Vacation Bible School @ Berkeley Hills Lutheran Church

BarnyardBlessingsAre you signed up for Vacation Bible School at Berkeley Hills Lutheran Church? It’s a great chance for your children to see school friends!

Join us July 8-12 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM for a fun week, in a place your children are already comfortable.

Click Here for more information and to print a registration form or call/e-mail the church office at 412-4864010/ bhlc517@verizon.net.

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Filed under 3 year olds, 4 year olds, Uncategorized, upcoming events

Summer Letter to all Families

Dear Berkeley Hills Preschool Parents,

While most of us are planning summer vacations and activities together with thoughts of school bells far from our minds, the staff and Board of Berkeley Hills Preschool are planning for the 2013 – 2014 school year. The staff spends many hours during the summer searching for and sorting through new learning materials to provide your child with the most enriching preschool experience possible.
On behalf of the members of our Board of Directors, I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone returning for another year, as well as those families joining us at Berkeley Hills Preschool for the first time. We are proud of our excellent staff, our facilities and are looking forward to an exciting and interesting year.
You recently received a copy of our Financial Policy as well as payment coupons for your convenience. Our tuition plan is structured so that families may either make a payment in full or in three installments. As a reminder of the amount and date of the tuition due, you may want to tear off the bottom sections and attach them to the appropriate months of your calendar.
Please appreciate that we must receive tuition payments promptly to meet our financial obligations. Late payments will be assessed a late fee as set forth in the attached financial policy. It is especially important for the July 30th payment to be paid promptly so that we are assured you fully intend for your child to attend our school. Payments made between July 31st and August 3rd will be charged a late fee. Failure to make a payment on or before August 3rd will result in forfeiture of enrollment of your child at BHP. Payment is non-refundable. If you have any questions concerning our Financial Policy, or our school in general, please feel free to contact me.
In August, you will be receiving more information as well as a calendar and school procedures from our Director. Just before school starts, your child will receive a very special letter for his or her teacher.
I look forward to meeting new parents and children and renewing old acquaintances as we begin our new school year after Labor Day. If I can be of any help before then, I can be reached at 412-915-0996. Have a great summer and I will see you in September.

Sincerely,
Lynn Suto
Chairman of the Board
Berkeley Hills Preschool

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Our special Families…

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year.  At Berkeley Hills Preschool, we are so busy with all sorts of activities.  Our focus is on Families, Friends, Love, Thankfulness and of course Turkeys!  Each family in the Preschool has created a beautiful Family Banner.  These banners were composed from the handprints of all the people in each child’s family.  Every day I watch the children take their friends and/or their teachers around the rooms to see their family banner.  It’s important to let you know what an impression that activity has on your child. We invite everyone to take a walk throughout the Preschool to view the Banners. 

Each family was also asked to send a family photo.  Each of the teachers have taken these and attached them to poster board and added clipart of family members.  These family charts are then used for math activities.  In the 3’s class,the children introduce their family to their friends.  They love to do this:   the children are asked to count the total number of people in the family and a comparison is made between numbers of members of  all the families.  All the families with the same total number of members are grouped together.  The 3 Year Olds enjoy seeing these current pictures and are identifying the numbers there.   The 4 Year Olds go into a few more details on their family charts.  We also introduce the class to each family.  But upon inspection, they must tell us the hair length and color, eye color, glasses, a smile as well as if each person depicted there wears glass and/or has a beard or mustache.  Next, on Wed or Friday they must color clothes on each person.   Math allows us to do the comparisons of all these details and the number of girls and boys in each family.  So you see, we get a lot of mileage out of those Banners and Photo charts.  Math is everywhere!! Not only that but math is fun !!

