Recap 11/13-11/17

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Recap 11/13-11/17

Monday it seemed like everyone was in an artistic mood! We followed the children's lead and encouraged them to paint, draw, then finger paint with shaving cream that they got to squeeze out of a glove. We were sure to ask them about what they were creating. George said, "I'm making a silly man!" On Monday, we also did movement and music with Miss Alana. 

On Tuesday, the 2s did a special activity with Ms. Carla. Here is a bit from her about what they did! 

"We read the story We're Going on a Bear Hunt and did a follow-up literacy-related activity in the sensory room. I re-arranged the sensory room so that most of the furniture was against the walls, giving us a big open space for our activity. In the book, a family goes on an adventure in search for a bear. The book is great for 2's and 3's because the author uses repetitive language as the family goes through obstacles such as through a forest and snowstorm. It also does a good job with exposing the children to directional concepts like over, under and through. Re-telling stories is something we have just starting doing in the 3's class. 

To help develop reading comprehension and sequencing skills, we went on our very own bear hunt! Following the story, I introduced the children to the teddy bear hunt activity, where they went through the different parts of the story as told in the book. The children walked through tall grass, swam through a river, made their way through a forest, and snow storm before they arrived in the cave where the teddy bears were sleeping. I set up the room with materials to represent each of these areas along a path on the ground--fake grass for the grassy area, blue tarp for the river, leaves and sticks on a green rug for the forest, a white poster board with cotton balls for the snowstorm, and the dark cozy corner for the cave. As the children moved through the path in different ways (walking, hopping, crawling, “swimming”), we replicated the sounds that were repeated in the story (e.g. swish, swish), until they found a teddy bear picture in the cave. We will continue to choose stories to re-tell with whole body movements in the weeks to come." - Carla

On Wednesday, the children remembered the Bear Hunt activity and requested that we read the story again during snack time. It was incredible to witness their reading comprehension skills as they answered questions about the book! A few of the bear pictures were left in the "cave," so some friends went to the closet to get them, then put them in different places around the room. We also had Spanish and sang some familiar songs. 

Thursday we had Parent Teacher Conferences. Thank you for coming to the school! Our conferences were very productive and we are so happy everyone made it. 

On Friday we went on a walk around the neighborhood. Our 2's class loved walking around and pointing out all the things that they could see. We are planning many more trips outside! We also had yoga with Lakshmi and had fun with the model skeleton that she brought. We started learning about our bodies and how they move. 

Have a fantastic weekend everyone! 

-Miss Alana

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Weekly Recap 11/6-11/10

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Weekly Recap 11/6-11/10

Hi Everyone! We are so delighted to introduce Marco, who will be with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Welcome Marco! Be sure to say hello to him and to his parents, Shana and Eric. 

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On Monday, we played with play dough that smells like cinnamon, had music and movement with Miss Alana, and played and played. 

Tuesday was election day and staff development day. We hope that you enjoyed the rare midweek day off of school! 

Wednesday we had Spanish with Patri and spent quite a bit of time with the sensory bin, which contained a wonderful mixture of flour and baby oil. We got messy, explored, and learned while playing in the flour mixture. 

Thursday we did music and movement with Miss Alana again and spent even more time with the flour mixture. We read several book and focused on literacy during the day. Our twos are loving Pete the Cat. We welcome you to come in and read to our class anytime! 

Have a wonderful three day weekend. We will see you on Monday! 

-Miss Alana 

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Weekly Recap 10/30-11/3

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Weekly Recap 10/30-11/3

Before we jump right into the recap of the week, I would like to take a second to introduce Thomas! He is new to our Buckle My Shoe community, having just moved here from St. John. We were so happy that he could join us for a great first week and can't wait to play with him some more. Be sure to say hello to Thomas and his mom and dad (Jessica and Michael) when you see them. Welcome! 

Monday we had a busy day and the everyone was excited about our Halloween parade the next day. We gutted a big pumpkin, danced around, banged on a drum as loudly as we could, and squeezed balloons filled with different materials. 

