September Newsletter

2015 - 2016 Academic Year

Happy September!

Woo-hoo! The school year is off to a great start! The children are all getting settled in their classrooms and adjusting to their new schedules. We are thrilled to be surrounded by such wonderful children and families! Here's to an amazing year!!!

Labor Day - School Closed

The Cottages will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of the Labor Day holiday. We will reopen on Tuesday, September 8th at 6:30 am. We wish you and your family and safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Open House

Open House will be on Wednesday, September 9th. This will be an evening for parents to touch base with your child’s teacher and learn about the exciting things your child will be learning during the 2015 - 2016 academic year. The Cricket, Ladybug, and Caterpillar Cottages will have their Open House from 6:15pm-6:45pm. The children in these cottages are welcome to join their parents during open house as some fun interactive activities will be planned for both parents and the children. Butterfly, Bumblebee, and Dragonfly Cottages will have their Open House from 6:45pm-7:30pm. We ask that the children in the three older cottages do not attend the Open House with their parents, but babysitting services will be offered. If you would like to sign your child up to receive babysitting services on this evening, a sign-up sheet is located in the front office. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Open House RSVP - Cricket, Ladybug, Caterpillar Cottages

Wednesday, Sep. 9th, 6:15-6:45pm

602 McIntosh Rd

Sarasota, FL

Children are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Please RSVP. We hope to see you there!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Open House RSVP - Butterfly, Bumblebee, Dragonfly Cottages

Wednesday, Sep. 9th, 6:45-7:30pm

602 McIntosh Rd

Sarasota, FL

If you need babysitting for your child during Open House, please sign up in the front office. You must sign up by Tuesday, September 4th so that we can staff accordingly. Thank you!

Please RSVP. We hope to see you there!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Grandparents' Day Pizza Party

Friday, Sep. 11th, 11:30am

602 McIntosh Rd

Sarasota, FL

Grandparents' Day Pizza Party will be on Friday, September 11th. We are inviting all grandparents to join their grandchild in their classroom at 11:30am to have a pizza lunch. Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 9th and let us know how many grandparents will be attending so we can order accordingly. Pizza for grandparents will be free.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Enrichment Classes

A la Carte - Yippee!!! Enrichment Classes will begin again in October. We are super excited to be offering our A la Carte enrichment classes once again! We are better able to gear the classes towards the interest of our students and be able to offer more of a variety of classes throughout the year. We will also be offering special A la Carte Holiday classes as well. The classes will be taught by TCMLC staff and teachers. Be on the look out for more information later this month!

Soccer Shots - Soccer Shots was a huge success last Spring and we are excited to bring them back! Coach Ian was recently promoted and Coach Brandon will now be teaching classes at The Cottages. We will be having free demos at the end of this month and classes will begin in October. Keep your eye out for more information.

Tumble Tots - Our 2 year contract has ended with Tumble Tots and we decided that at this time we would not be renewing our contract. Though we enjoyed having Ms. Carone's program, it took a lot of extra time and energy away from us being able to offer our A la Carte enrichment classes and other program specials.

Fall Portraits with Lifetouch Preschool Portraits

We will once again be using Lifetouch Preschool Portraits for our Fall portraits this year. Families seemed to enjoy the variety last year and were overall happy with the turn out of the portraits. We enjoyed working with this company and really appreciated the extras that they provide as well as the connivence of ordering and reordering. They will be here on Monday, October 26th and Thursday, October 29th from 7-11am. We will be offering the Holiday Glam background which you can choose to have taken with or without props and you will also have the option of choosing a solid color background. If you would like to bring in older siblings for the Holiday Glam portrait please sign up for a time in the front office.

Perks for Families

1. Smile Safe Kids ID Card: Lifetouch has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and has aided in the search and recovery of children nationwide. Two safety ID cards are produced and provided for each student photographed - even if they do not purchase portraits and they are at no cost to the families.

2. Lakeshore Learning Gift: As a Fall promotion, if you pay for your portraits online at you will receive a free My Art Portfolio from Lakeshore Learning to store all your little one's artwork and keepsakes.

3. Multi-package Discount: If a family has received more than one portrait package, they may purchase the first complete package at $69 and any additional complete package at $34.50. Additionally, if a family has received more than one portrait package, they may mix and match portraits.

4. No Portrait Sales Event at School: All portrait packages will be sent home for you to review. This will allow you more time to decide on what sheets you would like to purchase.

