Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Blog Address

The Burlington Early Childhood Center has a new blog.  You can access it at the following link:

http://beccblog.org/

Please use this address to access BECC information.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Week of School

Happy first week of school!

We are excited to have our new and returning students at the BECC for their first week of classes!  Our students are making smooth transitions to their classrooms...we have had very few tears!  Thank you for helping prepare your child so well for his/her preschool experience.

There were two items we wanted to mention...

Buses:
The first week back to school is always challenging regarding transportation.  It does take some time to work out the bus routes and make adjustments.  We know there have been some issues with morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off.  We apologize for any problems you may have experienced.  We are in constant contact with the bus company and hope to have any problems resolved by the end of the week.  If you are experiencing any problems, please call us at 781-270-1808.  Thank for your patience with this matter.

Parking:
Fire lanes need to be clear at all times.  Only buses are allowed to park in front of the building in the fire lanes.  We ask that you do not block them so we can load and unload the buses.  You can park in the fire lane after the front entrance to the preschool.  You can also park across the street after the orange cones.  When parking and walking your child to his/her teacher, we ask that you please have complete control of your child.  Pick up and drop off are busy times, and we want to ensure that all our friends are safe at all times.  We also ask that you avoid parking on the corner by the administration entrance of the building.  It is difficult to see as you come around the corner, and it has the potential to be a dangerous situation.  When parking, the best bet is to park at the bottom of the hill and walk your child/children to their teacher.

Again, we are excited to be working with you and your child.  Please feel free to contact us at 781-270-1808 with any questions or concerns.  We are happy to help.  In the next coming weeks, look more information about our BECC.  Here's to a great year!

Kind Regards,
Deborah Clark
Director, BECC


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Welcome Back!


Dear BECC Families,

Welcome back!  We are excited to begin the new school year.  The BECC staff has been busy getting ready for the year.

By now you should have received a letter from your child’s classroom teacher.  In that letter you received information about our Open House on Thursday, September 6.  Please make sure that you and your child attend this Open House as this will provide your child the opportunity to become familiar with his/her classroom and what happens at school.  It also helps with first day of school jitters.

The first day of school for the BECC will be Monday, September 10.  On your child’s first day, you will drop your child off outside with their classroom teachers.  There will be tears, and the initial transition into preschool can be a tricky one.  Some children will cry for 2 minutes other children will cry for two weeks. This is harder on you then it is on anyone else.  The preschool teachers are masters at helping children transition.  As soon as the routine becomes familiar and predictable the crying stops and the smiling and learning begins.  A child’s first day of preschool is a big deal.  Because it is such a huge change to their life and schedule it can be very scary for them.  But by following the above tips, you will make your child’s first day of school a smooth and happy transition.

We are here to help you in any way we can.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

See you soon!
The BECC Staff

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Year End Information

Dear Families,
It's hard to believe, but the end of the school year is quickly approaching.  We want you to be aware of the following information:

-The last day of the preschool will be Tuesday, June 19th.  This will be a full day of school.

-Reminder, June payments are due now.  Please send them in as soon as possible.

Thank you for your cooperation,
The BECC Staff

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Welcome Lia Rose

We are thrilled to announce Lia Rose D'Abbraccio was born on May 3 at 2:28pm weighing 6lbs 3oz and measuring 19" long. Mom and baby are doing great. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dear Families,
The staff at the BECC would like to thank all of our parents for hosting the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon on Friday April 27th.  We truly appreciate all of the time and effort that went into organizing, shopping, and cooking.  The food was delicious and more than plentiful, and the gift card raffle was a big hit!  We are so fortunate to have such a supportive group of parents.  We would like to say a special thank you to Tania Conlon for organizing the event.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
The BECC Staff

