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March Newsletter

Dearest Families,
February ended with a boom from a drum because of our celebration of Black History month. We would like to send out a special thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Francine who put together 3 days of wonderful learning activities to help us teach the children a little more about black history! Last Thursday we had a drummer from Africa come and perform for the children. He brought several different types of drums for the children to play.  The teachers were also able to experience the wonderful feeling of playing them!
With the days getting longer and Spring time just around the corner, we leap into March with a renewed sense of excitement! Starting the excitement, this Thursday, we will have a special visitor who will read to the children to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday! In addition our Spring pictures are coming mid-month and our Scholastic Book Fair will tease you with all of the fun books to buy! The St. Patrick’s Day pot-luck and the Easter egg hunt will finalize the excitement for the month of March. Hold on to your hats though, because April is jammed with thrills.
Thank you for those who participated in our parent survey. We have had so many wonderful comments about our school, teachers and administration. I would like to request that you put those wonderful comments on Yelp. We would love for potential families to see what you all love about our school! You can copy and paste this to get there…http://www.yelp.com/biz/merryhill-preschool-san-jose-2
Thank you for doing this! I would love to see more positive reviews that truly show the love of Merryhill Preschool from all of you!
For those children who are graduating to Kindergarten in the new school year, visit the Elementary front office for information on how to reserve your spot for the new school year! As of March the registration fee is $450.00. You want to contact them soon before the classes fill up! The Elementary Principal’s name is Karen Cooper and her contact number is 408-254-1282 and email is karen.cooper@nlcinc.com.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns my door is always open. We are here to help you and “our” children in any way we can. Everyone at Merryhill is special and important to us. Let us continue to make this a great school year!
Heather Bilbro/Palmer
Preschool Principal
“All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds we sow today.”
Calendar of Events
*March 3rd- Dr. Seuss Birthday day! A special visitor will come and read books to the children in the morning!
*March 7th- School closed for teacher’s in-service day
*March 12th- Open house for the public and the Elementary School is having a carnival!
10:00 am – 1:00 pm! Come and join the fun!
*March 16th, 17th, 18th- Picture Day! Spring Portraits!
*March 17th- St. Patrick’s Day Potluck at 3:30 pm
*March 25th- Easter Egg Hunt at 3:30 pm
*April 11th – 15th- Week of the Young Child (We will have special events happening every day this week) More info to come at a later date!
*April 15th- Trike-a-Thon 9:30 am – 11:30 am
*April 22nd- Earth Day Celebration at 3:30 (We will release our butterflies and lady bugs back to nature!
Join us for our next Open House!
March 12th, 2016 10:00 am – 1:00 pm **Tell a friend and if they register you will receive one free week of tuition!**
Extra-Curricular Activities here at school!!!
Piano Class by My First MusIQ program – Held on Wednesdays For more information go online and check them out, please go to www.recplusregistration.org
Tuff Tumblers Class – Held on Fridays For more information go to http://tufftumblers.com or call 925-551-8900
MiniSoccer – Held on Tuesdays For more information go to this: thutt@challengersports.com 916-262-7542 minikickersoccer.com
Merryhill San Jose is proud to offer Challenger Sports MiniKickers Program in association with the Challenger Soccer Academy.
Parent Referral Program:
If there’s one thing parents love to do, it’s talk about their children’s successes.
When friends ask you about your child’s experiences at Merryhill School, what type of success stories do you share? Do you mention the personal and educational discoveries your child is making thanks to our advanced curriculum? Do you talk about the new levels of self and social confidence your child has gained thanks to our encouraging atmosphere?
*For every new child you refer who enrolls at our school for three months, you’ll receive one FREE week of tuition for your child*.
It’s our way of saying thanks for doing what comes naturally – singing the praises of your child and sharing your experiences with the Merryhill School difference!!
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
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
Participate in our new Automatic Payment Program
Tired of having to remember weekly tuition payments? Save time and avoid late fees with this program. Contact your school principal for more information on how to join.

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