Friday, August 30, 2013

Children Are Like Roses

When we plant a rose seed in the earth, 
We notice that it is small,
but we do not criticize it as 'rootless and stemless'.
We treat it as a seed,
Giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed.
When it first shoots up out of the earth,
We do not condemn it as immature and underdeveloped;
Nor do we criticize the buds 
For not being open when they appear.
We stand in wonder at the process taking place
and give the plant the care it needs
At each stage of development
The rose is a rose...
From the time it is a seed
To the time it blooms
Within it
At all times,
It contains its whole potential.
It seems to be constantly in the process of change;
Yet at each stage,
At each moment,
It is perfectly all right as it is.

Timothy Gallway


Monday, August 26, 2013

Play with Your Food

 Snack time at MCP provides another opportunity for learning!  The children sort, count, make patterns and create letters and shapes.  This provides reinforcement of all these skills in a fun way. 





Saturday, August 24, 2013

Printables and Paper Plates

When I am developing a new idea for a classroom unit,  I search the Internet and Pinterest for new and creative ideas. Anything that starts off with 'free printables' or 'paper plate crafts for kids', makes me sad and keeps me searching.

At MCP, we do not use worksheets or printables to teach concepts to our students.  We strongly believe in the power of learning through play.  Play allows children to move about our classroom  and explore and examine all areas of our room. Play lets the students work independently or together. Play develops a more confident and independent student.  Play allows children to use learned vocabulary.  For example, when we  are studying dinosaurs the children use newly learned vocabulary in their play.  We hear them using words like fossil, paleontologist and extinct in their play with each other.  You can encourage 'dramatic play' at home by creating prop boxes for your child.  Search under our label 'Dramatic Play' to get started.  For more information on the power of play---

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/power-play
http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/content/119/1/182.full

Teaching without worksheets---
http://www.pre-kpages.com/no_more_worksheets/
http://wowkits.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/do-worksheets-belong-in-preschool/
http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleId=134

Why do we not use paper plates? When we take the time to use colored construction paper, we can talk about shapes and color.  It also gives us an opportunity for the children to use scissors either snipping or cutting out circles or other basic shapes. When you look at crafts that use paper plates, use construction paper.  For ideas, search under the label 'Arts and Crafts'. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Preschool Teacher's Pledge


Place your right hand over your left eye 
and repeat after us:

Dear Children,

I do solemnly promise to abide by these rules or  be struck down by a speeding tricycle.  I hereby promise to:

*be encouraging and patient when you need my help.
*give you lots of free and unstructured time to grow.
*give you some structured time for learning and fun.
*be understanding and loving when things don't go right.
*remember what it's like to be a kid.
*enjoy you and love you a lot!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sibling Rivalry..the science of siblings



Want to know more about how your siblings have made you who you are?  An article from Parade Magazine---http://www.parade.com/23970/francinerusso/the-science-of-siblings/

Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish and The Birth Order Book by Dr. Keven Leman are popular books about the subject. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

50 Life Lessons

I often print inspirational emails and articles to hang in my laundry room or my kitchen. There is a lot of wisdom out there and I like to absorb as much of it as I can (I'm not sure it helps but you do what you can).

My copy of  'Fifty Life Lessons' credits a ninety year old Regina Brett from Cleveland's The Plain Dealer.  Before I write, I go to Google and search because if you see it on the Internet it must be true, right?  Whoops...poor Regina...so not ninety years old.  Author, columnist, Pulitzer Prize finalist, breast cancer survivor but Regina is not in her nineties but late fifties. Originally published in 2006, the column has a timeless wisdom. 


1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

http://www.cleveland.com/brett/blog/index.ssf/2006/05/regina_bretts_45_life_lessons.html

Thursday, August 1, 2013

One Big Happy Family

We are about as happy as we make up our minds to be.  
Abraham Lincoln

I was a lucky little girl. My father had steady work. My mom stayed home. We lived simply but abundantly. We had good times and bad times but overall my childhood was happy. I was a very lucky girl.  Are there secrets to a happy family?  I read an excerpt of Bruce Feiler's book in my Sunday newspaper with interest and thought I would share.  A quiz and an excerpt from the book---http://www.parade.com/health/2013/02/14-secrets-to-a-happy-family-bruce-feiler-preview.html