September STEAM Highlights

The Heartworks Preschools have an enrichment program in the afternoon that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). Each day the focus of the afternoon curriculum is on one of these areas, combined with our traditional classrooms values of sharing, respect, courtesy, and listening. Through a broad range of fun and creative activities, the children are encouraged to make predictions, develop hypotheses, ask questions, explore, imagine, build and experiment. 

September STEAM Highlights: 

STEAM with Cassie:  The STEAM class in Cassie’s room did a multitude of activities.  Some of the highlights included experimenting with magnets- How do they work?  Do they work through certain materials?  The class also explored art after reading “Beautiful Oops” and discussing how we can create beautiful artwork out of a “mistake.” The class also did a week-long focus on insects integrating each of the STEAM elements into the theme from researching and observing insects found around our school, working with magnifying glasses on Technology day, building ant colonies on Wednesday, creating ants out of egg cartons on Thursday, and adding insect legs for Math on Friday.

STEAM with Maria and Leah:  During STEAM this year Maria and Leah will be teaching lessons revolving around biweekly themes.  In September the focus was on Transportation and Apples.  They created boats that floated out of tin foil, they engineered two different types of airplanes, and they created vehicles from recycled materials.  When learning about apples, they dissected them and labeled each part of the apple, made observations about the seed core, made applesauce using a ricer, used an apple corer and peeler, and played apple math games.

September's Theme: Friends and Family

Children with Sarah and Amy spent the month learning to feel comfortable at school. They formed bonds with their teachers and each other while discovering all of the fun things that they can do at school. There are really fun materials and activities that Sarah offers for them including: a train table, playdough, pom pom sorting, painting, baking and so much singing and dancing together!

Children with Erica and Nicole are off to a wonderful start! They are already having so much fun with each other. They have been working hard on creating their family apple tree, painting their family portraits, graphing the pets that they have, and learning new songs!

Children with Georgia:  How much growth there has been already amongst this group of children! They are settling into the routine and are forming an incredible bond as a class. They have enjoyed enrichment projects involving gluing, sculpting with playdough, and music! 

Children with Amy are having a great time at school! They have already explored a variety of different kinds of activities such as practicing their handiwork as they sewed paper apples, following oral instructions when playing games such as Bingo, and learning new art techniques such as using watercolors. 

Children with Cassie are learning about community helpers in such fun, creative ways. They have made fire fighter helmets, and functional mailboxes; they healed teddy bears by placing band aids in the right places by matching up shapes, and they practiced their cutting and hairdressing skills by cutting the yarn hair of some popsicle stick dolls. 

Pre-kindergarten children with Maria, Leah and Caila have been learning about Friendly Neighbors. They have explored this concept on an immediate level as a school community and then broadened the scope to include the larger community of the town in which they live. From beading friendship bracelets, to baking muffins, building houses and engineering roadways to connect neighborhoods, the Pre-kindergarteners are off to a strong start this year. They also had the opportunity to ride our school bus to go on a field trip to Adams Apple Orchard to pick apples. What a marvelous time they all had at this beautiful local orchard. 

October’s Morning Overall Theme is Animal Homes and People Homes.

The classes will learn about the animals and flora that live in these habitats and what adaptations they have to help them thrive there. The classes will be studying the following habitats: 

  • Children with Sarah and Amy - Life in the Forest 
  • Children with Erica/Nicole, Georgia, and Amy - Life in the Desert
  • Children with Cassie - Life in the Mountains 
  • Pre-kindergarten children with Maria, Leah and Caila - Life in the Rainforest 


Rhythm Over Routine: A Work of the Heart at School and Home

Have you ever wondered how a Heartworks teacher can get ten preschool children to sit around a table for lunch or fall asleep for nap en masse?  From playing cooperatively with their friends to learning side by side, preschoolers peacefully follow the Heartworks “Rhythm of the Day.”  We’d like to share some of our philosophy here, so that parents who are interested can establish their own rhythms at home.

