Book Review: Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted To Be Noticed

by J. C. Phillipps This is a fun book about a boy who really wants to be a ninja!  He is so excited when he is accepted into the ninja school, but he struggles to please his teacher and become a real ninja.  Wink has a problem being stealthy—how can people know what a great ninja he is if no one can ever hear or see him being sneaky?  This book helps show children how things can still work out, even when something doesn’t match their expectations.  Wink finds a way to enjoy the art of being a ninja, while remaining true to himself. According to Yumi Sensei, “it is clear that this book is written by an American who encountered Japanese culture while in the US, rather than someone who grew up surrounded by Japanese culture.  However, Wink’s story is what many children in LB1 and 2 will experience in their life; it is difficult to create your own identity when you are living within two cultures.  They want to belong to society but a big part of their life is Japanese—a culture that is different than most of what surrounds them.  I hope that our children will find a wonderful future with inner harmony just as Wink does.” Check out Wink from the Pierce County Library...

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Check out Fun Fair’s Silent Auction & Raffle!

Come check out our silent auction and raffle at the 4th Annual Family Fun & Safety Fair this Saturday, March 22nd, from 11am – 2pm. There will be all kinds of great stuff to bid on in the auction and win in the raffle, including kid’s CDs, tickets to museums and events, a family photography session, an American Girl doll, a 3-month membership to the YMCA, and more! Here is the list of  businesses that have generously donated items for the Fun Fair’s silent auction and raffle so far!  Thank you for supporting our school! American Girl Applebees Caspar Babypants Costco Experience Music Project Jiffy Lube of Puyallup LeMay America’s Car Museum One Reel (Bumbershoot) Pacific Science Center Recess Monkey Redbox Seafair Seattle Children’s Museum Seattle International Film Festival Seattle Sounders FC Seattle Seahawks Teaira Amell Photography Total Wine Tower Greens University of Washington Athletics (Husky Football) Washington State Spring Fair Wiggleworks Woodland Park Zoo YMCA of Puyallup We also want to thank Safeway (located at 11501 Canyon Rd E. in Puyallup) and Wanna Cupcake and for donating their delicious baked goods to our Cake Walk! We hope to see you all at Fun Fair on Saturday!...

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A Bear Visits Green Class!

Our theme for March is Northwest Animals…and last week Green Class came face to face with a bear! Teacher Nancy had the bear skin rug covered with towels and slowly revealed the “least scary” parts first, starting with the tail. The kids were enthralled the whole time, and spent a lot of time touching the fur, claws, ears, and teeth. It was amazing to watch the wonder in their eyes!  ...

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Green Class Eats Green Eggs and Ham!

Dr. Seuss’s birthday was March 2nd.  Today in Green Class we read the classic book Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss…and then ATE green eggs and ham!  The “green eggs” were hard-boiled eggs with mashed avocado instead of the yoke, and the “green ham” was ham slices rolled with spinach leaves.  Some kids devoured the snack, some kids took their adventure bites, and others weren’t quite ready for green eggs quite yet!  Perhaps we’ll need to read the end of the book a few more times…...

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Preparing for Spring in Little Bear 2

本日のこぐま2組。今日はチューリップの歌と、ちょうちょうの歌を歌いました。天気が良くて気持ち良く、お外で自然に触れました。春はすぐそこです。 Today’s Little Bear 2 class!  Learned tulip and butterfly songs…learned about nature in the sun…spring is just around the...

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Book Review: Bear Wants More, by Karma Wilson

Part of our theme for March is animals from the Northwest.  It made me think of one of my children’s favorite book series about a bear and his other forest friends.  In Bear Wants More, Bear wakes up from his long winter slumber and is positively starving!  He scavages all over the forest with his friends eating everything he can get his paws on…to the point where he can no longer even fit in his front door!  It is a cute story celebrating the excitement of spring when the world is waking up from its long winter’s nap…I’m definitely ready for some spring celebrations!   Bear Wants More is a sequel to the original book Bear Snores On, which may be my favorite in the series.  In this book, all sorts of little cirtters have a winter party in Bear’s den while he is hibernating. But what happens when Bear finally wakes up and realizes there is a whole crowd of critters in his den? Each of the books that I have read in the Bear series celebrates friendship in a really endearing way.  Check out all of the adventures that Bear and his friends have at the Pierce County Library....

