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May 2017 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on April 28, 2017 at 4:40 AM

Wow, it’s hard to believe that May is already here. We had a wonderful month of April. We spent the month with our Easter celebration, a fun week of big kids home to play with, and seed planting! Our little Sprouts have already seen their seeds begin to grow. We also have seeds sprouting in a glass jar on the windowsill that we are able to touch and observe the root formations of. Both our signs of spring, and flower/planting matching card centers have been a big hit. They’re also busy searching for the letters on our flower color word wall. They love finding secret letters- and this is an activity that every child can participate in, despite being at varying levels of development. Color recognition, letter recognition, orders of letters, counting letters found, or still ‘missing’, letter sounds, and for our bigger kids, reading and spelling the color words.

We have also been reading both fiction and non-fiction books about spring and plants. They’re already great at identifying what plants need to grow, and parts of a plant. A few of the children have even started to discuss photosynthesis. It’s amazing to hear such small children use big words, like chlorophyll! These amazing conversations (all centered around books, and what we observe naturally in our environment) have branched into discussions about what plants provide us with- housing (wood), food (which foods grow on plants? We keep naming them!), clothing (cotton, we even checked tags to find out if our clothing was once a plant!) oxygen, and of course, their beauty! That has branched into discussions about bees, pollination, and butterflies (we may be ordering caterpillars soon!) I can’t wait to see where they lead us!

We had a FANTASTIC Thursday with the first ‘mud kitchen’ day of the year. We scrubbed toys and played in water, opened up both water tables, painted on the easel, had story time and a special pizza lunch outside, played with juggle bubbles, and went home a little dirty, sweaty, and smelling like sunscreen and summer time. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day.


Closed Friday May 19th is closed/paid, for scheduled appointments

If it calls for rain, or the ground is wet from previous rain, please bring rain boots. On warm days, shoes that can get wet (but no flip flops or dress shoes, please- they create tripping/slipping hazards when wet)

We could use changes of warmer weather clothing. Ideally one set of pants/shorts and long sleeve/short sleeve shirts would be great. As always, I will wash and return to their cubbies.

I am also happy to have sun protection items, hats and sunglasses, brought in and we will do our best to keep them from being lost or broken. I provide SPF 50 (+) hypoallergenic sunscreen. As soon as I find them, we will also have our sun hats and SPF shirts to leave here.

When I scheduled days off I forgot about Memorial day. I will be closed for this day.

For any medical diagnosis, I need a note from the pediatrician. For allergies, my health care plan requires a note verifying symptoms are allergy related, and what the treatment plan is. Runny nose, cough, cold/flu like symptoms are treated as illness unless a physician verifies otherwise. If they are frequent/severe enough to disrupt our day with continual nose wiping/hand washing, I will exclude for symptoms.

Please remember no toys, bags, etc from home. 

This is our last Scholastic order of the school year. I will submit it at the end of May. Please let me know when you order and I can submit it sooner, THANK YOU!

April 2017 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on March 31, 2017 at 5:45 AM

SPRING IS HERE! What a busy, snowy March we have had. It was an incredible month of St. Patrick’s day centers, crafts, activities, and of course, stories! We ended March with child led birthday play, so many clay, playdoh and mud cakes were made and gifts wrapped with care!

We will be moving forward with a few spring, and Easter themed items at centers to see if interest holds out. I also will be placing books about spring, flowers, and gardens. I always look forward to where the children will lead us.

Please dress for the weather, warmer and layers helps. In addition, we still needs boots daily.

Scholastic orders are due 4/13.

We are closed 4/14 for Easter weekend.


March 2017 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on March 1, 2017 at 4:20 AM

Happy March! The kids are seeing signs of spring. I love their natural curiosity for their environment. They amaze me daily! 

After our spectacular Valentine's celebration,  an adorable party and valentine's exchange, and many child chosen crafts, the kids showed an interest in space. We spent the last two weeks reading mostly non-fiction books about the universe, stars, the sun, the planets, earth, and astronauts. The sun, moon, and stars crafts (child-chosen, of course) were so cute! I have to start asking them to make two, one for me to keep! 

