Hola! y Bienvenidos a Nuestra Pagina Web!!!


Welcome to El Gato con Botas' Website!


Licensed Daycare/Preschool to Open September 17th!! - Vashon Island Spanish Bilingual Daycare

It's finally here, friends!!! After two years of working toward this goal, El Gato con Botas will open it's doors on September 17th as a LICENSED daycare/preschool!!

Our new hours will be 8:30-4:00. I have  been working hard on the curriculum, and have come up with some very fun themes for the year. I know the kids are going to have a blast and will learn so much.


 for 2012-2013 SCHOOL YEAR

Many of you may have noticed the change from a straight immersion program to a bilingual approach at our school. I have thought very hard about this, and have come up with a couple very strong reasons to conduct classes in both English and Spanish.

    • Social Development and Conflict Resolution - Social development  at this age is such a fundamental part of a child's growth, well-being and happiness, that I think it is necessary to teach them the vocabulary and skills they will be able to use inside, as well as outside, the classroom.  Conflicts are a regular part of the day, and are typically met with an escalation of stress and frustration. Asking children to use their words in their first language is hard enough! For practicality reason, we will use English when when solving social conflicts so their focus will be on effective problem solving instead of learning new vocabulary as well.
    • Early Literacy and Pre-Reading Skills - Meaning is a critical part of teaching reading. If a child looks at a picture of an apple, and says "Apple", while I am holding "la letra 'M' de "Manzana", there is going to be some confusion, especially if the children do not know the word in Spanish! To keep things clear, I will teach Literacy and Reading in English, while Math, Science and Art will be taught in Spanish. Music will be in both English and Spanish.
    • Explanations, Self-Expression and Danger - These are three areas that I find it extremely important to use a child's first language. During circle time, when a child needs to learn skills to speak up and express himself in front of a group, whichever language feels easier will be welcome. We will have some time to chat in English when we can discuss what is going on in each child's life, and make sure that each child knows she is heard. Explaining important concepts, or preventing dangerous situations, will all be expressed in English.
As a parent of children growing up bilingual, but with a significantly stronger first language, this makes the most sense to me. If you have any questions, please contact me to chat a bit! sarahbunch77@gmail.com

In the next post, I will talk about some more changes or the 2012-2013 school year! Stay tuned...

<3 Sarah

Evelyn Kiggins!

¡¡Hola Familias!!

*** While working to change the preschool into a licensed daycare, I found the amazing and ever-so-talented Evelyn Kiggins to take over my position as lead teacher for the 2011/12 school year. I have since returned as lead teacher.  

We are experiencing some very exciting changes here at El Gato con Botas!! We have a new teacher for the remainder of the year!! Evelyn Kiggins is taking over for me! She is a fluent, native Spanish speaker who's parents are from Cuba! So exciting! Besides tons of experience working with kids and also having a natural, easy-going approach with children, she is an artist and her husband is a musician!! The second she walked into the classroom, the kids gravitated toward her. I am just so happy to have found her and I know she will bring amazing things to our school!!
Evelyn and Xan. The blur is from my new Lensbaby!


Halloween 2011

What a day, what a day!!!
I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves, but here is a little bit about what we did:  We started the day with our regular open play time. We always have a craft every morning, on Halloween it was potato stamps and Halloween stamps. We also have a magnet table where there are all kinds of magnets, robots made out of tin cans that the kids can build, and pipe cleaners inside a jar of water the kids can move with magnets.

At snack time, we all shared a snack! We had some yummy apples with cinnamon, some apple mouths with almond teeth, a vegetable platter, and I made homemade pumpkin soup from scratch! (And the kids actually ate it!!)

Later, after outside playtime, we had our Halloween party. We played with "moco" (gak), had a beanbag toss game, made pumpkin spider votives and had a table to make recycled Halloween monsters. WOOOOOOO!

At the end of the day, we had a special treat - frozen ghosts!! (frozen bananas on a stick coated in shredded coconut. Another big hit! All in all, it was quite a day. Muy muy divertido!!

En un Mes...

There´s still some Room!! ¡Ven y disfruta con nosotros!

We still have a few openings, if you know anyone else who may be interested in sending their 3-5 year old on Mondays and Tuesdays. As of now, I am only offering class on these two days.

We are having so much fun at El Gato con Botas!!  The first month was a time to get to know each other, the school, learn the basic daily vocabulary, and just learn how to be a preschooler. Sometimes that takes some getting used to!  Listening to your teacher speak another language takes a bit of getting used to too!

