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.

Clothing and Winter Gear

In keeping with our belief in classical education and to minimize distractions, please do not send your child to school in clothing that includes any pictures or images associated with television shows, cinematic themes or commercialized toys, super heroes, games, or video games. We also believe that children should not wear hats indoors.  Thank you for helping to follow these guidelines. 

As the cold weather is upon us, it is very important that your child has a heavy fleece or warm jacket, hat, and mittens to wear outside.  Very soon it will be necessary to add snowpants, warm boots, heavy jacket and waterproof mittens.

Please label, with your child’s name, all clothing items with a permanent marker including hats, mittens, snow pants, boots, etc., since many of these items look alike.   Some items can become misplaced, and a labeled item finds its way home much faster.  The Heartworks, Renaissance, and Endeavour Schools cannot be responsible for lost or misplaced items.

September Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne C

Class with Meg and Kaylie

The first month of school in the infant classroom is filled with getting to know one another, establishing daily routines for each child and simply enjoying being together. Meg and Kaylie have been working on a few small projects using handprints and footprints to create wonderful fall decorations. They have been spending so much time outside with all of the children walking around the campus and laying in the courtyard watching the leaves move in the wind and enjoying the end of summer and beginning of fall sunshine.

Class with Jackie and Marina

Our friends are growing so much and are reaching many new milestones just in the first few weeks of school! They have quickly settled into a routine and are having so much fun exploring the classroom space and getting to know their friends and teachers. The children have also enjoyed going on walks and exploring the playground getting as much fresh air and sunshine as they possibly can. Outside is definitely a favorite activity for the class. It has been so fun watching the children interact with one another and enjoy the day with excitement and wonder.

Class with Anne and Jacey

What an exciting and enriching first month the children in this classroom have had! They quickly fell into a routine and are having small circles, wonderful enrichment times and are enjoying books and puzzles during transitions. Each month Anne begins with a group painting on canvas using paint and tape to create a word that relates to the theme. September’s word was “welcome” and the children had so much fun exploring the paint and mixing all the colors together. On the windows you will find heart shaped suncatchers that the children created using contact paper and colored tissue paper squares. The also used glue and colored leaf shaped pieces of paper to make fallen leaves for the fall tree on the wall in the classroom. 

Class with Liz and Amanda

The beginning of the year has been filled with so much laughter, joy and excitement. Liz and Amanda have quickly established a rhythm that works well for the children that allows them time to explore, read stories, move their bodies, explore art and music, and get to know one another. The class goes outside for fresh air and gross motor activities rain or shine and the children love that time to explore big body movements in safe and controlled ways. As the months go by the children will continue to learn about using verbal and sign language to communicate their needs, wants and emotions. Some of the favorite activities from the month of September were coloring paper for the “friendship quilt” and creating nature wands using stick, tape and items they found outside.

Class with Haleigh and Nikki

Hiking and exploring families in nature has been a favorite focus of the classroom this month. The children have been enjoying outside time in the forest looking for signs of animals and insects. As a part of the Friends and Family theme, the children used crayons and paper to create mini “family portraits.” Each child had the opportunity to point out the family members they drew, and they were displayed on a family wall in the classroom. The children are enjoying exploring in the classroom  and are working on using books and puzzles to transition between activities, learning new greeting songs during circle and using words to express their thoughts and feelings.

October themes

Overall Theme for the two oldest classes is Cultures.
Children with Haleigh and Nikki will study Australia - the land, language, people and animals.
Children with Liz and Amanda will explore the wonderful cultures for “America the Beautiful.” 

All classes will explore Fall and Harvest, as well as their own learning concepts such as engaging in parallel and cooperative play, language use and development, gentle touches and careful body movements plus appropriate gross and fine motor skills. We are all looking forward to the exciting activities and enrichments planned for this next month.

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!

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. 

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.

See What We're Up to at Heartworks Shelburne!

Halle and Meg

The children grew so much and reached so many milestones over break and through the month of January. From sitting on their own to taking their first steps, we have all celebrated these accomplishments and have continued to explore new ways to help foster and encourage this growth. Some of the children were able to explore full body painting using blue and white paint to create a backdrop for a fun winter project. Halle and Meg were also excited to have a few warm days where a few of the children were able to get bundled up and go outside for a bright and sunny refreshing walk. 


