Lakewood Co-operative Preschool



November 2006

Newsletter


Where Families and Friendships Grow

Contents

Editor's Note

Co-Chair's Note

Why Does My Child Do the Same Thing Over and Over?

Feed the Can Man, Man

Board Meeting Summary

Get Connected

Crickets Class Report

Teacher Erin's Goals for Bumblebees

Teacher Jennifer's Book Picks

Teacher Erin's Book Picks

Special Events for November

Crickets Field Trip

EScrip.com

Winter Clothes for Foster Kids

Cute Kid Pix
 

Editor's Note

Welcome to November, the start of a five-month period when we will share rhinoviruses with each other despite our best efforts to wash hands compulsively, cough into our shirt sleeves, and avoid handling anything within reach of those adorable talking petri dishes at school. I like to take it a step further by keeping Veronica in a jar of Barbicide (that blue liquid barbers keep their combs in) when I'm through using her. Also, caulking both her nostrils shut seems to help, and saves a bundle on tissue.

This issue of the newsletter feels like the first real one as it has the features it will likely have each month. As always, parent contributions are welcome; inquire.

You might be wondering why the newsletter shows email addresses as name [at-sign] domain; this is because there are web-crawlers that search web pages for @, and then copy the text around it, presuming it to be an email address. I'm only trying to protect you from financially desperate Nigerians and hot lonely housewives who want to help you refinance your mortgage with discount prescription drugs.


Been There, Done That

I'm launching a new portion of the Editor's Note called "Been There, Done That", which features things I did with my kids that you might enjoy doing with your kids, or with mine again if you wouldn't mind.

Did you know that kids can trick-or-treat before Halloween down on the Seattle waterfront? Nor did I until I took my girls to the Aquarium the Sunday before Halloween and was handed an orange bag and a map of participating merchants, which was almost all of them. (And if a merchant is not participating, feel free to steal something or egg them. The map didn't say that, but I think it's implied). The girls were already in costume, so we skipped the fish zoo and instead solicited serendipitous sucrose. Judging from our resulting haul, the regular panhandlers down there would do well to dress up as Batman or Snow White.

It turns out that waterfront trick-or-treating has been going on for ten years, and likely will continue, so go purchase a 2007 calendar (I'll wait here...), then mark the Sunday before Halloween from 10a to 5p as Waterfront Trick-or-Treat day. It's different from regular trick-or-treat in that 1) it's during daylight, and 2) you had no idea Seattle contained this many children. It was like being at a mall the Saturday before Christmas except that most of the people were a lot shorter and were interesting to look at, the stretch pants and garish sweaters having been replaced by outfits that bled and/or sparkled. It's also a good chance to see what the popular costumes are, and to feel parentally inadequate when you see homemade costumes that look like they came from MGM's back lot. (I'd show you some pictures, but they would only make you feel bad. Suffice to say there are parents out there with black belts in glue gun.)

Incongruously, two Seafair Pirates were on hand with their pirate-ship-car, as was J. P. Patches, whom I thought had died and therefore this was zombie J. P. Patches, but no; he ate no one's brains, despite my urgings. Parents recognized J. P. Patches and even asked about Gertrude (who is unwell), but children mostly seemed uninterested after learning he had no candy.

Bill Muse is the editor of the LCP newsletter and father of Cricket Veronica. LCP [at-sign] billmuse.com
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Co-Chair's Note

Leaves are falling and it’s cold outside. School is well underway by now. Our son Charlie comes home singing the Dragonfly cheer (Bye, bye Dragonflies I’ll see you again real soon!). The fridge is now officially plastered in paintings, and there are all kinds of tubes with tape and corks on them floating around the house. Maybe your house looks like this too.

How is everything going? Now is a great time to really think about how school is going for your child and if you have any questions, be sure to talk with Jennifer or Erin; they are always happy for the chance to talk specifically about your kids, and to listen to your concerns or accept some much deserved praise.

Maybe you have a question about how your child is developing or how they are behaving at home. Birgitta is such an excellent resource. Don’t wait to talk with her at class meetings. You can always email (bdahl [at-sign] comcast.net) or call her or catch her in class; she posts her schedule on the calendar.

Finally, how is your school job going? Do you have questions about what you should be doing? Do you feel like you can’t get it all done? Or do you feel like you don’t know where to begin? You can call or email Amy Zern (alzern [at-sign] msn.com), our job coordinator, or talk with your class chair who can point you in the right direction.

November is a great time to touch base and make mid-term corrections. Don’t let your questions or concerns pile up. Talk to the teachers, parent educator, class chairs, or co-chairs. We are all here to help.

