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Deep play, deep learning: The view from the first floor with Mme Amy

On Tuesday evening, I attended our showing of Screenagers - a documentary about kids, social media, and smartphones - along with many of our Grade 5 and 6 students and their families.

Many of these students were in my class in kindergarten, and it so special to be with them as our pedagogical leadership team facilitated important discussions between parents and their children.

After watching the film, families talked about what they learned, what worried them, and how their households can create shared boundaries around device usage. We are offering a second, “parents only” showing of the film on Tuesday, October 24, and all parents are welcome. More details are available on the calendar: https://cfis.com/calendar/month.

On Wednesday morning, I spent some time in a junior kindergarten classroom, where a group of children were actively engaged in a craft activity around the theme of houses. As they drew, cut, pasted, and printed, I was so impressed with both the fine motor and the language skills they were developing. We compared our houses, talking about size and height, discussed spatial relationships such as “beside” “behind” “above” “below,” and shared thoughts on different kinds of families who live in different kinds of houses (and all of this in French, of course!). It was such a lovely demonstration of the richness of the emergent curriculum, and how deep learning occurs when children are deep in play!

I’ve just started reading the book “The Importance of Being Little: what young children really need from grownups” by Erika Christakis, and I recommend it to all of you, as well. The first chapter discusses the importance of quality preschool programs, common early childhood myths, and finding the “just right” fit to help children learn without stress or anxiety. 

Did you know…
That before they can learn to hold a pencil and print efficiently, young children need strong, flexible hands and fingers? Insisting on formal writing and a tripod pencil grip before a child’s hands are ready can build bad habits and contribute to longterm challenges with printing and drawing. This is why our ECE programs do lots of fun things that build the muscles in little hands, and why we wait until kindergarten for structured printing practice. This article from Not Just Cute (one of my favourite sites about child development) provides more details, and also shares ideas of fun activities to build those little muscles: http://notjustcute.com/2016/02/11/before-they-write-fine-motor-foundation/

Remember, you can keep up with all of the adventures in our early childhood division, by following @eceatCFIS on Instagram and Twitter. Feel free to forward this email to grandparents, neighbours, or anyone who might enjoy it!

Have a wonderful fall weekend!