Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book Backpacks

On Thursday October 28th, we will be sending home our book backpacks. Each backpack will have 3 to 4 books related to a common theme. Included in the backpacks will be book prompts that go along with each story. Over the weekend read the books with your child/children. After reading the books together use the book prompts to ask questions about the story.

Backpacks will go out on Thursday and are due back on Tuesday. Please remember to return you backpack on Tuesday, so we can send it home with another family on Thursday. This is a new initiative for the Burlington Integrated Preschool and we would love feedback or suggestions on the program.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Environmental Print

(classroom pictures are from the Cub Cadet's)

When we begin Unit 2 of the OWL the dramatic play area in the classrooms will be transformed into grocery stores. Students will have the opportunity to create shopping lists, shop for items on their grocery list and purchase items. Other students will work in the grocery store by stalking the shelves and being the cashier in the store. Individual classrooms will share more specific examples of the grocery store and what it looks like in their classrooms. I have shared the article below to give you a frame of reference of what environmental print is and what students learn from begin exposed to it. The classroom grocery stores will be inundated with environmental print.

Environmental Print
By: Reading Rockets (2010)
Letters are all around us! Here are some ideas to use print found in your everyday environment to help develop your child's reading skills.

Environmental print is the print of everyday life. It's the name given to the print that appears in signs, labels, and logos. Street signs, candy wrappers, labels on peanut butter and the K in Kmart are other examples of environmental print. For many emergent readers, environmental print helps bridge the connection between letters and first efforts to read.

Adults can take advantage of all this print by using it in ways to talk about letters, words, and print. Like playing the license plate game during a long car ride, (everyone find an A, now a B) playing with environmental print can be quick and easy. Here are a few ideas:
Cereal boxes are colorful and interesting to look at. Ask your child to find the first letter of his name somewhere on the box. See if he can find other letters from his name too.
Choose a simple sign to focus on during one car trip (example: stop sign, pedestrian crossing, one way). Have your child count the number of signs seen along the way. Have your child read the sign, noticing that the same sign says the same message each time. Talk about the sounds of the letters you can hear ("The S makes the /ssssssss/ sound.")
Use a digital camera to take pictures of different signs: speed limit, stop, do not enter, exit. Use these pictures to make a small book for your child to "read."
Cut out familiar words from cereal boxes, labels from soup cans and from yogurt containers. Use these individual words ("Cheerios," "tomato," "Dannon") to talk about capital and lower case letters. Talk about the sounds of letters ("The letter T says 'tuh'"). Encourage your child to read the words you've cut out.
After you've gathered lots of pictures of signs and words from items within the house, you can sort these items by beginning letter. Identify the sounds made by the letters in logos. Sort logos and words by category (foods, drinks, snacks, signs). A simple alphabet book can be created using all your cutouts by organizing all the A words, B words, C words, etc.

Your child can have fun learning to read even when books are not available. Environmental print provides lots of opportunities for kids to interact with letters, sounds, and words.

For more information, watch Roots of Reading online, from our PBS series, Launching Young Readers.

Field Trip

We had a great time at Parlee Farm. First we went on a hay ride.

It was a little bumpy but we had a great time.

Next we were given bags and listened carefully on how to remove the pumpkin from the vine.

We then walked down to the pumpkin patch and picked a pumpkin to put in our bags

Puppy Pals

Cub Cadets

Lucky Ducks
Some of the Friendly Frogs.We also had the opportunity to feed the goats and sheep.

We had apple cider donuts for snack. Plus a little snack from home.

We had a great time at the Parlee Farm.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


As we learn about family and friendship this new Sesame Street character remind us that we are all special. Love that Sesame Street!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday 10/21

Field Trip – Thursday 10/21

Please use the following guidelines for our trip to the Parlee Farm, on October 21st:

• All children attending the trip need to be at school by 8:30 a.m. sharp.

• All children should bring a snack consisting of a drink and something to eat. Please put the snack in a clear Ziploc bag labeled with child’s first and last name. No lunch bags or backpacks. We will have limited space and need to consolidate things.

• Children should wear sneakers or comfortable shoes; the children will be doing a lot of walking and playing in the hay play area. NO open toe shoes.

• The weather forecast for the day is clear and cold. The predicted temperature is 60 degrees. Please dress your child in layers as we will be outside the entire time.

• We will attend the farm rain or shine.

We will leave the farm at 10:45 a.m. and should return to the preschool by 11:30 a.m. Please be waiting for the buses at 11:30 a.m. Children will be brought back into the classroom to gather belongings and then teachers will bring them out to dismiss them. This will ensure that all students are accounted for and safe.

