Ms. Rupa's Class : October 2019
Hello everyone! We are off to a great start and have successfully completed our phase in process. It was nice to meet some of you who visited our Back to School Night. Thank you for your time. This is our first newsletter. The newsletter is one of the ways we will keep you informed of the activities and lessons being experienced in our classroom. At times, the newsletter may also be used to remind you or announce special events in our classroom and/or school.
Some select things that we worked on so far:
- Getting to know classroom teachers and becoming familiar with our room.
- Learning where our cubbies and hooks are located and where we keep our belongings.
- Getting to know where our bathrooms are located and our bathroom procedure.
- Getting to know bike yard, front playground, gym and back playground. There are boundaries and possibilities during free play time.
- How many friends do we have in our classroom and what names do they have? How to trace our own name.
- Learning how to sit during circle time, raise quiet hand, being polite listeners during story time, how to walk in the hallway. Taking turns and sharing with friends. Our hands are for helping.
- Rolling a rug and how to observe a friend who is working.
- Hand washing and recycling in our classroom
- Having lunch, cleaning up and setting up for nap time.
- Our classroom rules are - Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, be kind to everything that you see around and be safe.
- “Stand up, push (the chair) in, put (the work) away”.
- Few select songs: Name Name, The More We Get Together The Happier We will Be, Where O Where O, C’mon Everybody, Ladybug, Make New Friends, Hello, Let’s Go to Market, Vowels, Colors etc.
- How to resolve conflicts using the Peace Basket.
We will continue working to help each other to have good, happy feelings in our classroom and take care of each other. Returning students will start working on gaining information and skills moving forward in each areas of the classroom. Please take time out to review the flower and leaf book that the children completed, you may collect and paste the leaf specimens and keep pasting in the book if you take a nature walk with your children. We are working on topics such as how leaves change color, what makes season change etc. This year our school wide curriculum is about the many cultures throughout the world. The culmination will be an event in the spring that you as parents can participate in. Stay tuned for more details. We also have been working on learning rhyming words and on our peace curriculum.
Dr. Montessori believed that establishing peace is the work of education and it can be brought about by humanity through the child. If children are peaceful, our world will be peaceful. Our children are learning to be peacekeepers in our classroom. We asked our children what peace, kindness and manners mean to them. How can we keep our classroom peaceful? We used books such as Our Peaceful Classroom, Manners and Peace Rose to explain that peace does not mean to be at place where there is no noise, hard work or trouble; It may also mean to be in midst of the chaos and still be happy in your heart and calm in your mind. During the past two weeks our children have experienced many factors such as but not limited to: different languages, a variety of cultures, a range of ages, different personalities, etc. and quickly learned how to become friends. We have begun the process of how to understand others’ point of view and how to resolve our conflicts by using words. It is common for children to have intense feelings and have conflicts with each other. That is why they were introduced to a peace basket and walked through the process of how to use the basket to resolve their differences. The children are learning to channel and communicate their intense emotions. It is okay for us to feel all emotions; how can we regulate ourselves and handle social /emotional situations? What are accidental mistakes? Every situation has two sides and how we can meet at mid-point? The word ‘sorry’ means that you promise not to repeat your unkind actions in the future and a promise is something that we commit to. Once we forgive someone it means we become friends again and do not keep sad or angry feelings any longer. The children worked as a team and taking turns to complete our peace agreements. Their handprints with character building values will be kept within the classroom for the rest of the year as a visual reminder. We will continue to revisit our agreement and to remind our promise of being kind in our thoughts, words and actions. The children are learning songs such as ‘I have Peace in my Fingers’ and ‘Light a Candle for Peace’ and “The Peace Rose”. The kindness jar in our classroom works as a social capital collection container where if someone does something kind to you, you may acknowledge that kindness and nominate that friend by putting a pompom in the jar. We acknowledge the positive actions and words with a special celebration each time the jar gets filled.
Our other focus this year is about our PBIS curriculum (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support). PBIS is about social/emotional development. The above information about peace and the structure of ground rules in our classroom is one way we approach supporting children in being part of a community. The development of the social/emotional part of one’s self definitely plays an important role in an individual’s academic progress. Each newsletter will update you on the PBIS curriculum.
A Few Reminders:
- Drop off and pick up times are times of transitions. Transitions can be a challenging time for children and adults. In order for the smooth greeting process and safe dismissal of the children we ask that your routines are consistent and conversations with the teachers are short. Please only share essential information. The longer you stay at the door the more of a challenge it is for your child to enter.
- Please stand in line against the wall across the classroom door especially at the pickup time. Please do not block the main entrance to our classroom. Quickly drop off and receive your child and move away for another child to enter or exit the classroom.
- We encourage all our parents to visit our classroom to share your family tradition, to read a book or come in with a special project. In order to support you and the children during your visit, please remember that if you have questions about your child parent teacher conferences are scheduled for November. At that time, you will be able to discuss your question, concerns, progress etc. You can also email Rupa and she will get back to you as soon as possible.
- Please observe your child without your presence being noticed by him or her. If they see you it will be difficult for them to say good-bye for a second time. Do not observe your child through the main door window, use the observation window so your child can not see you. If you are observing the child, please turn off the lobby lights and remember to turn the lights back on when you are done.
- Please label everything that your child brings to school. Make your child aware of their belongings such as nap time shoes, sleeping bag etc. Please label lunch bags as well as child friendly containers.
- Please provide microwave safe containers for the portion of the food that you want to be heated. If you are providing grapes, carrots, hotdogs, etc. you must cut the items in bite size pieces to avoid choking.
- Please dress your child weather appropriate. Extra cloths are stored inside labeled shoeboxes inside our class cabinet, located at purple bathroom. The white cabinet is marked with our class name and has child safety lock. If you or your child’s care provider need to use extra cloths after school hours, please make sure to put the child safety lock back on and remember to replenish the cloths periodically. Please do not leave cloths in plastic bags inside the cabinet, it can create a safety issue. Always remember to put the child safety lock back on. This is a requirement from the OCFS that regulates our license to operate.
- Please help in maintaining the classroom procedure by addressing any questions pertaining to your child to head teacher. I can be reached at I try to check my mails at the beginning and end of the sessions and usually try to respond within 24 hours. If you need to reach me during the working session for urgent matters, please call office and leave a message for me. Lengthy conversations should be saved for the phone appointment.
- To keep our children healthy please, wash their hands before entering the classroom and have them use the toilet.
- Please be mindful of our classroom allergies while celebrating with us. We are only serving (as stated in the parent handbook) healthy snacks (fruits and vegetables) instead of cupcakes for Birthday celebrations.
School Closed-Oct. 9, Oct. 14
Fall Harvest festival-Oct. 19 from 10:00-2:00
Halloween Parade: Friday, 10/25/2019 at 10:30am. Parking lot will be closed at 10:15 am
(Rain date for Halloween parade is Wednesday, 10/30/2019 at 10:30am)
Please NO MASKS and NO WEAPONS. Kindly select a costume that is comfortable for your child to pull down while using bathroom.
Thank you for your kind support and we are looking forward to a great school year ahead!
Ms. Rupa, Ms. Amanda, Ms. Patricia