Lots of people ask, “how can you do this (teaching) day after day? I’d be in a looney bin if I had your job.”
No matter how many times we hear that statement (and we hear it often), we’re always so surprised. Why wouldn’t everyone want to spend their days observing, learning, interacting,teaching, guiding, supporting, problem solving, hugging, and lovin’ on these precious children. We know we have the best job in the whole wide world (second only to parenting!).
In all actuality, working with children takes a dedicated, strong person with a very special gifting. Not just anyone can do this job (though many think so). It takes a true professional with a heart and a passion for enriching and changing the lives of our future generations.
Our teachers, at Kidspace Child Enrichment Center, are a passionate group of professionals. They are the warmth, wisdom, love and strength of the classroom. They strive to build a community of learners. The foundation though, of the classroom community, is the individual relationships the teachers seek to build with each individual child.
Our teachers are the heart of Kidspace. We applaud them. We are truly thankful for each of them: Anna, Crystal, Charissa, Dawn, Ginger, Gwen, Heather, Jeannie, Julie, Michele, Rachel, and Sue. They are the best. We are extremely grateful for their service and dedication. We love them.
Cheers to kiddos and their teachers and a fabulous twenty fourteen!
As most of you know, over the last few months, the Robins have been conducting an in-depth long term study of pumpkins. Please take a look at all we’ve been learning…
It all began in September, just weeks after school started. Miss Dawn brought in some green pumpkins her neighbor had grown. The Robins noted that these pumpkins looked quite a bit different than the pumpkins they were used to. One day a Robin asked what was inside the pumpkin and since one of our main goals in the Robins class is to provide opportunities for relevant hands-on learning, we knew there was only one way to find out. That day at circle time we cut one pumpkin open and let the Robins look, feel, smell, and taste the answer to their question.
In our last Spotlight post, we focused on emergent writing. This week, we’d like to take a step back and look at the importance of practicing fine motor skills, which refers to any small movements of the hand. We know that before we can even think of helping young children learn to write, we must provide them with a multitude of opportunities to strengthen the muscles in their hands. Developing fine motor skills is an important part of kindergarten readiness, because as preschool children practice their hand strength and coordination, they begin to develop a greater sense of independence. It is our hope that throughout their time in the Robins class, the kiddos will develop their fine motor skills in a way that will allow them to gain a sense of confidence as they learn to do more things by themselves, like writing their own name, putting on their shoes, buttoning their coat, or pouring their own milk.
Here are just a few examples of how we foster the development of fine motor skills in the Robins class at KIDSPACE Child Enrichment Center in Vancouver, Washington:
The Robins regularly work on projects that involve drawing, tracing, and cutting.
How fun to be able to use a hammer! Bluebirds drove little spikes into pumpkins with the aid of safety goggles. This is a great way to learn hand dexterity for fine motor skills and balance.
Nails not only went in, but they were also pulled out.
Bluebirds walk to gymnastics with our “friendship rope”. Children group together by twos and not only share conversation, but companionship as well, as we walk down the trail to Naydenov Gymnastics.
After much waiting and practicing, the Bluebirds made it to Bizi’s Pumpkin Patch on a misty fall day. We boarded a school bus and took a 20 minute drive to the pumpkin patch. We started off with a hay maze and then visited the friendly animals at the petting area….
Bluebirds washed their hands, climbed the hay pyramids, loaded onto the wagons and headed for the pumpkin fields. Chaperones guided the children through the pumpkin patch and helped them pick a pumpkin that they could carry all by themselves.
For the last few weeks, the Robins have been counting down the days until our field trip to BiZi Farms. All the excitement led our class to start a long term investigation of pumpkins and our day at the pumpkin patch was the perfect opportunity for the Robins to see some of the things we’ve been learning (the pumpkin life cycle, decomposition, life on a farm, etc.) in a real life setting.
The Hay Maze
Greetings and thank you for checking out our KIDSPACE blog! We really feel that this blog grants us a unique opportunity to share with you the abundant and joyful learning that is going on each day in the Robins’ class.
How Do Young Children Learn To Write?
Like most of a young child’s development, learning to write happens in stages. As children begin to explore writing, they are demonstrating a desire to communicate and an awareness that written words convey meaning. The image below illustrates how young children’s writing evolves over time. Writing begins as scribbles before letter like shapes can be recognized. Eventually, children include more and more letters of the alphabet and as they start to make connections between letters and sounds they begin to invent their own spelling.