Jackie and Marina

During the month of January Jackie and Marina’s class was learning about winter and winter animals. They enjoyed exploring and painting snow, used evergreen branches and white paint to create a snowy scene and used bird seed and toilet paper rolls to create bird feeders for the birds that perch on the trees outside the window. All of the children excitedly gathered around the windows with Marina to watch Jackie hand the feeders while Marina talked to them about what she was doing. This was such a wonderful enrichment for the children who have shown a great love of all the Earth’s creatures


Anne and Amanda

Winter, snow, and ice were a huge draw for the children with Anne and Amanda during the month of January. One of the class’ favorite activities was using eye droppers and water to explore a block of ice in the sensory table. The eye droppers were a wonderful way for the children to practice using their fine motor muscles and explore the concepts of warm and cold. They explored small cubes of ice and enjoyed watching the ice slowly melt in a baggie taped to the window. The children have also been learning about animals and exploring animal tracks. They have enjoyed looking at animal cards and opening them to see what each animal's tracks would look like. 


Danielle and Nikki

During the month of January the children with Danielle and Nikki 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 ways that things were when the plains were just being settled. The children created dome shaped huts using recycled containers and clay, fabric collage buffalo and even enjoyed wheat bread spread with butter that they made themselves using heavy cream, a little salt and a lot of shaking. What a special treat!


Rachel and Lizzy

As the children entered the classroom with Rachel and Lizzy during the month of January, they were transported deep into the forest with woodland creatures, fires for roasting and cooking food, and a cozy campsite where they could lay back and count the stars. Many of the days involved talking about animal tracking, creating footprint art, and exploring the artistic style of Brian Wildsmith to create colorful dreys, which the children can tell you are squirrel homes. As the children learned about winter animals and hibernation they thought of different ways to help animals during this time. Inspired by the story The Night Tree, Rachel, Lizzy and the children hiked into the forest to find their own “night tree” and created edible ornaments to hang for the forest animals to enjoy. The children show such compassion and care for the animals that are wonderful to experience. 

Washing Hands

Thank you so very much for helping your child in washing his/her hands upon arriving to school in the morning. This greatly reduces the amount of germs coming into our school and especially helps in preventing the spread of colds.

We are working on teaching the children the proper way to wash their hands as written by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We would appreciate your help in practicing these techniques at home as well as when washing their hands upon arriving to school.  The goal is to teach older children to carry out the procedure themselves; for younger children the goal is to supervise them in carrying out the hand washing procedure, which is: 

Washing Children’s Hands

  • Moisten hands
  • Squirt a drop of liquid soap on children’s hands
  • Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds
  • Rinse their hands well in running water, directing flow from wrist to fingertips
  • Dry hands with paper towel
  • Turn off faucet with paper towel and discard

In this way, by turning off the faucet last and with a paper towel, the children’s hands remain germ free after washing.
 
Thank you for keeping these techniques in mind and teaching them to your child. Many, many people are more mindful to these techniques and are following them when in public restrooms.

November Highlights from Shelburne Building C

Halle and Meg’s Class

Happy First Thanksgiving!  The children in Halle and Meg’s class worked very hard all month to create the adorable “My First Thanksgiving” shirts to share with their families this holiday season. We hope everyone enjoyed them. Many of the children have started to show more interest in books and watching their teachers read to them. 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. 

Jackie and Marina’s Class

During the month of November Jackie and Marina’s class explored emotions and the Thanksgiving holiday through songs, stories, and projects. The children enjoyed coloring turkey feathers for our school turkey. The children are really starting to imitate motions in songs and their new favorite to follow along with is “All the Raindrops.” The most exciting part is when they get to pretend to catch all the delicious things falling from the sky. 

Anne and Amanda’s Class

During the month of November Anne and Amanda’s theme was also Feelings and Thanksgiving. The children learned about different emotions through stories, songs and projects. One of their favorite enrichment activities was exploring “puffy paint” on round pieces of paper and then adding face shapes to create a wall of “feeling faces.” The children really enjoyed exploring the new texture of the paint with paintbrushes, hands and fingers. Anne and Amanda then helped the children to name the emotions their faces were representing.

Danielle and Nikki’s Class

The friends in Danielle and Nikki’s class went back in time to explore the world of the dinosaurs. They learned about different types of dinosaurs, where they lived, how large and small they are and what they ate. The month ended with the children and teachers all putting on their paleontologist hats to embark on a fossil hunting expedition. The children used paint brushes to gently move around sand in the sensory table to find the dinosaurs that were buried under layers of wet and dry sand and stones. It was such a treat to see their excited faces when they uncovered the giant prehistoric reptiles. Danielle and Nikki’s class will also be working on adding decorations to the bulletin board in the library for the months of December and January. 

