Tag Archives: pre-k

Soaring – Discovering the wonderful world of books!


website57The addition of Soaring to our pre-k program has been well received by the children and their parents.   Soaring is the Monday enrichment class that allows children to continue their discovery of the wonderful world of books.

Reading is such an important skill to develop in children.  The more young children are read to, the greater their interest in mastering reading. Reading out loud exposes children to proper grammar and phrasing, and helps young children develop vital language skills.  It enhances the development of their spoken language skills and their ability to express themselves verbally.

website64Through books, children learn about other people and places, both real and imaginary.  Through stories, they meet new friends and characters.  Books can encourage children to be helpful, kind and show how to resolve conflict. At preschool, story time is a group activity that offers children the opportunity to sit quietly and be respectful in a group and also socialize and share with each other what they have heard.

Our Soaring class continues to nurture this skill in a fun filled day.

Soaring allows the children the opportunity to…website9

  • Hear the story “Not a Box” and discover a box is just a       box . . . unless it’s not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows.  The children are allowed the opportunity to see where their imagination takes them.


  • website13Share an adventure with Harold and the Purple Crayon.






  • website225Discover the world of science as they make a cloud and hear the story,      What Are Clouds?





  • website33and so much more

Watch as our children soar ahead and discover the joy of reading.



Should we teach our children to share?

website38cornRecently I read an article about whether we should teach children to share.  This had me ponder the value in teaching this vital, yet sometimes difficult, social skill to our preschoolers.  In a preschool environment, every day the teachers share their attention, experience and love, in addition to their classroom toys and materials with each and every child, and hopefully impart upon them the joy they will find if they pass this gift of kindness on to others.

website34Learning to share in a preschool environment is so much more than simply encouraging a child to share a specific toy and is never about forcing a child to give up a favorite item.  As we encourage the children to share classroom materials with other children, they also learn the value of cooperation.  The expectation to share everything in the classroom allows a child the opportunity to figure out how to play collaboratively with another child.        Sometimes it may be taking turns, but many times, the children discover a way to play together.  This encourages creative thinking and also provides the child the opportunity to expand the very necessary social skill of playing and interacting with others, which will help them to be a well-adjusted person in the world.

Sharing in preschool is not just about giving up a special toy.  Sometimes they need to share a Crayonkids8teacher or a friend’s time with another person, or share and pass markers, glue or even snack during craft or snack time.  These opportunities reinforce simple courtesy toward others.  We watch as children, on their own, notice another child who may be in the need of something and offer to help their friend.

At St. Paul’s Preschool we also strive to show the children the joy that is received when we share our time and resources with others.  The children are so excited to collect food for our Free choicechurch pantry, to create and give away beautiful centerpieces for church activities, and create and deliver valentines to special individuals around our church community.  Our children show appreciation for others who share their time and talents by preparing special thank you letters for parents and special people who come to school.

So yes, because the benefits are so far outreaching, we will continue to teach our preschoolers the joy that comes from sharing.

Celebrating Mrs. Hoffsmith 20th year teaching at St. Paul’s

Mutual love

Mutual love

Mrs. Hoffsmith has been teaching at St. Paul’s..
This is her 2oth year.
Her extraordinary worth and value
have been made so abundantly clear.

St. Paul’s is so blessed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Liane Hoffsmith, lead teacher of the Crayon Kids.  Words alone cannot describe the value of this special person.  However, an excerpt from a letter sent by a parent does it well.  “What can be said about Mrs. Hoffsmith?  It could be said that she is quiet, soft spoken and gentle.  It could be said that she is gracious, slow to anger and filled with goodness.

Handprint quilt from the Crayon Kids

Handprint quilt from the Crayon Kids

It could also be said that she is a magnet for 3 and 4 year olds.  But none of these statements do her justice.  The legacy of a teacher is something that is difficult to measure.  The greater learning isn’t reflected in just academic achievement. It is shown by a child’s confidence and their ability to work well with other children. A child’s belief that the word is a genuinely good place is a tribute to the way all children are warmly received into Mrs. Hoffsmith’s classroom and into her life.


Simply stated, Mrs. Hoffsmith shows both children and parents what it means to love and be loved in everything she does.  Thank you, Mrs. Hoffsmith for loving all the children you’ve taught for the last 20 years.  Crayonkids12You are a gift to treasure.”


