Thursday, 1 December 2016

December Newsletter

  December 2016 Newsletter

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. Communication is the key for good relationships and our preschool community truly feels like one big family! Please continue to contact us at any time if there is anything that needs to be addressed, suggested or discussed.
Talking about communication, I will copy some interesting parenting/teaching articles about developing social skills and  “How to communicate with a child”. I personally find it sometimes very helpful to look at parenting views from different angles.

We celebrated St.Martin last month and the children enjoyed their lantern walk and brought light into the dark hallways by singing the German lantern song “Ich geh mit meiner Laterne”.
Our children had a blast at our hibernation day! This is one thing that I like about being a preschool teacher. Show me one other work place where you are allowed to show up in PJ’s!!  I am sure you heard our little bears snoring in their caves! We ate bear crackers and even gummy frogs, covered in brown pudding (frogs hide under mud) disappeared in our mouth! J

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

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 (Turkey).
(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 5th and Dec 6th. Please join us for traditional German “Christmas Punch”, cookies and a children’s’ performance for Nikolaus!!


This year Brevoort Park School will have an afternoon concert and an evening concert.

Evening Concert: 7:00 pm (Large Gym)

The concert STARTS at 7:00 p.m. We ask parents to bring their child to our classroom at 6:40 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 after the concert
We will take the children back to the classroom after our 5 minutes 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 afternoon concert and you want him/her to watch the evening concert, please let us know.

Afternoon Concert: 1:00 p.m. (Large Gym)

  • Even though it is not a regular class day for our students, we invite  MWF students to participate in the afternoon concert. 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.
  • At the afternoon concert, students will be able to watch the whole concert.
  • Parents/Grandparents that can’t make it to the evening concert are welcome to come to the afternoon concert.
  • I will send home a note and ask parents to RSVP to let us know if their child will be able to participate in the afternoon and/or evening concert.
  • There is no specific dress code for our preschoolers. The Christmas concert however, is a wonderful opportunity to dress up!!

REGISTRATION and OPEN HOUSE for 2017/18 School Year:January 17th 2017 @ 6:30  – 8:00 p.m.
Hansel & Gretel Preschool will hold its Open House and Registration Night for the 2017/18 school year on January 17thth 2017.

All of our current families will have the opportunity to pre-register! However, please consider registering for the MWF a.m. class as well as MWF p.m. class. We will have to accommodate the requests of ALL registering families.
Pre-registration for the 2016/17 School Year will begin on January 4th ! As of January 17th, registration will be open to the general public and we will take registrations on a first come first served basis.


Monday, Dec 5th                       St. Nikolaus Celebration (a.m. class)  10:30 -11:45 a.m.
                                                  St. Nikolaus Celebration  (p.m. class)  2: 00 - 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec 6th                        St. Nikolaus Celebration (T-Th class) 10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Thursday/Friday Dec 8/9           Scholastic Book Orders are due
Friday, Dec 9th                           All (sold/unsold) raffle books need to be returned!
Thursday, Dec 15th                    Christmas Concert @ 7:00 p.m. (drop off 6:40 p.m.)
                                                  (Optional) Afternoon concert @ 1:00 p.m. (drop off 12:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, Dec 21st                Last day of school before Christmas Break
Monday, January 4th                 Classes resume
Jan 4 – Jan 17                          Pre-Registration for 2017/18 School Year
Tuesday Jan 17th                       Registration Night for 2017/18 school year @ 6:30 – 8 p.m.        
Wednesday, Jan 18th                Brevoort Park Kindergarten Information Night @ 7:00 p.m.


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 our teachers, trying to come up with theme related lyrics that match up the familiar tune of nursery songs.
Many of our parents have told us that their children sing our German songs at home. Way to go!!  Here is another 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)

We wish you all the best during this busy time of the year. Whatever winter celebration your family celebrates, embrace it wholeheartedly! May the peace and joy of the season fill your hearts and homes!
Enjoy some special and joyous time with your wonderful children!

