MAY 2019

In honor of Mother’s Day, please join your child for:
Mother’s Day Tea Thursday, May 2, 4:00-5:30 pm. (Open House format, so feel free to come any time before 5:30 p.m.) Light snacks will be provided.
In honor of teacher appreciation week—please take a few minutes to write your teacher a note. Older preschoolers can help write the notes and even our youngest can “draw” their teacher a special note. Place in our EFC mailbox and we will make sure it is delivered to them this week. Thank you for your participation.
On Thursday, May 16 , we will be heading to Miller Park in Eden Prairie to play on their outdoor play structures. All preschoolers will be attending, and a picnic lunch will be served at the park-weather permitting. The bus will leave at 9:00 am and return after lunch.
We have had the pleasure of working with Sr. Mary at Especially for Children since August 12, 1991. She has been a breath of fresh air each and every day that she has worked here.

Sr. Mary has decided to retire from her position with us and although it was a difficult decision for her to make, we feel fortunate for all the time that we were able to spend with her. Mary started here working in infants and that has remained her main position during her career here. She has a special touch with our little ones and has had many great “conversations” with the little babies. We know that she will truly be missed by all that have met her and worked with her.

We do hope that she will take time to visit us when she is able! 

We will be planning a special celebration on Tuesday, May 21, from 3:30-5:30 pm for families to wish Mary well. It will be held in the front foyer.  
The Monkey classroom will host Preschool Graduation for all children attending RSK or Kindergarten in the fall of 2019. The graduation will be held on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 pm. Please watch for further information from the Monkey classroom newsletter.

We are excited to offer Summer Soccer by Revolutionary Sports for our older preschoolers. The class will take place on Tuesday mornings starting on June 11th and will run for 8 weeks. The cost is $5/class. We are looking forward to a great program!
We will be hosting conferences for infants, toddlers and preschoolers during the month of May. Please watch for sign-up sheets outside your child’s classroom. The conferences will be 20 minutes in length, and we do our best to keep to our schedule.

We hold conferences twice a year to keep you informed on your child’s progress as well as to discuss any questions that you may have. Please be aware that children should not attend these conferences. This is a time for teachers and parents to meet. Each classroom will also be distributing the Parent Conference Form for you to complete. It gives the teachers valuable information about your child as well as things that you may wish to discuss on conference day. We look forward to seeing you .
EFC will be closed on Friday, May 24, for our Staff In-service Day, as well as Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day. By closing the center for a staff in-service day, EFC’s goal is to provide our staff with time to complete a portion of their in-service hours required by the State of MN, and to let them know they are valued employees.
Reminder: As your child goes to the doctor for annual physicals, please provide an updated copy of their health care summary and immunization record to the office. Also, all emergency cards with new phone numbers will need updates as well. We appreciate your help.

“A person who grows up getting too frequent rewards will not have persistence, because they’ll quit when the rewards disappear.”

Dr. Robert Cloninger, Center for Well-Being
Happily, it is now the season for pulling out bikes and scooters; heading to the park, field, or playground to play; and creating masterpieces with sidewalk chalk. Last night our girls, ages 6 and 4, whizzed up and down the driveway on their scooters, enjoying the warm air and sunshine. At one point I exclaimed to our younger daughter, “You are so fast!” This was immediately followed by a question from our older daughter, “Mommy, am I doing a good job too?” “Yes!” I replied, “You are doing great!”

In spite of what I have learned time and again about the negative consequences for children of too much praise, it is a hard habit to break. And yet as I think about the spring and summer months and the opportunities they afford our girls to learn and develop new skills, I am reminded of the importance of fostering a growth mindset--and that too much praise can be an obstacle to this.

Psychologist Carol Dweck is a leading researcher on the concept of fixed versus growth mindsets. While a fixed mindset assumes that you can’t materially change your capabilities, intelligence, or character, a growth mindset thrives on challenge and embraces new opportunities to learn and expand a base of knowledge. People with a growth mindset are intrinsically motivated to learn.

Dweck has found that children develop their mindsets—their beliefs about themselves and their abilities—very early in life. She has discovered that praising children can foster a fixed mindset as children become focused on proving themselves for the purpose of receiving praise, versus engaging in the learning process for the purpose of obtaining knowledge.

It is instinctive for most parents to praise their children, so one way praise can be used more effectively is to praise a child’s effort rather than his or her ability. As Dweck notes from her research,

“…ability praise pushed students right into the fixed mindset, and they showed all the signs of it, too: When we gave them a choice, they rejected a challenging new task that they could learn from. They didn’t want to do anything that could expose their flaws and call into question their talent.

In contrast, when students were praised for effort, 90 percent of them wanted the challenging new task that they could learn from.”

Parents can also substitute praise with an observation or an open-ended question, which have the benefits of increasing vocabulary and critical thinking skills.

Next time I’m tempted to say, “Good job!” as our daughter crosses the monkey bars, I think I will try an observation such as, “You used your arm muscles to get all the way across that time!” Or maybe I’ll try a question: “Why do you think they are called monkey bars?” 

Check out the Parent Blog for Carol Dweck’s TED Talk.

Additional articles of interest on this topic:

Angie Williams
Director of Finance and Marketing

Now-5/12  Wild Kratt's Creature Power! The Exhibit , MN Children's Museum, St. Paul
Now-5/12 The Most Magnificent Thing , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
5/2-5/5 Festival of Nations , St. Paul RiverCentre
5/4 Walk for Animals , Golden Valley
5/5 MayDay Parade & Festival , Minneapolis
5/11 Dash it for Baskets , Eagan
5/12 Mother’s Day Symphony , Landmark Center, St. Paul
5/17-5/19 Art-A-Whirl , NE Minneapolis

Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford