Monday, December 17, 2018

All About Kinsley

     Our "All About Me" presentations are rolling along beautifully.  Kinsley was so excited to share her poster! She beamed with pride and high self-esteem as she informed her classmates about herself. We are so proud of her tremendous growth and development this past year.
Here are some new things we learned about Kinsley:
Favorite color - red
Favorite animal - dogπŸ•
Favorite food - cookies πŸͺ
Favorite thing to do - hangout with Cody
Favorite place to visit - beach
When I grow up I want to be - a mommy πŸ‘©
If I had one wish I would wish for -  candy 🍬

     Kinsley was all smiles as she received the "Student of the Week" award! She was thrilled to show her big brother, Cody! We loved learning more about you Kinsley! 

     We had a fantastic time celebrating Miss Kinsely's 2nd birthday here at school! Friends enjoyed cupcakes and goody bag favors that Kinsley brought in to share with the class. The children gifted Kinsley with a birthday book and sang "Happy Birthday."  We simply adore Kinsley (our youngest student) and it is an absolute pleasure taking part in her education and care.  She is sweet, sassy and smart! We look forward to spending the next year with you and all the adventures it holds!

πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™

Happy Thanksgiving

     The season of thankfulness was experienced by all at SMART START! Students learned about the history of this holiday through an assortment of educational lessons, hands-on learning activities, outdoor play, arts and crafts and a delicious thanksgiving feast prepared by all!  We were honored to share in these celebrations with your child(ren). Come along on our festive journey!

  
     November is the time of year to be full of thanks, gratitude, appreciation and more! The children  happily posed with the November month sign with big smiles and open arms! 






     Our book display was full of vibrant fall colors and Thanksgiving dΓ©cor.  A variety of informative and imaginative books were available for our early readers.  During this season of thanks, we are particularly grateful to be learning and playing at our new school on Elm St.!


     Preschoolers enjoyed Thanksgiving materials both in our indoor and outdoor classrooms.  Independent and group story time opens the pathways to early reading as our students listen intently, learn new vocabulary, and acquire new information.


     
     Crafty artists created beautiful festive wreaths!  They worked diligently wrapping patterns with ribbon.  Miss Francesca assisted pupils with hot gluing colored leaves.  With style and ease, a quintessential autumn  wreath was designed and brought home to proudly display for the coming holiday.



     Thanksgiving enthusiasts had a lovely time engaging in pretend play using seasonal figurines while using the knowledge recently acquired during educational lessons.  




     Our young learners pulled up a chair and set their minds and hands to work.  Each received a string and an assortment of different colored and sized beads.  This activity was advantageous as it focused on fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, color recognition, sequencing, patterns and counting.  Upon completion, the children were thrilled at what they had designed. 




     Thanksgiving would not be complete without timeless Pilgrim and Indian attire.  Teachers assisted as pupils gathered around the table to construct a hat. Examples were placed in the middle to serve as visual aids to assist along with audible instruction. Foam pieces were assembled and glued. Stickers and glitter were added.   


          Hand and footprint projects are memorable keepsakes.  Thanksgiving called for the classic turkey! Miss Francesca assisted classmates as both hands and one foot were covered in paint.  They pressed each hand and foot down on white poster board to create the body and feathers. Once dry, an eye, yellow beak and colored ribbon were added for finishing touches. Crafts such as these stimulate a child's senses while providing them opportunity to visualize on an abstract level. 



    SMART START chefs worked passionately in the kitchen preparing apple pie for the Thanksgiving feast.  The children washed, peeled, chopped and seasoned many apples. They also took part in one of their favorite SMART START Thanksgiving traditions....making butter! Friends added whipping cream, a pinch of salt and a marble to a container before each took turns shaking and shaking. All are amazed each year at school when the liquid mixture forms into a mass of butter!





   




     The season of fall is host to leaves, leaves and more leaves! They serve as the ideal playing ground for active children.  Our young learners absolutely adored their time outdoors running and crunching through the crisp Autumn leaves.  Large piles were made and all jumped in, tossed up in the air again and again. A magical and lifting sensory experience!  





     The time finally came to host our traditional Thanksgiving feast!  A big thank you to all our families who generously volunteered to send in an item to share with the class. These items, in addition to our preparations at school, made for a delicious meal .The children looked adorable fashioning hats made. Manners were impeccable and all were quite proud to serve and pass around the different dishes to one another.
    



Click below for more Thanksgiving highlights at SMART START!





We are so thankful to take part not only in your child(s) education and care, but also to share holiday experiences with them.  As always, your kindness and support is recognized and appreciated!Related image 


 πŸ¦ƒ Mary and Francesca πŸ¦ƒ

Saturday, December 8, 2018

SMART START Holiday Workshop








SMART START Preschool Drop Off Holiday Workshop
Monday, December 17th from 9-11am for ages 2-5 years
Arts & crafts, baking, stories, and other activities
$25 snack included
Email Mary at contact@smartstartandover.com 






πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Happy Halloween

     Holidays are always a treat here at SMART START. Halloween is a time filled with pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, costumes, trick-or-treating and more. Come along on our Halloween journey here at school!


