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    June 2017                         Photo Gallery |  Menu/Calendar | Spanish Newsletter 
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HELLO SUMMER! 
We will be kicking off our summer curriculum Diggin' the Great Outdoors the week of June 5. From digging and planting, watering and picking; children will learn how plants and animals are grown/raised, and how they make it from the farm to our table. This summer at EFC, through hands on experience, the children will learn to grow tasty and healthy foods.

 
UPCOMING EVENTS
happyfathersday
FATHER'S DAY BREAKFAST
Calling all fathers, grandfathers, uncles and/or special male role models! Please join us Friday, June 16, for a special Father's Day breakfast. Bring a travel mug if you need to take breakfast on the go or use one of ours and eat with your child, but don't forget to enjoy breakfast in honor of Father's Day. 

FIELD TRIP
Our preschool children will be heading to Tamarack Nature Center on Tuesday, June 20. The bus will leave EFC at 9:00am and return by 12:45pm. We will learn about Animal Homes and Hideouts and have time to play at Discovery Hollow! 

PARENT REMINDERS

SUMMER REMINDERS
Thursdays: Water Day! Please bring swimsuit, towel and plastic bag for wet clothing.
 
Fridays: Bike Day! Helmets required. Please label bike and helmet with first and last name.
 
Sunscreen: required for ALL children. Lotion form. No aerosol sprays.
 
A Look Ahead: EFC will be closed on Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4, for Independence Day!

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
WHAT YOUR CHILD IS LEARNING
"OUTDOORS"
 
LITERACY: expands vocabulary and language by asking questions and encouraging then to describe what they see; promotes understanding of books and literacy as source of enjoyment by providing books about living things; promotes phonological awareness by teaching jump rope rhymes and clapping games.
 
MATHEMATICS : promotes problem solving by guiding children to find solutions to problems they encounter; teaches number concepts by using numbers and counting in games such as "Hide 'N' Seek" or "Hopscotch"; explores patterns and relationships by noting patterns on flowers and leaves; emphasizes concepts of geometry and spatial relationships by taking a shape walk (find triangles or rectangles); exposes children to data collection, organization and representation by having them sort and classify objects.
 
SCIENCE: develops children's process skills by asking questions such as: What would happen if...?; exposes children to physical science concepts by offering them balls, wheels; explores life science by putting up bird feeders, keeping pets outside if possible and how to care for them; promotes understanding of earth and environment by learning about trees and plants in your outdoor area and planting a garden with them.
 
SOCIAL STUDIES: encourages learning about spaces and geography by talking about distances (ex: which is further?); explores concepts related to people and how they live (ex: identify stores in your neighborhood); creates awareness of people and the environment by taking a trip to nearby river or lake to see how people use water.
 
ART: promotes dance and music by encouraging children to use their bodies freely outdoors and bringing music outdoors; nurtures the visual arts by bringing paint, crayons and other art materials outdoors.
 
TECHNOLOGY: increases awareness of people and technology by talking about different tools and machines they see and use outdoors; provides technology tools for children to use outdoors such as binoculars, magnifying glasses and cameras.        
 
*The Creative Curriculum by Diane Trister Dodge
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
Hannah is a parent at EFC Edina and works as an early childhood special education professional.

A TOOL FOR TIMES OF TRANSITION
Hannah Helms
 
When I was pregnant with Henry, I wondered how much my professional life would impact my parenting. I am an early childhood special education teacher and I expected that some of the strategies and adaptations that I use to support my students might come in handy as my husband and I navigated this new world. But from the first moment I held Henry, it was so clear how different this endeavor would be. I'm not Henry's teacher. I'm his mom. This emotional and wonderful journey was uncharted territory.
 
After staying home with Henry for his first 16 months, I went back to work and Henry started in the toddler room at EFC. Although my teacher-brain felt mostly separate from my mom-brain, I did feel like my many experiences with "student's first days" in my own classroom had prepared me for this. Transitions are hard. First days can be hard. First weeks can be hard. I knew this. And I also knew it can get better. So we were ready to persevere through what we expected to be a rocky start.
 
What I didn't expect was how hard this transition would be for Henry. The first hard month turned into a hard two months. Then three. Then four. During these months, I couldn't have been more grateful for the honest and thoughtful conversations with the EFC directors and with Henry's teachers on how to best support our little boy.
 
At work one day, while creating a social story for one of my students, my teacher-brain synced up with my mom-brain. I need to make one of these for Henry. A social story can be used to teach a new concept or routine or support a child in anticipating and navigating a new event. It has a positive spin and the child is often featured as the "main character" or narrator. With the help of his teachers, I gathered pictures of Henry throughout his school day. We took a picture of Henry arriving at school and a picture of pick-up as well. We took pictures of all of Henry's teachers. I created a simple narrative to go along with the visuals.  
We first showed Henry the social story at home. He took ownership right away. As a parent, what I didn't expect from the social story was that it gave my husband and me a concrete means of talking positively with Henry about his school day. Even Grandma and Grandpa could come over and say: "Wow, Henry are these pictures of your teachers? Is that your classroom?" all while Henry responded with a big grin. It connected Henry's two worlds in an incredibly positive way.
 
It also helped us create a consistent routine at drop-off. Every morning for a month or so, we sat on the couch in Henry's classroom and read the story before walking to the drop-off room. There were still tears at drop-off (and there - many times - continue to be tears at drop-off) but Henry's days started to get better. He was napping better, he was smiling more, and he began interacting more with his environment. He was happy. We were so happy that he was happy.
 
I do want to say that I recognize as a teacher and a mom that, had Henry continued to have a difficult time despite the accommodations and supports embedded in his day at EFC, the best decision for him might have been a change in environment. And we were prepared for that. Yes, the transition to something different would have been hard. But I knew we could navigate it together.
 
I in no-way think that the social story was the sole impetus for positive change for our little guy. There is no question in my mind that the consistency, warmth, thoughtfulness, skill, and supportive nature of Henry's teachers had an incredible impact on him and on us during those hard months.
 
But, I do think the social story helped. It helped us as parents, too. I think it's a tool that we'll continue to utilize as we face new opportunities, transitions, and challenges ahead. I am already building one in my mind for our next trip to Kid's Hair. 
 
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS
Now-6/18   A Year with Frog and Toad
Now-9/4 Kangaroo Crossing, MN Zoo, Apple Valley
6/2-6/4  Edina Art Fair , Edina
6/9-9/4 The Science Behind Pixar, Science Museum of MN, St. Paul
6/10 Mpls Sculpture Garden Reopens, Walker Art Museum, Mpls
6/16-6/18 Stone Arch Bridge Festival, Mpls
6/23-7/30 Shrek The Musical, Stages Theatre, Hopkins


We are so appreciative when parents and grandparents contribute their time and talents to our program. Read about Grandpa Jim and Grandma Molly, who have offered the gift of music at one of our EFC schools, on this month's blog post.


 
Especially for Children
6125 Cahill Ave. 
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
(651) 450-1994 

Center Directors:
Fle Jensen and Roxie King
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