FunShine Tells: Supporting Bilingual Families and Children

As a Spanish-speaking person, I know first-hand the value of speaking two languages and being appreciated and respected for it. I have had the opportunity to have Spanish-speaking children in my classroom and one of the first things parents communicate is the peace of mind they feel knowing that their child’s bilingualism is familiar to me and that makes me great support to them. However, this only happened with children who spoke the same language as me. Every time I received children in my classroom who spoke other languages, the experience was as new and unfamiliar to me as it was for them.

Continue reading

FunShine Tells: Maintaining an Inclusive Classroom

This post will explore how to best support young children with disabilities. Let’s start by simply defining disability. A disability refers to a condition that makes it challenging for people to do certain activities or interact with their environment. Particular requirements may include the need to support mobility, communication, feeding, behavior, or any other skill or function so that the person can thrive and learn in everyday situations and environments. This is where inclusion, classroom adaptations, and developmentally appropriate practices play an essential role in early childhood.

Continue reading

Charlie’s Cues: Using the Family Newsletters

For years the home has been known as the child’s first school. It is during the early years that children begin to learn basic skills, routines, and tasks that stay with them forever and develop over the years. With this in mind, as part of our ongoing changes at FunShine Express, we have updated one of our components that facilitates communication between the two main environments of a child, home and school, the Family Newsletter.

This change to the Fireflies and Buttercups Newsletters engages parents in their children’s learning process. The new section invites parents to review theme-related concepts at home. In general, the Family Newsletters inform families about what children are learning each month, suggest songs, rhymes, and books for extending learning, and suggest ways to engage with children and reinforce the concepts that have been taught in the center. The newsletter can be sent back to be shared with the group and then returned home again.

Continue reading

The Ins and Outs of Baby Sign Language

Working with infants can involve a lot of guess work! Babies cry, make sounds and facial expressions, and use body movements to express their needs and wants, but still, it’s not always clear how to assist them. Babies typically start talking between 9 and 14 months. Until then their mental vocabularies are forming and are much more advanced than we realize. Though babies cannot speak, they understand quite a bit. While talking to children regularly and narrating their play will support language acquisition, you can help them express their needs, wants, and emotions by introducing baby sign language.

Continue reading