Math Challenge!

This month build upon your child's math skills with these fun and easy games. They won't know it, but you'll be building a strong foundation for the years ahead.

  • Count all the time - walking/running steps, the number of plates/glasses/forks at dinner, stairs in your home, stuffed animals, cars in a parking lot, letter in names, etc.
  • Roll a dice: Count the dots and say what number it is, then jump, clap, skip, or step that number of times. Find that number of something (5 crayons, 3 spoons etc.).
  • Measure the rain: Put a measuring cup outside and measure the spring rain.
  • Dominoes: Match the ends of dominoes with the same number of dots.
  • Number Stories: Make up number problems with your child; “I see 3 apples and 2 oranges, how many pieces of fruit in all? We have 2 cats, how many legs in all?”
  • Create Patterns: Use cereal, legos, clothing, toys, stuffed animals, etc.
  • Color and Shape Hunt: Have your child find items of a certain color or shape around the house.
  • Shapes: Fold paper or cloth napkins into different shapes.
  • Size Differentiation: Find small, medium, or large items around your house.
  • Sorting Fun: Make piles of items by size, color, shape, or other ways your child can think of.
  • Number Order: Write 1-10 on index cards and have your child put them in order.
  • Number Search: Pick a number card and have your child collect that many items.
  • Bingo: Play number, shape, or color bingo.
  • Games: Play board games such as Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly Junior etc. (teach the value of having fun vs. just playing to win). 

Most Importantly  ~ Have Fun!! :)

February in Review - 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, I’m a Little Teapot and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Favorite activities included putting band-aids on Humpty Dumpty, pulling plums out of a pie, and making mice to run up the clock on the wall.  

The three-year-old classes taught by Erica, Georgia, and Amy focused on Fairy Tales. Castles were constructed and gingerbread boys and girls were designed. Beanstalks sprouted, both the paper version and from real seeds! The children were also busy creating houses for the three little pigs and acting out the story.
  
Children with Cassie studied Native American Folklore. They immersed themselves in the Native American culture to appreciate the value that is placed on storytelling. They even got to share stories inside an actual teepee! The dream catchers they wove were beautiful!
  
The pre-kindergarten classes taught by Leah, Maria, and Caila studied Greek Mythology. They all learned what a myth is and loved creating Mount Olympus and learning about the gods and goddesses who lived there. The children were interested to know that Olympic games were held in honor of the gods and goddesses who invented them. Many new mythical creatures were created by the children that were inspired by the ancient Griffin (half eagle, half lion) and Minotaur (half man, half bull). They celebrated the end of the month by having a Greek feast; the three classes got together to chop garlic and olives and knead bread dough to make Greek olive bread.  It was delicious!

Afternoon STEAM Program

Here are highlights of some projects from STEAM in Heartworks Williston this month:

  • Science- inflating a balloon with the vapor from mixing baking soda and vinegar, exploring changes of matter, experimenting with sound waves with wire a hanger and string
  • Technology- making telephones, creating harmonicas, and using a heat source (a wok) to boil water and a tin foil hood to catch the vapor to create condensation
  • Engineering- building a spectroscope to project rainbows, constructing windpipes that play different pitches, building a snow fort, and engineering bubbles by figuring out how to keep them from popping
  • Arts- painting by blowing through a straw, creating beautiful kaleidoscopes, experimenting with the pitches of different instruments, and walking water that traveled up and down paper towels to mix colors
  • Math- playing musical plates, sorting pictures of different states of matter, measuring out water to make Jello 


The teachers have chosen some outstanding themes for the month of March:

  • Sarah's class: Birds
  • Erica's class: Construction
  • Georgia's class: Going and Growing Green
  • Amy's class: Light and Color Exploration
  • Cassie's class: Life on the Farm
  • Maria's class: Egypt
  • Leah's class: Paleontology and Prehistoric Times
  • Caila's class: Canada

January in Pictures! Heartworks Stowe

Class with Britta and Annabelle

This month the Pre-kindergarten class chose to learn about Fairytales! The children made canvas backdrops and puppets and used their imaginations to put on puppet shows to create their own magical fairy tale scenarios. 

They discussed the differences between real events and fantasy situations and compared the two. A castle mural was designed and after each story, characters were added to the scene. The children took an adventure on the bike path and collected sticks which were brought back to the classroom and transformed into magic wands. It was a month full of creation, planning, and imagination!

Class with Megan and Amanda

Children in the three year old class were fascinated to learn about the Five Senses. They explored all the ways to experience the world around us. The sensory table was transformed by bringing in different mediums such as snow and pine branches. The children created binoculars and made sound amplifiers and cup and string telephones. The class experimented with different smells, guessing what was in the container using only their nose. Peppermint oil, popcorn, cinnamon, and citrus were a few of the mystery smells.  The children enjoyed making and exploring play dough, oobleck, and modeling clay and discussed the differences between how they felt. The children took a lot away from this unit and would discuss amongst themselves what senses they were using!

STEAM news

The children look forward to STEAM each and every day! They have been exploring simple machines and learning how to be safe using real tools. Children created paper beads, baked mini pumpkin muffins, and brought nature into the classroom by observing and documenting the changes of ice and snow over time in the classroom sensory table. 

