Is Play Time, Break Time?

Some teachers would agree that when children go out to play, that’s time for teachers to have a ‘break’. Children can ‘do their own thing’, right? Especially for young children, I disagree with that statement. Too often, I see child care workers out on the playground talking to one another instead of engaging the children.

This week’s BAM radio guests believe that play time is not break time and that savvy teachers put as much thought into planning play time as they put into planning the rest of the school day.

Listen HERE.

SkillsUSA Nationals UPDATE

 Wow. What a week! If you followed me on Twitter, you already know how the week went :) We had a great and memorable experience. 

 There were three students from DCTC competing and all placed in the top 10 in the nation! John placed 4th in Masonry, Jessica placed 4th in Preschool Teaching Assistant, and Kristin placed 6th in Advertising Design.

Way to go team DCTC! Here’s a summary video from the week-
If you’d like to watch the live conference Opening and Closing Awards cermonies, click HERE.




Remember when I posted about THIS? As I type this, Jessica Jackson is probably packing and preparing for the NATIONAL COMPETITION in KANSAS CITY, MO. Because she placed 1st in MN for the SkillsUSA Preschool Teaching Assistant Competition, she was able to move ahead to the National Competition.

Jessica was a strong competitor at the state level, as was Alicia who placed 2nd. (We’re so proud of both of them!) I have no doubt that Jessica will have her ‘A game on’ during this competition as well.

I’ll be sure to post again later and fill you in on the details of the competition and the results. Until then, I’ll be updating through Twitter. Please feel free to leave a few words of encouragement for Jessica below in Comments.

You Know Your Child Is Sick When…

You know your child is sick when he/she…

  •  asks to come home from camp
  •  doesn’t finish the entire popsicle
  • gets up in the morning to watch cartoons, but then goes right back up to bed
  • doesn’t want homemade caramel rolls and instead requests ramen noodles

Being sick is not fun for anyone but it’s especially a bummer for children. As a parent or caregiver, you may not always see the characteristic symptoms of an illness in the child. You do however, often notice other small signs that the child may not be feeling well. It’s important to be observant and notice any changes in behavior, appetite, mood, energy level, spunk, etc..

I’m leaving tomorrow for 6 days and alas, my son is sick. It’s hard to leave knowing that I’d like to be here to nurture him back to health. That being said, my husband is a great caregiver and will take my place. Where am I going for 6 days? That’s in my next post. It’s sure to be a journey. (There’s a competition involved) Stay tuned…

Do YOU have any “You know your child is sick when he/she…”? Please comment below.

Household Responsibilities

A while back, I became frustrated with the fact that I had to nag my son to complete his chores. I wanted him to be responsible and self-sufficient, but the fact is- chores aren’t fun. He didn’t have a motivation to do them and it seemed like we were in a chore rut.

Some friends suggested that we pay him a weekly allowance for completing his chores. I personally didn’t want to get into doing that. I believe that a child is a part of the family and therefore has required duties like everyone else.  I did however, want to create some sort of incentive. I just didn’t know what.

A neighbor suggested that I try having required chores and commission chores. What a great idea! I immediately went home and created this Chore Chart. Our son (age 7 at the time), was excited about it too because he saw the opportunity to earn money – at his choosing.

Here’s how it works: He has required chores before school, after school and before bed. He is reponsible for doing them independently (we did assist him at first) each day. There is no monetary gain for completing required chores. However, if he does not complete a required chore, he owes us $0.10.  That is an incentive to complete them…he doesn’t like to lose money. He has only lost $0.20 so far. He said, “Mom, it’s pretty much a waste of my time because I did other chores to earn money and now I lost $0.10! I did it for nothing.” Good teachable moment! We even joke with him…”I’ll feed the dog for you tonight sweetie.” “No way. I’m not paying you ten cents.” Before, he would barely do his chores and always wanted us to do them for him. Now, he won’t let us do his chores for him.

The commission chores are completly optional. Some weeks he chooses to earn more while others he doesn’t do any. It’s reinforcement of the ‘real world.’ The more you work, the more you can earn. If you don’t work, you don’t earn much. He appreciates that he has the choice to complete them or not. You’ll notice that they are worth different values. These values will grow as he does. He Xs off the chores as he completes them. You’ll also notice ‘pig faces’ on this chart in the first column. He was experimenting with how he wanted to mark them off.