Now that we are a month in, I am getting to spend much less time speaking in English which makes the school much more beneficial and fun for everyone. (I speak in English when there are conflicts between children so they can learn how to "solucionar sus problemas".)

We spent the first month learning some basic vocabulary:
hello : hola
goodbye: adios
my name is: me llamo
what's your name: ¿cómo te llamas tú?
what´s her/his name?: ¿cómo se llama ella/el?
good morning: buenos dias
good afternoon: buenas tardes
good night: buenas noches

Body Parts
el dedo: toe/finger
el pie: foot
la rodilla: knee
la cadera:hip
el codo: elbow
la mano: hand
el hombro: shoulder
la cabeza: head
los ojos: eyes
la boca: mouth
la nariz: nose
el pelo: hair

"What´s your style of teaching?", you may ask.

I believe in play and in doing and in having fun!!!

I don´t teach with specific vocabulary lists. I don´t drill, and I don´t stress. We sing songs like, "¿Hola, cómo estas?", we dance to "Juanito" and we say each child´s name when we sing: "¿Cómo te llamas tú?"  We do things together like arts and crafts. This week we made stained glass pumpkins "calabazas" and stuffed pumpkins. They painted and stamped leaves (hojas). We also learn through discovery. This week we had a new magnet table (mesa de imanes) and in another space in the room they learned how to use a dropper to make different sized drops (gotas) with colored water (agua). And of course, we play... in the kitchen, with play dough, building with blocks, doing puzzles, outside in the mud pie kitchen or in the sandbox.

That´s it. I don´t sit down and test them on their vocabulary words.

We talk. We play. We have fun.

I believe children need to thoroughly enjoy school to make learning something they will enjoy and look forward to throughout their entire lives. I feel we have a pretty laid-back approach to participation. If we are doing an organized activity,  the kids are always welcome to come over and partipate, or they can play quietly. I invite them to come over and meet our new puppet friends, Rita la Araña (the spider), and Mari Carmen la Bujo (the owl), and sing songs, or read stories but sometimes they decline, and that's ok too.

I am so impressed with these kids. They have learned so much vocabulary already just by being in class. They know things like "lávate las manos" (wash your hands)and ¨"hacer pipi" (go potty) and "ven conmigo" (come with me), and they play well together. I am so excited to see where this year leads us.

EEEK! Wrong Email Address!!

I just got a call from the second person who said she's tried to email me and I haven't gotten back to her. What?! I promise I'm not that flaky!! I took a look and realized that my email address was wrong on the website!!! The correct email address is:

If you know anyone who has tried contacting me to no avail, please pass this memo along! ; )

Oh, and feel free to email or call. This time I promise I will get back to you!

¡Al Cole! School Starts September 12th!!

What FUN we had this summer!!!
We spent a lot of time playing inside, playing outside, playing in the water table and the sand table, and then making big huge mud pies. We created, we painted, we made gigantic, monster bubbles, and we sang songs. We danced and wiggled and jiggled and could hardly sit still. Oh yes, we had some good times together. I´m so happy I had the chance to meet these wonderful kiddos! So lovely!! Such enthusiasm! Such sweet hearts.

And now, it´s ready to get going!! School starts September 12th!! WAHOO! My in-laws are here at the moment, helping us with some pretty big projects including a new sand box!!  I'm busy planning and playing and working on the parent handbook (admittedly not nearly as fun as playing in the sandbox will be, but someone's got to do it!)

If you are planning on sending your child to El Gato con Botas, please make sure to contact me ASAP to request a registration form and to let me know which days of the week you would like your child to come, so I can get the schedule all worked out. We still have some space left, so let me know soon! We'd love to have you!
As always, please contact me if you have any questions at all! I am always down for a good chat! Sarah: 473-0445.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Open House June 4th!

Come visit us!!! We are having an Open House on
June 4th 
from 10am  to 2 pm. 

This will be the perfect time to come see our cozy space, meet me, and chat about the school.

I will also open up fall registration on June 4th. You can either stop by the open house to pick up a registration form, or request one via email, and I'll send it to you. sarahbunch77@gmail.com

We don't have a sign up yet, so just look for the balloons!

The address is:
10745 sw 110th st
Vashon, Wa

I am really looking forward to meeting you all! 
If you have any questions, please call me! 206 473 0445 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            206 473 0445      end_of_the_skype_highlighting