February's Theme is Cultures

  • Children with Britta and Annabelle - Kenya
  • Children with Megan and Amanda - Mexico
     

January in review - Heartworks Burlington

The children in Jen’s class had a fascinating month of Experimental Sensory Discovery. The children became scientists and conducted many various experiments and used their five senses as they explored different materials. They especially loved painting with their feet! They were impressive gardeners and planted an impressive windowsill garden in their classroom. 

The children in Caitlin’s class experienced Life on the Farm. They had a chicken coop with “laying hens” and had morning chores of counting the eggs. The class built an impressive classroom barn mural and welcomed Farmer Craig into the classroom to help filter raw milk and learn all there is to know about caring for cows. 

The children in Susan’s class learned about Winter Animals and discussed which animals migrate, stay active, or hibernate in the winter. They also were keen trackers and compared different animal tracks. They made biscuits to help keep the animals fed in the winter and made clay caves for the hibernating bears. The children created a beautiful classroom mural and constructed a flock of cardinals to give them luck!

The children in Clara’s class learned all about the Polar Regions. They discovered where the polar regions are located in the world, which animals live there, what the weather is like, and how it compares to Vermont. They experimented with blubber to learn how these arctic animals stay warm. Learning all about icebergs was very interesting and the class made a large iceberg mural showing the unique designs of these massive ice islands.  

The children in Dominique’s class learned all about Paleontology and the time of Dinosaurs. The children enjoyed the Paleontologist center, using the various excavation tools and looking at the many photos of the different kinds of dinosaurs. They learned about volcanoes and used various ingredients to watch a volcano explode. The children spent a lot of time making their own dinosaur eggs, and when dried, carefully cracking them apart to find the treasure inside. 
 
The children in Leah’s class learned about our state of Vermont. They learned about our state’s location on a map, important geographical points, state symbols, weather, and industries. The class constructed a giant map of Vermont complete with each child’s town and symbols of their home. The class really enjoyed making homemade pancakes with Vermont made maple syrup!

The children in Loraleh’s class had a busy month investigating Simple Machines. They learned about the wheel and axle, lever, pulley, inclined planes and wedge. The children found it fascinating finding simple machines in almost every tool or machine we use. The class built their own pulley system and worked together transporting gallon jugs of water. Using the pulley system quickly showed how simple machines make our work easier! Each child created their own outstanding ‘machine’ using multiple simple machines within it. 

January STEAM Highlights: 

The children had a lot of fun in January during their STEAM lessons. They enjoyed learning about many new and exciting concepts while being introduced to many different and engaging materials.

STEAM with Caitlin: The children experimented with crayons and watercolors to make crayon resist paintings, learned the word “reaction” and worked with various ingredients to observe different reactions, and spent a lot of time investigating a pencil sharpener and finding the many tools that work together to make the sharpener work.

STEAM with Clara: The children worked together to make impressive salt crystals and enjoyed watching them grow every day. The class learned about catapults and constructed an impressive one using rubber bands, a spoon, and popsicle sticks. The class also explored with magnets filling bottles with pipecleaners. 

STEAM with Leah: The math lesson on symmetry was quite a hit when each child constructed a perfectly symmetrical picture usings pattern blocks and rulers. They enjoyed experimenting with different thermometers taking the temperature of various items. They also took advantage of the recent snow and performed fun ice melting experiments. 

STEAM with Dominique: The children worked together to build an outstanding marble run using ramps, tunnels, and slides. The class also engineered various styles of bridges and tested their weight when complete.  It was exciting to learn how ice cream is made and combined the proper ingredients to make homemade ice cream in a bag. 

February Classroom Themes: 

The school-wide theme in February is Animal Homes and People Homes (Habitats)

  • The class taught by Jen: Life in the Forest 
  • The class taught by Caitlin: Life in the Desert ~ Hot and Cold
  • The classes taught by Susan and Clara: Life in the Mountains
  • The classes taught by Leah, Dominique, and Loraleh: Life in the Rainforest  

If you have a particular interest in a theme and would like to join the class for an activity, please see your child’s teacher! We appreciate family participation. 
 

January in pictures! Heartworks Shelburne C

Meg and Kaylie

The children grew so much and reached so many milestones over break and through the month of January. From sitting on their own to pulling up and moving around the room, we have all celebrated these accomplishments and have continued to explore new ways to help foster and encourage this growth. Some of the children had the chance to explore snow from outside and splash in the water in the warmth of the classroom. A fun side project that Kaylie and Meg have started is a series of themed photos that are displayed on the wall each month. During the month of January the theme was “A View From the Top” where the children were photographed from above as they were drinking their bottles. February’s “Tunnel of Love” theme is well underway and the photos are so much fun to look at. 

Marina and Kristen

During the month of January, children in class with Marina and Kristen learned about winter and winter animals. They enjoyed exploring outside on the playground and taking many walks around the campus. It has been so fun to watch the children’s excitement as they explore the newly fallen snow and work diligently to move around in their warm and cozy snowsuits. One of the children’s favorite enrichment activities was using birdseed, toilet paper rolls and “Wow” soy nut butter to create bird feeders for the birds that perch on the trees outside the window. All of the children excitedly gathered outside and had a chance to help Marina hang the bird and small critter feeders for the winter animals. This was such a wonderful enrichment for the children who have shown a great love of all the Earth’s creatures, especially the sounds they make.

