Weekly Letters From Red Door

Red Door Weekly Letter October 20, 2017

Dear Parents,

This week marked the kickoff of our Halloween Event and we started to make projects, sang songs and talked about Halloween symbols. Our topic was “Bats and Cats” and our goal was to focus on the color black.

During small group time, the children made a beautiful “Halloween silhouettes” painting a carton paper in orange and pasting a black bat and a black cat shapes. They made another collage to make a bat and used their handprints to make the wings.

Circle Time is now a real success: everybody enjoy sitting down to listen to the songs. They participate more and more making gestures and sometimes finishing the sentences of the song.

We sang special songs about black cat. “3 black cats and there was a witch who has a cat”. We also told a mini story with the rhyming words bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat,

The cat that wear a hat.

Told the bat to pat.

The fat rat on the mat!

Just after Circle Time, we like to move it, move it! The children enjoyed dancing to the music of “chicken dance”, “baby shark” and “gummy bear”.

This week was a little sad for us, as we had to say goodbye to Alvaro and Manuel who have successfully made their transition to Yellow Door.

Reminders:
Sippy cups: we really need your help: PLEASE, label your child’s sippy cups with their first and last name on the lid and the cup. You can use a sharpie marker or order stickers.

Family pictures: we are still missing a lot of family pictures Please provide them as soon as possible; the children enjoy looking at people’s pictures that is part of their lives; parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, cousins and also pets.

Have a great weekend.
Mrs. Murielle, Mrs. Mireya, Mrs. Luz & Mrs. Zamira

 

Red Door Weekly Letter October 13, 2017

Dear Parents,

We started this week by welcoming a new friend “Charles” who has just turned 1 year old! Charles is following his big sister’s steps, Emily who is in VPK. He is adapting smoothly to his new environment, friends and teachers.

The children enjoyed a trip to Old Mac Donald’s Farm! It was a festival of farm animals, songs, and sounds. Everyday, we could hear “QUACK, CLUCK, COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO, MOO, NEIGH, BAA, SQUEAK, OINK, MEOW, and WOOF”. The children enjoyed playing with the farm animal puppets and toys and listening to songs as they learned about animals’ names and sounds. They start to repeat the sound of the cow, the sheep (it is so funny to say baaa while sticking out the tongue!), the dog and the cat.

During Music Class, they also could listen to Old Mac Donald Has a Farm, Mary Had a Little Lamb. They partnered to dance to the music of Gummy Bear: it is so delightful to see them looking for a partner and dancing holding hands.

For Art, they enjoyed doing the following projects: they painted with green foam paint and make handprint. They practiced to rip paper in small pieces (we will need a little more practice on this) and they colored a carton plate with a pink crayon to make a pig.

This week we had a few kids absent because they were ill. We don’t know if it was a virus going on, some had ear infections and other diarrhea and fever. Our toys are regularly sanitized as the children still put everything in their mouth. We took it upon ourselves to do an extra clean up in the classroom and sanitized absolutely all the toys, tables, chairs and mats.

Picture Day was quite challenging: it was not easy to have everybody smile or keep the pause! But we are sure the result will be great anyway, our toddlers are so cute!

Have a “baatiful” weekend!

Mrs. Murielle, Mrs. Mireya , Mrs. Luz, and Mrs. Z

A word about Toddler Talking Milestones

Toddlers learn many new words and begin to form simple sentences. The number of words in a toddler’s vocabulary expands rapidly. By 2 years of age, children typically begin to connect words, such as “go” and “bye, bye” to make the simple sentence “Go bye-bye.” By 3 years, many toddlers are able to form a variety of sentences with three or four words.

Young toddlers both babble and use real words. Parents and caregivers will be able to understand a toddler some of the time, but they may have difficulty understanding the child on other occasions. People outside the toddler’s family may also have difficulty understanding all of his words.

Toddlers can use language to imitate and to talk about pretend things and past experiences. As your toddler engages in pretend play, she thinks out loud and talks to herself. She also develops an ability to talk about past experiences in one or two sentences. This is important because it is the beginning of your child’s understanding and production of stories.

Not all toddlers develop language in the same way or at the same rate. For example, some children tend to develop language in spurts, while others show more slow, steady growth. Not all children learn to talk in the same way. Some learn to speak by learning words one by one. Others pay less attention to individual words, but learn to speak in phrases, saying, “Gimme cup of juice,” for example.

