September 18, 2017

Hello Parents:

 

We would like to thank all of the parents who attended our Open House. If you were unable to attend all paper work that was distributed was placed in your child’s mailbox. Please be sure to check your child’s mailbox each day.

 

If you are missing any paperwork for your child’s file a letter will be placed in your child’s folder along with said paper work. Please return all items ASAP.

 

We are still in need of 1 ½” 3 ring binders for children’s portfolios, please turn it in ASAP.

 

We have successfully completed week two of school! The children are learning all about the materials in our classroom and making new friends. We will continue to study “All About Me” for the next few weeks. We have been discussing our 3 classroom limits: 1. Take care of each other. Be a good friend. 2. Take care of yourself. 3. Take care of our materials. Be sure to discuss these with your child.

 

We will learning all about our Work It Out Wheel this week. The Wheel is a tool that we use to help children figure out how to solve problems in the classroom. The six items on the Wheel are 1. Talk It Out and Listen. 2. Say Stop! 3. Find a new friend or toy. 4. Take a Balloon Breath. 5. Take a break and cool down. 6. Walk or Move away. Please review these with your child at the end of week and during the following weeks.

 

I have the play dough calendar out for parents to sign up to make play dough for our classroom. I have placed the recipe behind the calendar if you need one. Here is my favorite recipe:

Ingredients:
3 cup flour
1 1/2 cup salt
3 cup water
3-4 Tablespoon oil
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring by drops till you reach your desired color. I use a lot. I like my play-dough to be bright!

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and mix with electric mixer (or with a spoon). Cook over low heat, mixing until it sticks together and resembles mashed potatoes.
2. Allow to cool, divide dough into different balls to make different colors.
3. Optional add-ins are a few drops of essential oils to increase the sensual experience.
4. Store in covered container.

 

We also now have an easy way to donate online for the The Jane Averill Community Reading Day Friday, on October 6, 2017. Please view below and use the following link to make a donation if you’d like:

Donate online here: https://www.semcoop.com/jane-averill-community-reading-day Donate in person here: 57th Street Books 1301 E. 57th Street, 773-684-1300 Hours: Daily 10a-8p Tell them it is for the Jane Averill Community Reading Day We hope to provide the Pre-K or K students in these schools with a copy of the book read that day. Please share widely and spread the word! For more information: hydeparkcac@gmail.com or go to http://hydeparkcac.blogspot.com

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September 11, 2017

Hello parents:

We have completed week 1! The children are thoroughly enjoying exploring the classroom materials and making new friends. We have already generated a “Being a good friend list” and developed our “Loft Limits.” Please be sure and check out the list and review them with your child.

Please be sure to send in your name letters, kissing hand, and family photo. Our classroom family tree still had room for all of our wonderful family photos.

We still need binders for each student. If you have not brought in donations or are unable at this time, simply let me know and I will see that everyone has a binder. If you are planning to bring one in please do so ASAP. Thank you!

Our Donors Choose project was fully funded! Thank you to all you donated and passed on the link so that others could donate! Hopefully we will receive the items within the next week or two!

We also want to thank Natalie’s dad; Jesus for volunteering to reupholster all of dramatic play furniture! We really appreciate it!

Upcoming Events:

Open House:-Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 4:00-6:00 pm. The first hour will be in classrooms and the second hour will be in the auditorium for a State of the School address by administration. I highly encourage everyone to attend. This is a time when you learn about my personal philosophy, academic expectations, and our positive classroom community. The session will run much smoother if it is an adult only meeting, please arrange child care for at least the hour in the classroom.

Special Reading Day in Honor of Jane Averill. Jane was a well-loved preschool teacher here at Ray for many years. Ms. Jane passed away 2 years ago and her presence has been notably missed here in the preschool and throughout Ray. Jane was involved in several community organizations and a long time Hyde Parker. We are honored to be a part of the Special Reading Day in her honor. Jane was a wonderful story teller and found immense joy when the children became fully enthralled in her stories. Jane was also one of the most generous people I have ever met. Through the many years that knew I Jane she always had an extra “family” member she would take into her home. Jane always made room in her home to care for others- she showed compassion to all. The book that we will be reading embodies Jane’s selflessness and accepting nature. If you are able to volunteer to read or donate money (so that every preschool student can receive a copy of the book) please sign up at the website below or donate at 57th Street books.

