GTMS Life > Blog October 26, 2021

Nowacky: October 2021

Hello Everyone, Welcome to October’s Blog! This blog has a lot of information packed into it and includes many resources. Toddlers as Mentors Some of the children have already absorbed leadership roles and responsibilities; and with each day they become more excited to help, and are proud of their accomplishments. These roles include helping children to […]

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to October’s Blog! This blog has a lot of information packed into it and includes many resources.

Toddlers as Mentors

Some of the children have already absorbed leadership roles and responsibilities; and with each day they become more excited to help, and are proud of their accomplishments. These roles include helping children to complete a task, cleaning the work that was left out, assisting with Grace & Courtesy lessons at circle, choosing which books to read or songs to sing, and drying up spills.

Grace & Courtesy Lessons

At Circle, I have begun reinforcing the classroom routines through Grace & Courtesy lessons. What does this look like? Perhaps a Grace & Courtesy lesson for the day would be teaching children to walk up to an adult and tap them when they need help, rather than screaming across the classroom. At Circle we will utilize another adult in the classroom and do a role playing situation. For example, the other day at Circle I was talking to the children about how to ask for help. I provided them with two scenerios, the second one being the answer I wanted. “If I need help from Teacher Emily, should I scream for her ‘Teacher Emily!’ or should I walk over quietly and tap her for help?” The returners and some of the children exclaimed, “Tap her for help!” Also, when we say “Tap for help” we will physically tap our arms to provide them with a visual. Then if a child calls across the room for help with something, we will look at them and tap our arms. This signal often reminds them to walk over to us, and when they do we thank them: “Thank you so much for walking over to me and asking for help.”

Toddler Development

Building Routines

What a wonderful first month of our school year! The children have adjusted quickly and smoothly to their transition into school. They are true to the toddler nature and have been exploring the materials in the environment with great interest. They are working on some of the routines such as taking work off the shelf and bringing it to the table/floor, keeping their hands off of another friend’s work, using a work rug, putting away their work when they are finished, pushing in their chairs when they leave the table, sitting while eating (“When you eat, you sit), and many more. With each day, the children will need less reminders; but for now, they are still working towards mastering the routines of the classroom.

Younger children will typically need more guidance when it comes to cleaning up their work and returning it to the shelf. When it comes to putting the materials back into a basket or on the tray, we will give simple directions and repeat them as we do the action. For instance, when putting legos away, we will pick one up and slowly place it into the basket saying, “In the basket.” We will do this for one or two, and then hand the child a lego to have them finish cleaning up their work, still repeating, “In the basket,” as they clean. Sometimes younger toddlers may need an extra step of “hand over hand,” which is the adult taking their hand(s) to physically guide the action. As Maria Montessori said, “What the hand does, the mind remembers.”

Read more about the importance of creating routines for toddlers from ZerotoThree.org: Creating Routines for Love and Learning

Setting Limits

As your children grow, they are experiencing the world around them and gathering information through their senses. They are problem solvers trying to figure out how to be a person in society, and through trial and error figure out how to achieve their goals. Sometimes a goal may include getting a cookie before dinner, and the reaction to hearing a version of “No” sets off the sirens and tears. If the behavior that erupts as a response to that “No” (ie. screaming or crying) gets them that cookie, those little scientists have learned through cause and effect: “If I want a cookie, I must scream and cry to get it.” This is why when you set a limit, you must follow through on what you say. It may be painful the first 11 times, but perhaps that 12th time it clicks, “When she says it’s not time for a cookie, then it really is not the time for a cookie.” 

Consistency and teamwork from adults is important. If one adult sets a limit, but the other does not follow through on that limit, your child will be confused due to mixed messages. Make time with your partner to come up with rules and boundaries for your home. At school Teacher Emily, Mr. Ben, and I make time as a team to meet and discuss the ground rules and funcitonality of the classroom. 

Read more about the importance of setting limits from ZerotoThree.org: Discipline and Limit Setting

Responding to Toddler Behaviors 

Zero to three (zerotothree.org) is a wonderful resource for parents, and you do not need to be a member to have access to some of the articles or videos. Here is a video, plus two short articles that give positive and effective ways to respond to Toddler behaviors. 

Video: Tantrums, Defiance, Aggression—Oh My! 

I Said I Want the Red Bowl! Responding to Toddlers’ Irrational Behavior

5 Tips for Responding to Toddler Sass

“Help me to do it myself”

Self care leads the way to independence; and you know, or will soon learn, toddlers want their autonomy. Some ways to help with your child’s growing desire for independence, is to look around your house to see what you can change, to allow your child more freedom to do for themselves.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Place towels down low and accesible (your child can clean his/her own spill)
  • Place a small trashcan so your child can throw away trash 
  • Place a small dust pan and brush for your child to help clean (or at least explore with it)
  • Give your child time to try to do things (put on shoes) before stepping in to help

For more guidance with creating a child friendly environment at home, click here for

a google folder that contains severals guides that I have created for your convenience:

Ms. Michelle’s Guides

Books

Some of the books that have been a hit with the children are Please Baby Please by Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee, Not A Box by Antoinette Portis, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle (a classic). The children have really been enjoying our song books too, especially Everything Little Thing by Cedella Marley.

Songs

Here are some songs that we have been singing each day: 

Halloween Cat

Halloween cat

Halloween cat

Why, oh why, do you meow like that?

Not I nor the moon

Like your tune

Sooooooooo SCAT!

Owls in the Tree

One, two, three

Owls in the tree

One, two, three

You can’t scare me Boo! (clap)

Tiny Tim

I had a little turtle,

I named him Tiny Tim.

I dropped him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.

Heeee drank up all the water! (pretend to drink water: gulp, gulp, gulp) 

He ate up all the soap! (pretend to eat the soap: num, num, num)

And now he’s sick in bed with a bubble in his throat!

Bubble, bubble, bubble!

Bubble, bubble, bubble! 

Bubble, bubble, bubble,

Bubble bubble, POP! (clap hands together)

Birthday Celebrations

We are excited to celebrated your child’s birthday! For birthdays, I suggest a snack anywhere from cupcakes, cookies, fruit salad, muffins, clementines, etc. just as long as they are nut free and egg free. For safety purposes we ask that if you bake something to please wrap each item individually and to label the indgredients. Store bought items are preferred as they are packaged, and contain the ingredients.

You may choose to decorate a poster board with your child and attach some photos of them throughout their life- as a baby, their first birthday, a family trip, and with family. The choice of how many photos is up to you, you can have 1 photo or many. We hang the poster up for the week so friends can see it. Your child will be able to create a birthday crown and we will have a special birthday circle. During this circle, the child will walk around a candle (not lit) with the globe as we tell a short story of their life. Afterwards, we will sing happy birthday and then the birthday child chooses the songs/books they would like to hear. I  will use our school camera and share those photos with you.

  • Important dates coming up:
    • Wednesday, November 3rd & Tuesday, November 16th: ​Parent Observations
      • ​Choose to observe on one of those days, or on both!
    • Fridays, November 12th and November 19th: Parent Teacher Conferences: 
      • ​Choose one date and one time slot
    • Wednesday, November 24th: Pajama Day and 11:45 Dismissal for all
    • Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th: No School
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