With Thanksgiving comes a Feast.  The 4’s class will celebrate their Feast on Friday Nov. 16.  The children will be responsible for counting the number of children to be served, placing that number of chairs around our tables, setting the appropriate number of complete table settings for our friends.  It’s important to correctly set the table and every child will participate here.  The 3’s class will celebrate their Feast on Monday Nov 19.  The children will dress up for each Feast depending upon which class they are in.  The menus will remain the same for both feasts.  Our menu consists of corn muffins, home made applesauce, popcorn, a jello turkey and pumpkin cake with whipped cream.  Keep in mind that the entire menu was prepared in the Special Projects Room by small hands!!  🙂  Our attire and your Thanksgiving decorations were all created in the Art Room.  As I said, November has been a VERY busy month. 

As we feast on our delectable menu while we are dressed so festively, we are Thankful for so many things.  Conversations abound with thankfulness.  We have learned that anything that we are thankful for makes us happy.  So we are thankful for you, our Families, and wish you a blessed Thanksgiving with your family.

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Halloween Week

Our latest issue of BEGINNINGS was delivered in backpacks and mailboxes this week.  It contains information about some family activities and family “homework” for the entire family.  Every family is asked to make this project, because we will be giving every child a special time to shine as we display the projects.  Family Banners and Family Pictures are due Monday Nov 5 and Wednesday Nov 7.  Have fun!  We look forward to seeing your work.

SPECIAL PROJECTS ROOM:  We made Pumpkin Cakes. The children again followed a recipe to make the cakes for our Thanksgiving Feasts.  There were many ingredients to be measured as we prepared the batter.  Good small motor skills are required to measure, scoop, pour and stir all of the ingredients.  Good listening skills and the ability to wait for a turn were also necessary as we prepared these yummy cakes for our feasts. 

The Special Projects Room is the caterer for our Thanksgiving Feasts later this month.  Everything on our menu is prepared from scratch during the activities in this room.  We will be reading the story of “The Little Red Hen” to the children in the 4’s class emphasising that they don’t want to be like the friends of the Little Red Hen.  We are encouraging them to enjoy  cooking throughout the month of November in the Special Projects Room.  As you can see important skills such as small motor and listening are enhanced through these fun projects. 

ART ROOM:  Pumpkin Pie !  No there’s no cooking involved here.  But the slices of pie did look authentic.  The children worked on their scissor skills (putting them on correctly, keeping them on as you cut and cutting on a line) as they made these festive projects.  Control of the paint brush was required in order to paint only certain areas one color and other areas another color.   The children are told to hold the paint brush like a pencil and to “wipe off the lumpy paint”.  Some children are still struggling with hand dominance and acheiving the correct pincer hold for the pencil and paint brush.  Help at home will greatly help with success here. 

The 4’s class made a dinomite dino out of the letter “D” in the Art Room this week also.  More cutting was practiced as they cut out the D and the all the pieces.  Listening skills and understanding a pattern helped the class put the dinosaur together.  What a fun way to learn the letter “D”.

Voting : Did you hear that the 4’s class has been voting all week?  They are learning the principals of the process by voting which Halloween song we should sing that day.  Each day they have been given the choice between two songs and then they physically move to various parts of the room depending upon which song they vote for.  It is an excellent visual way to explain the voting process.  On Friday, each child came home with a sticker that read “I Voted”.  Hope you asked all about it.  We have discussed the presidential election also. 

Reading is FUNdamental – each day in every class, 3’s and 4’s, a story is read to the children.  By the age of 4, we are working on reading comprehension.  Each day we ask the children what was yesterday’s story about. Some children can remember the title, some the main character, some what happened in the story, etc.  Reading comprehension is an important skill we are mastering for Kindergarten.  Have you asked about our daily story?  Have you asked about the last story that you read to your child?  Try it and be pleasantly surprised at the improvement month by month.

