Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Sunday, March 22, 2015

United Way Day of Caring

We have a new playground object for the children to explore and read in. Thanks to the kind people who help with the United Way Day of Caring Project. We are so thankful for this new addition for our children, and teachers!

When you first look at it, you will think to your self, and maybe even say out loud, What is that? and What is it for?'s the vision of Mrs. Norma. As many of you know, her visions usually happen, sooner or later. This one sooner. When you realize what it is and how it is to be used, you will probably ask yourself, How is that going to happen? To that I would like to say the following,
We have the greatest team of teachers! Is it going to be easy, by all means no! Will it be able to be used for Mrs. Norma's vision, absolutely! 

It will take some time, trial and error, and most of all, patience! You see, what we have is a TeePee!! Not your ordinary TeePee, but a TeePee used for reading and relaxing. On the playground?  Yes, on the playground. Believe it or not children need to take a break from all the fun of the playground, every now and then. 
This is not just an ordinary TeePee, ours has a trampoline inside!! Now I bet you're really asking yourself  at lot of guestions. You see a trampoline can be a very soothing and relaxing place. It provides a soft place to sit or even stretch out on. There is just enough motion inside to be soothing and calming. It also provides shade and a quiet place to read books! 
Now for the biggest question of all...Aren't the children going to jump on the trampoline? Well of course they will want to, wouldn't you? I know I do. That's where our team of awesome teachers come in. They will talk with the children before, during, and after their first experience in the  TeePee, (not sure that's the name, I just made that up). The teachers will explain what the TeePee is to be used for. And go over the rules. Yes, rules. Just as we have rules for the indoor environment, we have rules for the outdoor environment. Will it happen the first time, most likely not. This is where constancy comes in. This is where setting a good example comes in as well.  I would like to invite all the parents to come and enjoy the TeePee as well.  
Once again we would like to thank all the caring people who donated materials and time to help Mrs. Norma's vision come true. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

For the Love of Legos

Lego's are an all time favorite of my children, as well as millions and millions of more children around the world.  And what's not to love about a Lego? They're versatile, they provide a vehicle for children to express their creativity, and they have stood the test of time, entertaining today's children, as well as their parents and grandparents before them. 
Lego's aren't only fun little toys to play with, but they are excellent tools for the early childhood classroom as well.  Lego's provide children oprrotunities to exercise those tiny finger muscles, that will later lead to improved writing skills. 

Lego's are also great for creative expression-allowing children to build freely, engineering-planning and constructing, critical thinking- "My building fell, how can I build it differently next time so that won't happen?", and math- "If you need 5 bricks in each row, and you need 3 rows, how many bricks will you need?", activities in the classroom.  We love Lego's!!! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A new appreciation....

This week I've had the pleasure of attending Bus Drivers Education.  I have never driven anything larger than a Nissan, and, prior to Monday, couldn't have told you the difference between a alternator and an air compressor, but by golly I can now!

I have an all new appreciation for those who have taken on the task of transporting our little ones to and from school each day.  What a job! I knew that it wasn't an easy job, but after taking the class this week, WOW!  Check mirrors every 5-8 seconds, all 8 of them, make sure no little sweeties have climbed in the wheel wells ( apparently that happens more than you think) driving defensively, and don't even get me started on the air brakes!!!

Please, please, PLEASE!! If you haven't lately, thank your child's bus driver!!! Let them know they're appreciated for keeping your child safe and delivering them to school each day.  Trust me, it isn't as easy at it looks!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Time Change and Children's Sleep

Whether it involves setting the clocks an hour forward to welcome spring, or getting an extra hour of sleep to transition to the darker winter months, daylight savings time can impact your entire family’s routine. 
Those 60 extra minutes of slumber may not seem like much, but a toddler or a school-aged child can take a while to adjust to a new sleep routine. Luckily, there are things you can do to minimize the impact on your family’s schedule.

Start transitioning early

Trying to get your toddler to bed at 6:00 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m. can be a trying experience. To get your little one used to going to bed a little earlier or a little later than usual, it's a good idea to start transitioning your child to an earlier or later bedtime.
Try to get your little one into bed 10 to 15 minutes earlier or later (depending on which way the clock is going) in the week leading up to the time change. This way, his body clock will have made some of the adjustment already. While your child may not actually go to sleep until his regular bedtime, you are encouraging his body to relax a little earlier than usual and this will lead to falling asleep earlier too.
Trying to wear your child out in a bid to get him to sleep earlier is not encouraged. Overtired children often actually take longer to fall asleep and may even resist sleep completely.

Maintain your nap time schedule

Keeping younger children on track with naps following the time change will allow them to better transition to their routine. Even if your little one doesn't seem ready at first, encourage quiet time and rest at 2:00 p.m. if your child usually naps at that time.

Adjust early risers

If your child keeps waking too early, ensure that he understands that you don't consider this an acceptable time to start the day. Encourage him to doze but if he really wants to be awake, encourage him to stay in bed doing a quiet activity. 

Protect your child’s sleep time

Do your best to protect your child’s sleep time during transitions to daylight savings time. Ask family and friends not to call after a certain time and encourage the rest of the family to try and limit noise, and if possible, adopt a similar transition as your child.

Encourage good sleep hygiene

Adopting a healthy sleep routine throughout the year will ensure that your child bounces back from a change in sleep routine quickly. The following tips can be followed year-round to promote sleep hygiene:
  • Your child should go to bed and get up at a similar time every day. A regular routine is very important. On weekends or days off, try not to extend his waking hours too much.
  • Develop a pre-sleep routine: bath, brushing teeth, pajamas; kiss goodnight and a bedtime story. Any activities before going to bed should be quiet ones.
  • Your child should - and not only for a good night’s sleep - exercise regularly. However, avoid heavy exercise within three hours of going to sleep.
  • Optimize your child’s sleeping environment by ensuring his room has a cooler temperature, is dark (you can always use a night light if your child is afraid of the dark) and quiet.
  • Your child shouldn’t go to bed hungry; a light snack will help but don’t put him to bed if he has had a heavy meal within three hours of sleep.
  • Your child should not read, watch TV, eat or play video games in bed. Your child’s bed is meant for rest.
  • Firmly discourage the consumption of energy drinks, which contain dangerously high amounts of caffeine and too much sugar.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to help with changes in routines

Sometimes we get so used to doing things a certain way and sometimes when things are changed or go differently we may get upset. We may even feel like our day is all out of whack. Well it can be the same for children. Often times they may not know how to handle these changes. They may get upset and cry. They may lash out at those around them. So what can we do to help with these changes? Well we need to remember that children reflect what they see. They watch us probably more than we realize. It would be helpful to them as well as to us if we first talk about the change. We can let them know what changed. We can tell them we are not happy but it is okay. It just means that something was done differently. We can tell them that there may be more than one way to do things. What about changes in the childs' routine? Well we can talk about that too. If weather causes schools to be closed, especially for numerous days, it could be helpful to talk about school. Talk about what they like to do there, who their friends are. Take them by the school and remind them that they will be going back soon. You can also keep in touch with your childs teacher, ask questions about what they are doing in school. If a sickness prevents children from following their regular routine, seek ways to keep them in touch with their classmates. Video chats with the teacher, or doing projects at home may help the child to feel like they are part of the routine. Children sometimes may have difficulty adjusting to new or substitute teachers. When possible ask to meet with the new teacher or the substitute allow the child to get to know that person. When that isn't possible, take a little extra time in the morning, talk to your child and reassure them that it is only for a short time. When we as parents acknowledge that our children have needs and routines too, we will be better equipped to help them when situations arise where they may feel overwhelmed.