     October is here! Proud pupils held up the monthly banner while showcasing costumes.


     Halloween Happenings were in full effect at our book display!  Decorated tastefully with scarecrows,  jack-o-lanterns, spiders and more.. preschoolers pulled up a chair and enjoyed themed books!
     




     Miss Francesca sported Little Red Riding Hood while using the Big Bad Wolf puppet to assist her storytelling.  Our young learners sat wide eyed and listened intently to this rendition of the classic tale. In full Halloween spirit, the children wore costumes, too!


     
     Our library featured a wide assortment of Halloween books. Go Away Big Green Monster has always been a class favorite in years past and was joyfully welcomed back again! Our interactive pupils added the pieces to our green monster hand puppet as they quoted lines from the story. 



  

     Classmates gathered outside for a fun and spooky Halloween story with Miss Francesca.  All wore costumes and circled around the festive dΓ©cor. We are always grateful to learn in our outdoor classroom and for beautiful fall weather.


     
     

     With the help of our eager designers, we created a thrilling scene. Props included: hay bales, pumpkins, leaves, large spider webs and spiders. Jeepers creepers! Friends posed and played and looked as adorable as ever.  What a fa-BOO-lous job!




     Artists anticipated the bat pumpkin project. They followed a series of simple step-by-step directions to create a spectacular decoration!


  • Step 1 - paint pumpkins black πŸ–Œ
  • Step 2- cut white and black paper for teeth and wings ✀
  • Step 3 - attach teeth and wings once dry using glue πŸ¦‡
  • Step 4 - added glitter and eyes(used hot glue gun with teacher assistance) πŸ‘€
  • Step 5 - bring home and show family and friends 😁








     Fine motor skills, color identification and fun was had by all while peers colored in festive coloring books and engaged in conversations.



     The outdoor clubhouse is a delightful spot during any season to read and spend time with friends!


     SMART START had a SPOOK-tacular party!  The children fashioned many costumes. To name a few were: a unicorn, hotdog, fire engine, tinkerbell, squirrel, princesses etc. They paraded throughout our classrooms trick-or-treating and filling goody bags. We played a variety of games including outdoor ring toss, pin the stem on the jack-o-lantern and musical chairs! Halloween party-goers indulged in plenty of goodies! A special thank you to the students and families for bringing treats to share.








     Click below for more fun Halloween Fun at SMART START!







Hope you and your families had a fun and safe Halloween.  Thank you for allowing your child (ren) to participate in our festivities here at school!  Always a pleasure!


   πŸ’š Mary and Francesca πŸ’š

Sunday, October 21, 2018

All About Erica

     Let us introduce our next presenter in our "All About Me" series, Erica! She impressed us with her ability to speak with confidence and made excellent eye contact with her fellow peers. A natural!  We learned "All About Erica" as she shared her interesting tidbits with the group.  

Here are some things we learned about Erica:

Favorite color - purple
Favorite animal - piggy 🐷
Favorite food - pizza πŸ• and broccoli 
Favorite thing to do -  read books and be outsideπŸ“š 
Favorite place to visit - Maine πŸ–
When I grow up I want to be - a firefighter
If I had one wish I would wish for - talking to Santa

     Full of joy and excitement, Erica was the proud recipient of the "Student of the Week" award!  She happily showed off her award to classmates.  Thank you for letting us learn more about you during your "All About Me" presentation! 




     We had a stupendous time celebrating Erica's 3rd birthday here at school! SMART START friends enjoyed tasty cupcakes and goody favors brought in by Erica for her special day. The children presented Erica with a birthday book and sang "Happy Birthday!" Erica has a vibrant personality and is a kind, playful and smart young girl. We look forward to this upcoming year with you!  Cheers to 3 years!



πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Celebrating Zoe

     Zoe has been part of our SMART START family for the last year and half and we have truly enjoyed our time with her! With Zoe's 2nd birthday upon us, we asked Zoe to bring in something special for "Show and Tell."  The first item she chose to share was her tea party set and secondly, a Minnie Mouse ice cream car.  Zoe was excited to showcase her favorite toys and tell friends about them.  Wonderful job sharing!

     Zoe brought in one of her best-loved snacks to hand out to her friends for "Sharing Snack."  She proudly passed out graham crackers to her friends using the best of manners.  The children had a lovely time together munching on this crunchy snack and engaging in conversation. Thank you, Zoe!


     Happy 2nd Birthday, Zoe!  We had a magnificent time celebrating your special day here at SMART START and we hope you did, too!  Zoe brought in Mickey Mouse pizzelles as a delectable birthday treat, as well as Swedish Fish treat bags for friends to take home. Our SMART START happy helpers sang "Happy Birthday" to Zoe and presented her with a birthday book.  What a fantastic day celebrating, Miss Zoe!  You are a bright, inquisitive, kind and funny young girl.  We look forward to creating new memories at school with you!







πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Welcome Fall

Image result for welcome fall clipart banner     It's that time of year again here in New England...Fall! This is one of our favorite seasons here at SMART START as the air is beginning to feel cool and crisp, leaves are changing colors, festive activities are upon us and the smell of all things pumpkin and spice put a smile on our faces. Fall warms the hearts of our young learners and puts a spark into our back to school routine. Come along on our adventure! 
    
     

     

        Preschoolers had bushels of fun as they arranged an Autumn scene in our outdoor classroom! Flowers, pumpkins, haybales, apples and more! Our bunch was full of smiles on this fabulous day as they posed for adorable photos.  "1,2,3... APPLES PLEASE!"



     The great outdoors awaits us!  Our backyard is inviting and the children always look forward to learning and playing daily in nature. Miss Francesca read many Fall themed books to our attentive patch. They highly enjoyed the stories as they basked in the sun and breathed in the fresh Fall air.  When learning takes place in nature, students benefit tremendously as it:

  • activates thinking outside of the box
  • works on intrinsic motivation for learning
  • increases creativity
  • improves over health and well-being as well as social skills and behavior
  • provides extra sensory experiences
  • freedom to think and experiment
  • promotes teamwork 


     Fall enthusiasts hopped in our red wagon and relished in the joy of a hay ride.  With their muscles raring to go, the children took turns pulling each other around the backyard through our Fall scene.


     Here at SMART START, we have the best Fall clean-up crew in town! Our rakers set right to work immediately once leaves began falling. Aside from a pile of leaves to jump in, this added chore brings other benefits such as:

  • helps establish motor planning
  • working together to achieve goal
  • learning about the surrounding environment
  • promoting physical activity
  • learning about proper tool usage
  • establishing good habits, responsibility and routines


      Our older students had the special task of putting Fall flowers in the front yard.  They were proud and filled with school spirit as they placed the flowers.  A job well-done!  Thank you SMART START landscapers!



     Apple picking is a staple Fall family outing! While outside on a brisk morning, the children giggled as they shared past memories of such. They crunched and munched on delicious apples at snack time as we explained and taught about the nutritional benefits, many varieties and parts of Apples: stem, leaf, skin, flesh, core and seeds. They also learned a song about apples entitled, "The Apple Song". 



🍎 "Apple Song" 🍎
Tune: Have You Ever Seen A Lassie?

Have you ever seen an apple, an apple, an apple,
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?
A red one, a yellow one, a pink one, a green one.
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?



       

     The backyard Fall dΓ©cor was not complete without decorations for the play structure.  Our exterior designers were up for the task and displayed such teamwork! 



     Students cozied up at our book displays both inside and outside  Emergent readers read independently, as well as with younger peers.  We love hearing them discuss books by using picture cues...simply darling! Early reading in the classroom has many benefits such as:

  • offers a path for critical language and literacy development
  • increase in vocabulary
  • improves speech and cognitive skills
  • builds motivation, curiosity and memory
  • develop a positive association with books
  • enhances concentration, attention span and listening








  Time for dress-up!  The children looked adorable as they sported a dashing Fall patterned dress and bonnet, while others wore aprons to collect eggs from our chickens.  Happy Fall kids!




    
     Little fingers set to work as they peeled and pressed stickers onto cardboard pumpkins.  A simple and engaging activity to master fine motor skills!



     All students reported to the felt board for Math.  They placed various fabric pieces such as, leaves, apples, pumpkins and squirrels on the felt board.  Young learners worked together to count and create patterns. Group effort was in full force while confidence levels boosted! Their counting skills and sequence recognition is right on target!  



  
    SMART START chorus has been singing along to a class favorite, "I Like Autumn" during activities.  We often hear them singing or humming the tune during free play.  They have practiced quite a bit to learn and memorize the lyrics.  Follow the link by clicking "I Like Autumn" to sing along at home with your child.


     With plenty of hay leftover from our Fall dΓ©cor, energetic children grabbed it by the handfuls and threw into the air.  They ran, danced, jumped, laughed and sang as hay flew around and music played.  Fall is full of surprises!





      Talented artists circled around the activity table to create a Fall inspired project!  Each received a white paper plate with a cloth colored leaf, bonkers, glue, paintbrush and colored confetti. We will join the spectacular leaves together to form a gorgeous wreath!





     In addition, imaginative minds decorated large felt owls and leaves. Students used paint, sprinkled colored sand, added tissue paper and pops of color with fabric markers.







   



πŸ–Œ Arts and crafts are a priority in our curriculum. Here are reasons why: πŸ–Œ


  • encourages fine motor skills
  • neural development
  • problem-solving abilities
  • enhances learning in other subject areas such as reading, writing, math and science
  • expression of feelings
  • promotes creativity and happiness
  • FUN!

     Click below for more Fall Fun at SMART START!






🍁 Mary and Francesca  πŸ