Monday, November 30, 2015

November 30, 2015



Nuestro Pequeños Hermanos (NPH)

Nuestro Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) is an international organization that takes in abandoned and orphaned children, providing a home and education.  Here in Honduras, the NPH organization provides for over 500 children in at large ranch near La Venta and home in Tegucigalpa for severely handicapped children.   While many children at the ranch have aunts, uncles, or grandparents that come to visit them and can provide some Christmas gifts, some children at a ranch have no family to visit.  It is these children, whom we would like to provide for this Christmas.   A paper tree will be sent home that has a child’s information about his/her size for shoes or socks.  Purchase the new item and return it to Mrs. Agurcia’s Room (Rm. 7) by Tuesday, December 8th, with the tree tag taped to it.  Thank you for giving this Christmas!





Best,

Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Discovery School
(504)221-7790
(504)221-7791(fax)
(504)9500-1720(school cell)
(504)9985-0732(mobile)





Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Are Fine Motor Skills?



What Are Fine Motor Skills?

Fine motor skills are achieved when children learn to use their smaller muscles, like muscles in the hands, fingers, and wrists. Children use their fine motor skills when writing, holding small items, buttoning clothing, turning pages, eating, cutting with scissors, and using computer keyboards. Mastery of fine motor skills requires precision and coordination.
Fine motor skills develop after gross motor skills, which control actions like throwing and kicking balls, as well as walking and jumping. Gross motor skills utilize larger muscle groups and require less precision.

How Do We Help Children Develop Fine Motor Skills?

Practice,  practice, practice. In most cases of fine motor skill development, practice does, in fact, make perfect. Some ways to develop these skills are having children do the following activities:
·        
  •     Pop bubbles on bubble wrap with just the index finger and thumb.
  •      Use an eyedropper to add food coloring to batter with just the index finger and thumb.
  •     Finger painting
  •     Puzzles
  •     Video games
  •     Trace shapes or letters
  •      Legos or building blocks


These activities focus on smaller muscle groups. Using the same muscles can help children develop muscle memory, which is when repetition of one action allows that action to be performed almost automatically without much effort. For example, pressing the correct buttons on video game controllers can be difficult the first few tries. But after playing the game a few times, we tend to master the buttons on the controller. Whether or not we can master the video game itself is a different story, but it does become second nature to press certain buttons to run or jump in the game.

Notable Accomplishments in Fine Motor Skill Development
Two popular terms that come up with learning about fine motor skills in children are fist grip and pincer grip. An example of a fist grip is when children use their whole hand and wrap it around a pencil to write their names. A pincer grip refers to the pinching muscles. Eventually, most children learn to use a pencil with their thumb and one or two fingers, which indicates that they have developed the pincer grip. When it comes to terminology for this lesson, grip and grasp are interchangeable.

Enjoy,
Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Discovery School
(504)221-7790
(504)221-7791(fax)
(504)9500-1720(school cell)
(504)9985-0732(mobile)


Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

6 Ways to Encourage Writing in Preschool



There are many different ways to encourage writing skills with preschool aged children.  Today I’m going to share with you some of the ways we encourage beginning writing in our preschool classroom…
The first thing I suggest is to make the “writing process” fun!  Put away the workbooks until the time comes when the child is interested in them, and instead incorporate writing activities into their daily play…




1. Start with their name
When introducing writing to your children or students, you want to make it relevant to them.  What is more relevant than their name?  Begin by pointing out the letters in their name when you see them in environmental print.

2. Use your fingers
You can begin the writing process with the tools you were born with–your fingers!   Writing doesn’t have to take place with pencils or crayons.  In fact, using your fingers helps to develop the strength that is needed to eventually be able to grasp a pencil or crayon later on.

3. Offer interesting tools
If you have students that do not enjoy finger painting or having messy hands, then you can certainly offer other tools to use in their paint trays or salt trays. 

4. Offer unique writing experiences
Make writing fun by offering unique writing experiences.  Writing in shaving cream is a blast and one that children won’t soon forget.

5.  Keep a journal
Journaling is a great way for children to practice writing.  It can also be a fun way for children to express themselves creatively.  Invite children to journal about an enjoyable experience that they’ve had either at school or at home.

6.  Set up a writing station
If you have room in your home or classroom, a writing station is a perfect place to invite children to write.  A writing station consists of different types of paper or cards, stickers, writing tools, scissors, and glue.  Varying the materials that you offer in your writing center will keep children interested in coming back.

Enjoy,
Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Discovery School
(504)221-7790
(504)221-7791(fax)
(504)9500-1720(school cell)
(504)9985-0732(mobile)


Thursday, November 5, 2015




Learning Vocabulary: An Essential Skill

Word knowledge is linked strongly to academic success. Students who possess large vocabularies can express their ideas better and understand new concepts more quickly than students with limited vocabularies.

Today students are being tasked much more often to tackle complex text. However, if there are gaps in their vocabulary knowledge, these students struggle to comprehend.
Many students, including ESE and ESL students, lack the fundamental vocabulary for success in learning content-area subjects and reading academic texts. Vocabulary development builds reading comprehension. Without explicit, focused instruction, a student's vocabulary gap may widen with each passing year.

The use of computers in vocabulary instruction was found to be more effective than some traditional methods. It is clearly emerging as a potentially valuable aid to classroom teachers in the area of vocabulary instruction.

Vocabulary Spelling City is an invaluable tool that provides an effective and enjoyable way to expand and retain new vocabulary. The interactive vocabulary games contain auditory and visual support that ensures information is presented in a variety of ways.

Enjoy,

Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Discovery School
(504)221-7790
(504)221-7791(fax)
(504)9500-1720(school cell)
(504)9985-0732(mobile)

November 17, 2017

Why Art and Creativity Are Important Your preschooler is having a blast finger-painting with a mix of colors. Little kids are m...