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Wendi Rowland

Wendi Rowland

Sarah Duvall

Sarah Duvall

Sassafras Room is a Children’s House classroom on the Toledo Campus. Sarah Duvall and Wendi Rowland are the classroom’s co-teachers.


2015-16 Toledo Children’s House
Dates to Know [PDF]

On Saturday the families and staff members of Children’s House classrooms got together to start building our new garden. We are so excited to start planting and growing fruits, herbs and veggies with the children. What a wonderful learning tool for present and future families of Children’s House.

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Here is a song we like to sing:

What’s Your Name?

What’s your name?
What’s your name?
What’s your name?
What’s your name?

My name is ________.
My name is ________.
My name is ________.
Nice to meet you.

After singing this song, we have been involved in name studies. Children’s names are powerful words. In the teaching of Literacy, a child’s name can serve as the key to unlocking the doors of many concepts including phonemic awareness, concepts of print, name recognition (a precursor to word recognition) and the very notion that words have meaning. After all, what words could hold more meaning for children than their names?

I have been seating small groups of children in front of a pocket chart filled with the names of all the children in class (see picture below). Then I ask the students, “What do you notice?” All readers can approach this activity at their own skill levels, and observations have been varied. Following is a sample of quotations from students, representing some of the observations they made.
“That is my name.”
“Lucie, Lucianna, and Lilly all have L.”
“Christopher has the longest name. He has 11 letters in his name.”
“Achiga has 2 A’s in his name–at the beginning and end.”
“There are a lot of A’s!”
“This (capital) A and this (lower case) A look different.”
“Calleigh has 2 L’s, Izzah has 2 Z’s, Annie has 2 N’s, Gunnar has 2 N’s, Beckett has 2 T’s, and Maggie has 2 G’s!”

Encourage your children to notice print. Point out signs on the street and read to them daily. When driving past street signs, or around environmental print, ask them, “What do you notice?”

Keep Singing,

Here's your name pic

Even though it was a bit cold and windy, the children really enjoyed our hike through the woods this morning!  During this past week we have been talking about living and non-living things.  Because our Earth has land, water and air, living things can exist.  We learned that living things need food, water and air, and living things can make new living things (reproduce). We read a book and tried to guess if the objects in the book were living or non-living.  A basket of objects was added to the science shelf allowing the children to practice sorting the objects into these two categories.  Next week we will add labeling to the shelf.  The children will be able to find objects in the room and tape either a living or non-living label to the objects.  This is always a fun work!

This morning on our hike we were careful observers looking for living and non-living things.  We saw many trees, plants and flowers that were living.  We found a feather from a bird and heard several birds as we walked.  Spider webs gave us another clue to a living creature.  We found acorns and talked about how oak trees make new oak trees (reproduce) when acorns fall to the ground and begin to grow.

The children were excited to explore and discover the many living things outside!



After learning about our Solar System, we turned our attention to our planet, Earth.  Using the sandpaper globe, we felt the rough land, and the smooth water.  We talked about how our Earth is mostly covered in water.

Look at the land and water on our Earth!

Look at the land and water on our Earth!

There is something else that surrounds our whole Earth.  We can’t see it, but we can feel it, and we need it to breathe.  Air!

The children have enjoyed sorting different modes of transportation by where they travel: on land, in water, or in the air.


A 4-year-old boy sorted vehicles according to where they travel.

A kindergarten boy has sorted more modes of transportation.

A kindergarten boy has sorted more modes of transportation.