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Monday, March 24, 2014

Questions, Categories, Sorting & More!!

I don't know about you but lately I have been getting a lot of interesting questions from my 3 year old! At dinner...." Mom, do carrots go in fruits or vegetables?" At breakfast...."Mom, what are eggs? Why? Are they junk food or do they give us energy??" And the list goes on.....

I wasn't entirely sure what Paxton meant when he asked if carrots go "in" fruits or vegetables so I was asking Jody about these questions and she shared with me that the students at BELA are learning to sort and categorize things. Ahhhhh! He has also been sorting  everything under the sun at home  and making different piles and containers full of stuff ! He likes to tell us all sorts of things about these piles and it keeps him busy and entertained so its a big win- win! ;) 

I asked Jody to explain a little more to me about how theses new skills  for the children at BELA are built into the themes and now I am able to,  more and more pick out the skills Paxton is working on amongst all his chatter about fruits, vegetables and junk food!
Here's some information for all you BELA parents about the current theme and some of the skills that are built in:

Healthy, Active Learners

The Healthy, Active Learners theme is designed to shine the 'learning light' for our BELA children on two of our foundational program building blocks - physical and emotional well-being, and character development.  At BELA we believe in teaching the whole child, giving the children the strongest foundation we can for future learning success. This theme continues the learning we have included all year from the At My Best program and focuses on:
* the importance of being physically healthy - physical activities, exercise, and getting
  enough sleep
* teaching children about how to eat nutritionally, including the four food groups and the
  Canada Food Guide
* caring for our teeth and eyes
* emotional well-being, developing our friendship skills, and character education

Throughout this theme, the children are engaged in early science and numeracy/math learning opportunities, as they participate in activities, in relation to: food or physical activities; things that attract magnets, or don't; things that sink or float. These activities are designed to increase their skills by supporting them to:
* ask a question / respond to questions
* make predictions
* gather information/data
* sort and classify
* count or measure
* graph
* evaluate / draw conclusions

This information shed a lot of light on the in-depth planning that goes into each theme and as always the experience that our staff has in integrating these new skills into every day life at BELA. Our little scientists and mathematicians have been hard at work and play!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Photo Blog: Spring Has Sprung!

After an abnormally long and very cold winter we are enjoying taking the students outside! The past week or so they have spent lots of time looking for signs of spring, enjoying the sunshine and finding out what has happened to all that snow!! Let's hope spring is here to stay!

After a long winter the kids are so excited to be outside! 

The Fire Chief let us cut through the fire department on our walk! 

Looking for signs of spring!

They found the snow, or what's left of it!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How Much Is Enough? - A Post by our Health & Wellness Consultant, Ashley Williams, R.N, B.N

One more show? One more snack? One more story? One more song? One more drink? One more hug? One more potty break? One more kiss? One more, one more, one more! Anyone that has had the joy…privilege…task…chore?? of putting a preschooler to bed has no doubt heard a similar list of demands put forth by these little master negotiators! Not to mention if this part of your nightly routine as a parent. So what’s the big deal? Why not just give in? So what if it pushes bedtime back a few minutes, or an hour even…it makes them happy, it avoids a meltdown, and they’re still getting lots of sleep! Right?

It may surprise many, that the recommended amount of sleep for a 3 year old is 12 hours per night and that by the age of 4, that requirement is still 11.5 hours! (Healthy Parents, Healthy Children: The Early Years, 2012) Different people need different amounts of sleep, and while many adults seem to thrive on 6-7 hours/night, this is not true of children. As referenced in an earlier post by Mrs. P, we cannot simply treat children as ‘miniature adults’, and when we do we can end up with big problems. According to Dr. Jill Ravanello, sleep deprived children can be difficult to parent.

The link between lack of sleep and a child’s behavior isn’t always obvious, and may manifest as hyperactivity and extremes in behaviour (  For example children that are sleep deprived may have difficulty controlling their emotions making them disagreeable, bossy, demanding and resistant to guidance. Lack of sleep has also been linked to attention problems and poor academic performance (Dr. Jill Ravanello).

In order to combat the negative effects of insufficient sleep, experts recommend establishing a bedtime routine. One of the most important tips for a successful bedtime routine? Experts in the field encourage parents to limit screen time, and most importantly, to avoid screen time including TV for 90 minutes before your child should be sleeping.  Incorporating this one concept into your child’s routine could put you on your way to putting an end to all of the ‘one mores’ and gaining one more precious hour of sleep for your little one!

If you feel that you may have a sleep deprived child, or are struggling to establish a successful bedtime routine please take a few minutes to read the links provided in this post,  see the parent information board at BELA for resources or ask our staff about available support through Alberta Health Services!