3 Fun Snow-Related Food Activities to Do with Your Preschool Class

Posted by on Jan 4th, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Fun Snow-Related Food Activities to Do with Your Preschool Class

If you are learning about winter and snow in your preschool class, here are three fun food-related snow activities that you can do with your students. If your preschool curriculum requires you to plan at least one food-related learning activity per week, you can use these three activities as your food related learning activity for your snow or winter learning unit. #1: Snow Cream This is a great activity when you have freshly fallen snow outside. You are going to want to collect some fresh snow that you know is clean in a couple of large bowls and bring it inside. You are going to use this fresh snow to make snow cream that your students can eat. This works great as a small-group project so that all the students can be involved in the snow-cream creation project. Have your students measure out and pour a cup of milk followed by half a cup of sugar and a dash of vanilla extract into the snow. You can have these ingredients measured out in advance and can allow a different student to pour each ingredient into the snow. Then have the students take turns stirring in the ingredients. As the students stir, ask them how the snow changes shape and form with the addition of the new ingredients. You should end up with a bowl of what looks like a snowy vanilla-flavored milkshake. Scoop up the snow cream and allow your students to enjoy eating some tasty snow! #2: Snow Slushes This is another food activity that involves the use of freshly fallen snow. Collect yourself or have your students collect some freshly fallen snow from a location that you know is clean. Then bring the snow inside and have your students scoop some snow into a clear cup. Next, allow your students to pick their favorite type of juice, such as orange juice, apple juice, or mango juice, to pour over the top. Have four-ounce paper cups filled with juice so that the students can pour the juice over the snow on their own. Then allow your students to dig in with a spoon and enjoy some real-snow slushes. #3: Snowmen For this activity, you are going to have your student build their own snowman. Before you do this activity, have a circle time where you read a book about a snowman and talk about the different parts required to build a snowman, such as three big balls, sticks for the arms and legs, pebbles for the eyes, and so forth. Then, tell your students that they are going to get to make their own snowmen out of food. For the snowmen, provide each student with three vanilla wafers or a similar circular cookie for the body of the snowman. Then, allow your students to put vanilla icing on the cookies to turn them white like snow and to create a base for their decorations. Next, provide your students with food material to decorate the snowman. Raisins work great for buttons and eyes while candy corn makes a great nose. Sprinkles work well for building a mouth, and pretzels make great arms. Once the students finish building their snowmen, take a picture of each child with their snowman to hang up in your classroom and then allow your students...

read more

Child Care And Technology: Your Preschooler And Electronics Play-Time

Posted by on Sep 14th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Child Care And Technology: Your Preschooler And Electronics Play-Time

You’ve heard the buzz that young children and screens don’t mix. But, what about technology use in child care? Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should have no more than two hours of screen time per day, that doesn’t mean your child’s preschool day will be electronics free. Early childhood educators can use technology to help young children learn and develop, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Fred Rogers Media Center. What should you look for when it comes to your child’s pre-k’s tech-time use? Intentional Use When teachers choose specific ways to use technology that directly support your child’s development, learning happens. Intentional use includes activities that have a purpose or are goal-oriented. The teacher is trying to help the child learn something, not just letting them stare at a screen. This might include using a computer game that builds letter recognition skills or reading an interactive eBook on a tablet. Individualized Plan Your child might not learn in the same way as their preschool BFF. That’s okay. Their teacher understands that each child is different and has different learning styles and needs. This means that the educator needs to tailor technology use to the child’s age, developmental level, and skill needs. How might a teacher do this? They might pick different software programs to use, making choices depending on what the child is comfortable learning. This might mean that one child is playing a math game that focuses on learning the numbers one through five, while another young student is tackling numbers up to 10 or simple addition. Safe Surfing With the growing concerns of Internet safety, you’ll find plenty of ways to keep kids away from inappropriate or potentially dangerous content online. Your child’s preschool teacher knows this. Instead of simply letting students surf on the child care center’s computer, the teacher is there to closely supervise. Not only is the teacher supervising the students, but it’s likely that there are safety guards in place. This might include using a kid-friendly Internet browser and parental controls. Interactive Play Watching television on a laptop or tablet is not interactive because it allows your child to passively sit back and do very little that engages their brain. On the other hand, interactive play includes games, programs, and apps that require your child to get into the center of the learning action. They might have to pick colors or shapes on a screen when prompted, create their own digital artwork, or click on letters to make simple words. Technology and early childhood education often go hand-in-hand. While your young child shouldn’t spend all day in front of a screen, intentional and interactive tech-time can help them learn, grow, and develop new skills. To find out how child care centers put their technology to use, contact an educator at the Small World Early Learning & Development...

read more

What Should You Look For In A Preschool Teacher?

Posted by on Jun 28th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Should You Look For In A Preschool Teacher?

Your 3-year-old is ready for preschool. You don’t want just any ‘school’, but aren’t exactly sure what to look for. Along with a stand-out curriculum, your child’s potential school should have a qualified staff. Why? The better prepared early childhood educators are, the better children do in school, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). What makes a pre-kindergarten teacher the best choice to help your little learner grow and develop? A degree. Most states have licensing laws that require pre-K staff to have a specific educational level before working in a classroom. This varies from a Child Development Associate credential or 2-year associate degree to a bachelor’s degree or higher. Keep in mind, not all degrees are equal. Obviously, the higher the degree, the more education and training the teacher has. But, the focus of the degree is what makes the education effective. A qualified pre-K teacher likely has at least a college degree in early childhood education, child development, instruction and learning or a similar discipline. Experience. Yes, the degree itself is essential. But, classroom learning (when it comes to teacher preparation) isn’t the only part of teacher education. While there’s no magic number that equals the ‘just right’ amount of experience, the teacher should have worked with young children in an early learning setting. Supervised student teaching experience or a supervised internship in a pre-K center also counts towards this requirement. Shared beliefs. You use time-outs at home as a discipline technique. Is your child’s teacher on-board? Sharing the same (or similar) beliefs about discipline, learning, development and communication is key to making your child’s life consistent. Communication. Keeping an open line of communication between teachers and parents is necessary for a successful preschool experience. Qualified early childhood educators should know this and understand how to use effective communication strategies. This may include talking to parents at drop-off or pick-up, sending home a weekly newsletter (or emailing one), making individual calls to parents to update them on progress or having regular parent-teacher conferences. Cultural understanding. Every child is an individual. Along with this comes understanding where the child comes from, what their family life is like and what cultural beliefs/values are important to them. Quality pre-K educators should make themselves aware of the child’s culture and show sensitivity to it. This includes including cultural understanding in the child’s daily school life and adapting teaching methods to fit. The qualified preschool teacher turns early education into much more than simple daytime care. Along with educational/knowledge-based and experiential requirements, your child’s teacher should come to the classroom with a sense of caring, a deep love of learning and the creativity to make your preschooler’s day more than just play. Contact a preschool like North End Montessori School for more...

read more

How To Help The Teacher At Your Child’s Charter School

Posted by on Jan 29th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Help The Teacher At Your Child’s Charter School

Research has indicated that schools that have parents who are involved in the education of their children are more likely to be successful. If you would like to become more involved in your child’s charter school, there are several things you can do. Head To The Library Offer to take your child and his charter school friends to the library. Not only will you expose them to more educational resources, but you will be subtlety sending a message to other parents that they can also get involved. Consider making an arrangement with another parent to alternate library duties by taking the kids every other week. Meet Frequently With The Teacher Take every opportunity available to talk with your child’s teacher. Teachers usually set up periods where parents are able to meet with them. In addition to having your questions answered, you will also better cultivate a relationship with your child and his or her teacher. You will want to share information with your teacher about your child’s interests, since these can be used to help your teacher reach him or her. Keep An Open Mind Keep in mind that there are new teaching methods that were not around when you were in school. If you are uncertain of why a teacher is taking a particular approach, ask your teacher to explain this to you. Then, if the teacher’s policies make sense, consider having a conversation with other parents in your child’s class regarding the course material. This is a great opportunity to make friends, help your children better socialize and get other parents on board with the curriculum. When parents provide support to the teachers, the teachers are more likely to succeed. Volunteer Volunteer your time. There might be activities the teacher would like to facilitate, but that need extra help. For instance, the teacher might want to arrange a field trip, but isn’t certain of whether there will be enough volunteers to watch all of the children. Be Prepared For Your Child To Be Criticized If your child is disciplined, you should almost always side with the teacher. It is easy to feel personally slighted when a teacher criticizes your child, but criticism and occasionally poor grades are an important part of your child’s education. If you are concerned that your child was unfairly treated, arrange to meet with your teacher while keeping in mind that there might be a perfectly sensible reason for your teacher’s decision. Do not be combative, but simply try to understand the teacher’s perspective. If you’re looking for a child-centered charter school in your area, visit Freedom...

read more

How To Make Snack Time Fun and Healthy at Daycare

Posted by on Jun 26th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make Snack Time Fun and Healthy at Daycare

If you’re a daycare owner, you take care of many children day in and day out, and you know that sometimes it’s hard to keep them entertained. A good way to introduce new, fun activities is at snack time. Although most kids look forward to snack time, some are hard to please. As long as you have the patience, you can make snack time both fun and healthy by allowing the kids to help prepare their own snacks. Here are a few ideas: Ants on a Log Celery may not be the most talked-about food among the children, but when paired with peanut butter and raisins, they may change their mind. The “ants on a log” snack is an old favorite, but can still be very popular today with some updates. If you’re looking for a bit of a healthier alternative, you can use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. Alternatively, you could use cream cheese. Don’t forget to add the raisins or dried cranberries to mimic ants. Critter Crackers What kid doesn’t love animal crackers? Provide a few crackers to each child and then allow them to use a bit of peanut butter to coat one side of each of the crackers and then push them together. This will make a layered cracker sandwich as well as a critter that the kids can “walk” around the table. Heart Tarts This one will need to be prepared ahead of time (possibly the day before or earlier in the day). You will take pie dough and roll it out. Grab a heart-shaped cookie cutter and allow the kids to cut out their own cookies. They will each need to cut out two for this snack. Let each kid place one of their hearts onto a pregreased cookie sheet and spread a bit of their favorite jam (strawberry, grape, etc.) onto it. Then, cover it with the other heart and seal it along the edges. Give it a light prick with a fork. Bake for roughly 10 minutes or until slightly brown. Allow to cool before the kids eat! Butter and Crackers More than likely, you have some empty baby food jars around the daycare center. Take these, along with about a tablespoon of whipping cream in each one, and give them to the kids. Make sure the lid is on very tight to avoid accidents. Tell the children to shake, shake, and shake some more. Eventually, and possibly with some of your help, a small amount of butter will form. This homemade butter can then be spread on some crackers. While the standard juice and crackers will probably be adequate for the kiddos in your daycare, the truth of the matter is that the kids might get a little tired of them. The aforementioned ideas are a great way to get started with a more interesting snack time at daycare. To come up with  more, all you need is a little imagination. Conversely, if you’re looking to enroll your child in a fun daycare, consider speaking with a representative from Cottonwood Montessori daycare to see if they’re a good fit for you and your...

read more

How To Help Protect The Right To A Decent Education For Those Of Jewish Descent

Posted by on Jun 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Help Protect The Right To A Decent Education For Those Of Jewish Descent

The Jewish people have had to survive various atrocities throughout their history. One reason they have been able to do so is their group unity. They are an ethnicity that believes in helping out the next generations.  Education plays an important role in how those of the Jewish faith prosper and become valuable members of society. Historical Problems Getting an Education It has not always been easy for Jews to attend the nation’s elite colleges and universities. In the early to mid-20th century, several academic institutions set quotas on the number of Jewish students on campuses. These quotas restricted access to an education at some of the most venerable schools. It was this sort of discrimination that served as the catalyst for the founding of national organizations to challenge the then-prevailing negative images of the religion amongst many Americans. Finances are a Problem for Many in the 21st Century Fortunately, the type of religious persecution found in the past is not as widespread today. Nevertheless, though freedom of religion, embedded in the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause, found in the Fourteenth, ensure a right to an education regardless of religious affiliation, those without financial resources find it increasingly difficult to afford higher education. A Solution Jewish educational donations are an important way to alleviate problems people face trying to pay ever-increasing tuition rates. Programs set up to provide scholarships and grants for students help make college possible for those who otherwise would have to forgo this option or take out high-interest loans. The money can help in a number of ways: Tuition Fees Housing Costs Food Transportation (daily) Books Travel (to hometowns and back) Furthermore, grants help graduate students and professors conduct research that can help society address problems affecting Jews and other minority groups. It is also common for these financial resources to go to the funding of Judaic Studies Departments that provide spaces on campuses for students to explore the history of the group in a friendly, intellectual environment. How to Get Involved Anyone interested in helping people of Jewish descent receive the best educations possible can search online for a list of programs supporting this cause. You can make Jewish education donations or possibly sponsor an individual to attend college. It is important that society remember that not too long ago open prejudice kept members who accepted the faith from entering the halls of certain institutions. Today, money is often an even more serious impediment to the dream of earning a decent education....

read more

Pros And Cons Of Working Out At The Gym

Posted by on May 13th, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of Working Out At The Gym

Are you interested in starting a fitness routine but not sure if working out at the gym is for you? There are definitely a lot of benefits of getting a gym membership, but there are also downsides. Before you make your decision, it can help to know what the pros and cons of having a gym membership are. Pro: More Variety There is a lot more variety when it comes to the fitness equipment available at a fitness center. At home, you will need to purchase each item individually, so you might only be able to get a treadmill and set of free weights. However, the gym will have high-quality equipment and a lot to choose from. You can create a fitness routine that is different every single day. Con: No Privacy If you are someone that likes to exercise alone or you feel intimidated by other people, the gym might not be the best place for you. While you can definitely adjust to using the treadmill or free weights around other people, it might be a little uncomfortable at first. If this is the only thing keeping you from joining a gym, consider the fact that other people there might also feel the same. Focus on your workout and try to pay less attention to others around you. Everyone is at the gym for the same purpose. Pro: Professional Fitness Trainers While you can hire a personal fitness trainer to visit your home, it tends to be more expensive going that route. When you join a gym, there are multiple fitness trainers available to assist you. You can pay extra to have one give you personalized fitness routines while at the gym, or get the advice of some of their trainers for free. There are also trainers that walk around the gym and help beginners use the different types of equipment and give valuable advice. Con: Less Convenient One of the more common disadvantages to getting a gym membership is the fact that it is inconvenient. You will need to motivate yourself to drive or walk to the gym a few days a week, which can be inconvenient if you have a busy schedule or need to find a sitter. When you exercise at home, you can fit in a few minutes just about any time and don’t need to worry about finding someone to watch your kids or when to have dinner ready. You can put a casserole in the oven and have enough time to run on the treadmill before dinner is done. Pro: Exercise Classes and Spa Treatments Another benefit to joining a gym is that often include extras you can’t get at home. For example, most fitness centers not only provide a lot of types of equipment, but offer classes as part of your membership. You can switch up your fitness routine by taking yoga, Pilates, Zumba, or swimming classes. They might also offer a juice and smoothie station, have delicious healthy snacks, or have spa treatments offered in the fitness...

read more

Choosing A Daycare That Will Bolster Your Child’s Private School Application

Posted by on May 11th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you want your child to get into a prestigious private school, you need to be thinking about that process during every step of your child’s first five years, and that includes choosing the right daycare. The right daycare experience can bolster your child’s resume and help them pass the admissions process. Here is what you should look for in a day care: 1. A Focus on Games and Activities Involving ERB-Related Skills Many private or independent schools use the ERB, a skills test, to see if children are ready for their curriculum. While you can hire a coach or coach your child yourself, the best preparation is an integration of the skills tested in their day care – that gives your child daily practice and preparation for the ERB. For example, the ERB tests things like pattern recognition, comprehension, and vocabulary. So your child is prepared, his or her daycare should have lots of toys and games involving patterns. The teacher should read multiple stories a day, and they should have relatively complex storylines and new vocabulary words. 2. A Well Connected Director In many cases, the director of your child’s daycare can play a large role in getting your child connected to the right private or independent school. Look for a daycare lead by someone who knows a lot of private school headmasters, who does a lot of volunteer work, and who is a prominent force in the community. When your child starts applying to schools, the daycare director’s opinion and connections could be invaluable. 3. A Low Child-to-Staff Ratio In addition to networking through the preschool’s director, you may also want letters of recommendation from the child care providers at the school. Letters of recommendation from people who know your child are often a huge part of applying to a private school. If the daycare you select has a low child-to-staff ratio, it ensures your child will really get to know his or her teachers. That makes it more likely they will know your child well enough to write a detailed letter of recommendation on his or her behalf. 4. Diverse Activities In addition to the skill-building activities mentioned above, you also want a daycare that offers a diverse range of activities. The activities on offer should include music, art, gymnastics, wilderness survival, volunteer work, and whatever else you think would look impressive on your child’s private school application. To learn more, try contacting a company such as Rainbow Montessori with any questions or concerns you...