Anne and Jacey

Winter, snow, and ice were a huge draw for the children with Anne and Jacey during the month of January. They explored outside, sang songs about winter and used the coldness and snow of the season to talk about winter animals and how they prepare for and survive through winter. The children had a lot of fun pretending to gather food as the animals do, creating warm homes and of course taking long winter naps! Throughout the month of January and continuing in the months to come, the children began exploring shapes and colors and have been introduced to numbers and counting through everyday play as well as meal times, enrichment activities and circle lessons. They are all growing so fast and learning so much. This is a very exciting time of year for all of the children and teachers.

Liz and Amanda

During the month of January the children with Liz and Amanda were transported each morning to the prairies of North America. The children heard stories about life on the plains learning about both animals and people and the different way things were when the plains were just being settled. The children had a lot of fun playing prairie games such as hopscotch, potato sack races and a bean bag toss. There was so much joy and laughter as they were learning how to play. They also had the opportunity to experience a little bit about how food was made before grocery stores as they worked hard shaking cream to transform it into butter. They then tasted their creation on freshly made gluten free biscuits.  At the end of the month the children practiced using scissors to cut down the “grass fields” they grew when the blades got too long. 

Nikki and Cara

As the children entered the classroom with Nikki and Cara during the month of January, they were transported deep into the forest with woodland creatures, through songs, stories and exciting enrichment activities. Many of the days involved talking about animal tracking, searching for footprints in the snow both on the playground and in the forest and pretending to be the animals they were learning about. They explored caves created with cloth and chairs as they searched for bears, practiced their echolocation skills as bats in a darkened room and built squirrel dreys using grass, stick, leaves and other natural materials. The children show such compassion and care for animals, and it is wonderful to foster this love of nature.

January Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

It was a busy and exciting month for each class. The school wide theme was “Animal Homes and People Homes.” Each classroom enjoyed learning about life in a different region. They discussed the animals that live there, the people, special stories from an area, and enjoyed creative art projects related to the region.

Children in class with Sherri and Sandra spent their month exploring Life in the Forest. The children enjoyed going on bear hunts around the classroom and even created their own bear cave to hibernate in! Their classroom transformed into a campsite with a real tent. The children were thrilled to get to “sleep” in the tent and roast marshmallows around the campfire. 

Children taught by Kaylah, Hunter, and Danielle took an adventure through the Hot and Cold Deserts this month. The children learned about where deserts are located in the world and the different animals that live there. They went on many hunts for polar bears around the classroom, used their handprints to make prickly pear cactuses, and created sandstorms with paint and sand.

Children taught by Hilary and Haley learned about Life in the Mountains. The children learned about animals that live in the mountains, pretended to be bears hibernating in caves, and squirrels gathering food for the winter. The children even created their own beautiful mountain collages to display in the classroom. They even used their carpet squares to demonstrate how plate tectonics move to create mountains! The children especially loved going on bear hunts and exploring the life in the high mountains. 

Children in class with Amber and Angela explored Life in the Rainforest. Each classroom grew their own rainforest by creating murals adding plants, animals and insects to the layers of the rainforest. The children baked muffins and breads using ingredients that grow in the rainforest. They were thrilled to use their math skills to measure the distance tree frogs jump as well as the length of a quetzal's tail feathers! 

STEAM

The STEAM classes taught by Amber, Angela, Haley and Danielle have been hard at work. The children have enjoyed a month filled with experiments, projects, building, inventing, observations and predictions.

Some highlights from the month include: Science projects that involved building rocks, planting seeds, walking water, and cloud observations. The Technology projects included using stumps and tools, technology charades and telephones. Wednesday Engineering highlights were using blueprints to create structures with blocks, creating towers with solo cups, and creating a water system using straws and tubs. Thursdays the children enjoyed an afternoon of creative arts! They loved reading Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzbery and creating their own “beautiful oops” projects, water coloring, and reading Elmer By Donald Mckee and making their own special colored elephants. A highlight was Danielle’s class performing a production of  “Swimmy” by  Leo Leonni for Haley’s class.  Math on Fridays have been filled with matching, size differentiation, color hunts, and playing board and card games.

January’s Theme and World’s Fair

During the month of January the school-wide theme was “Cultures,” during which each age level studied a different country. The Cultures theme was so exciting - the school was alive with the commitment of each class to the country that they were studying.  

We celebrated this unit by sharing the information they had attained during our third annual World’s Fair. On January 30th the children boarded the Heartworks Airways to fly around the world (around the school) visiting other countries. Represented at the Fair were:

  • Australia (Sarah’s class)
  • China (Erica and Georgia’s classes)
  • Japan (Amy’s class)
  • Mexico (Cassie’s class)
  • Kenya (Maria, Leah and Caila’s classes).  