We have been loving the youtube channel sci-show kids. Jessi and Squeaks and their short, fun and educational science videos are a great 'brain break' during transitions. We discovered this youtube channel while looking up groundhogs on groundhog day, and every now and then we have referred back to it. It has steered their interests and play this month.

I love watching how their play evolves. In a child led, play based classroom I am following their lead. We started with groundhogs (What IS a groundhog, anyway? Why do we have a book about them? Where do they live?) which led to sci show kids, Jessi told us about the groundhog predicting 6 more weeks of winter, or spring coming soon.

The weather was warmer and we were curious about spring. (Why are people talking about spring? WHY is the weather warmer? Why do we have winter? How does it go away? Why do we have spring? How does it come, and why is it warmer?) 6 kids ask an amazing number, and variety of questions! All of which led us back to sci show kids, and non fiction books, for answers.

I put out a few space books and we arrived at space. I love how each child gains what he is is capable of learning from any set curriculum, for some, just naming the sun, moon and stars. For others, the colors they see. Some, counting and ordinal numbers of the planets. Some, counting up, or down during the countdown. Some really understood the tilting axis, and thought it was just incredible that on the other half of the earth, they are in a completely different season. We pondered the vastness of space, together. As one child said "Space is a busy place!"

We also sang Moon, moon, moon, Mr. Sun, and the Planet Song! They LOVE to sing and dance. 

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. (Walt Streightiff)

They are no longer as interested in space, but the March calendar has clovers on it, and we found clovers outside! I'm excited to see where this will take us. As I back write my lesson plans for the day, and what the children have chosen to work on, it is truly remarkable to see them learning at their own pace, through play. 

THANK YOU everyone who ordered through Scholastic. Don't forget to let me know when you order. I can place each order individually to speed up shipping times, otherwise it takes until my bulk order on the 'due date'. This month, I will be placing an order around 3/17. Our online order code is L76DB. I am no longer handing out paper order forms. I have asked scholastic not to send them as it wastes hundreds of pages of paper per month (I get about thirty, two page orders per book level, and four book levels per month!). They did not have an option for limited quantities. 

I am closed 3/24. Payments are due Thursday. 

Knowing New York weather, I have not sent home winter clothing. Please dress appropriately for the weather in the morning (being able to remove layers helps), and wear boots. Thanks! 

February 2017 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on January 30, 2017 at 5:10 AM

February 2017 Newsletter


What a great start to the new year we have had! The kids loved exploring Jan Bret with stories, number/color mitten matching centers, story sequencing crafts, mitten free art, mitten sun catchers, and many games of ‘troll’ were enjoyed by all.

February will be color filled fun! We will be celebrating love all month long. Please see below for special days. We will also be making letter shirts, please send in any plain colored shirt you have laying around by 2/20, darker colors/shades would work best.

Valentine’s exchange will be on Tuesday 2/14, after lunch. We will be having a treat and reading Valentine’s books. The class list is below. I have included the children not scheduled to attend that day, as well as the big kids. I know ‘my’ kids, and they will feel bad if anyone is left out.













Our scholastic book orders are due 2/10. They will not arrive in time for Valentine’s day, if you plan to order for Easter baskets I recommend doing so this month. You can search the scholastic store online for a specific author, theme or holiday.

Please remember coats and boots daily. Even on warm days, boots are helpful due to mud.

Special days

2/3 Wear blue

2/10 Wear red

2/14 Valentine’s Party

2/17 Wear green


2/24 Wear as many colors as you can!


January 2017 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on December 30, 2016 at 1:50 PM

What an amazing end to a wonderful 2016 with a fantastic group of kids! I am so blessed to do what I love daily, and provide a loving, developmentally appropriate place for the children in my care to learn and grow.

