December 16 Newsletter

Posted On Dec 16 2016 | BY School for Friends

Director’s Report

STAFF DEVELOPMENT –

  • The biggest training opportunity our teachers have each year is when half the lead teachers and myself go to the annual NAEYC conference, this year in Los Angeles. It was November 2-5.  Elizabeth Lambert, Sabina Zeffler, Makai Kellogg and myself attended this year.  You will find at the end of the newsletter an attachment that contains a listing of all the workshops we attended.  We would love for you to talk to us about these workshops.  We might even have handouts to share!
  • On November 7, Sabina Zeffler observed at Temple Sinai Nursery School to get ideas for our Art Studio. TSNS is a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool.
  • On November 9, Julie Barron toured and observed at Sandy Spring Friends School, MD.
  • On November 10, Makai Kellogg, as our Equity and Diversity Coordinator, attended a conference on “Facing Racism” in Atlanta. While there she visited Friends School of Atlanta.
  • On that same day, Elsy Blanco attended a workshop on technology at St. John’s Preschool, another Reggio-inspired preshool.

PARENT VOLUNTEERS

  • Thanks to all the parents who volunteered in the classroom to help while the teachers were at the conference: Merate Kibriye, Alia Goodyear, Weili Shaw, ND Onyike, Gregg Molander, Emilie Cassou, & Alda Benjamin.
  • Once again, Building and Grounds Committee Chair, Gregg Molander has been hard at work at the school, installing shelving in the Butterfly Classroom Storage Closet.
  • To all the parents who send out notices on their neighborhood listservs announcing our upcoming open houses.
  • To all the parents who worked during out clean-up day on the 19thThor Alden, Claire D’Alba, Gary Ellis, Andy Felton (chair), Joe Franklin, Trevor Goodyear, Stu Griffeth, Anne Hawke, DJ Johnson, Yared Taye, Alicia O’Brien, & Francesco Valentini

WELCOME NEW FAMILIES – We have two new or returning families in December:  1) Xander Vuolo (parents Laura Moy & Michael Vuolo) in the Eagle Classroom and 2) Ayan Adams, son of Jennifer and Akin Adams.  Ayan has returned from a few month stint at Ross Elementery.

FALL SOCIAL – Thanks to Board Vice President Ann-Marie Mason and all the room parents for putting together a joyous and rowdy social on the 17th.  We typically plan this event for October when the children can spend more time outdoors, but this year hoped to have it coincide with our Ribbon Cutting/Open house.  But after the flood and delayed construction, we decided to delay the Ribbon Cutting til the spring and that left us running a little late for our family social.  Turnout was good.

APPLICATIONS TO INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS – If you are planning to apply your child to an independent school, please have the requests for teacher recommendations to us by December 23 so that we can complete them in a timely fashion.

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Tiger Newsletter

While attending the NAEYC conference, I took part in a very interesting workshop about the Social Emotional Development of young children, focusing in particular on how to promote Resilience. (“Socially secure, emotionally strong: Strategies to promote resilience in young children”).  Lots of thought and time is spent each day in the classroom to especially promote this aspect of your child’s development, as it serves as a foundation for all other learning that takes place. Social Emotional Development is in short the capacity to experience and regulate emotions, form secure relationships, and be able to explore and learn, – all within the context of one’s family, community and cultural background.

The presenters of the workshop used the extensive research conducted by Emmy W. Werner, a child psychologist at the University of California, – on the particular subject matter of resilience. Using the analogy of a rubber band when thinking about resilience, descriptive words like flexible, durable, can take on any shapes, withholds stress and strain, hurts when it snaps, becomes brittle, or even breaks, come to mind. The brief definition of resilience would then be the ability to recover from or adjust to change and misfortune as well as the ability to “bounce” back and overcome the “odds”.

Throughout any given day, many situations come to mind where being able to “bounce back” for us as adults, but especially for our children, ensure a much smoother day as well as a feeling of being successful. 
The presenters used another very simple analogy, – “You can’t make it stop raining, but you can put an umbrella up, which serves as a protective factor. The more protective factors children have the more resilient they are. The less protective factors they have the more challenges they encounter and more challenging situations/behaviors can be observed.

The three main “protective factors introduced were Initiative, Self-control and Attachment. I would like to elaborate in particular on the first two protective factors that you may find helpful to be aware of and support your child in practicing these skills at home. The first one is Initiative, meaning the child’s ability to use independent thought and action to meet his or her needs.

