Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

 Please join Ian, Mallory and me in welcoming a new friend to our school, Piper.  She is starting this week!  Welcome Piper, and your beautiful family, to our school community. 

2012 brings with it mitten weather, our second all family pot-luck on January 17th and another DATE NIGHT.

When you return to school, please take a moment to sign up for snack, check your child's extra clothing bin and to remove any artwork from your children's cubbie.  Many thanks!

Happy New Year to All!

A Moment of Silence

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Celebrating St. Lucia Day

Just a few favorite photos from a wonderful day at Helping hands Family School!  See my same name post at my other blog: Montessori Mama
PEACE and Happy St. Lucia Day from our family to yours.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Orange Peels Potpourri

 Clementines are on sale!  Here at Helping Hands we save the peels, we dry them and then we take turns breaking them into tiny pieces.  This is a wonderful fine motor exercise by the way and is helpful in strengthening the same muscles you use to hold a pencil.  This aromatic activity is very popular presently; every child wants to have a turn doing this.

Once the orange peels are broken up we will begin the next step in making our holiday potpourri.  Then when the fir tree needles have all been snipped and the whole cloves ground up into powder; we will mix all the ingredients together! 

Next the children will prepare small satchels filled with the combination of yummy smells that they, together as a class community, helped to prepare.  These potpourri satchels will be small enough to fit in your children's pockets and treasured by their little hands.

This is a beautiful tradition taught to me by my son Max's wonderful kindergarten teacher.  I am grateful, especially every holiday season, for having been a student/parent/teacher at such a lovely Montessori school.  And I appreciate that from our children sharing their special school traditions, often family traditions are born.    
Blessed Be,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A You're Adorable, B You're so Beautiful..

 D is for Drew ~
 J is for Jack ~
J is for Jane ~

Many more letters to discover.  Names to be written.  It all starts with one little letter.
Thank you all for the well wishes.  I'm on the road to recovery.
I miss your children!
Hugs all around,

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Family of Flowers

 The day of our Fall Family Potluck we asked the children to choose a flower to add to an empty vase.  One by one they added the flower they liked best.  Once all the flowers were added, we sat in silence and admired the bouquet that WE had created.  The silence broke when a little boy said,
"Miss Jennifer, we made a flower family!"

What a wonderful Family Potluck we had and yes, the flowers were absolutely beautiful.  Thank you to everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What will happen to our insect friends?

Okay, so this Friday Oct. 28th is our first Family Pot-Luck.  The kids are excited, I'm excited, it can't come soon enough.  However now they are mentioning SNOW!  Whoa people, snow?
One of the children mentioned this at morning circle and not much was said about it.  However, later on the playground, questions arose.
"What will happen to our insect friends?"

That's a very good question.  What does happen to insects during winter? Curious minds want to know.  I'm going to have to find the answer.  Please Mother Nature, don't let it snow before I figure this out. See you ALL on Friday! PEACE ~ Jennifer

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Birthday John Chapman

Wearing pots on their heads....

Reading Johnny Appleseed together under an apple tree.
We introduced John Chapman, our first Peace Maker of the school year. His picture now hangs in the Peace Corner in our classroom.  By June he will be in good company, 8 other Peace Makers will join him.  Each month we will introduce a new person to the children who believed in peaceful conflict resolution.  A person they can relate to in some way, who loved children and respected all.   

John Chapman was such a man.  Ask your children who he was, what he did, where he traveled.  Children are our greatest teachers.
PEACE be with you,

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Take a Child Outside Week

September 24—September 30 Annually

Take A Child Outside Week is a program designed to help break down obstacles that keep children from discovering the natural world. By arming parents, teachers and other caregivers with resources on outdoor activities, our goal is to help children across the country develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment in which they live, and a burgeoning enthusiasm for its exploration.

Going outside:

  • connects children to the natural world
  • helps kids focus in school
  • reduces chances of obesity
So take a child outside!

Visit this site so you can:

Come, be a part of this national movement!
For more information or to offer financial support, contact Liz Baird, Director of School Programs, at 919.733.7450 x601.

Outdoor kitchen play

I've started calling it the "Pine Needle Kitchen".  The children are really enjoying the new outdoor kitchen/restaurant and Mallory, Ian and I are so happy! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Easy Does It

Hello Families,

The first days of school are approaching. For some, this means a happy return to a beloved routine. For others, it means starting a whole new way of life. Either way, it's a transition, and a biggy, especially for the littlest ones.
It's an adjustment for parents too, but our main job is to do everything we can to help the children (and parents) feel secure and supported during this important time. Separation anxiety, new teachers, new spaces and routines... it's a lot for a small person to take in. So Mallory and I are getting ready to do our part to make the transition back to school as seamless as possible for everyone.

For help with separation anxiety please read this article from Savvy Source.

Our classroom and play yard will look a bit different than it has over the summer camp weeks. New things have been added and during these first few weeks of school, more changes to the outdoor space will take place. Our play yard is an ever evolving natural play scape.
We would like to say a special thank you to everyone who has helped build this space.  From the veggie garden to the fence, flower gardens and tree cookies; it's because of everyones joint efforts that our children have such an inviting space to play in!  Thank you.

It's going to be a wonderful year!  Reminder: OPEN HOUSE for new and returning students is September 3rd. Also please spread the word that our new after school program has openings.  Thank you!
Jennifer, Mallory and Ian

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ocean Week

Together we made this underwater world....

These lovely water folk and these two adorable whales.   

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Circus Week was a Ball!

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"Sit down Teacher, have a cup of tea..."

We all know and love her and now it's official.  Mallory accepted the position of full time Assistant Teacher beginning September 6th.
Words can not express how happy we are to have Mallory, who has been in the classroom every Wednesday since Helping Hands began, transition from part time to full time!


Tea Time

 Our youngest summer camp friend LOVED chopping fruit to make fruit kabobs for the Alice in Wonderland Tea party.  Many helping hands worked together prepare the tea refreshments. 

During outside time a homemade dandelion tea was made and enjoyed.  It was said to be "powerful" because it allowed the children to hear butterflies speak!