WINNER! The Welcoming Classroom Book


One winner was selected at random for the KEH Communications and Gryphon House Book Giveaway.


Thank you to all who entered and to KEH Communications for the wonderful donation!

Adventures in Eating Recipe #20 (Whole Wheat Pizza Crust)


Adventures in Eating: Let’s Bake Bread!

breadOne of the best ways to introduce children to new foods is to have them help make it. Baking bread is a good way to introduce children to whole wheat bread instead of white bread.

Bread in a Bag is a combination of both 100% whole wheat flour and white flour. When you are making the recipe with children, show them how the 100% whole wheat flour is darker than  white flour. Discuss that the 100% whole wheat flour has good things in it to help them grow.

Making Bread in a Bag is a fun activity for parents to do with children when it is too stormy to go outside or for a fun activity over holiday break. Teachers can also use the activity in their classroom if they have access to an oven. Read more »

Gryphon House Book GIVEAWAY!

In spirit of the season, it’s time for another giveaway! welcoming classroom

KEH Communications and Gryphon House are sponsoring this giveaway for the book The Welcoming Classroom: Building Strong Home-to-School Connections for Early Learning by Johnna Darragh Ernst, PhD. 

“The children in today’s early childhood classroom are more culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse than ever. As a teacher, your challenge is to partner with each family through recognizing their individual strengths, concerns, priorities, and resources.

In The Welcoming Classroom: Building Strong Home-to-School Connections for Early Learning, Dr. Johnna Darragh Ernst offers practical ideas for creating a welcoming atmosphere for families that will encourage them to participate in their children’s learning community. Read more »

Winner! Block Set Giveaway


One winner was selected at random for the Block Set Giveaway.

The lucky WINNER is Lorelei R!  CONGRATULATIONS!

Thank you to all who entered and to Dr. Drew for the wonderful donation!

EC Courses @ DCTC, Spring 2015

Now is the time to get registered for Spring Semester Early Childhood Courses if you haven’t already. Visit THIS LINK to get all the details. Classes are filling so don’t delay…register today!!ECYD Ad

Pattern Block Mats

Have you used pattern blocks with children yet? Perhaps not because pattern blocks are often underutilized. They are a perfect manipulative activity to strengthen hand-eye coordination, color and shape differentiation, etc. Pattern blocks are also a wonderful math resource. They come in 6 colors and shapes – yellow hexagons, orange squares, red trapezoids, green triangles, blue rhombus and beige rhombus. Pattern blocks can be used with pattern cards/mats as an activity to learn spatial relations. One of my favorite places to access free pattern mats is PreKinders.

prekinders pattern-block-mats


Our December guest speaker is sponsoring this month’s giveaway. Dr. Drew has donated a B36 Starter Set, a value of $25. This set includes 36 blocks of kiln dried, North American beech; each block is 3″ x 2″ x 1/2″, with a beautiful natural grain.drewsblockslogo


Enter below for a chance to win.  Read more »

Child Life Position Openings

Thermayo-clinic-logoe is a .75 FTE (benefits eligible) position in the Emergency Department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The schedule would be 3 ten hour shifts per week and working every other (or potentially every third) weekend. Read more »

Guest Speaker: Dr. Drew’s Discovery Blocks


I’m honored to introduce December’s guest speaker – Walter F. Drew, EdD. drew confDr. Drew is a nationally known early childhood consultant whose workshops feature hands-on creative play with open-ended reusable resources. As founder of the Reusable Resource Association and the Institute for Self Active Education, he has pioneered the development of Reusable Resource Centers as community-building initiatives to provide creative materials for early childhood programs. He is also the creator of Dr. Drew’s Discovery Blocks. I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Dr. Drew this past summer at the NAEYC National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development here in MN. I was immediately drawn to the block tower on display at his booth. After having a delightful conversation about 3-dimensional play, it was decided that Dr. Drew would be a future guest speaker on the blog. Read more »

