‘Tis the month…we get a nice long break to spend time with our friends and families, participate in traditional (to us) activities, and wonder how we can address the ‘reason for the season’ with the diverse families we are serving. In this EXPRESS I’ve provided a few ideas focusing on looking at the ‘aboutness’ of the season beyond the religious meaning and addressing ways we can incorporate the symbols of the season in meaningful ways.
I’m a fan of Kevin Henkes…you know, Chrysanthemum; Wemberly Worried. He has a wonderful website where, among other things, he talks about his writing process, activities to use when using his books, and discussion guides.
A site where I found a good list of books relevant to Christmas as well as December isThe Ultimate List of Best Christmas Books for Kids. You’ll see many oldies but goodies and, perhaps some new (or new to you) books to include in your December classroom.
Camille Catlett’s monthly newsletter, Baby Talk, always contains interesting information on child development and working with families. The December issue includes an article from Childtrends that looks at unstructured play time and the development of executive function skills. The researchers recommend that parents give young children time for spontaneous, self-directed play. If you currently don’t get Baby Talk you can e-mail Camille.
The Center on the Developing Child is featuring a group of videos on ACES and toxic stress and what we can do about it. In the video, and others on the web page, you can learn about toxic stress, how it can affect you, and what you can do…both for yourself and in your community…to deal with what you may be experiencing.
Cultures Connecting is a Seattle-based company that provides culturally relevant professional development, consultation to support organizations committed to effectively work across cultures. They do workshops, have a wonderful resource library, and a newsletter containing information like how to screen books for bias.
What is Christmas? It is the tenderness of the past, courage for the present, and hope for the future. ~
-Agnes M. Pahro
This article was contributed by Mary Perkins for the Early Childhood Express newsletter.