At each stop the children had their passports stamped, marking their visit. The flights rotated so each class had an opportunity to return to their home country (their own classroom) to teach the other classes some fun facts about their country. It was quite impressive to hear the presentations from the children; they retained so much information about their countries - everything from local cuisine, indigenous animals, musical instruments, the flags, the language- so much was represented!

STEAM in January

STEAM with Cassie - Winter was the consistent theme of Cassie’s STEAM experiments. They made slush out of a mixture of baking soda, sand and water, and then drove cars through them to simulate driving on winter roads. They then discussed car washes and washed the cars in vinegar and observed the bubbly reaction! The class made ramps and observed how various objects slid down. They also engineered igloos out of ice cubes, and snowball launchers (catapults that tossed pompoms).

STEAM with Maria and Leah - STEAM lessons in Maria and Leah’s classes focused for two weeks around Healthy Bodies and two weeks on Inventors and Inventions. Maria’s friends explored a human’s blood stream and how it carries nutrients and also germs through the body; they then discussed how to keep germs away! They learned about how to eat a balance of healthy foods in order to help fuel their body.

During their study on inventors, they learned about Thomas Edison and the light bulb, the Wright brothers and the airplane, and Benjamin Franklin and the many contributions he made to our lives, including the invention of bifocals! All of the children know someone who wears glasses so it was special to help make a connection between how his inventions are still helping people.

Another fun invention the classes learned about was the catapult. They engineered their own and then measured how far their design tossed a pompom down the hall.  

February Themes

The school-wide theme for February is “Stories from Around the World.” The classes will be focusing on different genres of stories. It is so fun to see stories come to life in each classroom as the children spend time with the different characters from the tales. They will discuss the origin of the different stories and the older children will learn about cultural influences of the Native Americans and the Ancient Greeks.

  • Sarah - Nursery Rhymes
  • Erica, Georgia and Amy - Fairy Tales
  • Cassie - Native American Tales
  • Maria, Leah and Caila - Greek Mythology

December Highlights: Celebrations Around the World

December was a month filled with holiday celebrations from around the world.  We started the month with an all school Story by Heart of St. Nicholas day. The following day the children were surprised to find clementines in their shoes. The children were filled with wonder as they discussed how St. Nicholas did this.  

All of the classes celebrated such holidays as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, St. Lucia’s Day and Winter Solstice. The last two days before vacation were pajama days. Teachers and children alike came to school in pajamas! The school gathered in the big room for a reading of The Polar Express. It was a definite highlight of the month and a special way to start the winter vacation.  

The class taught by Sherri and Sandra enjoyed learning about St. Nicholas and left their shoes out to find a special clementine treat that was left by St. Nicholas. The children also enjoyed reading “The Gingerbread Girl” and used fine motor skills to  make beautiful paper gingerbread girls.  

Kaylah and Hunter’s class enjoyed singing songs about snowmen and reading the book “Katy and the Big Snow By Virginia Lee Burton. The children also loved making and eating Latkes and applesauce.

Danielle’s class was hard at work creating paper clogs and learning all about St. Nicholas and the beautiful traditions that make that celebration so special.

The class taught by Haley made beautiful paper crowns to celebrate St. Lucia day. St. Lucia is the celebration on the 13th of December to celebrate the light, love, and feast of the season in scandinavian countries.  

The class taught by Hilary spent the month of December ice skating with wax paper and making beautiful menorahs made out of paper and fingerprints. 

The children in Amber’s class “travelled” to Germany to learn about all the Gingerbread and the story of The Gingerbread Boy, on their return “flight” home they found a large plate of gingerbread cookies.  Delicious! 

The wonderful class taught by Angela was busy creating a holiday winter wonderland. They made beautiful literary light to decorate the wall, practiced size differentiation by making adorable snowmen for the wall, and made gingerbread for children to eat!  

December STEAM Highlights:

The STEAM classes created beautiful crystal in December and observed the chemical reaction created by using borax, vinegar, and baking soda. Throughout the next couple of weeks the children carefully documented the changes that took place and ended up with beautiful crystals!  

For Tuesday tool technology day, the STEAM classes experimented with common classroom tools such as scissors, pencils compared to ink pens and created beautiful snowflakes for the classroom.

On Thursday, art day, the children used paint and straws to demonstrate how germs are spread through the air and when we sneeze. For math the children created and learned all about three dimensional shapes and patterns.  

December Highlights

We had an incredible holiday season at Heartworks! December's theme was Celebrations Around the World. The upstairs and downstairs classes explored the different traditions of St. Nicholas, St. Lucia, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and the Winter Solstice. They were all eager to create new traditions with friends and families here at Heartworks. It was so amazing to have families volunteer to share a tradition with our class. Thank you for taking the time to come in and share these experiences with the children. It means so much to us!

This month the downstairs class’ theme is The Five Senses. Children will explore the five senses through various, hands on, engaging activities. The upstairs class took a vote on what they were interested in learning about and chose Fairy Tales. They are all so excited to read, act out, and create skits on classic fairy tales. 

December Highlights

Meg and Kaylie

The children with Meg and Kaylie really love hearing and making different sounds so December was a perfect month full of holiday music and the jingling of bells. “All the Snowflakes” and “Dashing Through the Snow” were two of the most favorite song choices that elicited the biggest smiles and expressive reactions. In addition the fun music, Kaylie and Meg worked with the children to help create footprint mistle "toes" and a holiday gift that we hope all of the families enjoyed. 

