Letter from Teacher Marty – May 2018

Hello Everyone,

This is our last month of school together before some of your kids will be graduating and moving on to new schools and learning opportunities.  We are going to make the most of our time together. We will be making fish print t-shirts this month and holding our annual Bike Day Extravaganza!  See below for details.

Bike Day:  I am planning to hold our annual bike/trike/scooter rodeo on Thursday May 17th for the 3’s class and the Pre-k and then on Friday, May 18th for the 4’s class.  On your child’s day, bring them to school with a riding device that they can handle safely. All children must have a helmet regardless of what they are riding.  Bikes and helmets should be labeled so we can make sure everything gets back home with the right children!

On bike day, we take over the upper parking lot of the church.  I make a road (one way of course) that the kids get to ride around on.  We take up a big canopy and the snack table. We have a bike wash station, decoration station, music instruments to play, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and more.  It is a super fun day and we spend our whole class period riding and playing together.

You are totally welcome to come and hang out and enjoy the day with your kids.  Often times parents will organize a parent coffee with beverages and pastries and fruit.  That is totally up to each class (although I hear the Coffee Truck will be making another appearance for the 4’s class!)

I can definitely use 1 or 2 extra adults to help us monitor all the kids and keep everyone safe – and have the extra hands to take children back inside for potty breaks.

Fish Print T-Shirts:  Gyotako is the Japanese art of making prints from fish.  Originating in the mid 1800’s it is thought that initially it was a way of fisherman recording their catch.  It eventually became a very appreciated art-form.

We will be printing during the week of May 21st.  Please make sure that your child brings a t-shirt for us turn into a piece of art!  Light colored shirts work the very best as all colors will pop better than on darker colored fabrics.  Shirts should be pre-washed to remove any sizing and you should label them with your child’s name. I will have a combination of real and rubber facsimile fish for your kids to choose from – so everyone can participate with comfort.  If you need to purchase a shirt, Michaels and JoAnn’s Fabrics both carry assorted cotton t-shirts in kids sizes in a variety of colors for a reasonable price – even better if you grab one of their coupons!

If you wish you can send more than one shirt for family members, but please note that I will work through all the kids in class first before we make any additional prints.  We will do our best to print everything you send in.

When the shirts come home, they need to sit and “cure” for a couple of days before washing.  When you do wash them, do so in a cold water wash. The fabric paints that we use hold up fairly well over time.

Last Days/Graduation:  School ends on June 6th for the 4’s Class and on June 7th for the 3’s and Pre-k.  We mark the last day in each class with a gathering of the children and their families where we share some treats, traditions, memories, songs and sometimes tears.  For the morning classes please plan to return to the classroom by 10:45am.

The Pre-k class has a graduation ceremony on their last day.  Please come back to school by 2:30pm, meeting us in the hall upstairs.  We will be asking parents to bring festive snacks to share – remembering that we have to keep them nut-free.  Also make sure to include some gluten free and vegan options. Special instructions will come out via a class email.

Saying goodbye for the summer isn’t too hard.  But knowing that you are leaving your school and heading off to a new adventure can feel overwhelming to the children.  If your child is heading off to kindergarten next year, help them process and understand their upcoming transition and find a meaningful way for you as a family to mark that transition.  We will be talking with the children about the upcoming changes during our circle times in the coming weeks. A big topic of conversation is always how to stay friends if you no longer go to the same school.  We also make sure to let the children know that we love them each dearly and that even if they are not coming back to us in the fall, MPS will always be their home and that their place in the our hearts is cemented forever and we will not forget them.  You are always encouraged to bring them by to say hello next year. We love to hear how they feel about their new adventures!

We will be sending out the calendar for the next school year soon and the schedule for our summer park play dates.  These park days are for all MPS families – even if you are graduating! You are are invited to meet at the scheduled park and have fun getting to know some of the others families in the school.   I try to make as many as I can depending on my summer schedule (which this summer will finally include getting my ankle surgery out of the way.)

Your individual classes may choose to have some separate gatherings – you will hear from your class reps on that later.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as we head into this last month of school.  As as we pass through this gateway to something new, please remember always that just as I love your children, I love each of you also.  I am truly grateful for all that you have done this year for MPS and for me and very proud of all that we accomplished together.

I hope that your summer includes some slow and lazy, time-free days to just enjoy your families and the beauty of the pacific northwest.  

Much love,

Teacher Marty