What’s the big deal about blocks?

Guided play with INTENTION.  That is what Good News Preschool is all about.  We are not babysitters, tossing some toys in front of kids in the hopes that they will be entertained for a few hours.  Rather, we provide play opportunities with learning objectives in mind.  Teachers are observing, facilitating, and guiding children to learn about the world through their play.

A perfect example of guided play with intention is in the block center.  Every classroom has blocks, and likely you have blocks at home in your play area as well.  We know that children use blocks to build, bang, and knock down, but did you also know that children are developing literacy skills, math foundations, interpersonal skills, and scientific principles?

If you have 10 minutes to spare, please listen to our latest podcast, where Mrs. Mary explains all of the learning happens with BLOCKS!

Podcast Episode 2!

IMG_8344Monday and Tuesday, February 25th and 26th we will be hosting our second annual Bone Marrow Donor Registry Drive here at the preschool.  Please take 10 minutes and listen to Mrs. Krystal’s amazing story of survival and why she makes it her mission to help run these drives throughout the year all over Austin.

 

To listen to the podcast, follow this link:

Podcast 2

 

So much love!

Happy Valentine’s Week!  Holidays are so much fun and Valentine’s Day is no exception.  We’ve been knee-deep in hearts, flowers, glitter, and special treats.  And while it is simply fun to enjoy the tradition of exchanging Valentines and making Valentine-themed artwork, there is actually a deeper purpose that we have in mind when having our celebrations.  Every day, but especially this week, we strive to help the children know that they are children of God.  They are loved by Him and His love is without end.  God shows up everywhere, and you can see Him even in the simple exchange of a Valentine card.  The act of giving is an action so much at the center of being a Christian, and it brings us great joy to help guide the children to be thoughtful, kind, and GIVING citizens.

Enjoy some of the pictures from this week!

Chinese New Year

Each of our staff members bring such incredible gifts to our school.  This week we have been blessed by Mrs. Anna’s knowledge and experience with Chinese New Year.  She has brought all of the traditions of Chinese New Year right into the classroom and preschool as a whole.  Students have learned so much this week about the Chinese culture.  They made dragon collages and watercolor dragons. They talked about the traditions and legend of Chinese New Year, the Chinese Zodiac, Chinese characters and how to use chopsticks.  They even tasted some dumplings, noodles and rice.  (Pastor Trevor even got some chopstick lessons from Mrs. Anna so that he could participate too!)

Mrs. Anna made several beautiful displays, including a photo booth for the entire school to use.  I hope you have had a chance to visit the displays in the foyer and learn a littlemore about Chinese New Year yourself!  It is so much fun to learn about other cultures.  We love how learning about cultures outside of our own helps open our eyes to the broader world.

 

Texas Snow

Five years ago at Good News Preschool, Mrs. Roxanne had a student who would continually throw the sand and other materials she had in her sensory table.  It became exhausting for her to continually try to redirect him and it was tough on the child who just wanted to be able to throw!  So Mrs. Roxanne decided to create an opportunity where that child could throw things to his heart’s content and where she was 100% okay with him doing it!  She brought in a bag of shreds for him (and the other children) to explore, toss, throw, and generally make a big wonderful mess.  What an experience it was!  Not only did the child she had designed the activity for have the time of his life, but all of the children did as well.  It can be such a gift for a child to be allowed to fulfill their urges (such as the need to throw something) in a safe environment.  Also, children are much more likely to follow your rules about an action if they understand that they will get an opportunity to perform that action in a designated place.  For example, if they seem to really want to knock things over, give them a space and some safe materials that they can build up and knock down all they want (far away from your nice crystal!).

Because of the success of that first year’s “snow day” as we call it, we have continued the tradition every year since then.  The kids have a blast (and the teachers do too!) and it makes for some fantastic pictures.  Here are a few:

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If you give a kid a pancake…

If you give a kid a pancake, they’re likely to smile!

It has been a fun day at Good News Preschool hanging out in our jammies eating pancakes. Thank you to all of the volunteers who sent in supplies, helped set up, and helped flip pancakes!  The kids loved the extra special treat and it was a fun way for us to spice up the sometimes humdrum month of January.

It’s days like this that make us really appreciate preschool.  What a wonderful time of life where you develop socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually in such a fun atmosphere.  It might look like the kids simply ate some pancakes, but they were actually working on waiting their turn, acting as a community, interacting appropriately, using manners, and so much more.  Does life get better than pj’s, pancakes, and preschool??

Acts of Service

Good News Preschool strives to not only instill in our students a love of learning and a love of God, but a love of serving as well.  Each month we have a service focus, with the goal of teaching the children the importance of giving.

This month we will be collecting items for the Texas Humane Heroes, a local no-kill animal adoption center.  Texas Humane Heroes rescues dogs and cats from municipal shelters, providing them a chance to find a loving home.

A list is going home with the shelter’s most needed items, which can also be found on their website: https://humaneheroes.org/donate-supplies/

Please involve your children in deciding what to donate, and sparking a discussion at home about the many ways we can all help not only people, but animals as well.  We are hoping to have a volunteer from Texas Humane Heroes come and talk with the children and collect all of our wonderful donations (which can be dropped in the labeled box in the foyer).

Thank you for helping Good News Preschool not only be a wonderful school, but a community of givers!

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