Document Sample
                                                January 2010

Dear Parents,

        We wish each of you a happy and peaceful 2010. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season
behind us, we would like to lead the children into thinking about and exploring the wonders of nature during
the season of winter. We will observe snowflakes under a magnifying glass and explore the properties of snow
and water. Although the children's understanding of these processes is sometimes beyond their
comprehension, exposure to these concepts provides a basis for future understanding. These experiences
also encourage observation and thinking skills. Vocabulary words emphasized during these times will be:
snow, ice, water, freeze, evaporate, melt, and more and less.

          Our themes this month are "Winter," "Same and Different," and "Winter Animals.” Also this month, we
will be talking about leaders. We will talk about what leaders do, what the President's job is, and about other
famous leaders. We will talk about Martin Luther King Jr's dream of peace.

         Included in our lesson plans for this month are experience charts. Experience charts are part of the
"whole language" approach to language development. This child-centered approach to reading, writing,
listening, and speaking makes language activities meaningful to children.

          At Child's Garden we do not use commercial reading kits, basal readers, workbooks or ditto sheets.
We want language development to be a constant, fun and relevant experience - one that makes sense to
children because the experiences are derived from their daily lives. Language experiences happen during
play, while drawing, coloring and painting. It happens during story and music time. Books are at the center of
this approach. Yet books are only one part. In a whole language program, children interact with many forms
of print. Examples include experience charts where children tell a story or give facts and the teacher records
them as a chart or book; writing letters and lists, again dictated to the teacher; describing pictures and
paintings they have made to a teacher who writes down what they have said. These activities help children
make connections between the spoken and written word. Through these exercises they see their thought
turned into words that have meaning. "Many times children don't recognize words, but as one child put it,
'That's what my talk looks like.' When an adult takes time to write down children's words and reads their
contributions back, children feel that their speech is valued." Children on the brink of reading will begin to
    identify words and thus reading has begun. This kind of activity can be continued at home. Children can be
    asked to describe pictures they have made and a parent can write down what they say and children can draw
    "letters" to be mailed to friends and relatives and the dictate the letter to an adult. Children begin to recognize
    words in their lives on food boxes, signs, etc. Children begin to discover that the world is filled with words.
    Whole language experiences allow children to take language risks without fear of failure. Children are asked
    open-ended questions and are encouraged to draw conclusions without concern of there being only one right
    answer. This approach to language development has been found to foster an interest and love of language
    that can grow and develop throughout one's life.

                     We like to be able to take the children outside in the winter for at least a short time each day.
    Please make sure your child has warm clothing and a hat or hood, mittens (we prefer these over gloves),
    warm jackets and boots since we will be going outside on beautiful snowy days to play in the yard. Again, we
    emphasize that all articles should have your child's name in them. We will be working on self-help skills with
    the children such as zipping, buttoning, and putting on shoes. We are encouraging the children to “try it first,”
    before taking over. Please ask us for some ideas as to helping your child at home to do the same.

           Thank you all for your generosity to our staff over the holiday season. We greatly appreciate your
    kindness and enjoyed all the goodies.

             We are pleased to announce a new addition to our staff, Dilini De Silva. She is our Teacher for the 2-
    3 year old class. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Slippery Rock University in
    Pennsylvania and is currently working toward a Master’s degree in Education in Montessori at the Washington
    Montessori Institute at Loyola University. She has a wide range of experience working in Montessori schools
    and preschools in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas.

    Some final notes:


            It seems as though we are in for more icy and snowy weather than we have had in years. So it
    seems like the right time to review our Snow Closing Policy.

           We are CLOSED when the Federal Government closes its offices.
          In the event of bad weather, please call our us (410.884.5477) for a recorded message regarding
    opening times or closing.

           If there is bad weather during the day, please call us for early closing times.

    Remember, we close, delay opening, or close early only to insure the safe travel of you, your child and of our
    staff members.

    We will be CLOSED January 18th, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.

    Please call us if your child will be absent or late.

    Happy New Year,

    The Child's Garden Staff
January Songs and Finger plays

(Start on middle "C"; one note up for each line. On last line, sing down the scale, slowly and softly.)
I have a little snowman,
He is so fat and round.
I made him from a snowball
I rolled upon the ground.
I gave him eyes, a nose, a mouth,
A nice warm scarf of red;
I put some buttons on his coat,
A hat upon his head.
Watch him as he melts to the ground.

Ten Red Mittens
Ten red mittens, hanging on a line;
This one blew away, and then there were nine.
Nine red mittens, each one had a mate;
This one fell down, and then there were eight.
Eight red mittens (I didn't say eleven);
This one found a boy, and then there were seven.
Seven red mittens, doing fancy tricks;
This one found a girl, and then there were six.
Six red mittens, looking so alive;
This one found the baby, and then there were five.
Five red mittens, waving wide and free;
This one lost a clothespin, then there were three.
Three red mittens, looking very new;
This one fell in the mud, and then there were two.
Two red mittens, left in the sun;
This one faded, and then there was one.
One red mitten, left all alone;
It sailed up in the air, and then there were none.

Snowflakes Falling Down (sung to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Snowflakes falling down, (lower hands while fluttering fingers)
Falling to the ground.
Big white fluffy flake (make circles with thumbs and index fingers)
That do not make a sound (put finger to lips and shake head).

It Is Snowing (sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
It is snowing, it is snowing,
All around, all around.
Soft and quiet snowflakes,
Soft and quiet snowflakes,
Not a sound, not a sound.