Saturday, August 31, 2019

Responsible Teachers

"Teachers, I believe, are the most responsible and important members of society because their professional efforts affect the fate of the earth."   Helen Caldecott

I love this quote but if I think about too long it scares me.  Most responsible?  Most important?  Fate of the earth? It's heady stuff for a girl who just wanted to grow up and be a teacher.  

I always wanted to be a teacher.  It means a great deal to me personally that you have chosen Metamora Community Preschool to be your child's first school experience.  I take that responsibility very seriously.  It is important that children get a good start and it is unfortunate that not all children get a good start before entering elementary school.  

Professional effort is the  key to MCP's success.  We take a lot of pride that at MCP we teach without worksheets, computers or tablets.  It takes a lot of effort to provide quality early childhood and it has nothing to do with our finances.  It is the effort that we put into the MCP program.  

We are teachers who are responsible and view your child as important because eventually the fate of the earth will be in the hands of your child.

We are really looking forward to the 2019-2020 MCP school year!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Power of Play

  The only screen that your child can look at MCP is the screen in the window.  No computers. No tablets for children.  Play.  Play powered by your child's imagination and creativity.  It's a powerful energy that we channel in the classroom and it's a joy to watch.   Read more...

Monday, August 26, 2019

Preschoolers Are Amazing

The preschool years are an amazing time for you and your child.  Preschoolers are more verbal (this means a lot of  questions).  Preschoolers are funny (this means lots knock knock jokes and nonsensical jokes that only preschoolers understand).  Preschoolers are smart (do you know what coprolite is?) Preschoolers are busy (which is why there are lots of activities in our classroom).  

Thursday, August 22, 2019

How Often Should I Read to My Child?

Every day.  You should be reading to your child every day.  I loved reading books to my boys when they were little. They are both good readers and read a lot!  Reading to a child EVERY DAY is one of the best ways to help them achieve success in school. Reading should be a fun and enjoyable activity for parent and child. Here are a few tips to help you help your child become a good reader-

  • Read any time and all the time but make reading a part of your bedtime routine.  Most children like hearing a story every night at bedtime.
  • Let your child pick the book and hold it. 
  • Read your child's favorite books over and over and over again.  Young children enjoy knowing what is to come.  
  • Discuss the illustrations. Point to the pictures. Encourage your child to point and discuss illustrations.
  • Read alphabet and counting books.
  • Read to your child with expression and feeling. 
  • Stop and discuss unfamiliar words to build vocabulary.
  • Rhyming and silly stories are well liked by preschoolers.
  • Use books to help w/new experiences (going to the dentist, first sleepover, a new baby, etc.)
  • Use 'voices' for different characters in the story.  
  • Encourage your child to repeat refrains (for example in the book Owl Babies I have students 'be' Bill and say "I want my Mommy!"
  • Discuss wht your read to make sure your child compresheds the story.  Ask questions like "What do you think would happen if..."
  • Make predictions. Ask your child "What do you think will happen next?"
  • Get a library card and make trips to the library.
  • Make sure your child has books at home.  On a budget?  Thrift stores and garage sales are a great place to find book bargains.
  • Read every day! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

New Kids in the Blocks

Hopefully, you have a great set of blocks at home for your child.  If not our building center will provide lots of creative play for your child and our school friends.
Simple structures start to become more detailed and complex as the year progresses.  Individual contractors join group projects working on social skills.
The block center is not about just building blocks.  It's social, creative, physical and more.

Information on blocks and your child's development:

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=397

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/mar2015/ten-things-children-learn-block-play

https://www.teachearlyyears.com/learning-and-development/view/the-benefits-of-block-play

Monday, August 19, 2019

Friday, August 16, 2019

How to Be a Student

At Metamora Community Preschool, we believe that our program will provide a solid foundation for elementary school.  What will your child learn?  More than you think...
1. How to be a student---When the children are playing in centers, our room may seem disorganized and chaotic but a lot is happening. The children are allowed to move from center to center and choose activities or toys that interest them.  Yet within the structure of our centers, there are rules and routines to learn.  The children learn where to return toys, how many children are allowed in each center, what to do when the bell rings, how to stand and walk in a line with their friends, and how to sit and listen to the teacher.  The children are learning how to behave in the classroom and how to behave in a  large group.
2.  How to make friends and be a friend---The park, daycare, lessons and activities have already provided your child with the opportunity to be with other children.  School is way for your child to connect with other children, make friends and be a friend.  Your child will learn to resolve conflicts and communicate with their friends.  We will provide activities for the children to work in pairs and small groups.  This encourages communication, sharing of  ideas, and  making decisions as a group.
3.  How to be independent---As parents, we naturally come to the aide of our children---helping with a coat or backpack, handing a towel to dripping hands and other small tasks.  At school, we work on independence.  The children not only learn to be independent but also to be patient.  As they learn to be more independent from teachers, they will develop into a more confident and independent  student. 
4.  How to tell a story---The children will listen to stories,  use props to retell stories, and dictate stories.  We work on developing a love for books and the written word.
5.  How to ask the teacher for help---It's easy for a child to ask mommy or daddy for help. A teacher has many other children who all need time and attention.  When teachers build  caring relationships with students, the student will develop the confidence to request help.  Our goal is to be caring, responsive and approachable.
6.  How to use a scissors and glue---Working with scissors, crayons and markers do more than just decorate your refrigerator.  When children use scissors and crayons, they are developing fine motor skills and small muscles.  We have many toys, activities and centers that work on fine motor skills.  Our art center has scissors, glue, markers, crayons, pens and pencils available every day.  Our writing center has pens and pencils with paper, cards, stickers and envelopes. 
7. How to build with blocks---Building with blocks allow children to freely explore spatial relationships, strengthen motor skills, promotes eye/hand coordination  and develop social and language skills. We also have Legos, waffle blocks, bristle blocks, Magneatos and a train set that rotate through this center.
8.  Learn to recognize symbols---Most preschoolers are able to to identify a few letters and numbers.  They thrive on reciting and writing the letters in their name and begin to learn the letters in classmates and teacher's names.  They are understanding and recognizing colors and shapes.  We repeatedly say, "Shapes are everywhere."  "Colors are everywhere."  "Letters and numbers are everywhere." 
9.  How to hop, skip and jump---Playing outside is different than  indoor center play.  Playing outside strengthens muscles, increases coordination, develops body awareness, and boosts  a child's self confidence.  Outdoor play creates situations for children to independently problem solve and socially interact with peers in an a environment different than the classroom.
10. How to be a scientist---Preschoolers are naturally inquisitive and love to explore.  Our job is to provide many opportunities for children to have hands-on and self-directed activities.  Pumpkin pieces with seeds, flowers, a computer motherboard, sensory bottles and tubs, science experiments for the group and individual are just a few ways that science is introduced and explored.

Our classroom encourages children to be a student by providing a wide variety of interesting materials, activities and experiences.  Building, painting and exploring will allow your child to learn and be creative in the classroom.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Be Better

Always leave people better than you found them.  Hug the hurt.  Kiss the broken.  Befriend the lost. Love the lonely.  Toby McKeehan