Miss Nancy's Newsletters

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Hi families,

Our study of Mo Willems is in full swing. The kids have had a great time reading his Pigeon books, acting out Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus!, and being vets in the house area. We have discussed the parts of a book- front and back covers, title page, author, illustrator and the binding. We have discussed the parts of a story- characters, setting, conflict and resolution. We have discussed special things that Mo Willems does to help the reader understand how the characters are feeling- using lines to show movement of body parts and capital letters and large font to show excitement, anger, or yelling. They have been very busy. Next week we will move on to the Elephant and Piggie books. We will review all of the things we discussed last week and add where on the page you start to read, where the first/second word on the page are located, use the pictures to predict what will happen next, and graph our favorite Elephant and Piggie book.

I would like to give a huge thank you to Ms. Leclair and Olivia for taking our dyed fabric pieces and sewing them into a beautiful quilt with a satin backing. It is gorgeous! The kids have been using it as a blanket for the “sick” pets at the vet’s office. I have no doubt that quilt will get used every day for the rest of the school year.

Winter is coming. We had a small taste of it this week. I beg you to label your kids clothing, boots, shoes, and outerwear. It is the only way I can guarantee that you will get your items back. I think we have 7 or 8 pair of black snow pants and mittens in our class. They all look the same to me. The kids don’t know for sure which is theirs. Initials or a name on the tag can mean the difference between getting your clothing back or not. Thank you for taking the time to do this. As a general rule, I will not have the children who are picked up at 2:45 put their snow pants back on. The children who ride the bus need to wear all of their outerwear in case there is a problem on the bus.

Dates to remember:

  • Wednesday, December 6 - No school for teacher in-service
  • Thursday, December 21 - Book celebration from 2:00-2:45
  • Friday, December 22 - Pajama Day - We will be having a popcorn party and watching a short Paw Patrol movie with Miss Darcie and Miss Taylor’s classes that afternoon. If you do not want your child watching the movie please email me and let me know. We will provide other activities for the children who are not watching the movie.

I will be putting out a survey monkey for people to sign up to bring in things for our book celebration and popcorn party. If you are able to contribute it will be greatly appreciated.

We have an amazing class. Thank you for sharing your children with me each day.



I hope everyone had a wonderful week with family and friends. I can’t wait to see your kids tomorrow. Thank you to all of the families who took time out of your busy schedules to meet with me for a parent/teacher conference. It was great to see you.

We wrapped up our unit on clothes by reading Caps for Sale and making hats, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, and discussing special clothing people wear to work as uniforms. The children played a guessing game to see if they could identify who wore what. They were quite good at it!

We have transformed the classroom from our unit on clothes to our author’s study of Mo Willems. The house area is a veterinarian’s office. The writing center has blank books for the children to create their own stories. There are lots of new math and letter matching games. We will discuss the parts of a book; front and back covers, title page, table of contents in reference and chapter books, and the index. We will discuss who the author and illustrator are and what their jobs are in the creation of a book. We will make a class book and an individual book. We will also discuss different emotions, how to be a good friend, expected/unexpected behavior, and strategies to use when you feel upset. It should be a busy month. We will culminate it with a family gathering at 2pm on Thursday, December 21st and a pajama day on Friday, December 22nd. School will be closed for the winter break from December 25th to January 2nd, reopening for classes on January 3rd.

I did a quick assessment with your kids to see if they knew where on the page the reader began to read. Many children did not know where the first and second words on the page were. Pointing out the first word of the story and moving your finger from left to right across the page while you read with your children gives them valuable information about reading. We will incorporate these skills into our author’s study.

I will be sending home a dressing strip to help your child with dressing and undressing winter gear in the home/school folder. This is the visual we use at school. Any practice your child can get at home will be greatly appreciated!

Have a great week.


Hello everyone,

Last week your children learned how cloth is woven together by strands of thread and then sewn together to make clothes. We practiced weaving on the wonderful loom that Mr. Fontaine and Colton made for us and on the fence outside. Thank you again Mr. Fontaine and Colton. We practiced sewing ribbon and buttons on burlap. Those activities will be available this week too. On Wednesday, we had a visit from Miss Pam of the Burnham Library. Your children did a fantastic job listening to our guest speaker as she read to them and participating in the music activities that she brought. She will be joining our class approximately one time a month. We will finish our study of clothes this week. We will be making hats and reading some fun Pete the Cat books.

