Week of May 20th

Hello Parents:

The last several weeks of school are upon us! I have given everyone the revised preschool ABC countdown calendar of special days. Please feel free to encourage your child participate. These month and half will be packed with various special events! Please be sure to check your child’s mailbox on a daily basis!

We will begin our end of the year preschool cleaning blitz soon! We are in need of the following items:

*Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
*Bleach
*Dish Soap
*Cheap (Absorbent) Towels (we will need old beach/bath towels for drying our toys and manipulatives during our end of the year cleaning spree).
***We are also looking for a volunteer or 2 launder our dress up clothes, baby play clothes). We are asking that you take the laundry on June 10th and return them on June 14th).

Many of you have already heard that all 3 preschool classrooms will be full day next year. The students who are slated to return for their 2nd year of preschool will automatically be enrolled for next year’s program. I will have much more details at the Returning Student Parent Meeting on June, 19th at 10:15 immediately following the Parent and Child Activity.

Our end of the year group photo will occur on May 23rd. We would love for all students to be in the photo, please be sure to bring your child on that day!

The calendar for the end of preschool may change, but as of now the preschool year will end June 20th.

We will have a walking field trip to the Hyde Park Farmers Market on Thursday, June 6th. We will need lots of parent volunteers to walk with us! Please look for the permission slip in your child’s mailbox early next week.

As stated in my previous blog, I will be out on medical leave starting May 24th until the end of the year. I will however “unofficially” be attending the Wednesday, June 19th Parent & Child Activity and the Returning Student parent meeting. I will also attend our picnic at Bixler Park on Thursday, June 20th.

The last week of school will be filled with the following fun activities:

Monday, June17th: Botany Pond (We will need a wagon or two, please let us know if you have a wagon that we can borrow)

Tuesday, June 18th: Parent Pack –N- Play Day. We will need parents to assist packing up the classroom and supervising on the playground. Please be sure to sign up on the sheet if you are willing to do both or either.

Wednesday, June 19th: There will be a Parent & Child Activity in the cafeteria. Parents (adult) must attend the activity with their child.

Thursday, June 20th: We will have our end of the school year Picnic at Bixler Park- all students will meet at Bixler Park from 9:30 to 10:30 am.

Parents (an adult) must accompany their child. Please bring snack items for you and your family.

****Please keep an eye out for final times and updates of the last few weeks of school.

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of May 6th

Dear Parents:

I will be out on medical starting Friday, May 24th until the end of the school year. Mrs. Papzcun will be my substitute teacher while I am out on medical leave. Mrs. Papzcun has substituted in my class and in preschool for a couple of years. I feel very confident that Mrs. Papzcun and Ms. Maggie will take good care of the children and the classroom. The children will continue to study spring/garden and will end the year studying the “Lifecycle of the Butterfly.”

We will begin our annual clean up and break down of the classroom mid-May, so the room may look a tad-bit in disarray.

The calendar for the end of preschool may change. As of now the preschool year will end June 20th.

The last week of school will be filled with the following fun activities:

Monday, June17th: Botany Pond (We will need a wagon or two, please let us know if you have a wagon that we can borrow)
Tuesday, June 18th: Parent Pack –N- Play Day. We will need parents to assist packing up the classroom and supervising on the playground. Please be sure to sign up on the sheet if you are willing to do both or either.
Wednesday, June 19th: There will be a Parent & Child Activity in the cafeteria. Parents (adult) must attend the activity with their child.
Thursday, June 20th: We will have our end of the school year Picnic at Bixler Park.

****Please keep an eye out for final times and updates of the last few weeks of school.

Have a great week,
Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of April 29th

This week we made Lemon Parmesan Popcorn for our Fit Friday healthy snack.  This snack was also a hit, that’s 2 in a row! The kids loved the Ranch Dressing last week and they liked the popcorn this week.  Here are the ingredients and instructions:

Bolded ingredients will be grown and harvested in our Learning Garden in the fall

 • Plain popcorn, 15 cups

• Fresh herbs, 2-3 tablespoons

• 2 lemons, juiced

• Extra virgin olive oil, 4 tablespoons

 • Parmesan cheese, 5 tablespoons

• Salt and pepper, to taste

• Harvest fresh herbs and popcorn from your Learning Garden. • Pop popcorn and chop fresh herbs.

 • Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt in pepper in a mason jar and shake until fully combined. • Drizzle over popcorn and toss to coat. • Garnish each serving with parmesan and fresh herbs. • Serve in a reusable cup, or on a plate, or on a napkin. • List other ways to dress-up popcorn! • Describe the popcorn flavors. Examples: bitter, sweet, sour, acidic, spicy, herbal, & earthy, etc.

