Wednesday, 2 December 2015

December Newsletter

December 2015 Newsletter
Dear Parents,
We are approaching the end of the year, and I cannot believe how quickly time flies. Have you realized how much all of our children have grown over the last few months? As much as we enjoy watching them grow I have moments when I wish they could just stay little forever.
Parent teacher Interviews
Thank you to all the parents who were able to come to our Parent Teacher Interviews. It was great to connect and celebrate all the wonderful things your child contributes to our class. Meeting with our parents has truly helped us to feel a stronger bond with our families. Please continue to contact us at any time if there is anything that needs to be addressed, suggested or discussed.
Our children had a blast at our hibernation day! Did you hear our little bears snoring in their caves? How can you explore “hibernation” with all your senses? You cover a gummy frog with pudding, blue jello and whipped cream. Then you take a spoon and eat the mud, the frog, the pond water and feel the snow melt in your mouth.
December will be a relatively short month, and we will focus on activities that will evolve around winter and the Holiday Season. The visit of St. Nikolaus/ Nicolas will be one of the highlights of our theme for season. I am certain the children will remember him and the German tradition of filling children’s boots with fruit and chocolate. Speaking of cultural traditions, we always encourage families to share their own individual cultural traditions with us. Please feel to contact me if your family is celebrating a special holiday, that you would like to share with us. J
ST. NIKOLAUS (historical background)
Some of you might not be aware that the so well loved Santa Claus in North America was actually derived from St. Nikolaus of Myra.
(In order to avoid confusion between the two characters we have decided to not tell our little ones about the historical background of St. Nikolaus. We are just introducing the cultural tradition of filling the boots as celebrated in Germany.)
The legend goes back to the third century and took place in Myra, a small village in Turkey. A young man, named Nikolaus, who grew up in a wealthy family was famous for helping poor families and especially children. He was also concerned for the safety of sailors and ships. He became a bishop later in his life, and after his death was named a saint. Nikolaus died on December 6th in AD 343. People in Germany (and other countries in the world) celebrate St. Nikolaus on the night of Dec 5th/6th. Every year, children put their boots on the front step, hoping that St. Nikolaus will come that night and fill them with fruit and treats.
We are looking forward to celebrating this cultural event with our children and families on Dec 3rd and Dec 4th. Please join us for traditional German “Christmas Punch”, cookies and a childrens’ performance for Nikolaus!!

Brevoort Park Winter/Christmas Concert: Thursday Dec 10th @ 7.oo p.m.  

Drop off time: 6:30 p.m.
The concert STARTS at 7:00 p.m. We ask parents to bring their child to our classroom at 6:30 p.m. This will allow us to get them ready for the stage. There will be many families attending the concert and our little ones will be performing first, so please be on time!
Pick up
We will take the children back to the classroom after our 5 minute performance.

  • If you are planning to leave after your child’s performance, please stand by the wall instead of taking seats, out of courtesy for the other audience. 
  • Children can stay and play in our classroom until the end of the concert. 
  • If your child has not seen the show at the rehearsal and you want him/her to watch the rest of the concert, please let us know and we will find a way to “sneak them back in”.