Diversity in the preschool classroom

Mrs. Monier's students share their All About Me poster with her classmates

Sharing her All About Me poster with classmates

Young children are so eager to share in each new experience and so willing to accept the wonderful differences in our world.  Children are excited to learn about how we are all the same in many ways, but how each person is also unique and special.

Preschool children begin to notice differences among people…some are short and others are tall, some have blue eyes and others brown..they notice skin color, eye shapes and hair color.  Diversity also encompasses children’s individual interests and capabilities, cultural differences, age and gender difference and language differences.

As children are discovering these differences, it is important to embrace the diversity in the classroom setting as it helps the children feel content in who they are and helps them feel valued.


Comparing fingerprints

Comparing fingerprints

A young child who learns to embrace diversity will embrace this concept as an aspect of life that they value. Preschoolers love to learn songs and dances from other cultures and sing and count in different languages. They enjoy activities that help them think about and discuss the concept of fairness, as this is a familiar issue for young children.  It is especially rewarding for children to learn about the culture and language of one of their classmates and their families.


St. Paul’s United Methodist Preschool is proud to be a place where all children are celebrated and valued.




Celebrating Lei Day

Celebrating Lei Day

Working together

Working together





Parents make a great preschool even better.

2014-02-19 14.28.37 20140306_113335 20140311_095451 20140311_105833 First, you start with an amazing preschool with committed, loving teachers.  Then you add a sprinkle of generous, energized parents, and you have a recipe for the best preschool around.  Every day, we are blessed to share the talents and gifts of our parents with the preschool children.  Besides just offering the children another adult to help them learn and grow and experience new ideas and adventures, the children are so very proud to share their mom or dad with the class.  So here’s a BIG THANK YOU to all the wonderful parents who share their time with our children.

We value all our parents!

  • We honor the service of Mr. Matty, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Quick who provided such intrigue and excitement over the years as the the children learn about planes and flight
  • Dads who can build things…..Mr. Hicks who built ramps for the children in the Star room as they discovered “things that roll”, the Tapperos who helped the children build their own picnic table and the Van Fleets, who built our wonderful planter box for our garden
  • Moms who have been very valuable substitutes….Mrs. Yenzer, Mrs. Kaufman and Mrs. Burt
  • Moms who use their special artistic gift to make shirts for the children…Mrs. Cotter
  • Moms and Dads who help to refurbish our sand…The Fletchers, Mr. Cotter, Mr. Kaufman, Mr. Schmitz
  • Dads who help others every day and share the love of this job with our children…Fireman Weber
  • Dads who have a really cool hobby like Mr. Fryer who showed the children how to rope a steer, or a cool job where he gets to play with rocks…Mr. Brown
  • IMG_0392Moms and dads who teach our children the value of exercise…..Mrs. Twito, teaching hula dancing, Mrs. Matty teaching Zumba and the Helms teaching the children how to keep moving
  • Moms who use their special talent to help create our wonderful website..Mrs. Perry
  • Grandparents who share their special gift…Papa Jim singing Rodeo songs with the Stars
  • Parents who provide special birthday snacks and treat, those who help with parties and events, those parents who say YES when we ask for help or need supplies for our classrooms and all the parents who commit to bringing their children to school every day

Spring has arrived….

Showing tender loving care

Showing tender loving care

Spring has arrived…

Spring at preschool is such a wonderful time.  It is so rewarding to see how much the children have grown and matured since school began in the fall. We have been blessed to experience each new adventure as our preschool friends have explored and learned.

Summer is just around the corner, but there are many new discoveries still to come before we send off our pre-k bunch to kindergarten.  As spring has arrived, it is now time to wake up our sleepy hibernating bears,  time to plant our spring flowers,  time to experience storytime with Mr. Bill from Bear Canyon Library, time to learn how to love and be kind to all of God’s creatures, including wiggly, squiggly worms.

But most important, it is a time to appreciate all the wonder that is spring and all the love and goodness worms2in our world, as we teach our precious little children about God’s great love as we celebrate the Easter season.

Happy Spring….


Are they ready?

Owl7Preschool is a special time to prepare children for kindergarten, but more importantly, a time to nurture their natural curiosity and sense of discovery as they continue to grow and develop every day.

As we approach the second half of our school year, parents often ask if their child is ready for kindergarten.  Each year our teachers meet with the parents to share the milestones their child has met during their time at preschool and discuss any areas where parents may wish to work with their child.