Children with healthy Initiative are likely to: – Do things for her/himself – Keep trying when unsuccessful (act persistent) – Ask other children to play with her/him – Try or ask to try new things or activities – Start or organize play with other children – Practice actively in make-believe play – Try different ways to solve a problem – Focus his/her attention/conversation on a task or activity – Choose to do a task that was challenging for him/her – Say positive things about the future – Make decisions for her/himself

The Second one is Self-control, which is the child’s ability to experience a range of feelings and express them using the words and actions that society considers appropriate.

Children with healthy Self-Control are likely to…
- Control his/her anger – Show patience – Share with other children – Calm themselves down when upset
- Listen to or respect others – Accept another choice when her/his first choice was unavailable – Handle frustration – Cooperate with others.

Thanks for all your support!
The Tiger Teachers

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Eagles Newsletter

The Eagles spent the month of November learning about a variety of topics. We initially focused on taking care of ourselves, which in turn became a study of dental hygiene as well as our five senses. We also spent the last two weeks of November working on being kind to one another. We created a Kindness Tree in our classroom which will highlight moments where the Eagles are being kind to one another. Already, we have seen an increase in prosocial behavior among our friends such as helping one another, sharing, and verbally noticing when someone is being kind.

 

Kindness and empathy go hand-in-hand. Both are essential for the social-emotional development of young children. As three-year-olds develop, they become more inclined to share, take turns, and compromise because they care more about other people’s feelings. According to Sandra Crosser, empathy is an important component of moral development because “it allows us to identify with the entire range of emotions experienced by others.” Ultimately, empathy promotes helpful behaviors.

 

Although written for early childhood educators, Sandra Crosser’s article is helpful to all people who interact with children whether it be parents, babysitters, etc. She lists a few helpful tips to help develop empathy within children such as:

·         Model caring behaviors

·         Name emotions

·         Interpret emotions

·         Be supportive

You can find more information on developing empathy in young children at http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=242

Reminder:

Please be sure to bring in winter items to keep our friends warm (hats, gloves, snow pants)

Thank you for your continued support,

Eagles Team

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Monarch Butterfly 

Flannel board/felt stories have a magical way of engaging children. They bring a rhyme, fairy tale, or story alive and immerse children in the emotions of the characters. The tactile nature of the flannel board pieces invites children to “feel” each story component. And because the story is being “told” instead of read, there is more time to reflect on the behaviors and interactions of the characters. For the past few months, we, in the butterfly room, have been telling felt stories during circle time. Over the past month or so, our children have been pulling out the felt stories and retelling them (the stories) all by themselves during free play. Therefore, Jackie and I have decided to take a deeper look at felt stories or making books come to life. Story Time Felts products offer your child experiences in the following areas:

  • Visual:Sight, spatial perception and color recognition
  • Tactile:Involves the senses – textures, sounds, colors, shapes
  • Fine Motor:Hand-eye coordination and manipulation
  • Auditory:Listening and hearing
  • Intellectual:Cause and effect, problem solving, math skills of counting, matching and sorting, and memorization
  • Social-Emotional:Self-esteem, exploring relationships, recitation, and cultural diversity
  • Creativity:Imagination, make-believe, music, and drama
  • Life Skills:Health and hygiene, manners, relationships, cooperation, sharing, and dressing appropriately
  • Language:Speaking and listening, vocabulary and reading skills

Felt play provides hands-on learning that allows children to develop self-worth while stretching the imagination of children. When a child play with the loose pieces of a felt story, they come up with stories of their own or they retell the story of The Three Little Pigs, for example. This helps in brain development and memorization capacity. Furthermore, children can try new roles through felt play.

Encouraging Children to Make Connections

Here are some questions you can ask to get children to make these important connections:

  • How would you feel if this happened to you?
  • Has anything like this ever happened in your life? What did you do?
  • If this happened in school, what would you do about it?
  • How do you think the character feels? Tell me about a time you felt that way.
  • Have you ever been to a place like this? What was it like?

Making real-world connections is important. Not just because it is an indicator of Concept Development, but also because it can help foster a love of learning for years to come.