Tuesday we had our Halloween Parade! Check out last week's blog post for costume details and pictures. Remember, even more pictures are on the flickr account, so be sure to check there. 

Wednesday we had Spanish with Mimi. Our class loved using the parachute while singing and dancing. We spent a lot of time exploring different centers, with children focused on exploring different elements in the school. Using the water table with submergible lights and the projector, we explored how light can look different when color is added! 

Thursday I was out of town for a conference, but Noelle, Carla, and Deborah had a blast exploring shaving cream and celophane with the 2's. We also got a new book, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, a new favorite book that is helping the children learn how to count. We were so happy that Thomas's mom, Jessica, read the book to us during snack time! 

Friday we had yoga with Lakshmi and also created beautiful mini canvases with paint and a q-tip. They are hanging up on the wall of the sensory room, come check them out! The week ended with everyone playing together happily. 

Enjoy the day off from school tomorrow! See you Wednesday. 

-Miss Alana

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Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween!

We had such a wonderful time with all of you at our Halloween Parade. The twos class had some creative costumes!

Nora was a Ballerina Pig. Eliot was a Blue Dog Conductor. Henry was a Bat Car. Yvie was a Purple Sheep Ballerina. Jack was a Chef Penguin. Kyan was a Mickey Mouse Mouse. Eliza was a Ballerina Bunny. Luke was a Cow. Aidan was a Giraffe Rock Star. Thomas was a Bat. George was a Super Frog. Miss Noelle was a Ballerina Mouse and Miss Alana was a Singer Leopard. 

We loved dressing up in our costumes that we worked hard in at school and you all helped out so much at home. We look forward to many more celebrations over the next few months. 

Here are some pictures from our fantastic parade. Also, be sure to be looking at the flickr account for even more pictures! 

I'll be out tomorrow and Friday at a conference. I look forward to seeing you on Monday! Expect a recap blog of the week on Monday because I will be out of town. 

-Miss Alana 

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Weekly Recap 10/23-10/27

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Weekly Recap 10/23-10/27

This morning was a very successful Curriculum Breakfast. We were so happy to see so many of you. In the coming weeks, we look forward to expanding upon Identity by now focusing on family.

Monday we did music and movement with Miss Alana. This week we joined forces with the 3’s class and had a big party, complete with beanbag games and dancing. The game that we played was a way to work on the children’s impulse control and listening skills, something that we are always working on! We were busy at work on our Halloween costumes, with several more friends finishing the painting aspect of their costumes.

We spent a lot of time on Tuesday making oobleck and pouring it from one container to another. Continuing to work on our Halloween costumes took up a lot of time. Also, we had a dance party to Moana songs, which got everyone up and moving and excited. Lots of smiles all around! The art project that we worked on was letting children draw half of their face with the other half as a printed out picture. The results are hanging up all around the school. 

Wednesday we had Spanish with Mimi again. The children were especially excited about getting stickers after learning to say pumpkin in Spanish. Calavasa! It was a fun session focused on Halloween and feelings, two topics that we are talking about daily.

Thursday we had more music and movement with Miss Alana. This time, it was a giant Halloween themed dance party. We also explored different instruments while dancing around the entire room. Movement and music exploration is just as important for development as the more structured games that we played on Monday. Also, we had a very exciting impromptu visit from some firefighters, who were checking out safety codes across the street with the construction. One of the firefighters came and gave high fives to any friends who wanted them! During the afternoon, we had a playdate with some future potential friends who might go to BMS. It was great to learn and share with new friends.

Friday was our fantastic curriculum breakfast, presentation of the social stories, and art project. The social stories that you helped your children paint are drying at school over the weekend, then they will be safely tucked away into cubbies to be used at school throughout the weeks ahead. Please read them at home too! 

Happy Halloweekend! We can't wait to see you all again for the parade on Tuesday. 