Finally, I’d like to give a special thanks to our social events coordinators, Yvette Moy and Antonette Johnson, for our first fall gathering for LCP. Everyone had a great time and it was a nice opportunity for us to meet each other and the rest of our families. Thank you also to everyone who helped put on the party. LCP is a great place thanks to everyone’s spirit of pitching in.

See you at the coat rack,
Christine Campbell

Christine Campbell is Co-Chair of LCP.
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Why Does My Child Do the Same Thing Over and Over?

Halloween is over and we grownups are starting to think about Thanksgiving and other up-coming holidays. But chances are, your child is still wearing his Halloween costume, talking about pumpkins and candy, and acting out what happened on Halloween.

I remember my children sometimes wearing their Halloween costumes before Halloween, but after Halloween is when the real frenzy started; that is when they would play the “trick or treat” game over and over and insist on wearing their costume at all times, sometimes even to bed. Repeating and playing out what happened during Halloween helped them assimilate an important event.

Rehearsal and repetition is an important part of children’s lives, and we should never underestimate the learning that happens when children perform a task over and over.

It is tedious and boring for a parent to read the same book to a child every night for weeks on end, but think about all the things your child learns from reading just this one book: Every time there will be a new nuance in the story to pick up, every time there will be that fun truck noise that you make, and every time there will be something new to discover in the pictures, not to mention the security that goes into finding out that the story is always the same! There are so many unpredictable events in a child’s life, but the favorite story is the same every time you read it.

Repetition is, of course, also important when it comes to skill building. The two-year-old who wants to go outside at 7 o'clock every morning to practice riding her tricycle is getting ready to master a cross lateral movement that requires using both brain hemispheres. The three-year-old who is obsessed with cutting with scissors (often to the detriment of anything that can be cut, including their own hair) is building important fine motor skills that are a prerequisite to writing. And the four-year-old who is making up silly words is fine-tuning the auditory discrimination that is a necessary pre-reading skill.

So next time you child wants you to play that CD for the 100th time, or play that same hide-and-go-seek game AGAIN, try to be patient. Keep in mind how many repetitions it has taken for our adult brain to build all the connections we need to be a functioning member of society. Just remember that our children will have to go through that same process of endless repetitions.

Brigitta Dahl is in her seventh year as the parent educator for LCP. Questions welcome at 206-328-0960 or bdahl [at-sign] comcast.net.
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Feed the Can Man, Man

Can Man want canned vegetables now! Corn! Peas! Beets! Carrots!

Oh, and beans! Kidney, pinto, garbanzo—me not care.

You got leftover can of yams? Me want that too!

Yes, me know me have eating disorder. Me dealing with it.

The Can Man lives near the LCP entrance. He's a recognized expert on eating packaged cuisine still in the package.
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September Board Meeting Summary

Minutes will be published on hall bulletin board, in newsletter, and maybe on an intranet site (if developed by new webmasters).

A new reimbursement form has been created for approved purchases. It will be in the envelope under tuition payments.

LCP will be reviewing and updating the admissions policy for the 2006-2007 year to make sure we are efficient, organized, and in compliance with public school admissions policies.

The school would like to bring in outside presenters for special enrichment opportunities such as music, yoga, drama, etc. Possibilities for funding or no-cost personal contacts from LCP families are being researched.

The Board is working on organizing end-of-the-year processes related to LCP job assignments so the school can streamline its start up. Next year, we’d like to get the school calendar out to families over the summer so they can plan ahead.

LCP will be organizing a mid-year parent work party to help with school organization.

Teacher Erin would like to hold a special evening class for non-working parents to attend.

Any parent who filled out a pickup authorization form at the beginning of the year needs to make sure they signed it.

A new allergy policy has been approved by the Board. Our Church Liaison will communicate to Pastor Jeff that we have serious nut allergy issues. Allergy information and epi-pens will be posted in the kitchen. The upcoming Dragonfly meeting will have an allergy presentation.

Rochelle Brown is the LCP secretary.
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Get Connected

Great news! LCP has joined the ranks of the wise and savvy online communities. We now have a couple of useful resources to help you feel connected and up-to-speed. Our new Yahoo Group—LakewoodCoop—is your source for posting and gathering information about the school, upcoming events, classroom work schedules, board minutes, phone trees, our handbook, photos,... anything relating to LCP. This will help families from all classes get and stay in touch, and develop a better sense of LCP as the large but connected group we are. If you’re not already a member, simply email Lauren Milan and she’ll send you an email invitation. Join today and help us make this group a powerful tool for information and communication.

The second resource is our new Kodak Picture Gallery. By visiting kodakgallery.com and logging in as LCPSPhotos@yahoo.com with the password gobaby, you can view, post, and share pictures from your LCP life. What a fun way for parents who don’t get to work in class to see their children enjoying themselves.