Dress Rehearsal: Thursday, Dec 10th @ 9:30 a.m.
An optional dress rehearsal for the Brevoort Christmas Concert is on Thursday, Dec 10 at 9:30 a.m.
·      All T-Th students will be participating in the rehearsal as it will be during their regular class time.
·      MWF parents may bring their child (only) for the rehearsal. This is also a great opportunity for students to see the whole show. At the evening concert, children will be in the large gym (on the stage) only for their performance part and then go back to their classroom.
·         Parents are welcome to stay and watch the rehearsal.
·         If you have a M/W/F student and want him/her to participate for the rehearsal in the morning, please let us know by December 4th!
·      There is no specific dress code for our preschoolers. The rehearsal and the concert however, are a wonderful opportunity to dress up!!
REGISTRATION and OPEN HOUSE for 2016/17 School Year:
January 25th 2016 @ 6:30 p.m. –  8:00 p.m.
Hansel & Gretel Preschool will hold its Open House on Monday, January 25th 2016. This will also be the day when Registration for the fall will start. Last year, some of our classes filled up on the day of our Open House. We ask all current families, that want to enrol their child (or sibling), to pre-register with us, so we can  save you a spot in our 2016-17 M-W-F class.
Pre-registration for the 2016/17 School Year will begin on January 5th! As of January 25th registration will be open to the general public and we will take registrations on a first come first served basis.
Thursday/Friday, Dec 3/4:      Scholastic Book Orders are due
                                                Picture orders due
Thursday, Dec 3rd:                  St. Nikolaus Celebration  10:40 -11:40 a.m.
Friday, Dec 4th:                       St. Nikolaus Celebration  10:40 - 11:40 a.m.
                                               St. Nikolaus Celebration   2:15 - 3:15 p.m.
Thursday, Dec 10th          9:30 a.m. Dress Rehearsal 9:30 a.m. (MWF students optional)
Thursday, Dec 10th         Christmas Concert @ 7:00 p.m. (drop off 6:30p.m.)
Friday, Dec 18th              Last day of school before Christmas Break
Monday, January 4th       Classes resume
Monday January 25th 2016/17 School Year Registration and Open House for new     families 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
German Songs and Rhymes
We have learned a number of English and German songs and rhymes in the past couple months. Many of the German songs that we learn have the tune of an English nursery rhyme/song. Most of these songs are made up by us teachers,  trying  to come up with theme related lyrics that match up the familiar tune of nursery songs.
It was very rewarding to hear that many of our students sing German songs at home. Way to go!!  Here is one song that we will sing this month:
WINTER IST HIER  (tune “Frere Jacques”)
Winter ist hier! Winter ist hier!            (winter is here)
Schau dich um! Schau dich um!              (look around)
Schneeflocken fallen                             (snowflakes are falling)
Schneebaelle fliegen                             (snowballs are flying)
Eins – Zwei – Drei                                  (one-two-three)
Here are some winter words that you might want to use at home as well:
Jacke – yak’uh (jacket), Muetze-Mutzah (touque), Schal-shaal (scarf), Handschuh-hand’shoe/heh (mitten/s), Schuhe-shoe/’heh (shoe/s)

Check your indoor shoes
We noticed that some of our student’s indoor shoes are getting too small. Please check periodically if their shoes still fit their growing feet.

Frau Hecker will be gone from December 15 -23. Her last day of teaching will be Monday, Dec 14.
Frau Skinner will be filling in for Frau Hecker. The last day of school will be Friday, Dec 18th.
If you need to contact Frau Skinner during that week, please call (306) 292-6335 or email

We wish you all a happy holiday season filled with family and friends. Enjoy your kids as they grow up so fast!!!!

Merry Christmas!                        Frohe Weihnachten!
Happy New Year                          Gutes Neues Jahr!

Uli Hecker, Ruth Skinner
Susanne Pachal, Samina Roohi

Monday, 30 November 2015

Open House at Hansel and Gretel Preschool!

Please put this date in your calendar!

Open House and Registration for 2015/2016: January 25th, 2016, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

