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7115 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43615-3010
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Ali Packo

Ali Packo

Amy Lawrence

Amy Lawrence

Maple Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Amy Lawrence and Ali Packo are the classroom’s co-teachers.

Dear Families,

I was absent at the beginning of the year because I was on chemotherapy for treatable breast cancer. Thankfully, it is now safe for me to return to my work and joy: singing with your children. I am so lucky to be able to work with your amazing children. Thank you for sharing them with me. If you have any questions or want to chat further with me, I am happy to connect with you.

Keep singing,



Hello Children’s House Families,

I’m Risa, your child’s Music and Literacy teacher. As the Childrens House Music and Literacy teacher, I have the joy of working with your children. One morning a week I spend a half hour with each Children’s House classroom. During the lesson we sing, dance, and have a lot of fun. Many students try to arrive extra early on “Risa Day” because they don’t want to miss any songs. I encourage you to observe your child on a Music Day. You will see that the children are doing some big work in Music. And besides, hearing the children sing and seeing them dance is heartwarming. Please call the office to schedule an observation.


I hope those of you at the Toledo Campus can join us at our Thanks and Giving Sing-A-Long, Tuesday, November 25, at 8:45. At our Thanks and Giving Celebration we will be singing songs about things we are thankful for. We are all thankful to have been born, so our birthday song, “We Celebrate Your Birth” will be included in the set list. This is the song we sing at our classroom birthday celebrations. Click here to watch the YouTube video.


Keep Singing,


My schedule this year is:
Monday: Sassafras 8:30-9Tuesday: Poplar 8:30-9

Sycamore 9:05-9:35

Wednesday: Emerald 8:30-9

Sapphire 9:05-9:35

Thursday: Maple 8:30-9

Friday: Black Cherry 8:30-9

The children are settling more into the routines of the classroom and continue to practice the completion of the work cycle from beginning to end. There are several topics that have been presented and practiced over the past couple of weeks. They include the following:

Fire Safety :

This is a topic of great interest to the children. October is Fire Safety Awareness Month, but it should be discussed throughout the year.The children had many stories to share and a lot of good tips they already knew. We talked about firemen going to school and practicing and practicing before they go to work. They put out fires, climb buildings to get people or animals out, cut down trees, and help people who are hurt. They also wear special clothes and tools that weigh more than sixty pounds, but we should not be afraid because they are there to help us. We also shared some ways to help prevent fires, such as never playing with matches, lighters, or the stove, staying low and crawling if they saw smoke in their house, and never opening a door if it is hot to the touch of the back of their hand. The children learned to stop, drop, cover, and roll if their clothes caught fire and were asked to think about a good meeting spot outside of their house if there was a fire. Calling 9-1-1 is an important information to know in case of an emergency only. The children have practiced fire drills several times this year already. We exit out our porch and walk back to the fence at the edge of the playground and wait quietly until an all clear sign has been given. Popular work choices on the shelf included fire truck puzzles, a magnetic fire scene, and counting the number of firemen to go in trucks labeled one to ten. Many of the children made their own fire safety books to share with their families.


The finished product!


A first year student counts the firefighters to put in each truck.

North America:

We moved into the continent of North America recently. It is the orange continent on our continent puzzle map. It is the third largest continent and contains the countries of Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Some of the children insisted they did not live on this continent, but we were able to convince most of them otherwise. We looked at some of the animals found on this continent, such as the bison, the bald eagle, the timber wolf, the grizzly bear, and the alligator. Children enjoyed using the rubbing plates of these animals to make a book, labeling animal objects and labeling their own book of animals, and coloring a continent map. We also talked about some of the food, sports, and languages of the continent. Many children love the continent puzzle maps in our room. They range from very easy to very difficult. The younger children are excited to finish the puzzles. The older children are beginning to become interested in the names of the countries in each continent, where we live in relation to them, and want to pin punch their own maps to take home and keep. We have had a few gracious kindergartners complete their maps and donate them to the classroom for the other friends to use as control maps.


Kindergartners work on coloring a map of North America and pin punching countries of North America to make their own map.


A kindergartner is so proud of her completed North America map!

Exciting News:

The children were very excited to welcome back our music (and literacy) teacher to the Maple Room! She is excited to see old friends and meet some of the new children. They have sang some songs to help her learn names. Some songs are also being learned and practiced to start preparing for Spring Sing later in the school year. She is with us on Thursday mornings and brings joy and peace to the classroom each and every week!


You can’t help but smile when singing!

Third Grade Readers:

Children in the Maple Room love books. We are so lucky to have some third graders from the Goldfinch Room come to read to us books they have prepared. They are coming for about fifteen minutes once a week at this time.


Kids gather in the book corner to listen to stories.


It is a special treat to have the Lower Elementary children visit!


With the change of weather, we just want to remind you to please have an appropriate seasonal change of clothes in the children’s backpacks. This is in case they have a spill during work time or at lunch, or if they get wet or muddy on the playground. Also, please remember to send hats, gloves, scarves, boots,etc. We try to go outside daily even for a brief time if the weather permits. Thanks in advance for your help.