The foundation of the rhythm is speaking respectfully and also following through with children on expectations and directions. It is important to set such boundaries at home so a child will know how to have polite and respectful social behavior towards all adults and other children. It’s easy to assume that teachers have established a precise routine that children follow, arriving on a carpet square by 8:35, falling asleep on cue, and generally following the clock throughout the day. However, for a child, the numbers on a clock have very little to do with when they are hungry, tired, or curious. 

In fact, the term rhythm might be better understood as an order of experiences. The activities that children participate in throughout the day at Heartworks have an order that is repeated every day. For example, three-year-old class will begin with Circle upon arrival with the learning block starting at 8:35, this may be followed by Explore, Snack, Outside, Second Learning Block, Enrichment, and Story by Heart. Our goal is to create a predictable pattern to a child’s day, thus lessening anxiety as well as providing less instruction of what to do next as they already know.

Similarly, where to sit, where shoes go, and how to take turns is gently modeled by Heartworks teachers. Teachers are also attuned to the fact that children move through these experiences at a pace that they feel comfortable at. By sending the child who may need more time putting boots on to the shoe area first, children are in harmony in the classroom, with no undue attention to our friends who move more slowly.

The subtle difference between routine and rhythm makes all of the difference. Routines are set by clocks, rhythms by patterns. While we strive for snack to be eaten at approximately the same time each day, the expectation of what happens next is what comforts children. Routines can connote tedium, but rhythm is a pattern which can account for individual variance and life’s unforeseen delays.

The Heartworks’ rhythm includes traditions that reflect our values; we gather for a meal by singing a blessing, and we complete a meal by saying thank you. By planning a day’s rhythm, we have an opportunity to weave in what we value in a respectful way rather than rushing to stay “on time.” Similarly, part of our rhythm is to take a moment to rest and acknowledge the quiet.  

Our purpose in sharing our philosophy is to encourage interested friends and parents to reflect and create their own rhythm. Consider daily experiences such as giving thanks that may be important to you and activities that are necessary, such as washing hands or brushing teeth. Remember that each child or member of your family will generally move through an activity at a different pace, so taking that into consideration is helpful. Once you establish a rhythm, a flow chart with pictures is helpful for young children. Even though you may want your child in bed by 7:30, it’s important not to watch the clock. Consider adjusting the next day’s rhythm by eliminating activities rather than allowing the stress of being on time interfere with the enjoyment of each activity. Take bedtime, for example, sometimes bedtime routines can become too elaborate, creating stress the longer they go on and the later it gets. In order to establish an enjoyable rhythm, perhaps you and your child can pick three activities, as well as their order, to do each night before bed. A picture flow chart that you create can add an element of fun, too!

We hope this is helpful.  Heartworks is truly a work of the heart, just like your family!

Safe Lunches

Please be sure that there is an ice pack in the lunch box for any items that need to be kept cold, such as milk and yogurt. If you want your child to have something warm to eat, please be sure to provide it in an insulated thermos.

For infants, toddlers, and children aged two and three:
All food items need to be cut into pieces smaller than 1/2 inch in size. Grapes, tomatoes, and olives must be cut in quarters. If providing carrots, they must be cut in very skinny lengthwise strips. All food items should be cut no larger than 1/4 inch pieces for infants.

For all children
The following food items are not to be served according to NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) guidelines, which we must follow: hot dogs (whole or sliced), popcorn, hard pretzels, raw peas.

We are a nut free facility and do not serve items that contain, or may contain peanuts or tree nuts, or even those items processed in the same facilities. Cereal bars and granola bars often have these types of labels on them. Please check all labels before packing items in your child’s lunchbox, and if the packaged items do not list ingredients please indicate that it is free of all peanut and tree nut warning labels.

Thank you for following these guidelines as you prepare food for your child during their day at school.

