Question of the Month: May 2018
Why is it so important to read aloud to children?
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”- Emilie Buchwald
One of the most important things parents can do for their children is to read to them. So many wonderful things happen when we read to a child:
- ● they develop sound and word recognition;
- ● they learn about patterns and rhyming;
- ● they begin to understand the structure of stories;
- ● they build their vocabulary; and
- ● they develop the ability to listen to and respond to stories.
Liza Baker, the executive editorial director at Scholastic says, “It’s important to start reading from Day One. The sound of your voice, the lyrical quality of the younger (books) are poetic..It’s magical, even at 8 weeks old they focus momentarily, they’re closer to your heart. As they begin to grow, families should make sure books are available everywhere in the home.”
Children enjoy hearing the same story over and over again. This helps with comprehension and vocabulary development. Each time children listen to a book read aloud, they understand more about the story.
Be sure to read the whiteboard outside the classroom to see what the class has been reading. Check the book out of the library and you and your child can read it together.
Books without words are fun! Let your child tell the story from what they see in the pictures. Ask open ended questions to enhance the conversation as you read.
Books that the classes have made are a great way to connect with your child’s day at school. The children are so proud of these books and can’t wait to share them with you.
Visit the library often and take advantage of all the wonderful books. Also, don’t miss the many choices of books at our Banister Bookstore in the foyer of the school!
Beth Schwarz MTTh Threes & Explorers
Question of the Month: April 2018
Why does your child come home from school many days with an empty bag?
“Process not Product”. You have probably heard this phrase many times. In preschool this is a teacher’s mantra and such a truth because young children enjoy the experience rather than the product of that experience.
Watch a young child painting at an easel; he enjoys moving the paint with his fingers, mixing the colors and the feel of the medium more than the actual picture he may be creating. If we want to support these innate experiences in children, we need to value the process of these moments and put less importance on the product and more emphasis on the discovery.
Please enjoy this poem we often use in our introductory letter to parents in the Fall:
THERE’S NOTHING IN MY BAG TODAY
Today I did my math and science,
I toasted bread.
I halved and quartered.
I counted, measured used my eyes, ears and head.
I added and subtracted on the way,
I used a magnet, blocks and memory tray.
I learned about a rainbow and how to weigh.
So please don’t say, “Anything in your bag today?”
You see I’m sharing as I play.
I learned to listen and speak clearly when I talk,
To wait my turn, and when inside to walk.
To put my thoughts into a phrase,
To guide a crayon through a maze.
To find my name and write it down,
To do it with a smile and not a frown.
To put my pasting brush away,
So please don’t say, “What, nothing in your bag today?”
I’ve learned about a snail and worm,
Remembering how to take my turn.
Helped a friend when he was stuck,
Learned that water runs off a duck.
I looked at words from left to right,
Agreed to differ, not to fight.
So please don't say “Did you only play today?
I will end with a quote from the extremely smart Mr. Fred Rogers:
“PLAY is often talked about as if it were a relief from learning. Actually PLAY is really the WORK of childhood.”
MWF AM 4s & MWF PM 3s
Question of the Month: March 2018
Why should you be happy when your child comes home from school with muddy clothes?
We LOVE to play outside every day which usually results in getting dirty! We encourage children to actively engage with and physically explore our outdoor environment. Children are learning skills involving engineering, investigation, creativity, and problem solving while playing outside, just as we learn in our indoor classrooms. Some of the things we are learning as we engage with our “outdoor classroom” include:
- Exploring the balance of liquid to solid ratios while concocting mud pies in the outdoor kitchen
- Measuring and counting cups of water from the rain barrel to fill buckets and holes
- Developing strong gross motor skills while pumping on the swings, climbing ladders, digging holes
- Engineering waterways and tributaries in the digging area (result: muddy snowpants!)
- Immersing themselves in large puddles to gauge depth…are my boots REALLY high enough?
- Learning to be architects while using big sticks and uniquely shaped natural blocks to create structures
- Investigating the function of an inclined plane while building with ramps and balls or sliding on snow
- Exploring chemical reactions while mixing vinegar and baking soda to erupt sand volcanoes
- Role playing in the kitchen or on the stage fostering creativity and cooperation
- Learning to give and take, listen, problem-solve, and cooperate through open-ended, non-directed play
- Nurturing a respect for the environment while building homes for bugs and tapping trees for syrup
There is SO much happening outside every day on our playground! That’s why your children’s boots are filled with sand, their mittens are caked with mud, and their snow pants are soggy. As we spend time on our playground carrying out our philosophy of “learning by doing,” the end result is usually happily messy!
MTTH 4s, WF 3s & Explorers