Blog

12 Oct “Are we there yet?!”

Patience is a virtue, a skill and sometimes a thing children might not have sometimes. Whether you are on a road trip or both children come home and want to tell you about their day at the same time, or they just want something RIGHT NOW! I spoke with Jason DeRusha and Kylie Bearse this morning on the results of the Marshmallow Test. You may be familiar with this test as researchers have been doing it for 50 years. It gives a child the option to have one marshmallow now or two marshmallows if they wait 15 mins, testing their ability to delay gratification. Interestingly they say not only are children increasing their time by six seconds each year, but they also have correlated the results to increased SAT scores, decreased divorce rates and better responses to stress. Watch the video below to find out more. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/kids-lack-patience-try-the-marshmallow-test/vp-AAtmjSN...

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11 Oct Sharing the Spark

We started a program this fall for our staff to share positive feedback about their coworkers as a team building activity.  Our Code of Excellence and Core Values are such a vital part of our program, especially with our Plymouth location being so large to continue to build the positive relationships is key! Each location submitted positive feedback about their coworkers and yesterday we complied the results.  The teachers get to pick a weekend vacation paid for by the company. We do this every quarter and it was awesome for the teachers to not only get the positive feedback from management but also from their peers. It's very similar to filling each other's buckets! Positiveness is contagious!...

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13 Sep Values, Excellence and Hard Work

Little Newtons has been an ever changing business.  We have modified the curriculum numerous times to ensure that our children are continuing to be challenged.  We have added languages, components of reading and handwriting.  It has been a lot of thought, research and hard work to make sure that we are constantly providing what we have set out to do. Code of Excellence and Core Values: About two years ago, we established the Code of Excellence and Core Values and have always had it as a training piece but never (because we were opening rooms or changing the lay out of our classrooms) did we find a way to really drive home those principles. About a month ago we were able to set up the Start the Spark Program which allows for all employees of LN to nominate their co-workers on fulfilling the Mission, Philosophy, Code of Excellence and Core Values.  Each month, nominations are submitted and each quarter someone receives something awesome from the management: a trip for two to one of the 48 states. Why?  Because it is ever challenging to not be focused on "your performance" and as a team and especially in this industry, we must all work together.  This is a fantastic way to notice other's hard work and dedication to the program. Today was the first day the nominations were due and it was AMAZING to see what other teachers saw, wrote about and passed on about their co-workers.  We are so excited to see this program lift off and look forward to many other events/engagement/ideas for our staff to continue to grow Code of Excellence: What is the Code of Excellence: It is what drives our mission. It is how we act and how we expect our staff to act. We are here to take care of children and should hold ourselves to the highest standard of ethics. *Setting the tone and image of the center: You as part of the team set the image of the center. Coming in to work each day, you are setting the image for the team. It is important to set a positive tone and image. Negativeness can bring down the classroom, children and overall morale. *Consider your impact on one person to another: If you have a bad morning and bring it to work with you, it is very likely that the negativeness of your morning is going to carry over into your classroom. Over time, the staff and children will start to have negative effects. On a positive note—if you come in to work each day with a positive attitude and have a bright look on your day, the impact in your classroom is going to be a positive one. *Demonstrates regular attendance and punctuality: People get sick and have to miss work. That is expected. When work is frequently missed; the center, the staff and the children are adversely affected. Well ran classrooms are a result of consistency. Consistency of staff and consistency of children. At all times; we are over staff for state ratio needs; however when there are numerous call outs (aside from those who are scheduled off) we have to ask people to stay late/come in early, etc. The people who consistently come to work, stay late, come in early, etc also get frustrated because their co-workers give them an extra burden. The teamwork breaks down further. *Works efficiently but correctly: Rushing almost always results in mistakes: Take the time to do the job well and completely. Rushing to check something off the list, will just circle back around to having to do it again, correctly. *Works confidently: Children, parents, other staff members see that you are confident and trust you. They trust that you will do what is best. It is important to ask questions when you don’t know/understand something so you can learn/grow. *Performs as a leader: No matter what your position in this company is, you are a vital component. We need you to help deliver our mission and leadership skills are so important in the classroom, playground, interacting with parents, etc. *Maintains the highest standard of Professional Behavior: Confidentiality, positive attitudes, bringing your issues directly to your supervisor instead of gossiping, all fall under this category. You are in charge of your behavior and choosing to be professional will result in a positive relationship with your co-workers, parents, children and your supervisors. Be truthful and kind…always. *Inspires Passion: The “why” we are here is because we care about children and their welfare. We want what is best for them and we want them to feel respected and loved. That drives our passion. We must remind others around us the “why” we are here and inspire them to fulfill the mission every day!...

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28 Jul How Girls view Brilliance

NYU recently performed a study on how girls view Brilliance as they grow up.  It was interesting because children are so impressionable at such a young age.  How people speak to them, how they see people speak to others, building self confidence and love for themselves is so important to even the youngest of children.  I sat down with WCCO to discuss how important it is to teach them they are SMART! https://vimeo.com/user14179445/review/227302937/cc3ec97697...

