his interest in the activity. For example, lay out two outfit options for him to wear. Allow him to choose the outfit he prefers. Give him ample time to dress himself before offering assistance. Praise every attempt.
Recommended reading: Let’s Get Dressed by Caroline Church
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: Teachers focus on the importance of sleep in the Wellness component of our curriculum. Students read and act out We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen. They discuss why the bear was sleeping, and why sleep is important.
At home: Create a bedtime routine for your child. For example, bathe, brush teeth, read a story, go to sleep. Follow the same sequence of events at the same time and in the same order every night.
Recommended reading: The Going-to-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Our older students follow an arrival routine at the start of every school day. They sign themselves in, say goodbye to their parents, and put away their belongings. Students learn rhymes and songs to help remind themselves what to do when they enter the classroom.
At home: Mornings are critical for setting the tone for a successful and positive day. Establish a morning routine for your child with a maximum of four steps. For example, get dressed, brush hair, brush teeth, eat breakfast.
Recommended reading: Waking Up is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield
Following routines helps children develop the habits of responsibility that will be crucial for their future success and well-being. Kindergarten students are expected to follow instructions, listen to their teacher and complete specific tasks. By setting routines in the preschool years, your child will be better prepared as he enters elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education