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Upcoming Event

Dear BECC Families,
On Wednesday, April 25th, Burlington High School will be holding its pre-prom assembly for juniors and seniors.  At approximately 1:00 PM, there will be a mock crash simulation taking place on school grounds.  Please take note that this includes police, fire, and medi-flight emergency responders coming to the high school.  Do not be alarmed if you see some activity outside.  Also, entry to the school road will be blocked from approximately 1:00-1:30 PM.  If you have any questions, please call us at 781-270-1808.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April Vacation

We want to wish all of our families a happy, healthy, and fun April vacation!  Enjoy the week off.  See you all back at the BECC on April 23rd

-The BECC Staff

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Technology in the Burlington Early Childhood Center





We are happy to announce that the technology resources continue to grow in the preschool. Touch IT interactive white boards have been installed in four of our preschool classrooms. After using them for just a week, we’re not sure who is more excited, the teachers or the students!

The Touch IT Boards allow our teachers to project books, educational software, websites, and lessons from their computers onto the whiteboard. Our students can access the content by using their fingers or a stylus. Our teachers can also use these boards to project apps, books, and videos from their iPads. So far our Barnyard Buddies have used the boards for transportation vocabulary activities, the Busy Bees and Puppy Pals have practiced letter formation, and the Cub Cadets have used it to view space shuttle travel. We are looking forward to learning and exploring more with this technology.

A special thank you to the BPS tech crew for getting us up and running. Dennis Villano, Bob Cuhna, Andy Marcinek, and John Allegretto were like rock stars to our students once they saw the boards working. And thank you to our superintendent, Dr. Eric Conti, for his continued commitment to providing technology to students across all age levels.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Alternative Easter Basket Ideas

Next week many children will receive a visit from the Easter Bunny. I would like to suggest some fun alternatives to a basket filled with candy that will also help develop skills. If you don't celebrate Easter the following suggestions are great ways for children to develop skills
while having fun.

Sidewalk chalk: You can find a bucket of sidewalk chalk relatively inexpensive
and it is a fun way to work on fine motor development. Children will enjoy spending hours decorating your driveway with colorful creations. sidewalk chalk is a fun way to work on writing the letters in your child’s name.

Bubbles: All children love bubbles and they are a fun outdoor activity. Believe it or not blowing bubbles is a great way to develop oral motor skills, which helps young children with articulation development.

Pipsqueak maker: Crayola makes a marker called pipsqueaks. These markers are small and work on development of the perfect grasp. They force children to use their alligator fingers.

Coloring books: Sometimes we forget about things as simple as a coloring book and some new crayons. Coloring also works on the development of fine and visual motor development. Children should take their time and try to stay in the lines and work on using all the small muscles in their hands.

Children’s books: At stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls your can find lots of great board books or quality children’s books for a few dollars and what better way to end every evening then cuddling up with your little one and reading a book.

8 to 10 piece interlocking puzzles: Puzzles are another fun way to teach children visual perception skills. Developing strong visual perceptions skills will help with learning letter and writing skills.


Balls: Again another simple toy that children love to play with. Kicking, running, catching and rolling all great ways to develop both fine and gross motor skills.


Of course, a basket would bee complete with at least one chocolate bunny,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Food Shopping With Your Preschooler

http://notjustcute.com/2011/08/08/use-these-5-tips-to-boost-your-child’s-learning-skills-while-shopping/

Today while I was food shopping I noticed a lot young families that were very stressed by the idea of trying to food shop with their young children. As I walked by them I smiled to myself thinking thank God those days are over for me, but it also reminded me of how much fun I had shopping with my girls. Grocery stores are a wonderful place to teach young children many skills. They are naturally categorized and provide many learning opportunities in each aisle.

IMG_0734b

I found this blog post by: Rachel Speal. Rachel is an educational therapist who has over 20 years experience working with kids and adults of all ages. Her specialty is disabilities on the autistic spectrum, and language delays. You can find more hands on learning games at her site Teaching the Future. It reminded me of some of the fun games I use to play with my children while food shopping.

