Welcome to the start of another wonderful year at TCNS!! Joan, Jackie and I are looking forward to getting to know all our new families and catching up with those returning. It will be fun to watch the children develop their skills, make friends, and take their place in the classroom! We’ve got a lot of great stuff planned for theyear!
Just a couple of reminders: please remember to bring in a box of 5 oz. paper cups and roll of paper towels the first time you are scheduled. We use LOTS of paper towels! It will also be your child’s turn to bring in show-and-tell for circle time. We really enjoy looking at things from nature, but your child is free to bring in anything they choose – photos, toys, blankets, etc. We prefer that show and tell stay in your child’s cubby except during circle time to help keep it safe.
We go outside every day, so make sure your child is dressed appropriately. With unpredictable fall weather, it’s good to be prepared with boots and a jacket – just in case. The playground can get muddy and the children love to dig!
I’ve attached a list of healthy snack suggestions and class list - keep these for future reference. I’d suggest planning on about ½ apple or banana, a whole muffin or big handful of pretzels/crackers, for each child. We do have nut, dairy, and ranch dressing allergies in MWF and potassium sorbate in TTH. Please keep that in mind.
Contact me at any time (firstname.lastname@example.org, 387-5235 or 387-6084) with questions or concerns about how your child is doing at TCNS. We will schedule parent-teacher conferences in the spring, but let us know if you’d like to meet before that. Once a month you will get an observation form to give you a feel for how your child’s day was, who they played with and what their challenges were. Each child will also have a turn to write a story with the teacher once a month and have it read to the class. Also, we do have scholarships available. Let me know if you’d like an application.
One of the ways we keep tuition so low at TCNS is fundraising. We have two large family fundraisers, Fun with Santa during the T-burg Winter Festival and Big Fun at the Fairgrounds in May (or something similar). Some of the parent jobs involve organizing different aspects of those events, but all families are expected to help out for a shift at each event. This will be discussed further at the parent committee meetings, but I just wanted to let everyone know what to expect. Our first fundraiser will start soon. The past few years we’ve successfully sold flower bulbs in fall. Information will be in your cubbies soon. We also have a place for bottle returns near the garbage can. Keep drinking & bring in those returnables!
Our back-to-school Meet & Greet picnic will be Sunday, September 13th at Taughannock. Bring a dish to pass and we’ll meet near the playground around 4:30, eat around 5. The first parent committee meeting will be Monday, September 21st at 6:30 pm at TCNS. Please join us to get the year off to a good start – it’s never too early to start talking about Fun with Santa! Children are welcome and can play in the other room while we are meeting. Yummy snacks will be provided!
There are still a few parent jobs available! We’re looking for 2 people to organize the silent auction and display for Fun with Santa. This is not as bad as it sounds – we have a list of donations from previous years and each family helps collect donations. These jobs are very important and it’s so much easier (and fun!) to have a group of people to work on fundraising. There are also openings in the facility coordinator & some of the organization for Big Fun. Please think about offering extra help if you’re able.
We have a busy month ahead of us. Our focus for September will be on manners and friendship and we’ll be learning each others’ names and the routine. We’re starting off with a familiar favorite, The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Everyone knows this story and it will give us a comfortable start to the year. We’ll be decorating our pockets for sign-in and making bead caterpillars. Next we’ll read Please Say Please, by Margery Cuyler. This is a wonderful book that will get the children thinking about manners and being polite. We’ll be working on our own TCNS Manners Book, and doing some tearing and cutting. Fox Makes Friends by Adam Relf will be our next book. This is another beautiful story about making friends and cooperation. We’ll make paper bag puppets and salt dough sculptures and a mural to help decorate our school. Our last book will be It’s Fall! by Linda Glaser. We’ll start to talk about the seasons and especially fall. We’ll be making a 3D nature sculpture and an underground fall scene.
Don’t forget to bring your family picture and scrapbook page as soon as possible. We love to have photos of our families to look at during the school day!
The more we get together, together, together,
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
‘Cause your friends are my friends,
And my friends are your friends,
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be!
It’s hard to believe the school year is almost over! All the children have grown so much! It’s wonderful to see the friendships that have developed and how much the children have enjoyed being together. Joan, Jackie and I are going to miss all the children who will be in kindergarten next year; it’s so hard to say goodbye! But we look forward to seeing students return for another year. It’s great to watch them develop and change from one year to the next.
We have a busy last few weeks of school coming up. We’ve already scheduled fieldtrips to Juniper Manor (TTh) and Trumansburg Family Dentistry (MWF) and are still waiting on confirmation for visits to the firehouse and kindergarten. Watch for details. As for the dentist and Juniper Manor, we gather at TCNS first, and then walk to these locations.
Don’t forget Big Fun this weekend (May 30th)! If you haven’t already signed up for a work shift, please do. And remember to bring in your baked goods and raffle items by Friday. We have fieldtrips scheduled for both Thursday and Friday this week, but I will be collecting items and bringing them to Big Fun. Thanks to everyone for helping on this event – it’s an important fundraiser for the nursery school!
Dates to remember:
June 16th – dessert social at the elementary school playground. Bring a dessert to share and relax with other TCNS families. TCNS will provide the ice cream!
June 18th – last day of classes.
Graduation will be at 7 pm. on Thursday, June 18th in the chapel upstairs. You are welcome to invite friends and family. Please have your graduate here by 6:50 so we can get them set up. We usually have a small reception after graduation. If every family brings a small amount of snack or cookies to share, we’ll have plenty.
We have a busy first week of June. Our first book will be Time for School Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt. We have fieldtrips scheduled for Trumansburg Family Dentistry and Juniper Manor during this week. At Juniper Manor we will be sharing our snack and inviting the residents to read with us. We will be making cereal necklaces and doing toothbrush painting. The following week we’ll be reading the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. We’ll cut and collage a strawberry, make strawberry shortcake and weave placemats. During the final week of classes, we’ll read A Special Kind of Love by Stephen Michael King in honor of Father’s Day. We’ll make a glue box collage and a wind chime from nuts and bolts.
We’ve all had a wonderful year here with so many fantastic children and families. Thanks you so much to everyone who has helped make this year go so smoothly. Congratulations to all the children going on to kindergarten.
Have a great summer!!
Well, it seems like we’ve jumped right into summer without much spring. Hopefully everyone had a wonderful spring break and has been enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s nice to finally be able to pack those snowpants away! Just don’t forget to take out the sunscreen!
For those who haven’t heard yet, Renee has decided to extend her maternity leave at home with Emerson and Owen, so she won’t be back at TCNS this year. Hopefully we’ll see her around town.
Just a few reminders…
Please try to remember to bring a roll of paper towels in when you’re the parent helper. We get messy and need to wash our hands, so we go through a lot of paper towels!
Don’t miss the parent workshop on Getting Ready for Kindergarten on May 5th at 6:30 pm. We’ll be doing this workshop in the Melvin Room at the Ulysses library. T-burg Elementary principal Jeanie Wiggins will be on hand to discuss the kindergarten program and answer questions.
Sibling Night will be May 20th (for MWF) and 21st (for TTH) from 6:30-7:30. Students are invited to bring their siblings for a special night of nursery school and project. Sorry, parents need to stay too!
Remember there’s no school on Monday, the 25th. Enjoy Memorial Day!
Big Fun is Saturday, May 30th from 10-2 at the fairgrounds. It’s an important fundraiser for TCNS and we need every family to help make it happen. Please sign-up for a shift on the sheet posted at the bottom of the stairs. A reminder about bake sale and raffle items will be coming out soon.
May promises to be a fun month! We’re going to start out reading How High is Up by Bernice Kohn. This is a neat comparison book that is just FULL of adjectives. We’ll be making a texture board and special picture for Mother’s Day. On Wednesday, we’ll hike to the falls and look for signs of spring. Then we’ll read a new take on an old story, Big Bad Wolf is Good by Simon Puttock. It’s an interesting story about preconceptions. We’ll make a handprint duck (love those little hands!), do crayon resist, and make a magnet fishing game. Our next book will be Big Smelly Bear by Britta Teckentrup. This is the same author that wrote Grumpy Cat, so it should be loads of fun. We’ll do a bear collage and leaf printing. The MWF class will walk to the library to talk to the children’s librarian. Our last book in May will be Going on a Nature Hunt by Steve Metzger and we’ll be doing a nature collage. We also have 2 fieldtrips that week!
