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Archive for September, 2017

GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP

Being a part of a team, whether it is a sports team or a debate team, can cause the competitive side of children to surface. There is value in talking to your child about being a good sport both in winning and in losing. Emphasize the old saying, “there is no I in team.” Explain to your child that teams work together, win together and sometimes lose together.

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Learning to display good sportsmanship both when winning and when losing is a valuable life lesson. Our natural reaction is to be excited about winning, which sometimes can result in bragging. The act of being happy without bragging to others is an important skill. Our natural reaction to losing is to be upset, and this may cause us to place the blame on a someone. The skill is remembering that it is okay to be upset without blaming yourself, your teammates or members of the opposing team. As parents, we see our children as MVPs (and of course they are), but we should support our children and teach them to be happy for the winning team and be humble when their team wins. A great strategy is to encourage your child to move forward and start preparing for future games.

 

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SCRIBBLING AND YOUR TODDLER

At The Goddard School, our curriculum incorporates development of the child’s writing skills and development, even at the toddler age.  Get out the paper, pencils, crayons and markers and let your children scribble.  Scribbling is the foundation of artistic development, language acquisition and written expression. Through their scribbles, children are telling stories and beginning to link writing to self-expression.  Practicing and playing with writing can help young children learn to form and recognize letters.

The Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts provides the following Stages of Writing Development:

  • Drawing
  • Scribbling
    • During the scribbling stage, children learn to distinguish writing from drawing;
    • Children try to reproduce letters and words through scribbles.
  • Producing letter-like forms
  • Writing letter sequences or strings
  • Spelling phonetically
  • Spelling conventionally

Don’t worry about what the scribbles mean. Ask your child about them and you’ll begin to see the letters and stories they have created.

READING TO YOUR CHILD

Language and literacy is the foundation for all learning. It’s a major portal through which the other learning domains unfold including math, science, social studies, creative expression, proficiency with technology, social /emotional development, 21st century skills, executive functioning and healthy, physical development.

Reading Together

While digital content brings its own unique benefits in terms of interaction and engagement, exposing young children to real books —so they have a full tactile and sensory experience of books — is always a good idea. Letting young children spend time alone with books, turning the pages and having an “up close and personal” involvement with the pictures and the letters on the page can stimulate their imagination and set the stage for self-driven exploration.

Reading books to children is equally valuable and establishes an especially positive and meaningful relationship as you read together. That meaningful relationship is the seedbed upon which a child’s confidence can flourish.

Interactive reading takes this a step further. Though it sounds like a tech term, it doesn’t have to be. It’s simply a style of reading with children that uses all elements of the book as a springboard for fuller exploration. That exploration might lead you to an app, online or real-time activity. For example, a story about baking cookies could lead to actual cookie baking; a story about finding a treasure could lead to drawing a treasure map.

Editor and author Jason Boog, is a real champion of interactive reading. Here he shares a list of print books provided by the American Library Association that are rich with opportunities for interactive reading. Below are just a few examples of some great interactive reading books that support important skill development for early learners to get you started:

Social Emotional Development:

  • “Go Away Big Green Monster” by Ed Emberly

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This book helps children unpack their fear of the unknown by literally taking it apart one page at a time.

Executive Function:

  • “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff

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There is no better way to understand process, consequences, and cause and effect than these delightful books.

  • “Curious George Saves His Pennies” by H.A. Rey

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Helping young children learn and understand self-regulation and judgment are essential skills for lifelong success. Curious George explores through playful  trial-and-error exploration.

21st Century Skills:

  • “Jumanji” by Chris Van Allsburg

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Innovation, creative problem solving, and collaboration are demonstrated through this amazing adventure where the world changes all the time.

Social Studies:

  • “Ultimate Weird But True,” National Geographic

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Packed with tons of really cool, wacky facts that get little kids totally excited and engaged about the real world.

Enjoy!