Toddlers are developing an awareness of the power of words. At this age, your toddler is learning that he can use words to get attention, get his needs met, and express his feelings.

Encouraging Your Toddler
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Pretend with your toddler. Help your child move beyond the “here and now” in her play with toys. Help create worlds with words as you play together. For example, if your toddler says “Truck up!” you might reply “That truck is going way up to the moon!”.

Help your toddler tell a story about a special event. To support your toddler’s emerging storytelling abilities, you might pose questions such as, “And what was on top of your birthday cake?” or elaborate on what your child says. For example, if your toddler says, “Big doggie!” you might say, “Yes, Bruno was a very big doggie, wasn’t he?” Supporting your child’s ability to tell stories helps develop her language skills as well as her appreciation of stories.

Talk about family photos. Talking with your toddler about photographs of family events is a great source for stories and will stimulate not only his memory, but his language as well. Constructing photo albums or homemade books about a particular event, such as a child’s birthday, is a wonderful way of being able to revisit special events over and over again.

Give your child words for feelings. This is a great time to introduce specific words that map onto specific feelings. When your child is frustrated, you can introduce words such as “mad”, “angry”, and “frustrated”. You can also offer your child specific phrases he can use to get your help and attention.

Ms. Murrielle

 

Red Door Weekly Letter October 6, 2017

Dear Parents,

I will start this letter to share with you that Noah is now the big brother of Luke (born last Friday) Congratulations! Also, we were happy to welcome our two newbies Gabriel and Alexander. They are very nice and they have adapted so well and quickly that it seems they have been always here with us.

Our topic for this week was “Colors”. The children heard a lot of colorful words: “blue, red, green, yellow” Can you bring me your BLUE shoe?, It’s time to sleep, let’s tuck you in your PINK blanket, you want some milk, let me pour some in your GREEN sippie cup, Look, here is a RED ball …..

During Circle Time, we sang our usual songs and add some about colors: 5 Red Balloons (they loved this song especially when we pretend to pop the balloon!) and a “make up song’ about the colors of toys we have in the room: blue car, red ball, yellow block etc).

As our outdoor activity were very limited this week, we did a lot of Music and Movement; they danced on the rhythm of the songs “Gummy Bear” “I’m Happy”, “Shark Song, “Freeze Song” and more conventional “Ring Around the Rosie”. It is very cute to see them looking for a partner to dance holding hands.

For Art, the children colored with crayons, they pasted tissue papers on a construction paper (and they discovered that the glue is sticky!) and they painted mixing 2 colors.

Music class was – I don’t have to tell you anymore – a HIT. They enjoy listening to the songs and try very hard to wait for their turn to play the drum.

This week was also a week of changes as we made some staff modification. Welcome to Mrs. Mireya, Mrs. Luz and Mrs. Zamira (Mrs. Luz is in Red Door in the morning and Ms. Zamira in the afternoon).

Little Reminder:

Please make sure that your child’s sippie cup is correctly labeled: first and last name must appear on the top and bottom of the cup. Thank you for your effort.

- We are missing a lot of family picture (only 3 families). Please bring some pictures; we will soon have a topic about Families. Thank you

Have a great weekend

Mrs. Murielle, Mrs. Mireya, Mrs. Luz, and Mrs. Zamira

 

Red Door Weekly Letter September 29, 2017

Dear Parents,

I didn’t realize while planning the topic of this week “Leaves” that we will face the biggest challenge of all: finding leaves! After Irma, we had to cut all the branches of the trees and consequently we don’t have our usual “rug of leaves” on the ground. But luckily for us, there were still some leaves lying on the ground in our playground and the children enjoyed having a “Leaves hunt” picking up the leaves and putting them in a bucket.

We used those leaves for different activities:
Sensory: the children touched dry leaves and fresh leaves to experiment the difference of texture.
Art: they used the leaves as a brush to paint on a big piece of paper.
Circle Time: as we sang the song “all the leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down, all the leaves are falling down, red, yellow, orange, green and brown”, we took some leaves from the bucket and let them fall down.