We’ve lined up a number of field trips this month. Even they don’t fall on your normal school day, you and your child are welcome to join us.
May 5th – Hike to the falls (raindate 8th). Drop-off at Central Pavilion & pick-up at the playground.
May 27th – P&S Excavating. Drop-off & pick-up at P&S, Agard Road.
May 28th – Hike to the falls (raindate ?) Drop-off at Central Pavilion & pick-up at the playground.
I’m still waiting to hear back from the fire station and Juniper Manor.
Get outside & enjoy the sunshine!
Spring has begun and we’re starting a busy time of year — as you can see by the length of this newsletter!
Pre-registration is starting! For those children returning to TCNS for the next year, registration forms are available. These must be returned by April 22nd along with the registration fee to guarantee a spot for next year. After the 22nd, spots will be opened to younger siblings and then the general public during our Open House on April 29th. I expect the MWF spots to go quickly, do don’t procrastinate! Also, kindergarten registration has begun, so if you have a child entering kindergarten make sure to call your elementary school to register.
Coming up in May will be our second big fundraiser for the year – Big Fun at the Fairgrounds. We’re waiting for confirmation about the date, but it will be either May 16th or the 30th (Saturday) from 10-2 pm. I’ll be tracking down those of you who signed up to help organize so we can get started on the planning. We’ve decided to try a basket raffle; a BBQ basket, a child’s basket, and a mom’s basket. We’ll be asking for basket donations at the end of April.
There will be a HUGE used clothing sale at Ulysses Square in Jacksonville during the month of April sponsored by Tree Cook, a parent of a former TCNS student (now graduated from HS). Tree puts together these sales to benefit non-profit organizations and she’s chosen TCNS to be one of the beneficiaries (along with Hospicare, the Reading Partnership & Sew Green). It’s the perfect opportunity to shop and benefit others at the same time!
Remember, there will be no school April 11-19 for spring break. I hope everyone enjoys the wonderful weather! Our next parent meeting will be Wednesday, April 22nd at 6:30. It would be nice if we could have a good turn-out, we’ll be going over some of the plans for Big Fun.
Overall, the parent survey was positive. A few things that came up in the survey and were discussed at the parent and board meetings were the playground, communication, a sign-out, and curriculum.
Playground: Every year we struggle with ways to make our playground more accessible. It’s usually not an issue for the children or teachers because we have snow pants and boots on, but it is often difficult for parents and younger siblings. We talked a little about improving the area near the backdoor to be more patio-like and make it comfortable for parents waiting for their children. The upper door is easy as a pick-up spot during winter when a teacher is on the sledding hill but not as convenient when both teachers are on the playground. We’ll be looking into a railing also. If anyone has any creative ideas or is interested in helping with planning, please let me know. If you can’t catch me during school, email or a note in the suggestion box are also good.
Communication: We wish we more time to write feedback about your children. We try to be diligent about the written observations and sticky notes. Generally, our teachers’ would rather spend their limited time interacting with the children instead of filling out paperwork. (Sorry, your children are too much fun!) Please feel free to email me whenever you have a question or concern. Nothing is too small. Remember, it’s also easy to come in early or stay a few minutes after if there’s ever anything you’d like to talk about.
Sign-out: We’re trying to come up with a fun sign-in/sign-out system that we can test out after the April break. The teachers have talked something in which the child (or parent) would move a picture to match with their name. We’ll have the last couple of months to work the bugs out before next year.
Curriculum: A couple of comments on the survey expressed the wish for more academic curriculum. I wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone about the play-based philosophy of TCNS. We feel that we provide a rich educational environment which addresses the needs of preschool children and provides preparation for kindergarten. I’ve attached an article about kindergarten readiness to this month’s newsletter which I hope will be helpful in easing parents’ concerns. Also, Sarah Brainard and I are working on putting together a workshop discussion about kindergarten readiness, what to expect, how to help your child prepare, etc. for the end of April or early May.