Our next unit of study will be on the books of Mo Willems. Children love his characters Pigeon, Piggie, and Elephant. They provide great stories for conversations on expected/unexpected behavior, how to be a good friend, the difference between a want and a need, and non verbal communication through body language and facial expressions. We will culminate this study with a gathering on December 22nd at 2:00. If anyone has any of the Mo Willems puppets or stuffed animals that Kohl’s was selling a few months ago, I would love to borrow them for the month of December. Thank you.

Parent/teacher conferences are next week. If you would like to have a conference but cannot make it into school, we can do a phone conference instead. Sign up for a conference as you would if you were coming in, let me know that you need a phone conference, and I will call you at the appointed time. If next week does not work at all, let me know and we can make another arrangement.

Reminder: We will start our day inside if the “real feel” temperature is 10 degrees or less. This factors in the wind chill.

School is closed next week for parent/teacher conferences and Thanksgiving recess.

Have a great week.


Hello everyone,

We had a great week learning about how fabric is made and dyed last week. I brought in white cotton fabric and concentrated coffee, beet juice, grape juice, and blackberry juice. I showed the children fresh coffee grounds, beet skins, blackberries, and grape concentrate. Most of the children were familiar with all of the foods except beets. The children picked which dye they wanted to place their white square into. They used spoons and forks to fully submerge the fabric in the fluid. We left the material in the dye overnight and pulled it out the next day at circle. The fabrics were no longer white. They were shades of pink, purple, and tan. I kept one square of white fabric as the control sample to compare the dyed fabric to. Does anyone sew or own a sewing machine? I would love to have the children sew some of the squares together this week and then send them home with someone who could sew them all together into a quilt for our house area. I must admit, the squares are not uniform in size at all. It may be a bit challenging to put this together and have it come out looking square or rectangular. If you think you could help me with this project, please let me know. If you would like to come into the classroom and lead a small group of kids in the sewing activity, please let me know. In order to volunteer in the classroom you need to have filled out the volunteer form and have fingerprints done.

We did some weaving with ribbon on cookie cooling racks last week. The kids practiced putting the fabric up and down through the metal rungs. This was a challenging fine motor activity. I would encourage you to try it at home if you have a cookie cooling rack or any white wire rack. Tie some ribbon, shoe laces, yarn, or string on one end and have the kids work it through the rungs. It is harder than it looks! One of our classroom parents has made us a 3 foot x 3 foot weaving rack. We will be weaving on that this week! My hope is that the kids will weave materials and ribbon through the weaving rack for the next two weeks and then we will work together to tie the ends off and make a blanket for our cozy area.

Thank you very much for all of the supplies and support you offer to our class. It is greatly appreciated by all of us! We used some of the donated clothes for a dressing race on Friday. I split the class into 4 teams. I gave each team one pair of shorts, one t-shirt, and one pair of mittens. Each member of each team needed to put on the shorts, t-shirt, and pair of mittens as fast as possible then take them off and pass them to the next person on their team. The first team to have all three people get dressed/undressed won. There was a lot of laughter. Your children are very capable dressers! This was great practice of those independence skills.

Parent teacher conferences are November 20 and November 21. I am sending home a questionnaire for you to fill out and return if there is anything in particular that you would like to discuss during our time together. Please return it in the home/school folder this week so I can prepare any materials if necessary.

I have attached the words to this month’s songs at the end along with some pictures of your children hard at work. Book orders are due Friday.

Have a great week.


Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Seven bags full;
Three for ______
And two for _______
And two for ________
Who lives down the lane
Purple Pants
__________ wore __________(color and clothing item)
(S/he) wore ___________________
Pick-a pack-a lick-a lack,
S/he wore ________________
This is the Way We Wash Our Clothes
This is the way we wash our clothes
Wash our clothes
Wash our clothes
This is the way we wash our clothes
So early in the morning