Please remember there is no afternoon session on Thursday. All children need to be picked up at 11:30.

Please be waiting to pick your child up. DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL OR IN THE BUS ZONES.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Read It Again!

I found this article from the Center of Early Literacy. I think it does a nice job explaining why children love to have the same story read to them over and over again. Although it can be difficult for parents to read the same book over and over again it is beneficial to the child being read to.

Especially for parents of preschoolers!

Read It Again!

Reading and Storytelling

Young children love to hear their favorite books read aloud again and again. Repeated readings help preschoolers master the story lines, ideas, and language of well-loved stories.

What is the practice?

Repeated reading lets children learn the words, story structure, and use of language in a story. Parents can read a story many times so their preschool child can talk about and be part of the story. Many young children, especially those with speech and language delays, are not able to grasp an entire story on the first reading. So hearing books read several times helps them learn and notice new things.

What does the practice look like?

When hearing a story several times, a child can figure out what a new word means by the rest of the words he hears. Sharing a book again and again lets your child notice repeated sound patterns. If you point out some letters and words each time you read a book, he can begin to match letters to sounds.

How do you do the practice?

Here are some ideas that will help you make repeated readings interesting and fun for your young child.

Encourage your child to be part of the fun as you share favorite books. Welcome her comments and questions. Ask her what happens next.

Preschool children are most likely to enjoy repeated reading when the books are about things they find familiar and interesting. A great place to start is by reading the child’s favorite book.

Let the child choose the story. Preschool children will often choose the same book again and again on their own.

Be excited about the story, even when you’re reading it for the umpteenth time. Read-aloud sessions are much more than saying words and turning pages. When you express your own excitement about the pictures, story, setting, and characters, the child will be excited too.

Let your child “read” the story to you. Children get to know the words and plots of stories that have been read to them many times. They enjoy saying the words and turning the pages, just as if they were reading the book.

Involve your child in repeated reading when you are both relaxed and unhurried. Perfect times? How about when you snuggle together at bedtime or when you’re passing time in a waiting room.

How do you know

the practice worked?

Does the child bring you the same book to be read over and over?

Does she seem to have “picked up” new vocabulary words or an understanding of the story?

Does the child make comments about the story or tell what’s go- ing to happen next?

CELLp r a c t i c e s

Friday, October 15, 2010


Change in School Bus Schedule

Dear Parents,

When we add students to our afternoon program and they take the bus home, it changes the time your child will be arriving home.

We had several calls this week and we wanted to provide you with the following important contact information. If you have a question or are concerned about your child’s transportation, please call:

Laura Caprio, Preschool Office: 781-270-1808

If you can’t reach Laura, then please contact:

Louise D’Amato, Preschool Director: 781-273-7632

If you can’t reach either Laura or Louise, please call:

A & F Bus Company at 781-229-0111

Please keep these numbers handy. You may want to hang this note by your phone.

Please remember if your child is going to be absent to call both the bus company and the office.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parlee Farm

A friendly reminder that permission slips and money are due on Wednesday October 13th for our field trip to Parelee Farm in Tyngsboro. Please return a completed permission slip as well as $10.oo in cash.

Parlee Farm Tyngsboro, MA

We are going on a field trip to Parlee Farm in Tyngsboro, MA.

When: Thursday October 21, 2010

What: We will pick pumpkins, go on a hay ride, enjoy the petting zoo and have the opportunity to have fun in the hay play area

Where: Parelee Farm Tyngsboro, MA.

Who: All of the students that attend the Early Childhood Programs are invited to join us for the day

Time: We will leave the preschool @ 8:45 am and return at 11:30 am
*Please drop off at the regular time 8:20 to 8:30

How: We will travel on large yellow school buses

Cost: The cost of the trip is $10.00 per student and chaperone. Cash only, we have no way to cash checks. All children will receive a pumpkin and a cider donut. (the price also covers the expense of the bus)

Chaperones: We will need 3 to 4 chaperones per classroom. If we have more volunteers than slots we will use a lottery system to pick chaperones. All chaperones need to have completed Cori’s on file in order to participate. Cori’s can be filled in the office with Laura Caprio. All Cori forms need to be completed by Friday October 8.

