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Small Group Time: Dry erase boards

November 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Mary’s group used dry erase boards and markers during their small group time.  The children have shown extreme interest when teachers write the message board which inspired this small group activity.  Mary was able to make observations based on the following Key Developmental Indicators:  Approaches to Learning, Physical Development and Health, Communication and Language, Cognitive Development, and Creative Arts.  The children stayed engaged in the activity for an extended period of time.  I can see another dry erase board small group in the near future!


Garden I/T November Calendar

October 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Garden IT November Calendar 

We love the great outdoors!

October 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Garden Infants and Toddlers have been spending plenty of time outdoors!  The children have been busy making sand castles, playing dress up, drawing with chalk, and racing cars.  The infants have been bringing small group activities outside on a blanket in the grass for them to enjoy.  As the weather begins to get cooler, please start bringing in warmer items to wear outside.  We try to go outside twice daily, rain or shine!


Garden I/T October Calendar

October 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Here’s the October calendar.  Please note our Spaghetti Potluck on Monday October 7th.  Our pod is in charge of bringing dessert or fruit.  Sign up sheets are located in each classroom.  Thanks in advance!


Garden IT October 2013 Calendar

Cottage Toddlers: Paint with brushes

September 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

During small group time the Cottage Toddlers painted with brushes. What started out to be one teacher’s small group turned into a large group project when the other children realized their classmates were going to paint.  While using the orange paint, one child made a comment about making a “pumpkin.”  After that, everyone started shouting out, “pumpkin.”  Mary and Allison observed the children learning and exploring in many ways. Some of the Key Developmental Indicators they observed were:  Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Health, Communication and Language, Cognitive Development, and Creative Arts.  To see the finished products, please refer to the bulletin board in the Cottage classroom.  The teachers named the project, “Our pumpkin patch” thanks to the ideas from the children.


Fall Housekeeping Reminders

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This post was written by Laura Griswold, Director of GH-Dhu-Varren. Her reminders are applicable to all the centers so we thought we’d share!


Fall brings a lot of exciting changes to our centers. We have returning families and new families joining our classrooms. Here are a few things we need you to know or be reminded of regarding health and safety at Gretchen’s House.


Recently we noticed that many children are finishing their breakfast from home as they arrive at the center. It is important that all food from home be eaten before your child comes in the door. This matters not only because of the many children attending with food allergies, but also it shows respect to the other children who may find what your child is eating desirable.

Snacks at pick up time can also be a problem. Please be sure to offer your child their afternoon snack after you are out of the building. Finally, please do not store the snacks intended for pick up in your child’s back pack or cubby. We have found some ‘sneaky cubby munchers’ that just couldn’t wait!

Parking Lot

It is dangerous:

– To leave your car running unattended in the parking lot

– To leave children in the car unattended (car running or not)

– To allow your child to ride in the car without a properly installed cars seat or booster in the back seat of the vehicle

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has stated that if they are patrolling parking lots and see any of the above scenarios, they will ticket the driver.

Local authorities have also reported incidents of thieves targeting child care centers. They break into cars to steal purses, lap tops, etc. when parents are dropping off their children. There have been instances where children were in the car when the robbery happened. In some cases, where older children were involved, the police asked the child to describe the thief! That is scary. We want everyone to be safe.

Contracted Times

Upon enrollment, families choose their contracted times to have their child(ren) at the center. This 9 ½ hour time frame aids us in determining the teachers’ schedules. We need to maintain safe ratios that allows us to provide the quality care you should expect from Gretchen’s House. If there is an occasional situation that requires you to deviate from that schedule, please let the teacher know so we can make adjustments as necessary for that day.

Emergency Cards and Health Insurance info

Many of you have already filled out the new Emergency Cards required by the state of Michigan. Thank you. One of the things that they omitted on the new card that is still required for us to have is the Health Insurance Number. We are asking parents to bring a copy of their card to the front desk so we can make a quick copy. If you haven’t filled out the new Emergency Card or provided us the insurance card, please do so by the end of the month.

Thank you for partnering with us in our mission to keep children healthy and safe.

Cottage Toddlers: Block Area

September 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

If you haven’t noticed, during work days we switched our classrooms around. The Cottage Toddler classroom is now the “home” for the Block area. Today the toddlers used the wooden animals and cardboard blocks for small group. The children imitated sounds the animals make, lined up the animals, built towers, and also built homes for the animals. Mary and Allison made observations based on the following Key Developmental Indicators:  Social and Emotional Development, Communication, Language and Literacy, Cognitive Development, and Creative Arts.


September Calendar

September 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Garden IT September 2013 Calendar

Here’s the September Calendar.  Enjoy!


Cottage Toddlers: Markers

July 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

One morning as the teachers were preparing message board, the children had expressed interest in using markers.  Mary decided to take advantage of the interest and provide markers during her small group time. The children were able to choose the colors they wanted for their pictures, as well as what exactly they wanted to create. Some chose to use multiple markers at once! They not only strengthened their fine motor skills by drawing with the markers, but also by attempting to put the caps back on when they were finished.


Garden I/T August Calendar

July 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Here is the Garden IT August 2013 calendar

Enjoy!  :)


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