Our themes this month will be friendship and gardening. We’ll start the month with a sweet book that’s new to us from scholastic called Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup. After that we’ll read Ebb and Flo and the New Friend by Jane Simmons. Both of these books are about making new friends. During these two weeks we’ll be making a cityscape (a two-day project) and do stamp art. We’ll also be making our own wooden boat – a chance to hammer a real nail! We’ll make a paper dragonfly and build our own snack. After spring break we’ll move onto gardening and read Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming and Grow Flower Grow by Lisa Bruce. We’ll talk about what plants need to grow, plant our own seeds, make a handprint bunny and garden collage. We’ll also make flowers out of popsicle sticks (a classic) and try making our own watercolor garden picture with a spray bottle and markers. We’re also hoping for a fieldtrip to Cyrus’s farm in the TTH class – details and directions will be provided.
5 Green and Speckled Frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs (yum, yum!)
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green speckled frogs!
Four green and speckled frogs….
Spring is coming!! I’m not sure whether March is a lion or a lamb, but it’s definitely muddy! Keep in mind that we’ll continue to go outside every day, even in the mud, so please send your child with appropriate clothing. Boots will be a necessity for quite a while, and snowpants always help keep clothing clean.
Thanks so much to our wonderful crew for the great cleaning bee! Hopefully we’ll get another cleaning in before spring break, when the weather becomes warmer and germs are thriving. I’ve attached an article about combating cold-weather illness – better late than never!
March is a busy month at TCNS! Special Persons Night will be March 11th (MWF) and March 12th (TTH) from 6:30-7:30 pm. Children are invited to bring one special adult to an abbreviated evening of nursery school. This gives children a chance to show their school to someone who hasn’t been able to come during the day. We even have a special art project!
There will be no classes the week of March 16th to March 20th. We’ll have parent-teacher conferences and do curriculum planning. Please check the conference sign-up near the stairs. If none of the times available are convenient for you, let me know and we can schedule another time. Remember, if you’d like an additional opportunity to check in about your child, arriving early on your parent helper day provides the perfect opportunity!
Don’t forget the next parent meeting – March 18th at 6:30. We’ll review the results of the parent survey and talk about some upcoming plans for the spring. Thanks to everyone for helping make pick-up time run so smoothly!
Please help our budget! Remember, you can bring in your bottle returns. The money from our bottle returns helps cover some of our art project costs. Another way you can help keep our costs down is to bring in a roll of paper towels on your parent helper day.
We’ve been having a wonderful time this year! Both classes have come together and are developing strong friendships, helping each other, and showing great skills in the classroom. We’re lucky to have such a fantastic group of children (and families!)
We have some great books and projects planned for March. We’ll start the month by reading Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox. This is a funny twist on the classic fairy tale that provides us a great chance to play with rhymes. We’ll make our own crowns, do a collage, and make a rhyming book. Our next book will be a wonderful tale of friendship – Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie. During this week we’ll be making special person’s invitations and baking cookies for our special night. We’ll also make pink pig playdough sculpture. After the conference week we’ll read Elmer the Elephant. This is a great book about being different (or trying not to be different). We’ll make our own elephant hats and make a colorful collage elephant.
“When I approach a child, he inspires me in two sentiments:
Tenderness of what he is, and respect for what he may become.”
We’ve returned from our holiday break and jumped right into the new year! The children have been very busy – making friends, doing projects, practicing their skills. Both classes have accepted Jackie as if she’s been with us from the beginning. We have a very welcoming group of children and parents!
With winter in full swing, we’ve been talking about germs and working on healthy hygiene. Our cleaning bee parents will be going through the school at the end of January, so hopefully we’ll cut down on some of those germs! We’ll continue to go outside as much as possible. Not only does it help cut down on the germ, but we have the best snow we’ve had in years!
Throughout this month and March we’ll also be working on individual assessments of the children. We have a week set aside for parent-teacher conferences in March. Watch for the sign-up to be posted at the end of February.