April Highlights

Halle and Meg

The month of April afforded many opportunities for the class to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. The children enjoyed walks around the courtyard, some days bundled up and others with light jackets and hats. They have all been working on special projects that will be going home soon and are exploring the classroom in new and exciting ways. 

Jackie and Marina

The friends with Jackie and Marina have been having so much fun engaging with one another during circle times, even sitting on small carpet squares as they listen to stories and sing songs together. With the Planting and Gardening theme, the children all had a chance to experiment with soil and seeds as they planted different flowers and herbs that have now sprouted and continue to grow as they are watered and taken care of. The teachers have been pointing out the buds on the trees and the children are excited to see the leaves getting bigger every day. Welcome Spring!

Anne and Amanda

A wonderful new addition to the classroom for the month of April was a small jar of frog eggs that came from Anne’s family's pond. The children have enjoyed exploring the jar and can now see that the small black spots within the gel have turned into little swimming creatures, that look a bit like fish! In addition to the excitement of the tadpoles, the children also explored planting and what plants need to grow. They “planted” seeds in small plastic bags taped to the window, and are using a grow lab to help the vegetables and herbs they are growing sprout and flourish in the light and warmth. 

Danielle and Nikki

Rhyming and Poems was the theme for the children in the class with Danielle and Nikki. They explored rhyming words and stories focusing on a few well known poems. One of the children’s favorite rhymes was “Three Little Kittens.” They painted small paper kittens and then searched the room for “lost mittens.” The children were all full of smiles as they found each set of mittens. The morning ended with everyone having some pie! Just like the kittens.

Rachel and Jacey

The days with Rachel and Jacey were full of Nursery Rhymes during the “Stories from Around the World” theme. The children practiced their cutting skills as they used scissors and then bandaids for a “Humpty Dumpty” enrichment project, jumped over candles sticks as they pretended to be nimble and quick like jack, and even participated in Nursery Rhyme Yoga. There were some fun baking and cooking projects during the month as the children made curds and whey like the snack in Little Miss Muffet and added jam to pastry to make tarts for the Queen of Hearts. 

April Classroom Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

Jenny’s two-year-old class really enjoyed the Nursery Rhymes theme this month. The classroom was full of song, rhyme and movement. The children jumped over “candle sticks” while learning Jack Be Nimble, fingerprint painted sheep and tried to put Humpty Dumpty back together again!  They celebrated their hard work this month by learning the Nursery Rhyme “Wee Willie Winkie” and had a special pajama day together! 

The three-year-old classes taught by Sherri and Hilary explored the magical world of Fairy Tales this month. They went on hikes in the woods to find Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The children made porridge and shared it together for snack. It was so sweet to see the children play kings and queens as they read, Cinderella, dancing and singing together. 

The children taught by Mariah read Native American stories this month. The children heard many tales about Native American life and traditions. They carefully constructed their own wigwams, made their own Native American drums and even crafted dream catchers with a help from a mom of a child in the class. It was wonderful to see how proud the children were of their creations and excited to bring their dreamcatchers home to hang by their beds. 

The Pre-kindergarten classes taught by Amber, Angela and Theanna studied Greek Mythology this month. It was a month filled with stories, dramatic play and amazing artwork. The children got a sense of what it was like to live like a Greek by tasting traditional foods, wearing togas and even participating in the Greek Olympics! 

Closing Ceremonies

At Heartworks we have established a tradition to conclude our school year with a ceremony for the children in our older classes. The ceremony includes a performance of songs that the children have been working on with Joanna followed a presentation of a certificate for each child.  It is a wonderful way to mark the end our year together. The closing ceremonies will be at held in the “Big Room” in Heartworks Shelburne. School will close at 3:30pm this day to accommodate the ceremonies. The ceremony times are as follows:

Ceremony at Heartworks Shelburne Big Room

  • Hilary’s class- 4:30
  • Mariah’s class- 5:00
  • Amber’s class- 5:30
  • Theanna’s class- 6:00
  • Angela’s class- 6:30

We look forward to seeing you there, as this is a cherished occasion for the Heartworks community.