Rachel and Sam’s Class

Rachel and Sam’s class dove into the world of insects and other small creatures during the month of November. To start of this exciting theme, the children had a chance to “become butterflies” wearing antenna they created and using straws as a proboscis to sip nectar (apple juice) from small cups. Many of the children wore their antenna for the entire morning and promptly put them back on after rest. The children also created small bags of “frog eggs” using gel and a small glass stone. Each day the children inspected the bags for signs of growth often using magnifying glasses to get a closer look. There was much delight as the children observed the transformation from a small eggs to full grown frogs. Another fun project had the children taking ownership of the class camera and taking photos of where they thought insects might live. The children really enjoyed this fun new responsibility and worked intently to find what they thought was the best home for an insect and were all excited to learn how to operate the camera.

Celebrations Around the World at Heartworks Shelburne Building C

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) 
  • Hanukkah (begins at sundown on December 6)
  • St. Lucia Day (December 13)
  • Las Posadas (begins on December 16)
  • Winter Solstice (December 21) 
  • 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.

A Heartworks, Renaissance, and Endeavour Tradition: Baking, especially at the Holidays!

Baking bread for family and friends grounds us in an important tradition this time of year:
a shared experience, following the rhythm of a process that is centuries old, and creating
sustenance with our hands that is made from local grains.

From the inception of Heartworks, baking bread has been a part of our tradition. At least twice a month, preschool students participate in a baking project, from apple cheddar biscuits to pretzels, the aroma of baking often fills the hallways. Baking holds many lessons for preschoolers, from the sensory experience of baking to reading instructions and measuring ingredients. Cooking their own baked goods can even help create a more adventurous palate!

This year, Renaissance students took baking one step further by participating in the Learn, Bake, Share Program sponsored by King Arthur Flour. In this program, students learn to make two loaves of bread from scratch, one to keep and one to give to those in need. Our students had to utilize math, science and reading skills as they learned to bake bread as part of a community service effort. We are very proud of the 4th and 5th graders who donated twenty homemade loaves to the Harbor House, a local shelter that provides temporary housing with 20 families currently in residence.

At Endeavour Middle School, our students are participating in an online MOOC course via Colgate University. They are connecting with Renaissance Elementary School alumna, Allison Zengilowski, who is currently a junior at Colgate. They are learning about production, distribution, and the culture of making bread around the world. They're also studying global food supplies, industrial farming, and water supplies. Using systems thinking, students have had the opportunity to explore the global network that’s often involved in producing this ubiquitous
staple.

This holiday season, we encourage you to spend time together as a family baking and consider all there is to learn. From measurement and math to the joy of filling the house with the delicious aromas of baking, we know it will be a fun, memorable experience. We hope everyone enjoys a wonderful holiday season, family togetherness, and the spirit of giving as you share your baked goods with friends, family, and those in need. Baking is truly a valuable experience!

Read more in our efforts in local publications:

Food Drive ends December 11th

Thank you so much for the toiletry and non-perishable food items that you have donated so far for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. It is so moving to watch the boxes fill up with your generous contributions. Items will be delivered on Friday, December 11th - so there is still time to bring items in if you want to. It is important to involve the children in this as well, have a conversation about how the food will be going to families who need it; your participation is modeling compassion. Thank you for your support and generosity!

Other Items Needed:

  • Flour
  • Low sodium canned soups and chili
  • Boxed meals (macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, etc.)
  • Rice (any type)
  • Shelf-stable juice
  • Portable ready-to-eat snacks (child friendly)
  • Shelf-stable milk (non-dairy)

 

Critical Items Needed:

  • Peanut butter
  • Healthy wheat based cereals
  • Canned tuna, chicken and other proteins
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Toiletries: toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, feminine products

Heartworks Shelburne Building C explores Fall, Harvest, and Culture

Halle and Meg’s Class

Our friends in Halle and Meg’s class continue to amaze us with all they are doing each and every day. They love hearing and “telling” stories, bouncing along while listening to the teachers sing and exploring different ways to move around and explore the toys in the classroom. The room is full of smiles and the noises of little ones just finding their voice. The weather has been a bit up and down lately, so whenever the temperatures have risen, Halle and Meg have taken the opportunity to bring the friends outside to see and feel the changes in the world around them.
Decorating the classroom you will find footprint ghosts and witches and a footprint pumpkin patch complete with vines and leaves. Some of our friends had a chance to do “sensory bag painting” a sensory experience with paint and baggies. They had a lot of fun squishing the bags and watching the paint colors mix. We would also Iike to say thank you to William’s mother, Cathleen for coming in to read a Halloween story and do a fun Halloween activity. It is always such a wonderful time when parents come to spend time in the classroom. 