Jammie Day will be February 4th & 5th! The children (and helpers) should wear their pajamas to school! It’s a fun, cozy day and we put our snow-pants on right over our pj’s when we go out.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day we’ll be decorating a box and encouraging children to bring in a special homemade valentine to put in the box. You can address the valentine ‘to my friend’. On the last day of school before break, the children will take turns picking a surprise valentine from the box.
I hope everyone got my email about pick-up time. Please help us try to reduce congestion and confusion in the hallway at the end of the day. Also, remember to check that other children are not following you from the playground or from the building. Thanks for everyone’s help incorporating these new practices. At the March parent meeting we can talk about how they’re working out.
Soon we’ll start planning fieldtrips for the spring. Any suggestions (or offers to host a fieldtrip) would be greatly appreciated.
February is a short month, but we’re going to make the most of it! We’ll start off the month reading Snow on Snow on Snow by Cheryl Chapman. This is a wonderful story about a day out in the snow. We’ll do finger-painting, a torn paper collage, and a sewing project on pajama day. Next we’ll read the heartwarming book, A Snowy Surprise by Amy Heist. This is a perfect story for the week before Valentines and we’ll be baking surprise muffins, making our own valentines and cocoa mix. After the winter break, we’ll read Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. This is a great story about empowerment and using your brain to get out of a tough situation. We’ll end with a paper bag puppet (of course), a toilet paper tube castle, and watercolor dragon.
Remember, we don’t have school the week of February 16th for winter break.
Wow! 2009! It’s hard to believe that time is passing so quickly! I hope everyone has/had a wonderful holiday break. Don’t be surprised if you encounter reluctance getting back in the routine of school. After a couple of weeks full of presents and family time, getting up for school is not a high priority!
Welcome to Caiden, Anthony and Rory in the Tuesday/Thursday class. Caiden started the beginning of December, Anthony is starting the beginning of January, and Rory will be joining the 5-day group. We are now full in both classes! There are a number of wonderful friendships blossoming, and all the children are working hard negotiating and playing together!
Thanks to everyone for all the hard work at Fun with Santa! Everything ran very smoothly and we were able to make almost $2000 for TCNS! Plus, we’ve had a number of compliments on the excellent quality of our Santa photos! If anyone has any helpful comments or suggestions for next year, please either jot down a note or email me and I’ll put it in the file for next year.
Hopefully everyone has had a chance to meet Jackie Puleo before the holiday break. She’ll be our sub during Renee’s maternity leave. We wish Renee a relaxing time at home with her new baby and look forward to her return in April! Jackie will stay on with us in Tuesday/Thursday class through the rest of the year.
Just a reminder, cold season is upon us. Our sick policy is in the handbook, but please keep your child at home if they’ve had a fever or vomiting within the past 24 hours. We’ll continue to talk with the children about germs and good hygiene (hand washing, using tissues, etc), but reminders are helpful! Also remember to bring all your snow clothes during this long winter season. It’s amazing how quickly some of the children have learned to get themselves dressed!
There will be no school on January 19th for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the next parent meeting will be Wednesday, January 21st at 6:30 pm.
January Activities: (Snow, snow, snow!)
Our first week back we’ll be reading Under My Hood, I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin. This is a simple, visually appealing book describing how to dress for winter to help remind us how to get all our snow clothes on. We’ll decorate a mitten for our tree, dress a paper doll for outside and make puff paint. Our next book is All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle. We’ll write our own book about how to make a snowman and make a paper snowman and salt dough snowman. Our third book for January will be A Hat for Minerva by Janet Morgan Stoeke. This is a wonderful book about a chicken who likes to go out in winter and finds a hat to keep her head warm. We’ll make a handprint chicken and felt scarves for our stuffed animals. Our last book will be a Jan Brett adaptation called Three Snow Bears. During this week we’ll make a Styrofoam igloo, cut and decorate our own boot, and make soup mix to share.
I’m a little snowman, short and fat.
Here is my broomstick and here is my hat.
When the sun comes out I melt away,
Down, down, down. Oops I’m a puddle today!