Sapphire Room News

Ruth Zajac

Stephanie Sullivan

Sapphire Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Perrysburg Campus. Stephanie Sullivan and Ruth Zajac are the classroom’s co-teachers.



I want to thank all the families that came to First Thursday today. I also want to share with you the handout (below).

Structure of the Music/Literacy Lessons

CH_MusicI start with a Music and Movement lesson for the whole class. We warm up our voices and bodies and have a lot of fun. After a couple of songs at circle I spread the children around the room so that we have space to hop, jump, and wiggle without bumping into our friends while we sing action songs. During this time, I also sing songs related to content areas that children are studying in the classroom and seasonal songs.

After singing our hearts out and shaking our sillies out we come back to the circle for the Shared Reading lesson. At this time I refer to the song I have written on chart paper, and point to each word as the students and I read the text together. Even the youngest students can be successful in this reading environment because they have already sung the song and they have the support of their classmates and me.

During work time I work with the students in small groups reading their folders. All of the students have their own folders that contain copies of the songs we have used as Shared Reading texts. This gives students the chance to read the songs independently, allowing them to make one more mental imprint of the song. Songs are illustrated to provide picture support so that even the youngest readers can be successful through recognition and recitation. They see the picture of the water, and they know it is the song, “Listen to the Water,” so they begin reciting it from memory. Emergent readers use their fingers to practice left-to-right directionality and begin tracking print. Developing readers use one-to-one correspondence, touching each word as they say it, and self-correcting when they notice that the word their finger is pointing to does not match the word they are saying. The differentiation of instruction is inherent in the activity because all of the children can approach it at their own levels and be successful.

When we work in small groups, in addition to reading our folders for independent reading, there are many other literacy extension activities that we do. For example, we did a lot of work on our names with the song “What’s Your Name” including comparing names and “letter hunting.” I sometimes ask students to illustrate a song as a comprehension activity. Other times I use “zipper songs,” asking children to fill in a blank, and “zipping” their ideas into the song. When we fill in gaps in a printed song, my expectations are different for students depending on their individual levels. I might model the writing and fill in the blanks myself, stretching out a word to listen for every sound in it. I might ask children for the initial sound of a word, or to write the word independently, depending on their abilities.

The best way for you to understand the curriculum and appreciate the incredible work the children are doing would be to come in and observe on a day when your child has Music. I am in Sassafras on Mondays, Black Cherry on Tuesdays, Perrysburg on Wednesdays, Poplar and Sycamore on Thursdays, and Maple on Fridays. Please join us. I would love to see you there!

Keep singing!

Please join Amy Wagner and me this Thursday, February 4, 8:30- 9:30 a.m. Amy will talk about the Montessori materials that support language, and I will talk about how the Music/Literacy program works. We will do a quick demonstration with some of the Children’s House students, and be available to answer questions. Hope to see you there!



Dear Sapphire Room Families,

On Friday, February 12th, we will be celebrating Valentines Day by exchanging Valentines with our friends. We will do the exchange at the end of the morning just before carline. Each child will have the opportunity to place their own Valentines inside their friends special container. Please send in the following items with your child:

19 Valentines (Leave the “To” part blank to facilitate easy distribution. In the “From” part please have your child write their own name in this space). This is a manageable task if your child writes a few each day between now and our exchange.

A container (basket, box, bucket or bag) which will hold the Valentines that your child receives. This can be homemade or store bought. If its a crafty project at home, we suggest having a shoebox, tissue paper, sequences, stickers, glitter glue, markers etc to get you started!

Please keep in mind as your child chooses Valentines that CANDY IS NOT PERMITTED.
Any questions, please email Ruth ( or Stephanie (

Looking forward to our Valentine exchange.
Ruth & Stephanie

What does 100 look like?

Dear Sapphire Room Families,

On Friday, February 5th, we will celebrate 100 days of school! Your child may bring in 100 objects to share with their friends at circle time. Examples of objects are crayons, legos, cotton balls, paper clips, coins, stones, puzzle pieces, stickers, rubber bands etc. Please place the objects in a bag labelled with your child’s name. The items will be returned home at the end of day. Thanks for your assistance in helping us see what 100 looks like!

Any questions, please contact Ruth (
or Stephanie (

Good Morning Families,

This morning we had a practice Lock Down Drill.  So if your child says they took a “field trip” to the basement, that is why.

The new and “like new” Teddy Bear collection drive is taking place through Friday, February 12th.

Please remember to send outdoor apparel for your child, especially as the weather warms up (hopefully!) as the week progresses.  Snow boots and pants are utilized by Children’s House students.

In February, remember to check out your child’s pointillism art work inspired by Seurat, on display at the Way Public Library.