A love for teaching young children

Supporting parents in the educating of their child













Friday, August 4, 2017

Suggested bedtimes for little ones

Just not for children in daycare or preschool or school settings

Young children tend to rise early so they need to be in bed ready to sleep at these times.

It is not fair to the family dynamics if you force all the children in the household to go to bed at the same time. Children require more sleep than adults. And by teen years, their body clocks sometimes shift and some require as much sleep as preschool-age and others will shift to late night owl status but struggle to be perky at 7 a.m. The educational and medical communities of professionals agree that there are ages and stages for developmentally appropriate practice. These bedtimes are part of that DAP for preschool and kinder age children:

Age..................................... Suggested bedtime
3.....................................................7:15 p.m.
4.....................................................7:30 p.m.
5.....................................................7:45 p.m.
6.....................................................8:00 p.m.


For each birthday milestone after age 6 continue to add 15 minutes. I've seen some children put themselves to bed long before their usual time and even before either parent hints that it's getting close to beddy-bye time. If they are tired from being out of routine, make an adjustment with an earlier bedtime for a night or two. Same for when they are sick, battling a new tooth cutting in, having leg cramps due to a growth spurt, bedtime may need adjusted to an earlier time.

Also children like to have structure and a routine for bedtime, so try to keep that consistent, too. They feel secure and loved when consistent household routines are kept. Laying out clothes for next day, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, washing face, reading a book or listening to a lullaby tape, dim the lights, and then tucked into bed with a kiss and a hug.

Pleasant dreams.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New ECE classroom to get ready for 2017-2018 school year

Hired 4 days ago!!! very small Christian elementary school as PK3-PK4-K5 room teacher!!! I've been teaching FACS to middle school and high school level students for most of the last 9 years; however with a M. Ed. in Elementary Education degree with an ECE emphasis and previous teaching and work experience in daycare preschool age classrooms and a Christian school kindergarten classroom about 20-25 years, this is a refreshing change!


Yes!, so far total enrollment is 7 possibly an 8th child and the options will keep me busy keeping lesson plans and their curriculum organized. I have one 3 yr. old coming on Monday A.M., two 4 yr. olds coming all five A.M.s, one 4 yr. old coming 2 days per week on Monday A.M. and Wednesday A.M. and so far three 5 yr. olds coming all full 5 days per week (possibly one more kindergartner that the office is aware of). Crazy!!!

In order not to go super wacko in the next 3 weeks, I decided to keep the bulletin board décor that was already up. It would not have been my pick, but I'm going to make it work and also see what I can find in storage to fit the "animal"/jungle theme. I've found a frog theme weather chart kit in the closet. A lion! Lots of dinosaurs. Monkey cut-outs and a monkey piñata. Zebra print and jungle leaf bulletin board paper backing. And bulletin borders in cheetah, leopard, leaf, and African print.

I've worked in the classroom on Monday which was mostly assessing the room's contents and today/Wednesday with my husband to use his brawn to move furniture around and some of the wall décor items. I'm going to do my best to show similar sections of the room with the 'before' photo and the 'after' photo. Keep in mind this is still a work in progress:

Area 1: across from entrance door, looking at coat hooks and teacher desk area=

before (I felt the coat hook/backpack area was too crowded)

before (also I believe the ABC rug needs to be moved to the alphabet/writing/pre-reading area; AND the 2 tables right in front of the teacher's desk--ugh!)

after (cleaner look already! hubby moved big blocks and the covered up Lego table to a new spot and the games and puzzles on the light blue bookcase got moved into the storage closet with the bookcase getting a new location...and this section already looks more accessible--yea!!!)

after (the easel used to be at the other end near the alphabet/writing/reading zone and the kidney table was over in front of the "math" board; I'm going to use the easel to place a morning greeting but it will be used by children throughout the day and the kidney table is covered with stack of items that need to be laminated and others that need a home. The big brown item is wood grain contact paper on the side of a filing cabinet that used to be just inside the entrance. It is now topped with dinosaurs and a globe.



