MDO Newsletter - November 2016

Important Dates

  • November 1-6: Spirit Week at Osteria 832
  • November 3: Pumpkin Spice Play-doh PSP, 10:00am
  • November 10: A Night in Vegas! Auction Fundraiser, 7:00-10:00pm
  • November 15: Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, 9:30am & Garden Fun Day
  • November 19: Family Photo Mini-Sessions with Amy Lee, 8:30-1:00
  • November 21-25: School Closed for Thanksgiving Break

Director's Notes

It’s finally fall - well it looks like fall anyway!  I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for the cooler weather that goes along with the pretty fall colors.  

Anna Cross made some adorable sensory bags for the Sparkles class including one with pumpkin!

Fall is a great time for seasonal sensory activities.  “Sensory activity” is a buzz phrase in child development that you have probably heard me say more than once.  Exploring the world through touch, smell, taste, sight and sound are all important for young children and it helps improve their motor skills, creative thinking, and ability to problem solve and experiment with solutions. Allowing your child to experiment with different materials, especially in nature, is not only fun it’s also educational. Stomping in a puddle, examining leaves, sticks, acorns, and berries, listening to nature sounds, squishing the insides of a pumpkin and making fall recipes with cinnamon and other spices are all great ways to include sensory activities into your fall day. At MDO we have enjoyed making applesauce and pumpkin spice play-doh, pumpkin decorating, gourd painting and leaf collecting!  


One of my fondest fall memories as a child was collecting colorful leaves in our backyard and my mom using the iron to seal them between two pieces of wax paper.  I was so tickled when I saw the wax paper leaves hanging in the Caterpillars Room.  If you are looking for something to do at home, try making some Pumpkin Scented Cloud Dough or a Fall Sensory Bin.


To make a sensory bin, fill a plastic bin with dried leaves, pine straw, sticks, etc., and let your child explore the materials. You can even include acorns and play the “Find the Acorn Game." Hide a bunch of acorns in a pile of leaves and let your child pretend to be the squirrel and find them.  (Since acorns are a choking hazard be sure you supervise.) You can also reverse the game and have your child be the squirrel and hide the acorns!

Well that should keep you busy at home for the rest of the month! At MDO we will be quite busy also; Ms. Gretchen the Librarian visits, we have a Garden Fun Day, Speech Screens, Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, Family Photos and an Exercise PSP.  

Enjoy this beautiful season with your little ones! 

- Patty

Auction Fundraiser: A Night in Vegas!


This month we have our biggest fundraising event of the year, the live and silent auction. We have been talking about the Auction since the beginning of the school year because it is so important to our school. The funds raised at the Auction help pay for enrichment activities like puppet shows, magicians and the most recent visit from Dunwoody Nature Center.

Aside from the fundraising aspect, it is also an opportunity for us parents to get to know each other better. We all love our kids and want the best for them, and it's been so uplifting to see all the parents come together through volunteering, donating or just chatting in the hall about what we're going to wear! 

I'm looking forward to having fun, lose all of my "money" playing Blackjack, and scoring some great items that are up for bid. Thank you to all of the parents (and teachers) that volunteered for the event, it could not have happened without you! I hope to see you all there!

- Janna Charoenlap, Fundraising Chair


  • Laundry - The laundry fairies for November are the Sparrows. Thank you Sparrows parents!


  • Creative Movement & Dance - it's not too late to sign up for Creative Movement & Dance! The class is Mondays after school until 1:45. See Patty or Susie to sign up!



Parent Volunteer Spotlight

Kim, Emerson, and Julie Beaty

Hi Everyone! My name is Kim Priest Beaty and I am this year's volunteer Enrichment Coordinator. I am honored to be this month's volunteer spotlight! My wife Julie and I have a two year old daughter, Emerson, in Ms. Evelyn's Sprouts class on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. 

How long have you been at MDO? This is our second year at MDO. Emerson started in the baby class during summer camp last year. 

