March 25, 2016

Hello Everyone,

As you know we are finishing our week with a shut down day.  We hope that you are able to enjoy an extra day with your child[ren]!  Our day is filled with opportunities to learn about new strategies and activities that will help to improve the curriculum we offer in our classrooms.  We are very excited to have Cyndi Kuhn from the Maine Audubon (who also offers or Yosemite and Olympic classrooms science activities twice a month) and Dr. Julie DellaMattera from the University of Maine who will be talking with us about mathematics in our classrooms.  In addition to learning more about enhancing our curriculum, our floors will be burnished and waxed!

On Monday, March 28th we will begin our week having a hop-a-thon!  This week we have been learning about the importance of the hop-a-thon and how it is a fundraiser for the MDA.  Children have learned that they are able to help children who are not able to hop, or ride bikes, or do the many things that they are able to do.  Fundraisers such as the hop-a-thon teach children that they are able to help others who need their help.  We will also have a special visit from the Easter Bunny during both sessions of the jumping.  Glacier, Sequoia, Zion, and Yellowstone will jump at 10:30 and Big Sur, Yosemite, and Olympic will jump at 11:30.  We will continue to collect donations until April 1st.

Parent/Teacher Advisory Meeting: March 31st @ 5:30.  As part of our agenda we will be discussing the parent survey before we publish it.  If you need child care please stop by the office before Wednesday, March 30th.

Week of the Young Child:  Every year, NAEYC dedicates a week of learning and recognition of how important early child education is, called the Week of the Young Child.  We will be celebrating during the week of April 11th, each day has a different theme: Music Monday, Taco Tuesday, Working Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, and Family Friday.  We will be providing activities for the children throughout the week including making and enjoying tacos on Tuesday, having a musical Monday, and having a special art class with Miss Rosanne.  We will invite families to come in and read to their child’s classroom throughout the week; look for sign-up sheets in your child’s classroom soon!  I found an article that highlights the importance of music for children and ideas on how to include music in your home.  You can find the article at:


Playing with Music at Home

Young children love to sing, make music, and move to the beat. They feel competent when they learn a new song, powerful when they pound a drum or shake a tambourine, and proud when they invent a new dance. As children explore and enjoy music, they can develop skills in math, literacy, and social studies. Teachers relate music to diverse subjects and your family can continue this learning at home.

Young children explore music through play. They make discoveries through trial and error—”If I hit the tambourine lightly, it makes a soft sound. If I hit it hard, it makes a loud one.” They listen to the musical beat and dance along with it. They make up new words or add choruses to familiar songs. They ask parents and other family members to sing with them or, in some cases, ask to perform a solo.

Here are some tips on how your family can play with music and connect it to learning at home.

Play music made for children

Many musicians write and sing about topics of interest to young children. Their songs’ lyrics and melodies are catchy and easy to learn. The children’s room at most libraries offers CDs. You can download free songs from websites and purchase CDs at the dollar store or from remainder bins at music and bookstores.

Develop reading readiness skills through rhymes

When children listen to, repeat, and create rhymes, they learn to match the sounds of language. And what could better inspire rhyming than playful children’s songs? As you listen together, repeat the rhyming words and encourage your child to do the same. Take turns making up your own rhyming verses.

Sample music from around the world

Play classical, salsa, jazz, and folk. Chat about the music you like: “I really like the jazz—it helps me relax.” Ask questions: “I hear horns. What instruments do you hear?” Listen for details. Ask your child to focus on the sounds of different instruments, the rhythm of the music, and the words of new songs. This will help your child learn to be a good listener in school.

Make and play instruments

To make a simple shaker, put dried beans between two paper plates and staple the plates together. Find rhythm sticks outdoors. Use pan lids as cymbals, and march around the house. Try a slow march first, then a faster one.

Expand vocabulary

As you listen to music together, introduce and talk about new words like rhythm and note. Listen for new words in song lyrics and talk about what they mean.

Recognize and repeat patterns

Children can develop this math skill while listening to music. Take turns copying patterns in your favorite music, and then create your own. Start with five or fewer beats before moving on to longer patterns.

Source: Adapted from the Message in a Backpack for K.M. Hemple, J.J. Batey, & L.C. Hartle, 2008, “Music Play,” Teaching Young Children 1 (2): 10–12.

© National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education

– See more at:

Upcoming Events:

Monday, March 28th:  Hop-a-thon fundraiser for the MDA!  Glacier, Sequoia, Zion, and Yellowstone will hop at 10:30 and Big Sur, Yosemite, and Olympic will hop at 11:30

Thursday, March 31st:  Parent/Teacher Advisory Meeting @ 5:30.  All are welcome!

*April 11-April 15th:  Week of the Young Child

Hope you have a wonderful weekend,


Jen V.