Next month in Get Connected: an updated web site for LCP is on the horizon: a new face, better information,… looks like LCP is growing up! Marc Pottier, LCP’s webmaster, has ideas in the works. Stay tuned.

Lauren Milan is the church liason and mother of Cricket Eden. laurenmilan [at-sign] comcast.net.
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Crickets Class Report

The Crickets class has been so much fun. I am a lucky teacher to get to teach such wonderful children in our exciting classroom. We have been singing new songs and old favorites at circle time. We have used glue and paint and even scissors. We have had fun with modeling clay and train tracks. We have read Owl Babies and met Brown Bear. We have written stories and made muffins. We are off to a great start and there is so much more to come. I look forward to the rest of the fun.

The words to A Ram Sam Sam:

A ram sam sam
A ram sam sam
Goolie goolie goolie goolie goolie
Ram sam sam
ah rafi ah rafi
Goolie goolie goolie goolie goolie
Ram sam sam

Jennifer Birkner teaches the Crickets class.
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Teacher Erin's Goals for Bumblebees

  • I hope you will realize that there are many adults who care about you and your well-being. You will see through experience, that when you attach yourself to another adult, this in no way negates your very special bond with your primary caregiver (mom, dad, etc.)
     
  • I hope you will learn that you have many friends your age, and that you will feel the freedom to explore different ways of interacting with these friends in class. Over the course of the year, you will learn which types of interactions are most satisfying and effective. For example, “hitting Evelyn on the head made her yell at me and run away, but using a gentle voice with Quinnan worked well because he let me use his truck afterward and he smiled at me.”
     
  • You will receive the message that all feelings are OK, even angry and sad ones. We adults will give you a lot of space to be sad or frustrated. We will acknowledge your negative feelings and not try to immediately distract you out of them. Instead, we will help talk you through your feelings and point out how feelings don’t last forever; they change.
     
  • I hope you learn to identify and name your feelings out loud: “I’m scared.” “I’m mad.” “I’m happy.” We adults will assist you in this endeavor by noticing and naming your feelings frequently. By using your facial cues, we will do our best to reflect back to you these emotions until you are able to say them yourself.
     
  • I hope you can begin to use facial and body cues to start noticing and identifying your friend’s feelings and reactions. We will help you by noticing things out loud for your benefit: “Chloe looks mad. Look at her face: her nose is all scrunched up and she’s frowning.” We will also be noticing the emotions of characters in books and helping point them out to you.
     
  • Throughout the year you will be exposed to a sensory rich environment. I hope you will feel free to explore without restraint, to immerse yourself in the joy of your senses, and to experiment with different venues of expression (visual, audio, musical, tactile, natural, kinesthetic, interpersonal).

Erin Robb teaches the Bumblebees and Dragonflies classes.
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Teacher Jennifer's Book Picks

I love and recommend the following books:

  • Children's books by Todd Parr:
    • The Family Book (my favorite)
    • The Mommy Book
    • The Peace Book
       
  • Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, by Laura Davis & Janis Keyser.
  • Magic Capes, Amazing Powers: Transforming Superhero Play in the Classroom by Eric Hoffman. This book is more for teachers, but our children in the Crickets class would love this approach to play.

Jennifer Birkner teaches the Crickets class.
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Teacher Erin's Book Picks

The bulk of Teacher Jennifer's and my curriculum for the year pertains to developing the skills needed for emotional literacy, including naming feelings and identifying them in others. Children need to be taught to read body cues and facial expressions to give them clues for how others are feeling. You can help them on this journey to empathy by verbalizing the feelings experienced by characters in books. Some books are more conducive to this process than others.

In the book, Hug, by Jez Alborough, a monkey named Bobo goes looking for his mother to hug and feels saddened (and possibly jealous?) by all the other animals receiving hugs from their mothers (you can turn them into dads easily). The first few times I read the book (as you all know by now, a book is only truly experienced by this age group if it is read at least 102 times), I often change the words to include the name of the emotion the character is feeling. I might say “Sad Bobo” instead of “hug.” Or I might say “Look at Bobo’s mouth. He’s NOT smiling. He looks sad.” Or, if the child is more advanced with their vocabulary (especially three and four year-olds), I might ask them to tell me how they think Bobo is feeling.

What’s great about this book, is that Bobo’s feelings change. This is also an important concept to teach kids beginning at 2 to 2.5 and up. Kids are so focused on the moment, that they sometimes think their intense feeling will last forever. To talk about past situations where their feelings changed is helpful. So is gently reminding them that “you feel really angry right now. I’ll be curious to see if you feel less angry a little bit later.” It is frightening to children to think they might always feel the way they feel.