In preparation for the Closing Ceremonies, Joanna will be conducting rehearsals at school. The dates and times of each of the rehearsals are listed below.  If it is not your child’s day to come to school, we encourage you to bring them to school for these rehearsals so they can feel more confident with the rhythm of the ceremony. Please arrive 5 minutes before the allotted rehearsal time and we ask that you remain on site for duration of the rehearsal. Thank you for your participation and support.

Rehearsals:  Friday, May 27th and Tuesday, May 31st

  • Mariah 9:15-9:45
  • Hilary – 9:45-10:15
  • Amber– 10:15-10:45 
  • Theanna - 10:45-11:15
  • Angela – 11:15-11:40

Heartworks Burlington Art Show

Here are some wonderful photos of our art show that was held at Arts Riot last week. Thank you to everyone who participated!

April's Theme: Science

April was a wonderful month of experiments, discovering, and wondering as the children were immersed in the Science theme. 

Jen and Hunter’s two year old class learned all about transportation. The children had such fun taking a ride in their classroom hot air balloon and did very well taking a walk to the waterfront to look for traffic signs and various modes of transportation. 

Clara’s class loved learning all about the five senses. They welcomed Henry’s mother, Dr. Antkowiak, into class to talk about the five senses and our bodies’ functions. The children performed a smell test and used their sense of hearing to listen to Clara play both the guitar and violin.

Susan’s class also enjoyed their month learning all about the five senses. They set up a sight experiment using food coloring and dried flowers. The class welcomed Stella’s mother, Dr. Devitt, and were very interested in the five senses hands on learning kit she brought to explore each sense. 

Teresa’s class were weather watchers this month and carefully graphed the weather for each day in the month of April. They learned all about the sun’s function and planted sunflowers. The children are observing their growth daily.

Ashley’s class were also weather watchers and created an outstanding weather mural complete with the sun, clouds, raindrops, rainbows, and lightening bolts. The children really enjoyed learning about the water cycle and did many fascinating experiments to show the process. 

Julianna’s class received their NASA badges and set off to explore the Solar System! They made a beautiful mural along with paper mache sun, moon, and earth to model the careful rotation of each. The children could often be heard singing their planets song all month long. 

Leah’s class made rockets and blasted off to learn more about our Solar System. The children each made a planet and put them in order to create an impressive solar system mural. The children were quite fascinated learning about what astronauts eat and enjoyed making astronaut pudding. 

Closing Ceremonies

At Heartworks we have established a tradition to conclude our school year with a ceremony for the children in our older classes. The ceremony includes a performance of songs that the children have been working on with Joanna followed a presentation of a certificate for each child. It is a wonderful way to mark the end our year together. The closing ceremonies will be at Heartworks Williston in the “Big Room” on Thursday, June 2nd. School will close at 3:00pm this day to accommodate the ceremony.

Closing Ceremony Times

  • Cassie’s class- 4:00
  • Heather's class- 4:30
  • Amy's class- 5:00
  • Caila’s class- 5:30
  • Katherine's class- 6:00
  • Maria's class- 6:30

We look forward to seeing you there, as this is a cherished occasion for the Heartworks community.

In preparation for the Closing Ceremonies, Joanna will be conducting rehearsals at school. The dates and times of each of the rehearsals are listed below. If it is not your child’s day to come to school, we encourage you to bring them to school for these rehearsals so they can feel more confident with the rhythm of the ceremony. Please arrive 5 minutes before the allotted rehearsal time and we ask that you remain on site for duration of the rehearsal. Thank you for your participation and support.