HPKCAC Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Action Council
The Jane Averill Community Reading Day
Friday, October 6, 2017
Ariel – Carnegie – Harte – Kozminski – Murray – Ray – Reavis – Robinson – Shoesmith

Volunteer to read to Pre-K or K students at a neighborhood public school for 15-20 minutes and enjoy a tour of the school afterwards!
Sign up here: https://goo.gl/jbDnjZ (take a photo of this link with your phone!)

Donate here: 57th Street Books 1301 E. 57th Street, 773-684-1300 Hours: Daily 10a-8p Tell them it is for the Jane Averill Community Reading Day

We hope to provide the Pre-K or K students in these schools with a copy of the book read that day.
Please share widely and spread the word! For more information: hydeparkcac@gmail.com or go to http://hydeparkcac.blogspot.com

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Schools in Session 9/05/17!

Hello Ray Preschool Families,

I want to thank all of the families who attended the Preschool Meet N Greet! We were happy to see returning students and meet the new families.

If you were not able to attend the meeting all handouts will be available in your child’s mailbox. If you would like to review the tips for the first day of school please read my previous post. Ms. Maggie and I are excited about the upcoming school year!

Below I have included my DonorsChoose.org project that I discussed during the meet and greet.

Donors Choose

I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed, so I’ve created a classroom project request through DonorsChoose.org, an award-winning charity.

Donations of any size will help my kids. Right now, any contribution you make to my project will be doubled by Sergey Brin Family Foundation. Your donation will brighten my students’ school year, and you’ll get heartfelt thank yous from my class and photos of your gift in action.

Here’s how to donate to my classroom request:

  1.  Go to   https://www.donorschoose.org/Ms.Bethanie .  Once my page has loaded you can donate at the top of the page.

To have your donation matched dollar for dollar , just make a contribution on that project page – donations will be doubled automatically, but only while funding lasts.

If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. My students and I greatly appreciate your support.

Sincerely,

Ms. Bethanie

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Welcome Families! School Year 2017-2018

Meet –N- Greet (Attendance Highly Recommended)

When: Friday, September 1st
Where: Ray School Preschool Annex
Time: 1-2 pm

This is the time when you receive your child’s classroom assignment and meet the Preschool Staff. You will be informed of important information and get a tour of your child’s classroom. We will distribute parking passes for drop off and pick up, get classroom specific details, and ask questions. **Detailed curriculum information will be shared at the Open House later in September.

First Day of School Information

The first day of school will be Tuesday, September 5th, 2017!
Morning Class-8:45-11:20
Afternoon Class 1:00- 3:35

We are inviting all students to attend with their parents for the first half hour of the school day.   This will be an opportunity for your children to get acquainted with the classroom.  We will read a book together and say good-bye to our families.   If you think your child will have a difficult time, please stay in the annex for an additional half hour to ensure that your student transitions into the classroom.  If your child has a difficult time saying good-bye we will have you take your child with you and return for a half hour the following day and for the rest of the week until they are comfortable in the classroom.  Please review the following information for tips for separation anxiety and 1st day logistics.

What you will need the first day of school:

NO Backpacks- it gets very crowded when winter outerwear is added daily!
***We do not have enough cubby space for children to bring backpacks. The only exception is for children who are going onto another care facility directly after class (i.e., Little People’s Learning Center). So please do not bring backpacks to school.

