A Letter to Parents on Blocks

When children build with blocks in the classroom, we encourage them to talk about what they are doing. For example, we might say:
•    "Tell me about your building."
•    "How did you decide to put those blocks together?"

 

We also ask questions that help children extend their thinking about their block play. For example, we might say:
•    "You built a tall apartment house. How do the people get to their floor?"
•    "How many blocks do you think it will take to fill up that space?"
•    "Where do people park their cars when they come to visit the shopping center?"

 

These questions and comments are designed to help the children become aware of what they are doing and think of ways to extend their work.

 

What You Can Do at Home


Hardwood unit blocks are expensive, but there are several other types of blocks you might want to have at home to support your child's learning. For example, you might wish to purchase table blocks, colored wooden cube blocks, or cardboard brick blocks.


Small blocks can be stored in shoe boxes or plastic tubs and containers. You can put a picture label on the container so your child knows where the materials belong. Identify a place where you child can build and play with the blocks, either on the floor or a table. As your child builds with the blocks, you can talk about the structure and ask questions. Props such as clothespins, small plastic animals, and cars and trucks will extend your child's play and inspire new ideas. Playing with large or small blocks, you child can learn to:
•    judge distances, space, and size,
•    create scenes for dramatic play,
•    stack blocks carefully (using eye-hand coordination and small muscle control),
•    compare and sort by size and shape, and
•    use words to describe a construction.

 

Perhaps the most important contribution you can make to your child's learning through blocks is to take an interest in what you child does, both at home and at school. We welcome you to visit the classroom at any time so you can see for yourself how much you child is learning.


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Letters to Parents

A Letter to Parents on Outdoor Play

What We Do and Why


Outdoor play is an important part of our curriculum. When the children are outdoors, they like to run, jump, climb, and use all the large muscles in their bodies. They need space to work out and let off steam. They can race around, breath the fresh air, look at the clouds, or catch a ball or a bug. They not only satisfy their physical need for large muscle activity but also develop a sense of wonder about the miracles that take place in nature.

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A Letter to Parents on Computers

What We Do and Why


In our program we have a special activity where children "play" with computers. While this may sound like a strange way of describing what children do with computers, this is in fact what goes on. The children experiment, using programs that help them develop in many exciting ways. Here are some of the things that children learn when they use computers: 
 

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Letter to Parents on Cooking

What We Do and Why


Cooking is an important part of our curriculum. When they cook, children have an opportunity to learn about food, to be creative, and to prepare their own nutritional snacks. Lots of discoveries happen during cooking. When children see dough rise, they learn about science; when they measure flour, they learn about math. Following picture recipe cards, they learn skills that will prepare them for reading. And when we make and eat, lebkuchen (gingerbread), Chinese dumplings or potato latkes, the children learn to appreciate other peoples and cultures.

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A Letter to Parents on Music and Movement

What We Do and Why

 

We do a lot of singing and creative movement in our program. Singing and moving to music give the children a chance to move freely, practice new skills, and feel good about what their bodies can do. The children love our daily time for singing together, and it helps them develop the ability to cooperate in a group. Here are some of the things we do to encourage a love for music and movement: 
 

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Letter to Parents on the Library

What We Do and Why


The library area is an essential part of our program and of your child's life. It's where children gain the foundations for reading and writing. It's also a place where children can relax and enjoy the wonderful world of children's literature.
We encourage children to use the library on their own. We invite them to look at books, to listen to taped stories, and to scribble and "write" throughout the day. We also work with children one- on-one and in small groups. Sometimes children dictate stories to us, which we record in "books."
Every day we read stories to the children. We read books to introduce new ideas, to develop pre- reading skills, to help children deal with problems, and mostly to develop a love of books.

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A Letter to Parents on Sand and Water Play

What We Do and Why


Although you're probably used to your children splashing in the bathtub and digging in a sandbox at the playground, you may be surprised to know that the sand and water area is an important part of our classroom. This is because sand and water aren't just fun - they're also a natural setting for learning.

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A Letter to Parents on Art

What We Do and Why


Art is an important part of our curriculum. Every day, children find a variety of art materials available on our shelves. Drawing, painting, cutting, pasting, and playing with playdough are not only enjoyable but also provide important opportunities for learning. Children express original ideas and feelings, improve their coordination, develop small muscle skills, learn to recognize colors and textures, and develop creativity and pride in their accomplishments by exploring and using art materials.

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A Letter to Parents on Table Toys

What We Do and Why


Table toys include puzzles, various table blocks, and other small construction materials such as Legos, and collections of objects (including shells, bottle caps, and buttons). When children use table toys, they learn many new skills and concepts, including:

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A Letter to Parents on Dramatic Play (House Corner / Kitchen)

What We Do and Why


The Kitchen play area is a very important part of our classroom. The work children do in the house corner is called dramatic play or pretend play. In the house corner children take on a role and recreate real-life experiences. They use props and make-believe about a wide variety of topics.

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A Letter to Parents on Blocks

What We Do and Why


Blocks, the hard wood units that come in proportional sizes and shapes, are one of the most valuable learning materials in our classroom. When they build with blocks, children learn about sizes and shapes, spatial relationships, math concepts, and problem solving. When children lift, shove, stack, and move blocks, they learn about weight and size. Each time they use blocks, they are making decisions about how to build a structure or solve a construction problem.

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