Spring! A time for new beginnings, warm sunshine, puffy clouds and colorful kites. March is a wonderful month full of lots of expectations. The children look forward to the warmer weather and outside play while searching the skies for rainbows. Spring is a time of wonder and exploration with our focus on science. The children love the hands on activities .
This month also brings St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Some of the classes will enjoy making a “Leprechaun” trap and searching for gold. The past few months we have seen so much evidence of learning; with our Links to Learning in Action, Curriculum Boards, What We Learned Today, and LTL Folders. Please be sure you are not missing out on any of these.
For those of you that have already registered for the upcoming school year, thank you. Class lists are coming along great. If you haven’t already registered, there is still time. You will have until March 11th, after this time registration will be $140 if the space is available. We will be holding an Open House on Saturday, March 12th for prospective families. Please don’t miss out on saving your child’s spot for the new school year.
Dates to remember in March
March 1 March Around the World begins!
March 2 Dr. Suess’ Birthday Celebrations with a visit from Cat in the Hat!
March 7 School closed -Professional Development Day
March 11 Last day for Priority Registration for the 2016-2017 School Year
March 14 Sign ups start for our Multi-Cultural Potluck
March 17 St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations
March 20 First day of Spring
March 21-23 Spring Portraits
March 25 Easter Egg Hunt/Parties
March 31 March Around the World Event 5:00-7:00 pm
March 31 LTL folders ready to go home
March Around the World We will be holding our 5th annual March Around the World Event at Merryhill-Harbour Point! During the month of March all the classes will travel around the world with their Merryhill Passports, visiting places such as India, Mexico, The Rain Forest, Canada, and so much more! Please join us on Thursday March 31st from 5:00-7:00 pm for our Curriculum Night. During this time you will be able to come in and see what counties your child has been learning about by visiting all the classrooms. We will also have a Multi-Cultural potluck on this day where parents can sign-up to bring in a dish from their country (or family favorite) for everyone to try. The sign-up sheet will be at the front desk so please see Ms. Ashlie or Ms. Stephanie for it! Thanks!!!
Celebrating Dr. Suess! On Wednesday, March 2nd we will celebrate Dr. Suess’ Birthday. The children will enjoy a group reading of Green Eggs and Ham by The Cat in the Hat! They will also enjoy green eggs and ham (green eggs & turkey deli meat) for breakfast!
St. Patrick’s day celebrations Please look on your child’s classroom door for more information about what their class will be doing on this day.
March 21st -Infants, Toddlers and Beginners
March 22nd -Intermediate and Pre-K
March 23rd -Class photos and Cap & Gown for Graduates
From our Education Department- Introducing Your Preschooler to the Fascinating World of Non-Fiction
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.
INFANTS: 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
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4): 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