Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Happy birthday Baby Jesus!  The story of Jesus' birth is the central theme of our Christmas unit.  Through songs and stories the children have heard the story of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem and, after finding no room in the inn, staying in the stable where Mary gave birth to Jesus.  The animals, the shepherds, the angels and the wisemen came to see the baby.  The star shown brightly over the stable pointing to where the baby lay.  This week our classes have been acting out the story, complete with costumes and props!  We realize that Joseph did not ride a bike to Bethlehem.  However, this Joseph loved to ride a bike after the enactment :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Although the Pilgrims didn't have pizza for their Thanksgiving Feast like we did we do have something in common with them, we are all thankful for our homes, families, friends and the world around us.  Pretending to be Pilgrims and turkeys we sat together and enjoyed pizza, carrots and vanilla wafers at school!  Yum!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Practice, practice, practice!  We chose our favorite songs and music activities to share in our Fall Program presented by the four/five year old classes on Thursday evening, November, 15.  Family members, grandparents, great grandparents, friends and neighbors came to see our students sing, play their instruments and dance to the best music around.   The audience loved the disco  dance with music by Go Fish!  Everyone in attendance enjoyed the slideshow that concluded the evening.  Candid shots from our fall days at school gave a glimpse into what pre school is all about!  The refreshment time after the performance provided a opportunity to socialize with other families and the teachers.  We want to thank everyone who came to support our students!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Happy Halloween everyone!  We have had two weeks at school with lot of talk about pretend vs. real.  Our dress-up clothes have gotten a good workout as the students have donned Cinderella's dress or Superman's muscles.  Are we really Cinderella or Superman or are we just pretending to be?
Our Halloween emphasis this year is on scarecrows.  Scarecrow pictures surround us on the walls.  You may even see one quietly sitting on a chair in our classroom watching us go about our business at school.  One day our teachers read us the story of "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything, " by Linda Williams.  She was not even afraid when                                                                                                                "two shoes ( clomp, clomp),                                                                                                                    one pair of pants (wiggle, wiggle),                                                                                                        one shirt (shake, shake),                                                                                                                              two gloves (clap, clap),                                                                                                                               one hat (nod, nod) and                                                                                                                          one scary pumpkin head (Boo, Boo) "                                                                                               followed her home.  She sent them all right out into the corn field where they happily spend their days scaring the the crows away!  I wonder if anyone will come to our Halloween parties dressed as a scarecrow?
Wiggle, Wiggle

Boo!  Boo!

Happy Halloween!
Mr. Scarecrow!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Our classrooms have been especially loud this week, by intention!  Making music was the theme and our students were very busy shaking things, tapping things, and strumming things.  Each child had an opportunity to create his/her own "Music Bag"  containing wood blocks and an egg shaker for making music wherever they go!  Music can be fast or slow, loud or soft, high or low and we tried all of these choices as we sang our songs and played our instruments.
Our music unit concluded with two talented guest making appearances at Pre School.  Troy Norton, a dad from our Yellow Class who plays in a band,  shared his talents with the afternoon classes.  Leslie Babb, one of Salem's talented musicians, spoke to the morning classes about her use of percussion instruments and the piano to make music.  Leslie's drums illustrated great examples of LOUD and soft, high and low, fast and slow.  Students were challenged to clap along with Leslie's rhythms.  Sometimes the sounds of the drums suggested moods or events like the thundering sound of the big base drum!  Students were given the opportunity to beat the base drum before leaving to return to their classrooms.  The size of the drum and the deep sound was very exciting.  We did a little singing too.  The old familiar tune, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,"  sounded quite different when we were accompanied by the piano and the bells!

We are so thankful when talented guests are willing to spend time teaching us!  We have learned that "music is everywhere!"