Circle Time, music and movement were great: the children are now able to sit for more than 10 minutes listening to the songs and making finger play and gestures. We sang Rollie Pollie, The Wheels On The Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, When The Animals Get Up In The Morning. We are also practising passing a checker to a friend while singing a song introducing their names. After singing, we stand up to have our music & movement activity: the children danced on the “freeze song”, “one little finger” and much more. They really enjoy this moment where they dance alone or holding hands with 1 friend or more. We took some video and we hope that we will be able to download them in life cubby. This week, it has been very hard to put pictures as the Internet was too slow but don’t worry we will manage to download all the pictures and video very soon.

Music Class is always a very anticipated and appreciated moment: the children enjoy listening to the songs Mr. Brandon playing his ukulele. Also, it is very hard for them to take turn to play the drums: they just can’t wait, it is too much fun!!! We also danced on the “gummy bear” and “crazy frog” songs. You can find them easily on You Tube. Be careful though, the gummy bear song will stick in your head for some days……

For Art, the children painted a construction paper using a sponge and 3 different colors (green, red and yellow) to make a leaf. They also colored with crayons a construction paper.

Playground time is hot and we are missing some shade. Please, feel free to bring sunscreen, we will gladly apply it on your child. 15 minutes before leaving the playground, we always have the children sitting down in the shade and playing with Lego or the water/sand box. They also drink water to cool down.

Finally, we would like to remind you to please bring FOUR sippie cups if your child is having breakfast and is staying in the afternoon.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mrs. Murielle, Mrs. Madelayne and Ms. Paulina

 

Red Door Weekly Letter September 22, 2017

Dear Parents,

It was great to have everybody back, (except for Belen who was enjoying quality time with Grandma). We were also happy to finally be able to celebrate Zoe’s first birthday!

This week was terrific! We got to learn more about each other. As the topic was “All About Me”, we tried to figure out what were the children’s favorite activities in the classroom. Surprisingly apart throwing toys on floor, they all enjoy different activities during the day.

Alison likes books and playground.

Alvaro likes to play with the sea animal toys and Art.

Andres likes to spend time in the library and in the playground.

Diion enjoys housekeeping and our gym set.

Enzo likes to play with the animal toys and enjoys books.

Evangeline likes art and Circle Time (songs, music, & movements).

Ian’s favorite is Music class with Mr. Brandon, (playing the drum), and story time.

Manuel is also a big lover of playing drum during Mr. Brandon Class, housekeeping and puzzles.

Noah likes to stack blocks and empty the containers of toys.

Raphael enjoys Circle Time and playing in the block area.

Zoe loves the gym set and Art.

We are very proud of our children. This week, we could “stick” better to the schedule having Circle Time when they sit down for more than 10 minutes listening to the songs and doing finger plays, (they love the song “The Wheels On The Bus”) and Art activity all together (coloring using marker or crayon and finger painting). They are also making a lot of progress when it is time to clean up: we teach them to collect the toys when they are done playing with them and to put them at the right place.

Playground time was hot but luckily for us, we were able to use our new set of water and sand boxes for the first time. Oh boy! We got wet!!!!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mrs. Murielle, Mrs. Madelayne and Ms. Paulina

 

Red Door Weekly Letter September 1, 2017

Dear Parents,

As you may have heard, we had a few tough days in Red Door this week as we had some biting accidents. We are doing our very best to control this situation and Mrs. Davis gave us an extra helpful staff in the morning before Mrs. Madelayne comes at 8:30 and after lunch time. We understand that this is a very upsetting moment for both parents of the biter and the bitten child and also for the teachers as we couldn’t avoid it. Please remember that although it is no consolation to all involved, biting at this age is developmentally appropriate as children at this age are usually non verbal.

Unfortunately, biting is a very common behavior in young children, as well as pushing and hitting. You may have already noticed some changes in your child’s behavior: tantrums, outburst of “violence” such as hitting, kicking, throwing toys and fast learning to say NO. Well, don’t worry, it is just what happens during “toddlerhood” (hopefully, it will pass….).

