December 2016
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Family Corner

December is a great time to get families into your center with fun, festive events.  One idea is to have a "Get Cozy with Reading" night.  You can invite families in and have stories like "Twas the Night before Christmas", or other winter classics, while they sip hot cocoa and eat cookies.   

This event is easy to pair up with a larger holiday event, like a holiday meal or a winter festival, when families will already be attending. 

Here are some resources you can share with parents on the importance of reading to their children:

Reading at Home:

7 Things You Should Be Doing As You Read Aloud To Your Child:

Also, just some tips for your staff as they are reading aloud to the children:

The Importance of Reading Books with Expression:

The Book Nook
For Teachers
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be easy to lose our sense of focus and purpose.  The Intentional Teacher by Ann Epstein may be just the thing to help you regain that.

How do preschoolers learn and develop? What are the best ways to support learning in the early years? This revised edition of The Intentional Teacher guides teachers to balance both child-guided and adult-guided learning experiences that respond to children’s interests and focus on what they need to learn to be successful in school and life.

The Intentional Teacher encourages readers to

  • Reflect on their principles and practices
  • Broaden their thinking about appropriate early curriculum content and teaching strategies
  • Discover specific ideas and strategies for interacting with children in key subject areas

Here is a link for more information:

NAEYC has a Question and Answer session from Ann Epstein about how being intentional relates to many aspects of teaching.  A link to the Q&A is included.

We hope you enjoy!
For Families
Even though we don't get much snow in Arkansas, children are always captivated and delighted by the thought of playing in snow.  Here are some books on winter and snow you can share with them.
For more books on snow and winter, please check out the links below:

25 Winter Books for Preschool:

10 Children's Books about Snow:
Idea Alley.
 By mixing equal parts shaving cream and glue, you can make a mixture that dries puffy and looks just like snow.  It is a great sensory experience for children and allows them to create a winter wonderland with a new medium.  Sprinkle a bit of salt over the final piece before it dries to add a bit of sparkle. 
 Counting snowballs plays double duty as both a fine motor activity and a counting activity.  It only takes white pom-poms or small tightly crumpled balls of paper, plastic tweezers and cups.  Children use the tweezers to add the correct number of snowballs into the cup with the matching number.

 Paint with ice!  Starting with the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow, make colored water by adding at least five drops of food coloring into 1/4 cup of water.  Using an ice tray, spoon some of the red, blue, and yellow mixtures into a few of the tray cubes.  Then spoon the remaining water into the cube trays to form the secondary colors: orange (yellow + red), green (yellow + blue), and purple (blue + red).

Once you are satisfied with the colors, freeze the tray. 

Then after 30-45 minutes, insert craft sticks in each of the tray cubes.  The water should be about half frozen.  Put the tray back in the freezer to finish freezing.

Once the cubes are frozen solid, take them out and let them sit are room temperature for a few minutes for easy removal, then you're ready to paint!

To see the step-by-step instructions with pictures, please follow the link to:

 Turn your sensory bins into a  winter wonderland using salt.  Salt is a fun, wintery alternative to sand and comes in many different textures, from fine pickling salt to course kosher salt.  
News You Can Use!
Preschool STEAM is a website about incorporating the concepts of S.T.E.A.M into your classroom.  S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Are you looking to integrate STEAM into your existing lessons but you don't have the time to scroll through pin after pin on Pinterest? 

Or maybe you can't find quality STEAM activities that are age and skill level appropriate for preschoolers?

Or you simply don't know how to get started with STEAM?

STEAM is the combination of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.  STEAM activities help support curiosity, creativity, and innovative thinking.

  • You do not need to be a scientist, mathematician or artist to do STEAM activities with children 
  • You do not need fancy supplies or expensive materials to create STEAM experiences for your students. 

You can nurture your student's natural curiosity with simple classroom materials. 

The creator of Preschool STEAM, Jamie at Handmade Kids, has an innovative blog with tons of STEAM resources that are easy and use the materials you already have in your class room.

She also has a free resource lab that you access by setting up an account.

Please check out her blog and resource lab below.  You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Preschool STEAM blog:

STEAM Resource Lab:

Preschool STEAM on Facebook:

Preschool STEAM on Pinterest:

Preschool STEAM on Instagram:
Upcoming Events!

Spring Concert and Training Opportunity!
Save the Date!  Mr. Al will be at the Child Care Aware of Northcentral AR's  Annual Spring Concert on April 27th at 9:30 a.m. at UACCB's Independence Hall.  This marks Child Care Aware's 20th anniversary and they want to celebrate with the families and children they serve.  Admission is $4 a person, and proceeds will go towards purchasing new resources for the Batesville Resource Center and lending library.

That afternoon, there will be a reception for the community., and later that evening, Mr. Al will be presenting a training class for 2 hours at UACCB in Batesville.

For more information, please contact contact Child Care Aware of Northcentral Arkansas at (800) 737-2237.  

SECA Conference
Registration for the 2017 Southern Early Childhood Association Conference is open. The conference is in Biloxi this year on March 8-11. The theme is "Equipping Professionals for the Realities of Generational Poverty." Go to to see a list of preliminary interest sessions and other opportunities that will be available during the conference.
Copyright © 2016 Curricula Concepts, All rights reserved.

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