This is the way we iron our clothes...
This is the way we mend our clothes...
This is the way we get dressed up...
Hello Neighbor
Hey there, _________
What d’ya say? (wave to partner)
It’s gonna be a wonderful day. (arms circle overhead and then move down to sides)
Clap your hands and boogie on down (clap hands and wiggle down)
Give me a jump and sit right down. (jump and sit)
The Dyed Fabric
Student working with paper shapes
Student with magnet letters
J's Monster
Three students working together
Student practicing doing laundry
Student dying fabric
Student cutting out paper shapes
Student wearing mittens
Student wearing black mittens
Student wearing green mittens
Students working with dough

Hi everyone,

We wrapped up our study of trees and harvest last week. Your kids spent last week investigating apples and pumpkins. We compared the flavor of four different types of apples and then graphed which one was the favorite. The granny smith apple won the most votes. It beat out red delicious, golden delicious, and pink lady. The kids also got to taste apple cider and roasted pumpkin seeds.The kids also spent time measuring the height and diameter of different sized pumpkins. They got to scoop out the insides and sort out seeds for me to take home and roast. We also did some predictions on which items in our classroom, including the pumpkins and apples, would sink or float. Ask your children about the results. Hint, apples and pumpkins both float. It was a very busy week.

This week we will be switching gears to a unit on clothing. This week we will dye some cotton fabrics with coffee, beet, and berry juices. We will be weaving with ribbon, sewing buttons, and doing laundry in the house area with our cardboard box washer and dryer. Your children will practice folding clothes, matching socks, and closing different types of fasteners; snaps, zippers, buttons, and laces. I am still looking for some raw wool if anyone has any that they would be willing to let us use in class.

Our class will be participating in a school wide celebration on Friday, November 3rd. The idea behind the special day is to celebrate that we are all super heroes. Everyone, including the teachers and staff, will be able to dress up like their favorite superhero. Students might be a batman, wonder woman or could be a superhero of their own creation. At the end of the day we will have a Superhero Parade. Oscar, our school mascot, will lead the parade dressed as his own superhero. The parade will begin at 2:30. During the parade the kids will get to see the other students’ and teachers’ outfits or comic strips. The celebration committee has an indoor parade route through the school and an outdoor parade route along the path we use for Long Trail.

Thank you so much for all of your generosity this year. It makes such a difference in our classroom. I appreciate it very much.

Dates to remember:

  • Book orders due November 10
  • Parent teacher conferences 10:30-6:30 on November 20 and 8:00-12:00 on November 21
  • No school November 21 to November 25 for Thanksgiving

Have a great week.


Hi everyone,

Last week was a short week. The kids enjoyed a new “apple picking” activity with two large construction paper trees, apples that are held on with velcro, large dice, number cards, and apple picking bags. The kids either picked a number card or rolled to dice. They then identified the number and “picked” that many apples. Many of the children shared experiences of recently apple picking with family.

This week we will be shifting our tree focus to apple trees, apples, and pumpkins. We will measure the circumference and height of pumpkins, apples and gourds. We will then compare which is the biggest, longest, tallest, shortest, etc.and then see what the difference is.

Next week we will be moving on to our study of clothing. We will be doing dyeing cloth, weaving, sewing, graphing, and sorting. The house area will be changed into a laundry room, complete with cardboard box washer and dryer. I am in need of some materials. If you are able to contribute any of the following for us to have or use, I would appreciate it.

  • Cotton cloth to dye and weave
  • Raw wool
  • Beets, kale, blackberries, coffee - to make the dye
  • Ribbon
  • Burlap
  • Old shoes or boots- for matching
  • Baby socks
  • Clean, old clothes to wash, dry, and fold

Upcoming dates to remember:

  • Picture retakes Tuesday, October 24

Thank you for everything!


The following is a letter from Mrs. Benay regarding our inclement weather plan:

Dear PreK families,

I really appreciate everyone’s cooperation with our pick up and drop off routines for the Colchester Preschool programs.

Although we have been blessed with lovely weather, I know that Vermont will soon bring us rainy days, with the cold winter not far behind.

The following is our routine for inclement weather:

On days when it is raining or the “feels like” temperature is below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, children will come into the building as the busses arrive. Doors will not open prior to 8:20 and 11:55. Caregivers can help your child undress in the hall and leave them with the teachers. Teachers will likely combine children in one or two rooms to play until the regular session begins.

We will assign staff to monitor the hallways so that caregivers can enter and exit through the Greenhouse doors until 8:30 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. for the afternoon session.