November Newsletter


Dear Parents,                                                                                    
The last month seems to have flown by! Our pre-schoolers enjoyed many different fall activities. The students learned about Harvest and vegetables. Sticking their little hands in a pumpkin and scooping seeds with their fingers turned into a memorable experience for many of our children. We read the book “The Runaway pumpkin” and took pumpkins outside and watched them rolling down the hill. Did you hear our “little geese” honking on their way back to the boot room? We were pretending to fly away and migrate to warmer places.    
The highlight was our field trip to the Dutch Growers Hay maze. All of our little goblins found their way out of the maze! Way to go! Thank you to all parents/grand parents who were able to join us for that fun trip.
Hopefully we will have a few more mild days and cooperating weather temperatures that allow us to play outside and explore the season. Your child might need mittens and a hat/toque from now on. Please make sure that you label all these items in order to avoid mix-ups.  
As a continuation part of our Fall unit, the children will learn about how different animals prepare for the winter and adapt to the cold. We will start off by talking about what happens to animals’ bodies when they hibernate and go into this deep sleep.
Each class will study a variety of different animals (bears, birds, squirrels, frogs, etc.) and how they protect themselves from the cold. In case you wonder when your child comes home and tells you  “frogs protect themselves by covering up with pudding”; as an hands on experiment we will cover gummy frogs with chocolate pudding (symbolizing mud) as a demonstration for hibernation. Unfortunately those gummy frogs won’t survive, as they will be eaten by pre-schooler ‘predators’. J
We will wrap up our hibernation unit with a ‘Hibernation Day” and our classroom will turn into caves and shelter places for our stuffed animals. You might hear a lot of snoring and roaring that day.
·         Come in your PJ’s
·         Bring your teddy bear (or stuffy)
·         Bring a blanket
GERMAN St. MARTIN’S FEST  (Lantern Parade)
Every year our preschool will celebrate St. Martin’s Day. Children will learn about the St.Martin legend and we invite you to join us for a lantern parade through the hallways at the end of class that day. There will be a poster hanging in the hallway with more information about this traditional holiday that many people in Germany and other countries in Europe celebrate in November.
Show & Tell will start this week. Every day one child will get the opportunity to share/introduce a special item to our class. It could be a toy, a nature item, a picture etc.  Please check your monthly event calendar for your child’s assigned date.
Parents from each class have volunteered to make a Show & tell “Mystery Bag”. The bag will go home with your child the day before, and they bring their item in the bag the next school day. The children will ask the show & tell student questions to try to figure out what the show & tell item is. Your child will then share about his item when it is finally revealed. In the past, students have sometimes brought a grand parent, pet or new sibling for Show & tell. Obviously they wont fit in the bag! In this case you can let us know when “Show & Tell” arrives and the classroom will take the place of your mystery bag for the ‘the big reveal’! The kids can ask questions and then …ta dah!
We will also teach the children how to ask and answer certain questions in German. This is a great opportunity to expand their German vocabulary. Show and Tell will usually take place at the end of class. As always, all parents are welcome to join us for the last 10 minutes of class time. 
5/6         Scholastic book order are due                                                                       
9            St. Martin Lantern parade (MWF class)
11           Remembrance Day, no school
12           PD Day, no school
13           STA Convention, no school
19           St. Martin Lantern Parade (Tue-Thu class)
23/24       Picture Day
26/27       “Hibernation Day”, come in your PJ’s and bring your teddy bear
30            Annual General Meeting @ 7p.m. (all parents are invited!!)
Thu 3       Nikolaus Visit/Celebration with families 10:40 – 11:40 p.m.
Fri 4        am class: Nikolaus/Visit Celebration with families 10:40 – 11:40 a.m.
Fri 4        pm class: Nikolaus/Visit celebration with families 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Thu 10     Brevoort Park School Winter/Christmas Concert @ 7 p.m.
             (Our preschool classes will be performing that night.)

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Uli Hecker, Ruth Skinner       
Susanne Pachal, Samina Roohi

