Early Education Center Newsletter
February 1st 2023
At the Bellows Falls Site...
We are launching into a weeks-long study of folktales. We have begun by reading many different versions of "The Three Bears" Children are really enjoying looking at all the ways that beloved story is told. Children have been comparing the versions, retelling the story and playing the story. Next up: "The Three Billy Goats Gruff"!
Another thing we are spending a lot of time working on is counting and other math skills. It is important, when working with young children to realize that knowing about number isn’t the same as counting. You might hear someone say, “She knows all her numbers, she can count to 20.” While counting is an accomplishment, it is only a small part of knowing numbers. Counting to 10 or 20 or even 100 is called rote counting. The child may or may not have any real understanding of amount or quantity. We have been doing a lot of activities to encourage children’s emerging “numbers sense.” We have been counting real groups of objects, measuring, playing counting games and estimating.
At home you can point out math-related aspects of every day situations. Use number words in conversation: “Let’s put these two shirts here,” or “Please put three more spoons on the table.” Estimate how long it will take to get to the store. Measure how far the ball rolls. Divide a dozen cookies among four family members.
At the Westminster Site...
We are so excited that winter has finally arrived. We are working on becoming excellent
bundlers. Children are putting on their own snow gear and zipping their own coats. Wet gear is
no fun to wear and doesn’t keep them warm outside. Please don’t forget to empty your child’s
backpack and hang up their wet stuff to dry. We have been climbing snow hills, building snow
forts, shoveling piles of snow and pulling friends around on sleds. All are great activities for
building friendships, developing gross motor skills and increasing their outdoor stamina.
Inside the classroom we are learning all about shapes. We are reading stories, playing shape
recognition games and even singing shape songs like,”Circle Stew”. You can continue their
learning at home by labeling different shapes you notice or by playing shape finding games.
Scholastic book orders are due Wednesday 2/8.
A note about kindergarten...
Now that the year has turned, some parents have begun to ask about kindergarten. Although it is still many months away, it is common for families to have questions. We want you to know what to expect around this big change for your family. Here are some tips and information for supporting your child through this transition successfully.
Tips for Talking with Your Child About Kindergarten
Don’t rush to talk about kindergarten too soon—this is very important. While adults need information about the next school year now, children do not. They have a limited understanding of how far away six or seven months from now is. We try to wait until the very end of the year to start talking about kindergarten because it raises a lot of issues for some children. Some children are excited and curious- some are nervous- some haven’t thought about it at all. Follow your child’s lead; don’t keep trying to discuss it if they seem uninterested.
Celebrate your child’s skills and readiness for kindergarten—Point out all the ways he or she is ready “look you can get your own sneakers on,” and things your child enjoys that they will be able to do at school, “you love books, isn’t it great, you will have story time every day!” Avoid telling your child “you need to know how to…” Remember that some children feel ambivalent about growing up, so a lot of “you’re a big kid now” needs to be balanced with “I’ll always cuddle with you/read to you/take care of you/etc.”
Be positive—if you seem nervous about the change, your child will pick up on this. Be thoughtful about what you say about kindergarten in front of your child—if you are feeling ambivalent about kindergarten, or worried she will have trouble with reading, etc. try to keep conversations about this private from your child. Children hear a lot more than adults realize!