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Using-Flannel-Boards-in-Early-Childhood-Education&id=56632

Article Source: http://www.funfelt.com/benefits-of-felt.html

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Turtle Room Newsletter

Winter is on the way and we have already been hit with several very cold days. For some of you, this may be your child’s first time in school and as you know, being in school is one of the main ways germs circulate in communities. It happens every year around the same time, a few children get sick, and before you know it, teachers and students from different classrooms start getting sick as well. The average healthy child gets sick (has a cold) between 6-10 times a year. It’s impossible to keep children from getting ill, especially in this environment, but there are ways we can prevent some illnesses, and now is the perfect time to revisit some of these ways. Lately the Turtle Room has been focusing on taking care of their classroom, but we cannot forget to take care of ourselves. There are many many articles that discuss what we can do as a community to help fight germs and stay healthy in a toddler classroom.

Proper hand washing is essential for keep the germs away. It is best to wash hands whenever coming in from outside and before meal time (and of course after using the bathroom). School aged children touch a lot of different things throughout the day and they tend to put their hands in their mouths a lot. Teaching children the proper hand washing routine can make a big difference. Remember to try and have them wash hands using warm water and soap for at least 25 seconds. To keep them engaged in this activity try singing a quick song such and “Twinkle twinkle” or “ABC’s”

 Teaching children how to cover a cough or sneeze is also important for cutting down germs. A tissue isn’t always present during these times, and children don’t naturally think to cover up when they need to cough or sneeze. It’s preferred to teach children to cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm or their sleeve, but if nothing else at least with their hands (which would require immediate hand washing). Germs are less likely to survive when they are smothered as opposed to being in the open air.

Lastly, it’s important to pay close attention to the signs and symptoms of your child. Although there’s not much that can be done about a common cold, sometimes medical attention is needed if symptoms continue for extended periods of time. If your child is ill, the best way to keep them from getting sicker and from spreading the germs is to keep them home for a few days to help build them back to good health.

 With that said, just because your child stays home doesn’t mean they will stay in the bed all day. Here are a few fun suggestions to do with your child on a sick day at home to help beat the boredom.

-create a fort, pirate cave, or tent using pillows, sheets, and blankets

-prepare a sick day boredom beater basket which includes puzzles, low maintenance arts and crafts

-make frozen pops using juice

-make sock puppets using old socks and markers

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Red Panda Room Newsletter

This past month in November we have been busy working on jobs! Every child has his or her own job and the children are starting to get used to the routine of doing their jobs. The children love having jobs as it gives them more responsibility in the classroom. We will be switching jobs in our classroom so each child can get used to the different jobs that we have.

We also have been working on sharing and using our words such as “How can I help?” “How many minutes” and “May I have a turn when you’re done” instead of hitting or pushing. Doing buddy play and partner activities such as painting together and reading together on cots before naptime can be beneficial because the children form relationships with peers and develop their social and emotional growth as well. As the children become more comfortable with their peers, they will start to help each other more and start to teach each other. Children might feel overwhelmed in a large group of children and the child might not be comfortable yet playing with a large group. Buddy play or small groups is a great way for children to become more comfortable with a small number of children. When children are comfortable they can start to play in larger groups. Nancy Jones gives some good examples in her article, “Grouping Children to Promote Social and Emotional Development” about children’s feelings, getting to know other children, and how to arrange groups and work in groups.

 You can find out more information on this article at

https://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/TYC_V3N1_Jones.pdf

Reminders:

 

  • Please provide two sets of seasonal extra clothes
  • As the weather changes, snow pants can come in and be hung up on the hooks until needed
  • Please label all items
  • Sign up for fall conferences

Thanks,

Red Panda Teachers

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Sea Lion November 2016 Newsletter

This school year is going by fast! The Sea Lions have now been in their new classroom for a few months and the many changes that have been occurring, physically, socially, and cognitively, are amazing to witness. The Sea Lion Room team has gotten to know the children quite well. The children love to share stories about their families as well as their personal interests. The children will continue to learn and grow as they engage in various activities and explore the world around them.

Beginning next month, we will be introducing a new and important part of our program, the Family of the Week. Each family is encouraged to sign up and come in at least once or twice during their week. Research demonstrates that when families become involved in their child’s education and school community, the more successful the child will be. Please come in and share what makes your family unique. The children love hearing about their classmates’ families and are very proud of their own.

During your family week, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, extended family, and even pets come in the classroom to spend time with the whole class. Here are some examples of what you can do:

cook/make a snack with the children
read a story at morning circle
join children for lunch or snack
share a special talent/hobby/interest
describe bedtime or other special rituals
share culture through clothing, food, dance, music, religious celebration, etc -share special information and traditions about your hometown
show pictures from a trip and tell stories of your travels

There are also many other options. Feel free to discuss with teachers on ways to make activities developmentally appropriate, scheduling times, etc. It’s important that whatever you decide to do, it is an activity you and your family are actually interested in so that the children can feed off of your enthusiasm.

