Message from the Principal
Spring is in full bloom here at Discovery Isle!
Spring has sprung… the weather is getting warmer; curiosity and wonder of the season is all around us.
Have you seen our caterpillar friend at the front desk? He has created his new house, a chrysalis. Now we all wait for him to come out as a beautiful butterfly. The children so excited to see this magical metamorphosis!!! Teachers have also planned many fun and enriching activities as we celebrate this amazing time of year.
Feel free to pick up a April school-wide event calendar at the front desk, or view the calendar on this website. Please be sure to read the classroom newsletters as well. All important information will go home in your child’s work/art file. As a reminder, please check your child’s file on a daily basis.
- April is Autism awareness month & Child abuse prevention month (*wear blue)
- April 15th & 16th: Spring Picture Days, say cheese!!!
- April 17th: Lady Bug Madness!!! (*wear red & black)
- April 20-24: Spring Scholastic Book-Fair
- April 22nd: Earth Day (*wear green)
- Lesson plans for your child’s class are posted on the classroom window “Parent Board” in the hall.
- Every education board in the classroom includes an activity descriptor, almost like a cheat-sheet for the board. Our class boards basically tell a story and highlight the evidence learning taking place in the program. Of course, the boards are creative, beautiful, and fun to look at and always make me smile!
- Please take a chance to also read the “What we learned today” which is posted on the classroom door; this highlights one special activity or happening from the day. Many times they include a question to ask your child, which is a great car-ride topic and perfect conversation starter for you and your child.
- The “end of the month” that you will receive, contains “work samples” your child has completed throughout the month; as well as enclosed letters that will connect what we learned as well as a sneak peak at the upcoming month. Don’t miss out on your child’s learning…get involved with Links to Learning!
News from the Education Department
Appreciating the Wonders of Mother Nature
Spring is here and Earth Day is right around the corner, providing a wonderful opportunity to connect children with nature and reinforce the importance of preserving and protecting the world around us.
Our Links to Learning curriculum uses hands-on activities to cultivate a deeper connection to the earth and foster academic, physical and social skill development.
Below are activities we implement in our classrooms to get children excited about nature, as well as activities and books to read with your child at home.
In the classroom: Our teachers provide natural objects, such as leaves, pinecones and flowers for the children to see and touch. We help children associate words with the concrete objects they represent.
At-home activity: Allow your child to experience different textured fruits, such as an orange, watermelon and cantaloupe. Talk about what he sees, smells, tastes and feels.
Recommended reading: Colors from Nature from PlayBac Publishing and The Earth Book by Todd Parr
BEGINNERS (Ages 2-3):
In the classroom: Around age two, children begin to understand interdependencies in nature. For instance, they learn that ladybugs feed on insects that are harmful to gardens, trees and shrubs. On Earth Day, many of our students have the opportunity to release ladybugs to help local gardens.
At-home activity: Take a walk outdoors with your child and play a game of “I Spy.” Ask him point out objects found in the springtime, for example a red flower, a blue bird or a colorful butterfly.
Recommended reading: Biscuit’s Earth Day Celebration by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & David T. Wenzel and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
INTERMEDIATES (Ages 3-4):
In the classroom: As our Intermediates gain a greater understanding and appreciation for how living things grow, the class may adopt a pet such as a fish or bunny. Students develop math, science and language skills by measuring the pet’s food, observing the pet’s behavior and habitat, and learning new vocabulary. Research shows that when children have the opportunity to care for animals, they practice nurturing behaviors that help them interact in gentle ways with people also.
At-home activity: Create a small garden and allow your child to help you plant and water seeds, either outdoors or indoors. Ask him to predict what the plant will look like by drawing pictures in his journal. Check the plant regularly so he can observe and measure changes in growth. Discuss the importance of watering and caring for the plant.
Recommended reading: Our Earth by Anne Rockwell and the poem “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out!” by Shel Silverstein
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (Ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Teachers encourage our older preschoolers to reuse recyclable materials in fun and unconventional ways. For instance, our students use cardboard boxes to create a castle, milk jug lids to sort and match, and plastic bottles to create beautiful, unique artwork.
At-home activity: Set up a recycling station using cardboard boxes, and label each box with the words “metal”, “plastic” and “paper”. Throughout the month, ask your child to help sort your family’s recyclables by placing the items into the correct box. Explain that recycling is just one way that we can be kind to the earth. Ask him to name a few other ways, such as conserving electricity, picking up litter and planting a garden.
Recommended reading: A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
We create a path for lifelong learning by providing numerous opportunities for children to study and explore nature. These hands-on experiences lead to growth in all areas of development as students transition into elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD- Director of Early Childhood Education