-Miss Alana

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Social Stories

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Social Stories

You might have heard the teachers talking about social stories over the last few weeks, or had a folder sent home with a story for your child. We have been hard at work creating social stories for each child at Buckle My Shoe West Village! Social stories are a way of helping children learn, especially concepts that might be challenging. Because children learn through visual aids, repetition, and stories, we thought we would create an individualized story for each child. Almost all of the stories are done and the ones we have started reading have been influential. On our curriculum morning Friday, we will be presenting on all of the social stories we have made and how they relate to our focus of identity for the last few months. We hope to see you there! 

I come from a therapeutic background. My last year of graduate school studying Dance/Movement therapy, I interned and then worked in a therapeutic preschool. One thing that I saw work time and time again for even the most difficult children was social stories. Starting at BMS, I wanted to bring the wonderful therapeutic power of social stories to these children, even though this is a very different setting than a school only for special needs kids. After all, we can all benefit from a little individualized help and guidance! Since our school is small, we have been able to spend time really personalizing each social story to match up with goals that we have for the children; things like having listening ears, sitting during lunch time, or learning colors. It's been great speaking with so many of you over the phone and in person to come up with those goals together. 

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions about the social stories or new goals for your child. The social stories are an ongoing project- things can always be added to them! 

We can't wait to see you on Friday for the breakfast.

-Miss Alana

 

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Weekly Recap 10/16-10/20

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Weekly Recap 10/16-10/20

Hi families! I apologize that last week’s recap blog is a bit late. Hope you enjoy!

Monday we did music and movement with Miss Alana. The twos were excited to be in the larger room. We worked on impulse control with freeze dance. For a two year old, controlling impulses is quite tricky! Practicing it in a fun way through dance can carry over to other aspects of life, helping the children master the concept. We also did a lot of painting. 

On Tuesday, we went on a walk in the brisk October weather. All clad in our coats and Buckle My Shoe t-shirts, we went to the market to buy some pumpkins! Celebrating the autumnal season, we will be doing several projects with pumpkins over the next few weeks. After our walk, we came back to give the pumpkins a good scrub in our sensory bin. Now they are ready to be used in all sorts of projects!

Wednesday got off to a busy and happy start as we met with our Spanish language specialist, Mimi. The children learned some songs and also how to say goodbye and hello- Hola and Adios! We also did a science experiment for Science Wednesday. Using apples picked last week at the apple orchard, we made tiny apple volcanoes, complete with red lava!

Thursday we had a fun morning, reading several Halloween books to prepare for the upcoming holiday. Then, we put on our Buckle My Shoe tee shirts and headed to the park. The weather was beautiful and we very much enjoyed running, jumping, climbing, and rolling around at the park. The class did so well walking on the rope all the way to the park and back.

Friday was Jack’s second birthday! Happy Birthday Jack! Cara, Jack’s mom came to read some stories and to eat yummy cupcakes with us. We also had yoga with Lakshmi. Everyone was excited to move our bodies and learn about new animal (yoga) poses like downward facing dog and cat/ cow. Aidan’s mom, Delphine, came to help us make some oatmeal, which we cooked together then ate with our lunches.

-Miss Alana



 

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Bringing Nature Inside

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Bringing Nature Inside

As NYC residents, sometimes it can feel hard to get enough nature to be satisfied. Children love exploring things in the natural world and are inherently curious about the way that things work. At Buckle My Shoe, we are intentional about bringing the wonders of the natural world indoors, using our sensory bin, setting up science experiments, and using natural items as nontraditional paintbrushes. 

This week, we have done a few fun things with natural materials. On Monday, we had the whole sensory bin filled with brightly colored fall leaves. Although they were fabric leaves, a whole conversation started about how the leaves change color each fall. We practiced jumping in piles of leaves and sang a song about leaves falling slowly to the ground. 

Tuesday we went on a walk to the market to buy pumpkins. After picking out big and small pumpkins together, we walked back to the class and decided what to do with the pumpkins. The first suggestion from the children was to wash the dirty pumpkins. With warm water and soap in the sensory bin, each child got a chance to scrub the pumpkins clean, getting them ready for future art and science projects. We plan to gut a pumpkin next week! 

Wednesday brought a twist to a classic science experiment; making volcanoes with baking powder and vinegar. As the base to our volcanoes, we used apples! We explained how the materials worked together to create the foam lava. 

