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March Newsletter

From the Principal’s Office

March has arrived and it’s so wonderful to know that Spring is right around the corner! Soon signs of Spring will be all around us at Merryhill as the trees begin to blossom and the warmer weather approaches. The children will begin to notice the signs of Spring as they search the skies for rainbows and use their imaginations to find pictures in puffy clouds.

“What’s that you say? We are reading Dr. Seuss books, today!” We will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday on March 2nd!
Priority Registration ends on March 11th. Be sure to register early to reserve your child’s spot for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year. Our school is currently full and we anticipate full enrollment again next year. Register now!

Eggs & bunnies are on the agenda this month and we celebrate spring. We will have our annual egg hunts on Friday, March 25th. Egg hunt schedules will be coming your way soon! Our biggest celebration of the year is coming in April. It’s the Week of the Young Child! We will be kicking off this very special week with a Playday on Saturday, April 9th , so mark your calendar now. It’s a great way to spend the day with family and all your Merryhill friends. More information regarding this special week will be coming your way soon!

Don’t forget to “Spring Forward”, as we once again change our clocks on Sunday, March 13th. It is so nice to have those longer days again!

Have a wonderful Spring!
Lisa Norris – Principal

Important Dates

3/2 Dr. Seuss’ Birthday!

3/4 Pre-K Students! Cap & Gown money due!

3/7 Professional Development Day School Closed

3/11 Priority Registration Ends

3/12 Open House – Inquiring Families Only

3/13 Daylight Savings “Spring Forward”!

3/18 St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

3/21 Spring Begins

3/21-25 Spring Fling Week Easter Activities!

3/25 Egg Hunts!

4/9 Week of the Young ChildPlayday
10:30 am to 1 pm SAVE THE DATE!

Coming Up!

Read with Dr. Seuss!
Every year children across America celebrate the joy of reading by honoring Dr. Seuss’ birthday. On March 2nd, our Merryhill children will rediscover the many books of Dr. Seuss with fun and learning activities.If you have Dr. Seuss books that you would like to bring in to share with your child’s class, we would love to have them on loan.

As a reminder, Merryhill will be CLOSEDMonday, March 7thProfessional Development Day!

St. Patrick’s Day
Once again, we will be “wearin’ the green” on Thursday, March 17th for our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
And don’t forget to wear GREEN!

Week of the Young Child
Mark your calendar for this very special upcoming week. We will kick off the week on Saturday, April 9th with our annual Playday. This will be an event that you won’t want to miss and everyone is invited to attend, so save the date!

You will receive your Week of the Young Child Information Packets during the week of March 21st. There will be a lot of very important information in these packets. Please make sure you read everything very carefully so your child won’t miss out.

All of the children will be making t-shirts for the Week of the Young Child. Please make sure that you bring a WHITE t-shirt for your child on or before Friday, March 18th!

Our classes will also have sign ups for our Raffle Baskets beginning the week of March 21st. Help your child’s class by signing up to make a donation to their class raffle basket!

Spring Fling WeekMarch 21st – 25th
Traditionally, the week before Easter is our Spring Fling Week. Our classes will be involved with spring activities, and will then culminate with our traditional Egg Hunt on Friday, March 25th.

If you are able to help our teachers with the Egg Hunts, it would be greatly appreciated. Please sign up with your child’s teacher.

Open House
If you have friends that would like their child to be a part of learning and playing at Merryhill, please invite them to our Open House on Saturday, March 12th from 10 am to 1 pm. We will give them a tour of our school, show them our outstanding Links to Learning curriculum, and tell them how they can register for our upcoming 2016-2017 school year. Our spaces are limited, so tell them to hurry in. And remember, if your friend enrolls at our school you could earn free tuition for yourself as a thank you for recommending our school.

Scholastic Book Fair
It’s time for our Spring Scholastic Book Fair. The book fair will run from April 4th-8th. As usual, our teachers will pick out their favorites and will place them on their wish list for you to purchase for their classroom. These books will be a wonderful addition to our classroom libraries. We hope that you take this opportunity to purchase these high quality books for your children at this time.Thanks for your support!

