The Burlington Early Childhood Center will be hosting an Open House on Friday, January 20, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Burlington High School - where the programs are located. This Open House provides families with an opportunity to view the programs, meet the teachers and pickup registration packets to enroll their children for next year. Students must be 3 years old by August 31, 2011. For more information call Sandy at 781-270-1808.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Dear Preschool Families,
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some changes that will be taking place at the Burlington Early Childhood Center in January of 2012. Dr. Cath Estep, Director of Pupil Services, will retire from the Burlington Public Schools in February of 2012. I have been asked to be the Interim Director of Special Education from January to June. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn some new skills, and gain a broader view of the district from pre-k to 22.
In my absence Deborah Clark, Speech-Language Pathologist at the Francis Wyman School, will take over as Interim Director of the Integrated Preschool. Ms. Clark is a well respected speech pathologist who has a strong working knowledge of language based disabilities as well as augmentative communication devices. During the summer time, Ms. Clark serves as one of the directors of the Burlington Public Schools Summer Elementary Literacy Program. In this role she oversees the daily operations of the program, supervises staff and coordinates curriculum. She does this flawlessly every summer.
The transition will take place over the month of January with the full transition in place by the end of the month. Please know that even though I will not be in the preschool on a daily basis, I will only be moving a couple of feet away to central office. If you need to get in touch with me for any reason please send me an email to d’firstname.lastname@example.org. After January any questions about the daily operations of the program you can email Deborah at email@example.com.
Best wishes for a very happy and healthy holiday season.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Next month the Burlington Early Childhood Center will hold an open house for families that are interested in attending for the 2012/2013 school year. One of the questions that is asked over and over again is how do you meet the needs of all students, and will my child be challenged? The following article does a nice job explaining what differentiated instruction is and how teachers are able to meet the needs of all learners.
What kind of chef are you? How are you in the kitchen?
What does this have to do with learning?
Four Paths to Differentiation: Content, Delivery of Instruction, Resources, Product and Assessment
One Lesson, Four Differentiations
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Friendly Frogs, Andrea Hayes
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Learning Through Predictable Books
by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
What Are Predictable Books?
Predictable books are books that are written in a way that makes it easy to guess what will happen on the next page. Many predictable books repeat words, phrases, or sentences throughout the text. For example, in the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr., the question “What do you see?” and the answer “I see a ___ looking at me.” repeat throughout the entire story. Deborah Guarino’s book Is Your Mama a Llama? is another kind of predictable book that uses rhyme and rhythm to help children solve riddles about animal mothers. Other predictable books build on storylines or sequences that are familiar to children. For example, Cookie’s Week, a story by Cindy Ward, follows the misadventures of a cat through the familiar sequence of the days of the week.
Why Are Predictable Books Important?
There are many benefits that come from reading predictable books with your children. Here are just a few:
• Children learn pre-reading skills. As you begin to read books with your children, they learn pre-reading skills, such as reading from top to bottom, reading from left to right, and turning pages. They also learn that a story has a beginning, middle, and end.
• Children participate in reading. Predictable books are easy to understand and remember. Because of this, children become familiar with predictable books quickly, which allows them to fill in words and phrases when they read the books again.
• Children learn about rhyme and rhythm. Many predictable books use rhyme and rhythm to make them predictable. As a result, children learn these skills as they read and re-read predictable books.
• Children learn inflection in a natural way. We don’t usually speak in just one tone of voice. Inflection is the change between the high tones and low tones in our voices when we speak. Predictable books often have a rhythm that is read with a singsong inflection which is easier for children to imitate.
• Children get additional speech practice. Because words and phrases are repeated in many predictable books, finding a book that repeats your children’s targeted speech sounds can give them additional speech practice as they read.
• Children experience success with reading. Reading predictable books can make children feel successful with the skill of reading. Children who feel successful with reading will want to continue reading.
List of Predictable Books
There are many wonderful predictable books that you can read with your children. Here is just a small sample list. Your local library can assist you in finding more.
An Egg Is an Egg by Nicki Weiss Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Don’t Climb Out of the Window Tonight by Richard McGilvray
I Went Walking by Sue Williams
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
My Very Own Octopus by Bernard Most
This Is The Bear by Sarah Hayes
Where Does the Brown Bear Go? by Nicki Weiss
Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen
Who Says That? by Arnold L. Shapiro
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Posted: November 17th, 2011 by Michele Borba
What research says are best ways to curb a tantrum before, during and after the storm. The tips I shared on TODAY this morning
Temper tantrums—those annoying kid wails and frails and meltdowns—are common. Studies show that almost 70 percent of young kids have them.
Tantrums are equally as common in girls as in boys. Older kids sometimes resort back to the tantrum stage, especially if there’s been a recent stress or change in their lives or they’ve learned they work to get their way. So if tantrums are common, how do you stop them? New research finally gives parents important clues.
Yale University and King’s College London findings tell us we can hold those sticker charts, fancy point systems or our pleads and threats. The techniques are largely ineffective in changing kid behavior for the long haul.
Studies confirm what is more effective in curbing a tantrum is how the parent responds to the outbursts.
In fact, how parents respond will largely determine whether those kid outbursts decrease or increase.
Here are a few tips I shared with Matt Lauer this morning on TODAY to do before, during and after the storm to curb meltdowns. I also had an enlightening phone chat with Dr. Alan Kazdin (who you may have seen in the B-roll before the set and author of Parenting the Defiant Child) who shared the parenting management programs his team at Yale is doing. His tips for praising good behavior and the using the “Untantrum Game” to teach more appropriate behaviors are below.
Before the Tantrum
Young kids do not have internal brake systems and need you to calm them down or their frustrations can quickly escalate. In some cases you have only seconds before an exorcism begins so don’t wait until your child is in full meltdown to apply these strategies.
