March 2019 Newsletter

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Early Childhood News! March 2019

Geary County USD #475, Early Childhood Program

We’re Ready For Spring!!!
Spring is many people’s favorite time of year. The days get a little longer, leaves and flowers bloom, the weather warms up, and the world is
renewed!

The students and staff in the Early Childhood Program are excited to be able to enjoy the nice weather during recess and other opportunities to be outside! There are many benefits to children being out in the fresh air, not only during school, but during their time at home as well. First, it can improve children’s vision. Studies have shown that little one’s that spend more time outdoors develop better distance vision than those that primarily play indoors. Outdoor play helps children develop social skills. Playing outside is less structured than inside play, this provides opportunities for children to practice social and problem solving skills. Studies have shown that outdoor play can help to increase children’s
attention span. Indoor activities, such as video games or TV, tend to provide more immediate feedback, where outdoor activities, such as playing in a sandbox, require more sustained effort for results. These findings have many experts believing that more exposure to natural settings during after school and weekend activities can greatly reduce attention deficit
symptoms in children. Another benefit of outdoor play is stress reduction in children. Being outside and running freely is a great stress reliever for our little ones. Some studies suggest just being in a green space alone, without the movement and play, can be relaxing for children. Finally, playing outside in the sunshine is a great source of Vitamin D. This
vitamin has many health benefits, including preventing serious health issues such as diabetes and even heart disease. Here at the Early Childhood Program, we take advantage of outdoor play time every day that the weather permits. Please consider making outdoor play
time part of your family’s evening and weekend rituals as well!

Important Dates:

3/4 Parent/Teacher Conferences @ Grandview & Washington @ 3:30-7:30
3/5 Parent/Teacher Conferences @ Morris Hill, Jefferson, Washington,
and ECC @ 3:30-7:30
3/6 Parent/Teacher Conferences @ Morris Hill, Jefferson, Grandview,
and ECC @ 3:30- 7:30
3/7 Parent/Teacher Conferences @ Morris Hill, Jefferson, Grandview,
and ECC @ 8:00- 8:00
@ Washington @ 8:00-3:30
3/11- 3/15 Spring Break—No School
3/18 Wear Green!
3/19 Delta Dental Family Night @ ECC @ 5:00-6:30
3/28 Wear your Little Jay shirt

A Note from Nurse Tammy

Delta Dental will be visiting ECC this month to promote dental health for
our Little Jay students and families!

On March 18th and 19th, students will attend a presentation at school that involves learning about sugary treats and the effects they have on our teeth. In addition, they will have an opportunity to experience science centers that will involve hands-on learning to reinforce proper tooth brushing techniques, learning which super foods that are packed with calcium, I Spy activities, and more.

All Early Childhood Program students and families are invited to the Dental Family Night at the Early Childhood Center on Tuesday, March 19th from 5:00- 6:30. This event will include 10 stations for families to learn about dental health together. Your child will bring home more information about this exciting program this month!

There’s a lot of learning going on!!

Our next theme in Curiosity Corner is “Wild and Woolly”. This theme will cover some exciting topics such as wild animals, animals that live in the zoo, and dinosaurs! Children love to learn about animals they can see and use their imaginations to visualize dinosaurs and what the world was like in prehistoric times. Your child’s classroom will cover concepts such as diet, habitats, and behavior of these creatures.

