Beth Levine

November 6, 2019

Fall continues to be a busy season.  The children enjoyed all of the Halloween/Pumpkin themed activities.  We have just completed our Corn Field on the bulletin board.  As you can see below, the children painted a very large piece of paper with green paint to become the corn stalks and made scarecrows, corn, and crows for the field.  We’ve been working on scissoring skills by cutting pumpkins and corn.  We work with the children one-on-one to be sure they are using correct techniques with the scissors.  

The children are making carrot themed projects this week.  For 39 years, my family picked carrots in November in our backyard for the sweetest treat.  Unfortunately, the farmers in my family abandoned the garden this year so we will not have freshly picked carrots on our Thanksgiving table.

Another activity your children enjoy is looking for a special friend in the colored houses.  See picture below.  For example, we try to find in which house the squirrel is hiding. The children enjoy the chant “Little Squirrel, Little Squirrel, are you hiding in the [color] house? There is a lot of cheering when we find the correct house. We’ve looked for a mouse, squirrel, pumpkin, and scarecrow.  During the year, many other ‘friends’ will hide in one of the colored houses.

October 15, 2019

Today we started a week of squirrel activities.  The children enjoyed squirrel figurines and tree blocks, squirrel lacing and puzzles, and squirrel crafts.  We sang ‘Gray Squirrel, Gray Squirrel’ numerous times, with everyone, children and teachers, wearing squirrel tails.  

Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.
Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.
Wrinkle up your funny nose,
Hide an acorn in your toes.
Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.

Pictures below show some of the activities your children have been enjoying at school.



October 12, 2019

Your children never stop amazing me. Every day I see their joy when greeting their friends and excitement to see what activities are available during free play. The Tuesday children are enjoying music class with Mrs. Wada and the Wednesday class is enjoying creative movement with Mrs. Lyng. Everyone has learned the music terms piano (soft) and forte (beautifully loud – not screaming). We use these terms in music class and in the classroom to regulate voice volume. We practice both methods when saying our Circle Time Good Mornings and when reading our poems. It seems to have more of an impact with the children when I say ‘Use your piano voice’ rather than ‘Don’t be so loud’.

This year’s children have become accustomed to the fact that I frequently blow my nose and cough. Unfortunately, I have been doing this for 2 1/2 months. I mentioned in my last post that the children tell me to say the Good Mornings at the start of Circle Time. On this past Tuesday, I asked the children what I need to do first when beginning Circle Time and someone shouted out ‘Blow your nose’. They truly know me! My doctor tried a remedy in September that didn’t work. I explained to the children on Friday that I was leaving early to go see my doctor (actually a specialist). Please ask your child why I was going to the doctor (they should be able to tell you), but most important, please ask them what the doctor was going to tell me. Feel free to email me their response with my doctor’s instructions. I am very curious to know if their answer to you is what it was at Circle Time. By the way, the pulmonologist said it was asthma and allergies (which I’ve never had). I am now on a course that should put me back in good working order. I already feel better.

September 19, 2019

The children have settled into their new school routine and are enjoying the company of new and old friends, along with the many play activities available. They spend most of their time engaged in social activities with their classmates, something that usually happens after some months of school. They enjoy turning our kitchen area into a restaurant, build together on the rug or with blocks on the tables, and play in the loft in groups of 2 or 3. We have enjoyed the pleasant weather, giving us time every day to go to the playground. We cook our snack once a week and I plan on cooking with the children on different days of the week (but never on Monday) so everyone has the opportunity to cook at school. They already anticipate my every move. Some put my chair and little red table in place for circle time when I announce ‘Clean up time’; tell me to say the ‘Good Mornings’ when Circle Time begins; announce ‘put out your right arm to hold the railing’ before going downstairs to the Big Room; tell me to ‘take off your glasses’ before I read the daily story. Depending on the number of children on each day, we use either 2 or 3 tables for snack. This corresponds to either 6 or 7 names on the daily job chart (napkin helpers, cup helpers, line leader, water the plant). When it’s time to do the job chart, I hear many say ‘what’s my job today?’ If you ask your child ‘how does Mrs. Levine know who has a job?’ see if they tell you ‘the cards tell her.’ On the back of their names, I put a code for their job that day, and I keep track so everyone gets a variety of jobs. But the children don’t know that….they know that the ‘cards tell me!’ I always remind the children that if their name is not on the chart, their job is to ‘help count the napkins’ so we have enough for snack. We then count out the number needed that day. The children have enjoyed our many apple projects and activities, as can be seen on our two bulletin boards in the classroom.

September 5, 2019

Hello Parents,
We had a great first day of school today!  Everyone settled in nicely very quickly.  We had a busy and happy morning and the children enjoyed all the activities.  Because of the short morning, we didn’t have time to play on the playground, but we plan to next week.  Please help us arrive safely back to our classroom after the playground by waiting in the conference room (by the main entrance) until we pass by.  Some children have a difficult time completing the morning if they see their parents in the parking lot or the hallway.  

There are always some children who go home and are very chatty about the morning, others less so and others say nothing.  Here are some ideas about the morning that may help your child tell you about their time at school:

1.  What colors did you use to make your project?   red, yellow, blue
2.  Did you try to use the bathroom and move your smiley face?
3.  What songs did you sing during circle time?   Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Baa Baa Black Sheep
4.  Did you wash your hands before snack?  Did you open your napkin?  Did you raise your hand and say “here” to get your cup?
5.  What did you have for snack? triangle crackers & water
6.  What did you do after snack?   cleaned up snack and read books on the rug
7.  What did you do in the Big Room?  possibilities:  climb on the large cubes, play ball, build with the cardboard blocks, twirl on the sit-n-spin
8.  What story did Mrs. Levine read today?  Clifford the Big Red Dog
9.  What friend of Mrs. Levine’s came out of his bag to hear the story?  Clifford (hand puppet)
10.  Did you give a gently pat to Clifford?
If your child did not attend on Thursday, but will instead have the first day on Friday, please do not review this list with him/her.  We’ll have another ‘first day’ tomorrow.

It’s going to be a great year!