Greetings, Downey Co-op Families! The classrooms at Downey are now ‘abuzz in activity, and the hallways are filled with masterpieces on the art mats. October is one of the busiest months of the school year so please read carefully for event details in this month’s newsletter. Enjoy!
Hello, Downey Families!
We have made it through our first month of school. Yea! I hope you all are settling in and enjoying it! I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you in the past month and look forward to meeting the rest of you soon.
I am excited to see that many of you are using Bloomz successfully to communicate with each other, keep informed on upcoming events, and post great pictures from class. Mrs. Lovold and Mrs. Egan have been posting some last minute messages and updates before class, so it is a great idea to check before school. If you are having difficulties with Bloomz, please let us know, and we can work on it with you.
Many of you have started your family jobs, and we appreciate all of your hard work. Co-oping is a group effort and we appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication. If you ever have any questions or need help with your family job, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I am excited for the month of October. I love fall, with the cooler weather, colorful foliage, and pumpkin-flavored everything. This month Downey will be participating in the Irvington Halloween Festival, which is a lot of fun. We also dedicate the month of October to selling beautiful poinsettias for our biggest fundraiser of the year. I hope you all have a good month
With a class name of Frogs, it’s hard to pass up focusing on that special animal for a while! The children and I created a list of all of the things we know, and think, about frogs. For example, some frogs pee on you when you pick them up, and they like to be in water AND on the land. Also, we think that when they say “ribbit, ribbit” they might be calling to their friends and saying “Hey, I’m over here, come and see me!”
The Frogs delved a little deeper into the life cycle of frogs, and many children made the connection between the different names of classes at Downey and the various stages of the frog. We discussed the types of things one might find in a frog’s habitat and how those things are a little different from our own. The children spent time developing their fine motor skills while they used tongs to move tiny frogs onto their logs. We also practiced estimation as we worked to see how many frogs we could place on our floating lily pads before they sank. The children finished out the month with a fun field trip to Southeastway Park where we learned about two different types of habitats, ponds and forests.
Our Leapfrog focus this month was primarily spent on each of our names and how they are similar and different. We looked at the various attributes of letters–if they have curves, straight lines or both. We also practiced our cutting skills as we created our Frog Life Cycle books.
I can hardly believe we’ve already been in school for a month! The Polliwogs are starting to get the hang of our daily routines and are enjoying many of the materials in our classroom. It’s amazing to see their independence already beginning to blossom as they work their way around the snack table, finding their materials and cleaning up after themselves.
We spent the month of September completing activities with a focus on frogs. The children painted frogs at the easel (some of you were blessed with maaannny frog paintings this month!!), we sorted frogs by their different colors, tried using tiny plastic frogs in our balance, created some frog prints, and scooped frogs from our sensory table with nets.
It’s hard to miss the change in seasons, so we will spend some time in October observing those changes and exploring some of the finer things in fall…like pumpkins! With these changing weather conditions, please make sure that your child has appropriate extra clothing kept at school. Thank you all for jumping in and helping to make the start of our school year fantastic!
Tadpoles have had a great start to the new school year. We had a few tears, but they were short lived. They are getting used to the routine, but it is still early in the learning process. Aren’t we always in the learning process and transition? Transition is something we are learning, too. I’m trying to find a transition activity or song that works best for each class. We’ll find it together. The mats with their names on them have helped with circle time.
September we made our place mats for snack. The Tadpoles like painting at the easel, squishing play dough, experiencing the sensory table and building with blocks. We did group art, and now it’s on one of our bulletin boards. It’s very colorful! We did some seasonal art with apples. Tadpoles painted with apples and made apple prints one with the star and one without. They really like to mix colors.
During October, the Tadpoles will explore fall and all its changes from leaves to pumpkins. “Sense” fall is in air, that means it will get chillier so please bring in a warm set of clothes. Also if you could please bring a set of rain boots for the play yard that way shoes and floors won’t get muddy.
I am so grateful for the Tadpole families. They are patient, work hard in the class room, and they are especially great with the children.
I want give a special thanks to Bridget Hawryluk for fun bulletin board, art mat, and birthday banner. Thank you, Jessica Haynes, for play dough that is “just right” and so nice to play with. And thank you to Jordon Munson for giving us the drum sticks for our music wall. (I didn’t even put them all out so we can have more for later.)
