{     Offering the Best Childhood Preparation for Social and Academic Success.     }

Archive for October, 2013

Thinking about Science

The Goddard SchoolScience is more than test tubes, microscopes and formulas. Scientific thinking involves asking questions, learning from mistakes, trying again, exploring new activities and solving problems. Children are natural scientific thinkers, and they want to learn and solve problems.

Young children benefit from the active, hands-on activities that foster scientific learning in every Goddard School classroom. Encouraging your young scientists at home is easy and fun. As you try the following activities with your children, talk about what is happening, ask questions and encourage them to describe what they see.

  • Bake with your children. Watch yeast rising, or see what happens if you don’t follow the recipe carefully;
  • Grow flowers or a vegetable garden. Chart your plants’ growth and note any changes. Enjoy harvesting your garden together, and let your children help make a healthy salad for your family;
  • Visit a farmers’ market or a farm to learn about animals, the effects of weather on plants and more;
  • Take apart an old clock or phone and reassemble it;
  • Make steam or watch ice melt;
  • Look for patterns in the natural world, such as the lines in bark or the symmetry of flower petals. Describe the sights, smells and sounds you experience on a walk;
  • Offer your children magnifying glasses;
  • Visit a children’s museum or natural history museum;
  • Go outside at night and look at the stars;
  • Ask your children what will happen when you roll a ball, walk a Slinky down stairs, manipulate clay and use other items, and then test their hypotheses. This can be a lot of fun.

*An adult should oversee all activities. Activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

Un-Scary Halloween Costume Ideas

 

Goddard School - Fire Fighter

Halloween for preschoolers should be light and upbeat, not scary. If you plan to celebrate with your little ones, either with trick-or-treating or a party, here are some fun and simple costumes to consider.

  • Superhero – All you need is a long-sleeved t-shirt, a colored hand towel or a rectangle of fabric for a cape; leggings or fitted pants; and felt for making an eye mask, headband and symbol cutout of your children’s choice. They can pick a superhero from a favorite movie or television show, or they can make up their own.
  • Hula Dancers – You will need a grass skirt bought from your local party store or made from the heads of rope mops. You will also need a lei from the party store, or you can make one from fake flowers purchased at the craft store.  Add leggings, fitted pants or tights, too. A toy ukulele can also make a fun prop.
  • Monster Truck – If you have a child who loves trucks, you can make a truck costume with cardboard boxes, some careful cuts (by a parent, of course) and some paint or markers. You will need to add some shoulder straps to the ‘truck’ to make sure your child is properly buckled (and can easily carry it).
  • It’s Raining Cats and Dogs – Most of us have an umbrella, children’s raincoat and rain boots handy at home.  Many of us have some stuffed dogs and cats at home, too. Have your child pick out which stuffed dogs and cats to use, and then you can attach them to the top of a sturdy, inexpensive umbrella with string or safety pins.

The options for fun costumes are endless. If you have other options for easy, fun Halloween costumes, share them with us here or on our Facebook Page at https://www.Facebook.com/GoddardSchool.

 

Making Parent-Teacher Conferences Work

The home-to-school connection is crucial for a successful educational and developmental experience. “When parents and schools trust and collaborate with each other, children do better academically, behaviorally and socially,” says Kyle Pruett, M.D., child psychiatrist and advisor to The Goddard School. That connection includes ongoing communication with your child’s teachers and regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences.  Use the following guidelines to get the most from the conferences and build a connection with the teachers.

Prepare for the meeting.
Write down your questions before the meeting to ensure you cover the most important information.

Share information with the teacher.
You know your child and family better than anyone else. Be willing to share what is happening at home, what your child’s interests are and what observations you have made.

Focus on your child.
Stay focused on what your child is learning and on developmental growth.  Don’t discuss other children, unless you want to mention that your child plays with another child outside of school.  Keep an open mind about any behavioral issues.  Work out solutions together, so your child has a consistent set of expectations at home and at school.

Ask about the program and what to expect.
Learn about the curriculum and what is coming up in the next few months. Find out how you can participate.  Ask the teacher about activities you can do at home to nurture and encourage learning. Share information about activities you do with your child at home.

Seek out opportunities to stay involved.
Before you leave the conference, ask the teacher how you can work together and what kind of opportunities the school has for parent involvement. Thank the teacher for her time.