Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Monday, October 20, 2014

What Scares You??

    What scares you?  Do spiders make you want to scream?  Does flying give you a fright?  Me? Oh lots of things frighten me, moths for example, give me the creeps.  Little fuzzy flying things, nope, no thanks, not for me.  Thankfully one thing that I am fortunate enough not to have to fear is how I'm going to provide a hot meal for my family.  There are other parents that face that fear far too often.  Some of them are your neighbors, parents of your children's friends, maybe even a co-worker. 

   The USDA Economic Research Department states that 14.3% percent of Americans lived in home where there wasn't always enough food to go around the dinner table.  How many people does that translate to?  Let me show you...
In 2013:
  • 49.1 million people lived in food-insecure households.
  • 12.2 million adults lived in households with very low food security.
  • 8.6 million children lived in food-insecure households in which children, along with adults, were food insecure.
  • 765,000 children (1.0 percent of the Nation's children) lived in households in which one or more child experienced very low food security.

    The numbers are hard to digest.  Attached to each of those numbers is a family, mothers, fathers, little boys and girls, that live in our towns.  

    How do we fix it? I don't know.  I can't feed all 49 million of my neighbors, but I can help feed at least one.  I donated to's Thanksgiving Project campaign, that reaches out to families in need to provide them with a holiday meal to share.  If you'd like to donate too, you can do so here


    If you prefer to make a contribution that will remain in our community, Rowan Helping Ministries and The Salvation Army accept donations for their food pantries year round.  Canned fruits, canned vegetables, canned meats, pastas, peanut butter, dried beans, and non-perishable breakfast items are in constant demand.  Look for opportunities to donate to these organizations in the upcoming weeks at Partners In Learning.   Please consider supporting these very worth causes.

Crystal Drye
NC PreK Assistant Teacher




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do We Have A Good Attitude Towards Competition?

Is competition healthy? Yes! It helps children to develop a good attitude and a drive to accomplish things. Children learn to work together to acheive a goal.  They learn to follow rules and directions. They learn to take turns and to be good sportsman when they lose. They learn that not everyone wins and that it is okay to lose. By losing they learn where they can improve as an individual and as a team.

So, how can our attitude affect them? Do we yell at coaches and other players? Have we gotten thrown out of games for our conduct? Are we sore losers when they lose? Do we mumble under our breath when we leave the game? Do we yell at our children that they could have done better or they should have done this or that? Do we make them practice even after they have already done that? Well you might say, I just want them to be their best" and that is okay. But we need to make sure that we take a cue from our children. See how our reactions are reflected in their faces.

They should want to compete, they should want to play, they should enjoy  it. As parents we should be their biggest support system, their cheerleaders and morale boosters when they lose. They should know by our reaction that it is okay to lose because it helps them to get better. They should be encouraged to try as many different things as they want, one thing may not be their passion even if it is ours. We have all seen the eye roll when they get asked to do something extra or beyond what they have already done the same thing. Well if our attitude isn't good, then we will have children who don't want to compete anymore, children who get embarrassed by our actions and may even give little effort so that they don't have to play anymore. They may feel like it is a chore and not fun anymore and worst of all, they may feel like they have done something wrong simply because our attitude is not good. If we keep our attitude in line with how they feel, they will feel secure in their decisons and want to do more, because they will know that they have the greatest support system behind them!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Making the Connection

The Panthers class has a very special friend that is enjoying spending time with each of our 18 students in their very own homes. Take Home Teddy, which the children have affectionately named Rainbow, chooses a different student each afternoon to go home with for the evening. Rainbow spends the night with the student, and comes back to school each morning ready to share the fun they've had with the rest of the class durring group time. 

The children are all extremely excited when it's their turn for Rainbow to visit their home.  They always have lots of stories to share the next morning. 

They also draw pictures, take photographs, and write stories about their time with Rainbow in the journal that travels along with the teddy bear.

Rainbow is well loved in our classroom and has been a big hit with the students, and their families as well.  Take Home Teddy is just one way we facilitate making connections between a child's life at school and their home life.  Building those bridges increases retention of concepts practiced at school. In the example of Teddy's journal, we are reinforcing early literacy skills and cognitive development by having the child illustrate their adventures and then recalling and sharing them the next day, as well as encouraging the development of pre-writing skills.  
Parents, please embrace take home activities with your kiddos, there are more reasons than I could list that your child's teacher has sent them home, and they are a fabulous way to spend quality time with your children.