Marina and Kristen

The friends with Marina and Kristen had a lot of fun during the month of December exploring the different holidays and enjoying many enrichment activities. They started off the month using their hands and paintbrushes to add greenery and snow to the winter solstice tree and really enjoyed feeling the paint between their fingers and moving it around on the canvas. As a class, they celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa through stories and songs and art. They created collage wreaths for Christmas, used sponges to paint paper dreidels for Hanukkah and used black, red and green squares to create Kwanzaa placemats. The room was full of holiday music such as Jingle Bells, Let it Snow, and Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel most of the day as the children eagerly signed and asked for more at the end of each verse. What a fun and enriching month they had!

Anne and Jacey

The friends with Anne and Jacey started off the month using finger paints to create a beautiful banner with the word celebrate and proceeded to do just that throughout the month. They used sponges and green paint to create Christmas wreaths and finished them off with glue and red pom poms for a nice festive touch. For Kwanzaa the children again used glue and pasted red, black and green tissue paper on different toilet paper rolls that they then used to create a kinara for display in the classroom. The children really enjoyed experimenting with the sticky glue and trying to figure out how to get the paper to stick to the roll instead of their fingers. One of the children’s favorite activities was playing pin the flame on the menorah. Each child had a chance to hold one of the paper flames and place it atop one of the nine candles, including the shamash. They all had such a wonderful few weeks in December and really enjoyed the holiday theme.

Liz and Amanda

The children in class with Liz and Amanda explored Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas through stories, songs, and a lot of fun enrichment activities. The children worked together to paint a large canvas menorah and used clay as they learned about dreidels and sang the dreidel song. The children also really enjoyed singing The Twelve Days of Christmas dancing with scarves and acting out the different verses pretending to milk cows and leaping like lords. Towards the end of the month some of the friends helped to paint red, black and green candles for the class kinara and practiced counting from one to seven as they set the candles up in the kitchen area. As a special treat Tucker’s mother, Katie, came in and helped the children create fun and festive snowman magnets! The children loved experimenting with the pieces and the little snowmen were so sweet.  

Nikki and Cara

In Nikki and Cara’s class the children also explored some of the different holidays that are celebrated in December. The children all really love to move and dance so there was a lot of holiday music to be heard each day which filled the room with laughter and dancing. One of the favorite moments was when the children discovered that Saint Nicholas visited the school one night and left delicious clementines in their slippers. Many of the children chose to eat their clementines right away at snack. Thank you so much Saint Nicholas. The children were also introduced to Kwanzaa and heard about the seven principles of the holiday and focused on unity, working together and supporting one another. At the end of December Nikki and Cara used the “We Three Kings” book that the children were all interested in to talk about Mary and Joseph looking for a place to lay baby Jesus and how the kings were traveling to bring the baby gifts. The children then pretended to bring different gifts to the babies in the classroom. 

December Classroom Highlights

The children taught by Jen did a tremendous job practicing and performing their holiday songs for parents and friends. The children also enjoyed making beautiful St. Nicholas collage pictures. 

The children taught by Caitlin were very involved in creating their impressive winter scene dioramas to give to their families. The children also did so well performing their songs in the special performance for families and friends.  

 The children taught by Susan really enjoyed decorating cookies with special guests. The class also did so well counting all of the mittens that were collected for our mitten drive. 

The children taught by Teresa wrote all the wonderful ways they shine “light” on others and decorated their classroom with this beautiful artwork. The class also made latkes from scratch and shared them with the school.  

The children taught by Clara made a beautiful Kwanzaa chain to hang in their classroom. They also created a beautiful art piece describing all the different ways the holidays are celebrated. 
 
The children taught by Leah constructed St. Lucia crowns complete with bright candles and evergreens. They enjoyed practicing their patterning skills to make festive candy canes. 

The children taught by Dominique delighted in meeting St. Nicholas during his visit and appreciated all of the treats and toys he shared with the class. They did a lot of holiday yoga and learned many new poses.  

Please feel free to visit all the classrooms in our school.
It has been an excellent start to the New Year ~ We are looking forward to joyful months ahead!

December STEAM:

The children in our afternoon STEAM program are continuing to explore, build, investigate and experiment….

The children in Caitlin’s STEAM class learned about ramps, angles and speed while constructing a marble run using recycled materials. They also experimented with salt and water colors painted on paper. 

The children in Clara’s STEAM class found a way to make Orange Juice experimenting using various tools...some worked better and were easier to use than others! They also explored angles and balance while engineering structures using q-tips.

The children in Leah’s STEAM class worked together to find the best way to construct  gingerbread houses using blocks and other materials. They also predicted what would happen if marbles were used to paint with!
 
The children in Dominique’s STEAM class made a plan how to make new crayons...they decided they could ‘upcycle’ bits of crayons by melting them in muffin tins to create new, bigger crayons. They also experimented with folded paper and scissors to create beautiful snowflakes. 

January's Theme: Cultures

Learning how to use chopsticks!