5. Online reordering of portraits and gifts: Parents have the opportunity of reordering portraits online through a secure online payment website. Plus, you can purchase gifts online too! They have a lot of items to choose from such as mouse pads, mugs, playing cards, phone cases, photo books, etc.

6. Variety of Poses and Backgrounds: Children are photographed using three different poses and two different backgrounds. Parents will receive a portrait flyer that will show you the Holiday Glam background that will be used as well as four solid colored backgrounds to choose from. If siblings are being photographed you will also get to choose what background color you would like them to be photographed with. If you want your child to be photographed with a favorite toy or other item from home, please make note of that on the flyer. Lifetouch also gives you ideas of what to wear based on the background. If this flyer is not returned, the Lifetouch photographer will choose the background based on your child's clothing.

Perks for the School

1. Staff receive a complimentary portrait package.

2. Staff receive a complimentary staff ID badge.

3. Teachers receive 4 sticker portraits of each of their students to use in their classroom.

4. As a Fall promotion, the school will receive 15% of the sale of each portrait package.

Portrait Package Pricing

10 sheets - $69

7 sheets - $64

5 sheets - $55

3 sheets - $37

2 sheets - $25

1 sheet - $13

Portrait Shoot Schedule

Portraits will be taken on Monday, October 26th and Thursday, October 29th from 7am - 11am. Please find your child's portrait day below.

Monday, October 26th:




M,W,F students

Thursday, October 29th:




T,TH students


We will have sample portraits displayed in the front office so you can view the backgrounds that will be used in person.

September Birthdays!


"If we didn’t have

birthdays, you wouldn’t be

you. If you’d never been

born, well then what would

you do? If you’d never been

born, well then what would

you be? You might be a

fish! Or a toad in a tree! You

might be a doorknob! Or

three baked potatoes! You

might be a bag full of hard

green tomatoes."

"Or worse than all

that…Why, you might be a

WASN’T! A Wasn’t has no

fun at all. No, he doesn’t. A

Wasn’t just isn’t. He just

isn’t present. But you…You

ARE YOU! And, now isn’t

that pleasant!"

"Today you are you! That is

truer than true! There is no

one alive...

...who is you-er than

you! Shout loud, “I am lucky to

be what I am! Thank

goodness I’m not just a clam

or a ham Or a dusty old jar

of sour gooseberry jam! I am

what I am! That’s a great thing

to be! If I say so



Happy Birthday to all of our friends born in September!

  • 9/4 Nora O. (Bumblebee Cottage)
  • 9/5 Logan R. (Caterpillar Cottage)
  • 9/6 Avery F. (Ladybug Cottage)
  • 9/7 Cecelia M. (Ladybug Cottage)
  • 9/12 Easton H. (Butterfly Cottage)
  • 9/18 Ryder T. (Cricket Cottage)
  • 9/18 Kaiden O. (Caterpillar Cottage)
  • 9/20 Alexander J. (Cricket Cottage)

Cricket Cottage News

Welcome New Friends

We would like to welcome CJ and Cameron to the Cricket Cottage! CJ's family is new to our school and we are happy to have them here! Cameron's family has been part of the TCMLC family for quite some time and his older brother Grayson who started in the Cricket Cottage is now in the Butterfly Cottage! We know that we are going to have a wonderful year full of growing and exploring ahead of us. We can’t wait to watch our new friends grow, learn, and achieve their developmental milestones. Thank you for allowing us to take part in your child’s journey.

R.I.E. Book for Parents

We would like to recommend the following book to our families. It is titled, Your Self Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child's Natural Abilities, by Magda Gerber. This book is an amazing resource and will certainly improve your understandings and appreciation of the RIE philosophy. We have this book available in our room if you would like to check it out! This book is also available for purchase at, Amazon, and other retailers. The store offers many other books and resources for parents and infant educarers alike.

Sensory Play

We will be tapping into our sense of touch through tactile exploration. We will be doing some finger painting with various materials for our friends to enjoy throughout the month. Through this activity, we will encourage the development of our fine motor skills as well as work on our eye hand coordination.

Sign of the Month

This month we will be focusing on signing "milk" and "eat". Please try to incorporate these signs at home with your child as well.