1) Change of clothing for your child, including pants/shorts, underwear, shirt, socks, shoes, with your child’s name on all items. Please put sunscreen on your child before they come to school. We will spend a lot of time outdoors when the weather permits.
2) Photo of your family that will be left at school on our school family tree.
3) We have a short “wish list” for parents who would like to donate the following

* 1 box of facial tissue
* 1 Bottle of Lysol (disinfecting spray) or 1 container of disinfecting wipes
* 1 roll of paper towels (Select-A-Size is preferred)
* 1 box gallon-sized zip-lock bags, 1 box quart-sized zip-lock bags
* 1 ream of white computer paper
* 1 ream of colored computer paper
* 1 container of Hand wipes (Wet ones, baby wipes)
* 2 bottles of hand soap
* 1 11/2” Binder

**We may have more wish list items as the school year progresses.

Thanks,

Ray Pre-k Team

The First Day of School

The first day of school can be a wonderful or terrifying event for both parents and children. We can do things to help us through this process.

*Talk to your child about if there is a special item (small enough to fit into their cubby) he or she would like to bring to school for comfort. The object will be left in the cubby for your child to go to and snuggle with (if necessary).

*Please bring a family photo to post in your child’s cubby so that they can look at it throughout the day (if necessary).

*Visit the playground at school so your child is familiar with the equipment and feels competent using it.

*Do some pretend play with your child about how you will go to school and how you will say good bye. Imagine waking up, having breakfast, getting in the car, walking in the door, kissing/hugging goodbye.

*Agree on a goodbye ritual: how many kisses, hugs, etc.

*Make sure your child is clear about who will pick him up and when.

*Find out something about the schedule so you can talk it over with your child.

*Give a special note, picture, or poem for your child to keep in their cubby. We will also encourage your child to write a letter or draw a picture for you to make them feel better (if necessary).

*Make sure you awaken early enough to have a relaxing morning, with time to dress and eat a good breakfast/lunch.

Do not hang around at the door or peering through windows after you have said goodbye. Once your child sees that you are reluctant to leave, it is harder for them to feel safe and it is more difficult for the teachers to engage the child in classroom activities. BRING TISSUES! This may be harder for you than your child.

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Summer Break Infomation

Happy Summer Break! We hope everyone has an enjoyable summer! Be sure to explore all the free activities Chicago has to offer, sign up for a library card and read loads of books with your preschooler.

In addition, the Office of Early Childhood has purchased our school a Scholastic BookFlix account. Once on the website login with username: eceray password: eceray. Happy Reading!

Preschool Registration:
Ray preschool is a half day, play-based preschool program. In order to apply for preschool you must visit the Chicago Early Learning Website.
After you have received notification from CPS that you have been accepted you have 14 days to verify your placement. You must visit a verification center located at one of these sites.
List of Family Resource Centers Visit a Chicago Early Learning Family Resource Center to review your options and submit an application with an application support representative.

Austin Library
5615 W. Race Ave, Chicago IL 60644Hours: MW: 12PM-8PM; TTH: 10AM-6PM; F: 9AM-5PM

Avalon Park Library
8148 S. Stony Island, Chicago IL 60617Hours: MW: 12PM-8PM; TTH: 10AM-6PM; F: 9AM-5PM

Bezazian Library
1226 W. Ainslie St, Chicago IL 60640Hours: MW: 12PM-8PM; TTH: 10AM-6PM; F: 9AM-5PM

Budlong Woods Library
5630 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL 60659Hours: MW: 12PM-8PM; TTH: 10AM-6PM; F: 9AM-5PM

Colman
4655 S. Dearborn St, Chicago Il 60609Hours: M-F: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Humboldt Park Library***
1605 N. Troy, Chicago IL 60647Hours: MW: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm; TTH: 10:00am – 6:00pm; F: 9:00 am – 5:00 PM

Legler Library
115 S. Pulaski Rd, Chicago IL 60624Hours: MW: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm; TTH: 10:00am – 6:00pm; F: 9:00 am – 5:00 PM

Little Village Library***
2311 S. Kedzie Ave, Chicago IL 60623Hours: MW: 10PM-6PM; TTH: 12PM-8PM; F: 9AM-5PM

McKinley Park Library***
1915 W. 35th St, Chicago IL 60609Hours: MW: 12PM-8PM; TTH: 10AM-6PM; F: 9AM-5PM

