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Archive for May, 2017

Bento Box Mania!

What is a bento box?

Bento box lunches have been increasing in popularity among families with preschoolers and school-age children. Google the term “bento box lunch” and you will find a wealth of resources, including blogs, Pinterest pages and online retailers selling basic and whimsical options. If a parent is artistic, the child’s lunch can become a work of art.

Why does it work well for school lunches?

Bento boxes work well for school lunches and snacks because they protect food in a sealed container and keep food groups separate. If you have a picky eater who does not like foods touching, a bento box may keep your child happy. Parents can have fun creating different lunchtime masterpieces. Bento boxes are also economical because they are reusable and help keep plastic snack and sandwich bags out of landfills.

What are the nutritional benefits of bento boxes?

Bento boxes are appealing because they provide a creative way to add a variety of foods to a child’s lunch while keeping wet foods separate from dry foods. By introducing different, healthy foods early in your child’s life, he or she may develop a preference for those foods as well as a more diverse palate. You can also turn the preparation of the bento box into a learning activity by asking your child what each food is, where it comes from, how it’s made and so on. Engaging your child in the experience may help to build and reinforce a child’s love of diverse, nutritious foods while fostering a love of learning.

What can I put in my child’s bento box?

The options are endless, but here are some ideas:

  • Sliced hard-boiled eggs;
  • A mini-bagel sandwich with almond butter, jelly or another spread;
  • Sliced strawberries, blueberries and kiwis;
  • Cheese cubes;
  • Pretzels;
  • Sliced grapes;
  • A muffin;
  • Mini-pita sandwiches filled with cheese and pepperoni;
  • Sliced pineapple;
  • Celery and carrot sticks;
  • Cucumber slices;
  • A turkey and cheese sandwich on a Hawaiian roll;
  • Veggie chips;
  • Rice molds;
  • Chickpeas and black beans;
  • Raisins and chocolate chips;
  • Sandwich rounds with ham, cheese and avocado.

Enjoy making bento box lunches!

2017 Upcycling Challenge!

Congratulations to our 2017 Upcycling Challenge winner – Ashland, VA! The School won with 1,603 votes for their mural of The Goddard School logo using packing peanuts and recycled water bottles.

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White Marsh, MD came in second with 1,551 votes for their mural made of recycled materials.

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Village of Shiloh, IL came in third with 574 votes for their rain barrel and sensory garden. Way to go!

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Thank you to our Goddard School community for participating, voting and sharing!

Paper Flower Craft

Attention parents! Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and the most special gifts are those made by the hands of your tiny tots. Here’s a craft idea to help your child create a special keepsake for mom.

What you need:

  • Photo of your child
  • Construction paper
  • Pipe cleaners or straws
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape

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Instructions:

Cut the photo of your little one into a circle.

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Encourage your child to choose a color (or two) of construction paper and cut out eight ovals for petals. Cutting should be done by an adult.

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Help your child glue or tape the petals into a flower.

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Glue or tape your child’s photo in the center of the flower.

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Use a straw or pipe cleaner for the stem. (Tip: Twisting two pipe cleaners together makes a stronger stem.)

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For a more advanced activity, help your child write a poem for Mom and attach it to the flower. Have fun!

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The Goddard School® Announces Recipient of the Anthony A. Martino Memorial Scholarship

We are excited to announce that Logan is our 2017 $10,000 Anthony A. Martino Scholarship winner! Logan is a 2004 Pre-K graduate from The Goddard School. We wish Logan the best of luck in his future academic adventures!

We would also like to congratulate our Scholarship runners up, Alexia and Ryan, for their outstanding academic achievements, social contributions, enthusiasm and motivation. We wish you both continued success!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote!

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Five Ways to Discourage Children from Lying

Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and member of The Goddard School Educational Advisory Board, offers five ways to discourage children from lying.

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  1. Keep your cool when your child lies. Try to say ‘Oh,’ or ‘Okay,’ to give yourself some time to think about what to say next. Something like ‘I wonder what happened to the flowers’ works better than ‘Whoever did this had better tell the truth (‘or else!’ is implied).’ This strategy makes it easier for children to be truthful and improves your chances of hearing the truth later as they will feel less intimidated.
  2. Calmly, try to help your child understand why he lied and what he can do next time to avoid lying.
  3. Explain to your child that it’s okay to make a mistake and that she doesn’t have to lie about it. Also remember to praise your child for admitting that she made a mistake. Lying lessens when it’s safe to tell the truth.
  4. When you are on the fence about whether or not to believe your preschooler, err on the side of believing that your child is telling the truth. Or his version of it. After all, imagination is a powerful and creative force that might cause a child to tell a lie that he thinks is true. For example, a child might claim that there is a monster in the closet when that obviously isn’t true.
  5. Be aware that you are under constant scrutiny and that the ‘innocent’ white lie that you can’t make a donation to a charitable organization because you don’t have any cash, for instance, will be noticed by your child. Set a good example and remember that the truth starts at home.