Rehearsals:  Tuesday, May 24th and Thursday, June 2nd

  • Cassie – 9:05-9:25
  • Amy- 9:25-9:45
  • Maria – 9:45-10:15
  • Caila– 10:15-10:45 
  • Heather - 10:45-11:15
  • Katherine – 11:15-11:40

April's Theme: Water

Sarah’s two-year-old class had a great time with their theme: “Water is Fun.” They experimented with something new in the water table each day, from bubbles, to shaving cream, enormous ice cubes to squirt bottles; what an exciting way to start each day! They were introduced to the water cycle, painted with watery paint, and created some beautiful water drop decorations from melted wax.

The three-year-olds with Megan, Cassie and Amy learned about rivers and streams. They learned about the characteristics of rivers and streams as well as the various animals and plant life that can be found in and around them. Amy’s class set up a campsite next to their river, complete with a campfire to cook their food on!

Katherine’s class focused their studies on oceans. They learned where the oceans are in the world and the variety of creatures that live in the ocean. For Earth Day Sydney’s mom, Elana, came in to share about mussels and clams and how they help to filter the ocean water. (They also brought in a fun Earth Day snack too!)

The Pre-kindergarten classes taught by Maria, Heather and Caila studied lakes and ponds last month. Each class made wonderful representations of the wildlife that live in and around ponds. They also studied the water cycle and did activities which integrated the different phases of water. Heather’s class did an experiment which highlighted the impact of water pollution.  

March Classroom Highlights from Heartworks Williston

March was a special time of learning as the themes were “Teacher Choice” during this month.

Sarah’s classroom was full of feathered friends! They brought the theme of Birds to life by creating wonderful bird feeders and setting them up outside the window. A reference poster was nearby along with some binoculars so the children could identify the various feathered visitors. The class built a life-sized nest which was a favorite place to play. There were many creative art projects and songs to help highlight the featured flying creatures.  

Megan’s class went back in time to the prehistoric era to discover dinosaurs. They became paleontologists digging for fossils in their sand table. They excavated dinosaurs from ice and also used tools to delicately dig through edible “dirt” (cookie crumbs) and “mud” (pudding) to find a special edible (gummy) creature in their bowl!

Amy’s class explored “Up in the Air” this month. Their dramatic play area transformed into an air traffic control station as the children launched into the atmosphere in their rocket ship. They built a jet that hovered in the classroom and also studied the differences in the sky during the day and the sky at night.

Cassie’s class studied “Life on the Farm” during the month of March. They explored animals that live on farms and also discovered the process of raising and harvesting crops. They discussed the importance of farms in our everyday life. It was such a nice unit that raised the children’s awareness and appreciation for where our food comes from. 

Katherine’s class studied Frogs this month, hopping from one activity to the next! They measured how far they could hop compared to the average frog. They learned about the variety of species of frogs and were scientific in comparing the different properties of each type. They learned about camouflage first-hand as frogs were stashed around the room in spaces in which the frogs blended. The children had fun finding them! They also played a fun Feed the Frog game, working on their hand-eye coordination by tossing bugs into a frog’s mouth and using the frog’s sticky tongues to catch numbered or lettered flies. 

Maria’s class studied Columbia this month - where Maria was born. They learned a lot about the climate and culture of this South American country. They were able to compare it to the other cultures that they have learned about already this year. For the children, the world is becoming ever smaller with each new nation that they visit. They are learning that various ways of life are acceptable and exciting!   

Heather’s class learned about rocks this month. It was a very engaging month full of experiments and hands-on studies about the various geologic formations that exist all around us. They did a fascinating experiment about igneous rocks by layering pieces of crayon under sand and water. When the water was heated (imitating the heat from the Earth’s core) the crayon melted, and created a path upward through the sand until it surfaced (like a volcano). Then as it floated and cooled further away from the heat source, it hardened again. I’m not sure who was more excited, Heather or the children!

Caila’s class ventured to Canada this month. They learned about the culture and geography of the large country. From the language, provinces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the igloos up north - there was a lot to learn! The children connected their studies to their former lessons about Kenya, so they were able to compare similarities and differences between the two nations. How wonderful to learn to appreciate different cultures; becoming familiar with various regions cultivates a sense of acceptance and respect.

