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Posted by on in What If?

Without a doubt, the photo at the beginning of this post would probably evoke a clenched-teeth, inward sucking of air by many parents. Risky play always does. But, in all fairness, it needs to be discussed, examined, and justified. This is especially important since it can help develop a child’s self-confidence, resilience, executive functioning, and even risk-management skills. And, believe it or not, engaging in risky play can actually reduce the risk of injuries, rather than increase it.

Children need the opportunity to figure things out for themselves- to determine their own comfort levels and what they are capable of doing. This, in turn, allows them to develop risk- management skills. Risky play does not mean the play is unsupervised. It simply means the role of adults involves facilitating and supporting how children want to play without over-guiding. We can provide the environment for play… and then get out of the way.

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Play that does the most good requires both physical and psychological space. It requires wide open physical space and psychologically, the child needs to feel the freedom to try things on his own.

In risky play, children experience doses of fear and then practice adapting their behavior to manage it and overcome it. So, according to the emotional regulation theory, play, among other things, assists children in learning to overcome their fears. Then, when they encounter real-life dangers, they will be less likely to give up, become overly fearful, or question their confidence.

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Posted by on in General

Moving Day, Saturday June 8, 2019. Boxes and Teachers wearing Jeans, what a combo. 

Let me say this, about that.

Should Teachers wear jeans every day? Hmmm. Hot topic. Never thought much about it.

I never knew this is such a big topic for teachers. I read a great We Are Teachers article by Kristy Louden on June 6, 2019, posted by 'We Are Teachers' on Twitter. "Teachers Should Be Allowed to Wear Jeans Every Day & Here's Why". I thought it was an interesting read, so I shared it. That tweet now, as I conclude my thoughts, has nearly 65,000 impressions (hits), (update, Sunday morning, 84,000 impressions) so I am honored and grateful to have the opportunity to write for us.

The common thread for me, my takeaway goes right back to school culture, and likely, Maslow, basic needs, personal self-care needs being met. Perhaps we can go no further than to recognize a whole lot of teachers want to self-determine what they wear to school every day to perform at their best. Perhaps this whole discussion is really all about teacher autonomy and need for trust in our professionalism and decision making, I'm really not sure.

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Posted by on in Literacy

Springing Into Summer, Memorial Day Weekend, 2019. Now this is a summer reading fest for kids!

Summer Reading Fest For Kids

Are you ready for the best ever summer reading staycation? Afterall, reading is the best adventure imaginable, don't you agree?

I recently read a Scholastic survey figure that really shook me to the core. If true, twenty percent of kids surveyed said they didn't plan to read a single book this summer. Oh, no! I'm not sure which age group, but it probably doesn't matter. Why so many kids, when there is so much great reading material available? I really don't get it. 

 What does matter is that we continue encouraging love of reading, from birth throughout life, long past toddler time. We do this, first and foremost by modeling our love of reading.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

 

A rainy Saturday afternoon in Eugene, Memorial Day weekend 2019. Family reflection. 

If you are a preschool, kindergarten teacher, aide, parent, grandparent, everybody, this blog is for you! 

Never did I think I would round out my teaching career in preschool, but I did. The kids taught me so much, a world of hand washing, bandaids, bugs, snails, glitter and a lot of books. Childhood is a precious time, what's the rush?

What if we had some barometers of what a ready kiddo might ideally need to know, be ready to do, to be successful in first big time school experience? Behavior to look for? Attitudes and skills to hope for.

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Posted by on in General

The final day of another school year has quickly come and gone, and summer vacation is but a few hours old.  The desks have been cleaned and stacked.  The books have been packed away in cupboards.  Student work has been taken down and handed back to kids to either take home or add to the recycling bin already bulging outside our classroom door.

And the kids have all left the building in search of many exciting adventures far removed from school.

This final day of school lasted just four hours.  Some of the kids did not even attend.  I anticipated a morning filled with noise and unruly, reckless behavior.  But, for the most part, there was no commotion.  Our students sat on the floor and played Uno and Connect Four.  Others listened to music on their phones.  Some signed yearbooks.  Some simply talked and laughed.

I have learned to sit back and observe, to listen, to learn.

All of my check-out items had been completed earlier in the week.  There really was not much else for me to do.  So I listened. 

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