From Our Education Department

Introducing Your Preschooler to the Fascinating World of Non-Fiction

Ed Picture
When you think about children’s books, you might envision princesses in castles, talking animals or a flying magic school bus. Although it’s fun to read these types of stories with your child, it’s important to also introduce him to non-fiction books. You may be surprised to learn that he’s fascinated with exploring real people, places and things!

Non-fiction is not only interesting to children, but it also creates an important foundation for learning. It helps children build new vocabulary, develop critical thinking skills, fuel their curiosity and gain a better understanding about the world around them.
Below are ways we integrate non-fiction in the classroom, as well as activities you can try at home.

In the classroom: Infants love to look at faces, so our teachers choose non-fiction books that include photographs of people, such as Global Babies by Global Fund for Children. Afterward, they show the baby a photo of his own family and talk about the people in the photo. For example, “Look, Ben. Here’s your mom. Who’s she holding? That’s you.”
At home: Read multi-sensory picture books with your child. Choose non-fiction books with different textures and bright colors to help stimulate his growing sensory awareness.
Recommended reading: Families by Rena D. Grossman, Bathtime (Baby Touch & Feel) by DK Publishing

TODDLERS (ages 1-2):
In the classroom: Toddlers learn the names of different animals and vehicles and the sounds they make. While singing songs with students, our teachers ask, “What does a pig say?” or “What sound does a fire truck make?”
At home: Point out photographs of familiar animals and vehicles in magazines or books. Ask your child to mimic the noise that each item makes. This can also be done in the car as you’re driving around your neighborhood.
Recommended reading: Baby Animals by National Geographic Kids, Noisy Trucks by Tiger Tales

BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: Teachers and students read non-fiction books by going on picture walks. A picture walk motivates children to rely on pictorial clues to decipher the story’s plot and make predictions. Before reading the story, they flip through the book, and the child is encouraged to make predictions about the characters and plot. The teacher then reads the book aloud to the student. When finished, the teacher asks questions to start a conversation about the text.
At home: Visit a library with your child, and let him choose a book. Take a picture walk through the book with him. When you’re finished, ask the librarian to recommend a non-fiction book about the same topic. For example, if you read Clifford the Big Red Dog, your child might also be interested in Puppies, Puppies, Puppies, a non-fiction book by Susan Meyers.
Recommended reading: My First Baseball Book by Sterling Children’s, Everything Spring by Jill Esbaum

In the classroom: Our Intermediate teachers combine non-fiction reading with dramatic play. After reading a book about farm life, children create their own farm in the dramatic play center and pretend to be farmers. Children gain a better understanding of the book, practice problem solving skills, and use new vocabulary.
At home: Select a book with large photographs or illustrations. Flip through the book, and let your child stop on pages that interest him. Don’t worry about reading every page. Ask him to tell you what is going on in the pictures, and encourage him to make comparisons to experiences he’s had in real life. For example, if you pick a book about weather, you might ask, “Where do we go in the summertime when it’s hot?” or “Why do we use an umbrella in the springtime?”
Recommended reading: Watching the Seasons by Edana Eckart, Wings by Melanie Mitchell

PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Our older preschoolers read a non-fiction book paired with a fiction book, and compare and contrast the two stories. After reading Stella Luna and Bat Loves the Night, the teacher might ask, “In Stella Luna, the bat slept upright. Is that how a real bat sleeps?” Students may also create a Venn diagram that shows similarities and differences in the two books.
At home: Read various forms of non-fiction with your child, including books, brochures and flyers. Challenge him to find sight words in the text. Afterward, ask him to write in his journal what he would like to learn about next. Use that information when choosing another piece of non-fiction.
Recommended reading: Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin (fiction), Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser (non-fiction)

By introducing children to both fiction and non-fiction texts in the preschool years, they become comfortable with a wide range of subjects and acquire the skills needed to comprehend important information in kindergarten and beyond. They are better able to tap into their interests and enjoy learning about real world people, places and things.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education

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