March Classroom Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

Halle and Meg

The children in class with Halle and Meg had so much fun during March singing about farming and exploring the different sounds that farm animals make. They had a good amount of days where many of the children sat around one of the teachers and enjoyed a mini circle time of songs and stories. Some of the children are able to or have been starting to clap and wave and practice this during those circle times and also throughout the day. It is so fun watching the children engage with one another as they continue to grow and reach new milestones.

Painting Pigs in Jackie and Marina's Class.JPG

Jackie and Marina

One of the favorite activities to close out the Farming and Farm Animals theme was pretending to be piglets and rolling around in the “mud” in the classroom pigpen. The children had so much fun making oinking sounds as they crawled around and got very “dirty” just like little pigs do. After dramatic play the children sat at the table and used brown paint and their fingers and hands to cover small paper pink pigs with “mud.” It was so fun to watch the children become so engaged in the farming theme. 

Anne and Amanda

Happy “Dress Like a Farmer Day!” The children in class with Anne and Amanda dressed like farmers on Wednesday and Thursday, the last two days of their Farm and Farm Animals theme. They invited Halle and Meg’s friends as well as Jackie and Marina’s to join in this fun celebration to close out the month of March. The children and teachers pretended to be farmers during explore time growing and cooking different pretend vegetables and fruits. 

Danielle and Nikki

The friends in class with Danielle and Nikki ended the month of March exploring how water forms clouds and used their fine motor skills to use pipettes to drop colored water through shaving cream to make it “rain” in a glass of water. The children also used puffy paint to decorate different types of clouds and observed the clouds outside to see if they could recognize any of the types of clouds they made. It was a treat to see snow and rain falling in the same week so that the children could experience how temperature affects water.

Rachel and Jacey

On the last day of March the children with Rachel and Jacey enjoyed hearing stories in circle and learning about what a seed needs to grow. They then moved to the table and scooped soil into recycled egg cartons before choosing special seeds to grow. There was a focus on how much plants need water which was a wonderful compliment to March’s water theme. The children are looking forward to using a spray bottle to water their plants and observing them as they start to take root under the grow light in the classroom.

Classroom Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

Jenny and Sandra’s friends really took advantage of their Water is Fun theme this month. They created some amazing art work painting with watercolors and ice paint! The children had a water drop race on wax paper using eye droppers. It was amazing to see the control they had while using the eye droppers. The children were scientists while performing a sink or float experiment as a class and even made their own predictions!

Hilary and Sherri’s friends dove into learning about Rivers and Streams this month. They went on many hikes through our woods searching for rivers and streams. The children created their own river murals which they added plant and animal life to each day.  Hilary’s friends learned about beavers and created their own adorable beavers out of paper plates. Sherri’s friends painted beautiful river fish using water colors to add to their class mural. 

Mariah’s friends explored the depths of the Ocean! This month they created a wonderful mural of the plant and animal life that make the ocean such an amazing place. They conducted a number of experiments testing if salt water would freeze and played sink or float. The class enjoyed pretending to be baby sea turtles who had just hatched out of their eggs. It was so sweet seeing them move so carefully around the classroom together. 

Amber, Theanna and Angela’s friends were focused on Lakes and Ponds this month. The classes each created beautiful murals that displayed plant and animal life they were learning about daily. A big focus for the children was the life cycle of a frog. Amber’s friends created amazing models of frogs in each of their stages of life. Theanna’s friend’s really enjoyed playing Lake and Pond animal charades having the chance to act out an animal and guess which animals they are pretending to be. Angela’s friends created their own Champ sculptures depicting what they think our lake creature might look like. 

April’s Theme: Stories from Around the World

  • Jenny: Nursery Rhymes
  • Sherri and Hilary: Fairy Tales
  • Mariah: Native American Stories
  • Theanna, Angela and Amber: Greek Mythology

STEAM Highlights from Heartworks Burlington

The children in our afternoon STEAM program are enjoying their exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The children are engaged in group projects, experimenting, predicting, taking things apart, building, communicating, exploring, wondering, observing, and solving problems.

