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Showing posts from February, 2018

Look for the helpers

This past week marked the 50th anniversary of the television show Mister Roger's Neighborhood, which aired for the first time on February 19, 1968. Though the show ended in 2001 and Fred Rogers, its star and creator, passed away in 2003, there is still much to learn from his legacy. As described in this NPR article, Rogers' show started airing just after the beginning of the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive and ended just before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The American public grew to love him throughout that period of turbulent history; his presence on television and in person offered calm reassurance and a simple spirit of goodness. He used an approach of gentle honesty to talk with children about current events, recognizing them as full-fledged members of our community with the right to understand what is happening and why, but never losing his slow, soft manner of speech or his genuine desire to help, provide comfort, and do good. A popular quote of his tha…

If you're happy and you know it...

... sing a song! Hopefully many of you have heard us singing with the children at MVS. There are some pretty stellar singers among our teaching staff, including Shannon E-F who often accompanies herself with the ukulele on warm summer mornings out back. The children show us they love songs through their enthusiasm to participate and their requests to sing favorite songs over and over again, but what are they learning when we sing?

For our youngest infants, songs are a source of comfort, soothing, and bonding as a joint attention activity between children and caregivers. They also introduce rhythm, patterns, and varied vocabulary, and songs combined with hand or body motions model coordination and early modes of representation. Older infants start to join in by clapping and imitating song motions; they also find ways to request songs verbally or through gestures. Then as their verbal skills develop they chime in on lyrics here and there, finally learning to sing entire lines or songs …