Thanks and Giving Collections:

In the Maple Room, we are collecting lotions and bottles of hand soap for the Victory Center. At this time, we have a good deal of lotion collected (far surpassing 100 bottles). Thanks for your generous contributions. We are in need of some bottles of hand soap (pump) to reach our goal. The children will help count what we have collected so far and give you an update soon.

Classroom Candid Photos:

The children amaze us with their wonderful work in the classroom. Here are a few great choices :


A second year student chooses the parts of a bat nomenclature cards, labeling such parts as wing membrane and third finger.


A friend makes a pumpkin color word book!


The children practice community building as they share materials and teach each other how to rainbow loom on a Friday afternoon.


Buckling is a challenging skill that requires practice.


An older friend enjoys a creative writing activity about bats.



Fall has arrived and there are many changes in the air. The outside environment has unveiled colorful leaves and crisp air. The work in our inside environment continues to evolve and change with new topics. Here are a few areas of focus over the past few weeks:


Recently, a unit on mammals was presented in the science area. We first identified characteristics that make mammals special. Mammals are animals that have hair (fur), feed their young milk, and are warm-blooded. Humans are mammals. We researched and found out that the cheetah is the fastest mammal and the sloth is the slowest mammal. There are more herbivores (plant-eaters) than carnivores (meat-eaters). Work choices on the shelf included small board books to read about particular mammals and their babies and a mammal book to label and color. After an overall look at mammals, two specific mammals were looked at in depth.The first one was whales.

Whales are warm-blooded, even though they live in cold water, breathe air, and have hair. The biggest animals in the world are whales. The blue whale can grow to about 100 feet in length. Whales do not sleep as we do. They sleep only half-brain so they remember to take air in, otherwise they would drown. There are two types of whales. Some of them use a filtering system called baleen. Baleen whales eat krill and plankton. The rest have teeth they use to catch prey. Toothed whales eat many kinds of fish, such as tuna, cod, and salmon. Toothed whales use echolocation to find their food which involves emitting sounds that bounce off whatever is in front of them, and interpreting those sounds to determine the object’s distance, shape, and size. One activity included a matching work of different types of whales, such as orca whales, sperm whales, blue whales, beluga whales, and humpback whales. Other frequently chosen works were the nomenclature cards which labeled specific parts of a whale, such as their blowhole, dorsal fin, flippers, and flukes.


A friend labels a book of mammals.


Labeling the parts of a whale book requires great focus and handwriting skills.

The second mammal we investigated was the bat. Bats are the only mammal that can fly. They can live in caves and are nocturnal (which means they come out at night while most of us are sleeping). Some of the kids thought that bats were scary, but we learned that bats eat mostly fruit,nectar, and mosquitoes. This information gave a more positive impression of bats. Bats really do not bother humans unless they feel threatened by us.The terms microbats and megabats were used during our lesson to discuss sizes of bats. For example, a flying fox was categorized as a megabat and a bumblebee bat as a microbat. Different types of bats were discussed, such as the tube-nosed bat, leaf-nosed bat, hog-nosed bat, and horseshoe-nosed bat. The children enjoyed labeling the parts of a bat through nomenclature cards and reading bat books in the book corner of our room.


Outside of the Maple Room, there is a small area for us to garden. Many parents contributed perennials to the garden last year. This year as a gift, one child and his family donated daffodil bulbs. The child’s grandma came and dug holes for the bulbs. Then, each child was invited to come outside and plant a bulb and put a marker with their name so hopefully we will have a beautiful revelation in the Spring. The children loved the experience and felt a sense of ownership in the whole experience. Anyone with a green thumb is always welcome to take care of our outdoor environment.


Preparing the ground for bulbs to be planted!


Each child chose a bulb to plant!

Parent/Teacher Conferences:

Thank you to all of the parents that attended parent/teacher conferences. We love getting to know your children and sharing all of their hard work and accomplishments with you. Our goal is to make your child’s experience in the Maple Room as successful and rewarding as possible. It takes a team of teachers, parents, and children working together to make this happen. We love to have open communication throughout the whole year, not just during conferences. Thanks as always for your support!

Falling Leaves Party: 

About a week ago, the Children’s House classrooms had a fall party. The Room parents helped coordinate art projects for the morning, such as making a leaf necklace, stringing leaves on a pipe cleaner, leaf rubbings, and decorating real pumpkins. A special snack included pumpkins made out of clementines and a piece of celery for the stem. Many parents volunteered to help with these activities and it couldn’t have went any more smoothly. We greatly appreciated all of the time and effort spent to make it a success. Throughout the school year, there will be other opportunities to volunteer for special gatherings. We will keep you informed.


Stringing leaves is a fun activity!


There was a wait for decorating pumpkins.


More pumpkin decorating.


Children do leaf rubbing of the leaves they collected.


Children couldn’t wait to have a turn.


The kids enjoy making a leaf necklace.

Snapshots in the classroom:

Children in the Maple Room work in many areas of the classroom. Here are some pictures of great work completed recently.


Two friends work together to label the parts of a leaf.


A kindergartner records the names of the colors after completing the color tablet work.


A first year student chooses the fall sets basket to practice associating numeral with quantity 1-10.