Additionally, we have natural materials all throughout our school. Pine cones, leaves, plants, and sticks are all around and are just as important and fascinating as the wooden and plastic toys in our school.

This week, think of ways can you incorporate nature into your home or daily routines. You might be surprised by how natural materials captivate your children's imaginations! 

See you tomorrow, families. Expect your weekly detailed recap on Friday. We have done even more than these nature projects over the last few days. Friday is also Jack's birthday! We can't wait to celebrate with him. 

-Miss Alana 

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Weekly Recap 10/9-10/13

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Weekly Recap 10/9-10/13

Hello! We had a shorter but very fun week, complete with a field trip to Riamede Farms to pick apples.

Tuesday was focused on clay. We explored the different sensory aspects of clay and also did so much playing with apples to prepare for the trip on Wednesday. A favorite song of the day was Wheels on the Bus; perfect to prepare for the field trip on the bus.

Wednesday was our fantastic trip to the farm. We started with yummy cider and donuts, then went on to a hay ride on a tractor. We learned all about pumpkins and apples grow. Seeing pumpkin flowers was a highlight! Each child got to pick out a small pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. By twisting the apples around and around on the tree, each child picked some apples to take home. After picking apples, we got back on the tractor! Everyone had a great time then fell asleep on the bus going home.

Thursday we read books about Halloween and started conversations about what our costumes will be. Stay posted for Halloween ideas! We had an apple tasting using apples from the farm. We tried them with honey, caramel, cream cheese, sugar, and lemon. The lemon was sour! Eliot tried every option! Then Evan came to do music. The children warmed up to him quickly and enjoyed singing both new and familiar songs.

Friday, Arya's mom (from our 3's class) came to do some cooking with us. We made applesauce. Mushing cooked apples, adding spices and sugar, and mixing it all together was a great sensory experience. It looked and smelled delicious! To finish up our cooking, we ate ice cream with the applesauce. Delicious! We also had yoga with Lakshmi. It's always nice to stretch, wiggle, and sing some songs.

 

Hope that you all have a great weekend! See you on Monday.

-Miss Alana

 

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What's up with "W-Sitting?"

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What's up with "W-Sitting?"

Hello! Expect a long post tomorrow detailing all the fun that we had this week, including apple picking! 

Every once and awhile, I'll be updating the blog with bonus posts. These bonus blog posts will have some information about things we have been doing at school that you can also do at home. Have a suggestion for a blog post? Need more information about why we do a certain thing at school? Please reach out! The next bonus post will delve a bit more into role play and emotions to help children gain emotional awareness and regulation. For today, we will be focusing on "W-Sitting."

"W-Sitting"

"W-Sitting"

As teachers, we have noticed a lot of “W-Sitting” from the kids. You might have heard one of us tell your children in spoken or song form, “sit crisscross applesauce, not a W,” or “show me your knees when you sit.” While a lot of kids feel comfortable sitting with their legs splayed out in a W, it actually can be problematic in the long-term, in both anatomical and developmental ways.

W-Sitting has been linked with potential hip and knee problems in children. We want all of the children's bodies to be active, healthy, and happy! Avoiding sitting in a W is one way to help all the children grow strong. 

Additionally, when children sit in a W position, they can't reach across the mid-line. Reaching across helps children to develop a dominate hand preference; something that is fundamental to developing the fine motor skill of writing. 

It’s not something to dedicate a lot of time and energy to but it is something that has a simple fix of sitting in a different way! That’s why at school we use simple language and then physically help the child sit another way if needed. 

Here are links to a few articles from doctors, physical/occupational therapists, and parents about some of the dangers of W-sitting. Feel free to ask any of us questions about it as well!

http://www.pediatricservices.com/parents/pc-22.htm

https://www.childsplaytherapycenter.com/w-sitting-correct/

https://www.popsugar.com/moms/Why-W-Sitting-Bad-Kids-39699549

See you tomorrow! 