Wonderful Words in Unit 13 Wild and Woolly
zoo wild zookeeper map
endangered extinct huge
bones museum carnivore

Books Related to our Theme
 “Sammy the Seal” by Syd Hoff
 “The View at the Zoo” by Guy Francis
 “If I Ran the Zoo” by Dr Suess
 “Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs” by Ian Whybrow
 “My T-Rex Has a Toothache” by Elwyn Tate
 “Edwina, the Dinosaur That Didn’t Know She Was Extinct” by Mo Willems

Literacy News from Mrs. Julie…

Hello parents! Throughout the month of March, we will be learning about “Elements of a Story”. Elements of a Story are the basic components that allow the story to develop in a way that helps the reader understand what is happening. Each step of the plot in a story adds purpose, meaning, and excitement! Talking with your child about the events taking place in a story as well as the reason why each is important allows an opportunity for the mind to think and grow. Consider focusing on the sequence of events in books that you read at home and maybe begin creating your own stories at home. Take turns adding steps to a story that you create together! A family visit to the li-brary exploring all the different books out there would be a great Spring Break activity. Just browse and take it all in. Happy reading with your child!
Julie Gyuran, Early Childhood Program Literacy Specialist

Activities offered in March in Junction City Area

  • Sunset Zoo—Located in Manhattan, this zoo is the perfect size for a relaxing Spring afternoon for families together. Admission to the zoo is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
  • Custer Hill Bowling Alley on Fort Riley has gone through a major renovation to offer more family fun choices when the weather isn’t suitable for outdoor activities. Bowling, batting cages, putt-putt golf, tailgate zone, and more will offer opportunities for kids to be active indoors on rainy spring days! Military ID not necessary. Call for specific hours and prices—785-239-4366.

Meet the Early Childhood Staff:
Alex Herrera, Early Childhood Special Education Coach

My name is Alex, and I am the Early Childhood Special Education Instructional and Compliance Coach. This is a big fancy title which basically means I work with early childhood teachers and classroom teams to help ensure their students with special needs are getting exactly what they need at school. This is my first year in this position with the USD 475 EC Program. Previously I was a special education teacher for the EC program at Morris Hill Elementary for two years. I have also held various early childhood teaching positions with Head Start, and private preschools in Kansas and Texas.
I am married, have an 8 month old son, and 2 dogs. We are a military family and have been stationed both here at Fort Riley and Fort Sam in San Antonio, TX. We consider ourselves lucky to have been able to have a combined time at Fort Riley for nearly 5 years as a family. Kansas truly feels like home to us!
I have lived in Kansas for 11 years, and discovered my passion for Early Childhood Education and Special Education during my time at K-State. EMAW!!! I believe early childhood is one of the most important times for children and their education. High quality early learning experiences are essential for future success in all areas of life, and I am so excited to be a part of these experiences with all of our Little Jays!

From the Desk of the Principal: Mrs. Stephanie

It’s almost time for our Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences! This is an exciting time for the Early Childhood staff to share all of your child’s growth and progress with you. These conferences are a great way to make sure that all members of your child’s educational team are on the same page in regards to their develop-ment. If you have not scheduled your conference yet, please contact your child’s teacher. We are proud of your children’s accomplishments and can’t wait to share them with you! As always, please call if you ever have questions or concerns!
Stephanie Bogenhagen 785-717-6953

Typical Developmental Sequence of
Fine Motor Skills
by Holly Brecheisen, Early Childhood Program Occupational Therapist


3 Years Old

Can draw a circle after being shown a model
 Cuts a piece of paper in half
 Laces a card
 Copies prewriting lines of vertical, hortizontal, and circle shapes


 Can cut along a wide line with 1/2” accuracy
 Will string 1/2” beads
 Sorts objects
 Will fasten and unfasten large buttons



4 Years Old
 Can move the paper while cutting along a line
 Completes puzzles of 4-5 pieces
 Can use a fork correctly
 Can get dressed and undressed without help
 Uses dominate hand
 Can copy cross shapes, squares, and X shapes
 Can touch the tip of each finger to their thumb
 Can color within a picture with no more than 1/4”deviations from the lines
 Can cut big circles with scissors
5 Years Old


Grasps a pencil correctly
 Begins to print their name
 Copies a triangle shape
 Cuts out a circle
Opens a lock with a key
 Draw a diamond shape when given a model
 Draws a person with at least 6 different body parts
 Can lace their shoes
www.growinghandsonkids.org