This is also a great mathematic activity. Our son is responsible for adding up the columns and giving me the grand total at the end of the week.

This tool has worked very well for our family. It may or may not fit into your family. Feel free to edit the chart as nescessary. Chore Chart Word File 

What other ideas do YOU have for keeping your children on task with their chores? Comment below.

Benefits of Raising a Multilingual Child

Learn why exposing children to multiple languages as early as possible is an asset to so many parts of a child’s development. Click HERE to listen to this week’s early childhood radio.

TXT 2011: Teens eXperiencing Technical Education

Hey ECYD students!

Would YOU like to earn extra credit by helping Linda Foster or Jill Behnke with this event?  You can earn extra credit for use in summer 2011 ECYD classes or for fall 2011 ECYD classes.

What is TXT2011?

Small workshops for girls who will be in grades 5-8 in the fall. Explore careers in business, design, transportation, industry, technology, health and science.

For more information: www.dctc.edu/go/txt Please help spread the word on this great event! If you are interested in volunteering – contact Linda Foster Linda.Foster@dctc.edu or 651.423.8439 or Jill Behnke jill.behnke@dctc.edu or 651.423.8398.

New Food Plate Icon

On June 2nd, the USDA launched a new food plate icon. The recent food guide pyamid was made of rainbow stripes. The six vertical stripes represented the five food groups plus fats and oils. The new plate features four sections (vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein) plus a side order of dairy in blue.

First Lady Michelle Obama wanted something simple for parents and kids to follow. Is this too simple? It’s to help with portion control. Do YOU think it’s efficient? What happened to the exercise piece that was finally added a few years ago? So far, I’m not thrilled with this design. Perhaps it’ll grow on me in the future, but for now, I actually prefer the recent food guide pyamid which incorporated the foods and exercise together.

Click HERE for some recipes from http://www.choosemyplate.gov.

Expect to hear more about MyPlate. The USDA promises new online tools to help people learn how to apply it to their lives. What do YOU think of the new design? Comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Guest Speaker June 2011

The weather is finally cooperating and it’s beginning to feel more like summer. Part of summer for families with young children usually includes going on walks, visiting parks, and attending community events. This month’s guest speaker is a musician, but slightly different than you may expect.  

Will Hale offers fun entertainment for kids and families for live concerts, music performances, festivals, community events, pre schools, daycares, elementary schools, scouts, parks and recreation, concert series, churches, private parties and pretty much everywhere there are kids!  

Kids are the rock stars when they clap, dance and sing with Will Hale, the king of rocking air guitar. The kid tested, parent approved and teacher recommended concerts of Will Hale and the Tadpole Parade create a fun atmosphere filled with plenty of audience participation, excitement and energy.

Click HERE to listen to Will Hale’s blog message. (It may take a minute to load, depending on your connection speed) In June, he’s performing in many local parks throughout the metro for the summer concert series. Check HERE for locations/dates/times.

Contact Will-
Will Hale
Tadpole Parade
Rock Concerts for Kids
556 County Rd. C W
Roseville, MN, 55113
 651-307-3849 Cell
 will@willhale.com  email
www.willhale.com  web site
“The moment we are grateful, we are rich.”

Summer HEAT

It’s important to stay safe in the heat and boy, did we have HEAT yesterday! It reached a whopping 102 degrees. The last time the Twin Cities saw the temperature that hot was July 31, 1988. It’s important to note that heat can present a serious hazard: in 1995 over 700 people died in Chicago in a heat wave.

To keep yourself safe:

  • Dress in lightweight, light colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water (one cup every 15 minutes) and other non-alcoholic fluids. Limit caffeine intake. Gatorade or other electrolyte replacing drinks are fine in moderation, but water should be consumed as well.
  • Take more frequent breaks.
  • If working outside, take rest breaks in the shade.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Watch others for signs of heat stress or heat stroke.

OSHA has a resource page dedicated to reducing heat illnesses.