-Miss Alana

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Weekly Recap 10/2-10/6

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Weekly Recap 10/2-10/6

It was a fun filled and busy week here at Buckle My Shoe. 

On Monday, we did music and movement with Alana. Using just the drum and handheld instruments to start out, we explored what types of music could be made from different rhythms. We also practiced FREEZING when the music stopped. This was a challenge for all, but a great way to work on issues of impulse control! 

 

We also started our self-portraits on Monday. You might have noticed that they are all hanging up on the door to the sensory room at school! Come check them out, they really are marvelous. 

On Tuesday, we started to paint a big box that came in the mail. We are making it into a cozy space, complete with pillows, a light, and stuffed animals. We love getting cozy and taking a minute to relax our bodies! 

 

On Wednesday, there was a tour for prospective families. Kyan saw the school's logo on a brochoure and wanted to show his new friends that the logo was also on the door! It was a great moment. We also danced around quite a bit to our recent favorite song, We are the Dinosaurs. After the tour finished, we made Oobleck! It was a neat and messy experience for everyone. 

 

Thursday we had an exciting first adventure outside. We sang songs as we walked around the neighborhood, making sure to notice all of the buses, taxis, and airplanes that passed by! 

Then Friday we had our first day of cooking at school, making a delicious fruit salad; complete with sugar on top! Lakshmi came to do yoga with us. We rolled around, stretched our bodies, and sang some silly songs. We look forward to yoga on Fridays! 

 

Remember to be checking the flickr account for even more photos. Hope you have a great long weekend!

-Miss Alana

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How are you feeling?

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How are you feeling?

An important part of our identity at any given time is how are are feeling. This week, we are starting our focus on identity in earnest, starting with emotions. Even adults can be confused with their emotions at times, so imagine how confusing learning the nuances of emotions can be for the children! That's why we are creating space for them to learn, explore, and express their emotions at school.

We do a few different things to demystify emotions for the children. We make a point during circle time and throughout the day to ask each child how they are feeling. Whatever answer they give (or choose not to give) is okay! Reiterating that children's emotions are valid is important. After all, it only makes sense that children feel angry after someone takes a preferred toy away from them, just like adults can get angry when the MTA has unexplained delays. 

We are working with each and every child to help them gain the valuable skill of saying how they feel, no matter if it's happy or sad, silly or angry. 

This week, we have been reading books and asking the children what the main characters are feeling. Their answers are sometimes surprising and insightful! 

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In addition to spending time reading about different emotions, we also took some time to try on those different emotions, embodying what a feeling feels like! 

George showed us "happy." Yvie showed us "silly." Nora showed us "angry." Kyan showed us "silly." Eliza showed us "silly." Henry showed us "happy."

Stay tuned for more emotion pictures throughout the next few weeks. On Friday, I'll share some of the special activities we did this week! It's been a busy and joyful week thus far. At home, discuss your own emotions with your child. Ask how they feel! You can give prompts if they do not immediately answer. Include siblings or other caregivers into the conversations. Be sure to let us know if you or your child have any exciting emotions to share. See you tomorrow! 

-Miss Alana

 

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Bake Sale!

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Bake Sale!

The two words on everyone's minds this week were "BAKE SALE!"

We had a fantastic time selling our baked goods to benefit the Houston Independent School District after Hurricane Harvey. Each child worked hard to sell as many cupcakes and cookies as they could. All together, we raised over $220 dollars! 

We had a busy start to the week in addition to the bake sale. Aidan's birthday happened over our long weekend, so we celebrated on Monday with some of this favorite things. He brought a yummy treat to share during snack time, and Delphine, his mom, read us some of his favorite books from home. Happy Birthday, Aidan! We loved celebrating his birthday.

Monday we did music and movement. This week the biggest hit was "We Are the Dinosaurs" by the Laurie Berkner Band. Everyone had fun pretending to be dinosaur eggs, making their body so small, then cracking, cracking, cracking as they grew all the way to be a big, roaring dinosaur! By using imaginative play and movement, we started talking about the opposites of "big" and "little." 