Caregivers arriving after 8:30 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. will need to enter and exit through the main lobby doors after being identified by the front desk.

We appreciate your cooperation. For caregivers who are dropping children off, it is best to wait until close the start time of your child’s session to arrive at school.

Thank you,

Julie Benay

Hello families,

We are entering week three of our study of trees. This week we will shift our study to who lives in trees and what do we get from trees. We will be doing a living/non-living sort. It is alive if it eats, reproduces, grows/changes, breathes, and moves. Next week we will talk about fall trees, apples, pumpkins, and harvest. If anyone would like to donate different colored apples for projects or a pumpkin for a sink/float activity I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Last week we talked about the life cycle of a tree. Your children practiced acting out the life cycle of a tree. They started as seeds (on knees, head and chest down), I “sprinkled’ water and sunshine on them and they sprouted- on knees, sitting back on heels with arms bent and hands out near shoulders for 2 leaves. I “sprinkled” them with more water and sunshine and they start to grow- kneel on their knees then slowly get to their feet as we talk about the different stages of growth. We talked about how the tree will grow into a seedling and then into a sapling. As a sapling, it grows bark which is the equivalent to our skin. Each year the trunk grows wider. A new layer of bark grows over the top of the old one. The top layer of bark is dead and helps protect the inner layers from viruses and animals. As a mature tree the kids put their hands over their heads and sway their “branches” and “canopy” in the wind. We talk about how the tree may grow fruit and nuts. As the weather changes, the leaves shed and the tree grows older. A mature, dying tree is called a snag. We “sway” as snags until eventually branches fall off in the wind and the tree falls over because it has rotted from the inside out. The kids have enjoyed acting out this cycle. We end by talking about the new sprout that has grown out of the seeds of the original tree. Ask your kids to show this to you. If you narrate for them, they should be able to act all the parts out.

We have been acting out a poem and singing a new song this month about trees. The words are at the end of this newsletter. I also changed the lyrics to our goodbye song. I added those lyrics as well.

School pictures went home this week. Retakes will be from 9-11 on Tuesday, October 24th if anyone is interested. You will need to bring the current package in with you on that day. Retakes are happening in our classroom.

Dates to remember:
No school October 19 and 20 (Thursday and Friday of this week).
Picture retakes Tuesday, October 24

Have a great week.


A tree my size (poem with body movements)
This tree is wide (stand with arms and legs out wide)
This tree is tall (leaves arms out wide and stand tall)
This tree is thin (bring legs together and bring arms together over head)
This tree is small (squat down and bring arms down)
Beautiful trees
I see with my eyes (put hand over eyes and look around)
But the one I like the best
Is exactly my size! (stand up and put one hand on top of head)
I am a Sturdy Oak (sung to Mary Had A Little Lamb)
I’m a sturdy oak tree, oak tree, oak tree.
I’m a sturdy oak tree, swaying in the wind.

...bushy gray squirrel munching on some nuts
...noisy blue bird sitting on a branch
...busy bee buzzing round the hive
...slithering slimy snake hanging on a branch
...wise old spotted owl hooting for some lunch
The Goodbye Song - Tree version (sung 4 times- fast, faster, fastest, and slowly)
Trees sway goodbye like this (arms up overhead swaying back and forth)
Trees sway goodbye like this
They wave their leaves for all their friends (waves hands)
And, sway goodbye like this (arms up overhead swaying back and forth)

Hello families,

We started our study of trees last week. We labeled the different parts of a tree (bark, roots, branches/sticks, leaves/canopy, nuts, fruit, pine cones, pine needles, evergreens or coniferous trees and deciduous trees. The class did a bark rubbing of the large oak tree outside the greenhouse doors and painted a green canopy for it. This group project is hanging in our classroom. This week we will add handprint leaves in fall colors. We will continue our conversation this week on the life cycle of a tree and how trees change over time and throughout the year. We will paint with pine needles, acorns, leaves, and pinecones this week.

Pam from the Burnham Library visited our classroom on Wednesday. She read 3-4 books and taught us 2-3 songs. She will visit once a month throughout the school year. She left several books to share with us for the next month. Your children are using the library books as a transitional activity between lunch and circle. The children who finish lunch early clean up their spot, put away their lunch box, and look at books quietly while waiting for the others to finish. We practiced the new routine on Thursday and they did it automatically on Friday. They are quickly learning the routines of the classroom. It is pretty amazing to watch.

