It is beautiful to watch your children, over the years, grow and change in so many ways. Kindness to each other and to everyone is the overarching theme at Timson Hill Preschool. Each and everyday your children illustrate beautiful acts of kindness. Sometimes we see a child spontaneously help another child, … maybe by helping a friend get into a new dress from the fantasy area, by sharing the last cracker at snack, by asking someone to play, or simply by giving a friend a smile. Making connections, expressing feelings, advocating needs and wants, and learning how to problem solve are some of the skills the staff teaches through play, and children and teacher directed activities.
We started the year forming our community and exploring the life cycle of the butterfly. Afterwards we delved into different themes such as “doctors and nurses”, “thankfulness”, “seeing the good in everyone”, “what animals do in winter“, “the sea”, “maple sugaring”, “diversity”, and “living and nonliving things”. Some of the highlights of the year were finding the huge gingerbread cookie that somehow left the stove and hid from us, wading in an indoor pool at Timson Hill, looking for frogs in the pond, and learning about chicks as we watched them hatch in the incubator.
We enjoyed the outdoors by climbing, swinging, and running on our playground, taking hikes, walking through the neighborhood, sliding down the hill beyond the pond, picking dandelions in the field, and investigating bugs and other living things. We used the sense of touch, sight, sound, and smell to discover and learn about our surroundings. We sang, danced, and created art everyday. We explored different authors such as Jan Brett and Dr. Seuss, and read many non-fiction and fiction books related to our themes and other fun books.
Teaching Strategies Gold Domains, such as language development, cognitive development, gross and fine motor skills, math skills, literacy skills, and social/emotional development, are embedded into all aspects of Timson Hill’s themes, activities, and learning centers. Sometimes a child can be learning in many of the domains simultaneously while playing in one area. Children organically gravitate to the things that they feel compelled to explore. Sometimes a child might be practicing fine motor skills while learning to recognize and write the ABC’s, and sometimes a child might be learning how to share with a friend as they build with blocks together and learn about patterns, spatial relationships, persistence, abstraction, creativity, and much more. Even during lunch, the children are learning social skills while practicing their language development and some literacy skills (rhyming and sound to letter connections). This allows children to trust their inner resources and develop at their own pace. At this young age, they are empowered through play to trust themselves and to initiate their own learning. Play is children’s work, and through their curiosity and discovery, they become passionate and excited about life.
To support our program, we had many visitors this year. Becky Graber taught music and shared stories. Richard Watkins, the game warden, brought animal pelts and taught us about Vermont prey and predators. Liam Doak’s grandma, Nolan’s grandma, and Kalia’s grandparents and great grandmother made special visits. Ellenka, Saza’s mother, shared her knowledge of different types of squash, and Dan, Cypress’ dad, and Erika, Ulla’s mom, shared their knowledge of the medical world. Sueno, the Bookmobile teacher, came every other week, even through the winter to share her love of books.
We had three family potlucks throughout the year. We visited Green Mountain Orchards to go apple picking, Green Valley Farm to go maple sugaring, and The Retreat Farm to pet the animals. We had a Halloween family parade and party, Spaghetti and Literacy Open House for all families, a Stone Soup Family Lunch, Valentine’s Day Family Party, and Family Pancake Breakfast. We participated in the Williamsville Talent Show by singing two songs with special thanks to Addison, Grant, Maisie, and Jasper.
Timson Hill held three events in April, the Month of the Child. Steve Leicach shared his world music at our preschool, and then there were two community art shows, one at the Newfane Moore Free and the other at the River Garden in Brattleboro.
In addition, Timson Hill had two fundraisers and a community event this past year: The Bulb Fundraiser, The Rabbit Run, and The Timson Hill Spring Festival. Thank you to the parents for participating in these events, doing their parent jobs, supplying delicious snacks, cleaning our school, and driving on our class trips. Special thank you to Lindsey and Dave for always driving over the past two years! And a very special thank you to Tammy Richards for spearheading and organizing the Rabbit Run!!
Thank you to our board members, Erika Goldstein, Brin Tucker, Pat Halloran, and Johanna Liskowsky-Doak. Every month the board meets to review the entire program to make sure the entire program runs smoothly. The board will be meeting Thursday, June 23rd, at 4:45, to discuss program goals for next year. All parents are always welcome to attend. (Starting in 2016-17, the board decided that Timson Hill will now be hiring a cleaner every other weekend to clean our school rather then having the parents clean on the weekends. Yay!!)
I want to express my deep gratitude to our staff Robin, Joy, Kristina, and Marie for their wonderful teaching and dedication to Timson Hill Preschool. Joy will not be teaching next year at Timson Hill, …we are sad, but wish her luck always.
We are one family at Timson Hill Preschool. We hope we have met your needs and wish everyone exciting new beginnings. Good luck to the soon-to-be kindergartners, Grant, Nolan, Addison, McKinely, Ophelia, and Solana!
And thank you to Addison, Cypress, Grant, Jasper, Jeddon, Kalia, Kaylin, Liam D, Liam S, Maisie, Mckinley, Melia, Nolan, Ophelia, Quinn, Saza, Solana, and Ulla for always bringing joy and light into our hearts!
Thank you for a great year!!
Have a peaceful, playful, and blissful summer.
Kathie, Robin, Joy, Kristina, and Marie