Jackie and Marina’s Class

What a fun month October has been in Jackie and Marina’s classroom. The children have been very interested in art activities, enjoying the chance to color with crayons, make pumpkin stamps with paper towel rolls and paint and glue collage material onto paper plates to create a pumpkin patch in the classroom. In addition to the art activities, the children have been enjoying sound shakers and sensory bottles, shaking them up and watching the materials inside float around.  The children also had a chance to explore with large tubes, experimenting with different items to see which would roll through, which were too big, and what would happen when the tubes were standing straight up. The children had so much fun with this early scientific exploration. Songs and stories continue to be a favorite and many of the friends are practicing imitating to motions found in Eric Carle’s Head to toe. Can you shrug your shoulders like a buffalo? 


Anne and Amanda’s Class

This month the children with Anne and Amanda enjoyed many new experiences within the Fall and Harvest theme and welcomed new friends into the classroom. At the beginning of the month the children enjoyed scooping and stirring to make hummus to try with the cucumbers that were harvested from the Heartworks Garden and roasted kale to make kale chips to bring home to their families. The children used glue and paper shapes to create scarecrow decorations and then stuffed real leaves into some spare clothes to make a miniature scarecrow, that is just too adorable to scare anything away. To finish out the month Anne and Amanda brought the children outside to explore the insides of three different sized pumpkins. It was a treat to watch the children examine the goo and work hard to place the tops back on the pumpkins. 

Danielle and Nikki’s Class

During the month of October the children with Danielle and Nikki learned all about the United States. While on a hike the children gathered sticks that they brought inside and painted red, white and blue for the American flag. They talked about the colors they saw and learned what the flag looked like. They made America Flag desserts, talked about different animals found around the country and enjoyed a lot of time outside exploring the playground, forest and courtyard. 

Rachel and Sam’s Class

The children with Rachel and Sam set off on a trek this month through the continent of Australia. With painted feet, and one truck, the children walked across a map of Australia and left colorful footprints from one end of the country to another. They enjoyed g’day greetings, sang songs about kookaburras and kangaroos and listed to the sounds of the Australian outback. One of the children’s favorite activities was creating their own didgeridoos out of paper towel rolls and joining Jenny and Anna’s class next door for a concert on the gazebo with a real didgeridoo played by Rachel. The children had so much fun this month and learned many wonderful things about Australia and Australian life. We would also like thank Lindsie and Bridget our two parent visitors so far for coming in and creating sensory bottles and cheerful mummies with the children. 

Upcoming Survey on Delay of Gratification

Over the next few weeks, our Heartworks families will be invited to participate in an online survey. Heartworks Shelburne teacher Rachel Franz, also a M.Ed. candidate at Champlain College, is working on research that seeks to discover ways that parents, guardians, and teachers of preschoolers can promote a skill called "delay of gratification." Delay of gratification, often associated with self-control, patience, and work ethic, is a critical ability that is correlated with children's academic, social, and financial success later in life. The term refers to a person's ability to resist temptation or impulse for something, which often leads to a greater reward in the future. The goal of the research is to help identify and share strategies that might work for supporting children as they develop the ability to delay gratification. The survey will be sent out via e-mail shortly and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Please keep an eye out for an e-mail from your School Director with the link to the survey.   Thank you in advance for helping Rachel with her research and for sharing your perspectives about this important topic. 

Parent and Teacher Conferences

A sign-up sheet for the parent/teacher conferences on November 9th and 10th is posted on the bulletin board at your child’s class. Please be sure to sign up for a 30-minute individual time with your child’s teacher. This is a wonderful opportunity to have the complete attention of your child’s teacher for 30 minutes to hear all about your child’s day as well as to ask questions and share your goals for your child.

On Monday, November 9th, school is closed for the day and conferences are held from 8:00 with the last one scheduled for 4:00. On Tuesday, November 10th, school closes at 12:00 and conferences start at 1:10 with the last conference at 3:50. If your child has a different afternoon teacher from the morning program, you are welcome to sign up for a conference with that teacher too.