Thank you,
The Sea Lion Room Team

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NAEYC workshops

 

Jim attended the following workshops:

“Building capacity of early childhood teachers and leaders through co-constructing coaching relationships”, Presenters: Margaret McNamara, Bank Street College of Education; Wendy Pollock, Bank Street College of Education; Emily Linsay, Bank Street College of Education

“Increasing the educational attainment of early educators: What early childhood education program directors and administrators can do to support their employees’ success on a higher education pathway”, Presenters: Sue Russell, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center; Mary Graham, Children’s Village; Tonya Williams, United Child Care Center

“Social justice education in a time of change and uncertainty: Responding to the challenges and opportunities for anti-bias educators”, Presenters: John Nimmo, Portland State University; Louise Derman-Sparks, Pacific Oaks College; Debbie LeeKeenan, Lesley University; Mariana Souto-Manning, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Translating social-emotional research into classroom practice: Using what we know to support children’s social-emotional development”, Presenters: Tarima Levine, Bank Street College of Education; Davia Brown Franklyn, Bank Street College of Education

*“Promoting kindness and empathy by developing skills that benefit all children: From classroom rituals and traditions to everyday practical ideas”, Jacky Howell, azspire,llc; Natalie LaRochelle-Eades, CentroNia

“Is he a girl?” Gender identity in early childhood Robin Fox, University of WisconsinWhitewater, Erica Schepp, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

 

Makai attended the following workshops:

“Addressing loss in the classroom: Helping young children and ourselves through trauma, death, and national tragedies”, Presenters: Sharon Katz, DiverseFamilies; Terry Lawson, Bright Horizons

“Preschool educators’ roles in creating supportive spaces for gender exploration and expression”, Shaun-Adrian Choflá, Butte College  

“Anti-bias education in practice: Martin Luther King holiday, Black History Month, enslaved people in the US—What are we teaching, and how does that impact children’s thinking and sense of self?”, Julie Olsen Edwards, Cabrillo College; Ijumaa Jordan, independent consultant

“Layers of change: Understanding power, privilege, and equity within early childhood systems”, Julia Childs Andrews

“Preparing for a site visit: The Assessor’s perspective”, Mary Jamsek

“When parenting is part of the problem: Helping parents respond differently (and more effectively) to challenging behaviors at home”, Deborah Hirschland, independent consultant

“Social justice education in a time of change and uncertainty: Responding to the challenges and opportunities for anti-bias educators”, Presenters: John Nimmo, Portland State University; Louise Derman-Sparks, Pacific Oaks College; Debbie LeeKeenan, Lesley University; Mariana Souto-Manning, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”: Learning to lead in times of change Jayanti Tambe”, UCLA Early Care and Education

*“Promoting kindness and empathy by developing skills that benefit all children: From classroom rituals and traditions to everyday practical ideas”, Jacky Howell, azspire,llc; Natalie LaRochelle-Eades, CentroNia;

“Messy science! Developing scientific reasoning and analysis skills with messy art John Funk”, University of Utah/ Excelligence Learning Corporation

“PATH: An authentic process for actualizing constructivist curriculum, learning, and practice”, Merlene Gilb, Northwest Missouri State University; Pradnya Patet, Northwest Missouri State University; Joy Westermeyer, Webster Groves School District – Ambrose Family Center; Lauren Forsyth, Webster Groves School District – Ambrose Family Center; Marty Baker, Webster Groves School District – Walter Ambrose Family Center

 

Sabina attended the following workshops:

“E is for Equity” Opening Keynote Address, Presenter: Sonia Manzano

“Strengthening your day-to-day interactions with staff as you collect meaningful documentation for performance appraisals: A Powerful Interactions stance can help!” Presenters:  Judy Jablon, Judy Jablon & Associates; Diana Courson, Arkansas State University Childhood Services

“Coaching teachers: Strategies, activities, and insights for implementing effective coaching practices”, Presenter: Beth Marshall, Highscope

“Helping teachers implement curriculum with fidelity by individualizing professional development and mentoring”, Presenters: Breeyn Mack, Teaching Strategies, LLC; Clarissa Martinez, Teaching Strategies, LLC