Portage-Cragin Library***
5108 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago IL 60641Hours: MW: 12PM-8PM; TTH: 10AM-6PM; F: 9AM-5PM

Thurgood Marshall Library
7506 S. Racine Ave, Chicago IL 60620Hours: MW: 12PM-8PM; TTH: 10AM-6PM; F: 9AM-5PM

West Lawn Library***
4020 W. 63rd St, Chicago IL 60629Hours: MW: 12PM-8PM; TTH: 10AM-6PM; F: 9AM-5PM

After verifying your position you must come and register at Ray. The Ray office has limited days that they will be open this summer. The dates are listed below.

A Preschool teacher will try and be present each Wednesday that the office is open. Please email: Becky Weinberg at rgraham2@cps.edu or Bethanie Smith at bsmith4@cps.edu if you have any questions.

Ray’s Summer Office Hours
July 18-20th, 10am-1pm
July 25-27th, 10am-1pm
August 8-10th, 10am-1pm
August 15-17th, 10 am-1pm
August 22-24th, 10am-1pm
August 28-Sept. 1st, 8:45-3:45 pm
*And by appointment only:
Principal, Megan Thole: mmthole@cps.edu
Assistant Principal, Gayle Harris-Neely: gpharrisneely@cps.edu

Please be on the lookout for a welcome letter in your email for parents that have been accepted. You can also look back at our blogs for more updates.

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Week of June 5th

Hello Parents:

 

The students have been thoroughly engrossed in the butterfly and plant life cycle. The children are enthused about learning lots of new vocabulary words. A few of those words are: metamorphosis, proboscis, molting, and seedling. Be sure to ask your child about the life cycles.
We are beginning our cleaning and reflection of school year. The children will assist in cleaning the manipulatives and toys we have used over the year and discuss how they used the materials. Please be sure to dress your child accordingly (lots of wet/water activities).
We are calling on our wonderful parents to come and assist us in packing up the classroom for the summer. The annual Parent Pack and Play day will be on Wednesday, June 14th. If you are able to help out please sign up on the sign-up sheet. The more parents we get the faster the packing goes.

 

 

Thank you, in advance!

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Week of May 30th

IMPORTANT PRESCHOOL NEWS

Hello Parents:
The school year is winding down very quickly! In order to prepare for next year the Ray Preschool program will be closing down for 3 days. We will be completing registration for new incoming students. Students who are returning for their 2nd year of preschool do not need to complete new registration forms (you guys completed the large amounts of paper work already!) We will close down Thursday June 15th, Friday June 16th, and Monday June 19th (There will be no preschool classes). We will have our goodbye picnic at Bixler Park on Tuesday, June 20th!
Please be sure to continue to read the teacher blog for details about more end of the year events.
Thanks,
The Ray Preschool Team

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Week Of May 22nd

Hello Parents:

We want to thank all of the parents who volunteered for our Walk-A-Thon. It was cold and wet but the children enjoyed it!

Our caterpillars have arrived! Finger’s crossed that we will actually be in session long enough to witness the entire life cycle!

I want to thank all of the families who have donated water, cups, and snacks to our class. The children thoroughly enjoy the extended time we are able to spend outdoors! We will be walking over to Botany Pond in the in next few weeks as well.

We will be extending our outdoor learning by taking our very 1st walk over to Hyde Park Farmers Market Music Concert in Harper’s Court on Thursday, June 1st (Morning Students Only- the concert is over at 11:15) We will have some sort of special music event for the afternoon class that day as well, but we will not be going off school grounds). We will need lots of volunteers to walk over with us and stay and enjoy the music concert featuring Junie B! Please keep an eye out for the permission slip. We will be dismissing the students from Harper’s Court at 11:20 that day (you will also need to fill out a special form for this dismissal as well.

Lending Library for our classroom has officially ended for this school year. Please be sure to send in any books that you still have checked out!

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Week of May 15th

I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend!

If you are able to help out during the Walk-A-Thon please let me know!

