Tuesday, 16 March 2021

March/April Newsletter

It has been exactly one year since schools were closed because of COVID, and we were all sent home, not knowing what the near future would hold for us. The world has greatly changed since and COVID seems to have ruled our lives. The more I am profoundly grateful that we were able to reopen and teach in person again last fall. I feel so blessed that we are able to provide a safe space for your children to play, learn and grow together. This experience is so important and fundamental, especially for their social and emotional development. I am now waiting for the time that we will all be able to see each other’s faces again.  Our students and teachers enjoy snack time just as much as playtime because that is when we all get a mask break and can chat “uncovered”. We love listening to the chatter and happy giggles around the table.

SPRING ACTIVITIES MARCH and APRIL

Although there still is lots of snow on the ground, we have decided to welcome spring! This means that for the upcoming weeks most activities will evolve around SPRING related topics. 

We are so excited that from now on, learning through exploration will take place outside again. The children have already started looking and digging for earth worms, and lady bugs and checked the sky for returning geese.

PLANTING

During March/April your child will get immersed in some fun science activities as we will turn the classic storybook “Jack and The Beanstalk” to life. The students will get to watch a lima bean growing in a jar, plant their own grass potato head and dissect flowers.


In this context, I will teach our classes new German vocabulary. We are starting with naming fruit and vegetables in German. Your child will bring home a list of new words. It might be fun to hang that list on your fridge. You can practice these words together as a family. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle)

This children’s book is a perfect way to combine literacy with our unit topic as it talks about a hungry caterpillar that nibbles her way through all kinds of fruits and sweets before it decides to make its chrysalis and turn into a butterfly.

Another funny book that will make your child laugh and giggle is “Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas”.

BABY ANIMALS

Spring is the season when many baby animals are born. Baby animals will be our topic in April, and we will also introduce and explore different life cycles of different insects.

KINDERGARTEN READINESS

Several of our students will start Kindergarten this Fall. To prepare your child for this next chapter we will provide students with many activities that focus on letter recognition, and pre-printing skills.  This includes helping your child with proper pencil grip and letter formation.  We noticed that the majority of the 4/5 year old’s already recognize most letters of the alphabet and numbers from 1-10.  Way to go!!

As many preschools across North America, we follow the program “Get Set for School”, that has won two of the most prestigious national education awards.  It uses music, multi-sensory learning material and provides many hands-on tools that help children to develop the basic academic skills they need to be ready for Kindergarten.

I will send home a parent hand out that shows you how you can support your child at home including strengthening their fine motor muscles and to ease the transition into Kindergarten.

I would like to point out that with our younger children (3 year old’s), we mostly focus on playful introduction of letter recognition and NOT on printing skills. Developing and improving fine motor skills comes first as it is the foundation for proper printing (Pinterest has great ideas for fine motor activities for children).

“CONNECTING DOTS” versus “TRACING LETTERS”  

Latest research of Early Childhood Development discourages teachers and parents from having a child trace letters and numbers “Dot-to-Dot”, because they are visually confusing, and the child is going dot-dot-dot rather than tracing the “lines” and “curves” of the letter. It is recommended to rather TRACE OVER the whole letter, and then print independently. 

In our class we always use the terms “lines” and “curves” for letter formation.  When we introduce, trace, or print a new letter, it might be helpful to use these terms at home as well. We always remind our students to START all (upper-case) letters at the TOP.

Ultimately, our goal is to make letter introduction FUN and to help our preschoolers to develop a love for learning, which is the foundation for a successful start into Kindergarten.

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding Kindergarten Readiness of your child, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to schedule an online meeting with you.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION (Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17)

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, we invite students to dress in green. We have planned some fun Leprechaun activities.

We ask children to bring some green fruit/vegetables for snack that day. I will top up their snacks with some green cupcakes.

FUNDRAISER

SPF RAFFLE BOOKs (deadline March 25/26)

We still have SPF raffle ticket books if you want to participate in this fundraiser and win some amazing prices. Please text us when your returned booklets and money is in your child’s backpack and we will take it out.

All booklets and money need to be returned by March 25/26.

DROP & GO FUNDRAISER (ongoing all year)

The Drop & Go bottle fundraiser is ongoing (more information on our Facebook page)! Please tell your friends and family about it. All you need to do is drop of your recycling at the Drop & Go entrance of a  Sar Can recycling depot  and use the password: HanselandGretel (one word)

REGISTRATION FOR 2021-22

We still have openings in both classes for the upcoming school year. Please let your friends know as classes might fill up soon! For information on how to register, please go on  our Facebook Page or blogspot page.

IMPORTANT DATES

March

16/17       St.Patrick’s Day activities (wear green and bring green snack)

25/26       SPF raffle booklets and money need to be returned.

                (Class will be running on March 26th)

April

2-16         Easter Break (no school)

                (Just a reminder that the current preschool year will end on June 17/18)

 

We wish everyone a happy start into SPRING!

Warm wishes,

Uli Hecker

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Sarcan Fundraiser

 

We've signed up for a "Drop & Go" account with Sarcan!

Consider dropping off your recycling at any one of the Sarcan depots across Saskatchewan and the proceeds will go to Hansel and Gretel Preschool.

For more information and to read on how to donate your recycling to us, please see the poster!

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Registration 2021-2022 School Year

 

Registration is now OPEN for 2021-22 School year.