Understanding that any time can be a great time to foster your child’s learning will help you make the most out of routine activities. Use the tips below to learn how you can take an everyday activity like going to the grocery store, and use it to boost your child’s development:

Improve your child’s categorization skills in the produce department.

Next time you go to the store, instead of simply letting your child put the produce in the bag, ask your child to help you “choose an orange vegetable to put in the bag.” As your child searches among the produce for something that is both orange and a vegetable, she’ll be sorting, learning the names of all of the vegetables, and practicing her problem-solving skills.

Other examples are “find me 3 fruits that are round,” “find me 2 things are juicy and sweet,” or “show me all the fruits that have seeds in them.”

Exercise your child’s matching skills in the dairy aisle.

Ask your child to close his eyes. Then choose an item, and walk a bit away from the place where it was found. Tell your child to open his eyes. Handing him the item, ask him if he can put it back where it belongs.

This is an activity that not only boosts his visual discrimination skills, but his visual figure-ground skills as well. Visual figure-ground in particular, is an important skill that isn’t practiced very often. It’s important, though, since it will help your child keep his place when reading, and organize his written work on paper.

Strengthen your child’s visual memory in the canned goods aisle.

Next time you enter the canned goods section, challenge your child to use his visual memory. Ask him to find a particular product – for example Chef Boyardee Spaghetti O’s- and give him a time limit in which to find it. If he finds it before time runs out, choose another item, and ask him to try and beat his best time.

You can also have your child look at one specific section carefully. Give him up to 10 seconds to look at all the items on the shelf carefully, and then ask him to close his eyes (or turn away) and name all the items he remembers seeing on the shelves. He can name brands, types of products, or even prices.

Sharpen your child’s auditory memory in the frozen foods section.

In this activity, your child exercises his memory muscles by collecting a variety of items. You simply name anywhere from 3-5 items to start with, and ask your child to find them. The catch: your child has to find everything in the order it was given, and he can’t use a written or picture list.

TIP: You can make this game easier by asking for general items: a gallon of ice cream, a pack of frozen green beans, etc. You can make it harder by adding more details- the more details you add, the harder it gets. So you could ask your child to pick up Rocky Road ice cream from Baskin-Robbins, 2 packs of Green Giant sweet corn, and 1 Sicillian pizza.

Practice everything at once with an X-treme shopping spree.

This is an activity kids absolutely love. It makes them feel like they’ve just won a million dollar shopping spree in their favorite supermarket.

How to play: Give your child a written or picture list of items. You’ll write the list almost as if it’s a quiz show; “Put 3 green vegetables in the cart. Next go to the dairy aisle and pick up the yogurt with a goat on it.” The key to doing this right is choosing activities similar to the ones above.

In order to stretch your child’s new skills, you’ll give your child a time limit to finish shopping. You can have an older sibling go along with them, while you wait for them at the checkout counter. If they finish in time, they get to choose a favorite treat or dessert at the end.

The only disadvantage to this game: your child will want to do it every day. So to keep things reasonable, explain you can only play once a month.

Enjoy shopping — and learning – with your children!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Read it Again






http://www.sixtysecondparent.com/_webapp_227861/Literacy_-_Why_you_should_“Read_it_again”
As the parent of a preschool child, you don’t need to push your child into academics early, but you can enjoy letting a book lead you to new places with your child.
To capitalize on your child’s desire to read a good story over and over again, think ahead. Select a book of the week and intentionally read the same book each night. Young childrenoften become intense on a particular topic like trucks, colors, or animals. Use the searchable database on the “Parent” section on the Reading is Fundamental website (www.rif.org) to find books on topics that peak your child’s interest. A librarian near you would love to help too.

Here comes the fun, story-stretching part. Take a minute to preview the book that you chose for the week and write down a few things that you find interesting in the story. Think broadly:
  • How did the artist make the illustrations? If they are photos, read the book and take your digital camera a take some pictures together. Point out that this is how the artist in the bookmade the book that you just read. That’s it.
  • Does the book use rhyme? Point outthe rhyming words. See if you (together) can come up with more rhyming words.
  • How does the book use color? Are the colors soft or loud? Introduce those words for talking about color. Or point to a color and ask your child to find something that color in the room.

