Saturday, December 14, 2013

“The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas”
by Madeleine L’Engle

 I want to suggest reading a marvelous short story by Madeleine L’Engle, an award winning author.  It is a Christmas story to share with the family as you approach Christmas Day.
The Austin family lived in a time before computers, cell phones, and TVs.  Father was a doctor.  Mother stayed home caring for John, Vickie and Susan.  During advent the family planned a special activity for each day before Christmas.  It was a busy time.  Vickie was looking forward to being the angel in the Christmas pageant!  Mother was expecting a baby in early January and Vickie was concerned that the baby would come early and Mother wouldn’t be home for Christmas or the pageant!  When a huge snow storm arrived on Christmas Eve the pageant was cancelled, much to Vickie’s disappointment, but a wonderful surprise happened that filled Vickie’s heart with love!  Can you guess what it was? 
This is a story of Christian faith, family values and God’s love.  I hope you enjoy the book!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


This year our Halloween focus is on spiders.  Some people view spiders as spooky creatures that lurk in corners waiting for a chance to crawl up someone's leg.   Because of that reputation they make great Halloween characters.  Actually, most of them are very helpful.  They trap and eat many of the insects that are so annoying to us humans, mosquitos, gnats, flies, etc.  Spiders have eight legs and two body parts.  Some have as many as eight eyes!
 Try making this cute spider for a Halloween decoration.  Draw a spider web in the corner of a paper.  Paint your child's hand, except for the thumb, with black, washable tempra paint.  Print  a hand print on the paper, fingers facing left.  Repaint the hand and print a second time placing the palm on top of the original palm print with the four finger facing right this time.  Red pom-
poms make great eyes for your spider!  When dry, hang it on your refrigerator.  
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 21, 2013


In Minnesota, when November arrives, we start “nesting.”  We gather our harvest of veggies and  freeze them, can them or store them in our basements.  Knitters knit warm hats.  Quilters quilt blankets.  Handymen fix drafty windows and doors.  At school we read books about hibernation and snowmen.  But, hey, this is Minnesota so we celebrate it all!
November begins with a bang  for Preschool.  Dinosaurs will be researched by our children with the help of Maija Sedzielarz from the Science Museum of Minnesota.  Maija will bring us dinosaur artifacts to see and touch; bones, eggs, foot prints and more!  It’s a great way to learn.
We’ll finish the month focusing on food, harvest and Thanksgiving.  Although the Pilgrims’ lifestyle was very different from ours we have many things in common with them.  As Christians we thank God for his constant presence in our lives.  Our families, friends, food, and comforts of home are gifts from God that we are thankful for.   When we face difficult times in our lives we know God has not abandon us but that he is carrying us through our trials to a better day.  Giving thanks is something can we learn at an early age and practice all our lives!

Thursday, September 26, 2013



We are celebrating the coming of fall at Preschool this month!  With shorter days we will be watching as the trees “put on their dresses of red and gold, for summer is gone and the days grow cold.”  Harvesting our garden produce is on our schedule.  We hope to donate much of it to our local food shelf!
Apples, a yummy Minnesota fall fruit, will be the theme of our first week of October.  It is almost magical to watch as the bare trees of winter blossom with white and pink flowers. Then, with the help of the honey bees, apple trees produce juicy, red, yellow and green apples.  We will eat these apples and cook them!  The four year olds will even visit Aamodt’s Apple Orchard where they will pick an apple and visit the big apple barn!
Autumn is a season that brings many changes.  As the leaves fall and days get colder we know that winter is just around the corner.  We have cozy homes to snuggle into.  What do the woods animals do in the winter?  Who lives in the woods?  These are questions we will answer this month.
Trick-or-Treat!  October wouldn’t be complete without celebrating Halloween.  At Preschool we will don our costumes and party!  We have been growing pumpkins all summer and they are ready to carve into impressive jack-o-lanterns.  What a fun way to end the month! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Preschool is back in session and we are excited to be together in work and play!  Our classes begin on the 9th of September but our teachers have been preparing for several weeks.  The Preschool Garden is very productive right now in spite of our very slow start in the spring.  Many family volunteers have been taking care of it during the summer.  By the end of July we were beginning to harvest beets, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes which we have donated to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf.   By the end of August we had donated 35 pounds of produce.  Some of our flashy zinnias have found their way to the Reflections unit at Brightondale Assisted Living in New Brighton.  It is fun to be able to give back to our community!
We currently have openings in several of our classes.  We look forward to enrolling more students as the year goes along.  Why choose Salem Preschool?

  • We have been here serving the community for 42 years.
  •   All our teachers have 4 year college degrees in education.
  •   Our Beautiful outdoor area includes a preschool garden, large yard for playing, nature trails, park/playground, and sliding hills!
  •   Our large gym provides room to grow and play.
  •   Special guests, such as the policeman, firefighter, dentist, nurse and musicians, visit school each year to teach us about our community.
  •   Through service projects we learn to serve others.
  •   We will prepare your child for a positive experience in kindergarten.