Christmas was an entire month long event, with snowman week, Grinch week, and Christmas week, all with corresponding crafts, sensory table and activities that ended with an amazing full-day long Christmas party- a Christmas themed breakfast, Christmas songs at circle time, pj/book gift from me, 90 red/white/green balloons to play with during centers, outside to play in the snow, inside for a Christmas themed lunch, our annual cookie and book exchange, reading Christmas stories, a short rest, and ending with Santa delivering our new school bus/slide to play with indoors, a Christmas movie and Christmas crunch snack. (We love the wheels on the bus song and making up additional verses for each child- the sillier the better!) The last week of December was spent getting back into a regular routine now that the Christmas chaos is over. We ended this week with our annual ‘Noon Year’s Eve’ party and balloon drop.

January, we will be further exploring four of our favorite (non-Christmas) books from December, and most likely spending a week on each, interest depending. The Snowy Day- Ezra Jack Keats, The Mitten- Jan Brett, The Hat- Jan Brett, and Snow Bear- Jean Craighead George

Thank you for bringing winter supplies daily! It’s wonderful to be able to bundle up/take off clothing as needed.

Our scholastic January order is due 1/13. Our online order code is L76DB.

We will be doing PJ Mondays, as PJ’s are such a big hit around here lately. Tuesday’s will be poetry tea and that’s it for our special days for this month. (we deserve a break after December!)

Tax statements are already given out. My accountant will have my paperwork for quite some time, additional copies/totals is not possible until I get my taxes finished, and pick up my paperwork.

Sprouts is closed Monday 1/2 and Monday 1/16.


December 2016 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on November 27, 2016 at 6:10 AM

We had a great month of November! We had fire drills, practiced stop, drop and roll, get out and stay out, crawling low under the smoke, calling 911, and touching a closed door to see if it is hot. For Thanksgiving, we read books and watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. The dish towel turkeys were chosen by the kids. They’re so thoughtful! I loved hearing what they were thankful for as we explored the topic of being thankful. Parents, extended family, new siblings, pets, food, new houses (and lovely old houses), the playground, toys, food, school, friends, snow, sunshine, and so many more!

We have a BUSY December ahead- the children chose to explore snowmen, The Grinch, and Christmas for the first three weeks. They will be planning what activities will correspond to each of those ideas this week. I can’t wait to see where they lead us! They have already picked some crafts and parent gift ideas.

Special days this month are:

Poetry tea- every Tuesday

12/5 pajama day

12/9 wear WHITE

12/12 pajama day

12/13 wear Christmas/holiday attire or colors (this is needed for a parent gift the kids picked to make!)

12/16 wear GREEN

12/19 please bring in one plain white t-shirt per child

12/22 Christmas Celebration. We will be watching a movie in the morning (to be determined by the kids), and we will be doing our annual cookie and book exchange. Please bring SIX cookies and ONE new wrapped book per child.

CLOSED/PAID 12/23 and 12/26 for Christmas Break

All winter items need to be available for daily use no later than 12/5. Please dress for the weather each day, as we get outside regardless of weather. Boots would be a good idea daily as it has been muddy lately. As soon as it’s cold enough we will need winter weather gear, we use it regardless of snow as soon as the temperature is at/below freezing. I cannot have a child attend if they’re unprepared for outdoor play.

-winter coat



-snow pants

-winter boots (not dress boots/work boots/rain boots)

I also have a few policy reminders this month, these help our days run smoothly.

-No food or toys from home. Blankets or lovies for rest time are acceptable. We have stuffed animals to borrow should a child forget, and as always they have their pillow and blanket here to use.

-Please try to arrive before 9am for breakfast. It disrupts the flow of the day when children are dropped off late.

Our scholastic book orders will be placed 12/9.

I am so grateful for your generous gifts to myself/my family each holiday season. I ask that in lieu of gifts for myself, you purchase a (battery free) gift (or gift card) for items for the children. I get just as excited over new toys as they do.

