Why Do We Sing All Morning?

by Pam PIttenger, Turtle Class Teacher

At any moment in the morning in the Turtle class, you may hear music.  The music may be classical music, it may be music and movement (“Hurry, Hurry, Drive that Fire Truck”), or even silly (“A Hat on my Head, What Have I Here?”).  The music may be from a CD, sung by one or more of the adults, or sung by the whole class.  Songs give our children “anchors” throughout the morning as we use transition songs to describe what we are going to do next in our routines. Singing songs also allows us to share new and interesting ideas to think and ask about.

Using repetition, our Turtles learn new words, new ways to move their bodies, or new ways to play with songs.  We keep a small variety of instruments – drums and tubes, toy pianos, and the like – and other items to use in movement – scarves, ribbons, etc. – so that we can all participate!  Music is not just something being done “for” or “to” our Turtles, but something to which they react and respond.

We sing about the weather.  We sing about riding on the seesaw on the playground. We sing about swinging. We sing to allow children to stomp their feet or make loud pounding sounds with their hands.  We sing to allow children to move just their fingers or to move their whole bodies.

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Bucket Fillers

Bucket Fillers

by Kerrie Houseworth, Monkey Class Teacher

Many studies indicate that labeling students can have a detrimental effect on their self image, and, ultimately, their success.  While this is often true, the Monkey Class is reversing this negative potential.  Instead, we are using labels to identify positive behavior.

We are kind.  We are loving.

We are sensitive to the needs of others.

We are “Bucket Fillers”.

The Monkey class has always tried to focus on the behavior we want to see.  We just haven’t had a label for it.  This past year, after reading the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, and a short lesson on kindness, we decided to make a pledge that we will be Bucket Fillers.

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2016 Annual Art Show and Silent Auction


“Allowing Them to Grow and Thrive”
-Lynn Hess, Director

Earlier this week, I sent an email to our current families about The School of Grace Annual Art Show and Silent Auction. Soon after, I received this response from one of our parents:

“Thanks to you and the staff for all the hard work you have done and will do this week to make the Art Show a success.  It is one of my favorite events.  I vividly remember touring SoG with my oldest daughter when you were preparing for that year’s art show.  I left thinking, “I want my child to be part of this.”  I had not felt that way about any facility I had previously toured.  It was evident that this was about children and allowing them to grow and thrive in the most developmentally appropriate way possible.  Most facilities and programs I visited touted having Smartboards in their classrooms or teaching the entire Kinder curriculum to their students in the pre-k 4/5 year old class.  Those things did not impress me, either as a parent or an educator.  SoG did and I know I have given my girls the best possible start by sending them to you!  I can’t wait for May 1st when I can celebrate with my children.  They love sharing their work and the pride and excitement they feel is so evident.  A thousand thanks for the extra hours you all spend putting it all together.  It is very appreciated.  -Ann G.”

On Sunday, we will gather as a preschool family to celebrate children. Come join us at 12:15 for the reception. I am certain that you will see children who have been allowed to grow and thrive, whose creative ideas are encouraged and who are proud to share their work.

Lynn Hess, Director

Making Friends

By Erin S., parent and Board member

When preschool students really start establishing friendships it is such a magical journey to be apart of.  One of my favorite aspects of having a child at The School of Grace is watching my daughter’s friendships blossom and grow.  Being a part of a parent participatory school has allowed me to get to know the special kids my daughter talks about.  When she comes home and talks about a certain friend I feel like I already know that friend.   It gives me the chance to be involved in conversations and laugh along with the stories.  I feel like all the kids from school have a special place in my heart just as much as they do hers!  The days I get to spend with my daughter in the classroom cannot be replaced and are a truly unique, bonding experience.


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Palm Parade Surprise

By Brittany Notch, Tadpole Class (2/3 Year Olds) Teacher and parent of a child in the Monkey Class (3 ½-5 Year Olds)

Working with children between the ages of six months to five years, there are often surprises.  When we keep our eyes open to the wonders of God’s love, amazing surprises are revealed within our preschool.  We have an Easter tradition at The School of Grace, where friends, teachers and Helping Parents participate in a Palm Parade during Music Class, the week before Easter.  We hold our palm prawns (felt palm leaves) and instruments (typically jingle bells strung on pipe cleaners, which are easy for tiny hands and fingers to hold) as we wave our palm prawns, ring our bells and sing the first verse of “Jesus Loves Me” over and over.  Before we begin the song again, we pause and shout, “Hooray for JESUS!”


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