Your best defense is to anticipate a tantrum’s onset. Watch for your kid’s signs that a tantrum is on its way: tension, antsy, a whimper. Then try some of these techniques. Hint: You really have to experiment with what works for your child but these are worth the try.
Predict tantrums triggers. The biggest frustration triggers young kids are fatigue, hunger and boredom. You’ll reduce many of those meltdowns by taking him shopping after the nap or eating a snack, or letting him play with something while you wait.
Distract and redirect. Try to redirect your child’s attention: “Let’s go get your teddy.” “I bet you can’t jump up and touch the sky!?” Or try distracting your little one: “Look at that little boy over there.” Your best bet is to try to divert your child’s attention long enough to reroute his energy. But be quick-you may have only sections before the meltdown.
Name the upset feeling. Telling an upset kid to “Calm down” won’t cut it , but it helps to name the feeling to a nonverbal child. Get down eye-to-eye and in an exaggerated tone, put into words how the child is feeling.“Johnny is soooooo mad!!!” It’s almost as though you see your little one look up at you with a, “Well yep. That’s how I feel! Glad you caught on!”
I learned this technique from Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the Happiest Toddler on the Block, during a Parentsmagazine advisory meeting (we serve on the Parents board of advisors). Harvey is fabulous to watch when he talks to kids. I swear he’s the ultimate Toddler Tamer.
Turn DON’T to DO. Little egos are forming and their little independence streak is churning, so watch out for overusing the word NO which can cause frustrations. You’ll get far better responses if you turn your “Don’t run” into “Let’s walk.” Firmly phrase your instructions in terms of what to do, instead of what not to do.
Use calming transitions. Try rubbing his back, holding him gently, or humming a relaxing song. Try using softer voice tones or turn your hand into an instant puppet and make your hand talk. This is a magical age when you can use their imagination to your advantage-but only if you turn on your magic before the meltdown. (Another great Dr. Karp tip!)
During the Tantrum
Once an attention-getting tantrum begins there is little you can do to control it, so remain calm. (I know, I know, but doing so is essential). Your calm behavior will help your child get back in control.
Ensure safety. If there are sharp edges, glasses or objects that could hurt your child, move him to a “safe zone.” If you’re out in public, stop what you’re doing and remove your kid to secluded spot or take him home. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but he’ll learn you’re won’t tolerate inappropriate behavior. Consistency is critical. (Repeat that line, “Consistency is critical.” Again: “Consistency is critical.”)
Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Don’t give the outburst any attention. No eye contact, no words, do not react. Once your child learns that her outburst “works”—that is she gets her way—she’s likely to try it again (and again and again). In fact, research at Boston shows that the longer you give attention to a tantrum, the longer it lasts.
Once you start ignoring a certain behavior you must keep ignoring. Attention-getting behaviors may increase slightly before subsiding—because the child is testing you, so just don’t let him win! Also, if you are upset, walk away. The fastest way to increase a tantrum is for you to yell or grab your child. Walk and get yourself calm (it will also help you ignore the outburst!)
Don’t try to reason. Forget trying to rationalize with a wailing, flailing child. Doing so is like trying to reason with a goldfish. Once in tantrum-mode your child is beyond understanding. Also, don’t coax, yell, or spank. It doesn’t help, and you’re libel to escalate the outburst.
After the Tantrum
Your goal is to teach your child “replacer” behaviors to reduce those outbursts and help the child learn healthier ways to handle upset feelings.
Praise efforts. The fastest way to change behavior is to point out the moment your child uses the right behavior! So the second your kid uses the right behavior reinforce it! (“Thank you for using that nice tone! What did you want to ask?”)
Dr. Kazdin says the best praise for changing behavior has three parts:
~Uses an exaggerated or enthusiastic tone (I tell parents it’s like when you add an exclamation point to the end of your praise. Sound elated!)
~Is specific so your child knows exactly what he did right. (I teach parents to add “because” to the praise so as to help the child know exactly what he did that you hope is repeated: “Great job because you told mommy you were tired. Thank you!”
~Is warm and uses touch. Give him a hug, a big pat on the back or a high five!
Point out the desired behavior in other children: “See how nicely that boy is playing with others” (Do hold those judgments: “Why can’t you do that?”) Kids learn a new skill quicker by seeing, not hearing it. So don’t describe, but show the behavior you want your child to use. .
Practice “Untantrums.” New behaviors take lots of practice. Dr. Alan Kazdin suggests helping your child practice how to behavior without tantruming. Of course, you can only do this strategy when your child is calm. You’d say,
“Okay, let’s try another way of acting without the tantrum. I’m going to tell you that you can’t have a cookie (we’re just pretending remember). And you’re going to show me how to act without hitting and screaming. Ready?”
The child then practices the new way of “untantruming” and you praise the heck out of the little rehearsal.Dr. Kazdin then suggests saying, “I bet you can’t do it again!” And most kids relish in trying again (and again, and again).
The trick is to rehearse the new behavior many times so when the heat of the moment comes the meltdown doesn’t kick in, but the new pre-reheased behavior does. Try it!
Don’t give up! It can take weeks for behavior change. You should see a gradual diminishment of the tantrums. Track the frequency of those tantrums on a monthly calendar. You may be surprised (and elated) to discover those meltdowns really are slowing down!
Get help if tantrum continue or increase. If those tantrums escalate, are more frequent, last longer in duration, or your child is in danger or hurting himself or others, then it’s time to get help.
A recent APA publication advised that young children who have daily, intense temper tantrums are significantly more at risk to have later behavioral and emotional problems. Don’t wait! Early intervention is key!