I think that you get the idea. Do not make this complicated or overly educational. The goal is more to enjoy your child’s tendency to want to read the same book again and again. The primarypayoff is that your child comes to see that you can get something new out of a book each time that you read it—which is a crucial part of becoming a successful learner. Another payoff is that you aren’t quite as bored by reading the same book repeatedly.
Here is an example of how you might extend Sam McBratney’s Guess How Much I Love You:


  • Get out a tape measure and measure how wide your child’s arms reach and compare it to how wide your arms reach…you’ll probably end up measure a lot of other things too.
  • Carefully page through the book together. After reading it, count how many mushrooms there are. You could count butterflies too.
  • Talk about the moon. How it can be full and circle-shaped or slim and crescent-shaped. (And sometimes not there at all.)
  • Have your child describe his own going to sleep routine.
  • Draw a simple tree shape and describe the simple parts of a tree—the trunk, branches, leaves, and roots.
  • Tell your child just how much you love him and why.

Choosing a good book and thinking about how to stretch it for a few nights does take some forethought; it also creates books that will be family favorites forever.

By Anne Oxenreider

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Emotional intelligence and preschoolers

http://www.sixtysecondparent.com/_webapp_427577/Emotional_intelligence_and_preschoolers


Emotional intelligence involves understanding your feelings, managing your feelings, motivating yourself, and productively persisting in the face of setbacks.

Emotional intelligence, as Daniel Goleman stated in his book of that title, may be more important than IQ. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children become aware emotional beings who believe they can develop their emotional intelligence by working at it. Again and again, our children need to hear these basic messages: wisely see and accept challenges, be proactive, and learn from the mistakes you make.

We are our children’s emotional coaches; we can teach thinking skills involved in emotional intelligence. Gone are the days when we thought, for example, a very angry person was just born that way and we might as well accept it. Yes, we are born predisposed to a certain temperament, but our brains are constantly rewiring and changing as we learn and grow. A person’s genetic makeup may lean toward shy or outgoing, optimistic or pessimistic, moody or even-tempered. But we change and we can intentionally stretch and grow; we are not defined solely by our genetic makeup.

Emotional coaching relies on a warm and nurtured relationship between you and your child. A close, open parent -child relationship makes it easier and more natural to teach emotional skills, and it’s the foundation upon which your child learns.

Everyday interactions can build and strengthen your relationship with your child:
Hugging and touching frequently.
Enjoying fun, relaxed time together.
Sharing about your daily experiences.
Listening carefully and empathetically.
Respecting and validating your child’s feelings.
Explaining your own feelings in an age- and situation-appropriate way.
Providing positive examples of managing emotions and motivation.
Teaching specific skills is important, too. You can, for example, name your child’s feelings while she is learning to understand them - "You feel sad that daddy had to go to work, you wanted him to stay and play". As she matures, you can ask her to talk about her feelings while you listen. We can teach children to understand that at first onset, our strong emotions flood powerfully over us. If we can wait about 90 seconds for the flood to subside, we have the ability to choose whether to let the emotion remain very strong, to do something productive to change the situation, or to just let the emotion pass by. That’s how our brains work.

Another skill you can teach your child is how to use self-talk.
Self-Talk Matters
Guide your child to be aware of the importance of how he talks to himself. Put-down messages such as “I am so dumb” and “I can’t do this” serve to lower self-esteem and make things harder for us. Positive messages such as “I am pretty thoughtful” and “If I stick to it, I can do this!” help to bolster our confidence and chances of success. Of course, we all make mistakes and none of us is perfect, but we can keep a positive tone when we talk to ourselves about improvements we will work to make.