I borrowed some small, plastic, woodland animals (deer, moose, raccoon, squirrels, chipmunks, fox, etc) and birds from Darcie for the kids to play with. We have them through the end of this week. The kids have really enjoyed playing with them and making habitats for them with the natural materials that have been donated by you. I need to give them back to Darcie on Friday so her classes have a chance to use them during their study of trees. If anyone has any small, plastic or plush woodland animals or birds that we can borrow or you would like to donate to the program, I know the kids would love it. We will be talking about what lives in trees the week of October 16th. Thanks.

In November, we will be talking about clothes. I thought it would be a great experience for your kids to get to weave and sew. Does anyone have a piece of chicken wire and some 2x4’s they would like to donate to the program? The picture on the bottom is what I would like to create for the kids to do a group project with. It does not need to be this big but I would like it big enough for a few children to work on at the same time. If anyone is capable of building this, I would be very grateful. I am not that handy and will be asking my husband to help out. I am also looking for small embroidery hoops, plastic sewing needles and pieces of cloth for the kids to sew with. If you have anything we can borrow in November please let me know.

Dates to remember: No School October 19 and 20.

Have a great week.


Student learning to weave

Hello everyone,

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the open house last Thursday. It was great to see you. Your kids had a wonderful time sharing our classroom with you. They were still excited about it on Friday when we came back together.

We wrapped up our study of self and families last week. We completed four graphs to compare ways we are the same and different. We graphed how many people live in our house, what type of pets we have, what color eyes we have, and how old the kids are. The kids had fun "noticing" who else had the same color eyes as them, who was the same age as them, or which animal was owned most frequently by members of our class. There was a lot of math talk; more than, less than, fewer, least, most, the same as, equal to, taller, shorter, etc. There was also a lot of counting. We count everything. When we are done counting, I always make sure to ask the kids, "How many was that?" This questions teaches the kids the concept of quantity. That the final number counted represents the number of objects in the collection. It is a developmental leap to be able to repeat the last number instead of recounting the number of objects.

We will be discussing trees for most of October. If you are able to go on a "tree walk" with your child and collect a few items to add to our "tree walk" collection, it would be beneficial for our classroom. Items like acorns, different types of leaves, twigs, bark, pine cones, pine needles, flowers, seeds, etc would be perfect. The kids will be investigating and sorting the materials, using them in a feely box, and possibly using them for arts and crafts projects in the upcoming weeks. I will have the collection on display in the science table with magnifying glasses and small containers to sort and study.

I need your help! Please make sure your child uses the bathroom just prior to coming to school. We had two accidents on the playground on Friday. We are outside until approximately 12:25 everyday. It is very difficult for Tammy or I to bring a child inside to use the bathroom as it leaves too many children on the playground with one person for licensing regulations. Thanks for your help with this.

We are teaching your kids the "flip trick" for putting on their jackets. This is done by placing your child’s coat on the floor and having your child stand up at the top where their head would be. They slide their arms into the arm holes up to their elbows and flip the jacket over their head. It takes a little bit of practice but kids pick this trick up quickly. If you would practice this at home with your child, it would be greatly appreciated. We strive for independence in our classroom. The kids are so proud when they can do things by themselves. It also makes getting 14 kids ready to go home a lot quicker and easier. :-)

Have a great week.


Student with smiley face craft
Student with how old are you chart
Student with doll
Student with book
Student crafting
Student crafting

Hello families,

We had another exciting week in preschool. Our week started with the beautiful monarch butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Every time we saw a butterfly this week the children would shout "Look! There’s our butterfly!"

I added two pulley systems attached to pieces of gutters in the block area. The kids have been practicing with the balls and cars trying to get them to land in baskets on the floor. There is some teamwork, negotiation, and communication involved because the ramps flow into each other. It was been very enjoyable watching the kids problem solve this dilemma.