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Thank You to Local Musicians: Caspar Babypants & Recess Monkey

Did you know that we have some amazing local children’s musicians?  Two of them have donated their full CD sets for our Fun and Safety Fair—and yes, they have a LOT of CDs!   Caspar Babypants Caspar Babypants is from the band The Presidents of the United States of America (which actually came out with a new album this year).  He has gone off on his own to create some really fun, refreshing music for kids which parents can actually enjoy, too! He has a lot of really fun original songs, as well as creative twists on classic kids songs such as “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “Ring Around the Rosies.”  My kids love hearing these new versions of classics; they think it is so funny when the lyrics are different from the versions that they have heard so many times!   His latest album, called “Baby Beetles” is filled with covers of Beetles songs for kids, and it looks like he has a new album coming out this fall!   We had a lot of fun when we saw him perform last year.  He has donated 7 signed CDs to our Fun Fair—Thanks, Caspar! Check him out!  http://babypantsmusic.com   Recess Monkey Recess Monkey is a children’s band made up of three teachers from Seattle.   They definitely have some clever lyrical twits throughout their songs!  We have only listened to a couple of their CDs so far, but so far my daughter’s favorite album is “The Final Funktier” which is filled with songs about outer space!  Her favorite?  “Black Hole in My Room,” which features lyrics such as: My black hole is a tiny spot of doom Pulling in the stuff that’s in my room It’s not misplaced, just eaten you see By that gripping, great, gobbling gravity! It cracks me up!  Our family hasn’t been able to see them live yet, but we hope to be able to see them perform somewhere soon.  Thanks so much to Recess Monkey for donating a set of 12 CDs/DVDs to our Fun Fair!  Make sure to check them out: ...

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Celebrating Japanese “Girls’ Day”

本日、こぐま2組のアートの時間で、おだいりさまとおひなさまの壁掛けを作りました。 March 3rd is “Girls’ Day” in Japan. The Little Bear 2 class enjoyed creating wall decor of Ohina-sama & Odairi-sama....

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Will my child be ready for kindergarten?

by Diana Stone South Hill Cooperative Preschool’s Bates Advisor I often hear parents are concerned that preschool might not have enough structure. They are concerned that their child won’t be ready for kindergarten unless there is more structure in the preschool classroom. This is actually opposite of what brain research is telling us. Since research and our own experiences have shown that play is crucial to children’s development, it makes sense to be aware of anything that may affect play. Some of the obvious changes are busier schedules, electronic and media-based toys, less time outside, and less unstructured and unsupervised play. In particular, these changes greatly reduce the time and quality of make-believe play. There was a piece called “Old–Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills” on National Public Radio. Howard Chudacoff, a cultural historian, at Brown University talked about how the changes in play have resulted in changes in children’s cognitive and emotional development. What he said was, “It turns out that all that time spent playing make-believe actually helped children develop a critical cognitive skill called executive function.” (For the full NPR story, please go to: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19212514) Executive function is the ability to self-regulate. It helps children to control their emotions and behavior, resist impulses, and exert self-control and discipline. Wow, isn’t this what we would wish for our children? Studies evaluating children’s capacity for self-regulation done years ago and repeated recently showed that today’s 5 year olds were at the level of 3 year olds of the past. Today’s 7 year olds were at the 5 year old level of the past. Why is this information important? Because poor executive function is associated with school  drop-out rates, drug use and crime. In addition, good executive function is shown to be a better predictor of school success than IQ. As one researcher, Laura Berk, puts it, “Self-regulation predicts effective development in virtually every domain.” This information tells us that we need to protect children’s play. We need to provide time, space, and more natural materials inside and outside. As adults we need to back off a little, quit hovering, and allow children to use their own imaginations at home and at preschool. Rest assured that as your children play and participate in the preschool...

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運動会 “Undo-kai”

2014年2月20日、こぐま組開講以来初めての運動会が開かれました。 子供たちから保護者、祖父母の皆さんまで楽しめるとても素晴らしい運動会になりました。 On Feb. 20th, we had our first “Undo-Kai” sports festival since Little Bear classes started.  Not only the students but parents and grandparents could enjoy this event.  It was great!          ...

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Registration for 2014-2015 is Open to Current Families

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2014-2015 school year is open to our current families!  Please remember that registration is first-come, first-serve, so even if you currently have students in the program you need to reserve your spot by submitting your registration paperwork and paying the registration fee. Enrollment for new families will begin March 1st during our Open House, so make sure to get your paperwork submitted soon to reserve your spot! Make sure to review the updated schedules and tuition for the 2014-2015 school year. We look forward to seeing you next year...

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Undo-kai Preparations!

来週の運動会に向けて、説明と予行練習の様子です。 The Little Bear 2 class is preparing for “Undo-kai”–the sports festival next...

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