So when you hear your child put himself down, suggest a more positive statement and remind him that self-talk matters. You could try something like: "Hey, I just heard you tell yourself you are dumb. You may have made a mistake-- just like the rest of us do sometimes -- but please don't put yourself down. How about you tell yourself something like, “Hey, Me, I just made a mistake. I’ll do what I can to fix it, and next time I’ll do it better!”

Encourage positive self-talk by asking your child to give himself a pat on the back when he does a good job - "Nice work sharing with your friend. That took some careful thought, and you should be proud of yourself. Feel free to say to yourself, “Nice sharing, Me!”

Having high emotional intelligence has been found to help kids feel more positive, more in control, more equipped to manage their emotions, and basically more able to manage the bumps in life’s road. Emotional coaching is not a simple job, and most of us did not get specific training about how to go about it. We can keep learning, be respectfully involved in our children’s emotional lives, listen without judging, and coach empathically. Another opportunity for practice is probably right around the corner!

By Dr. Maria Chesley Fisk - Dr. Fisk is an educational consultant, speaker, and author of Teach Your Kids to Think: Simple Tools You Can Use Every Day. www.ThinkParenting.com.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fun Outdoor Activities

http://bodysmartblog.org/2012/02/10/the-benefits-of-outdoor-play

I just checked the weather forecast for the week and it is going to be a beautiful week off. I came across the blog post and it has fantastic resources for parks and hiking trails. Both free and fun activities to do with your children for the week. I found it to be a great resource and I hope you are able to take advantage of some fun outdoor time this week.

“I like to play indoors better ‘cause that’s where all the electric outlets are.”

- A 4th Grader in San Diego, quoted in Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Many of us remember the phrase, “Go outside and play!” from childhood, but children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation (Clements, 2004; Hofferth and Curtin, 2006). Free play and discretionary time has declined more than 9 hours a week over the last 25 years. A new Nielson Company Report indicates that children ages two-five years old now spend more than 32 hours a week on average in front of a TV screen. According to the Keiser Family Foundation (2010), the amount of screen time only increases with age, with school-aged children spending 7.5 hours a day on electronic media.

The percentage of preschool children who are overweight more than tripled between 1971 and 2009, exploding from 5.8% in 1971 to 18.4% in 2009 (Odgen et al, 2007; Anderson, 2009). Six out of ten of these preschoolers will continue to be overweight or obese at age 12 (NICHD, 2006). The situation is so severe that this generation of children’s life span is predicted to be shorter than that of their parents.

Tap into the benefits of outdoor play!

Encouraging children to get outside, get moving, and connect with the natural world are all ways to reverse childhood obesity rates. But, the benefits don’t stop there. Kids who play outside are happier, healthier, and stronger!

According to research (Fjortoft 2004; Burdette and Whitaker 2005), children who play outdoors regularly:

  • Become fitter and leaner
  • Develop stronger immune systems
  • Have more active imaginations
  • Have lower stress levels
  • Play more creatively
  • Have greater respect for themselves and others

Time spent outdoors is also the best way to get vitamin D. According to the journal Pediatrics, 70% of American kids are not getting enough vitamin D, which can lead to a host of health issues. Time spent outdoors is also shown to reduce myopia (nearsightedness) in children (Optometry and Vision Science, 2008).

Get outdoors!

Here are a few resources to help you take it outside:

No matter what you do, make sure to make time to get you and the children in your world outside!

Playfully yours, Bethe

Blogger Bio: Bethe Almeras, MS, is the HSBS Education & Outreach Director. A long time educator and play advocate, she is passionate about outdoor play and connecting children with nature.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Winter Vacation

The Burlington Early Childhood Center will be closed the week of February 20th for Winter Break. We wish you all a wonderful and relaxing break. School will be back in session on Monday February 27th, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wilfrid Gordon Mcdonald Partridge

The following is a book that the children will be exposed to while learning about community. It is a very heart warming story and I thought you might enjoy meeting "Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge" as well.

