Showing posts from October, 2016

Some Things I Find "Unusually" Interesting

Before you begin reading this post, please take time to review the tag line. It states, the ramblings of a retired early childhood educator, beginning blogger, and lover of hound dogs. Please pay particular attention to the word "ramblings." This post will probably be all over the place with unrelated thoughts. Just have some things I am thinking about today. The first thing I have found "unusually" interesting since I have retired is my ability to actually walk for longer periods of time (more than 5  minutes)  and for longer distances (more than from my desk to the kitchen). In the past I would periodically go through "phases" when I would take early morning walks before work or walk on a treadmill at the gym after work all in the name of exercise. However, I have to admit that I rarely, if ever, actually enjoyed those times. I have to give credit for this new found ability to my wonder pups, Quincy and Gracie. The day I actually became aware that we

Retirement, Simple Living, Family, and Me

I spent last Saturday attending the wedding of my brother's youngest daughter. The bride and groom are blending two families, with all girls , five altogether. Everything about the day was perfect! Katie and Adam It was also a chance to visit with my siblings and nieces and nephews. My sister's daughter is expecting a baby boy in January. Much excitement surrounds this occasion as it will be my sister's first grandchild. There was discussion on selecting the baby's name but let's face it, that is ultimately up to the parents. The other name selection up for discussion was what the grandparents want to be called. This actually generated more input and suggestions from others than the name for the baby! The Fam It seems like in today's times, monikers such as Grandmother, Granddad, Grandfather, Granny, and Grandpa have given way to more "hip" names like G-pa, Gigi, Nana, Bumpy,and Poppy.  All this family together time and talk about weddi

Max and Ruby and Yoko, Oh My!

One of my favorite authors is Rosemary Wells. She is an American writer and illustrator well known for her Max and Ruby series.  This series follows the everyday adventures of bunny siblings, curious 3 year old Max and bossy 7 year old Ruby. She also has several other series including, stories about Yoko, a Japanese kitten who faces many obstacles in her quest to fit in and Sophie, a 2 year old mouse.. With Sophie, Rosemary Wells captures a quintessential part of childhood--the terrible twos. Ms. Wells has stated that she uses animals as characters because it allows her to " address sophisticated , controversial topics in ways children can understand and adults can accept." The book YOKO tackles racism. It is about a young Japanese kitten who is ostracized when she brings sushi in her school lunch. She gains acceptance by hosting a school luncheon where everyone brings food native to their family. Everyone agrees that trying other foods has its advantages and learns

If I Could Have A "Do Over"

Not too long ago I had someone ask me, "if you were going back to the classroom this year, what would you take with you?"  In other words, what would I do differently? Or would I do anything differently? At first I answered, "I would be more intentional in my teaching." As the Early Years Learning Framework puts it, "intentional teaching involves educators being deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful in their decisions and action. Intentional teaching is the opposite of teaching by rote or continuing with tradition simply because things have.." During my visits in classrooms, I was somewhat surprised to see what is considered "old school" teaching still happening. For example, young children being kept in large groups doing the same activity, being asked to sit still for long periods of time, and being reminded time after time that they are "getting ready" for kindergarten and they need to act like it. When I spoke with teachers ab

Outdoor Play Space Versus A Playground

Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid! Okay, so this might be a bit on the dramatic side. However, parents of young children , if you are choosing a childcare facility for your child based on the playground and this is what you see upon arrival at the center, just turn around and drive away!! More than likely, this is similar to what you will see. But, what if you saw this instead?  We know that young children need vigorous physical play daily and that this play should take place outdoors for at least one hour. Unstructured outdoor play allows for a "no pressure" situation. According to Angela J. Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and author, " When engaging in active free play, children can play with others or not, make up their own rules or follow someone else's, be rough and tumble or quiet and contemplative." In an article published in Early Childhood News Magazine, authors Randy White and Vicki Stoecklin write,