We have a pretty busy last couple of months of school!  We will continue with our garden study and continue to plant in our garden.  We will also start our butterfly study soon!  We will be ending our Goldilocks study and start our Eric Carle Study next week.  We will be laser focused on Art activities and math activities.  We are still in need of paper towels! 

Please remember to put sun screen on your child before they come to school.  Flip flops are hazardous on the playground!  Please send your child in closed toed shoes.

We need families to sign up to make playdough for the month of May and June.  Please sign up to bring some in!

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of April 22nd

Welcome back families!  We hope everyone had an awesome Spring Break!

We want to thank all of the families who attended our Parent & Child Activity!  We also want to thank parents for the paper towels they brought in.  We are in need of more!  We have been creative artist and are pretty messy when we are creating!

Please remember to put sun screen on your child before they come to school!  As the weather continues to warm up we will be outdoors on the playground and in our garden for longer periods of time. 

Also, please no flip flop sandals are allowed at school.  Stubbed toes and skinned knees are no fun! 

We will begin to take neighborhood walks to Bixler Park and Botany Bond in the next few months.  I will be sending home a walking field trip form in the next few weeks.  Please keep an eye out for it!

We made Ranch Dressing in conjunction with our Garden Bites Curriculum.  Many parents have voiced their child’s excitement about our recipe that we made on Tasty Tuesday during our Week of the Young Child celebration. 

A homemade ranch recipe is a healthy alternative to store bought ranch and is perfect for serving with vegetable and salads.  Yogurt offers a high amount of protein for just a few calories. Non-fat yogurt also serves as a good source of calcium.   Here’s what we used and how we did it! Please try

(Bolded ingredients will be grown and harvested in our preschool Learning Garden).

• Parsley, 3 tablespoons • Dill, 3 tablespoons • 2 green onions

 • Salt, B/c tablespoon • Pepper, B/c tablespoon • Garlic powder, 1 tablespoon • Nonfat plain yogurt, 2 B/c cups

• Harvest and wash parsley, dill, and green onions from your Learning Garden. • Measure the yogurt into a small bowl for mixing. • Chop parsley, green onions, and dill. Add to yogurt. • Add salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder and mix. • Serve in a cup with a dip-able fresh vegetable from your Learning Garden.

 • Compare the ingredients of the homemade ranch dressing to a bottle of store bought ranch. • Describe the ranch dressing mix flavors and list your favorite ranch dipping foods.

Have a great week,

Ms. Bethanie and Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of April 8th Week of the Young Child

April 10th- Parent Teacher Conferences ONLY for students who will be transitioning into kindergarten. We will meet with the parents of returning children at the end of the school year.
Week of the Young Child- April 8-12th. We will have special activities the entire week.
Monday: Musical Instruments and Dance Party (we are hoping to have special guest musicians).
Tuesday: Tasty Tuesday- We will have a special snack and relay races outdoors.
Wednesday: – Parent & Teacher Conferences (see above)
Thursday: Garden Day.-We will begin planting in our garden. If you would like to join us, please let me know.
Friday, April 12th- 2nd Parent & Child Activity in the school cafeteria from 9:45-10:30 in the school cafeteria. All students will attend this session. There will be no afternoon class this day. All students must have an adult accompany them during this time.
Spring Break- April 15th-April 19th- No School
April 22nd- Class resumes.
Have a great week!
Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of April 1st

We want to thank all of the families who attended our Winter Garden Celebration on March 23rd! We had a great time! Be sure to utilize your free membership! What an awesome gift to families!

We are going to continue on with our Garden study in conjunction with our study of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. If you have a green thumb and would like to assist us with the garden please let us know! We would love the help. We are also partnering with Big Green and diving into the Garden Bites curriculum. We are excited to add a new component to our preschool Fit Friday and healthy garden activities. We are also participating in a Seeds of Change Program. We are looking to try out and share some family favorites. If you have a special or favorite seed you’d like to share with us and others please let me know. We have been gifted: Organic Beefsteak tomatoes, Organic Red Russian Kale, Organic Renegade F1 Spinach, and Organic Jalapeno Peppers. We are excited to plant them and taste them.

Upcoming Events:
April 5th- No School- Teacher Institute

April 10th- Parent Teacher Conferences ONLY for students who will be transitioning into kindergarten. We will meet with the parents of returning children at the end of the school year.

Week of the Young Child- April 8-12th. We will have special activities the entire week.

Monday: Musical Instruments and Dance Party (we are hoping to have special guest musicians).

Tuesday: Tasty Tuesday– We will have a special snack and relay races outdoors.

Wednesday: – Parent & Teacher Conferences (see above)

Thursday: Garden Day.-We will begin planting in our garden. If you would like to join us, please let me know.

Friday, April 12th- 2nd Parent & Child Activity in the school cafeteria from 9:45-10:30 in the school cafeteria. All students will attend this session. There will be no afternoon class this day. All students must have an adult accompany them during this time.

