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Happy November everyone! Time has sure flown by this year for us at Open Arms. It really does seem like we just got started! The kids have finally settled into a routine now and they are making friends and getting to know everyone’s names. It’s always funny how long it takes them to remember the names of all their classmates.

We had our Environmental Learning Center field trip at the end of September and beginning of October this year. The weather was perfect to be outdoors exploring nature where we found animal foot prints, caterpillars and all kinds of other insects. As always, the “wiggly bridge” was a hit! Learning about Emotions was another part of early October, as the kids just started getting to know each other a little better. We have actually added a “feelings check-in” during circle time with a thumbs up or thumbs down to see how everyone is feeling each day. It’s interesting how this can promote some good and interesting conversation among preschoolers! We also had our Fire Station field walking field trip for our Monday/Wednesday/Friday class. We were fortunate to have a perfect fall day for our walk to the Fire Station. The firefighters came with their truck to visit the three-year old class. As always, the kids loved it and learned that we shouldn’t be afraid of firefighters dressed in their heavy gear. We had a special treat as the dispatch came over the speaker welcoming Open Arms Christian Preschool to the fire station!

Parent conferences were held in the middle of the month, which is a great time to check-in and visit one-on-one with parents. Nearly every family was able to make a time to come for a short conference. Fall Leaves, squirrels and scarecrows were among other topics in October. We did a scarecrow “directed drawing” activity, which is by far one of the staff’s most favorite activities with the kiddos! This enlists listening skills to follow specific directions, writing practice, art fun and, in the end, each child has a drawing they made of a scarecrow all by themselves! We will do these periodically with different themes, so be sure to check out the hallway bulletin boards from time to time to see what the kiddos are creating!

As I write this, we are wrapping up one of my favorite times … pumpkin week! The kids got to “dissect” pumpkins, complete with tweezers to pick out every little seed—great pre-writing skill practice they don’t even know they are doing. We learn why pumpkins float rather than sink, and all about the anatomy of a pumpkin. We will wrap up the week with our field trip to Bartel’s Farm and pumpkin patch. The weather is supposed to be beautiful, but we expect that we will have to look really hard to find pumpkins that weren’t ruined by the early snow! Of course, following pumpkin week will be Halloween fun, complete with Harriet’s Halloween Candy, spiders and Halloween parties! We are going to have a fabulous time based on what the moms are planning for the parties! They are giving the staff a break with this one, as we are turning it all over to them to plan and execute!

Our Bible stories this month have been about how Adam and Eve disobeyed God, how a young child named Josiah was a King, and all about the Widow’s offering. We had our first chapel of the year with Pastor Nettleton talking to the children about Adam and Eve. The students who are new to Open Arms this year were in awe of the beautiful stained glass windows in the Sanctuary. Pastor will have to tell the stories behind those windows sometime.

We are about to really dive into our Colorado Shines rating process. We will have our rating done in April, but we need to submit everything for it here very soon, so we will be extra, extra busy with that. We have gotten a total of about $4,500 in “Quality Improvement” funds through this process, which has been very helpful to replace some old materials and purchase updated items. We continue to work with Summitstone’s Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, which such a great resource for us.

November will of course be full of Thanksgiving plans for our Feast Days, quickly followed by Christmas preparations! It’s so crazy how fast time is flying. My mind is already trying to race ahead to the Christmas program!

Have a blessed November and Thanksgiving!

Kandy Wise is the Director of Open Arms Preschool, a ministry of Saint John’s Lutheran Church. You may reach her at 482-1357 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions about the Preschool.