A small boy, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, knows and likes all of the old folks in the home next door, but his favorite is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper she has four names, too. Hearing that she has lost her memory, he asks the old folks what a memory is ("Something from long ago" ; "Something that makes you laugh;" "Something warm;" etc.), ponders the answers, then gathers up memories of his own (seashells collected long ago last summer, a feathered puppet with a goofy expression, a warm egg fresh from the hen) to give her. In handling Wilfrid's memories, Nancy finds and shares her own. The illustrationssplashy, slightly hazy watercolors in rosy pastelscontrast the boy's fidgety energy with his friends' slow, careful movements and capture the story's warmth and sentiment.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Make Reading Part of Your Preschooler's Everyday Life

Make Reading Part of Your Preschooler's Everyday Life

Do you enjoy reading? Do you look at the newspaper? Read magazines? Go to the library? Chances are, if you do any of these activities, your preschool child is on his way to becoming a reader.

The process of learning to read is complex. While there is a lot of information about this process, one of the most important things to know is that parents help their children learn to read as they go about the routines of everyday life.

The basics of learning to read are talking, listening, reading and writing. As children have conversations with caring adults, they hear both new and familiar words and their vocabulary grows.

Opportunities for adults and children to talk together happen during daily routines such as riding in the car or bus, doing household chores like fixing dinner and folding laundry, or bathing and getting ready for bed.

A major part of conversation is listening. When children talk, adults listen and respond. Then children listen and respond, and so the flow of conversation happens.

Remember snuggling with a favorite adult as he or she read aloud or told you stories? Have you watched your preschooler "pretend" to read to his favorite teddy bear or younger sibling? Have you read his favorite story over and over and over again? These experiences tell children that reading is fun. And when things are fun, they are repeated.

During these reading experiences, children become familiar with many elements of print, such as words and the symbols (letters) that go together to make words.

As your child sees letters, she begins to connect them to familiar words, especially the letters that make up her name. It is a natural next step for her to want to write those letters.

Children will copy the actions of the adults who are important to them. When they see parents make a grocery list, they want to use pencil and paper to make their own list. A simple way to encourage these beginning writing activities is to have pencils, markers, crayons and scrap paper available for your child to use.

The more children get to practice behaviors connected with talking, listening, reading and writing, the easier it is for them to become enthusiastic readers. While you as a parent have a big influence on these early literacy behaviors, it is important to remember that opportunities for literacy experiences occur while you and your child share in the basic routines of everyday life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New School Attendance Policy


SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AGE


Each child must attend school beginning in September of the calendar year in which he or she attains the age of six (per Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education*). A child entering kindergarten must have attained the age of five by August 31 of that year. Effective January 1, 2012 a child entering:


• First grade must have attained the age of six by August 31 of that year

• Second grade must have attained the age of seven by August 31 of that year

• Third grade must have attained the age of eight by August 31 of that year

• Fourth grade must have attained the age of nine by August 31 of that year

• Fifth grade must have attained the age of ten by August 31 of that year


There are two possible exceptions for consideration:

1. For grades K – 5 students who move into the district: who were enrolled in kindergarten through grade 5 in their prior community and do not meet the above age requirement may be considered for an exemption. (This provision respects a grade level reciprocity for students moving into the district from other public schools within the United Statesonly.)


2. For an exception to be admitted to first grade: for students who do not meet the kindergarten age requirement - if a child turns six years of age between August 31 and October 31, exceptions may be made by the Principal and Superintendent for those children who, in the opinion of the Principal and Superintendent have:

a. Attended and completed a rigorous kindergarten program, and

b. Can demonstrate academic, social, and emotional readiness for first grade in accordance with criteria established by the School Department


All kindergarten exemption requests must be made in writing to the Superintendent’s office by June 1 prior to the child beginning the new school year.


The decision on whether to grant either exception to the age policy can be made only by the Principal and the Superintendent and their decision is final with no further appeal.


