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Mrs. Ben (Bendixsen)


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mrs. Wishy-Washy

Mrs. Wishy-Washy
Written by Joy Cowley and Illustrated by Elizabeth Ann Fuller.
McGraw-Hill, 1980

"Oh, lovely mud, said the duck", 
"Oh look at you!.. In the tub"
"In went the Duck, wishy-washy, wishy-washy"

A great book for repetitive vocabulary, especially with our younger ones. Fill the sink with warm soapy water (or the bathtub) and re-enact the book with washable toys from around the house. If they're in the bathtub, you can read the book to them from a safe distance as they follow along with the toys. When it's time to do dishes, you can do an extender: "In goes the bowl, wishy-washy, wishy-washy", "In goes the spoon, wishy-washy, wishy-washy".

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crankenstein and Dealing with Emotions

Written by Samantha Berger and Illustrated by Dan Santat
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2014

Crankenstein just feels cranky! Especially when nothing seems to be going his way. This is one loved by the students in our class. Humorous and relate-able, it catches their attention and brings up a great conversation about dealing with our feelings.

Other books for teaching emotional awareness (and maybe even better at it) include: 
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
The Way I Feel Books by Albert Whitman
Today I Feel Silly: and other Moods that make my Day by Jaime Lee Curtis
When Sophie Gets Angry, Really Really Angry by Molly Bang
Here's a link to a few more http://www.babble.com/
I went to a conference in Seattle at the Talaris Learning institute on helping on children develop high EQs (Emotional Quotient), which effects them in every other area of development including language and cognitive (academics).  The higher you child's EQ, the higher quality of life they will have.

Although the habits of creating a healthier emotional environment may take some time to create, the steps are simple.

1.  Be Aware of Emotions
Recognize that they are natural, important and learn to read your child's.

2. Connect with Your Child
Try not to dismiss or ignore emotions but use them as a teaching time and a time to talk through them, catching them before the esculate

3. Listen to Your Child
Take your child's emotions seriously, not criticizing them for feeling them, empathize but showing you understand them.

4. Name Emotions
Name them when you feel them, when you recognize how they're feeling and naming all types, whether it's happy, sad, angry etc. Naming emotions soothes a child who is upset.

5. Find Good Solutions
It's okay for a child to be sad or angry but that doesn't mean they should 'get their way or that you can always make the problem go away. Find a solution.

For example, for a younger child:
You're sad. You want the slide but it's time to go. I'll hold you instead (if they like to be held).

For example, for an older child:
I see that you are sad. You want to keep playing but we need to go. It's okay to be upset but we still have to leave. What is something fun we can do when we get home?

Really, you're teaching them, it's okay to feel this way but you still can't get want you want/need. Sometimes it's because they can be sad about something but if you told them 'no', stick with it. Somethings can't be changed. 'Your sad that you left your toy on the plane but we can't get it back'.

For more information, visit: www.parentingcounts.org

Saturday, July 19, 2014

You Are a Lion

You Are a Lion
And Other Fun Yoga Poses
Written by Taeeun Yoo
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012

A great place to be on a hot summers afternoon just might be in the shade under a great big oak tree or in your darkened, air-conditioned living room listening to classical music as you strive to calm down the kids. This might be a good book for actually making that happen. Full of animal yoga poses, this book is both healthy for the body and fun. Did you know that Yoga is beneficial for kids? First, it teaches them healthy breathing patterns and secondly, it teaches them body awareness (if you're familiar with sensory processing in children, you'll know this calms them down as well. Hooray!) For a easy-to-read handout on this, try this link (click here)

Activity: Read through the book together (yes darken those drapes and turn on that music). Have fun posing like the different animals in the book and practice breathing, counting 1-10. Have them do the counting with you. Then let them decide different animals you can pose like. Have fun either relaxing in the few minutes of peace you might have or giggling as you try and mimic each other and the animals in the book. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I Ain't Gonna Paint

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More
Written by Karen Beaumont and Illustrated by David Catrow
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2005

A fun about rhyming (great for phonemic awareness that contributes to early reading), colors, creativity and body parts!. The grammar may not be the best model for our kiddos but the rest of the book makes up for it, making a fun, engaging and delightful book.

You can read the book while your child follows along painting in the bathtub. Here are some bathtub friendly paint recipes. They call for food coloring, but to insure 'washability' if you have washable paints, I would encourage you to substitute them in for the food coloring.

Bathtub Paint Recipe 1:
1/2 Cup of Cornstarch
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Cup of Dish or Hand Soap
Dye/food coloring

Bathtub Paint Recipe 2:
Can of shaving cream
Food coloring
Muffin Tin to mix them in

Bathtub Paint Recipe 3:
1 tbl cornstarch
4-6 pumps of baby shampoo
2-3 drops food coloring
1-2 tsp water