  • Please sign your child in and out daily
  • Please label all bottles and supplies with your child's first and last name
  • Please label your child's food with their name as well as the contents and the date for any homemade food
  • Please remove all contents from the bin in the refrigerator each day at pick-up time
  • Please check your child's Cricket Tidbit to see if anything may be needed

Quote of the Month

"What infants need is the opportunity and time to take in and figure out the world around them" by Magda Gerber

Ladybug Cottage News


We are so excited to start another school year in the Ladybugs! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your child's growth, development, and daily interactions. We are looking forward to learning, growing, and reaching new milestones. During September we will be talking about ourselves, family, and friends. We will look at family photos, name our friends and family and maybe make a few silly faces as we look at each other in the mirror.

Supplies Needed

We will need a few things to get started. If you have not done so already, please bring them in at your earliest convenience. Thanks so much!

  • Family Photos - the children really enjoy looking at these and will even begin to recognize what family goes with what child. It's really sweet to see them hand each other the correct family photo.
  • Portfolio Supplies - Throughout the year we will be documenting your child's growth and development. Having portfolio supplies early helps us to keep organized and up to date. We have have already begun the documenting process! Please bring the following: 3 ring binder 1 1/2 - 2 inches, 50 page protectors
  • Plastic Grocery Bags - we are always in need of plastic grocery bags throughout the year!


  • Please remove shoes and wash hands upon entering the classroom. This includes removing the children's shoes and washing their hands as well. You can feel free to store your shoes in the drawer under the bench.
  • Please keep the gate closed to the cubby area when gathering or putting children’s items away. We ask that you do not allow your child back there with you as this area is for sleeping only and is not an area that is safe for them to freely explore. During the day, we keep the gate closed and the children know that this is not a place to play.
  • All food, cups, and bottles must be labeled with your child's first and last name. Not only is this a licensing regulation, but it also helps prevent confusion during the busiest times of the day when preparing multiple meals at once. For your convenience, there is a marker on the front of the fridge for labeling items.
  • Please do not place anything on the diaper changing table as this helps to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

We appreciate each family's participation in helping us to create the healthiest and safest environment possible! Should you have any questions, please feel free to ask. We are looking forward to a great year!

Quote of the Month

“Focus on the quality and ease of movement, not on the age a milestone is accomplished”- Magda Gerber

Caterpillar Cottage News

August Recap

We began our school year by practicing our self-help skills. The children have shown quite an interest in shoes, therefore we planned fun activities such as painting using both shoes and socks. We looked at picture books about shoes and discussed which shoes are worn during different occasions (flip flops at the beach, slippers at bedtime, dressy shoes for a fancy event, etc.). A variety of shoes were added to our dramatic play center for the children to practice putting them on.

September - Self-Help Skills Continue

During the month of September, we will continue working on our self-help skills. The children will practice putting shoes and socks on and off, helping with getting dressed, as well as hand washing, and drinking form a regular cup. Toddlers love becoming more independent and we encourage parents to practice these activities at home as well.

Hanging Garden

Ms. Jamie has found a very unique garden idea on Pinterest that we would really like to begin this year. Any parents that have a green thumb and are able to help out would be greatly appreciated! Also, we will have a sign-up sheet posted this month for the materials that we will be in need of for this project. We sincerely appreciate your donations, both time and materials! Thank you!!!

Loose Parts

Recently we have been incorporating loose parts into our lesson plans and the children absolutely love it! Some of the loose parts that we have used are seashells with mirrors and foam playing chips and corks with bowls and cups. We are collecting medium to large plastic bottle caps to add to our loose parts collection. Please save them and add them to our bag hanging from the white board. If you have any ideas on cool loose parts activities with toddlers, please share!

Problem Solving

Problem solving will be one of main objectives this month as we work on our self-help skills. It is important to encourage the children with language to build their confidence as they begin doing things for themselves. We also plan to work with them when frustration arises such as deep breathing, counting to 10, or looking at calming nature pictures.

Friendly Reminders

Please make sure all sippy cups are labels with your child's first and last name. All children need a morning and an afternoon snack daily. Please put morning snack into the snack basket labeled "AM snack". PM snack must be labeled "PM snack" and can be kept in your child's lunch box. Thank you for your help! These little things make our lives so much easier!

When Parallel Play Becomes Playing Together

Babies play side-by-side, but older toddlers move beyond parallel play to really interact with their classmates and playgroup buddies. Next time you’re at the playground, take note of how the toddlers interact. Chances are, if they aren’t grabbing, hitting, or throwing something, they’re totally ignoring their playmates or, at best, grunting in one another’s general direction. Pretty antisocial, huh? Yes — and perfectly normal, especially for young toddlers, for whom parallel play (playing side-by-side, with no interaction) is still the name of the game. But the tide is about to turn, Mom; at two to three years old, kids start to notice one another at play and to share their stuff (hallelujah!) in loosely organized ways (this is called associative play).

