From the Principal’s Office
Dear Merryhill Families,
Spring is right around the corner and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Everyone is more than ready to get outside, but we’re loving the chance to explore the world of rain and water cycles!
With our Grand Re-Opening Event on Saturday, March 12th, our teachers will be extending their respectful exploration of Dr. Seuss into the upcoming weeks, as our theme for the event is Dr. Seuss! We welcome you to not only enjoy the fun activities and experiences happening throughout the school, but we also encourage you to read to your children at home, as they will be very familiar with the linguistics of the series of books by this amazing author. Furthermore, I hope all of you can join us for the event to celebrate with us. We are so proud of how the school looks, and we cannot wait to see the finished product!
Thank you to everyone (parents, students, staff) for being so supportive during this time of transition. We are honestly so honored to be part of such an amazing undertaking with this remodel and know that it would not mean as more or have the same impact with any other group of people. Merryhill families are amazing, and I cannot speak enough on how grateful I am to have you as mine!
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.
Dates to Remember
3/4 Priority Registration Ends!
3/7 Professional Development Day – SCHOOL CLOSED
3/12 Grand Re-Opening Event @ 10:00 – 1:00 PM
3/12-18 Scholastic Book Fair Week (Portion of proceeds directly benefit school libraries!)
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day — WEAR GREEN!
3/25 Spring Egg Hunt (10:00 – 11:00 AM)
Priority Registration for our upcoming 2016-2017 school year will began on February 22nd and will end on Friday, March 4th. It is important for you to register early to reserve your child’s spot for next year. By registering early, you will save $50 off the returning registration fee of $140. Registration will be $90 during the Priority Registration period. After that time, the returning registration fee will be $140. Merryhill is your investment in your child’s future, so register early and save your child’s spot!
Please be aware that although you have until March 4th to register at the discounted registration rate, we will continue to register new students to Merryhill. The sooner you turn in your registration materials to us, the sooner your child will be placed on a class list. Our school is consistently full, and we want to make sure that all of our existing students have a spot, so I urge you to register as soon as possible.
Grand Re-Opening & Open House Event ~ Saturday, March 12, 2016 (10:00 — 1:00 PM)
We are so proud of how our new and improved school looks, and we want to give you the opportunity to take it all in! We invite the entire community current and alumni families throughout the Davis community to come and join us in this celebration of past and future! We are so excited to open our doors to the community who has supported us since 1988! This wouldn’t be possible without you all!
Week of the Young Child Event ~ Friday, April 15th (5:00 — 7:00 PM)
Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration of CHILDREN and their healthy development and education. Please come and enjoy a FREE night of fun and games. This event will conclude a week long exploration of a journey through our Links to Learning Curriculum, INSIDE and OUT! We’re happy to provide you with more information at the front desk, as we are so excited for this fun event!
From the 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.
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