Please fill out and return the attached permission slip as soon as possible. When returning your permission slip please also submit the $10.00 in cash to pay for the trip.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Note from PAC

Attention Parents. Does your child have any difficulty with educational, social or emotional issues? Is your child receiving extra help or special education services? Do you think they should be, but don't know how to get these services? Come out on Wednesday October 20 at 7:00 P.M. and join other parents in the School Committee Meeting Room at Burlington High School. Maureen Ryan will give a very informative presentation that will help all parents learn how to help their children succeed in school and in life. For more info, email Dennis McCarron at or by phone at 781-273-5663. This is your chance to help your child

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Columbus Day

There will be no school on Monday October 11th, in observation of Columbus Day. Enjoy the long weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Literacy Backpacks

On Thursday of this week we were going to begin sending home our "Literacy Backpack's". Unfortunately, after reviewing the backpacks and materials we are still missing several books and backpacks. We want to ensure that all students have the opportunity to take home a backpack so we have delayed the start of the program until we receive all the books. It is our hope that we will be able to do this by the end of the month.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

5 Easy Ways to Promote Early Literacy Development at Home

As we get ready to send our Book Packs home I thought it might be nice to share the importance of early literacy development and how to promote it in the home.

The following article was found on:;

What is early literacy?

Children prepare for literacy and learning to read long before school starts. In fact learning literacy begins even in babies. It is important to provide the best environment possible for your child to develop the early literacy skills necessary to facilitate reading when the time comes. There are many easy ways to incorporate literacy development into your home environment and routine that will set your child up for success in literacy. Successful literacy development often leads to increased academic success as children go through their academic careers.

Take the time to read the five easy steps to incorporate literacy into your every day life and then begin to put them into practice and set your child up for success!

1. Read to your child daily

Make sure you have plenty of age-appropriate books available in your home. Keep a bin of board books or preschool books in your living room beside your couch. Encourage your child to look at the books whenever possible, during any routines where waiting is necessary, at quite time, after dinner etc.

Ensure you set aside time to look at the books together. Read to your child, and ask them questions about the pictures in the book. Explore colours, feelings, numbers and whatever else you can find in the pictures together. This will expose your child to literacy in a way that teachesthem to use their mind to think about what is happening and to appreciate the information that books contain

.2. Have letters and words in the environment

Keeping letter magnets on the fridge, labeling bins of toys, labeling your child's belongings with their name etc all influence literacy development. The more your child is exposed to letters and words the easier it is for them to learn to recognize them. The more a child sees their name written the easier it is for them to identify the letters that "belong to them" and the faster they will learn to write their name when ready.

Alphabet magnets are a great way for your child to experiment with letters and words. Not to mention a great pass time for them while you get dinner ready. Enrich your home with as much literacy as you can!

3. Provide opportunities to draw

Drawing is a very important element in literacy development. Drawing helps children learn to hold a pencil, marker or crayon properly, and helps them practice making it write. They develop skills in making shapes and lines which will eventually help them make letters. Drawing also encourages creativity, imagination and stories, all important elements of literacy.

4. Tell Stories

A huge part of literacy involves understanding the process of a story. Learning the concept of beginning, middle, and end and trying to predict what might come next. By telling short stories and encouraging them to play pretend, children learn important elements of stories that will help them in literacy development later in life.

Try something as simple as telling them what happened in your day from beginning to end. Ask them what happened in their day and help them tell the story of their day by asking specific questions like "Did you make a craft today?", "What craft did you make?" etc. Although younger preschoolers may not be able to tell the details of their day, these questions will help them remember what happened and prompt them to form the story about what happened in their day.

5. Model Literacy

A child that sees their parents and siblings reading on a regular basis is more likely to become an avid reader themselves. It is a behaviour that is common to them and they are familiar with it, therefore it seems normal for them to begin to do it also. As you are reading a book on the couch regularly, you will see your child also take one of their books and curl up beside your to read (or look at the pictures) also!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Book Pack Program

The Book Pack Program will begin this Thursday.

Dear Parents:

We are excited to tell you about a pre-literacy initiative beginning here at the Burlington Integrated Preschool! The Book Pack Program will provide you an opportunity to enjoy time with your child through shared reading of high quality children’s literature. Research shows that time spent reading books increases children’s future reading skills.

Here is how the Book Pack Program works:

- Every Thursday you will receive a small numbered book pack with a collection of 3-4 books. The books will have a common theme.
- Included in the book pack is a recommended reading guide. The reading guide offers you suggestions and prompts for discussion about each book.
- During the week, find a time each day to read with your child. Please be sure to handle the books with care and to return them to the backpack for safe keeping.
- Return the book pack with all of the contents on the following Tuesday.

Our hope for this Book Pack Program is twofold. First we hope you can enjoy reading these books while spending special time with your child. Second, we hope the experience will provide him/her with a strong pre-literacy skill foundation.

You will receive your first book pack on Thursday October 7th!
Thank you for your participation in the Book Pack Program!

The Burlington Integrated Preschool Staff

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fun Celebration

Please visit the Friendly Frogs classroom blog to see how they celebrated a birthday party without using food. Cut and paste the following link.