For more information:


Saturday, July 13, 2013


Our whole family gathered at our cabin over the 4th of July weekend.  It's always fun when we can come up with an activity that everyone can do together.  This year my daughter and her boys had a patriotic t-shirt project that everyone really enjoyed and, in the end, we all had a souvenir to take home!
Although our shirts had a red, white and blue theme with stars and stripes, any theme would work.  If you have a birthday, family reunion, themed dinner, Bible School theme, or whatever, you can adapt this project to fit the occasion.   All you need is a t-shirt for each person, fabric paint, masking tape and, perhaps, some stickers that will leave negative shapes on the shirt when they are painted over and removed.  We used star stickers and letters on some of our shirts.

We began by using the masking tape to outline a "frame" for our pattern.  Some frames were square, some rectangular, some star shaped.  Next we added tape within the frame to create stripes or to divide off areas to put our star stickers in.  One person used letter stickers to add the initials of some family members.  Foam stickers come in many shapes.  You could be creative and include them on your own t-shirt  in various ways.

Next we painted our shirts.  We inserted a piece of paper under the front of our shirt so the paint wouldn't bleed through to the back of our shirt.  Using foam brushes, we painted between the stripes of tape and over the star stickers.  After the shirts were dry  we removes the masking tape and the star stickers.  Presto!  We had great 4th of July attire!

Everyone in the family had a great time designing and painting their t-shirts.  Only the one and a half year old didn't participate.  But we did make him a great shirt.

Choose and theme and try this project with your family or party!  I think you'll have a great time!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


A little rain is good for a garden! But we need some warm sun to really get our garden growing. The pumpkins are are the weeds. The beans are are the weeds. The beets are are the weeds. The marigolds are are the weeds. So far, the weeds are winning. : )

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Julie Philbrook, a safety educator from Hennepin County Medical Center, spoke to our students last week about the importance of wearing their bike helmets  EVERY time they ride their bikes this summer!  We are thankful for Julie's willingness to spend time with us.  Her message is so important for bikers of all ages!  Are all of you wearing your helmets?  We hope so!

Saturday, May 4, 2013


This past week we have been learning about our state of Minnesota.  We learned that it can be very snowy, even in May!!  But, it is a wonderful place to live.  The loon, the lady slipper, the agate, the blueberry and the Norway pine are a few of our state symbols.  Maybe we should have included the mosquito but it is not an official symbol yet.  At the end of the week we hosted Minnesota Twins Day! We all wore our Twins gear, made Twins banners and Homer Hankies.  Popcorn was the perfect snack and we played a little ball before going home.  Go Twins!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


       As the school year winds down we are beginning to make plans for our 2013-2014 school year.  Registration is going well but we could use more students in our four year old afternoon classes.  Recognizing that these classes are in the middle of the day, which could be a disadvantage, there are some real advantages to enrolling in these classes.  Consider these positives.  The tuition is less then for  threes days a week.  If you or your child like to sleep in or have a leisurely morning, the afternoon classes are for you!  The classes in the afternoon are smaller so the teacher/student ratio is better.  It is a good chance for you, parents, to have a little break in the day.  All of the curriculum taught in the morning classes is taught in the afternoon classes.  Have I convinced you yet?  If you would like to know more about our school visit our web site,  To register, email Pam Carlson at


Tomorrow is May Day and the weather man is predicting a cold rain/snow mix for the next few days.  We are busy caring for our seedlings in our classrooms, hoping we can get them into our pre school garden before school ends at the end of May.  I am posting two pictures of our garden from last summer.   Is there hope for a beautiful garden this year?  The children say, "YES!"

Friday, April 19, 2013


We have been very busy planting marigolds this month at Pre School.  We learned all about what plants need to grow, good soil, water and sun.  Our seedlings are coming up slowly but the sun and warm weather are not cooperating!  Luckily our plant have been willing to give growing a try in spite of the snowy spring!


It’s spring!  At Pre School we’re turning “inside out” so to speak. Warm weather means trading the indoors for the outdoors more often. Because we are going outside, at school and at home, it is important to review some health and safety tips this month.  The New Brighton police and fire departments will both be stopping by to talk to our students.  These community helpers are there to keep us safe and to help us if we are hurt, lost, or afraid.  Meeting them in person is a good way to recognize that they are our friends.  We never need to hide from them.  We also get an opportunity to see the police car and the fire truck up close, including all of the specialized tools they have for helping in dangerous situations.
Another visitor we have in May is Julie Philbrook, a safety educator from Hennepin County Medical Center.  This year Julie will be teaching us about the importance of wearing a bike helmet every time we are on our bikes.  That will be often now that the weather is nice!  This lesson is for bike riders of all ages!  We appreciate Julie’s willingness to come and talk to us this year.
We celebrate the end of the school year by getting out into our community.  The four year old classes will be spending a class session at Silverwood Park.  The park educators will be teaching about birds in general and owls in particular since there is an owl’s nest with baby owls right there in the park!  Can’t wait to see them!  The three year old classes will be taking a school bus to Como Park for a morning of fun with the animals there.  Both the bus ride and the zoo are exciting for the children!
We’re sad to have our school year end in May.  We will have a fun summer.  Some of our students will be back in the fall to harvest our garden and to learn and grow in our classrooms.  Others will be off to kindergarden.  Congratulations and best wishes to them!