Everyday, we are facing those kind of behaviors and we are working hard to get rid of those bad habits. We are teaching your children to share with friends and to socialize using different strategies such as planning activities using toys and materials that will promote cooperation and sharing (dancing “ring around the rosies”, gross motor activity “row your boat”, making puzzles together, stacking together, etc). It take time and patience but don’t misunderstand me, most of the time we have wonderful moments with big laughs, hugs and accomplishments. Now, the question is how to stop this unwanted behavior. Well, punishing or biting back is surely and definitively NOT the solution!!!! We do our best to prevent the biting with a lot of patience, watching and love. One of the best strategies is to remove the biter from the play area out of the classroom to another one, saying with a firm tone “No biting” and “that hurts”. Most of the time, this behavior stops quickly.

This week was still a week for some children to adjust to the routine, peers and teachers. We could not do art activity everyday but the children enjoyed painting on the table mixing different colors with their hands and tearing paper and then gluing the pieces on a construction paper.
Music and finger play were also very appreciated during the day: they love the song “The Wheels On The Bus” and have fun doing the gestures of this song. Music Class with Mr. Brandon was a great magic half hour, listening to songs, playing the drum and dancing!

Playground is also a great time for them, they love the slide, the swings, riding the cars, hiding in the little house and popping the bubbles. Music Class with Mr. Brandon was a great magic half hour, listening to songs, playing the drum and dancing!

Below, you will find an extract of articles about WHY CHILDREN BITE? and Helping children to channel their aggression.

Have a great long weekend.

Mrs. Murielle, Mrs. Madelayne and Ms. Paulina

There are a variety of reasons why children bite. Biting is usually more common between the ages of 14 and 24 months, although teething babies bite as well. Most children tend to outgrow biting habits as they mature. There are different reasons why children bite:

Exploration: Babies and toddlers often learn and explore by putting things in their mouths so they can taste and feel the object. This process, called mouthing, is normal behavior and eventually ends when children learn to visually identify an object. Children often do not understand the difference between tasting or gnawing and actual biting. They also may not understand that biting hurts.

Teething: Infants usually begin teething between 4 and 7 months of age. Swelling gums caused by the growth of new teeth can be uncomfortable for the infant. To alleviate this discomfort infants often chew or bite on things. Infants at this age are sometimes too young to understand they are biting a person instead of an object.

Imitation: Children often learn by observing others and imitating what they do. If a child sees another child biting to get attention, he may copy that action to see how people react to him doing it. A child may also think biting is an acceptable behavior simply because he sees other children doing it.

Frustration and Communication: Young children lack the vocabulary and verbal skills needed to express their feelings. This inability to communicate may leave the child feeling frustrated and stressed. This frustration is one of the most common reasons why children bite. Biting may help a child express his feelings and get his point across. Young children and toddlers experience many changes in the first few years of their life, such as potty training and switching from a crib to a bed. Biting often occurs when children are experiencing these changes because it is a difficult and stressful time for them.

Aggression Is Part of Healthy Development
(https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/12-helping-young-children-channel-their-aggression)
During the first year, infants are not often thought of as behaving aggressively, and yet encounters in which an infant pushes, pulls, or exerts force against another are signs of the outwardly directed energy and assertiveness that reflect the healthy maturation of aggression. But the 9-month old who pulls your hair does not know that it might hurt—it is done in the same exuberant, playful spirit that is seen in other activities. It is only in the second year, when the child develops a better awareness of his separateness as a person—of “me” and “you”—that he can begin to understand that he is angry at someone and behave with intentional force. We do not usually talk about a child’s being cruel or hostile toward others until some time during the second year. Even then, he does not know enough about cause and effect to understand the consequences of his action or how to regulate this behavior toward others. When your 15-month-old smashes a fragile object, he is caught up in the pleasure of assertiveness, not anticipating its result.

Parents sometimes tell me about their toddler who “knows better” than to hit or bite. They believe this is so because when he is scolded, he looks ashamed. What the toddler understands is not that he has hurt someone or destroyed something but that he has earned the disapproval of his parents. Conversely, when praised for being gentle with another, he knows and is pleased that he is approved of for that behavior at that moment. It will take time and many reminders before he can understand that not hitting or biting applies to many situations. Young children, particularly those under 3½, scarcely know their own strength. The differences between a kiss and a bite, between patting and hitting, between nudging and pushing someone down are not automatically understood and children need many reminders: such as, “Let me show you how to pat the baby (or the family dog or Daddy’s cheek)”; “Patting feels nice. Hitting can hurt”; or “Do it softly (or gently), like this.”