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

Field Trip
On Friday, October 12th,  our class will be taking a field trip to Howell's Pumpkin Patch.  A Van Meter Schools bus will take us and will leave shortly after school begins that Friday. Thank you to the generous donation from the Elementary Parents Committee to cover the cost of the bus!  If you are attending with us, you are welcome to ride the bus as well.  
     We plan to be back to school by 11:45 a.m. for regular pickup for those who do not have a family member attending with us. (Please tell your drivers if that is not you!!) We hope you will be able to join us, as we will be needing some parent volunteers!  
    There is a $5.00 charge for children and adults attending.  You may send the entrance fee to school at any time before our trip. (If this causes a financial hardship for your family, please let us know.)
    Because this is a special day for your child, please make other arrangements for younger siblings if you plan to come along. We look forward to having you join us!

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

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 Monday, October 15th.

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

School Pictures
We will have school pictures taken on Wednesday, October 17th. 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.

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.

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!  

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! 

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.  

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 Wednesday, October 31st, we will celebrate Halloween.  Please have your child wear their costumes to school on this morning.  Because they tend to just wear them for a little while and then want to take them off, it is important to have them wear regular clothes underneath. 

Upcoming Events

                1 Critter Cindy Visits as Bug Expert
                3 Healthy State Initiative Walk -                       Wear your VMPK shirt!
              12 Field Trip to Howell's 
                   Pumpkin Patch 
                   Wear your VMPK shirt!
              15 Dental Screenings
                16/18 Parent Teacher Conferences                  19 NO SCHOOL
              22 Preschool Board Meeting
                  31 Wear costumes