Thursday, April 19, 2018

NAEYC Work Together Wednesday with Loose Parts!

As you may know, we have been celebrating NAEYC Week of the Young Child here at Holly Tree!  One of our favorite activities so far took place on Work Together Wednesday!  We set out loose parts (clothes hangers) in bins on the playground and we are in awe of what our Pre-K and Toddler classrooms created!  

Our loose parts gave the children an opportunity to let their minds do the work.  They all worked together and learned through investigating, discovering and problem solving by experimental trial and error.  The teachers provided open-ended questions to spark their imagination!

Stay tuned this summer for more awesome provocations with loose parts!

For more information on NAEYC Week of the Young Child, click here!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Picnic Day Photos!

Despite the wind, we had a great time eating in the great outdoors today!

Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pie Provocations at HTB!

We are so excited to be rolling out a creative way to spark our students imagination and creativity!  They are called provocations and they are designed to stimulate new ideas and develop skills of creativity and inventiveness.  Simply put, teachers are setting out "loose parts" and inviting children to use their minds to create whatever they wish!  

In this activity, you can see our Toddler 2 room using three simple items; pom poms, tongs and pie tins.  The underlying DAP (developmentally appropriate practice) behind this activity is stimulating the children's fine motor skills, by using the tongs to pick up the pom poms.  They were not instructed to use the tongs, however, all children chose to build their "pie" with this tool!  Our Toddler 2 teacher, Ms. Sara, was observing the children and was asking the children open ended questions to get their minds working.  This activity builds flexibility in thinking, planning and reflecting in young minds.

Stay tuned for more fun provocations this summer!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


We have some way exciting news coming your way HTB family! Are you guys ready for this? Are you actually ready? Did you do anything to mentally prepare yourself? If not, I suggest you hold onto your seat.
We are working- slowly but surely on turning our school… GREEEN!
No, not like painting the bricks on the exterior green (although, that’d be SO spring) I’m talking totally environmentally conscious!!!!
Now, this is something that is very near and dear to my heart, and something that I have been thinking about for a long time. A couple of weeks ago I came to Caroline with the idea and in her usual gung ho way she said “Let’s do it then!”
That’s when the planning began.

We are very excited for all of the things that this can eventually mean… saving on paper supplies and obviously doing all we can do be good to our beautiful planet that we were given to be good stewards to.
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the sea and the skies and over all the earth and over everything that lives.”
It is our hope that as we go through these next couple of weeks- where we plan on keeping you updated with all of the changes coming- you will work with us and if you have any questions always feel free to ask!
First thing to go is excess paper! That means that from now on we will not be printing out menus and calendars for everyone. We will continue to email them to everyone like always but to reduce over using paper we will not ourselves print hard copies. There will still be one hard copy by the front desk as well as in the back- which we hope will keep you properly informed!
I’m sure a lot of you who have parent preferences on menu items (we would like you all to feel free to have that!) are wondering how in the world we are going to work this now! Our plan is to bring large white boards into every room, that way you all can simply write up there what your preferences are- we hope this will be very helpful for the support staff as well because there will be one clear cut place to check when they come into a room!
The second is Styrofoam. This is a HUGE one. Did you know that of all materials Styrofoam is one of the only ones that never decompose fully?? There is no way to recycle it either! Such a waste!!
We have replaced Styrofoam in favor of plastic rewashable plates, bowls and cups for the kiddos.
Now… I know what the next question on everyones mind is! What about the cheerios?? Being that we are getting rid of Styrofoam and I don’t really love the idea of replacing them with plastic bags that everyone will throw away… we are trying to trouble shoot a couple of different ideas. Perhaps each child that wants cheerios at the end of the day has a designated ‘school snack’ cup that they may take with them but are required to bring back the next day.
Now the biggest one… coffee. This issue is as near and dear to my heart. I live, breathe, and believe in all things coffee. Being a six cups a day girl myself. This is where some creativity might have to come into play. I’m not sure what the best option is for this. Do we provide paper to go coffee mugs that are fully recyclable? Do we require you to bring in a to go mug yourself in order to make coffee?
Any and all suggestions are welcome!!
This is a work in progress and we are working on things one little bit at a time. We are so excited to take the center in this direction but we hope that you will hold on while we try to figure out all of the logistics!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Did you know?

Did you know that St. Patrick was the one who brought Christianity to Ireland?!

Yes, it is true!  In the year 431, St. Patrick was sent to Ireland and become the most famous missionary to visit the country!  We celebrate on March 17, the death date of the patron saint of Ireland.

Yet, here we are today celebrating by wearing green and pinching people who don't.  Eating corned beef and cabbage, going to festivals, parade and searching for pots of gold at the end of the rainbow!  So as we celebrate this weekend, lets remember the real reason for the season and remind our children that this is more than an overly commercialized holiday, it is about spreading the word of Christianity!