Spring Break- April 15th-April 19th- No School

April 22nd- Class resumes

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of March 25th

Hello Parents:

We want to thank all the parents who brought in paper towels and baby wipes! We really appreciate it.

Our Winter Garden Study will be morphing into our Spring Garden Prep study. We are planning to start our work out in our garden the week before Spring Break! We will continue to nurture our seedlings and explore the topic of gardens. We will begin our Garden Bites curriculum beginning the 1st week in April. This curriculum will serve as a great resource as we continue with our garden focus! The curriculum highlights healthy eating from our learning garden! We will most likely incorporate the majority of the lessons during our Fit Fridays. I will send more information on the program once we delve deeper into the curriculum!

Upcoming Events:
Saturday, March 23rd– 6-8 pm.  Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration! We will leave Ray promptly at 5:00 pm! Be sure to meet us out front at 4:345 if you are riding the bus!

Friday, April 5th- No School for Students

April 10th- Parent Teacher Conferences ONLY for students who will be transitioning into kindergarten. We will meet with the parents of returning children at the end of the school year.

April 8-12- Week of the Young Child Celebration– More information next week!

Friday, April 12th- 2nd Parent & Child Activity in the school cafeteria from 9:45-10:30 in the school cafeteria. All students will attend this session. There will be no afternoon class this day. All students must have an adult accompany them during this time.

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Weeks of March 11th & March 18th

Hello Parents:

We want to thank all parents who assisted on our field trip!  We really appreciated it!.

We are continuing our Winter Garden Study! The afternoon class has started an experiment mimicking what the children did in the book How a Seed Grows by Helen J. Jordan. Be sure to ask them what they are discovering. We have also begun our own plant experiments. Children used soil, sand, or cotton balls as a base to grow either beans, lettuce, or seeds that we found in our fruit exploration last week. The children then choose either the window seal, grow light, or darkness to see if their plants will grow. Be sure to take a peak at what the children predicted.
We will continue to explore and investigate as spring slowly but surely appears! We are excited about our experiments and learning new vocabulary and information daily! This week we are learning about germination, botanists, and the 8 groups of vegetables.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:
We are need of paper towels and baby wipes. If you would like to donate a roll or two and a package of wipes we would really appreciate it. Thank you.

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm. 2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!
Friday, April 5th- No School for Students
April 10th- Parent Teacher Conferences ONLY for students who will be transitioning into kindergarten. We will meet with the parents of returning children at the end of the school year.
Friday, April 12th- 2nd Parent & Child Activity in the school cafeteria from 9:45-10:30 in the school cafeteria. All students will attend this session. There will be no afternoon class this day. All students must have an adult accompany them during this time.

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of March 4th

Hello Parents:

Our visit with Mr. Sean from Big Green was awesome! We are well into the 2nd Phase of Project based learning. In phase 2 the children:

*Collect Information about the topic (the children surveyed Ms. Anna’s room about their favorite root vegetable, berry, and lettuce).

*We took a trip a to place where they can do fieldwork and helped them find people to interview who can answer their questions. We went to Kohl’s and made seed bombs and juice fruits and veggies.

• With adult help, the children use books and computers to find information. We viewed a short video explaining the difference between and fruit and vegetable. Be sure to ask your child what the difference is between the two. We have also been highlighting the book A Beans Life by Nancy Dickmann. We planted our Lima and green beans in wet paper towels. We have them taped to the window so that we can watch them sprout and begin to grow.

• During class meetings, children have been reporting what they have discovered in their fieldwork. The teacher encourages them to ask questions and make comments about each other’s findings. • The children have made drawings, labeled pictures, and created graphs of things they measured and counted. As they learn more, they can revise what they have made. We recorded the answers that Mr. Sean answered about our garden and the Red Wigglers. We have been doing weekly observational drawings and collecting data as we go. Please check out the Winter Garden Project work in our science center (near the windows).

Upcoming Events:

Friday, March 15th- Field trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum
Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm. 2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!
Friday, April 5th- No School for Students
April 10th- Parent Teacher Conferences ONLY for students who will be transitioning into kindergarten. We will meet with the parents of returning children at the end of the school year.
Friday, April 12th- 2nd Parent & Child Activity in the school cafeteria from 9:45-10:30 in the school cafeteria. All students will attend this session. There will be no afternoon class this day. All students must have an adult accompany them during this time.

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of February 25th

Hello Parents:

We want to thank Nikki (Aaron’s mom), Maggie (Winston’s mom), Li (Benjamin’s mom), Jenny (Spencer’s mom), and Justine (Jim’s mom) for volunteering in the My Very Own Library (MVOL) Scholastic Book fair! We really appreciate the help, I could not have done it without the help of our dedicated parents!

