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Meadow Preschool

April 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Although we read all months of the year, since March is reading month, we decided to highlight some of the reading in our room.  In the picture above you can see that during large group time, Aiden, Stella, Sanuki, Erin, and Celine read through the yoga book to select the next pose.  You can also see Stella reading the horse book and Heidi and Joe reading together.

We have used a variety of art methods during small group time and work time.  In one of the pictures you can see Aiden moving the box around so the golf ball will roll through his paint.  You can see some our class artwork on display at Bella’s Italian Restaurant the week of April 13th. We are also continuing our fine motor practice with tweezers and pom poms, jewel searching in the sand, signing in our names, painting, and also cutting with scissors.  Above, you can see Olive using scissors to cut small pieces of paper to glue at small group time.


Meadow Preschool Work Time

February 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Grace cuts with scissors during Work Time. Using scissors is an activity that increases dexterity in fine motor control. These activities help prepare for holding a pencil and writing.

Musical Chairs as a Large Group Time activity: A modified musical chair game for preschool is having more than enough chairs. Everyone gets a chairs when the music stops as we can focus on skills like impulse control by starting a stopping on cue (instead of competing for a seat). We also have fun while moving to the music and gaining gross motor skills.

Audrey stacks cubes during small group time. This activity supports pretend play and role playing as well as fine motor skills. Since two sizes of cubes were available several children discussed size difference.

Joe and Evan make pancakes and take care of the baby. Cooperative play builds language through speaking and listening. Playing collaboratively builds relationships when children contribute ideas in their play.

During work time, Erin and Stella build a boat in the block area. As they constructed the boat, they gathered materials to help represent the play. This supports creative art skills.

Aiden joins in the block area. Once the boat building is complete, the opportunities for pretend play take off. The children step in and out play to give directions to each other.

Musical Chairs as a Large Group Time activity: A modified musical chair game for preschool is having more than enough chairs. Everyone gets a chairs when the music stops as we can focus on skills like impulse control by starting and stopping on cue (instead of competing for limited seats). We also have fun while moving to the music and gaining gross motor skills.


Meadow Preschool

January 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We have been busy during Work Time.  The children have found many opportunities to challenge themselves.  Stella and Evan worked with the ramps and marbles.  They placed the ramp just right and sent the marbles down.  Cole figured out how to put the gear mat together, then fit the gears on the pegs.  One of the below zero days, we brought the snow into the room.  Isaak, Celine, and Abby added the snow to the House Area.  While, Jacob uses the snow at the sensory bins to make cake.  The Work Time learning continued with John mixing paint together to create new colors.  Alexander practiced using the dough press with the new playdough.

— Pam

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.

Meadow Preschool

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome to the Meadow Preschool blog.  The school year is underway and everyone is getting to know each other in the AM preschool room.  I look forward to getting to know all of you as the year continues.  This blog will be a place to get a peek into the classroom’s activities and learning.

Visitors from High Scope and China

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The High Scope Foundation will be bringing a group from China to our center on Thursday, July 19th and Friday, July 20th.  Most of the visitors will be experiencing Michigan and the U.S. for the first time.  This group of educators will be visiting Oak Valley as well as Perry Nursery School in Ypsilanti.  They are here to learn about the High Scope curriculum model and see it demonstrated in the early childhood setting.  They will be accompanied by a High Scope representative and a translator.  In common areas throughout the center, you may see a group of 25, as I explain how our center operates and how High Scope is implemented in our classrooms.   When they observe in the actual classrooms, they will be entering in smaller groups. Their visits will last approximately 2 hours each day.

We are proud to share our center with the international early childhood community.


Gretchen’s House Food Donations

December 16, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

With all your food donations in the last two weeks we were able to donate a total of 173 pounds of food for families in the Washtenaw county!! Mary Schlitt of Food Gatherers (and a parent of a preschooler) visited all of our preschool students to read, “Carl the Super Carrot” and talk about donating food to those who are in need. The preschoolers really enjoyed the story and learned about helping others. Thank you Mary for volunteering your time and thank you to all the families who helped by making a donation.

From the Director: December Already?

December 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s hard to believe that 2011 is coming to a close.  To celebrate our GH families, we will be having our annual “Winter Wonderland” on Tuesday, December 13th, from 4:30-5:45.  We will have cookies and punch, facepainting, gingerbread house decorating, and necklace making.  In our gym, we will feature folk musician, Hilo Greg.  He will perform music from his CD,  “Little Songs for Big Kids”.   I hope you are able to join us for this fun celebration.

You may have noticed our Mitten Tree in our lobby.  We are collecting new hats, mittens and gloves for children in need.  We are also collecting non-perishable food items for Food Gatherers.  Thank you to GH parent, Mary Schlitt, who came and read Carl, the Super Carrot to the preschool children.  The book informs children what the organization does within our community.

Just a reminder that as we go through winter, please monitor the weather to allow additional driving time at pick-up, when needed.  Many staff have long distances to drive as well.  Also, we will be closed on December 23rd and reopen on Jaunuary 3rd.


Forest Pod Stone Soup Feast

November 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This week the Forest pod had their annual Stone Soup Feast. We began the week by reading many different versions of the European folk tale and by talking about different themes in the stories, such as sharing and friendship. We worked together to make cornbread and homemade butter, in addition to the soup. We ended the celebration with a cake. The rooms combined to eat lunch together and some family members were able to join us as well. Thank you all so much for supporting the project and for donating ingredients. Enjoy the pictures!

-Cortney, Scott, Laura, Tonia, and Pam

Gretchen’s House is Helping to Make Strides Against Breast Cancer

October 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On Saturday October 21st we had 29 walkers for the Making Strides Breast Cancer walk. The walk was held at Eagle Crest golf course and was just under 5 miles. Our Gretchen’s House team was able to raise approximately $1,700 to help find a cure for breast cancer. Thank you for all our donations and support on our journey for a great cause.

–Kimberly Jezowski

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