Our pre-k teachers embrace the uniqueness in each child to determine their strengths while assessing whether they are progressing towards or have achieved the appropriate kindergarten readiness skills to make the transition to kindergarten a successful one.


Visitors are welcome!

A day in the life of our preschoolers often involves special visitors in our classrooms.  The Star classroom enjoyed two visitors this past week.

Mr. Brownmr brown & kidsFirst, Geologist, Mr. Brown, aka Carson’s dad, showed us how rocks were all around us….in the walls, on the floor and even in the windows!!

The second special visitor was small, fast and very very happy to be in the Star room!  Mix small, fast and happy with a bunch of preschoolers and what do you get?  One special moment!

The children in the Star room have been watching Pastor Billy’s new puppy, Ollie, take her daily walks so they invited her in to say hello.  As the Stars are learning about love and kindness and giving to others, their teacher took this time as a special teaching moment to explain how we can show kindness and love to animals.  Ollie was more than happy to share her love with all the children.20140206_103645

Science curriculum at Preschool…absolutely!

To a young child, every day can be a discovery of something new.  Preschoolers love to  explore the world around them.  Simple science activities help young children enhance this natural curiosity. 

Science exploration in the classroom provides young children the opportunity to

The fascination of science

The fascination of science

  • Build self-confidence
  • Engage in “hands on” experiences
  • Increase observation skills
  • Receive opportunities to use tools, equipment and familiar materials
  • Problem solve
  • Develop sensory, physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social attributes
  • Develop language through increased vocabulary as they ask and answer questions
  • Just have fun
Check out the soap cloud in Mrs. Ricardi's hand

Check out the soap cloud in Mrs. Ricardi’s hand

Science activities are incorporated into many of the learning themes throughout our preschool program.  A small sampling includes mixing colors, making slime, learning the difference between salt and fresh water and its effect on floating, erupting volcanoes and discovering the wonder of dry ice.

The Frogs and Owls have recently been spending some time in senses and science discovery.  Questions lead to activities that encourage children to explore, discover, and draw conclusions.

  • Can you paint with Jello?
  • What can you make from water, borax and glue?

    Mrs. Monier's Owls and their soap cloud

    Mrs. Monier’s Owls and their soap cloud

  • What happens to paint when you freeze it?
  • Will soap float or sink?  What happens when you put it in the microwave?
  • Add water to cornstarch… Does it stay a solid or turn into a liquid?

Our science discovery allowed the children to SEE, FEEL and SMELL results during many of their activities.

Our soap experiment yielded excitement, anticipation and a little nervous energy as they watched the simple bar of soap transform into a big fluffy cloud in the microwave.

During science discovery, “Professor” Van Wormer visited the classroom to help them discover liquids, solids and gas.  They also learned the most important part of science experiments…safety first!

Visit our Facebook page to see more science fun pictures.

Professor VanWormer visits the Frog Room

Professor VanWormer visits the Frog Room

Dry Ice bubble

Dry Ice bubble

Dry ice discovery in the Star Room

Dry ice discovery in the Star Room

Is it cold?  Fun in the Owl Room.

Is it hot or cold?
Fun in the Owl Room.

What happens in February? Why registration, of course!

February in Tucson is such a wonderful time of year.   The weather is beautiful and there are so many fun and interesting days to enjoy.

What happens in February? – Registration for St. Paul’s Preschool’s 2014/15 school year.

Mark your calendar so you don’t miss out on the following!

  • February 11, 2014 –  Registration begins for current families.
  • February 18, 2014 –  Registration begins for new families. 

Call today, 260-1350, to schedule a tour.  Spaces fill quickly, so don’t delay!

IMGP2810What else happens in February?  Did you know that …..

February 1st begins with National Freedom Day – A day to remind us all of what our country stands for and to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy.

February 2nd brings the always anticipated Punxsutawney Phil – Although those of us in Tucson may not be too worried about when Spring will arrive.

February 7th is Send a Card to a Friend Day, and the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics.  Go USA!

February 14th is a day to ride high in the sky as you celebrate Ferris Wheel Day, and of course, Valentines Day.


February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day

The Star Class - Sharing love and kindness

The Star Class – Sharing love and kindness

Our goal is to help our little ones practice kindness on a daily basis.

February 20th is the Rodeo Break for Preschool – Head out to the Rodeo for Arizona’s Celebration of the Cowboy.