Mondays with ME: Anxiety and Stress (12/8/14)



anxiety in children guest Dr. Elizabeth Reeve“Does your child stress out in new situations, lose sleep over upcoming tests or become upset when things don’t go as planned? Anxiety affects many children and adults and often runs in families. But there are helpful steps you can take to ease your child’s anxiety and teach skills your child can use to manage his or her own stress. If your child’s anxiety is serious enough to interfere with learning, relationships and life enjoyment, Read more »

Career Crossings: 12/5/14

career crossingThis edition of Career Crossings includes career opportunities from Discovery Club, Primrose, PICA Head Start, and Bright Horizons. Read more »


MomEnough_logo_notagKatie Hill & Mary Kreps_hs“We all hope our children will be happy and successful when they enter school. But what are the most important skills they will need? And what is our role as parents in nurturing those skills? You may be relieved and pleased to learn that some of the most enjoyable things you do with your children are exactly what they need for social and emotional development. Tune into this helpful, encouraging school readiness discussion Marti & Erin had with Katie Hill and Mary Kreps from St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development.” -MomEnough      TUNE IN HERE


ECYD Program Newsletter: December 2014

The snow is on the ground and that means that December is just about here. Here’s your link to the DECEMBER ECYD PROGRAM NEWSLETTER. It’s there that you’ll find information about the end of the semester events, community service opportunity, grades, important dates, and Practicum information.

Jack Frost 
by Helen Bayley Davis
Someone painted pictures on my Windowpane last night
Willow trees with trailing boughs And flowers, frosty white.
And lovely crystal butterflies; But when the morning sun
Touched them with its golden beams, They vanished one by one.

melted snowman
Melted Snowman Cookie Recipe

Message In A Backpack: NAEYC

NAEYC has a great feature titled Message In a Backpack (MIB). Teachers/providers are able to print and share copies of the pages with the families in their programs. I’ve included one below. Click on the image or visit the above link to view all past MIB issues.


Guest Speaker: CDA 2.0

November’s guest speaker is Brocklin Qualls from the Center for Professional Recognition. Brocklin and I met this past summer at an early childhood summit prior to the NAEYC National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development (hosted in MN).

Brocklin Qualls, Dawn Braa, Dr. Valora Washington (CEO)

Brocklin Qualls, Dawn Braa, Dr. Valora Washington (CEO)

Brocklin is a seasoned educational leader with expertise in business development, strategic planning, program design, management, sales and professional development. As the Manager of Domestic and International Partnerships, he has created and managed major local, state, national and federal relationships with organizations and individuals responsible for assessing and credentialing early childhood teachers domestically and internationally. Read more »

Mondays with ME: Lessons of Strength & Hope (11/17/14)



explaining cancer to a child book by Brian LucasBrian and Betsy Lucas were a happy, successful couple with two very young daughters when a stunning medical diagnosis transformed life, as they knew it. Brian chronicled their 2-year saga of heartache and hope in his award-winning book, Here Comes the Sun: A Young Family’s Journey through CancerNow both Brian and Betsy join Marti & Erin for a moving and inspiring discussion of Read more »

Adventures in Eating Recipe #19 (Black Bean and Corn Salsa)

Nov 14 Bean Salsa

Adventures in Eating: Let the Celebrations Begin!

C:\Users\hedin007\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\B0Y8FO4U\MP900426612[1].jpg</p><br /><br />
<p>C:\Users\hedin007\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\B0Y8FO4U\MP900426612[1].jpgThe end of the year also means the beginning of extra celebrations. Don’t let these fun celebrations be full of excess sugar, fat and calories. Make it a goal to limit these at your celebrations.

There are a lot of tips and ideas for how to create a healthy and fun celebration so people won’t even realize the candy and high calorie goodies are missing from the party. I really like the resource Read more »

Career Crossings: 11/14/2014


career crossingThis edition of Career Crossings includes career opportunities from Our Savior Early Learning Center (Rosemount). Read more »