CCP Halloween, Book Fair, Handwriting Readiness & A NEW Question!(Oct. 25 post)

Hello CCP Family!

        October is full of preschool fun! The month is going so quickly. Hope you and your child are noticing the changes that fall brings in our environment. It’s a lovely time to take a walk and find crispy leaves and round acorns with or without their tops!

COATS & CLOTHES - Please update your child’s change of clothes for the fall/winter. Also, we DO go outside everyday. Please send a jacket (with your child’s name in it) to use on the playground. Even if your child doesn’t want to wear it in the morning, please put it in the cubbie just in case!

HAPPY DAN THE MAGIC MAN - We enjoyed Happy Dan’s funny magic show this week! There is no better sound than that of children’s laughter! Glad several TTH families joined us for the show, too!

        HALLOWEEN PLANS - Follow your teacher's instructions for when to wear costumes to preschool.  Our oldest students, the Ducks & Whales, will "parade" down Market St around 9:20 on Wednesday, Oct. 31.  Feel free to watch & wave or walk with us!

USBORNE BOOK FAIR - We are so excited to have Elise Gentile bring her high quality Usborne books to CCP! You can browse and purchase books at drop off and pick up times right in Ascension Hall on Nov. 5-7. You can also order online. There will be a flyer and details in your cubbie soon. These would make great Christmas gifts!

        CHAPEL "HAND PRAYER" & SONGS- Ladybugs, Ducks, and Whales are learning a special prayer in Chapel.  We use our fingers to help us remember the things we want to pray for.  I put the words in your cubbies so you can pray this prayer at home, too.  Ask your child to sing some of our Chapel songs for you.  They may remember "God Made Us Wonderful" or "God Made Birds, God Made Bees."

        READY FOR HANDWRITING? -  Since readiness for learning handwriting occurs at different ages for different children, educators and parents need to be aware of prerequisite competencies for handwriting readiness.  Dr Marianne Gibbs recommends children possess the following prerequisites in order to be set up for success in handwriting skill acquisition: 

  • Established hand dominance when coloring, drawing, or using a fork (may not emerge until 4.5 - 6 years old)

  • Ability to cross the midline

  • Ability to use two hands in an activity

  • Ability to coordinate eyes and hands together

  • Functional pencil grasp

  • Recognition of similarities and difference in forms

  • Ability to understand directional terms

  • Orientation to print

  • Recognition of letter forms and sounds

  • Ability to copy basic shapes: vertical line, horizontal line, circle, plus sign, slanted lines (forward and backward), square with defined sides, X, triangle with defined corners

  • Ability to maintain proper sitting posture

  • Interest in handwriting

  • Ability to attend to a task for a minimum of one minute (for purposes of receiving formal instruction in handwriting)

As you can see, there are a lot of prerequisites to teaching handwriting! At CCP, we spend a lot of time developing the muscles needed for handwriting by using tongs, playdoh, pegs, clothespins, and other fine motor activities.  We play games to encourage children to cross the midline of their bodies, develop eye-hand coordination, and learn directional words and concepts.  And you thought we were just playing! ;-) When children are ready in the Duck and Whale classes, we teach them a functional pencil grasp using the "busy fingers and the sleeping fingers."  All these skills come before children are ready for actual handwriting instruction.  So while the children think they are "just playing," we are actually preparing them for later handwriting, reading, and general school success!  Respect your child in his or her developmental journey toward handwriting readiness.  Don't rush!  Every child learns and develops at his/her own pace.

          A NEW IMPORTANT QUESTION - Finally, I want to suggest that we ASK A NEW QUESTION!  Dr. Becky Bailey tells us that when we ask the questions, "How can I get this child to _____?" or "How can I make this child ______?" then our brains begin to come up with every feared, forced, coercive, or manipulative strategy we have ever learned.  If we ask a new question, we will get new answers.  By asking ourselves, "How can I help this child more successfully _______?" then we ask our brains to come up with a different set of answers.  These new answers will be more creative, will ask us to reflect on the child's needs, and will result in developmentally-appropriate discipline strategies. (p. 200, Conscious Discipline) Give this new question a try!

Have a good weekend and I wish you well,

Debbie