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.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
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...
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.
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!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
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.
The BECC Staff
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
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
Monday, April 2, 2012
Saturday, March 31, 2012
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
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.
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
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
Saturday, February 18, 2012
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).
Here are a few resources to help you take it outside:
- Trail Link will help you find a trail nearby.
- Find parks, nature centers and special events with Naturefind.
- Get lots of outdoor activity ideas from Nature Rocks.
- Learn about natural playgrounds and related topics in HSBS webinars on demand.
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
Monday, February 13, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
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
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.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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
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.