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Chessie Room- Cleaning up!

May 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The younger toddlers had an opportunity, not to just look through the door that separates our infant toddler classrooms, but to visit too!  They came over to the Betsey room to investigate the activities in the classroom.  Several of the children enjoyed using the brushes and dustpans to sweep pom-poms off the floor.  We appreciated their help!

Some of the learning opportunities that they had were: Problem-solving, moving with objects,  exploring objects and seeing things from a different viewpoint.

~Debbie, Lara, and Denise

Infant/Toddlers-Art for baby girl Price

April 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The infant and toddlers worked together to make a sign for Donya’s (our cook) baby.  They used ink pads and stamps to create a colorful sign (and themselves).

They had the opportunity to experience these Key Developmental Indicators while stamping:  Exploring objects, Exploring art material, Group participation, Playing with others and Moving parts of the body.

~Sarah, Debbie, Lara, Betsy, Hillary, Megan, Ashley, and Denise

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Chessie room- Building a dinosaur house!

April 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Chessie room children created a new home for their dinosaurs.  They began by using paper mache to cover a box.  The children explored the mache mixture using several of their senses.  Once the box was covered, they painted it.  Finally, their house was ready for dinosaurs (and children)!  It’s been a wonderful addition to the room, and the children had the opportunity to experience working on a project that lasted for several days.

~Denise and Debbie.

Spring Thaw Reminder

March 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

We know how important it is to support children in getting outside to experience and explore the outdoors every day. As snow has melted, we’ve had some wet and muddy areas on the playground. This certainly makes for an exciting playground to explore, but can definitely be the cause for some messy clothing!

As teachers juggle wardrobe changes, we ask that you please remember to send in extra clothes for your child. Tall rain boots may help as we make this transition. In addition, waterproof gloves and snow pants will help children stay warm and dry as they actively explore the playground. Labeling their articles of clothing also helps minimize confusion. We will have Gretchen’s House back up clothes available if needed. If your child does borrow GH clothes, please be sure to return them promptly so that other children have access to these items as well.  Thanks so much for your understanding as we make our way through the wet, muddy, but very welcome, spring weather.

Thank you!



Railroad I/T April Calendar

March 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. ~Clay P. Bedford

Here is a April calendar. April 2015.


Chessie Room-Taking care of babies!

March 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Several of the younger toddlers have been very helpful  with entertaining the babies from the Little Traverse room.  The toddlers love to talk and play with them.  Nicole and Deb set up the sensory table for the toddlers to wash the baby dolls in the classroom.  This activity promoted baby care along with adding a sensory experience.

~Denise, Deb, and Nicole

Chessie room-Painting with dinosaurs?!

March 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Chessie room children have been very interested in playing with the dinosaurs.  The teachers noticed this and extended this interest by adding paint to the children’s play.  The teachers expected the children to paint using the dinosaurs as their painting tool.  As you can see, some of the children decided to paint on the dinosaurs as well!

Railroad Infant/Toddler March Calendar 2015

March 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

 “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about”
Here is the March calendar. Spring is just around the corner. March 2015


Outdoor Gear

February 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

This past snow storm has left some remarkable snow piles for the children to explore! We ask that you please continue to send in hats, waterproof gloves, boots and snow pants during the snowy season! Extra socks and a full set of back up clothes are also helpful. As this most recent snow begins to melt, we will be in the messy season. These items will help to keep your children dry and comfortable as we explore the outdoors!

In addition, please remember to label all of your child’s extra gear. As teachers navigate through the day, we want to ensure we are able to keep track of all the gloves, hats, boots and snow pants to return to you each day. If you happen to find yourself with any extra items that you may no longer need, we gladly accept donations that allow us to have extra items on hand!

Thank you for your cooperation!


Valentine’s Day at Gretchen’s House

February 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Many of us have fond memories of elementary school Valentine’s Day parties and celebrations. The majority of the Ann Arbor Public Schools still celebrate with cards and parties. For the young children in our programs, Valentine’s Day is a very abstract concept. They are just learning about feelings of love and friendships. The idea of writing their name on a card 20 or 30 times is likely a skill they have yet to master, and that even as school age children we didn’t much enjoy!

Our approach to Valentine’s Day here at Gretchen’s House, is in line with our philosophy for all curriculum; meet the needs and follow the interests of the children. We will focus on children’s interests and age-appropriate activities that promote healthy social interactions. Teachers will be tuned in to see if children are interested in making cards, writing names and talking about friendships. We will have new and interesting materials available for children who want to create pictures, cards and other creations.

Like most things with young children, the interest may surface more after the big day. It is hard for younger children to remember a year ago and what the holiday is about. Often children receive cards and treats from relatives or hear about their sibling’s big day in school. It’s possible the children may talk about Valentine’s Day here at the center, long after the day has passed! Teachers at Gretchen’s House will be ready and happy to continue to support the interest as long as it lasts.

Although, we won’t be having a classroom exchange of Valentine’s – if your child is interested in making Valentine’s, we ask that you utilize the parent mailboxes for your exchange rather than bringing them into the classroom. We want to remain respectful of all children’s feelings. As we know not all families celebrate, it can be difficult for the children if they don’t receive as many as the other children in their class. Opening them at home will ensure it’s an experience they are able to enjoy in the comfort of their own home! In addition, please remember that we are an allergy aware center – for this reason, we ask that if you decide to bring in Valentine’s you limit it to cards only.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work together to ensure Valentine’s Day is a positive experience for the children. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or concerns.

Thank you!



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