Teacher Marty’s Letter (November 2015)

Hello My Friends! Welcome to the rain!

Things to look for in the classroom this month:
Parent Teacher Conferences begin on Friday, November 6th. If you have not signed up for a spot there are still times open. The sign up sheet is posted in the cubby room.

Wednesday, November 11 (Veterans Day)
Thursday, November 26th (Thanksgiving)
Friday, November 27th

The stories I will read to the children drive a lot of our curriculum this month. We will begin by reading Helen Cooper’s sweet and delightful book Pumpkin Soup this week — and so of course we will then be making a pot of pumpkin soup to enjoy in class. I will keep it vegan and of course gluten free so all should be able to enjoy it.

I would like to bake a pumpkin and make a pie with the kids this month, and could use your help. If you have a gluten free/vegan pie crust recipe let me know. I’m also looking for gluten free/vegan/dairy free pumpkin pie filling recipes. If you have one you get good results with, please pass it on to me!

We will also be reading the Quilt Maker’s Gift this month. It is a perfect lead-in to thinking about sharing our bounty with families in our community who are struggling to feed their kids and keep a roof over their heads. The kids and I will reflect together on the many blessings in our lives but will also talk about people who are having a rough go and need some help.

We have a wonderful tradition at our school of making a small quilt together to donate to a local family shelter. I will bring out my sewing machine and invite the children to help me stitch it together and fill it up with love.

In addition, we will begin a food drive and a collection of cash donations shortly. Look for the barrel to appear in the classroom soon along with a large glass jar for any monetary contributions and an email from me letting you know that we are in business. All non-perishable foods are needed and we will take our donations to Neighborhood House in Multnomah Village. They operate the emergency food program for our SW neighborhoods. The cash we collect will be used by the children in the Pre-K class to go and purchase warm winter coats and basic needed supplies. They’ll also be donated to the families served by Neighborhood House in December.

Following those stories, we begin reading the Stone Soup stories in class. Again the theme is caring about our neighbors who might need some help with the very basic needs of life. In the spirit of sharing, we will host our annual Stone Soup Family Potluck in each class on November 19th (for the 3s class and Pre-K) and 20th (for the 4s Class).

For Stone Soup Day, your child should bring a vegetable to add to a pot of soup. You may pre-wash your addition but do not need to cut or peel as the kids and I will do that in class together. It is an all-comers soup — bring any vegetable that would work well in a veggie soup. I always have the broth, an onion, some garlic and herbs, and some tomato puree to get us started. PLUS: I have the school’s special and precious SOUP STONE that we have been cooking for years!

The children will help me make the soup during the first part of class. The party is a family event and YOU SHOULD PLAN TO RETURN TO CLASS BY 10:45AM FOR THE MORNING CLASSES AND 2:45PM FOR THE PRE-K!! Every child should have someone to come and share the party with and enjoy a bowl of our collective soup filled with love! Please bring a side dish to share: fruit and veggie trays, cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, bread, salads, small muffins, simple non-chocolate desserts (fruit crisps?) — this is our classroom potluck feast. Join us with the spirit of love and gratitude that we are all together and part of a truly beautiful community!!

Field Day this month will be on Monday, November 23rd for the 4s class and on Tuesday, the 24th for 3’s class and Pre-K. Stay tuned for an announcement of where we will be going this month! As a clarification, while you are always invited to join us for our field days, you are not required to attend. It is always helpful to have a couple of additional adults join us to help with keeping track of the children and ensuring a smooth and enjoyable day but we know that many of you have other commitments that make it difficult to add in an additional school work day. No worries! Come when you can and be guilt- and stress-free when you cannot!

NOTE: I will be taking Wednesday, November 25th off (the day before Thanksgiving). Likewise if you know ahead of time that your child will be absent any time during the next couple of months for planned travel days or holidays, please be sure to mark it on the Planned Absences Sheet on the inside of the front door.

That about sums it up for the month of November! As we all reflect this month on the many blessings in our lives, I want you to know that I count you and your children as one of the greatest joys in my world. In the day to day life of a classroom, there are many moments that stand out and as John Denver said, “some days are diamonds, some days are stone.” But regardless of whether it was a day of laughter or a day of tears, it is always a day of joy in the opportunity and privilege that I have to be part of you and your child’s life. The kids teach me something new every day and keep me on my toes. They offer their love and enthusiasm for the world freely and it is infectious. I am filled with their wonder and awash in the love they have for life. Thank you so very much for all that you do and all that you are and for allowing the teachers at Multnomah Playschool to be a part of your world.

May you be blessed today and always,
Teacher Marty