Saturday, March 30, 2013



What!  No holiday this month?  No problem, we’ll focus on spring and all the changes that come along with the transition to a new season of the year.  This is the time of the year when we need to get our seeds planted.  It won’t be long before we will be surprising our mothers with little plants (hope the mom’s reading this will still be surprised in May) and planting seedlings in our outside garden.  Our windows become lined with trays of pots drinking up the April sunshine and warmth.  
April showers bring May flowers and we will be looking for them.  The earliest ones are usually the dandelions.  We love their cheery yellow faces.  We’ll be taking a walk around the pond south of Salem in April, too.  There are many plants and animals that call the pond their home.  Some of these animals can be heard before we can see them.  Other animals and plants need to be searched for.  The hunt is worth the surprise of finding them!  Baby birds are born in the spring and we hope to be on the lookout for many of our common Minnesota birds.  Building “nest helpers” at school and hanging them in our yards will help the birds get started with their families.
Tools and big machinery get busier then ever in the spring!  We don’t have to go farther then Highway 694 to see many different types doing what they do best!  Just think of how hard people had to work before they had tools and machines to make their work easier.  By the end of April we will be able to name many more tools and machines and recognize the work they do.
One of the new, big work sites for big machines in Minnesota will be the new Viking’s Stadium.  Go Vikings!  At the end of April we are going to learn lots of facts about our state, Minnesota, including, but not limited to, the name of our football team!  Ask our students to name our state bird, state tree, state capital or which season of the year is their favorite.  M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A, Minnesota, Minnesota, Minnesota.  Yeahhhhh, Gophers!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

We love Valentine's Day at Salem Pre School.  Our beautifully decorated bags stand in the hallway on party day waiting to collect the cards our friends will bring to us.  Party day gives us a chance to wear those cute headbands with bouncy hearts on top or our teeshirts with red and pink Valentines.  Games, stories about love and kindness, special snacks and music make our day at school a special one.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


It has been said that a child's play is his work.  We see this all the time at Pre School and it is the reason we encourage the children to take part in the games, puzzles, art and music at school.  These two pictures are sweet examples of the way fun can equal work (learning.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013



February is such a busy month I don’t know where to begin.  Valentine’s Day comes mid month but it takes us the first two weeks of February to prepare for it.  We have to learn about the mail carrier and the post office first.  Then we make lovely Valentine projects for our “loved ones.”  One of our art projects gets mailed to ourselves so we can prove that the post office really works!  
With Presidents’ Day celebrated on the 18th, Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th and Washington’s birthday on the 22nd, this is the best time of the year to learn a little about our country.  We’ll examine our flag and other important symbols of our country.  Facts about George Washington,  Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama are good to know.  How many states are there in the United States and which state do we live in?  These many sound like easy facts but we start here and build on them as we go. 
On February 21st the three year old classes, known as the Orange and Green Classes, present an evening program for friends and family.  They will be singing some favorite songs and doing some of their musical activities and finger plays.  There is nothing cuter then these three year olds!  Anyone interested is invited to come along.  The program starts at 7:00 p.m.
Parent-Teacher Conferences  fill most of the last week of February.  We teachers enjoy having this chance to visit with parents and evaluate the year.  Thursday and Friday of that week are not so serious.  These are our PAJAMA DAYS!!  Everyone waits all year for these fun times.  Of course, we all wear our pajamas to school.  It’s the Pre School version of casual Friday.  We read stories with our blankies and bedtime pals and we feast on cereal and juice at snack time.  It’s a grand way to end the month!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

January Events

Salem Pre School News, January 2013

We are hoping for snow this January so we can get outside to do some sliding and snowman building!  Keep an eye on the church backyard for evidence of our fun!
January is the month for registering for our 2013-2014 classes.  See the information below if you are interested in registering.  Flyers are also available in the kiosk in the Narthex.

January 24 and 26, 2013

January 24 Salem Gym 9-!0:30 Current families, alumni and Salem members

JANUARY 26, 2013

January 26 Pre School Classrooms 10:00-Noon New Families.  Bring your children to see our school!

4 yr. olds Mon., Wed., Fri. a.m. $143
4 yr. olds Mon., Tues., Thurs., a.m. $143
4 yr. olds Tues., Thurs. p.m. $95
4 yr. olds Tues., Thurs. p.m. $95

3 yr. olds Tues., Thurs. a.m. $95
3 yr. olds Wed., Fri. a.m. $95

10% discount for Salem members and families with 2 or more children enrolled.