There are still a few spots in both classes.

M/W/F - 4 yr old Kindergarten Readiness class T/TH - 3 yr old class

Please see the "Registration" Tab on how to get your child registered at Hansel and Gretel Preschool.


We also have a few spots in our current TTH class. Contact us if you are interested!

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Hansel and Gretel Preschool Virtual Tour


We invite you to see our classroom at Brevoort Park School in Saskatoon, meet our teachers and see what we do during the school year with our preschoolers. For additional information please email Ulrike at coordinator.hanselandgretel@gmail.com or call (306) 281- 4428.





Friday, 1 January 2021

January Newsletter

 

JANUARY NEWSLETTER

HANSEL & GRETEL PRESCHOOL

I hope all of you have had a chance to relax and spend some special time with your family during the Christmas break! I truly recharged my batteries, mostly by slowing down and hibernating with my husband and two children. Even though life stood still for many weeks, the year seems to have flown by. 2020 was an unprecedented year that we will all remember for so many different reasons. We still have ways to go before our lives regain a sense of “normal” but at least there is “light at the end of the tunnel”!

LOOKING BACK

I am just so very grateful that we were able to start classes in September and did not have to rely on technology to provide a learning environment for children.

We were a bit anxious as to how our little ones would adjust to all the safety measurements and regulations that we have had to follow to keep everyone safe. Children truly are more resilient than we think. Even masks didn't stop them from having fun and making new friends. Besides a few “adjustment bumps” at the beginning of the school year, it now feels as if preschool has become the second home for most children. Our buckets are overflowing with joy when our students greet us with a big smile every day.

LEARNING & RECONNECTING THROUGH EXPLORATION

Outdoor space has turned into our extended classroom! Playing in the park and exploring the wonders of nature have provided so many creative and stimulating teaching opportunities. We spent many hours, running up and down the big hill, using our imagination by turning trees and bushes into bear caves and shelter places for lady bugs and dinosaurs.

We used items in nature as math counters and sticks served as pencils. Who would have thought that dirt and pinecones are a perfect (and fun) tool to help print letters and numbers? Trust me, no flash card or any worksheet can compete with that! 

The biggest gift for me was, to see the calming effect that nature play has on children. With all the uncertainty, rapid changes and anxiety causing effects that a pandemic can trigger, seeing children PLAY and making friends felt like a natural “remedy”, not only for the children but also for us as teachers.

FUNDRAISING

Mom’s Pantry Fundraiser

Thank you to the families and friends that participated in the Mom’s Pantry Fundraiser. Combined with monetary donations we raised $ 618.05 for our preschool. We truly appreciate your efforts to support Hansel & Gretel Preschool during a financially challenging year! Thank you to Brianne Semenchuk for organizing this Fundraiser!

Scholastic Book Orders

Thank you to all parents who are ordering books from Scholastic. Every order helps our preschool to purchase educational material for the classroom! Thank you to Miranda Lettrari for taking care of Scholastic book orders each month!

THANK YOU’s

I would like to say a special Thank You to all the people that help us run this program smoothly!

  • Thank you to our board of directors for volunteering your time and supporting us with your input and advice!

  • Thank you to Wendy Schneider who has volunteered her time in the T-Th class over the last 3 months! It helped us so much with the transitioning into a new school year!

  • Thank you to the staff of PCDC day care for making the daily transition of your children so smooth.

  • Thank you to Larissa Lorenz for being the loving, caring and passionate teacher that you are! Thanks for the countless extra hours that you spend in the classroom with me cleaning and sanitizing to ensure that everyone is safe!

REGISTRATION FOR 2021/22 SCHOOL YEAR

PRE – REGISTRATION: Jan 4th – Jan 14th

Currently enrolled students will have the opportunity to pre-register before registration will be open to the public. Please let me know if your child will be returning for a second year of preschool. We will hand out registration packages on January 4th and Jan 5th. Please return your package, latest by January 14th!

ONLINE REGISTRATION for 20221-22 SCHOOL YEAR

On January 19th online registration for the 2021-22 school year will open to the public.

Please spread the word to your friends and families who have children that are eligible for preschool! Classes may fill up quickly!!!

Instead of an Open House we created a beautiful virtual tour/slideshow that has beautiful pictures that show what we are all about! Feel free to visit our website/blogspot page or Facebook page and share the virtual tour video with friends (https://youtu.be/YF7JmSs0U28).

OPENINGS in CURRENT T-TH CLASS

Due to several of our families that have moved away, we now have 6 openings in our current T-Th class and are asking parents to pass on this information to families that have children that are currently 3 to 4 years old and are interested in joining our program in January.

Thank you again for all the support that we have received from you this year! I promise you that we will do whatever it takes to ensure that our preschool continues to be a safe and fun place for all children!

School will resume after the Christmas Break on January 4th!

We can’t wait to see our little ones again and are looking forward to a New Year of FUN and LEARNING!

We wish all our families a HAPPY and SAFE 2021! FROHES NEUES JAHR!

Kind Regards,

Uli Hecker and Larissa Lorenz

Monday, 28 December 2020

Registration information for 2021-2022

 

Dear Parents,

Registration information for the next school year will be available in early January!

However, here are some dates to keep in mind:

January 4: Preregistration for currently enrolled families

January 19: Online  for school year 2021-2022