Tentative paid closings for 2017 are as follows;

Jan 2

Jan 16

Feb 20

March 24

April 14

May 19

June 16

July 4

Sept 4 .

Oct 9

Nov 23

Dec 25


November 2016 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on November 3, 2016 at 5:10 AM

What a fantastic October, and beautiful fall we have had! The kids were busy identifying leaves for our leaf book. We also had a great time with exploring pumpkins, drilling holes and playing with our potato head pumpkin, making haunted houses, our Halloween sensory bins, poems, songs, and of course, our Halloween day filled with fun Halloween food, friends and family at our party. The kids looked adorable and were so incredibly well behaved! They were so happy so many of their parents could make it to the party! Thank you!

We have been reading Disney stories during meals, they took an exceptional interest to Peter Pan, so I will be putting out flashlights for shadow exploration.

I brought out a variety of books and have been reading with the kids to see if there was interest in any other subject. So far, it looks like a community helpers theme is starting to develop. We will also be discussing Thanksgiving and doing activities around that if interest holds.

Please dress for the weather each day, as we get outside regardless of weather. Boots would be a good idea daily as it has been muddy lately. As soon as it’s cold enough we will need winter weather gear, we use it regardless of snow as soon as the temperature is at/below freezing. I cannot have a child attend if they’re unprepared for outdoor play.

-winter coat



-snow pants

-winter boots (not dress boots/work boots/rain boots)

Sprouts will be closed Thursday November 24th, and Friday November 25th for the Thanksgiving holiday. This is a paid closing. 


I also have a few policy reminders this month, these help our days run smoothly.

-No food or toys from home. Blankets or lovies for rest time are acceptable. We have stuffed animals to borrow should a child forget, and as always they have their pillow and blanket here to use.

-Please try to arrive before 9am for breakfast. It disrupts the flow of the day when children are dropped off late.

Our scholastic book orders will be placed 11/11. If you’re planning on ordering for Christmas, this would be the month to do so since Scholastic takes some time to arrive.

I will be holding conferences this month if you would like to speak to me about your child. There will be a sign-up sheet by the door.


October Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on September 30, 2016 at 5:20 AM

The weather is so beautiful, there is nothing quite like the finger lakes in fall! The kids have noticed the cooler air, the leaves falling and we discussed seasons and read a few books about fall already.

If you haven’t already done so, please bring in fall clothes and shoes suitable for colder weather. Thinking ahead, we will be needing winter coats, hats, gloves/mittens, snow pants and snow boots soon! They can be brought back and forth or left here, whichever is easier.

We had a great September filled with lion roars, reading about a giraffe’s foot long blue tongue and watching a mama elephant teaching her baby to use his trunk to drink. They especially loved the jungle babies matching cards, jungle animal counting cards, and all of our jungle themed books, both fiction and non-fiction. We did a couple of crafts, but I really favor free/process art as more developmentally appropriate.

Our Star of the Week continues into October. They have especially enjoyed being the center of attention and learning new things about their friends. Thank you so much for assisting us with this!

10/3-10/7 Livvy

10/10-10/14 Mia and Mason

10/17-10/21 Simon

10/24-10/28 Eli

We will be all about fall, since the children are already naturally curious about the changing season. They are very excited for Halloween, too! That has been a topic of conversation since early September when they saw October on the calendar. Our Halloween party will be Monday, 10/31 at 3pm! Parents are welcome to attend and of course, children are welcome to bring their costumes into school to change after rest time. I will assist (no makeup, due to time constraints), but please leave props or things easily broken at home. Weather permitting, we will be outside doing Halloween themed activities. Children NOT scheduled to attend that day are welcome to come as long as a parent stays (for ratio purposes). I will also be closing early that day at 4pm.

Our scholastic book order is due early this month, on 10/7 (the kids really want to read the Halloween books they chose immediately!) You can order anytime through, with online order code L76DB. Please let me know, so I can place the order.

