While some of the information I have shared below is geared to parents of both our 3-6 and Toddler Community, other information is more specific to just 3-6 parents. I have indicated with either a “0-6” or “3-6” what is applicable for your levels and I hope you find these tips helpful!
For children new to school, these first few days (often weeks) take time for children to adjust to all the “new-ness”: materials, routines/procedures, teachers, friends, recess spaces. You can help your child in this transition by helping them become familiar with the expectations. “You and I will walk to your locker and after you change into your house shoes, it will be time to say good-bye and then you will go into your classroom.” When possible, give opportunities for your child to make choices in the plan: “At your locker, before I leave, would you like to give hugs or kisses?… How many hugs, 3 or 4?” It is also helpful to give them a sense of when you (or another caretaker) will see them again: “You will work in your classroom, choosing different works. Then after recess, I will see you!” Or if they stay full day, you can add, “You will have lunch and nap in your classroom, then you will go to After-school. Daddy will pick you up from Afterschool!” Much of this conversation can happen on your way to school, as you help them anticipate their day.
It’s best to not prolong the separation process at the lockers, as children this age need clear expectations and they need the adults to help them set these limits. Once they get into this routine, it will become familiar to them and they will no longer challenge these limits. If you have to leave your child upset (as painful as it is to have them “torn away” from you, they are in the arms of caring and loving teachers), please come find me by the main doors and I will check on them for you after drop-off ends. I am also here to support you, as a fellow parent and administrator, in this transition process as a parent.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” – Unknown
The children in our 3-6 program go out for recess on most days, rain or shine from 11:30am-12:00pm. Please be sure to dress your children accordingly. Raincoats with hoods and rain-boots allow children to splash in the puddles on light, drizzly days. Umbrellas are not appropriate to stay at school, but are welcome to come and go with the parent/caretaker.
In colder months, children will typically get outdoors, but if the temperatures are quite low, the classrooms may shorten the play period. When the colder months arrive, snow-pants, snow-boots, mittens (with clips), neck-mufflers, and hats are great for snowy days as recess. Please have your child practice the sequence of putting these items on with as much independence as possible.
As you will see per our 3-6 Recess Schedule, classes rotate their play-spaces daily and monthly, among three locations and with the other 3-6 classes.
Should you have any gently used scooters, tricycles, or plazma cars you would like to donate to our Courtyard space, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
(0-6) Class Lists:
Via your My Back Pack account, you can access your child’s class list and contact information following these simple steps:
The below information is adapted from Amy and Annie’s recent blog post, as it is relevant for all 3-6 classrooms:
(0-6) No Toys Please
Please do not send your child to school with any toys. While familiar objects from home can offer some comfort as children transition into the classroom, we find that they can become an obstacle to their participation in the work of school. If your child shows interest in bringing a toy, you can offer a safe place for the toy at home or in the car and reassurance that it will be there for them after school. (Please note that if your child naps, he or she can bring one small stuffed animal that will stay on his or her cot).
Plan to leave a few pairs of extra clothes for your child to store in her or his locker. It is helpful to have your child’s name on the clothes.
We are always watching and celebrating signs and steps towards independence so providing a pair of house shoes that fit well and can be managed on their own are important for school. Please take the opportunity to show your child how to remove their outside shoes and put on their house shoes and then let them practice.
(0-6) Routine at the Locker/Cubbie
Establishing a daily routine at your child’s locker can help create an easy transition into school, and each arrival is an opportunity to practice self care. If you see that your child is seeking help when changing, remember to offer just the necessary help. Your words can help to guide your child. Offer your child real choices, for example, “Would you like to take your coat or your shoes off first?” Breaking potentially complex tasks down into manageable steps is so helpful for young children: “You can start by opening the velcro, and then pull your shoe off of your foot.” Situations that result in your child feeling that they are competent are cause for celebration: “You did it!”
Goodbyes can be difficult, but again, keep in mind that your child is capable of processing big feelings, and the more quickly they are able to move from the hallway and into the calm of the classroom, the better. The adults in the classroom will be near the door and available to help as needed.
Snack is prepared by the children and is available throughout the morning. Please note that all 3-6 classroom snacks must be peanut and tree nut free. Be sure to check labels when you are shopping for snack foods to be sure that they are safe for school. You can contact your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns.
If you pack items that need to stay cool before 12:10pm, consider including a reusable ice pack. Be sure to offer foods that are allergy aware. Please be sure to avoid sugary sweet and over processed foods, as well as containers that are difficult for small hands to open independently. Foods can be heated in the classroom microwave from time to time. Classrooms provide napkins, plates, cups, and cutlery, so all that your child will need to bring is a napkin ring to mark their place for lunch. Milk is available during lunch if you wish to purchase it through MyBackpack. Water is always available, and teachers encourage children to drink it often throughout the day.
If your child stays for a nap, please be sure to send a small blanket and one pillow to school on their first full day of school. A small “lovey” or stuffed animal is optional. You can talk with your child about which stuffed animal is a good choice to remain at school.
Children in their third year will visit the Farmessori, or have a visit from Farmer Joe (our urban farmer) twice a month. On the afternoons that “stay-uppers” travel to the farm, they will leave at 1:30pm and return to school by 3:00pm. Farmer Joe will often give lessons within the classroom during the colder weeks. You can reference the Farmessori Schedule here to help your child dress accordingly for these fun trips (good walking shoes are key)!
All School Information
Should you have any questions or would like more information, you are always welcome to email me.
Best, Reena (email@example.com)