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Filed under 3 year olds, 4 year olds, Beginnings

Jack-O-Lanterns ~ everywhere

SPECIAL PROJECTS ROOM: This Halloween project allowed the children to practice small motor skills and required them to follow multi-step directions. First, the children used a small plastic knife to spread orange frosting on the cookie. They practiced holding the knife correctly and spreading from top to bottom to cover the entire surface of the cookie. Then, using candy corn and chocolate chips, they created a face for their jack-o-lantern. The children practiced counting skills, which is an important pre-math activity, as they counted out two candy corn eyes, one candy corn nose and five chocolate chips to make a smile. I also looked for proper placement of these facial features. The ability to listen to and follow multi-step directions is a necessary skill for Kindergarten readiness.                                                                                              

ART ROOM: The children worked on their fine motor skills as they used a paint brush to “paint” glue onto a small paper plate. They took a piece of orange construction paper and using a pinching motion they tore the paper into small pieces. This is an excellent skill to practice and can be turned into any themed project. Tearing requires that the child use good pressure to hold and pull the paper in two different directions. It may seem very simple to you but gives important fine motor exercises. They then attached the pieces to the glued area trying to cover the entire plate. This, too, is an important skill to practice ~ that being the ability to stay with a project to completion.

SPECIAL PROJECTS ROOM: The children helped Mrs. Vitali design a face for our classroom jack-o-lantern.  We talked about the different shapes that we could use for each facial feature and decided as a group what shapes we would use.  We also scooped out the “guts” from the inside of the pumpkin and working together, the chidlren separated the seeds from the pulp.  We then washed and dried the seeds and baked them in the toaster oven to enjoy during snack time.  Skills what we worked on were: fine motor coordination and working cooperatively as they separated the seeds; and patience as each child waited for their turn to help.

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Filed under 3 year olds, 4 year olds, Uncategorized

First Field Trip

On Wednesday October 17, the Fours Class enjoyed their first field trip. (You are a really BIG kid to be allowed to go on a field trip.) Our Class visited Soergel’s Apple Orchard in Wexford. It was a wonderful trip. The children and the adult chaperones learned so many things. Ask the children where to find the noses (yes plural) of the apple are. We watched the apples a take shower, get dried, sorted according to size, etc. We were able to enter and walk around in a huge refrigerator!! Our friend Abby got to try on an apple costume as we learned everything about the apple. Did you know that apples get sunburned?? Our trip to Soergel’s is one of our favorite field trips.

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Filed under 4 year olds

First Week of Regular School Day Schedule

It has been a very successful first two weeks of school. Our separations are just about complete. The children are really learning what school is all about. Color has been our other focus so far. The Three’s Class enjoyed wearing their colors, while the Fours Class found that they could eat their colors. Learning has been all around us.

The week of Sept 24, 2012 will be the first week of our regular school day schedule. Our Three’s Class will attend on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday each week from 9 – 11:45 am each day. Our Four’s Class will attend on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each week from 9 – 11:45 am each day. With the regular schedule, I must remind the parents of our Fours that our snack program begins now. Each time that it is your snack day, you will send in 12 individual snacks, a 32 oz bottle of juice, 12 cups and 12 napkins.

NEWS: Parents of the Three’s Class and Mrs. Phelps’s Class, please note that the last spots in both of those classes have been filled. We have a family who just moved into the area. So, the number of students to prepare snack for is: 16 in Three’s & 12 in Mrs. Phelps’ class. Mrs. Judson’s class remains at 12.

FUNDRAISER: our first fundraiser for the school year is delicious food at Monte Cello’s restaurant at Babcock and Thompson Run Road. Monte Cello’s has generously agreed to give the preschool a percentage of the checks for patrons on Oct 3 who give them either our flyer or mention Berkeley Hills Preschool. This applies to both eat in or take out, from open to close on Tuesday October 3. Join other families for lunch or dinner at Monte Cello’s Restaurant. Take a night off from cooking. Thank you in advance for helping Berkeley Hills Preschool!! Watch your child’s mailbox or backpack for more information on this event.

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Filed under 3 year olds, 4 year olds, Uncategorized