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Monday, August 3, 2015

POTM: Assessments

This has been taken directly from our handbook on how we assess the children and their progress here at Jellybean. If you have any questions on how we do this, let us know.

Each child’s developmental progress is tracked throughout their time at Jellybean. Teachers in each room perform routine assessments on a daily basis while children are alone and in groups. These daily assessments are recorded in several ways:

•On our daily health check list: The teachers do a general health check for each child in attendance each day.

•In journals: Each child has their own journal. These are written in every day, from developmental milestones to something they said or did. 

•On daily sheets: In the infant/toddler room, your child will have a sheet that lists information about their day (meals, diaper changes/potty times, naps, and other notes) in a classroom binder. You can take a look at their sheet at the end of the day and take a picture if you feel the need. 

•Through conversations with parents: There is constant communication between teachers and the parents. If you ever have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to ask one of the staff.

We perform formal assessments twice a year followed by conferences. We use two different versions of Ages and Stages Questionnaires to evaluate the children. We also send these assessments home via email for you to complete with your child.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Garden Updates

Back in May, we wrote about the new exciting updates we were making this summer to the outside playground. We'd love to check in to let you all know how things are going and how the kids are loving their new playscape!

Being summer, our garden is the newest thing happening on the playground. As Ms. Melissa and Ms. Alexis provide the primary care of the garden, the children have really started to gain interest as they can see actual vegetables growing. We are growing cabbage, brussel sprouts, peppers, and cucumbers. In addition to these veggies we planted, three tomato plants have sprouted back up from last year's planting. So far, we've only picked two heads of cabbage which we'll be cooking and trying out during lunch time soon. The brussel sprouts are growing normally, the peppers are growing a bit slow, there's one tomato on the plants, and the cucumbers are about to start growing like crazy. All of the veggies we pick from our garden we will be eating once there's enough to go around for everyone to try.

At first, the children weren't too interested in the garden. But now that there's something physically growing from the garden, they are all over it! The children consistently check the garden to make sure it's growing properly, help the teachers water the plants, and pull weeks when it's not super muddy. Getting down in the dirt with the plants is where the children will learn best.

Apart from the garden, we have our flowers and trees that we planted. The kids love taking care of the flowers. They water them and pick off the dead petals from the flower to make sure they look their best. As for the trees, the kids are very protective of them. The kids have watched these trees grow this past year after they planted them themselves. They love to water them and make sure they're growing straight.

Talk to your child about what plants they see when they go outside for recess with their friends! They love to talk about it here; I'm sure they'd love to talk about it at home as well.

Monday, July 20, 2015

2015 Walk-A-Thon Results

First off, we would like to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this fundraising event for Jellybean. It was very hot outside, but I think we all had fun despite the heat. Hopefully everyone was able to cool down in a pool or sprinkler afterwards. As you may recall, this year we were raising money for the new carpet, cubbies, vines for the tunnel, and new plants for the children to plant. With your help, we raised the money needed to cover those updates. In total, we raised... (drumroll please)... $2,494.24!

The winners of the raffle ticket drawings will be contacted if they haven't been already. The winner of the 50/50 raffle is a friend of one of our families and won $1,337.50! She gave 20% of her winnings back to Jellybean and we are so grateful. The winners of the other raffles won gifts from Mac's Seafood Shack, Candylouu Photography, Balance Massage Therapy, Gabriel's Cheesesteak Hoagies, Brewed Awakenings Café, Maplewood Lanes, & Bracchi's Boutique. A big thank you to all of those businesses for donating their gifts. Apart from the gifts from the raffle, we'd like to thank the additional sponsors that supported us during this fundraiser: Costco Wholesale, Pepsi, Dairy Queen, & Hungry Howie's Pizza.

Apart from the money we raised during and before the event, we had so much fun with everyone. Seeing the kids complete their walk, get a balloon animal, and get their faces painted made the heat bearable. We hope you all had as much fun as we did. Pictures taken by Kiki from around the Walk-A-Thon will be coming soon! Look out for them via Facebook, Twitter, and email.

We can't give our thanks enough for those who participated. Supporting your child's school means so much to us here at Jellybean. We can't wait to do it all again next year! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Letter from Ms. Jenn: Fine Motor

Hey Parents, 

Just thought I would take a minute this month to talk to you about fine motor, or small motor, skills. You probably see these in our lesson plans we send out to you or your children may talk to you about what they did that day for fine/small motor.

What are fine motor skills?  Fine motor skills involve the use of the smaller muscle of the hands, such as when doing up buttons, doing puzzles, or using pencils or scissors.  Fine motor skills will help your child learn how to write their own name or how to tie their own shoes.

Every day at Jellybean we do an activity to build these skills.  Ms. Tarah is the teacher that works with your child daily on improving and perfecting these skills.  I thought I would share with you some ideas of things you can do to help your child develop their fine motor skills at home. 

•Setting out different kinds of writing utensils and paper for your child to practice writing and holding a pencil properly.

•Cutting: just setting out an old magazine and scissors and helping your child go from opening and closing the scissors to cutting out a picture that they see.

•Helping dress themselves.  Helping your child learn to snap, button, zip, buckle, and tie.

•Doing all sorts of puzzles or building with blocks.

•Letting children help with dinner.  Stirring, cutting, setting the table, serving, and washing dishes.

•Putting money (or buttons) into a piggybank

•Lacing string or pipe cleaners in a colander.

The idea is to have fun with these activities while your child is strengthening their fine motor skills.  If you want more ideas to do with your child check out our I/T fine motor board and our preschool fine motor board on Pinterest!