How have you volunteered at the school? During our time in the Baby class I volunteered to help with the Pancake Breakfast. This year I wanted to really get involved so I volunteered as the Enrichment Coordinator and I'm a co-room rep for the Sprouts class.


What is your favorite thing about MDO? I love the size of our school and the diversity of our students and parents!

What is your favorite part of being a parent? There are so many things I enjoy about being a parent! Before Emerson was born I said I was most looking forward to seeing everything through a child's eyes again. This has stayed true - I love to experience her everyday wonder in the little things that were so ordinary I stopped seeing them.

What do you like to do in your free time? We all have little ones, so we know free time is a gift! I enjoy turning off my brain and watching TV shows. I'm a big Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) fan; yes I'm admitting it. I really love getting massages - it helps keep me sane. Most of the time I just like spending time with my family; whatever that looks like. Oh, and volunteer at MDO, of course!

What's your favorite guilty pleasure? Sugar!

Parent Volunteer Shoutout

Thank you to the moms who helped the kids make Applesauce: Mea Matsuoka, Rachel Garza and Dawn Martin! 

Volunteer Opportunities

Every little bit helps here at MDO! If you only have a few minutes of your time to give, these tasks are perfect for you. Some, but not all, involve heavy lifting, but will not take more than a few minutes. This list is posted in the hallway across from the office. Take a look and see if you can be the "Superhero" we need!

We also need one or two parents to coordinate a Book Fair. This will be a short-term commitment, and does not require much work. Primary duties include setting a date, advertising the Book Fair to MDO Parents and coordinating coffee and pastries for shoppers. The book representative does the rest! Contact Janna Charoenlap ( if you would be interested in helping out. Thanks Viri Graham for assembling the office chair!

Welcome to MDO!

We are happy to welcome two new students this month! 

  • Lucas T. (Caterpillars)
  • Christian L. (Sweet Peas)


Fall/Holiday Photo Mini-Sessions with Smackdab Photography

If you want to have your holiday photos in time for Black Friday deals, we have you covered! Amy Lee of Smackdab Photography is giving MDO families an opportunity to take family photos Saturday 11/19 in Lenox Park. The best part is that Amy is donating 20% back to MDO!

Sign up for a Mini-Session using this Signup Genius. Sessions are currently available starting at 8:30am and ending at 1:00pm. If the sessions fill up, we will do our best to accommodate with additional slots!  

Each 20-minute session costs $80 (such a great deal!), and comes with at least 8 high resolution digital images with full printing rights. Payment (cash or check) is due to Amy on 11/19. 

Class Notes

Spanish with Ms. Lilia

In all of the classes, we started off the year working on greetings and learning our "Hola" song (to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it..."): 

Hola amigos, como estas (muy bien)
Hola amigos, como estas (muy bien)
Buenos dias amigos, buenos dias amigos
Buenos dias amigos, La la la (muy bien)

Sweet Peas, Sparkles, Sprouts:
We have been having so much fun at Spanish story time on Friday mornings! Our stories repeat simple concepts like counting, peek-a-boo (cucu), and greetings. We sing Spanish versions of familiar songs like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (brilla brilla estrellita) and traditional Spanish songs like "Los Pollitos" (little chicks). 

Our class loves to move! We have conquered greetings, numbers, question words (donde, que, and aqui esta). So far, favorite books include any interactive books (Donde Esta Spot, Buenos Dias Pajarito). Our favorite thing is jumping and dancing. We love Cinco Monitos (Five Little Monkeys) and dancing to "El Baile de las Manos," "Los Deditos and Escondidos." Through these songs we are starting to learn about body parts (manos = hands, pies = feet, ojos = eyes, boca = mouth) as well as simple directions (arriba = up high, abajo = down low, por delante = in front, and por detras = behind). You can find these songs online by the artist Jorge Anaya. 

