May is a month of celebration! In April we celebrated the joy of childhood, but the month of May we give honor to those who ensure the quality of childhood….our very own Merryhill teachers. It is a privilege to shape the minds and destiny of our children. It is a joyful experience to be a teacher. We also want to take the time to show our Mothers how much they are appreciated. At Merryhill we desire to honor Moms and Teachers this month with special activities and tokens of our appreciation. Each and everyday our teachers and Mothers have been so involved and supportive of our school and the children we care for. What a winning combination! Great Moms and Gifted Teachers. Thanks to everyone who helped make our Week of the Young Child a great success. The children clearly enjoyed themselves. Our book fair was a great success! We earned over $800 in free books for our classrooms. Thank you for your continued support. As always, be sure to pick up your child’s Links to Learning folder at the end of every month! You don’t want to miss out on all the wonderful information shared about your child’s learning.
May dates to remeber
May 3 Caterpillars arrive!
May 5 Cinco De Mayo celebrations
May 6 Mother’s Day Celebrations @3:30
May 10 Open House for inquiring families 5pm-7pm
May 16-20 Teacher Appreciation Week!
May 18 Join me at the Big Truck Event in Elk Grove from 11am-4pm
May 30 Memorial Day School Closed
May 27 Butterfly release
June 8-10 Skill cards will be put out to pick up
Happy Mother’s Day *Some people are worth melting for* We all know that being a mom can often be the most difficult task in the world, yet it is by far the most rewarding. To honor all of our very special Mothers, we’d like you to join us on Friday May 6th @3:30 for an ice-cream treat with your little one. Hope to see all our Merryhill moms here!
Teacher Appreciation Week We will be celebrating National Teacher Appreciation week during May 16-20. Our teachers are there to comfort and care for your child while you are away. The dedication they show for Early Childhood Education is greatly appreciated! This year we are celebrating our teachers with an “Out Of This World” themed week! This year we will be having a parents hosted luncheon. In previous years we have done a potluck put on by parents for the teachers during this week, but due to the overwhelming amount of food we had left over, this year we have decided to take monetary donations instead and buy the teachers lunch from you all! Please remember that this is optional for those of you who would like to donate towards it. Also please be sure to pick up a paper spaceship from the front desk to write a special note for your child’s teacher. These special spaceship papers will be available during Teacher Appreciation Week May 16-20. Thank you!!!
Butterfly release Each of our classrooms have their own butterfly garden. The children will watch as the caterpillars change into fascinating chrysalises. Then they will be amazed as the butterflies begin to hatch. We will be sure to take photos of the release for you to see!
Pre-K 1 & 2 Graduation! The graduation for our Pre-K classes is set to be Friday June 17th. It will be held at St . Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church (in Elk Grove) from 6:30-8:30pm. More information will be passed out to those families with children that will take place in our graduation ceremony.
From our education department:
Building Your Child’s Sense of Family Belonging
Relationships with family members play an important role as children begin to develop a sense of self. When they feel a sense of identity and belonging within their own families, children are better able to grow emotionally, make friends, and appreciate and accept the diversity of others.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to share activities that celebrate the importance of family.
Below are age appropriate activities that we implement in the classroom, as well as activities you can do with your child at home.
In the classroom: Teachers use baby sign language to help children identify and eventually verbalize names for their family members. When parents enter the classroom, teachers say, “Look! Here’s Sophia’s mommy,” while also signing “mommy.” They work with parents to learn specific names used at home, and then use those names in the classroom.
At home: Use baby sign language as you come across names of family members in books and songs. To sign “mommy,” tap your thumb on your chin repeatedly. To sign “daddy,” tap your thumb on your forehead repeatedly. Remember to say the word aloud as you sign.
Recommended reading: Spot Loves His Mommy by Eric Hill, Are You my Mother? by PD Eastman
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: By age two, children begin to learn the names of extended family members, such as grandmother, uncle and cousin. They practice using these words as they talk about their families. After sorting stuffed animals by type, teachers might say, “This is the horse’s family. He has a big family. Who’s in your family?”
At home: Give your child play dough and encourage him to create the members of his family. Afterward, ask him to count and name them. This activity helps him conceptualize that multiple people make up his entire family and gives you insight into what family means to your child at his particular point in development.
Recommended reading: On Mother’s Lap by Ann Herbert Scott, Oonga Boonga by Frieda Wishinsky
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: As children read stories about diverse families, teachers encourage them to share unique details about their own families. For example, teachers might ask, “Who has a sister?” or “Who has a pet?” Afterward, students create charts with the information.
At home: Have each member of your family make a thumbprint using finger paint on a piece of paper side by side. Then, ask your child to compare the various sizes, and guess which thumbprint belongs to each person. As they talk about their family members, they begin to appreciate what makes their family unique.
Recommended reading: Clifford’s Family by Norman Bridwell, What Mommies Do Best and What Daddies Do Best by Laura Numeroff
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Our older preschoolers begin to understand that their parents have more than one role. Family members are invited to visit and talk to the class about their roles inside and outside of the home. Students are encouraged to write and draw their family members in the different roles they serve. For example, “Mommy is a doctor.”
At home: Go on an uninterrupted family outing with your child. Try to avoid checking work emails or answering unimportant phone calls. Afterward, ask your child to write about his favorite parts of the day in his journal.
Recommended reading: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? by Eric Carle, The Napping House by Audrey Wood
All of our schools will be celebrating families in really fun ways this Mother’s Day season, and we hope that you do too!
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education