I introduced using the timer as a tool to get a turn with the ramps on Tuesday. As you can imagine, the ramps have been a high interest area all week. The kids have been setting 3 minute sand timers on each other, practicing saying, "It’s my turn when the timer is done.", patiently waiting the three minutes for their turn, and then saying, "The timer is all done. It’s my turn now." It takes a lot of skill to delay gratification for the full three minutes. It equally takes a lot of skill to gracefully end your turn when someone tells you the timer is finished and it is their turn. This is a strategy that we will use all year to share materials and take turns. The kids have done a fantastic job with it this week. We also use a timer to end lunch and to tell us when it is time to clean up to go home. I recommend this as a strategy to use at home if your children have a difficult time sharing materials or ending activities.

This week we will wrap up our study on "All about me". We will do some more graphing and create portraits of self or family members using a variety of different materials. I can't wait to see how creative your children will be. I will have them on display Thursday evening for the open house.

Dates to remember:

  • Wednesday, 9/27/17 - No school for teacher trainings
  • Thursday, 9/28/17 - Open House 6:30-7:00

Have a great week!

Miss Nancy

Students with ramps and pullies
10 things to say instead of stop crying
Students working at a table
Students playing with dolls

Hello families,

As you quickly learned last week, technology is not my forte. I will do my best to get an email out on occasion and a newsletter out as often as possible. Thank you for being willing to allow other parents in the class to see you email addresses. One family requested that their email only be used for school or child related items. I think that is a reasonable expectation and a norm that can be adopted by everyone.

We had another fantastic week in preschool. Your children were very busy getting familiar with the different parts of our classroom. We read many books about going to school. The children noticed that the areas of the classrooms shown in books were the same areas that we have in our classroom i.e. block area, art area, book area, circle spots, a place to eat, the playground, etc. They also noticed that the classroom expectations were similar to ours. They were very pleased with their connections to the text. Our classroom rules are hung and I have been "catching" and commenting to the children when they are exhibiting one of our rules.

It was great to be outside on the playground everyday last week. We practiced a fire drill on Wednesday. The children did a fantastic job lining up and walking to our designated meeting spot. The day was so beautiful that I gave the kids an extra 10 minutes on the playground after the fire drill. This week's weather looks equally good. I'll keep my fingers crossed that we get outside every day this week too.

We chant a song called "We are the Preschoolers" everyday on our walk inside from the playground. The kids are getting to know the words. It is a call and response song. We also sing "Hail, hail, the gang’s all here" when everyone is in attendance and a goodbye song to close out our day. I put the words below.

Our theme continues to be "all about me". We will work on our "all about me" books and start graphing demographic information so we can see how we are alike and different. Thank you for sharing how many people live in your house and how many and what types of pets you have. Those are two of the graphs we will be creating.

An email went out from Mrs. Benay regarding the open house this week. That is only for students in grades 3-5. The preschool open house is Thursday, September 28th from 6:30-7:00. Another important date to remember is Weds. 9/27. There is no school on that day as it is an early release day for professional development for the school staff.

I found an interesting link about speaking to children so they listen. Here it is. https://notjustcute.com/2014/09/10/six-ways-youre-unintentionally-telling-kids-not-to-listen/

Thank you again for sharing your children with me. I love spending my afternoons with them.

Miss Nancy


Hail, hail the gang's all here
Hail, hail the gang's all here
Never mind the weather
As long as we're together

Hail, hail the gang's all here
School is much more fun
When we're with everyone

We are the Preschoolers
This is a call and response song

We are the preschoolers
We are the preschoolers

The mighty, mighty preschoolers
The mighty, mighty preschoolers

And everywhere we go
And everywhere we go

People want to know
People want to know

Who we are
Who we are

So we tell them
So we tell them

We are the preschoolers
We are the preschoolers

The mighty, mighty preschoolers
The mighty, mighty preschoolers

The Goodbye Song
We repeat this lyric 3x with increasing speed and one time very slowly

We wave goodbye like this
We wave goodbye like this
We clap our hands for all our friends
And wave goodbye like this
We all fit together
Folder with grammar
Students at a table

Welcome to week two of preschool!