If you are having trouble accessing our new app, please let me know! I love the ease of it for myself, and I am hearing great feedback about it from everyone so far. I have yet to set up the billing feature. I plan to work on that in October and test it before implementing it. If all goes well, it will replace our current credit card processor.


September 2016 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on August 29, 2016 at 4:50 AM

It’s hard to believe it’s already September! Time flies when you’re having fun!

Sprouts is going green! I have decided to greatly reduce our paper waste. We will be making the transition to online only newsletters, calendars and menus. As always, they will be available on our website Our website is mobile-friendly. In addition, this month two parents will be testing an app to potentially eliminate daily sheets and improve parent communication. Depending on the feedback from parents about the app, we will begin using that to replace our sheets immediately. I am very excited about the app! It has great features and is able to be updated in real time (or as close to real time as I can get!) It will include everything our sheets do- potty, rest, meals, notes to parents, reminders, even ouch reports, all available right from your phone and completely private. No more forgotten sheets! 

For the time being we will NOT be doing show and tell Tuesdays. Please leave all toys at home! We will be doing Sprouts Star of the week. I need parent help for this, and since it will take some prep, we will start mid-month. Please see the schedule for your child’s week, they were picked at random. We are asking that you make a poster all about your STAR and send it in to school on your child’s week. Be as creative as you and your child want! In the past families have included family photos, baby pictures, pictures of your child’s bedroom, pictures of some of their child’s favorite things- color, books, games, shows, activities, vacations, etc. The star of the week will be invited to bring a share item EVERY DAY on their week. They will wear a special crown, and we will end their week with a snack and activity chosen by them.



9/12-16 Mason and Mia

9/19-23 Lucas

9/26-30 Ellison

10/3-7 Olivia

10/10-14 Mila and Ava

10/17-21 Simon


September will also bring a new theme, inspired by our books on CD. Rumble in the Jungle! Animals, songs, stories, and new sensory table items!

Looking ahead- the next closing will be 10/31 at 4pm-this is also our Halloween party! Parents (and children not in attendance that day, accompanied by a parent) are invited to attend from 3-4pm.

Please send in fall clothes as soon as they’re needed.

Scholastic is back for the 2016-2017 school year! Our book orders are due 9/9. The online order code is L76DB. I only take online orders for Scholastic, please no cash or checks.

Your child’s 2016-2017 Sprouts t-shirts went home last week. We are still waiting on two shirts to arrive.


August 2016 Newsletter

Posted by Jessica Spruill on August 1, 2016 at 5:05 AM

The children have been taking wonderful care of their garden. It is filled with tomatoes and cucumbers. They water and weed it daily!

All of our new friends have settled in nicely and are getting into the swing of things at Sprouts. We are moving on to a new theme- the ocean! This was inspired by the children’s love of all things Finding Dory. So many have seen the movie and are asking questions about the ocean toys in the water table outside. We have already learned that Dory is a blue Tang fish! The children have picked out everything they would like to do. We will be painting and crafting our own room decorations. Our book choices and sensory bins are changed to correspond. In addition, we have pattern cards, counting cards, and standard/nonstandard measurement for centers. So exciting! We will continue with this theme for as long as the children remain interested.

I have purchased UPF clothing and sun hats for the children to wear here to help with sun exposure. In addition, we have adjusted our routine to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Please make the first application of sunscreen prior to drop off. I reapply outside, and again before afternoon recess.

Many of the kids and/or parents have requested to bring in tablets for show and tell/sharing days. Because of my policy on limited screen time, the inability to properly monitor what the children could be viewing, and the potential for them to be broken, I have decided not to allow any ipads/kindles/tablets for share days. In our room we use technology and screens on a very limited basis, abcmouse has a daily total time limit of 20-30 minutes, depending on which level the child is on. We also watch an educational show while I set the table for lunch (5-10 minutes). The AAP recommends no screen time for children under age two, and up to two hours of combined screen time for children age 2-5. I have seen first-hand the negative effects of extended screen time and highly recommend reducing screen time for children overall.



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