 

We will be wrapping up our Eric Carle study as soon as our caterpillars arrive (hopefully this week).

 

Being that our topic of studies will be more nature centered we will spend a great deal of time outdoors. Please dress your child accordingly. Remember to put sunscreen on before they come to school. In addition, flip flop types of sandals are not ideal for running and gross motor activities on playground. You are welcomed to leave a pair of old/play running shoes at school for your child to change into when needed (please write their names somewhere on the shoe –inside of the tongue is a great place).

 
As the weather begins to warm up we will visit Bixler Park and also travel over to Botany Pond to observe the baby ducks and turtles. I will post notices on the entry door and sign-in sheet to remind you of the days we will be traveling over. We are also asking for a wagon or two to take with us. We will also need gallons of water and small Dixie cups (any donation is welcomed). We also like to offer a small snack on our trips (graham crackers, animal crackers, and pretzel rods are always a hit), donations are welcomed as well.

 

Important Dates:

Kindergarten Visits for children going to Kindergarten (children returning to Pre K next year do not need to visit this year):

Are you interested in learning more about the Kindergarten program at Ray? If so, please come to Ray School on May 17th from 2:45-3:45 when our K teachers will showcase the curriculum and discuss a “day in the life” of a Ray Kindergartner. Our main entrance is on Kimbark Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets.

The Ray Walk-A -thon is Friday May 19, 2017.  Please join us for our annual walk.  The preschoolers will walk at 9:45- 10:15 in the morning and from 1:15-1:45 in the afternoon class.  We need volunteers for both sessions. If you are able to join us, please let me know.  Be sure to bring your water bottle, and wear comfortable shoes and clothing, along with sunglasses and a hat or other sun protection. You may want to bring rain gear too. This is a rain or shine event!

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Week of May 8th

I want to thank all of the families who participated in International Night! It was a huge success. We are continuing our Eric Carle study and will shift to butterflies as soon as our caterpillars arrive!

Important Dates:

Kindergarten Visits for children going to Kindergarten (children returning to Pre K next year do not need to visit this year):
Are you interested in learning more about the Kindergarten program at Ray? If so, please come to Ray School on May 17th from 2:45-3:45 when our K teachers will showcase the curriculum and discuss a “day in the life” of a Ray Kindergartner. Our main entrance is on Kimbark Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets.

The Ray Walk-A -Thon is Friday May 19, 2017. Please join us for our annual walk. The preschoolers will walk at 9:45- 10:15 in the morning and from 1:15-1:45 in the afternoon class. We need volunteers for both sessions. If you are able to join us, please let me know. Be sure to bring your water bottle, and wear comfortable shoes and clothing, along with sunglasses and a hat or other sun protection. You may want to bring rain gear too. This is a rain or shine event!

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Week of May 1st

We thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities during our celebration of Week of Young Child! If your child forgot their toy for show and tell, please feel free to bring one this week.
We will need play dough in mid-May! If you are willing to make a batch please sign up on the play dough calendar. Thank You!
We will be ending the school year on June 20, 2017. Be sure to keep an eye out for all of the special events that will happen the last week of school.
We will spend the last month and half focusing on Eric Carle, gardening, and the Life cycle of the Butterflies. Please sure to look at the cool art work the children have been working on. Our cool display of Mix It Up was a cool art experiment where children used primary colors to create the secondary colors using their fingertips. We also created our own versions of Eric Carle’s Little Cloud. Be sure to check it out!
Dates To Remember:
May 18th– Ray Walk-a-Thon (fundraising goal is $25,000- we exceeded this goal last year!) More information will be forthcoming.
No School- May 29th- Memorial Day Holiday

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Week of April 10, 2017

 

Have a great Spring Break!  Classes resume Monday, April 17th!

Dates to Remember:

April 10th -14th– No School – Spring Break

April 19th– No School- Parent & Teacher Conferences (Please be sure to sign up after spring break)

May 18th– Ray Walk-a-Thon (fundraising goal is $25,000- we exceeded this goal last year!)   More information will be forthcoming.

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