The Goddard School® Honors Top Early Childhood Educators for the Eleventh Annual Teacher of the Year Awards

Five Exceptional Educators Acknowledged during National Teacher Appreciation Week

Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), franchisor of The Goddard School®, the nation’s premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children six weeks to six years old, announces today that five leading educators from across the nation have been chosen as recipients of the eleventh annual Teacher of the Year award. In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, which takes place from May 1 to May 5, these extraordinary educators will be presented with a plaque commemorating their passion for teaching, dedication to learning and love for the children, families and local communities. The Goddard School’s Teacher of the Year award honors educators in its preschool system who have developed compelling programs and projects that benefit their classrooms, Schools or communities.

“This year’s award recipients raised the bar with notable, long-term projects that have inspired us, Goddard School students and Goddard School families,” says Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at GSI. “These initiatives, which address healthy friendships and healthy bodies and teach children about journalism and elections, highlight the educators’ unique, nurturing approaches that help develop children into joyful, confident learners.”

The projects from the selected Goddard School educators include Taste It Tuesday, an activity that teaches students the value of a healthy, well-rounded diet; Friendship Curriculum, a program designed to foster emotional development and promote social awareness among peers; Election, a campaign that introduces the election process and governmental functions; and Journalism, a program that lets students explore a variety of career paths while nurturing their curiosity.

GSI honors the following teachers:

Laura Flanagan – Exton, PA

Laura Flanagan, a pre-k teacher at The Goddard School located in Exton, PA, created Taste It Tuesday after noticing that her students were curious about the colorful array of fresh fruits and vegetables she brought for lunch. She created the activity hoping that it would encourage and help her students to try unfamiliar healthy foods. During morning circle time, Laura introduced the food they were going to sample and related the food to the letter of the alphabet they were currently studying. During the lesson and before sampling the food, the students made observations and predictions about the food’s texture and taste. While the students were sampling the food, Laura discussed where the food was grown and why it is a healthy choice. She also made cultural connections where applicable. At the end of the lesson, all the students added their names to the Taste It Tuesday graph, which showed who liked or did not like the food they tasted. The project has been such a success that multiple classrooms in the School now hold Taste It Tuesday, and teachers in different classrooms collaborate on it.

Everith Radcliffe and Ashlee Summer – Simpsonville, SC

Everith Radcliffe and Ashlee Summer, junior kindergarten teachers at The Goddard School located in Simpsonville, SC, created the Friendship Curriculum. The teachers developed an initialism, FRES-CLAK, to highlight the necessary components of a healthy friendship: friendship, respect, empathy, sharing – compassion, love, acceptance and kindness. The goal was to help students focus on learning, having fun and building caring relationships while receiving opportunities to develop and practice important social-emotional skills, such as controlling their own feelings, behaving appropriately and getting along with their peers. The teachers focused on helping young children and their families understand the importance of social and emotional well-being and development. The tools included a kindness chain, an I Am Feeling mood dial, the “Good Friend” poem, a bucket fillers pledge and a 100 Days of Kindness chart.

Kerry Allaire – Wayne, PA

Kerry Allaire, a kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Wayne, PA, implemented Election to give her students a deeper understanding of how the election process works. Each November, Kerry introduces the election process to the students and chooses storybook characters as candidates. This year’s candidates were Clifford the Big Red Dog, Madeline and Arthur. Students prepared for Election Day by reading books to learn about each candidate’s platform and by creating buttons and campaign posters. They also cast their votes. Each student had a job to perform. First, students informed the teachers about the candidates and their platforms. Next, students had the teachers sign in before voting, and then the students gave the teachers a ballot to place in the ballot box. The teachers who voted received an ‘I Voted’ button, and once the polls were closed, the votes were tallied to determine the winner. Clifford the Big Red Dog was this year’s winner! The election project doesn’t end in November; an inauguration ceremony was held for Clifford, and students discussed the activities of the day.

Megan Brady – Fanwood, NJ

Megan Brady, a kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Fanwood, NJ, created a program called Journalism to help her students investigate a variety of careers. Each month, Megan invited two visitors to the classroom, each with a career related to a specific theme. The children met a flight attendant, a lawyer, an editor, a photographer, an animal protection provider, a publisher and a nutritionist. Before each visit, the children prepared questions for the guest interview, and during each visit, the responses were logged. These tasks mirror the responsibilities of journalists. The students learned about open-ended and close-ended questions and about occupations in the journalism field. The students often mimicked these interesting roles. The culmination of the project is a video montage of the broadcasts the children created that will be shown on graduation day. The broadcast will feature the children as news anchors, and they will discuss all the relevant Goddard news from the year.

For more information on The Goddard School, please visit http://www.goddardschool.com/educators/teachers.