And following that last tangent, here is a list of books that especially lend themselves to developing a feelings vocabulary in young children ages 18 months to 5 years.

  • Please, Baby, Please
        Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee
     
  • You Go Away
        Dorothy Corey
     
  • My Bike
        Donna Jakob
     
  • There’s a Nightmare in my Closet
        Mercer Mayer
     
  • Owl Babies
        Martin Waddell
     
  • Can’t You Sleep Little Bear?
        Martin Waddell
     
  • Mean Soup
        Betsy Everitt
     
  • Go Away Big Green Monster
        Ed Emberley
     
  • Glad Monster, Sad Monster
        Ed Emberley
     
  • Tall
        Jez Alborough
     
  • Franklin in the Dark
        Paulette Bourgeois
     
  • I’m Sorry
        Gina Mayer, Mercer Mayer
     
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
        Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz

Erin Robb teaches the Bumblebees and Dragonflies classes.
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Special Events for November

School Photo Day: Nov 16 & 17, 11:00

On Thursday and Friday, November 16 and 17, Yuen Lui Studios will be at LCP at 11:00 to take class and individual photographs. Sign up at LCP next time you're there.

There are four packages, from $13 to $40. It is $6 for just the class photo. Families who spend $28 or more get a coupon for a free 8x10 family photograph, to be taken later at any Yuen Lui location.

Contact Yvette Moy or Antonette Johnson for more information.

Winterfest

Winterfest 2006 begins Friday November 24th. For those holiday die-hards, head to Westlake Center to experience the holiday parade at 8:45 am for you early birds. For you late sleepers, at 5:00 pm you can watch the official lighting of the tree and the lovely Macy's star. Go to http://beta.cityguide.aol.com/seattle/thanksgiving for more information.

Also on November 24, the Seattle Center kicks off their holiday celebration with Winter Worldfest Weekend, which runs through January 1. Be sure to swing by to ice skate or see the holiday train display. Go to http://upcoming.org/venue/28673/ for more information.

Yvette Moy (yvettemoy [at-sign] msn.com) is the mother of Dragonfly Corrado.
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Crickets Field Trip

It was a misty, drizzling morning, but the weather did not deter our hardy Crickets from having a great trip to The South 47 Farm in Redmond. Farmer Theresa led our tour and began with a visit to the greenhouse, where the children learned how pumpkins grow from seeds, and even got to pollinate flowers. A highlight for many Crickets was petting the goats, chickens, and donkeys. The farm tour culminated with a romp in the pumpkin patch. We all returned wet, muddy, and happy. As an organic food enthusiast and parent, it was exciting for me to see the kids learning how things grow and where their food comes from. I believe that offering our children these opportunities to explore and learn hands-on helps them to feel empowered and connected to the natural world.

See Cute Kid Pix below for directions to see photos of the field trip.

Kimberly Frappier is the mother of Cricket Henry.
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Our LCP group ID is 500004799

EScrip.com

Register your debit and credit cards at eScrip.com, then LCP gets money every time you use those cards at participating merchants. The full list of stores is at eScrip.com, but it includes Safeway, Whole Foods, Big 5, Office Max, & TruGreen ChemLawn.

If you use your phone number as your Safeway club card, you'll need to phone Safeway customer service to get your actual 11-digit club card number: 1-877-723-3929.

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Winter Clothes for Foster Kids

The cold wet winter months are here, and many foster kids need warm clothes. Washington State pays only $100–$200 per year to clothe a foster child, but Treehouse for Kids (www.treehouseforkids.org) runs the Warehouse (off Rainier at Walker) where foster kids and their families can "shop" for new and gently used clothes, shoes, school supplies, books, toys, bikes etc. for free.

Soon there will be a small tree in the preschool to collect hats, coats, and gloves. Please bring new or gently used hats, coats, and gloves to school and have your kids hang them on the tree.

Thanks for everybody's generosity.

Rasa Raisys is the mother of Dragonfly Vilija.
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WARNING:
Do not overdose on cuteness.
Know your limits

 

Cute Kid Pix

Email your cute kid photos to the LCP newsletter, or even better, post them online at www.kodakgallery.com.

  1. On www.kodakgallery.com, click Sign In (near upper right corner)
  2. Enter this email address: LCPSPhotos@yahoo.com
  3. Enter this password: gobaby

You can look at photos, buy prints, or upload an album of you own.

 

Vilija and Jane having a picnic

Cosmo and Jaden selling pumpkins

Charlie sells Lucy a squash

Crickets in a greenhouse



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