Ashley’s Class: The children spent a lot of time exploring Hyacinth bulbs. They made a book detailing their observations, predictions (what is inside?), and questions. As a group, they dissected the bulb to view the innards, made conclusions, and documented their findings. The children also had a lot of fun being engineers working with various recycled materials to design roads, ramps, and bridges. They did strength testing on each to see if their design was strong and durable. 

Leah’s Class:  The children learned all about buoyancy and designed their own boats using a variety of materials...paper, popsicle sticks, tinfoil etc. They each tested their boat to determine if it was buoyant or not. Additionally, they challenged their boat’s capabilities by filling them with items. The class also spent time learning about the difference between Heavy and Light. Using a balance scale, each child weighed objects of their choosing to determine which were heavy and which were light. The class made a group graph of their findings.

Julianna’s Class:  The children designed their own webs by ordering numbers and drawing lines to connect each number. They came  up with some interesting predictions of what the design would be. They were also true scientists mixing together various ingredients to grow crystals on a pipe cleaner. The process took a couple of days and the children observed the daily progress very carefully. The end results were beautiful crystals in many different colors and shapes!

April Classroom Themes:

  • The school-wide theme this month is Science:
  • Jen and Hunter’s class: Transportation
  • Clara and Susan’s classes: The Five Senses
  • Teresa and Ashley’s classes: Weather
  • Leah and Julianna’s classes: The Solar System

If anyone has a particular interest, skill, or work experience that relates to these themes and you would like to share that knowledge with the class, please be sure to let the classroom teacher or Kathleen know. We enjoy having parents volunteer and share their interests and talents with the class.

February Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

Jenny and Sandra’s class explored many instruments this month during their Musical Instruments theme. The children loved learning about new instruments and even getting to play them together! They made their own drums, painted with bells attached to paintbrushes and even had a parade! The highlight of the month was when the children each brought in their own instruments from home to share with their friends. 

This month Hilary and Sherri’s friends dove into their Famous Artists Theme. Both classes learned about many artists such as Monet and Van Gogh. The children explored many different art mediums such as pencil drawings, oil pastels, painting on canvas and watercolors. They recreated many famous painting such as Van Gogh's iconic ‘Sunflowers’ and made their own Pablo Picasso inspired self-portraits! 

This month Mariah’s friends explored Famous Musicians. The classroom was filled with music! Mariah brought her own talents to this theme through playing her violin and harp for the children. The class listened to many musicians, danced, painted to music and even played their own instruments. Sammy’s dad, Jamie, came in for a visit to share his musical instruments and the whole class got to play together!

This month the Pre-k classes focused on Author Study. Each teacher chose an author for the class to study. The children continued to grow their concepts of print though reading and exploring many great books. Erica’s class made their own butter to put on pancakes they cooked in honor of Eric Carle’s Pancakes Pancakes. Theanna’s class was inspired to make their own rulers and measured items in the classroom through Leo Lionni’s ‘Inch By Inch’. Amber’s friends made and decorated their own mittens and retold the story of ‘The Mitten’ by Jan Brett. 

February Classroom Highlights from Heartworks Williston

February's theme: Stories from Around the World

The two-year-old class taught by Sarah explored Nursery Rhymes. They highlighted some favorite classics such as: Hickory Dickory Dock, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Humpty Dumpty, and Do You Know the Muffin Man? Among the favorite activities were baking muffins, putting Humpty Dumpty back together with some band-aids, and pairing up Kitten’s lost mittens.  

The three-year-old classes taught by Megan, Cassie and Amy focused on Fairy Tales. Castles were constructed, beanstalks grew in our classrooms and magic wands were made. Megan’s and Amy’s classes put on productions of The Little Red Hen and The Three Little Pigs for their friends and families.