Thank you for choosing Downey, and Happy Autumn!
Editor’s Note: I try to feature photos in the upBeat from each of the four classes; however, this month, I am missing photos from the Wed-Fri Tadpole class. I will remedy this glitch before next month’s edition. And as always, if you take some great photos of your class, please consider sending them for inclusion in the monthly newsletter.
IT’S POINSETTIA TIME!
During the month of October, all Downey families will be selling poinsettias to benefit the school. This is the biggest fundraiser of the school year and requires all families to participate in order to be a success. The poinsettias, available in three colors and multiple sizes, come from Heartland Growers and make a beautiful addition to any home, church, restaurant or place of business for the holiday season. Bulk orders are greatly appreciated!
Please look for your “poinsettia packet” for more information, they will be in your Downey mailbox soon. FYI, payment is required at the time of order. The deadline to order will be around November 1st and Delivery Day will be around December 1st. (Specific dates to be announced soon.)
For any information on the program or help selling bulk orders, please contact this year’s poinsettia coordinator, John Elder, at 317-797-6814 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our first Parent Ed opportunity is occurring at Downey on Monday, October 17th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Stewards of Children, an award-winning program, is a revolutionary sexual abuse prevention training program that educates adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.
Stewards of Children is the only child sexual abuse prevention program scientifically proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes and change child-protective behaviors.
As part of the Early Intervention and Prevention (EIP) Initiative, Children’s Bureau is the proud facilitator of the national child sexual abuse prevention training program Stewards of Children in Marion County.
Sign up is available in Bloomz. This is an adult-only event.
The Irvington Halloween Festival is coming up later this month, and Downey Co-op will have an information booth, staffed by us parents, to spread the good word about our school. The Bloomz event calendar for sign up will be available soon. In the meantime, please be sure to collect toilet paper and paper towel tubes at your house for use as pirate spy-glass craft at the booth. Will be a spooktacular day!
BENEFIT DOWNEY WHILE YOU SHOP!
“AmazonSmile” is a simple and automatic way for you to support Downey Co-op every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to our school! It’s fast and super easy to sign up.
To shop at AmazonSmile, simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
If you already have an Amazon or Amazon Prime account, you use that same account on AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.
On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you need to select “Downey Parent Cooperative Preschool” as your choice of a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.
If you’re an Amazon user, sign up today! We are looking into other similar programs to benefit our school so stay tuned.
A HEALTHY TIP
In charge of snacks for a sports team or other active kids? You might like these tips on eating before and after practice or games: http://www.jumpinforhealthykids.org/userfiles/file/news/Snacks%20and%20Meals%20for%20Young%20Athletes.pdf.
And don’t forget to take water! Sports drinks are rarely necessary, and energy drinks are never good. Learn more: http://www.jumpinforhealthykids.org/userfiles/file/news/LetsGo-SportsAndEnergyDrinks.pdf.
HELP NEEDED FOR CPT CHILDCARE
Our Classroom Participation Training Workshop is coming up on November 1st & 2nd, and we are in GREAT need of individuals to help watch the little ones while parents are in class. If possible, please find a way to help. Do you have a friend or relative who could also come along to help? Please see the Bloomz calendar entry for this event to sign up as a childcare volunteer.
BEYOND “I’M SORRY”…
From Mrs. Lovold: One of the wonderful things I’ve found about cooperative preschools has been the positive impact the parent education piece and trainings have had on not only my parenting but also my role as an educator. During our Parent/Teacher meetings, I mentioned to all of my Frog and Polliwog families my “I’m sorry” philosophy, how I’ve evolved, and now no longer require children to say it. I’ve learned that helping children begin their development of a conscience, especially a mature one, is a much more important goal.
Charles Smith writes that the “Development of a conscience begins in early childhood with compassion and sympathy, followed by empathy.” (77) At Downey, we help the children in our care develop compassion by being aware of the emotions of those around us. We encourage sympathy by helping the children make the situation better for the “victims” in our classrooms. The children begin to develop empathy as they realize how their actions impact those around them. An excellent article about this topic, written by Dr. Charles Smith for NAEYC, can be found at the following link.
Have a great month!