During parallel play, babies and toddlers sit happily alongside one another but rarely interact. One critter may occasionally look up from her shape sorter to see what her pal is doing or even to hand her a toy, but more typically she’ll spend most of her time in her own little zone. Yet that doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy being around other toddlers — in fact, she loves looking at faces and bodies similar in size to her own.

When associative play emerges, toddlers begin to share playthings. Your toddler and her playgroup gang may all build with blocks, for example, but each constructs her own teetering tower. Or they may all cluster near a play kitchen, busily “washing” their dirty dishes or stirring an empty pot — but without the planning and directing (“You be the mommy and I’ll be the daddy”) you’ll see among older kids.

Of course, all this associating is bound to lead to squabbling, since toddlers this age are still learning about turn-taking, sharing, and the many nuances of “being a good friend” (some adults are still working on that!). You can foster friendship skills by trying these tactics:

  • Be a good role model. When you play with your tot, make a point of asking before picking up a toy she’s been using. Once she gives you the green light, tell her you appreciate her giving you a turn and praise her willingness to share. (Oh, and don’t forget your pleases and thank-yous.)
  • Choose cooperative games. If you’re hosting a group (or even just a pair) of toddlers, make ring-around-the-rosy or other circle games part of the fun, or have them roll a ball to one another (a great way to teach turn-taking). All-hands-on-deck activities such as cooking together, doing crafts, or making music encourage teamwork and sharing.
  • Intervene when necessary. Keep a close eye on toddlers during playdates and be ready to step in quickly if anyone’s on the verge of lashing out. With all the matter-of-factness you can muster (whether your child is the aggressor or the victim), separate the battling parties and redirect them to a new activity or separate areas of the room.
  • Practice…a lot. Just because one playdate (or several) ends in tears and tantrums, don’t give up. Learning social skills takes time. Experiment with different groups, settings, times of day, and activities (without overstuffing your child’s social calendar, of course).

Butterfly Cottage News

Back to the Fun Stuff

During the month of September, we will be focusing on a few new topics as well as as some that may be familiar. As we get better equated with our new routine and classroom environment we will explore more child driven topics. For the month of September here's what we've got planned- "All About Me", our daily schedule and listening skills.

All About Me

Our Butterfly's will be getting to know themselves even better! They will create beautiful self portraits, individual expressive art, and a special all about me dictation. There will also be some cute little keepsakes that we will add for you to cherish in their portfolios. Please keep in mind, many of the art projects will be kept for your child's portfolio.

Incorporating Classroom Rules

As we are growing up so fast before your eyes, our Butterflies will be learning about and applying safety rules in our classroom. These rules include indoor walking feet to minimize bumping into objects or people. Another rule for us is using our words. Some of our little darlings simply just forget to communicate with their words and others may not know how to say what they are feeling or what they may want or need. When this happens, we remind our friends to use their words and provide a model of speech for them to use to express what is needed.

Family Pictures

We would like to remind all the families to please send in a few pictures form home of your child and family together. We are creating special family books for each child to use as a comfort while away from the ones they love. Your family pictures will be laminated and put together in a flap book form to keep in our book area. Photos can include parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt/uncles, cousins, pets, anyone that is close to your child that could be comforting for them to look at while at school.

Thank You Parents!

Ms. Lisa and Ms. Erin would like to thank all the parents who donated paper and art supplies for everyone to enjoy. We are so lucky to have such awesome parents! Your donations will be put to good use throughout the year.

Bumblebee Cottage News


Hello September!!! During our first full month together our topic of interest will be the Farm. Who lives on on the farm, what kind of animals and what kind of jobs do we need to do to help run the farm? The children will learn how farming is important to our lives. We will also learn many songs and rhymes related to our topic.

Open House

Open House for the Bumblebee Cottage is September 9th from 6:45pm-7:30pm. Please try to attend so we can get to know each other better. During this time, we will discuss our teaching strategies and what to expect from us throughout our year together. This is a great time to ask questions and learn how we will teach your child and help with making them successful.