If you are in need of child care, please speak in advance with the School Director as there may be someone at the school who can watch your child during your parent/teacher conference.  If the available days/times do not work for you, please speak with the School Director who will arrange a time that is more suitable for the teacher and yourself.  Thank you.

We look forward to meeting with you, to answer your questions, and to share all of the wonderful work your child has been engaged in to date.

 

Got recycling? We can use it!

We are always collecting the following recyclable items

Baby food jars, small jar tops, butcher paper rolls, recyclable paper – where students can draw on one side, buttons, cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes, calendars (old), cereal boxes, coffee filters, cotton balls, corks, egg cartons, fabric scraps, feathers, felt scraps, greeting cards, magnets, margarine or other small tubs, newspapers, magazines, oatmeal (or other) canisters, packing bubble sheets, paper bags, paper plates, plastic lids, ribbons, sand paper scraps, straws (drinking), tissue paper, wallpaper scraps and samples, wooden beads, wood dowels, wood scraps, yarn, and plastic grocery bags.  So before you think of tossing any of these items into your recycling bin, please feel free to bring them to school for various creative uses.  Thank you. 

 

September's Theme: Friends and Family

Halle and Meg’s Class
The first month of school in the infant classroom is filled with getting to know one another, establishing daily routines for each child and simply enjoying being together. Both teachers have been working on creating an alphabet for the wall using the children’s footprints and handprints. The letters A through D are already up and look so sweet. This project with take the first few months of school to complete and will be up in the classroom for the whole year. Some of our friends have had a chance to explore paint on using their hands and fingers on a heart shaped piece of canvas.

Jackie and Marina’s Class
Our friends are growing so much and have already reached many new milestones just in the first few weeks of school! Sitting on their own, trying new foods, finding new teeth and exploring different ways to move their bodies are just a few of the ways the children are experiencing their days in the classroom.  A friendship tree has gone up in the classroom and each child will have a “leaf” made out of their handprints displayed in the tree. The children have enjoyed going on walks and exploring the playground while also establishing individual daily routines for each child. It has been so fun watching the children interact with one another and explore the classroom with excitement and wonder.

Anne, Lizzy and Amanda’s Class
What an exciting and enriching first month the children in this classroom have had! They quickly fell into a routine and are having small circles, wonderful enrichment times and are enjoying books and puzzles during transitions. Each month Anne begins with a group painting on canvas using paint and tape to create a word that relates to the theme. This month’s word is “welcome” and the children had so much fun exploring the paint and mixing all the colors together. On the wall there is a friendship tree with orange leaves painted as a group and individual “fallen” leaves created using glue and colored paper.

Danielle and Nikki’s Class
The beginning of the year has been filled with songs and the sounds of the ukulele. All of the children have enjoyed learning new songs, and getting to know one another during circle times and while exploring the classroom. Some of the fun enrichment times have included exploring playdough, making leaves for the friendship tree using handprints and finger painting the beautiful blue background for the friendship tree.

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Rachel and Sam’s Class
Hiking and exploring families in nature has been the focus of the classroom this month. The children have been enjoying outside time in the forest looking for signs of animals and even finding a nest in a tree. The children used the clues found at the bottom of the tree to figure out if the nest belonged to an owl family or a squirrel family. There were many acorns and pieces of acorns strewn about the forest floor at the trunk of the tree; what do you think, owls or squirrels? They were inspired by their discovery to create animal family nests using natural materials outside on the picnic table. In addition to this wonderful time outside, the children used teamwork to created wiffle ball paintings, used crayons to color house shapes for creating neighborhoods in the block area and made apple crisp to share with one another. 

Starting in October

Next month the children in Halle and Meg’s, Jackie and Marina’s, and Anne and Amanda’s classes will be exploring Fall and Harvest. During this month the children will have a chance to explore the changes outside, create art with fallen leaves, and bake with the fruits and vegetables of the fall harvest. We are all looking forward to the beautiful colors of autumn and the fall aromas that will fill our school.

Danielle and Nikki’s class as well as Rachel and Sam’s class will be studying cultures this next month. The friends in Rachel’s class will be boarding a plane and traveling to the far off land of Australia, a place Rachel has been and holds dear to her heart. Danielle’s friends will stay close as they explore the wonderful cultures here at home for the “America the Beautiful” theme. We are all looking forward to the exciting activities and enrichments planned for this next month.