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

October Newsletter


Dear Parents,                                                                  
What a great first month of preschool we have had! We were lucky enough to go outside most days and explore the changing of the season; gathering leaves, listening to the wind and the sound of crunching leaves. Our children also learned that using our senses allows us to see, feel, hear and even smell fall. Many of you have heard us singing our song “Herbst ist hier” at the park. We will keep an eye out for geese flying in a V shape, and leaving for warmer places.
We practiced fire drills last month, and last week one of our classes was present when Brevoort Park School had their first “Lockdown drill”. This is when the doors lock, the blinds close and we quietly hide in a corner and pretend to be “bears that are going into hibernation and sleep”.
If you have any specific questions in regarding Fire Drill/Lockdowns/Shelter in Place/ Evacuation of School policies, please contact us. Our preschool follows the Brevoort Park School emergency guidelines.
Last month we read the book How To Fill a Bucket with our students.  It is so rewarding to see our children filling buckets every day by using their gentle hands, using kind words, sharing and taking turns. If we catch them “scooping” instead of filling their friend's buckets, we provide them with tools and teach them how to “refill a bucket”.  Reflecting on our own behaviour or choices, and saying  “sorry” can sometimes go a long way! J
We took pictures of our students during playtime as they were sharing, taking turns, picking up toys, inviting each other to play and having fun together. We are working on making our own “Fill a Bucket Book” and the pictures will be displayed in our classroom.
We are still waiting for a few family pictures to add to our “The Kissing Hand” picture book. If you have not provided us with a family picture yet, please bring it to class ASAP.
Many of our October activities will revolve around “Harvest”. Our students will learn about different seasonal vegetables. The children will cut open pumpkins and look at the inside; counting seeds and getting their hands sticky. Many of our centre activities will include counting, sorting and classifying different fall items. Thanksgiving Holiday is coming up this weekend and we will take the opportunity to think about what we are all thankful for.
All of our classes will be going on a chartered field trip to Dutch Growers Greenhouse Hay Maze.
Thank you to all the parents who have already signed up to volunteer that day. 
T-Th class: Thursday, October 29th
The bus will be leaving at 9:10 a.m. and we will be back at 11:00a.m.
M-W- F a.m. class: Friday October 30th
The bus will be leaving at 9:10 a.m. and we will be back at the school at 11 a.m.
M-W-F p.m. class: Friday October 30th
(We are still looking for 4 more parent helpers!)
The bus will be leaving at 12: 35 p.m. and we will be back at 2:30 p.m.
·      Children will be dismissed at their regular end of class time. Please inform your teacher if you are taking/picking up your child earlier (e.g. after the actual field trip) that day.
·      Instead of a ‘Halloween Party’ in the classroom, we invite children to wear their favourite costume on our field trip. We can’t wait to watch our little goblins running through the maze.
·      Snacks will be provided on our field trip day. However, if you would like to bring a special snack to share with our class, please let us know.
We will introduce our students to the letters of the alphabet throughout the year. The most exciting activity for each child is to identify the letters of their own name. Many of the children already recognize some letters in their name, and often choose to sit on the first letter of their name on our circle/centre carpet.
The children will explore letters through many hands on activities that will support letter formation, and letter sounds.  Our letter bunny will pull wooden lines and curves out of his magic hat which he will use to form letters!  We also have a variety of songs that make learning about letters really fun.
·           Thank you for taking your child to the bathroom before class starts. We have had way more playtime and less bathroom traffic lately.
·           Thank you for teaching your child how to get dressed. We see many of your children trying really hard to do it “all by myself”. 
·           Thank you for always checking your mailbox after class.
·           Thank you for taking off your (and your child’s) wet footwear when you walk inside the building.
·           Thank you to Gretchen Peterson, Jessamy Foulds and Jennifer Sherman for creating a class directory for the parents.
Parents are always welcome to come and be part of our preschool! You may stay for circle time or other parts of the day. Please let us know if you are interested in joining us on a specific day.
Parents and/or the designated pick up person of the day are invited to join us for the last 10 minutes of class at the end of a preschool day. That is when our children will be sitting on the carpet for our last circle time. You will get to listen to a story and watch us dancing, singing or reflecting on what we have explored and learned that day.
DATES TO REMEMBER (please mark on your own calendar!!!!)
Friday Oct 9                                      PD Day ( no class)
Monday Oct 12                                  Thanksgiving Day Holiday (no class)
Wed/ Thurs Oct. 14/15                     Scholastic Book Orders are due
Thursday Oct 29                               Field Trip to Dutch Growers Hay Maze*
Friday Oct 30                                    Field Trip to Dutch Growers Hay Maze*
(*We need 6 parent helpers/chaperones for each class!! There is a sign up list hanging in the hallway.)
Wed Nov 11                                       Remembrance Day (no school)   
Thu/Fri, Nov 12/13                           no school                 
Mon Nov 23, Tue Nov 24                  Picture Day

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Uli Hecker, Ruth Skinner       
Susanne Pachal, Samina Roohi