We want to thank everyone for joining us on our field trip to Kohl Children’s Museum! The kids loved all of the cool hands-on exhibits! If you were not able to join us on the trip, please try to join us for our celebration at Kohl Children’s Museum highlighting our project work on Winter Gardens! Please make sure you sign up with either Ms. Bethanie or Ms. Maggie. We have to let the museum know how many people to expect so that can order the appropriate amount of food. We will leave from the front of Ray at 4:45 pm. We will arrive back in front of the school at 9:00 pm.

We have begun our indoor garden. We have planted herbs (for our pizza garden!), berries, tomatoes, unique veggies, and flowers. Be sure to take a peek at the plants near the windows.

Next week we will have a visit from Mr. Sean from Big Green. He will answer our questions about our Red Wigglers and our garden questions. Please be sure to ask your child about Sean’s visit after school on Thursday.

Upcoming Events:
Friday, March 15th- Field trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum– Money is due Friday, March 1st
Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm. 2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of February 18th

Fieldtrip Reminders!

On the February 22nd fieldtrip all children will attend from 8:45-1:00.  Children will need to bring a nut free sack lunch.  We will not have access to a fridge or microwave, so all food must edible at room temperature.  Lunches should also be completely disposable (we will not have time or room to bring back any Tupperware dishes… everything will be thrown in the garbage after lunch).

On the Saturday, March 23rd fieldtrip we will meet in the front of Ray school at 4:45 and travel to the Museum on the bus.  The museum will provide dinner (typically pizza) and we will leave the museum at 8:00 pm and should be back at Ray by 9:00 pm. 

We are in need of new play dough for the month of March and beyond.  Please sign up if you are willing to make us a big batch!  Thank you

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments

Week of February 11th



Hello Parents:

We have put out our first round of bird/squirrel feeders!  Thank you for all that donated materials.  The afternoon class has already witnessed the squirrels feasting on the feeders!

We have our Valentine’s Day exchange and celebration on Thursday, February 14th.  Please remember that we are NUT FREE school.  We will have a fun filled day with making friendship bracelets and friendship paintings.   We will need parents to assist especially with the exchange.  Please be sure to let me know if you are willing to assist. 

We will be decorating our Valentine’s Treat Bags the week of February 11th, so please bring in donations for the bag decorations early in the week.  Thank you!  We are looking for donations of stickers, glitter, cool tape, unique stencils, and other “love inspired” decorations.  We have our celebration Thursday, February 14th.  We are asking that if your child wishes to give out valentines to their classmates we are asking that you DO NOT ADDRESS the valentines to individual children.  It is too hectic and time consuming to assist 20 children in searching for 20 different names and placing the correct cards in the correct bags.  You can simply have your child sign (with your assistance if necessary) his or her name to the cards.  If the cards need to be assembled (for example if the card needs to have an eraser attached- please attach before you bring them in). If you would like to send a sweet or savory treat we require that all items are individually wrapped and store bought (no homemade items are allowed).  We are also a nut, egg, and fish/shellfish free classroom.  Please DO NOT bring any treats containing any of the above mentioned items.  We also highly recommend small non-edible valentine gifts (erasers, stickers, and pencils are all great0!

The weather has been a roller coaster of cold and warm!  We will go outdoors as much as possible please remember to dress your children accordingly.  I have included an excerpt from the Chicago Public Schools weather guidelines.  Hopefully this will assist you in knowing which days we will be going outdoors. 

Cold Weather Guidelines

Cold air does not make us sick. Germs make us sick. Make sure students are getting outside for recess/ gross motor time at your school! Outdoor recess time allows children to get fresh air, provides an opportunity for children to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity, and gives students more activity options than most indoor spaces. Please see the following CPS cold weather guidelines for outdoor recess.

Cold Weather Guidelines:

»     Above 32 degrees F with or without wind chill: Recess should be held outdoors.

»     Between 31 degrees F and 15 degrees F with or without wind chill: Principal discretion.

»     Below 15 degrees F with or without wind chill: Recess should be held indoors.

CHANGE OF DATE-Our family field trip planned for Kohl Children’s museum has changed to Saturday, March 23rd (it was originally scheduled for March 30th). For this field trip we will meet in the front of Ray school at 4:45 and travel to the Museum on the bus.  The museum will provide dinner (typically pizza) and we will leave the museum at 8:00 pm and should be back at Ray by 9:00 pm. 

Monday, February 18th– No School

Friday, February 22nd– Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum

Friday, March 15th– Field trip to the Chicago Children’s Museum-More information forthcoming

Saturday, March 23rd- 6-8 pm.  2nd Field Trip to Kohl Children’s Museum for our Project Celebration!

Have a great week!

Ms. Bethanie & Ms. Maggie

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS
Read Comments