Uli Hecker, Larissa Lorenz
Susanne Pachal, Samina Roohi

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Optional Parent Teacher Interviews

Dear Parents,

It is amazing to see how all of our students have settled in and grown over the last few months, each of them in his/her own very individual way. 
We always appreciate feed back from parents and encourage you to always talk to or contact us if there is anything that you would like to discuss with us in regards to your child's progress.

Optional Parent Teacher Interviews: November 25th
On Friday, November 25th Brevoort Park School will be holding their Parent Teacher Interviews. Brevoort Park School will be closed.  (Preschool classes however will be running that day)

We are offering our families Parent Teacher Interviews during class time that day. There will be a list hanging in the hallway and you can sign up for a specific time.

If you would like to meet with us but can’t make it during class time, please let us know and we would be happy to arrange a date and time that works for you!

We are finally on Facebook!!
As some of you know, I am a digital dinosaur but thanks to Susanne Pachal, we now are on Facebook!! Please follow us and spread the word!!

Kind Regards,

Uli Hecker

Monday, 7 November 2016

Library Story time with Frau Hecker

Our very own Frau Hecker will be at the Mayfair Branch Library for story time on November 12, make sure to come!

November Newsletter


Dear Parents,                                                                                    
The last month seems to have flown by! Our preschoolers enjoyed many different fall activities. The students learned about Harvest and vegetables. Sticking their little hands in a pumpkin and scooping seeds out with their fingers turned into a memorable experience for many of our children. We read the book “The Runaway pumpkin” and some of our classes took pumpkins outside and watched them roll 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 who were able to join us for the fun trip.
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 the deep sleep.
Each class will study a variety of different animals (bears, birds, squirrels, frogs, ladybugs, etc.) and how they protect themselves from the cold.
We will wrap up our hibernation unit with our annual ‘Hibernation Day” and our classroom will turn into caves and shelter places for our little “bears”. You might hear a lot of snoring and roaring that day. Hibernation games like “sleeping quietly in your cave” are a perfect activity to practice lock down drills. During a School lock down drill the students are supposed to gather in the corner of our classroom and stay very quiet for about 5 minutes !
GERMAN St. MARTIN’S FEST  (Lantern Parade): Monday, November 7th
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 month. 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.
In the past, students have sometimes brought a grandparent, pet or new sibling for Show & Tell. Obviously they wont fit in our “mystery bag”.  In this case, just let us know when “Show & Tell” arrives. J We will also teach the children how to ask and answer simple questions in German. This is a great opportunity to expand their German vocabulary.
Show and Tell usually takes place at the end of class unless you wish to have your child’s show and tell at the beginning of his/her day. As always, all parents are welcome to join us for the last 10 minutes of the day.
We started teaching our students about letter formation last month. They love the song “Where do you start your letters” (at the top)! Our “letter bunny” has taught our kids that each letter is made of, either long lines, short lines or curves. It’s so funny to see how excited some of our children get when they discover and identify lines and curves in the letters of their names.
Monday 7            Scholastic Book Orders are due                           
                      St. Martin Lantern parade (last 15 minutes of class time)
Wednesday 9        Care partners (outside play)
                      Annual General Meeting @ 7p.m. (all parents are invited!)
Thursday 10         PD Day (no school)
Friday 11            Remembrance Day (no school)
Monday 14           S.T.A. Convention (no school)
Monday 28           Hibernation Day (come in your PJ’s and bring a blanket)

Monday 5      Nikolaus Visit and Celebration with families
                 am class:  10:40 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.
                 pm class:  2:00 p.m. –  3:15 p.m.

Thursday 15   Brevoort Park School Winter/Christmas Concert @ 7 p.m.
                 ( MWF students  will be performing that night.)
Due to different commitments/appointments there will be a few days this month that some of our staff members will have to fill in for each other. We are very excited that Ruth Skinner, who is on a personal leave, will be subbing on 2 days.

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

Uli Hecker