Tuesday, we had clay day. Using rolling pins, children practiced fine motor skills as they rolled out the squishy clay into different shapes. It was a great sensory experience for all! We started our fantastic bake sale on Tuesday, raising over $100.  

Wednesday, it was Science Day. We made slime! The oozy, gooey, purple slime made it's way between everyone's fingers and even up a few arms. The children explored moving the slime around in the sensory table and then had a chance to practice doing a very thorough job of hand washing. We continued our bake sale, this time making over $120 to donate! Not bad, for two hours worth of sales. Since we have extra goodies left to sell, we will continue selling them in the afternoons until we have run out. 

We hope to see some of you shortly at the back to school picnic. We will have our first Literacy Thursday tomorrow, so get excited for some ABC's! 

See you tomorrow! 

-Miss Alana

 

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Starting our Schedules

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Starting our Schedules

Hi families! It was a short week, but it sure was action packed.

This week, we got started with our schedule. On Monday, we did music and movement with Miss Alana. A favorite from that dance party was the remixed version of Itsy Bitsy Spider by Go Fish, from their Party Like a Preschooler album. Check it out! We also listened to some jazz music and had a wildly loud instrument play along. In the next few weeks, we will start doing more focused music and movement activities.

Tuesdays are usually our Clay day. To ease into working with moldable materials, the whole group worked together to make playdough. After the playdough was made, children used items found in nature, like seashells or pebbles to decorate it, making elaborate temporary works of art.

Wednesday we focused on science experiments. We made “hurricanes” and “rainstorms” in a big pitcher with water, shaving cream, and food coloring that we dropped in using paint droppers! This fun science experiment let the children witness what happens as different materials were mixed together. It looked like rain!

We had a great time starting to follow our weekly schedule. The first few weeks of school have all been about instilling a sense of trust and safety in the children’s environment. We did this by allowing them to explore the whole space, by trying tons of new things, and by getting to know everyone at school. For next week, we will be introducing even more structure into the school day.

Can’t wait to see you all on Monday, when we will celebrate Aidan's birthday!

-Miss Alana

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First Week is Over!

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First Week is Over!

Hello everyone! We have had such a fun and productive first week of school. The kids are adjusting to being in school and we love getting to know their personalities. This first week has been a great opportunity for the children to explore the school on their own time, as everything has been open for them and free play was encouraged. Now that they are more comfortable with the school and are starting to learn some routines, we will be following a schedule and splitting up by age group into our classrooms for much of the day. Each day will have a different focus, starting with Movement and Music with Miss Alana on Monday morning! The full weekly schedule is on the home page for the classroom, so be sure to check that out.

Have a fantastic weekend! Can’t wait to make music and dance a little with everyone on Monday.

-Miss Alana

 

 

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First Week of School!

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First Week of School!

Welcome (and welcome back) to Buckle My Shoe West Village! We have had a fantastic time getting to know you and your kids during orientation and this first week of school. Every Wednesday and Friday you can expect a new blog post, covering some of the things that we are exploring in school that week. On our classroom website, there is a link to sign up to have this blog sent directly to your email address. Feel free to share this link with family members. One way that you can encourage children to talk about their day at school is to look at the blog together. Asking questions about what you have read and the pictures that have been uploaded can spark imagination, insights, and questions that lead to further growth.

Our main goal for this first week of school is to create an environment that is warm, welcoming, and safe. When children feel safe in a space, they can explore new concepts and try different things. When the adults feel comfortable and safe, it helps with the sometimes-dreaded drop-offs and transition into being at school part of the day! As teachers, we strive to help ignite joy in learning, ensuring that children are not only growing, they are having a joyful time while doing so. We do this by carefully selecting things that the children have shown us they are interested in, or that fit in with our theme of “identity” this fall. Everything from the materials in the sensory table to the books we choose to read to the children has been thoughtfully planned with the goal to help the children learn, grow, explore, and create.

Look out for another blog post on Friday. We are enjoying getting to know both you and your children so much right now and are excited to continue building relationships throughout the entire school year. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions!

See you soon!

-Miss Alana

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