Sunday, October 7, 2012



Salem had two perfect days to spend at Aamodt's Apple Orchard this year!  The children motored out to the Stillwater orchard on a school bus, which was part of the fun!  Blue skies and rows and rows of apple trees greeted the children.  A wagon ride into the orchard allowed the them to see the apples on the trees and hear the story of how they grew.  Each child picked a apple before riding back to the big apple barn.  Here they saw how the cider press made apple juice.  They saw an apple ladder, designed for picking the apples without hurting the tree.  Since honey bees are an important part of growing apples, Aamodt's has a honey bee display with real bees, to demonstrate the role bees play in the growing process.  The apples were delicious and the warm, sunny day was perfect!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


It is already October and today feels like summer!  The temperature is near 80 degrees!  The nice weather has allowed our students to spend plenty of time outdoors at the park and picking carrots and pumpkins in our pre school garden.  We discovered that little animals like to eat our pumpkins.  They  chew big holes in them which means we can't use them for jack-o-lanterns, but we can easily see the many seeds inside the pumpkins.  Twelve pumpkins were not eaten yet.  They are being protected in the entryway of our church so we can use them for Halloween.  
The carrots that we picked were very tasty!  The ones we dug up were many different sizes and shapes.  They were all orange though.  The rest of the carrots will be dug up and eaten on Orange Day.  That's the day after Halloween, in case you have never celebrated it before.
Our zinnias are as big and beautiful as ever.  I guess the cool nights don't bother them.  What a beautiful sight they are on a crisp fall day.
Right now we are learning about apples and our four year olds will be going to Aamodt's Apple Orchard for a visit.  The next post will take you there!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


After a very hot summer, Pre School is back in session.  We just finished a week of meeting our students and their parents and I think we are going to have a very good year!
 The last time I blogged it was spring and our students and teachers were busy planting our garden.  With the hot weather we experienced in July and August I am so thankful for the families who volunteered to water and weed so faithfully.  Our zinnias are the star of the show in the garden.  They display their colors on tall sturdy stems and attract gorgeous butterflies.  The carrots are still hiding, waiting for the day we dig them up and have them for snack.  Tomatoes and peppers have been producing all summer.  The sunflowers, which were "volunteers"  from last year, were a bust.  Too bad!  We'll try again next year.  Last year's three year olds planted the pumpkins.  The vines are growing everywhere!!  Local animals have snacked on some of them but we will be able to harvest enough for our Halloween parties.  Fall is a harvest season and we will be experiencing the fun of gathering the fruits of our labor.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


     Our last days of school are so busy and exciting.  All of our classes had field trips last week.  The four year olds had a great time at Silverwood Park, one of the Three Rivers Parks areas.  It is located near Pre School on Silver Lake.  The theme  for the visit was "Prints in Nature."  The students looked for animal prints made by animals themselves and they made animal prints in their art sessions at Silverwood.  The weather was perfect for the field trips this year.  That made the day extra fun!
     The three year old classes took a trip to Como Park Zoo May 16th.  They rode over in a big orange school bus taking along any parents, grandparents or daycare providers who wanted to join them!  They spent a sunny day looking at a hungry giraffe, a lazy polar bear, a handsome orangutan and many other animals!  It was great!

     We also planted our garden last week.  School is almost over and there was work to be done!  The radishes and carrots have been in the ground for a while now.  We can see them coming up.  Many more seed were planted this past week including zinnias, pumpkins, marigolds, tomatoes, peppers, basil and corn.  School families are welcome to stop by this summer and check on the progress of the garden.  Next fall the students will harvest their flowers and produce!


     We were very fortunate to have the New Brighton police officers come to Pre School this past week.  This continues our effort to introduce our students to our community helpers who are there to help keep us safe at home and in our community.  Jen and Trevor came to remind us that they, and all of the police officers, in New Brighton and elsewhere, want to help us find our way if we are lost, help us if we are injured or sick, and keep the "bad guys" away from us.   They reminded us of safety rules such as not letting strangers into our houses and  never going anywhere with a stranger.  We talked about the rules to follow when we are crossing streets while walking or riding our bikes.
     All Pre Schoolers are interested in seeing all the stuff on a police officers belt.  Officer Trevor was nice enough to show us all of them; the flashlight, the club, the rubber gloves, and the place where his gun is kept.  (We could not see the gun.  That would not be safe!)  Last of all, we got to see the police car up close with all the lights flashing.  Those who wanted to could climb through the back seat of the car and look into the front seat where the police camera and computer are located.  It was so cool!
     Thank you, Jen and Officer Trevor!