read more

Understanding Shyness In Your Preschool Classroom

Posted by on Apr 9th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Being a preschool teacher can be a demanding job: you are responsible for taking some very young children and helping prepare them for the rigors of kindergarten. Socially, some children will be better prepared than others while others will have to overcome some shyness. Helping these children learn how to handle social situations, however, will make life easier for you and them. What Exactly is Shyness? Shyness is highly common in children: some experts estimate up to 30 to 50 percent of children are shy. If your preschoolers display any of the following symptoms, they may be shy: Playing by themselves Hiding from other children Avoiding your gaze Refusing to speak to anyone It’s important to note the difference between children who play alone because they are shy and those that simply prefer their own company. The latter may be highly outgoing and friendly during classroom activities and may have little difficulty interacting with you. These “private” students will likely open up and eventually play with others entirely on their own. What Causes Preschooler Shyness? Fear is the most obvious cause of preschool shyness and there are a variety of reasons preschoolers are afraid in your classroom. Most of these causes are related to the traumatic experience of being left by their parents. While some children may be used to staying with grandparents, older siblings, and family friends, it’s likely usually in a more familiar environment. The following problems commonly cause preschooler fear and shyness: Separation anxiety Break in routine Peer intimidation/bullying Most preschoolers will eventually overcome their shyness during a period called the “period of adjustment.” For some children, it may take only a few days. For others, it may be weeks or even months. During this period, you should be doing what you can to help encourage them to come out of their shell. How Can I Help During the Adjustment Period? Helping your shy preschoolers adjust is often a waiting game. Unfortunately, forcing the issue by focusing on shy children is likely to force them even further into their protective barriers. However, that doesn’t mean you should sit around and just wait for something magical to happen. Classroom exercises that encourage whole class involvement, without focusing on individuals, often open up shy children. One of the easiest of these exercises is “Introduction Time.” Start by breaking your class down into groups of four or five and let each child introduce themselves to their group. Each child should share at least one fun fact about themselves. After a few minutes, create new groups. This exercise helps shy children interact with the entire classroom in a closer fashion. Facilities, like The Cottage School, start teaching children lifelong skills, like confidence, at an early age. With some patience, persistence, and a little bit of luck, your shy preschoolers should start coming into their own in your classroom. But, don’t be afraid to talk to their parents if you’re concerned about persistent shyness. They may not realize their child is withdrawn and may be able to help you find a way to break through the shyness...

read more

4 Key Factors When Considering Preschool Enrollment

Posted by on Apr 3rd, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It’s that time of the year! Preschool enrollment is on the horizon, and you’re wondering if your child is really ready for her first educational experience. Unlike daycare or child care, preschool is a more structured and school-like setting. Instead of just focusing on care while mom and dad are away, preschool also aims to educate and help young children prepare for a lifetime of academic adventures. Understanding what to look for in a program can guide your decision-making process and help you to make an appropriate enrollment choice for your child. So what should you look for in a preschool program? 1. Age. The key factor in deciding whether to enroll your child in a preschool program or not is often age. Preschool traditionally refers to children ages 3 through 5. If your tot is still 2 years old, the program may not accept him. Some schools also have cut-off dates, similar to kindergartens. For example, the program may require all incoming preschoolers to turn 3 by September 1. If your child’s birthday is September 25, you need to wait until the following year. 2. Schedule. Daycares often operate on a full work-day schedule Monday through Friday. This means that you could drop your child off at 7:00 a.m. and pick her up at 6:00 p.m. In contrast, preschools often hold half-day or partial week classes. If you work full-time, a ‘preschool’ program may not fit your family’s needs. 3. Teaching strategies. Talk to the preschool’s director, and ask about what the educational philosophy is. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), high quality preschools use research-based teaching strategies. These employ tested techniques that are known in the early childhood education community to effectively help preschoolers (ages 3- through 5-years) to learn and develop. Some preschools may subscribe to a set philosophy as well. This could include Montessori, Waldorf or another similar educational outlook. 4. Discipline. There are times when your child may not want to listen to his teacher, may have trouble sharing or may act out. Even the best behaved preschooler still has trouble controlling and expressing emotions appropriately 100 percent of time. With that in mind, the PBS Parents website suggests reviewing the preschool’s discipline policies before making the decision to enroll. Review the policies and match them up to your family’s beliefs and the way that you use discipline at home. For example, if you believe in talking out issues with your child, but the school requires time-outs, your child may find the discipline methods a challenge to conform to. Preschool enrollment is the first step on an educational journey. Deciding if it’s time to enroll, and if the program is right for your child, is a process. From your little learner’s age to understanding what happens if she misbehaves, reviewing essential elements of each program helps you to make an informed choice that you can feel comfortable with. For more information, contact a school such as Montessori School Of Salt Lake...

read more