Caterpillars and Wonders:
We love to sing, dance and play games. We are learning body parts using books like Mis Cinco Sentidos, and songs like "Cabeza y Hombros" ("Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"). We love playing games like Escondidos where we play hot potato with a yarn pom pom. Favorite songs include "El Baile de las Manos," "Baila, Baila, Baila," and "Los Deditos" by Jorge Anaya. Through these songs we are also learning the body parts and simple directions. As a special treat for Halloween, we had a cultural lesson about Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), which included a song and craft as well as the book The Day of the Dead/El Dia de los Muertos by Bob Barner. 

With all the classes, our main tool is repetition and learning and practicing useful terms and phrases. We incorporate a lot of songs, games and books and make sure that it is fun enough to keep them excited and interested. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please reach out to me. Thank you so much for sharing your children with me! 

- Ms. Lilia

Sweet Peas

The babies are growing so fast and really on the move now!  They have enjoyed making friends with each other and also getting to know some of the bigger kids.  They love visiting the Sparkles and the Sprouts and playing with them on the playground.  The Halloween party was so much fun! 


Sensory play is a big part of the Sparkles day!  They have a great time squishing the sensory bags made by Anna Cross, especially the one filled with fresh pumpkin.  They also enjoyed getting together with the Spouts to paint with gourds and had a blast at the Halloween party!


The Sprouts are becoming great friends and doing really well with the school routine and communication.   They really enjoyed the firefighter visit, gourd painting, and decorating pumpkins at the Halloween party! They also love getting together with the Sparkles for their weekly music class and Spanish enrichment with Ms. Lilia.


The new light table in the Sparrow's room is a huge hit!  The Sparrows are always busy, whether they are doing puzzles, making art, or building things.  A highlight of the week is music class upstairs and when Ms. Lilia comes in to teach Spanish, especially when they sing songs.  These kiddos love to move!  The Halloween party was tons of fun!


The Caterpillars are always on the move and doing something fun!  October was all about pumpkins and they did several pumpkin activities and had not just one, but two Halloween parties (because one student was ill during the original party and they threw him a party upon his return - how sweet)! The new square tables are perfect for intimate lunch conversations and small group activities. They loved the firefighter visit and the Dunwoody Nature Center enrichment program! 



The class has been working together during play and projects to build their teamwork skills. They had a great time with Ms. Lilia making their Class Auction Art out of recycled bottle caps and even made a smaller one of their own!  They have also been working on letter recognition  and tracing their names.   Halloween was great fun and they loved wearing their costumes!

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

Rex modeling his new MDO shirt! 

  • Spirit Days at MDO - every Friday (or Thursday) - kids wear their MDO shirts to school! Thank you to Zoe Mayers for ordering and distributing our new MDO shirts this year! 


  • Spirit Week at Osteria - hopefully you were able to take advantage of our second spirit event! Osteria 832 was kind enough to donate proceeds from customers supporting MDO for a whole week! Look out for more Spirit Days or weeks in the future. These are great opportunities for MDO families to see each other outside of school! 



Last Month at MDO

DeKalb County Firefighters' Visit

Firefighters from DeKalb County's Station 8 visited MDO in October. As always, the visit was educational and fun! The kids saw a firefighter put on all of his gear so they could learn not to afraid. Some of the MDO parents baked goodies for Station 8 as a thank you gift (along with a card Ms. Angie made), and Rachel Garza was kind enough to take them to the station. Thank you, Rachel!

Making Applesauce

MDO's second annual applesauce making was a huge success yet again! The recipe is simple (apples and cinnamon), but the kids love every bit of it! This is the first of many Parent Sharing Program (PSP) events for the school year!

October Outing - Cider & Snacks

Our first monthly outing was great! Carrie and Jack hosted a fun, laid back evening with an amazing spread of food for the adults and kids. Everyone enjoyed making new friends. This was a super way to kick off the year, and there will be an outing each month going forward.  If you missed October's event, be sure to hit the next one!

Halloween Fun!

Dunwoody Nature Center Enrichment

Ms. Holly brought a live snake that the kids got to touch, various animal artifacts for the kids to touch and learn about, as well as her guitar to sing songs so the kids could "shake their sillies out." Special thanks to Kim Priest Beaty for arranging this!