Friday, May 11, 2012

     We have had a very busy week at Pre School.  Our goal was to talk about safety around fires, in the car, riding our bikes, in the water and so on.  We were very surprised to learn how much our students already knew about staying safe.  Thank you, parents, for teaching your children these important safety rules.  To reinforce some of these rules we had two community helpers come to school.
     The New Brighton firefighters came to school early in the week, bringing their boots, helmets, masks, jackets and fire truck!  Children were reminded not to touch matches and lighters.  If their clothes catch fire, STOP, DROP AND ROLL.  If they are in a burning house crawl low, under the smoke.  Always go to the firefighter in a fire!!  One of the firefighters put on all of his gear, including his oxygen mask to show the students how he looks during a fire.  It's a rather scary appearance.  Knowing this ahead of time, however, takes some of the fear out of the situation.  Before they left, the firefighters showed us their fire truck.  They opened all the doors so we could see the hoses, tanks, hatchets, fans and rescue equipment.  They even flashed the lights on the truck.  THANK YOU FOR COMING FIREFIGHTERS KIP, JERRY AND TREVOR!

     At the end of the week, Julie Philbrook, from HCMC came to school to talk to us about the importance of wearing seat belts and using car seats and booster seats in the car.  Sitting in the back seat is the safest place for children.  Ride quietly is important.  When you get out of the car, get out on the sidewalk side rather then the street side.  THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GOOD INFORMATION, JULIE!
     Next week we look forward to having the New Brighton police come to school.  All of these community helpers want to keep us safe and healthy all year around!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It seems like spring has been around for a long time this year. Grass, trees, bulbs and perennials turned our brown world into a kaleidoscope of color. Oh, how we want to plant seeds in our Pre School garden. The radishes will be the first to be planted in hopes of getting a crop of them to taste before school is out in May. Not all of our students are fond of radishes but they make great carriers for dip and we like dip. We need to be cautious though. March was unseasonably warm but cold nighttime temperatures have resurfaced in April. Peat pots are our back up plan for starting flowers and veggies. Our window space in room 5-6 has become a greenhouse area. Right now we have a Mother's Day surprise growing there. Water is add to the growing trays each day and the children check regularly to see if the plants are changing. The Mother's Day surprises are tiny now but soon they will be gorgeous. We have been learning about the rainforest this week. The sun and rain are plentiful there and all the plants are large and beautiful. That is proof that sun and water will make our garden grow too.
In a week or two our seeds for carrots, pumpkins, corn, zinnias and marigolds will be planted in our garden. Watering, weeding and watching will be on our daily agenda at school. We're hoping for a good harvest in the fall!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Easter

April is full of God's surprises. Just the fact that it comes in early spring sets us up for weather surprises. Will it be warm and sunny or will it be windy and snowy? Spring also brings changes in our outdoor world. Brown grass comes to life, baby animals are being born, tulips and daffodils appear in our gardens and trees burst with new leaves and flowers! As Easter approaches we talk about these spring changes. The grass, trees and gardens that seemed to be dead in the winter are suddenly bright and beautiful living plants. The bird eggs lying quietly in the nests wiggle and crack and out pops a chick. Brown, stiff cocoons open to reveal beautiful butterflies. If you think all of these things are wonderful, then just wait until you hear the Easter story! Because God loves us so much he sent his son, Jesus, to Earth to show us God's love through his actions and teachings. When Jesus died on the cross, as our sacrifice, God raised him from the dead and took Jesus to be with him in Heaven. There God prepares a place for us to be, also, when we leave this world! What good news! Pastor Patti came to our Pre School classes to share the Easter story with us last week. He gave each child a cross to take home to remind them of this wonder Easter message.
We are thankful for all of spring's surprises. They are reminders of the Easter story and the surprise Jesus' friends felt when they found Jesus' empty grave on Easter Sunday. We hope your Easter is full of surprises, too!