Learning how to use chopsticks!

During the month of January the school-wide theme is “Cultures.” In each of the classrooms various aspects of each culture will be examined including the language, the location, climate, food, famous landmarks, popular practices and the inhabitants- both people and animals. The classes will engage in many enrichment activities exploring these aspects of the following cultures:

  • Sarah- Australia
  • Erica and Georgia- China
  • Amy- Japan
  • Cassie- Mexico
  • Maria, Leah, and Caila- Kenya

There will be a school-wide World’s Fair toward the end of the month in which the children will board Heartworks Airways to “fly” from country to country to learn about each of the other cultures that the classes have been studying. All of the children will have passports to be stamped as they arrive at each country. It is sure to be a wonderful excursion- the students will have news to share from their adventures. 

In addition to the “Cultures” theme the children will be exploring the outdoors which has transformed our playgrounds into a winter wonderland. We have sleds and shovels to play with, build with and exercise our bodies. There will be scientific discussions and experiments about the change in our environment, the formation of snow, icicles, and the dormant state of trees and some animals. There is much to learn and observe during a Vermont winter.

Sick Policy

Put those tissue boxes to good use!

Put those tissue boxes to good use!

It is our goal to keep our entire school population as healthy as possible. With the guidance of the Childcare State Regulations, Vermont Department of Education and Vermont Department of Health, we have the following health policy.

  • It is best to keep children home who do not seem well enough to participate in the regular activities or to be cared for fully within the classroom; this may include lethargy, severe coughing, difficulty breathing, severe sore throat, earache or abdominal pain.
  • Children who have a fever of over 99.0 degrees are asked to remain home until the fever is less than 99 degrees for 24 hours, without ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 
  • Children with a known communicative condition (such as, but not limited to strep throat and conjunctivitis/pink-eye), are to remain out of school until they have received antibiotics for 24 hours. Please inform us of any illnesses so we can inform other families of symptoms to look for in their child. If a student comes to school and is suspected of having a communicative condition, the parent will be called and asked to pick up the child for further diagnosis from a doctor and treatment, if necessary.
  • Children who have had two or more incidents of vomiting or diarrhea, are required to not return until their symptoms have been fully resolved for 24 hours and they are able to resume normal dietary habits and activities.
  • Children with an unknown rash will be asked to see a physician to confirm that it isn’t a communicative condition. Students with a rash and a fever will need to stay out of school until confirmation of the rash and the child is fever free for 24 hours. 
  • Children with head lice and/or nits, can be in school after receiving a first treatment with a product that will kill head lice. Parents are asked to pick out the small nits (eggs) each day for at least ten consecutive days. We will also be checking all of the children at school. Whenever head lice are found, the parent will be called and asked to pick up their child and apply treatment.     

If your child has any of these conditions, please care for them at home. We will miss them while they are ill, and this will hopefully enable all of the students to remain healthier and in school. If your child becomes ill at school, you will be called to come and take him or her home. If we are unable to contact you, we will reserve the right to call the emergency contact on your child's application. 

 

Welcome Loveworks to the School Community!

Loveworks Child Care Center, the newest branch of the Heartworks Preschools, will offer 52-week child care in Montpelier and works closely with National Life to provide care their employees’ children as well as the wider community. Sean Woodroffe, Chief People Officer at National Life, describes the partnership: “National Life conducted a search throughout the Northeast region to find the program that could best meet the needs of our employees and Central Vermont’s young children. We determined that Heartworks was that program. I am very optimistic about this partnership between Heartworks and National Life, and feel confident that the Montpelier community will benefit as a result.”

A “Work of Love,” Loveworks Child Care Center’s mission is to provide a safe, nurturing, and creative environment where children thrive as they grow socially, physically, emotionally, and academically. Loveworks is committed to exceeding the current standards set for child care centers, from the education of the teachers and the quality of materials, to the cleanliness and general ambiance of the center and grounds. Loveworks’ academic program will include monthly learning and character development themes, as well as an emphasis on combining learning with the natural environment, which means children will be outside playing and learning as much as possible. As is the tradition at Heartworks, Loveworks will feature an excellent Kindergarten readiness program to prepare children for the next step in their education.

Loveworks is currently accepting applications for enrollment beginning February 2017. For more information or to request an application, please contact Jenna Tucker at (802) 951-1829 or by emailing jennifer.tucker@heartworksvt.com. For more information about the Loveworks Child Care Centers, please visit facebook.com/LoveworksChildCare.

 

November at Heartworks Burlington

November Theme: Cultures

The children taught by Jen enjoyed learning all about Australia. They made a beautiful classroom mural of the Great Barrier Reef complete with puffer fish, coral, and clown fish. The children had fun hopping like Kangaroos with their joeys in a pouch! The class also welcomed a guest Didgeridoo player into the class who impressively played this incredible instrument. 

The children taught by Caitlin travelled to China and learned so much about this wonderful culture. The children made authentic homemade dumplings and thought they were delicious! The classroom was decorated with beautiful lanterns and dragons the children made. The class spread lots of luck around our school as they paraded through each classroom showing off their homemade dragons.

