Well, Parents, October is over, Winter is upon us (already!), and we are heading into the holiday season. We ended October with a week full of Halloween-themed fun - hope you caught our parades and our singing/rhyming activities. We really enjoyed learning those!
In October we focused on other people - not just in terms of appearances, but also in terms of cultural backgrounds and physical abilities. We talked about treating everybody with respect, about having equal rights regardless of who you are, and about the fact that we cannot say anything about a person's character simply from what they look like. We also discussed inclusivity at both a societal level, and a more personal preschool level, and in both cases we concluded that everybody is welcome. This, of course, is a recurring theme in preschool life, one which we will repeat and continue to reinforce throughout the year. As the children are getting to know each other better, they are starting to form new bonds, which sometimes need a little help to focus on the positive aspects of friendship rather than the more exclusive behavior that can result from wanting to strengthen their newfound relationships.
Also, in October, we started using our voices differently in Music class. We have worked on rhythm and percussion, practiced adagio, moderato, and allegro; and recently we have been doing different voice activities: singing forte and pianissimo, as well as starting to practice a little solo singing. This is not so much to show off to each other or the teachers, but to prove to ourselves that we can do it, and it is a great tool for learning to use our voices with discipline. We also practice listening, as learning to tune into the voices around us is an important part of singing together - and being together.
In art, we continue to produce great and fun pieces: some we finish in one class, while others we work on for weeks as they require more one-on-one assistance. Most of our work will go into a winter exhibition, so while it will be some time before you get to see it up close, all the work will eventually make its way home.
In November, the new theme is "Different Places." The places we will visit, each have a November celebration that has absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving. First, we will head north to Canada, where we will explore both ice and fire, Inuit and European culture; then we will go to Belgium to discover that sometimes great beauty and community can come from devastating ruin; and our final stop will be Japan, where we will celebrate children and learn about luck and longevity. After our quick world tour, we will come back to some American Thanksgiving to discuss what we are thankful for.
At the end of November, you have the opportunity to attend parent-teacher conferences. Friday, Monday, and Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break, we will have Upstairs Zoom conferences, and this year, we will offer time slots during the evening. This means there will be regular preschool classes on these days. You will be able to sign up for conferences via a SignUpGenius link, which will be sent to you separately. Upstairs parents will meet with Melissa and Anja.
As mentioned in the October newsletter, we would like to invite you (or another adult in your child’s life) to be a Mystery Reader via Zoom. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to set up a time to read to us.
~ Anja Riis Wachter