Legal Reference: *Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


Adopted by the Burlington School Committee: 12/13/11

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Early Writing

Last week I shared a blog post from the Cub Cadet's that showed all the fun and hand-on ways we can begin to teach children how to form letters. I found this blog post that talks about reversals and what do do. It is a questions that is asked over and over again by parents. I hope this post helps to explain beginning writing skills.


http://earlyliteracycounts.blogspot.com/2010/03/reverse-backward-and-upside-down-when.html


Monday, March 8, 2010

Reverse, Backward, and Upside Down: When to Worry When About Your Child's Writing

Some parents may worry when their preschoolers begin to reverse letters, write words from right to left, or confuse letters like b, d, and p in their writing. Even preschoolers who previously "got it right" might begin to reverse letters and words. But not to worry! This is a normal stage in learning to write. Between the ages of three and seven, it is quite common for children to write some or all of their letters and words backwards. Sometimes called mirror writing, research shows that this phenomenon is not only normal, but is likely the result of normal brain development.
As a former preschool and kindergarten teacher, I can tell you that such writing does not worry me and in fact it lets me know that often children have moved on to the next stage in their literacy development. Often, children "get it right" in the beginning because they have learned to write by copying something that a grown-up has written for them. When children start to write on their own without an example, they will make more errors. They are using their brains to figure things out and that is a good thing! When you watch a preschooler write, you can often see a level of concentration that says, "My brain is working OVERTIME over here!"


What should parents of preschoolers do?

  1. Avoid making a big deal and correcting your child. Over corrections may discourage your child from future attempts at writing.
  2. Model writing for your child. For example, when he or she asks you to write their name or a sentence on their artwork, start in the upper left corner so children see the direction of print.
  3. Sometimes (but not always) point to the words books that you are reading so children learn that text is read from left to write and from top to bottom
  4. Relax and don't worry! This is an awesome stage in your child's development and if they are taking an interest in writing, NURTURE it rather than over-analyzing it!


What if my child is in Kindergarten and is still writing backwards?

The same rules apply. Up until age seven or eight, children may continue to display mirror writing. Most of the time, children will learn the correct way with lots of practice that they are likely to get when they enter elementary school. If you are still concerned, speak to your child's teacher and your child's pediatrician.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Handwriting and Letter Play

Lisa Bottiglio, teacher of the Cub Cadets, shared this post with the families in her classroom. This approach to beginning writing skills is used throughout the program. I thought it was a great post to share with all of our families at the Burlington Early Childhood Center.
Handwriting and Letter Play

Our program has using been using the researched based curriculum called Handwriting Without Tears. It focuses on fine motor readiness skills as well as promote the correct way to form letters and numbers. We have been using a variety of materials to explore how letters are formed with this program. This is a part of every day in school. The children really love it.
We use Ipad apps to promote letter writing as well. This app is called Iwrite words. It is an interactive way to have the students write letters.

We have used snow(really shaving cream) to hid letters. Then students were asked to use their pointer finger to trace the letters. This was a fun way to promote left to right progression and letter awareness.
We have HWT letters on rice trays. The children use their fingers to move the rice to reveal the uppercase letters hidden in the colored rice.
Along with these hands on activites, we use handwriting books, songs to promote letter formations(ie;"Where do you start your letters?), and building Mat Man. He is a man that is formed using big and little lines and big and little curves. The children love him.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fun Ideas

The cold winter weather is upon us and it's hard to get out and play. Here are some fun indoor sensory ideas to keep your children busy and continue to develop fine motor skills.


Messy play ideas

http://nurturestore.co.uk/messy-play-ideas

Don’t be afraid of a little mess! Sensory play is so beneficial for children: it’s creative and good for role playing, relaxing, great for fine motor skills, and teaches lots of science too. Try some of these ideas.

Ice Cream Playdough recipe

Top 10 playdough ideas

Foot print painting

Air drying clay models

Top 10 water play ideas

Car wash

Bubble painting

Jelly play ideas

Snow play

Sand pictures

The Messy Play Carnival 2010