Monday, January 18, 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May this year be a healthy happy and prosperous one!
I hope that you and your family had a Merry Christmas and had time to reflect on the “Reason for the Season”
I am grateful to God for keeping me in good health. For my increased strength and mobility. As you know I have started taking infants and young toddlers again. It is through his goodness that I am able to do so! Praise God! The mixed ages have been such a blessing to each other. We have a wonderful little family here. You should be proud of your children they blend together beautifully!
Our Featured Bible Story is “the Jesus Storybook Bible” Written by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Everyday before Quiet Time they hear a chapter of this book. Here is a little paragraph from the back of the book:
The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the Story beneath all the stories in the Bible. It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby, the Child upon whom everything would depend. From Noah to Moses to Kind David, every story whispers his Name. Jesus is like the mussing piece in a puzzle – the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together. Beautifully written and illustrated, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation – and at the center of their story, too. The children love it!
The Children of HGCP are learning new skills every day and having fun as they do! The 4 year olds are really showing more independence as they button, zip, and take care of their personal hygiene "All By Myself" It is great to see the progress they have made!
They encourage the younger ones and help out in a variety of ways.
Every child has the opportunity to be Helper for the Day. They help set the table (teaching math skills) and help to choose the story of the day, and leads the calendar and weather lesson. (Leadership skills)
This month we are expanding the ABC MUSIC & ME Lesson - Outside My Window - the children are learning new vocabulary words that relate to weather and how we dress for the weather, such as weather; outside; hot/cold; sun; clouds; snow; rain; clouds; window pane; frost; galoshes; scarf/scarves; ice skate They also learned some new ASL Signs for weather related vocabulary.
With the mixed age groups & different arrival times it can sometimes be challenging to get everyone outside everyday, so last week we brought the outside in! We made little snowmen from real snow! (fine motor & creative skills) During our Science lesson we had a discussion and demonstration about What Snow is and how it feels to what will happen when warm water is poured over snow. Some of the answers were it will turn Blue :-D (the container that the water was in was blue) To - it will melt. They learned about volume and just had a great time playing in the snow indoors.
Our Color Me Healthy Program teaches them about many early child hood skills & concepts as they learn about good nutrition and ways to take care of our body. The monthly Parent handouts are a part of this great program.
The infants and toddlers are learning so much as part of this group.
The children learn that we are all a part of one big Family - God’s Family. Research on mixed-age grouping has shown that both younger and older children benefit from being cared for together. Mixed-age groups are good for kids.
Research suggests that the effect of mixed-age grouping on cognition is likely to derive from the cognitive conflict arising from children's interaction with peers of different levels of cognitive maturity. In their discussion of cognitive conflict, Brown and Palinscar (1986) make the point that the contribution of such cognitive conflict to learning is not simply that the less-informed child imitates the more knowledgeable one. The interaction between the children leads the less-informed member to internalize new understandings.
Along the same lines, Vygotsky (1978) maintains that the internalization of new understandings, or "cognitive restructuring," occurs when concepts are actually transformed and not merely replicated. According to Vygotsky, internalization takes place when children interact within the "zone of proximal development." Vygotsky (1978) defines this zone as "the distance between the actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers" (p.86).
Slavin (1987) suggests that in terms of the Vygotskian concept of the "zone of proximal development," the discrepancy between what an individual can do with and without assistance can be the basis for cooperative peer efforts that result in cognitive gains. In Slavin's view, "collaborative activity among children promotes growth because children of similar ages are likely to be operating within one another's zones of proximal development, modeling in the collaborating group behaviors more advanced than those they could perform as individuals" (p. 1162). Brown and Reeve (1985) maintain that instruction aimed at a wide range of abilities allows the novice to learn at his own rate and to manage various cognitive challenges in the presence of "experts."
Your Children are making great progress in their Social/Emotional development, their Character development, creativity, fine motor& gross motor & reading readiness skills.
Thank You so much for choosing me to be small part of their lives.