Teachers, what other family involvement activities have been successful in your classrooms? 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Fun

This week the Dolphins are exploring the topic of pumpkins. In our classroom we introduce a topic and concepts of what we want the children to learn. Allowing the children time to explore the materials of a concept is essential. This will lead to them making their own predictions and conclusions. 

Here are a variety of pumpkins we have picked out on our field trip to the Farmers Market

Having hands on experience, being able to touch each pumpkin the children are starting to discover the many differences between each pumpkin. The five senses are crucial in exploring new concepts. Letting the children explore the materials will give then a visual and will become a reality to them.

Hearing a story about pumpkins builds on the children's knowledge of what they are starting to discover. They are able to see pictures of many pumpkins, how they grow and what they look like inside.

Having a class discussion about the topic is always so much fun! Ms. Kelly and I love to hear the response of the children.

Making a prediction on"how many pumpkins tall am I?"  Is a fun math concept that was introduced. The children will record their answer on a graph and then compare them. 

Next week we will continue to explore pumpkins and I can't wait to share what will be next!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Staff Retreat Fun and Learning

It's that time of year again, our annual staff retreat! I want to first send a great big thank you to all the parents who helped with the snacks and the really cute quotes on them. I know this took some time and it was greatly appreciated! This year we went to Camp Caraway. Needless to say, we had a great time. We started our Friday morning with a prayer, a great breakfast, loading the bus, and of course, that last minute bathroom run. Then we all took our places on the bus for our trip. 
There is one person missing in the picture, Deborah, that's because she is driving the bus!! She is an awesome bus driver if I do say so myself. Most of us talked with each other, read the paper, or just enjoyed the ride. One of us had another idea,

Upon our arrival we checked in and unpacked the bus. We usually pick our own room mates at our staff retreats, but this time was a bit different. We all had bags with special tools in them, hand sanitizer, pen, a miniature craftsman tool. Our bags had four different tags on them and that's how our room mates were picked. Now, you may be asking yourself, why?  Well, this is why. So we would have the opportunity to spend some time with some co-workers we may not spend a lot of time with, for what ever the reason may be. During this free time there was some bonding of friendships, some old friendships, some new. And to enjoy some snacks! 

Then it was time for what we came for, staff development and training! We had great sessions of training and learning ideas. We did some "housekeeping", and kicked off our United Way Campaign. We had a wonderful lunch prepared by the camp staff. I will also add, we had choices for a very healthy lunch. After lunch it was time for some more bonding, team building, and stepping out of our comfort zone for some of us. 

We had another awsome training session with Katherine with some great make and take CSEFEL ideas. 

We then had another opportunity to do more bonding with co-workers, take a walk on the trails, run on the trails, or just hang out. 

Once again we went back to the meeting room for more training and All About Me and dinner. Dinner, as well as lunch, was delicious. 

We then went outdoors with Kelly, which is her passion. She taught us a new song about a moose that we had to follow directions to in order to sing the song. Then, she told us we were going to be given a bucket and a few items in the bucket. We had to go in the woods and make something  using all the items. But first, we divided in to three groups. I must say, this took lots of teamwork and listening to each other. This was also hard for some who were not comfortable going in to the woods in the dark, even though we had several flashlights. 

We went back to the meeting room for one more training, my favorite one of the retreat, I AM ENOUGH! We watched an inspiring video I Am Enough, and an awsome video put together by Norma, Deborah, and Ashlee. I AM ENOUGH, something we should all remember! 

To end the evening we went back outdoors to the fire pit and had another very moving activity on different things that have affected our "sisters".

We then made s'mores!! 

And that ended our first day of our retreat. Our first day mainly focused on us, as a teacher, friend, mom, the total person. And yes, WE ARE ENOUGH!! 

Our second day brought more team building, after a wonderful breakfast. This team building proved to be just that, TEAM BUILDING! We learned many things about ourselves and co-workers. But mainly that we are a TEAM, we may not always see eye-to-eye, but we keep working together to figure out what is best for us as a team, the parents we serve, and most importantly, the children we are entrusted to care for. 

To all 32 beautiful ladies who were at the retreat and those who didn't go, remember to say to yourself every morning when you look in the mirror...
                                                                   I AM ENOUGH

There are so many more great pictures on the Partners In Learning Face Book page, go check them out and like our page!!