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28 Jul New Curriculum

It is so exciting to continue to perfect the curriculum and we are so often challenged by the children's ability to learn and desire more.  Children, ages 0-5, have an incredible opportunity to set themselves up for life long learning and success.  Little Newtons believes that children can learn anything if we set them up right.  But it is also important to nurture their inner self, their confidence, love them, and respect them.  The new curriculum will be released on Sept 5th for both Toddler and Preschoolers.  This curriculum will still include our FIVE languages, and still be historic in nature, but will have more in depth training on handwriting, emotions, self esteem, Presidents, Chemical Elements, Time Telling, Reading, etc.  We are also studying the different cries of infants and what each of them mean to better attend to the needs.  It's a very exciting time for Little Newtons!!...

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29 May Children and Leadership

As we wrap up our "school year," at Little Newtons, we prepare for Graduation this Friday.  This is always a very emotional time for both us and parents.  We have worked together to get our children to where they are this week.  At Little Newtons, we loved, educated, respected and pushed them to exceed their abilities.  Some of the children have been in our program since they were little babies, which of course, has been incredible to see them grow into amazing individuals.  Some have been in our program, for the school year--but again, we have seen them exponentially grow in such a short time. They have learned languages, math, science, reading, writing, yoga (some of our kiddos critique my yoga to show me how to do it better), music, encyclopedic knowledge (US presidents, chemical elements, all of the different types of monkeys), dramatic play, etc.  So many of our graduating class any can read, write and add. A few thoughts on leadership as the children leave our program.  I keep thinking of what is the best quote I can tell these kiddos?  Anywhere from "don't let anyone dull your sparkle," to "just keep swimming," to lastly "let your smile change the world, don't let the world change your smile." Any child can grow up to be a leader.   Our wish is that they continue to learn accountability, integrity, perseverance, confidence, respect (of themselves and others), and never ever give up! We thank all of you for your support you have given your children, our teachers and our program....

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27 May Fidget Spinners

My oldest daughter came home and said she needed a "fidget spinner." I wasn't certain what this was, but started to research it a bit.  My response to her was, "No,you don't need a fidget spinner."  A few days later and I found out that fidget spinners are now banned at her school, according to her. With more and more posts on the internet, facebook, etc--some in mockery, some showing benefits--had me still intrigued by this new "object."  At the very same time, I have been looking very deeply into classroom management at Little Newtons.  As the Founder, I feel it is imperative to always be doing quality assurance and making sure the program is doing what we say, that we stand by what we deliver and offer the most exceptional education and care.  One very important part of LN's program is classroom schedules.  My philosophy surrounds keeping children engaged, strong education and fun.  With that comes sticking to the schedule.  Typically when we see children getting bored, antsy, looking for other things to do, it is because they are sitting too long.  Which brought me to the thought of fidget spinners. Are fidget spinners something that we are using to keep children "engaged" in their studies longer? Do they distract from learning?  Children's minds are very complex but do we want them"playing" with an object while trying to learn math, reading, etc.  What if we broke up the learning a bit?  The body as a whole needs to be exercised.  What people are saying is more detrimental to those in office jobs, is sitting all day.  So many studies have come out saying that extended periods of sitting results in a less production.  What if we focus on a learning subject, say reading, for 15 mins, then stand up and "shake our wiggles out" while counting by 5s, then move to another area of the room for a different activity?  Would that negate the need for an additional "object" to occupy our attention? It works for children 0-5 years old, and we see how engaged they are for the shorter periods of time and how effective the learning is, while not needing a lot of outside resources to keep them engaged....

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21 May Early Brain Development

Many years of research has demonstrated that high academic, high quality early childhood education produces short and long term effects on cognitive and social development of children.  All children should have access to a high quality education program. Brain Development in Ages 0-5 Children are born with the maximum amount of brain capacity (number of neurons) and must develop those neurons by the end of age five when 90 percent of the brain has completed development.  During these years, the brain creates a "wiring path" and connects to the areas in the brain responsible for life, language, thinking, hearing, etc. The strength of the wiring path is dependent on repetition and exposure to new experiences in education. Think of the first year of life: Infants are able to recognize their mother's voice, learn to cry and receive food, sit up, roll over, ultimately learning how to walk.  During our teacher training we stress the importance of how incredible the first year of life is. Year two includes the most dramatic changes in the brain. This is a time of "Vocabulary Explosion."  Some say their vocabulary will quadruple during this year. As well as vocabulary and language development, this age group is also learning about themselves and having "self awareness."  They start using the "I" reference and knowing their name. It is pretty fascinating if you stop and think about all of the things children can learn in such a short about of time. Because the brain develops so rapidly and is so dependent on experiences, this is a crucial window of opportunity to provide positive educational experiences that will result in wiring that leads to life long learning, achievement, and success later in life!...

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20 May Language Development

One of Little Newtons' focus of education is the basis of language acquisition.  When designed to teach five languages; Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin and American Sign Language (lets not forget English too), it was with the understanding that children age 0-5 are recommended to have fast, quick, new language exposed to them.  In fact, some research suggests that children need to hear 30,000 words a day. The study found that children who heard at least 33 million words, which is 30,000 words a day from birth the age of 3 tend to have higher IQs at the age of 10 than those who hear fewer words. People say "why five languages?" why not focus on a second one?  The reasoning behind it is to optimize the brain development of 0-5 to ensure they are expanding and developing their brains at the time it is most crucial. The brain produces more than a million connections each second during the years of 0-3.  By age 5, the brain's development is almost 90 percent completed. Children's brains exposed to many languages, math concepts, art, science, etc at such a young age rapidly make the connections.  ...

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