October Newsletter

What is the Value of Play?
Our school year is off and running!  We have been busy painting, investigating, drawing, constructing, telling stories, singing, and role playing with friends. Each month, I'll feature a different learning center in our classroom and why play in that center is so important for young children!
              Block Center                "Though blocks may appear to be simple toys, research by Bagiatti & Evangelou (2016) and others has shown that block play during the preschool years has correlations with improvements in geometric, spatial, and arithmetic skills. Time spent with blocks can reinforce concepts like symmetry, patterns, and shape names, which are taught at home and at school. During play, adults can guide children in either teaching concepts about color or shape, or in reviewing math concepts through asking children questions about their buildings. Constructing with blocks also previews more complex skills like understanding part-whole relationships, classification of shapes, and shape congruence. When playing with blocks as a group, children benefit from peer interactions that are important for development. As children work together to build designs, they are learning how to problem solve together. Naturally, they communicate through discussion any challenges that come up with each other, the first steps in learning about collaboration. In playing together, children find ways to articulate the goals of what they are building and the rules of how they are playing together."

Chung, Sophia (2016.)Let's Build: How Playing with Blocks Benefits Children.
Aikaterini Bagiati & Demetra Evangelou (2016). Practicing engineering while building with blocks: identifying engineering thinking, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 24:1, 67-85
Please notify us
 if your child is unable to attend 
due to illness. You may reach the 
preschool at 996-2030.  

If you child has strep throat, lice, pink eye 
or other conditions that can be contagious, please be sure to let us know so that we
 can make other parents aware in case their child exhibits similar symptoms.  We 
keep all children's names confidential
 during notifications.

On Tuesday October 30th,  we will be celebrating Halloween. Please have your child wear there costumes to school on this morning. Because they tend to only want to wear them for a little while, it is important for them to wear regular clothes underneath.

Field Trip
Mark you calendars!  On Thursday, October 18th, we will be taking a walking field trip to downtown Van Meter!  We will visit with the Library, Fire/Police Station and enjoy learning about helpers in our community. Please note, as stated in our letter sent home, we will dismiss directly from the library on October 18th at 11:05 and not return to our classroom.

We do ask that you make this a special day for your preschooler and make other arrangements for siblings if you decide to come. 

Morning Routine
Each day your child comes to school, they become more and more confident in completing our morning routine.  You are not required to stay with your child in the morning until they finish signing in and washing hands.  If your child has it under control, please make contact with a teacher so we know they have been brought safely in and then you can be on your way to enjoy your morning. 

School Pictures
We will have school pictures taken on Tuesday October 16th. A friend
 of mine, who is also a preschool director, has a husband who is a professional photographer. He has volunteered his time, charging only for the photos ordered. An order form will be sent home with a payment envelope as the date gets closer. Unfortunately, there are no picture retakes possible, as he is only able to come one day for each classroom.

ISmile Dental Screenings
Please be sure to turn in your form for the Dental Screenings which will be provided free of charge to our children. The form gives you several choices on how much screening you want done.  Please fill out the form, mark the correct spot (even if you do not want your child screened) and return it as soon as possible. This will take place on Tuesday, October 16th.

The iSmile screenings are provided to us through Early Childhood Iowa funding.

Scholarships still Available
Did you know that families making as much as $82,000 may be eligible for tuition assistance through the 4RKids Scholarship?  Attached at the bottom of our page is the form to fill out to be considered. Scholarships are based on financial need.  (There is a chart on the form to see if you qualify.)  All paperwork is handled by Val Cameron, Preschool Enrichment Coordinator for 4RKids.  Please check it out to see if you qualify!

Fall weather is starting to move in. Please remember to send your child with clothing suitable for the weather.  Even if it is warm in the afternoons, mornings outside can be a little chilly.  If your child has trouble putting on their jacket by themselves, or zipping, now is a great time to practice!  They get SO excited when they can do it themselves!  

We do work on becoming more independent in preschool and ask them to try. Teachers help children to begin dressing themselves. We encourage them to get the sweatshirt and jacket on themselves. With zippers, we help the children get started if needed and then allow them to finish it themselves.  

 Although teaching them to put their coat on by themselves may take a little extra time in the beginning, just imagine with those winter coats and accessories how much easier it will be if they learn now! 

We're on Facebook!  "Like" us at http://on.fb.me/RHBxfk

Fire Safety Week
On Thursday, October 11th, the Van Meter Fire Department will be visiting the elementary school and bringing a firetruck. Our preschool class will be participating and learning about Fire Safety Week.

Substitutes Needed
We are currently in need of both certified and non-certified substitutes for our program in case one of our teachers need to be absent for the day.  If you or any of your friends are interested, please let us know!!

We are fortunate to have 2 licensed teachers in our program! If you are willing to substitute for us, we want to make sure you feel comfortable. We usually have our substitutes do the "behind the scene" tasks that help our day run smoothly.  Mrs. Wilson 
and Mrs. Skahill, (whichever one is not absent that day) typically takes charge of the class and are willing to help you along the way.  We hope you will consider joining us in 
this role!

To keep our children safe, we ask that our substitutes pass both background and fingerprinting checks.  Ask Mrs. Wilson for details and paperwork. 

We will be using the Remind App for preschool reminders.  
An email will be coming soon with information about how to sign up.  

 Upcoming Events
              15 Dental Screenings
                16/18 Parent Teacher Conferences                  18 Field Trip to Downtown 
                    Wear your VMPK t-shirt
              22 Preschool Board Meeting
              30 Wear Costumes