The children taught by Susan explored the culture of Mexico. The children did so well learning words and a few phrases in Spanish. The class loved making a pinata and designing their own poncho to wear. They learned and constructed the Mexican flag, made beautiful ponchos, and culminated the unit with a fantastic fiesta with songs, dancing, and authentic food.

The children taught by Clara really enjoyed learning about Mexico. They learned all about Monarch Butterflies and their long journey to Mexico in the fall. The children spent a lot of time listening to Mariachi music and made their own maracas. They also enjoyed a lively fiesta with traditional music and food!

The children taught by Teresa really enjoyed learning all about Kenya. They were so fortunate to have a few parent guests join the class to share their own personal experiences travelling to Africa. After learning about crocodiles, the children did a wonderful job making crocodile masks.

The children in Leah’s class explored the country of Kenya. They did an impressive job practicing a few words, numbers, and phrases in Swahili, and traced the map of Africa. They made delicious Mendazzi Donuts and learned many fascinating African folktales. 

The children in Dominique’s class travelled to Ghana and made very official passports along the way. The class made beautiful woven mats using many different colors and each child learned about and painted the flag of Ghana. They also made delicious Kelewele Plantains using ingredients found in Ghana.

STEAM Highlights:

November was another outstanding month of STEAM. The children are very engaged and interested in all of the impressive experiments, projects, building, artwork, investigations etc. that take place in the afternoon STEAM program. 

STEAM with Caitlin:
The children took advantage of the early snowfall and experimented with buckets of snow adding in paint and observing the rate of melt. They also were technology workers while investigating with screwdrivers and realizing the many ways screwdrivers act as a very helpful tool. The children spent a long time taking apart various instruments such as old phones, keyboards and exploring the inside mechanics. 

STEAM with Teresa and Clara:
The children were professional chefs and put together ingredients to make homemade applesauce. They also had a lot of fun working with the copy machine, learning how it works and just how useful of a tool it is. They especially loved making copies of their hands! 

STEAM with Leah:
The children were true engineers first designing, then constructing many different styles of bridges. They used various sized wooden sticks, tape and paper to build their bridges.  Which objects sink when placed in water and which objects float? This was a science question of the day. The children were able to test for themselves, using many different objects, what floats and what sinks? They then explored why certain objects sink or float. 

STEAM with Dominique:
After an inspirational visit from our Local Famous Artist, Katharine Monstream, the children in the art STEAM class experimented with watercolors and painted on wet paper. The final projects are outstanding! The children were Inventors during technology day and made telephones; yes! ~ using string and metal cans (it really does work!!) and the children can tell you how. 

Heartworks Williston Explores Science!

The school-wide theme for November was “Science.”  The classes studied the following topics within that theme:

Children with Sarah - Transportation
The class explored various modes of transportation on land, on water and in the air. The classroom was transformed into a vehicle wonderland with roadways and ramps, construction vehicles in the sand table, and there were box cars in the classroom that the children could “drive”. There was a rocket that flew along a string across the classroom powered by the wind from a balloon. They designed hot air balloons, airplanes and boats. They capped off the month by making a delicious Harvest Soup and hosting a feast for their families to celebrate Thanksgiving - complete with a parade!

Children with Georgia - The Five Senses
The friends in this class learned about and made discoveries involving the five senses. There were so many fun activities that they did to explore how we use our senses. They tried to identify an object in the “Mystery Box” using only the sense of touch. They conducted a blindfolded taste test, which was one of the highlights of the month. They also reflected on how many of their senses were engaged as they played with playdough- they could see it, they felt its texture, and they smelled it. After this month the children are now more aware of how important our senses are!

Children in Erica and Amy classes - Health and Our Bodies
Erica and Amy led the children on an exploration of the human body, both inside and out. They learned about the anatomy of our bodies- identifying different body parts and defining their purpose. They created a human mural, adding body parts as they learned about them.They also touched upon nutrition; how the food we eat affects our wellness. They created gardens of healthy choices as a way to emphasize the importance of eating well.     

Children with Cassie- Weather
Cassie’s class studied the various types of weather that we see. Every morning they noted the weather that they were experiencing. They did various science experiments and art projects involving clouds, rain, and rainbows. They even did a science experiment to create snow!

Children in Maria, Leah and Caila Classes - Solar System
The Pre-kindergarten classes were focused on Solar System this month. They identified and learned about each of the planets, including the order in which they are aligned, and features of each planet. They learned about the stars, the sun and the phases of the moon. They all discussed being astronauts and what it would be like to blast off in a rocket ship!

Afternoon STEAM Class with Cassie - This month the children were engaged in many Thanksgiving related activities. They experimented how to keep the feathers in the air using straws. They baked pumpkin bread and unanimously decided to deliver it to the police station as a way to say thank you for all that the police officers do for us. This class also sorted and counted all of the items that were collected for the Williston Community Food Shelf.  

Afternoon STEAM Class with Maria and Leah – The children explored the concepts of hibernation and thankfulness in November. They sorted animals based on whether or not they hibernate. They did an experiment involving lard and an ice bath that allowed the children to experience the effectiveness of blubber as an insulator. They engineered animal dens as well. Inspired by thankfulness, they baked treats for some special neighbors in Blair Park: the postal workers and the dentist’s office. The children also designed and implemented a project and engaged the entire school by cutting out strips of paper to create a chain of gratitude. It was so exciting to watch it grow each day as students and parents added links!    

