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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in early childhood

Posted by on in Classroom Management

PBIS Logo 1

PBIS-Four letters that can evoke different thoughts and feelings from teachers, leaders, students and parents. If implemented well-it works.  If not-stakeholders are left with a bad taste of the system of supports that was not fully explained or fully implemented. 

PBIS is more than tickets and parties, it is a prevention based school wide approach to looking at student behavior in parts: teaching behavioral expectations, acknowledging students for appropriate behavior, consistent discipline and team-managed data based decision making. 

At Woodson we have been utilizing this system of supports for five years.  During these years we have changed and evolved many aspects of the primary tenants of PBIS to meet the continued need of students and staff.  

1. Teaching Behavioral Expectations.  

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

Child Development

Traditionally, we have seen characteristic differences in the developing motor skills of boys and girls - usually evident beginning in early childhood. Boys tend to be ahead of girls in skills that emphasize power and force. By the time boys are 5, they can jump a longer distance, throw a ball farther, and run faster. Girls, on the other hand, have better fine-motor skills as well as gross motor skills involving foot movement and good balance. So, they are better at hopping, skipping, buttoning, and zipping.

Also, traditionally, young children have been guided towards different activities, as boys or girls. A good deal of boys’ play was outside, using large muscle groups - riding bikes, climbing, and running around. Boys were much more likely to be given baseballs and footballs and then more likely to have a family member play with them using this equipment. As a result, boys could throw a ball much farther than girls and were faster runners, largely due to practicing these skills. Fine motor skills were left in the dust, for the most part. Then there was the introduction of the hook and loop strips, that made shoe-tying a thing of the past, when this very activity was such a valuable one, across multiple developmental domains.

Girls have been channeled towards dramatic play, coloring, and other indoor activities. Their small motor skills benefitted from dressing dolls, using crayons, and making things. I would venture to guess that focusing on these activities was also increasing their attention spans, while boys may have been short-changed in this area. Girls also played hopscotch, jump rope, and took dance lessons- activities that improved their balance and agility.


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Posted by on in Early Childhood

This morning, I visited the child care program where one of my summer semester students has been placed for her practicum. It’s a room of twelve four-year-olds. I have known the supervising teacher for a number of years and we often exchange ideas and concerns.

Today, she asked me to step outside the classroom to chat for a minute. “I just need to run something by you that is troubling me,” she said. “I can usually expect about one or two children to be on meds in my class each summer. But, this summer, seven of the twelve are medicated. It’s unbelievable. And, none of them are well medicated.” I asked her what she meant by that.

She proceeded to explain that their medication was never administered correctly or consistently by the families. Sometimes it was skipped and then double dosed. On some days, many of those children might be active and participating and then lethargic and almost non-functional the next.

This teacher has known most of these children since toddlerhood and watched them grow up. One by one, they were prescribed medication, although she saw no real indication they needed it.

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Video shared by on in Early Childhood

pablo 1

I was one of the lucky ones. I had a mother who was strong, self-reliant, and compassionate. I watched her and what I learned has helped me in my life, my career, and my relationships with others. I don’t have any daughters to pay it forward, but there are elements of what I took from my mother that certainly apply to raising strong, self-reliant, and compassionate boys. And I can see I was right, when I look at who they are today.

Empowering little girls involves these 8 principles:


Give her a chance to find out what she’s good at. It might be a sport or a talent or something she can make. It might be something as simple as a good sense of humor. Whatever it is, help her realize it has value and that she has value because of it. You are building not only her self-esteem, but also her resilience.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood


Spring is here… the start of many new things. But, it also marks the beginning of the race to sign children up for summer activities.

I was reminded of this as I stood in my neighbor’s kitchen, waiting for her to finish a phone call. The oversized family calendar was prominently hanging on the refrigerator, so I leaned in to take a look. I noticed every box was filled with writing, even though the month had only begun yesterday. As I lifted the pages, I noticed the same thing on those, too. Apparently, three-year-old Ross, five-year-old Mia, and six-year-old Ben were about to embark on a whirlwind summer!

calendar 2

Swimming lessons, space camp, karate, tennis, nature camp, dance, soccer, princess camp, and T-Ball. Some of the camps lasted two weeks, from 9am. to 4pm. The lessons were all at least two days a week, while others were every day. What? Or, more importantly, why?

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