Sunday, September 26, 2010

Preschool Orientation and Cook-Out

Danny and I have been pretty happy with our daycare.  We've never really had a complaint.  It isn't fancy, by any means.  No cameras that I can log onto during the middle of the day to see her, no chefs (yes, some schools have chefs), and no fancy playground equipment.  It was just fine for us; as long as Emerson was happy, we were happy.  But this past year, while Emerson was in the two-year-old class,  there was a lot of turnover among teachers.  Her two-year-old teacher left and the girl who was teaching the three-year-old class left.  So, not knowing what the future held for the three's class, Danny and I made the executive decision to sign Emerson up for preschool.  We figure it was just a deposit and if we were happy with the outcome of the three's, we could always just lose it.  But, after taking a tour, we were sold.  It also helped that one of Emerson's friends was going to be attending as well and helped get Emerson into school there.  So we paid our deposit and anxiously waited for the school year to start in September.  

After two play dates at the school, one of which we missed, it was time for preschool orientation.  On September 1st, we headed to preschool for a morning of orienting.  Luckily, our friend Haegan had the same appointment time we did (the teacher only brought 4 kids in at a time, so it wasn't too overwhelming!).

Haegan and Emerson ready for Orientation!!

Some sights from the classroom!!
Emerson's cubby, a reminder note to wash your hands (you must do this everyday before entering the classroom), and even a frog growth chart (I am sure no one will be surprised to know that Emerson is the shortest one in the class).  Oh, and if you haven't figured it out by looking at the pictures, Emerson's class is the Frog Class!!

Mrs. Tara explaining the rules and procedures for drop-off in the mornings. 

The Question of the Day
One of the first things Emerson will do every morning is find her name and answer the question of the day.  This exercise helps with decision making and recognizing their name.  It also helps the teacher take role.

Name Tags!!
All the children where their name tags on their backs, this way the parent helpers in each room can identify them.

Emerson and Mrs. Tara get a little one-on-one time while the other gals wash their hands. 

Coloring Activity
Mrs. Tara had a great coloring activity set-up for the girls to complete upon arrival.  They all stamped their individual frog with a paint stamper.  This frog will eventually become laminated onto a big piece of construction paper and be the child's personal placemat for snack time.  

Carpet Time
Mrs. Tara was great about giving the girls a small taste of what they would be doing on a daily basis in class.  Carpet time is an integral part of their day.  They read stories, tell stories, sing songs, pray, communicate, dance, and share on the carpet.  Mrs. Tara explained how the children should sit when they are in the circle, she read them a book about starting a new school, she introduced them to Mr. Froggy (a frequent friend of the class) and they all got up and sang and danced to a new song.  

Emerson listening intently during carpet time!!

Learning about the different centers in their classroom!!
After carpet time, the girls all got up and got in a line, then they hopped around the room (literally!) with Mrs. Tara and Mr. Froggy, so Mrs. Tara could explain all the different centers in the room.  There is a toy center, a reading center, a science center, a painting center, and they even have an additional room called "The Pond".  They share this room with the Fish Class (hence the pond reference).  

Making a special crown for a special day!
After a quick tour around the room, everyone got a turn to make a special crown that will adorn the wall of the classroom.  This crown will stay up all year until it is the child's birthday and then it will be brought down.  During the week of the child's birthday, they are the "Special Student of the Week".  This honor comes with lots of perks and the week is pretty much all about the child; special books to be brought in, a special toy of the child's, and even a celebration where the crown will be worn.  

One last picture of Emerson and Haegan playing!! 

It was a great orientation and I think Emerson was more-than-ready to start school when we left that day...little did she know, her start date was right around the corner!  I was so pleased with the school and think it will be a great fit for Emerson.  I know Danny and I are so happy we made that decision back in April!!

A Preschool Cook-Out

September 5th, the Anderson family hosted a "get to know your classmates" cook-out at their house (each family is responsible for one social function during the school year).  It was nice to get together with other families and meet the kids that are going to be in Emerson's class. Emerson and Haegan palled around a lot, but they did branch out and play with the other kids.  Everyone is very is a great group of families.  

One of the mothers brought the most adorable (Martha Stewartesque) cupcakes.  I was so envious of her know this is right up my alley!  Emerson and Haegan had a great time devouring their froggy cupcake.  Who does't love a good cupcake!

We had a great time, and although I am not one for social events when I know practically no one, I did have a good time and it was nice to talk to the other moms, compare stories, and just relax for a bit.  Great start to a new school year.  I am already thinking about what we will do at the April social function we will host (I'm thinking it will have something to do with finding eggs!!). 

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