before (these desks were close to the teacher's desk and will be moved about 2+ feet to the right as shown; notice opposite up on the metal there are shape cut-outs and color crayon cut-outs! These are getting moved to the math/calendar zone.) Oh! We found out about a free couch with 3 toss pillows that had to be moved out of someone's garage, so my husband asked for it to be used as a new student reading spot!!! Hubby and one of his buddies loaded it up last night and we cleaned it up and moved it into the classroom today!!!!


after (Here's the couch! Doesn't fit the jungle animal theme but the unstuffed lion pillow 'pet' was found folded up and got a new home. Maybe one of these days I will buy a tan throw or piece of fake fur to put under the lion to cover up more of the blue plaid. And notice the new home for the light blue bookcase that use to be over by the student coat hooks. I've already put science theme books on it like "I Spy", Eric Carle's "The Grouchy Ladybug", "The Very Quiet Cricket" and "The Hungry Caterpillar".)

before (alphabet zone in background will get a new look--yellow tables get moved to the math/calendar zone and the kidney shaped table in the foreground got moved near the teacher desk. Notice the corner of a student desk because remember those are getting shifted over more to allow room for that free sofa!)

after--sorry, I just realized that I didn't take a better placement photo of the 4 student desks or the new home of the ABC rug. I will have to take those photos on Friday and make it the next blog post. OKAY--this divider was originally about 2 feet perpendicular from this location and had nothing on either side. I found more of the jungle leaf bulletin board paper in the storage closet along with 4 new packages of borders and recruited my husband for additional help today to use his staple gun and get this new created bulletin board to cover about 70% of this side of the divider. Student desks are in groups of two perpendicular to the divider and then also to the sofa.

Now we will shift to the other side of the divider and some of the before and after:

before (alphabet zone on left; Bible zone on right; behind the easel is a cabinet filled with writing supplies like student size dry erase boards, erasers, pencils, glue, and more as well as phonics charts; there is also a big book rack behind or to the right of it. Remember the easel gets a new home down by the teacher's desk and those yellow tables are going to shift about 4-10 feet away in front of the math/calendar/science wall.)

before (panning more to the right of the Bible area--the rug gets moved by the new kidney table and easel area by the teacher desk; the black corner chair and lion get moved to the free sofa area in order to move the overhead cart [not shown yet] to the corner and the sensory table [also not shown yet] gets a new home in front of the science/calendar board areas)

after (science/calendar/math boards are on the right with the sensory table, 2 yellow tables, and 1 of 2 tables that had it's old home in front of the teacher desk! Now I can have all 7-8 children in this area or options to have all 7-8 on the ABC rug or grouped within the student desks, sofa, and black curved chair area. Lots of options! Even the kidney table isn't that far from the student desks, so I can work individually or with a pair while the others are engaged nearby!)

The blue pocket chart is getting moved. The magnet board only moved about a foot from where it was. (to the left of the edge of the blue pocket chart and sort of hidden behind stacked chairs).

after (I'm not thrilled with this arrangement yet, but I wanted to get the shapes and colors moved over to what's going to be the calendar/math section of this wall. Items on table have to find new homes. Again, still a work in progress. Oh! I was excited to find in the teacher desk labeled photographs for the AM  schedule. I placed them in order across the bottom of the board. The previous teacher had magnets on the back of  all these items so relocating them was very easy!!!)

Next will be the last photo showing the new location from the Lego and plastic blocks:

after (this area by the entrance used to have a filing cabinet and sensory table; now it is a building center!)

The birthdays are still posted with last year's group, so that will have to be updated before August 16. The wall space to the right is vertically narrow with the storage closet door just to the right of what's the photo edge. I would like to put some inspirational photos of monuments, towers, bridges, etc. on that space and change them every 2 weeks or so to keep the students' interest fresh for this aspect of STEM.

Hope you didn't get bored with this super long post about my new home away from home! It's already exciting for me to see this over-full room and closet find new invigoration and creativity in use of the physical environment. I still have lots to do--lots to sort, organize, maybe toss, maybe recycle, etc.!

Teaching in the heartland of America,  Becca

Sunday, August 26, 2012

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