Month: April 2012

Grow Your Brain

Love this idea!  Kids can totally grasp this concept! They already understand that their bones and muscles can grow, so let’s help give them the tools to grow their brain too. In the most recent issue of the NAEYC magazine for teachers, there is a fabulous article about the ways we can help children benefit from mistakes, connect to their feelings, try harder when faced with a challenge and solve problems. Hats off to Professor Carol Dweck from Stanford University for her research in how adults influence the attitudes in children about challenges and mistakes. She states that “If children are afraid of making mistakes or facing problems, this fear of failure may cause them to miss opportunities to grow. To promote resilience and problem solving, keep these goals in mind: help children see challenges and hard effort as normal; help children feel independent and capable; build strategies for children to use in difficult situations; and foster a classroom community  that supports problem solving through a range of experiences.” That sounds like something all teachers and parents can strive for, because I don’t know about you, but I make plenty of mistakes every day, and wow, if I could actually learn from all of them, I would be growing my brain like crazy!

http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/files/tyc/file/V5N3/Preschoolers%20Grow%20Their%20Brains.pdf

Under Construction

So just like the city of Boulder, which is going to be great when it’s done being built, the warmer weather has brought out the construction projects on our playground…..

Thanks to kodokids, we have almost everything we need to build long tracks, ramps, tunnels, balance beams and obstacle courses.

It’s so much fun to watch these children build such amazing, complicated structures and have so much fun doing it. The teamwork, the ideas, and the imagination all lead to moments like this one………

Who else but a group of kids would think to put these ramps on the slide for maximum angle and momentum?

In their minds, it’s just “cool” but it doesn’t take long for them to realize the balls are traveling faster and flying farther now…..

and of course, none of these projects are complete unless you have on your hard hats:)

Top 10 Ways to Be a Super Teacher or Mom

1. Attach dishtowel to all items of clothing, every day.

2. Indulge Superhero’s desire to “fly” as primary means of travel.

3. Let go of your inner control freak and let Superhero wear same tshirt every day. (yes, this means lots of laundry)

4. Try to convince Superhero that his powers will be infinite if he eats vegetables.

5. Let go of your inner control freak and let Superhero wear cape to bed. (maybe switch out safety pins for tape)

6. Resist the urge to tell Superhero it would be super if he used the potty, even though you want to…..very badly.

7. Indulge Superhero if he only responds to “Batman” and not his own name.

8. Still snuggle and kiss Superhero whenever he’s not busy chasing bad guys.

9. Be available for a hug should gravity overcome the cape.

10. Embrace the concept of Superheros – they are a perfect means for children to empower themselves and provide endless hours of happiness.

What’s Your Job?

Even at the age of 3, it seems like the kids have assigned themselves a role in the classroom. We have the class button-pusher, who has an uncanny ability to find the one thing that will drive another child crazy and we have the “music man” as he has often labeled himself, who spends most of the day on the drums and leading a parade. One little girl herds all the other kids to and from the playground and makes sure we’re all accounted for, and another one does all our hair.

 

We have a designated table-setter and of course, the class trouble maker, who I will absolutely admit, I admire beyond words for his consistency and unending drive to create mischief. Then there’s the dancing queen, who will spontaneously break out into a full boogy at any moment, to any tune, either on the cd player or in her head.

And last but not least, we have the frantic mom who wholeheartedly believes it’s her job to put all the other kids down for nap. She gets right down to business every day after lunch, going from mat to mat, covering everyone with their blankets, patting their backs, and sometimes holding their heads down. Tough work and no pay but it never stops her.

So as a teacher what’s your job? Are you the one all the kids know they can count on for a snuggle session? Are you the one making mischief right along with them? The rule-enforcer? The fellow architect? Or do you try to be all those things to all your kids at one point or another? Personally speaking, I love watching all these little personality traits emerge and I try to be available for hair styling, disco dancing, trouble making and back-patting at all times.