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Monday, November 23, 2015

This week is Game and Puzzle Week!

We love games and puzzles here at Jellybean. This week, we're going to encourage you to break out the old board games and sit down as a family and play something. Not a game person? Break out a puzzle. Either way, sit down with one another after dinner and take part in something that doesn't have to do with the everyday routine.

If you don't have any age appropriate games or puzzles, feel free to borrow from Jellybean. We have plenty of backpack kits and file folder games located up front in the lobby that are always available to you to take home for a few nights. If you'd rather borrow a board game or something of the sort, we have plenty to search through. Just ask one of the teachers and we'll show you where they're located and where to sign in and out for the games.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Teaching Kids Gratitude

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, what better time to talk about gratitude, thankfulness, and kindness. It's easy to inform our kids that it's polite to say 'thank you' after someone does something nice for them, for them not to be rude to others, and to use our nice words when speaking to friends. When it comes to knowing why it's important to say 'thank you' and what gratitude really means is a whole other story. Here are some helpful ways to teach your kids the true meaning of Thanksgiving this month.


- Thankful Paper Chain: For a fun craft night with the family, cut out a bunch of strips of fall-colored paper and go through with your children about what they're thankful for. Write each thing on a piece of paper, and put all the things they're thankful for into a chain. Do this for multiple nights, trying not to repeat previous reasons/people/things they're thankful for. See how long your chain gets by Thanksgiving!

- Leaf Garland: Going off the idea above, hang a few pieces of yarn or string along your walls. Allow the children to cut, color, or decorate leaf cutouts to hang on the garland. Talk about what they're thankful for and write each thing on a leaf. Let them hang up their leaves on the garland all the way up until Thanksgiving.

- Thankful Rock Garden: This art project can easily become a wonderful addition to your outside playscape or indoor garden. Allow the children to decorate smaller rocks (bigger than pebbles but small enough to hold in their hand) and talk about what they're thankful for. If they say "cars", then write cars on their decorated rock. Make as many rocks as you can think of things to be thankful for. All of these beautifully decorated rocks will be an awesome garden to look back on and see how wonderful life is behind all the daily stresses.

Random Acts of Kindness:

Kids will love the fun and the happiness that fills their heart doing something nice for a stranger. Whether it's giving someone a compliment, planting a tree, donating old blankets and new treats to the Humane Society, or just giving a stranger a flower, it'll give the kids a feeling that will stay with them forever.

Dinner Table Conversations:

There are so many opportunities that pass us by at the dinner table. While everyone is sitting there together as a family, take advantage of that moment and talk about what being thankful means. The one time they are sitting and involved in their meal, fill them up with a conversation that they'll pass on to their friends. If you need a bit of help in this area, visit here for some more ideas.

Thankful Journals:

This is a bit more time consuming and something easier for the kids that are a bit older. Go out on a journey together and allow the kids to choose their very own, brand new journal from the store to have to write all their positive thoughts and what they're thankful for. At the end of every day, right before bed, have everyone write down 5 things they're thankful for that day. If they can't think of anything they're thankful for, have them write down something positive about the day. Be an example and even have a journal for yourself that you write down things in. Putting this positive spin at the end of the day will help your child have a more positive attitude and outlook on day to day happenings.

Have more ideas? Share them with us!

Monday, November 9, 2015

POTM: Challenging Behaviors and Developmental Delays

Every child develops at different levels. Sometimes, though, a more significant delay is suspected by families or teachers, or a challenging behavior pattern is presented. If you or your child’s teachers suspect a developmental delay or challenging behavior, have a conversation to share concerns. 

Together, the teacher and family work together to: 
• Observe and track behavior 
• List specific goals for the child in the classroom and at home
• List ideas for staff to implement in the class and families to implement at home 

If requested, we can make referrals to specialists, or provide referrals for child and family support such as: mental health, nutrition, child welfare, parenting programs, housing and child care subsidies, and others.

The above is taken directly out of our handbook. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Take-Aways from Conferences

Well fall is officially here!  The new school year is off and we have just finished conferences this month.  I thought I would talk to you all about why we do conferences at such a young age and what kinds of things we might have talked to you about at your child’s conference.

At Jellybean we are constantly documenting things your child does at school to keep track of their development and see what we need to do as teachers to help children reach their full potential. Ways that we document your child are by journaling every day, using assessments, looking for key development indicators (high scope), observing on a daily basis, and working one on one with your child every day. We use all of these forms of documentation to help your child learn and grow at Jellybean.  The teachers meet weekly to discuss children’s progress and ways we can teach to better help them understand and learn.

These are the things that we might have talked to you about at your child's conference. The important thing is to see what they really mean and to use this information the right way. If your child is good in all areas, then you're good to go! If you shared some concerns with the teachers and the teacher shared the same concern, then maybe it's a good time to make a plan of action to address this concern appropriately. A big thing that's helpful to children is consistency. If we're working together as a team to help your child excel both in the classroom and at home, that will help them move further in the area that they're struggling with. So talk with the teacher that you made that action plan with every week or so and see if they are seeing the improvements you may be seeing at home. Or maybe if there are no improvements, talk with them to change your action plan and go a different route. Once we as a team discover what's working, then we should only be seeing continuous improvement from there.

We start conferences at infant age so we can go over all the things that we document and observe on a regular basis with you.  The earlier we catch some area of development where a child may be struggling, the earlier we can address it and help.  If Early Intervention services are needed we can help parents find where to go for help.  We are always communicating with parents about their children and a conference is just another way to do so!

Let me know if you have any questions!