November at Heartworks Stowe

November Highlights from Stories from Around the World Theme

Class with Annabelle and Britta - Greek Mythology Stories
The friends in the upstairs class learned about many Greek gods and goddesses. They were especially interested in Medusa and were all eager to design a snake to add to her hair. They were also fascinated to learn about how Greek temples were constructed. 

Class with Megan and Amanda - Native American Stories
Megan and Amanda led children on a nature walk to collect sticks and materials to build teepees. They learned about where Native Americans live and how they hunt to get food. Children created dream catchers and Totem poles. They even used their imaginations to dance around campfires waving rainbow ribbons!

STEAM Highlights

This month the children were engaged in making a sound machine. They experimented with different sounds by adding materials with trial and error. Their sound machine was a huge success and is now used as a freeze signal! The children also created a snow maze in the field outside and engineered animal dens as well. It was very exciting to examine the snow and watch it melt. 

 

 

Celebrations Around the World

The schools will discuss many of the wonderful traditions, customs and celebrations from around the world.  We will share the traditions, purpose, and reasons that some celebrate a certain holiday; we leave out the commercialization of the holiday.  This may include: 

  • St. Nicholas Day (December 6)
  • St. Lucia Day (December 13)
  • Las Posadas (begins on December 16)
  • Winter Solstice (December 21) 
  • Hanukkah (begins at sundown on December 24)
  • Christmas (December 25)
  • Kwanzaa (begins on December 26) 

We believe that this is a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn that it is perfectly fine that we may have different traditions to celebrate. This also encourages children to accept each other as individuals and not to base acceptance on what we do or what we celebrate or what we have in common with each other; being open to accept each other will continue to create harmony, peace and happiness in the children and community. Through the discussions, we help children see that light (candles, sunlight) is a commonality through all of these celebrations.  

If your family celebrates a certain holiday or tradition during this month that you would like to share with the class, please speak to your child’s teacher.

Throughout this month children from various classes will hear many special Story by Heart stories, some of which may be told by the School Director and will focus on the various holiday celebrations.

Story by Heart time is so very special and magical for the children.  Having special guests come in to share in the tradition during this time of year enhances our community connectedness while also teaching about various cultural traditions, diversity and ways to help others.

November at Heartworks Shelburne

Children with Meg and Kaylie
Happy First Thanksgiving! The children with Meg and Kaylie worked very hard all month to create adorable “My First Thanksgiving” shirts to share with their families this holiday season. We hope everyone enjoyed them. Some of the children have started to show more interest in finding ways to move around the classroom and reach toys they are interested in playing with. They are all watching one another and experimenting with crawling, scooting and rolling around the room. November was full of stories about animals and feelings, shapes and colors, and a lot of song books. It is so wonderful to see the two way “conversations” that are happening and listening to the cooing and babbling and watching the smiles of all the children.

Children with Marina and Kristen
During the month of November the children explored emotions and the Thanksgiving holiday through songs, stories, and projects. The children enjoyed making handprint turkey placemats for the holiday and spending time outside exploring on the playground. Books have been an increasing interest with all of the children. They have been eagerly choosing stories and making themselves comfortable in the closest lap to hear about Duck and Goose, sing along with “The More We Get Together” and explore emotions with the “Baby Faces” books. There is so much excitement when new books come into the classroom.

Children with Anne and Jacey
During the month of November Anne and Jacey explored Feelings and Thanksgiving with the children. They explored different emotions through stories, songs and projects. The children created collage faces that depict different emotions and sent home turkey magnets for the holiday. Along with the sentiment of giving, the class has been collecting donations of old jeans for “Blue Jeans go Green” a company that turns old blue jeans into insulation which is sent to Habitat for Humanity at no cost. If you have any old jeans you would like to donate please feel free to add them to the box outside of their classroom. 

Children with Liz and Amanda
The friends with Liz and Amanda used the inspiration from the sidewalk construction to explore vehicles and other “things that go.” They have had so much fun creating roads and tracks around the room using tape, bubble wrap, foam pieces and blocks. The children really enjoyed creating paintings using construction paper, paint and small matchbox cars and trucks; they spent a lot of time at the table dipping the cars into the paint and making engine noises as they drove around the table. It has been such a treat for the children to have trucks and “diggers,” busses and cars right outside the classroom. This month’s theme was definitely a hit. 

Children with Nikki and Cara
This class chose to participate in an Author study and dove into the world of Dr. Seuss during the month of November. They used the stories to explore many different early concepts such as rhyming, sorting, color recognition and letter sounds and of course a lot of fun imagination. The children were given the opportunity to explore different materials to create collage footprints, practiced using scissors and tearing paper to make green eggs and ham, and stacked blocks with apple shapes. Connecting the block to the story “Ten Apples Up in Top,” the children worked together to count how many apples could go “up on top” before the tower fell over. The children had so much fun with Nikki and Kelly and have welcomed Cara with open arms.