Partners In Learning Blog Team

Partners In Learning Blog Team
Blog Team

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On your cell phone??

     Apparently, my 12 year old son's life revolves around his little 3 by 5 rectangular box of wonder, more commonly referred to as a cellular phone.  So okay, this isn't exactly new information, but until yesterday I had no idea to what extent he depends on his cell phone.  Yesterday, was a dark, dark day.  My dear son had to leave his phone at the cell phone repair shop overnight.  One day, just over 24 hours was the amount of time that he and his beloved were separated.  Now, I expected a fair amount of pouting and attitude.  I did not expect the panic, anger, and anxiety that followed after walking out of that store.  

    You see, I use my cell phone to talk.  I send occasional texts, emails too.  Facebook, Pinterest, and my calendar  are generally the only other apps that I use.  My son, as it turns out, uses his phone to do homework.  I had no idea, not until he was going into full blown panic mode over information he needed for an assignment that was on his phone.  He also uses his phone to study, communicate with his study group, keep in touch with his friends(of course), communicate with his teachers, plan his every waking moment, ect.....

    I sincerly did not know.  I knew he would be annoyed that he would have to miss a whole days worth of Instagram posts, but I didn't expect that he could potentially be missing out on information he would need for classes the next day, or be unable to complete a homework assignment because he didn't have access to the almighty iPhone.  

     So the issue I have is that I somehow overlooked this information.  I'm a very in-your-business parent.  I know his friends, I know who is dating who among his friends, I make sure I know what's going on with the boy.  So how did I miss this? 

     The only thing I  can think of is that I just assumed.  When he has his nose to his phone instead of asking him what he was doing, I assumed it was something mindless and told him to get off his phone.       Well maybe sometimes it was, but apparently, sometimes it wasn't.  

     So just in case your like me, parents, if you don't know what your kiddos are up to on those phones, find out, the answers might surprise you.  They aren't just for talking....who knew?? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Social emotional activity

This week the Dolphins are talking about "what are you scared of?" It's important to talk about how we feel. Children at this age can understand that others have feelings and can relate to their friends when they are feeling hurt, sad, happy or scared. This morning we focused on social emotional development. We gathered in our morning circle and each of us told each other what makes us scared. The teachers also joined the conversation and told the children about our feelings of being scared. Doing this helps the children fell that it is ok to feel this way and that they are not the only one that has this feeling. 
We incorporated this activity with music. Each child was given a different piece of the "Bonz Band Instrument." Each child was called upon to tell us what kind of things scare them. After they shared their feelings with our group, they came up and put thier piece of instrument together, making a whole group instrument.

During this activity, our power went out but we continued moving forward with a flashlight and lots of reassurance.
The children had lots of fun with this activity. Enjoying singing songs and playing with the finished instrument while identifying feeling of others and having awareness of their own feelings. 

We finished up our morning by going on a nature walk and enjoying each others company.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Why We Need High Quality Child Care

High quality childcare can help children to flourish, whatever their family circumstances. It can help parents to flourish, too, knowing that their children are being well-cared for while at work. 

Standards vary from state to state, even within states, standards may vary depending on the size or type of provider. Smaller, at-home providers are often subject to less requirements than centers. 

Quality programs set up inviting environments with an abundance of appropriate resources (furniture, equipment, materials, and toys), often far above the minimum requirements. The classrooms are warm, friendly, and inviting. The requirements for staff education and continued training are also above minimum requirements in quality centers.

High-quality early education and child care for young children improves their health and promotes their development and learning. Early education includes all of a child’s experiences at home, in child care, and in other preschool settings. 

Not all children are able to attend a high-quality child care facility to get that early start needed for school. Of those who do, those children have an advantage. They have already been introduced to many activities they will do in school, many of the materials used in the schools, used their social/emotional skills to problem solve and build friendships and relationships with their peers and teachers. 

Just last Sunday there were several students inducted into The National Honor Society. These students attended and graduated from Partners In Learning when they were younger. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Can We Ensure Our Children Will Succeed In School?

We always wonder if we are doing enough for our kids? Have we given them every advanrage? Have we given them the tools, desire to succeed in and enjoy school? The more involved we are in their lives, the better we will know what they need.

They tell us learning begins in the womb. Well how can we do that? Read, talk to your unborn child. Start their literacy skills early. During infancy talk to your baby, tell them what your doing, look at books, read to them, put them on their tummies encourage them to explore.

As they begin to grow introduce letters, shapes, colors and numbers by pointingvthem out in everyday items around the house. It will be fun and they will have real world association with things in their emvironment.

When they start preschool, even as toddlers, form a relationship with your childs teachers. They will be able to tell you what they are working on, where your child is developmentally,. They can give you ieeas gor at home. Visit with your child at school too. They will see thatyou enjoy it and soon they will begin to enjoy coming to school and enjoy learning.

Often times when we are in the store, we will see workbooks that help with skills for school.How can we make those fun gor our children? You can make them into flannel boa4ds, for example, letter sound matching. Take the page copy, color, cut out pictures, glue felt to back, or magmets for the rridge. Now you have a fun game that's not a boring worksheet. You can even add letters as you go.

By taking an interest in your childs learning you will form a closer bond, and they will enjoy learming smd this will help them to be successful in school.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Make It Take It Wednesday....Pumpkin Season

This the season to be jolly....pumpkins, pumpkins, ppuummppkkiinnss!!!  Ok so that is not the way that the song goes but it should. Have you looked around...pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin bread, and even lotions and soups come in pumpkin scent now. So commemorate the pumpkin season with our Make It Take It Wednesday. We have two great recipes that serve up pumpkin in different ways.

Our first recipe is pumpkin pie play dough...any childcare professional worth their weight knows how much you have to have a great play dough recipe to engage those little minds.  Plus every adult needs to get some sensory play therapy of their own every once in a while. My favorite pumpkin pie play dough is the following from the great mom at TinkerLab (

4 cups of water
2 1/2 cups salt
3 tablespoons cream of tartar
10 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 to 6 cups flour
Pumpkin pie spice or a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom 
Red and yellow food coloring

1- mix all dry ingredients together

2- heat up your water to a boil.  Add oil to dry ingredients.

3- add two drops of red food coloring to water then add six drops of yellow food coloring.
4- add the colored water to the other mixture and blend until lumpy dough state.

5- place the dough onto a flat surface and knead in additional flour until you are happy with a play dough consistency that is not too moist.

6- store your play dough in a zip top bag or sealed container.

As you can tell, Our children love to cook and make their own play dough. This recipe is sure to please your senses from your hands to your sniffer.

Our next recipe is one that is great for a cool chilly evening when you need a simple but delicious meal.  You can get your kids in the kitchen and stir up the fun together.  Our class discovered this recipe on the website  For many of children, this was their first time using a pumpkin for something other than a jack-o-lantern or a pumpkin pie.  Gather your supplies and stir up some pumpkin stew.

2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin purée (NOT PIE FILLING)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

1- heat chicken broth, pumpkin purée, onion, garlic, and Cajun seasoning to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat.

2- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
3-if you would like it smooth, place small batches in the blender and pulse for a few seconds.
4- stir in heavy cream before serving. Garnish with some chives.

For our classroom, we changed the recipe just slightly...
We used a crock pot on high for four hours instead of the stove top.  We also made ours a little more healthy by omitting the Cajun seasoning and heavy cream. We added a little more chicken stock that was lower in sodium and made our soup smooth.

Please enjoy these "pumped up" recipes with all these pumpkin plentiful activities.  Check out all of our pumpkin activities at our Facebook page or website at  Enjoy the season....pumpkin season that is!!!!!