All families are unique in their own way. As we get to know each family in the Bumblebee Cottage, we would also like for our cottage to become one big happy family! We will discuss what makes a family, graph members in our family, who has or doesn't have pets, and a family tree will be created in which we will ask for family photos. We are excited about combining each individual family into one BIG Bumblebee Family!

Making Learning Visible

As we study certain skills/topics, we will be taking pictures of the children in the process of learning. We want to capture each child engaged in learning and document through dictation panels. Play is very important to children and we want to show visible learning. We will later use the pictures for the end of year portfolios.

Phonological Awareness - Clap It Out

The first stages of phonological awareness is to detect syllables in words. The best way to teach syllables is to clap out your name. The first few weeks of the new year we will be clapping out our syllables in our name. We will then move on to blending and onset rime as the year progresses.


Now that we are in the Bumblebee Cottage we are really excited about doing things by ourselves. We will be encouraging your child's independence and would really appreciate your help at home as well. Please encourage your child to dress themselves, try to open something before asking for help, and use their words to ask for help not just expect it. The more we can encourage the children to try first the more they will succeed at the tasks that lie ahead of them.

Dragonfly Cottage News

Thematic Units

Welcome parents and students to the Dragonfly Cottage. We are really looking forward to all of the exiting things we will learn this year. We will be breaking the year up into thematic units. Our units will include all about me, healthy foods, farms, halloween, Eric Carle books, holidays, outpace, winter, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, Dr. Seuss, dinosaurs, and earth day. There may be changes to thematic units depending on the interests of the children. Some units may last a week while others may last a month or longer because the children show more or less of an interest of the topic.

VPK Assessments

In the Dragonfly Cottage we will incorporate the Florida Four-Year-Old Standards as well as the Creative Curriculum Teaching Strategies Gold Standards. Each activity we complete will help your child be a step closer to achieving the goals we have set for them. We will be completing VPK assessments three times each year. Once in September, again in January after the holiday break, and finally in May within the month of graduation. The assessment within the first month with provide us with a base line so we know which areas need the most improvement and how to best teach your child.

Reading and Math Groups

After the first assessments are complete we will separate your children by skill level. We usually break the children up into four groups so each group can have 20 minutes of small group activity per day. We will teach math and reading skills on altering days. We will also have writing skills time each week. During small groups we will play games, use the smart board, and focus our lesson on the skill focus of the week. The information about skill your child learned that day will be posted on the daily board. We will use a symbol or color for each group so to protect each child's privacy so look for your child's group information. You will be informed about which symbol or color group your child is in as soon as we know. Remember there will be two different groups, one for math and the other for literacy.

August/ September Units

This month we will start with an all about me unit. This will help us teachers get to know your child and you. We will learn about ourselves, our feelings, our families, and our friends. We will introduce the first star student. Activities we will complete include self portraits, stamping our names, and dictations. We will then start learning about school safety and healthy foods. We will have a healthy food taste test, learn about what we do at school when something happens, and plant our own vegetables in the school garden.

Toys from home

The Cottages has so many great toys that we ask you to help us keep toys from home at home. We love when children bring in books (especially when about the topic) however all toys will be taken away from a child. When parents work alongside with teachers this task is very easy to accomplish. Children quickly understand and respect the boundaries set forth by both parents and teachers. Children are allowed to bring one small sleep friend that fits in their bedding box with their blanket and sheet. Large items will be sent home as will pillows or over sized blankets.

VPK Hours

It is very important that your child arrives at school at or before 9 am. We will be lining up to go inside at 8:40 am which will be followed by snack at precisely 8:45 am. VPK starts promptly at 9:00 am each day and there is so much to do. If your child must come in late for any reason, please drop them off in the office and someone from the office will escort them to the classroom. Circle time starts promptly at 9:00 am, therefore we need to limit the amount of interruptions to the class. Thank you for your assistance and cooperation with this matter.

Classroom Volunteers
We are always looking for parents to help out in the classroom. We have a few jobs that we really need extra help with too. First, we need a pencil sharpener. We have so many pencils (colored and regular) that are being used that we really need someone to help keep up on the sharpening. We also need a book doctor. When books get injured or torn we collect them in a book hospital. The book doctor takes them home and heals them so they can return. Also we would like to do one cooking project per unit. We are hoping a parent would be able to sign up to help volunteer to help us with each one. We can have a different parent help during each one, however we are asking for the additional help to protect children and allow for them to experience cooking. Please let Ms. Gail know if you can help out with anything.