“Preparing children for kindergarten: Learn which kindergarten-readiness traits are common across U.S. states, and how to best prepare children for school”, Presenters:  Patricia Lozano, Age of Learning; Leslie Ponciano, Age of Learning

“Using our Powerful Interactions stance to support, sustain, and strengthen challenging coaching relationships”, Presenters: Jill Gunderman, Arkansas State University Childhood Services; Irene Garneau, Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School; Michael Luft, Ben Samuels Children’s Center; Judy Jablon

 Campaigning for a more peaceful classroom: Modeling Montessori peace education techniques and responsive conflict-resolution techniques

“Programs from around the world – their similarities, differences, and the impact for the field”, Presenters: Jean Simpson, OMEP-USA; Judith Wagner, OMEP-USA

“Supporting the development of social-emotional self-regulation skills in children: Strategies based on Vygotskian theory”, Presenters: Jessica Peters, “Tools of the Mind”; Alesha Henderson, Lakeshore Learning Materials.

“Social justice education in a time of change and uncertainty: Responding to the challenges and opportunities for anti-bias educators”, Presenters: John Nimmo, Portland State University; Louise Derman-Sparks, Pacific Oaks College; Debbie LeeKeenan, Lesley University; Mariana Souto-Manning, Teachers College, Columbia University

 “Translating social-emotional research into classroom practice: Using what we know to support children’s social-emotional development”, Presenters: Tarima Levine, Bank Street College of Education; Davia Brown Franklyn, Bank Street College of Education

*“Promoting kindness and empathy by developing skills that benefit all children: From classroom rituals and traditions to everyday practical ideas”, Jacky Howell, azspire,llc; Natalie LaRochelle-Eades, CentroNia

“Phases of discovery with materials exploration: Properties, aesthetics, conceptual links, and more”, Jane Tingle Broderick, East Tennessee State University; Seong Bock Hong, University of Michigan-Dearborn

“Exploring mentoring and coaching relationships through a generational lens: Understanding the different approaches of Baby Boomers, GenXers, and millennials in early childhood leadership development”, Barb Arnold-Tengesdal, Wisconsin Head Start Association; Tonya Hameister, University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh

“Social justice education in a time of change and uncertainty: Responding to the challenges and opportunities for anti-bias educators”, Presenters: John Nimmo, Portland State University; Louise Derman-Sparks, Pacific Oaks College; Debbie LeeKeenan, Lesley University; Mariana Souto-Manning, Teachers College, Columbia University

 

Elizabeth attended the following workshops:

 “Squish-squash open-ended art: Let’s put away the paintbrush and bring out the creativity!” Lois Wachtel, Creative Beginning Steps; Luisa Brennan, Palm Beach State College

“Picture science in your classroom: Deepen those fun explorations by connecting with the new standards”, Peggy Ashbrook, Preschool science teacher and The Early Years columnist, NSTA; Marie Faust Evitt, Mountain View Parent Nursery; Sandy Chilton, Austin Texas ISD.

Creating sensory-smart classrooms for infants and toddlers: Laying the foundation for school readiness and executive function skills”, Christine Roberts, Nurturing Pathways, Inc.

“Social justice education in a time of change and uncertainty: Responding to the challenges and opportunities for anti-bias educators”, Presenters: John Nimmo, Portland State University; Louise Derman-Sparks, Pacific Oaks College; Debbie LeeKeenan, Lesley University; Mariana Souto-Manning, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Master self-regulation to transform aggression into communication, tantrums into self-control, and defiance into cooperation”, Leticia Valero, Educando en Conciencia; Becky Bailey, Loving Guidance/Conscious Discipline

“Boundless play: How to plan for possibilities as children grow their brains, challenge their bodies and build their identities”, Jamie Solomon, Pacific Primary & San Francisco State University; Deb Curtis, Harvest Resources; Nadia Jaboneta, Pacific Primary

 “Supporting the development of the prerequisites for make-believe play in toddlers: The Vygotskian approach” Elena Bodrova, Tools of the Mind; Angela Avis, Tools of the Mind; Jessica Peters, Tools of the Mind 

*“Promoting kindness and empathy by developing skills that benefit all children: From classroom rituals and traditions to everyday practical ideas”, Jacky Howell, azspire,llc; Natalie LaRochelle-Eades, CentroNia

“Technology integration: Best practices for project work in the early childhood classroom”, Julie Jones-Branch, Peru State College; Jennifer Leeper Miller, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Evi Wusk, AshlandGreenwood Public School