Katherine’s class studied Native American Folklore. They immersed themselves in the Native American culture to appreciate the value that is placed on storytelling. They went to our Magic Forest to collect large branches to make a teepee and then they traded their kitchen area for a teepee and campfire! The children wove dreamcatchers and they made a totem pole to tell the unique story of their class.

The pre-kindergarten classes taught by Maria, Heather, and Caila studied Greek Mythology. They all loved creating Mount Olympus and learning about the gods and goddesses who lived there. New mythical creatures were created by your children that were inspired by the ancient Griffin (half eagle, half lion) and Minotaur (half man, half bull).  The three classes converged to create Greek olive bread together. It was incredible to witness how focused they were on crushing garlic cloves, chopping olives and stretching dough. The bread was delicious; what fun memories!

March Themes

March is a fun month at Heartworks, as during this month the teachers are able to choose their own theme.

Sarah’s friends will immerse themselves in the world of Birds. They will learn about many different types of birds, many of whom will hopefully visit to nibble on the birdfeeders that are hanging just outside Sarah’s classroom window.

Megan’s class will be studying Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Times. They will learn about what life might have been like during this fascinating era, including exploring some of the different species of dinosaurs and the landscape environment.  

Cassie’s class will be studying Life on the Farm. They will be exploring not only the animals who live on farms, but also crops and the work that it takes to maintain a farm. Cassie will emphasize the importance of agriculture to raise awareness and appreciation for farm life close to us here in Vermont.

Amy’s friends will be learning all about things Up in the Air. They will explore a broad range of related topics, from comparing the night sky with the daytime sky, things that fly including vehicles and animals. They will experiment with some fun projects including fireworks in a jar, and making rainbows! 

Katherine’s class will do an in-depth study about Frogs. They will learn about characteristics of frogs, do science experiments with webbed feet and sticky feet, do some hopping exercise and discover frogs around the world.

Maria’s class is studying about Columbia this month. She was born there so she wanted to share her native culture with the children. They will compare and contrast Columbia with Kenya and the United States as they discover the language, currency, animals, food and lifestyle of this South American country. 

Heather’s Pre-K class will be rock stars this month as they are studying Geology! They have already explored many different types of rocks and the children appreciate the hands-on experiential learning that Heather is bringing in with this theme. There are many fun, unique science experiments planned. 

Caila’s class will be learning all about our neighbor to the north: Canada. The children will get to know more about Canada’s similarities and differences to the United States including its geography, languages, currency, and wildlife.

Classroom Highlights from Heartworks Burlington

Jen and Hunter’s classroom is having so much fun listening to many classic and sweet Nursery Rhymes. So far the class has listened to Hey Diddle Diddle and made a classroom moon and star mural with many cows jumping over the moon. The children each made a Humpty Dumpty and a brick wall after hearing Humpty Dumpty

Clara’s class created castles in the clouds, using shaving cream and duplos, like the castle in Jack and the Beanstalk. The children did a great job cooking up some delicious porridge after reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Susan’s class is enjoying the world of Fairy Tales. After reading, The Princess and the Pea, the children did very well acting out and bringing the story to life in their classroom. They also made muffins after reading, Little Red Riding Hood. 

Teresa and Ashley’s classes are learning all about Native American Stories and Native American culture. 

In Teresa’s class the children made beautiful paper mache wigwams, and created a classroom totem pole using stencils and handprints.

In Ashley’s class, after learning about the importance of constellations and the stories they tell, each child made up their own unique constellation and story. The class also enjoyed discovering the importance of corn and the many ways it is cooked. 

The two Pre-kindergarten classes are all delving into the world of Greek Mythology and have come all together to listen to a few Myths:

Leah’s class enjoyed cooking some authentic Greek Food and making their own Pandora’s Box after hearing the myth of Pandora.

Julianna’s class has begun a beautiful mural of Mt. Olympus and Zeus’ family and made beautiful Greek Vases using an elaborate multi-step process.