Your children did a wonderful job during our first week together. They are getting familiar with our daily routines and learning classroom expectations. I am amazed at how quickly they are learning the routines for lunch and getting ready to go home. Those are complex, multi-step routines that require so much effort. We created class rules "Be safe. Be kind to each other. Take care of our classroom." We read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. If you are unfamiliar with this book, I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful story about Chester Raccoon's first day at school and how he says goodbye to his mother. We made Kissing Hand handprints, played two different counting/number games featuring Chester Raccoon, and one ABC Kissing Hand game, drew self portraits, and much more. Unfortunately, we did not get to spend much time on our playground. Hopefully, the weather will be better this week.

This week we will continue to explore our classroom and how to take care of it and each other. I spend several weeks building the culture of our classroom. I find that investing the time during these first several weeks of school pays off throughout the school year. We will be working on an "All about me" book too.

Your children are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing them with me this year. I have enjoyed every minute with them.

School picture day is Thursday.

Enjoy some pictures of the first week of school. Have a wonderful week.

Miss Nancy

Student with blocks
Students with kitchen toys
Students with kitchen toys
Student with block creation
Students learning at the table
Sandbox time
Students with large bricks
Smiling student
Students with paper shapes

Butterfly in Preschool

Miss Tammy brought in a monarch caterpillar the first week of school. The children got to watch it crawl up a branch and hang in the "J" position in preparation to form the chrysalis. The chrysalis formed in our absence. The children have been observing the chrysalis and waiting patiently for the butterfly to emerge. It emerged yesterday morning! I showed the children the butterfly during lunch. One of our classmates made a "butterfly" out of two fork handles. How clever! We spent yesterday observing the butterfly and recording our observations through drawings. We talked about how this butterfly will lay new eggs and the life cycle will start again. We let the butterfly go at the end of our day. What an amazing process!

Monarch butterfly
Student creates butterfly from forks
Butterfly perched on a finger

Welcome to Preschool! My name is Nancy Smith (Miss Nancy). I live in Colchester with my husband, my two sons and our pug, Dodger. I love to rock climb, boat on Malletts Bay, read and travel to National Parks. My oldest is a sophomore at Clarkson University and my youngest is a senior at Colchester High School. I have worked in different capacities with the Colchester Early Education Program since 2005. I am so excited to be your child's teacher this year. Miss Tammy is our classroom assistant. She has worked with the program for 19 years. Tammy likes nature, spending time with her family, and playing with her four grandchildren. We have a very exciting year planned.

Our class meets Tuesday-Friday from 12:00-2:45. Drop off will be on the playground. We go outside every day unless it is raining or the "feels like" temperature is 10 degrees or lower. Dismissal is at the Greenhouse doors. They are located on the southwestern end of the building. Traffic is heavy at that time of day and parking is tricky. MBS parents and buses are also vying for the parking lot. Please be prompt.

This home/school folder will come home each Tuesday. It will have in it important information about what is happening at school. Your child's art work will also come home in here. Please return the folder to school by Friday so I can fill it and start the cycle again.

Each month, I will send home a copy of the lunch menu. It is also available to view on-line. Please indicate which days your child will be having hot lunch on the menu and return it to me in the home/school folder along with a check. Payments can also be made on-line. I will place the weekly lunch order on Mondays.

Our themes for September are Back to school and Self/Families. We will spend a lot of time introducing your child to the classroom materials. We will demonstrate and discuss ways to keep ourselves and our materials safe while at school. We will make class rules and expectations and discuss ways we are the same and different. We will practice a fire drill and a lockdown drill. These drills are not meant to scare your child but to practice what to do in case of a real emergency. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding either of these drills.

Important dates to remember in September:

  • September 14 - School Picture Day
  • September 27 - No School- Teacher In-service
  • September 28 - Open House 6:30-7:00pm

If your child is unable to come to school, please let the front office know, 264-5900 and send me an email at nancy.smith@colchestersd.org. Email is the best way to reach me. I check it every day and will respond promptly. I am also available for phone conversations outside of our scheduled class time. My desk line is 802-264-5894. Conversations at pickup and drop off are tricky as I am responsible for the safe transfer of responsibility of 15 children. Thanks for understanding.

I encourage you to check out the Early Education webpage at https://www.csdvt.org/ee/. It contains a lot of useful information regarding our program, the community, and the Colchester School District.

Thank you for sharing your child with Tammy and I this school year. We feel truly lucky to get to spend part of our day with them.

Miss Nancy and Miss Tammy