Showing posts from September, 2014

Social and Emotional Development at the Early Childhoood Level

For the next several weeks, we will focus on the importance of social and emotional education. This week we will discuss current research and theory on social-emotional development, how Abintra embodies this knowledge, and how guides execute this type of learning in the early childhood program. Next week we will outline the stages of play and social interaction, and provide suggestions for how you can support your child's social-emotional development.
The development of social skills is a life-long process that is affected by many factors such as individual temperament, sense of security, and level of autonomy. At Abintra, guides are sensitive to each child's strengths and weaknesses, and we work with them to become competent and empathetic community members. This guidance is the most profound influence that we can have on an individual child; this is an influence that extends far beyond our classrooms, or even our campus. Take a closer look at Abintra's vi…

September Español in the Elementary Classes

T.P.R.S. = Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling. Students retell the stories in their ownwords to recount the event in a way that demonstrates their understanding of the story.

Music is a great way to spice up any classroom. We use it in a variety of ways. We use rhythm to get the heart pumping and to enhance our moods. We use specific songs that use the vocabulary from the curriculum or to teach a cultural lesson. A song can also be a great source of a story. Each class is learning two songs.  
L.E. Los Pollitos-Mi escuelita M.E. De Colores- Soy una pizza U.E. El Rock de las Capitales. -Pobre Ana.
Reading Action Chain is a great way to warm up before we begin, such as a novel or short story.   Students write sentences describing the characters in each  chapter.  They then, put the story back in chronological order. 

Through getting to know other people, especially people from different cultures, Upper Elementary students have the opportunity not only to gain insight into ho…

Math in Lower Elementary

The students are learning about the importance of place value in math. Many students are using the Stamp Game to interpret concretely the difference between units, tens, hundreds, and thousands. This material is a favorite of the students!  It is typically used for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and helps the students to absorb the consistency of place value.  The children practice writing their numbers by recording their answers in workbooks.  The students will use the math materials for a period of time as they move towards abstraction, when they will complete the math work without the assistance of the Stamp Game material.

Upper Elementary Visits the West Meade Waterfall

Last week, the Upper Elementary class visited the West Meade Waterfall. During the visit, students made observations in their science notebooks of one of the trees; tested the water for depth, clarity, pH, and total dissolved solids; and looked for aquatic animals in and around the waterfall and stream. We found the water to be clear, and the pH and total dissolved solids showed that the stream is healthy. We also found several crayfish and salamanders! We plan to visit the waterfall about once a month throughout the school year to observe seasonal changes of the trees, monitor the water, and look for more aquatic and woodland animals.

Letter Lessons in Early Childhood

In the Early Childhood vestibule, students work individually with Dave to study their letters and letter sounds. They are working with Sandpaper Letters, a first important step in learning to read. The study of Sandpaper Letters involves tracing each letter one at a time and learning a representative speech sound to go with it. Because the letters are large and because the child experiences them with multiple senses, the letter/sound pairs become very real to the student. Since the letter/sound pairs are real and clear, the student enjoys and remembers them.
Those working with letter sounds may also work with the Alphabet Cards, an exercise that teaches letter recognition. These cards contain four alphabet sets -- capital print, lower case print, capital cursive, and lower case cursive. The objective of this activity is to identify the letter in all of its written forms, helping the child to recognize these letters regardless of how they appear in books or when written …

Junior Great Books in Lower Elementary

Lower Elementary students participate in Junior Great Books, a literature group that promotes interpretive thinking and discussion skills through the use of folk tales, classics, fairy tales, and modern short stories. After students listen to a piece of literature read aloud at least twice, they participate in a method of learning called Shared Inquiry. Shared Inquiry is an active and collaborative search for answers to interpretive questions about a text.  Interpretive questions have more than one answer that can be supported with evidence from the story. Students learn reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing through sharing their ideas about great literature. This continues to be a loved activity for our LE students!

Spanish in Early Childhood

In our Early Childhood community, Spanish is part of our daily lives! The children are exposed to Spanish from the beginning of the day when we greet them during carline with, "Buenos Dias. Como estas? Caminar despacio."
Once in the classrooms, children learn Spanish by listening to the language and receiving lessons with many different materials in a variety of subjects. We use Total Physical Response (TPR) to teach commands, such as: poner las zapatillas, lavate las manos, sientate correctamente, caminar despacio, tocar el hombro a la maestra, una cosa con las dos manos, desenrrollar la alfombra, etc. We reinforce language lessons by creating physical actions involving our entire bodies, which duplicate our messages. The Spanish-learning activities allow for a developmental process in which children listen to and absorb the sounds of Spanish through songs, rhymes, and finger plays!
Our goal is comprehension at all times and every child accomplishes this at hi…

Mealtime in Early Childhood

We know that it can be very challenging to find child friendly lunch containers. Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful:
Containers with pull off lids are typically the most difficult for our students. Without a large lip or tab, most of our children are not successful with them. Use small containers whenever possible. Both Ball and Ziploc make twist top containers that are BPA free and very simple for students to open.If you prefer glass containers, both Anchor and Pyrex make sturdy alternatives. Again, the smaller sizes are always more supportive of student independence. It is very common for young children to have strong food preferences. Community snack is a great opportunity for the students to try new foods. Here are some tips on how you can support your children in developing a balanced and more varied diet: Limit your child's milk consumption (2 cups is the daily portion recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics). Excessive milk consumption ofte…

Self-Regulation in Early Childhood

The students in Early Childhood are having a very smooth transition to the new school year, enjoying the carline process, meeting new friends, and exploring the dynamics of new friendships. All of these activities require the children to develop self-regulation to succeed. 
Students quietly observe a friend. Self-regulation is the ability to control one's own behavior. When we have an impulse to jump or shout, to eat too much, to run across the street, or to strike out at something or someone, our self-regulation enables us to make a good choice about whether it is best to follow the impulse. Our impulses are based in emotion, and our self-regulation is based in cognition.

The foundation of self-regulation is developed in the first five years of life, and continues to develop over time as children grow and develop cognitively, socially, and emotionally. In our early childhood classrooms, all of the children are working on their self-regulation skills, whether through …