Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

Music Monday at Y.E.S!

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Music is a great way to teach counting skills with pre-school aged children for several reasons. First, children (and adults!) learn by auditory, visual or kinesthetic input and some children learn better with one of the three styles. Second, as any parent will tell you, children pick up songs very quickly and memorize the lines. The Ants Go Marching song is a great example of using song to teach counting and math to auditory learners.

What ways can we adapt this song for visual and kinesthetic learners? By printing the lyrics or watching video (visual), using hand signals or having children jump a certain number of times (kinetic), we can teach to each learning style in a fun, interactive and energy-burning way.

 

Introducing Y.E.S! Owner/Director Therese DiVerde

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

therese-diverde-yes-ownerJuly 2, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

It is my distinct pleasure to inform you that I am the new Owner/Director of Young Explorers School and my name is Therese DiVerde. Building meaningful relationships and getting to know each other is my top priority. I am honored that Dr. Fil has entrusted me with serving all of you and while I know it will be tough to fill her shoes, I look forward to this important chapter in my life.

Change is often scary and it raises many emotions and questions. I would like to try and put your mind at ease by saying that any changes made will be slow, steady and purposeful and I welcome any and all input from the staff and parents (and the kids too!). In the very near future, I will be sending a survey home so that I can collect some data that will help guide me as we move forward.

A little bit about me….

  • I was born and raised outside of Chicago and moved to Tucson in 1981 (that makes me a native right?)
  • I am the 8th child of 12 so being around noise and kids is what I thrive on. We lost both of our amazing parents within the last 2 years after 72 years of marriage.
  • I have 28 nieces and nephews (not counting their spouses) and over 30 great nieces and nephews. I have been surrounded by kids my entire life.
  • I am the mother of 3 kids… one of each. (One of each you say?) I raised my stepson from the age of 4. I have a birth son and my youngest is my adopted daughter who was one of my students when I taught 7th
  • All three of my kids are married and each has 2 of their own children, so that makes me a “granny” of 6. One of my grandsons will soon be enrolling at Young Explorers.
  • I have a degree in Elementary Education which I earned in my 30’s. I taught 7th and 8th grade math in TUSD. I also worked as an Instructional Coach as well and have trained and developed many teachers and I love and respect the hard work and dedication of teachers.
  • I have a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and worked for Ombudsman Charter Schools as an administrator in Tucson, Phoenix and Las Vegas.
  • I once was a partner in a real estate development company so I have valuable experience operating a business. My passion however is and always will be working with children and their families.
  • I love to travel, I love to cook, I love to read, I love 70’s and 80’s rock, I love musicals and live theater, I love boating and I especially love to laugh.

I appreciate your patience, understanding and I promise to work relentlessly to make this transition as seamless as possible. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

Therese DiVerde

Pieces of the puzzle

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

puzzles are a great learning tool for young childrenPuzzles provide educational value for children of all ages

A baby learns to recognize objects by their shape and not necessarily what position the object is in. A chair is a chair whether it is upright, lying down, or upside down-it doesn’t matter. The simple puzzles produced for younger children develop more refined and defined skills and recognition.

One of the first things a young child will learn is that it does matter which way up the pieces to fit in the hole. A typical early childhood puzzle is wooden with a picture and has spaces where the pieces fit to complete the picture. With a street scene, for example, there might be a separate car shape, bus shape, and a truck shape that complete a puzzle. These puzzles are typically robust as the first response of a child is to try to force the piece into place taking no notice of its shape. With adult guidance the young child learns to manipulate the piece until it does fit exactly.

There are several learning experiences that can be drawn from these very basic puzzles. Firstly it’s the hand eye coordination to manipulate the puzzle piece into position. To get the piece in also involves observation of the shape of the hole and the shape of the puzzle piece. At first the child deals with the problem by trial and error. The example and guidance of an adult begins to solidify the thinking process. The child starts to apply spatial awareness and mental manipulation as well as physical. This comes however, after the child has learned to put the piece in correctly through trial and error and memory.

The role of the adult at this stage is very important. The conversation about the picture, talking and demonstrating the correct method to complete it, accelerates the child’s learning process. Puzzles can create a great opportunity for increase in vocabulary, and recognition of objects and situations outside the child’s immediate world. The fact that the child learns that the piece only fits one way is in fact a pre reading skill. A letter needs to be the right way up and not backwards or upside down in a word.

These early childhood puzzles can be purchased in varying degrees of difficulty as the child’s spatial and reasoning skills become more developed. The child also learns through puzzles the recognition of color and shape with, of course, adult conversation increasing the potential of the child’s understanding and development. The green shape only fits in the green hole. This type of matching activity develops early reading skills.

At this stage it is good to introduce a new puzzle and do it with the child at first. Make this a happy social time and lots of fun. Do the puzzles with the child long enough to maintain the child’s interest and attention, but be ready to move on to another activity. Eventually when the child’s dexterity and confidence has increased, he will want to do it by himself. With praise and encouragement the child will practice until the skills become familiar. Then is the time to introduce puzzles with greater challenge.

Puzzles help develop the reasoning and deduction process of thinking. As well as skills such as spatial awareness, matching and sorting. Above all, puzzles present a great opportunity for language development and a happy social interaction with your child.

More than a melody: how music contributes to early childhood learning

Monday, March 26th, 2018

music education is key to early childhood learningMusic education is key for early childhood education

We have all had the experience of listening to the radio when a song comes on that you haven’t heard in 10, 15, or 20 years. But right away you start to sing along like you heard it yesterday, you don’t miss a single word.

Kids are no different. Those songs like Wheels on the Bus and The Itsy Bitsy Spider help your child learn simple concepts through repetition. Singing along to these simple songs helps them to become familiar with new words and concepts. The Old McDonald song helps young children learn the sounds that animals make and there are songs that help with numbers and colors.

Music is a magical gift that should be shared at an early age, especially now that scientific evidence proves that children who have been exposed to music at an early age do better at math and science.
The evidence is compelling that music and singing have a positive impact on all aspects of child learning and development.

Research indicates the brain of a musician, even a young one, works differently than that of a nonmusician. “There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain,” says Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches a specialized music curriculum for children aged two months to nine years.

Singing also helps young children feel confident and less shy around the other children. And when you add fun hand motions and wiggles to the song the kids really come to life. And if you really want to add some spice, give children some simple musical instruments. Tamboreens, bells and bongos and kazoos are very easy for children to use and they absolutely love to play them. Exposing them to music at an early age is will encourage their love for music as they grow.

At Y.E.S! we have our favorites like Going on a Bear Hunt, which we sing at our annual camping trip at Mt. Lemmon. What are some your favorite songs for pre-schoolers?