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Foundations Child Care & School Blog

Foundations School blog covers a range of topics relating to the care and education of young children, with special focus on development, brain research, and progressive education.
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Foundations Best Toy Award! Careplay Ride-On Push-Cars

As a Kennesaw child care center and school in operation since 2004, Foundations for the Future has seen the best (and worst) in children’s products. We have had hundreds of children put toys to the test over the years, and we know which ones hold up to the attentions of very creative, bright, and determined children. These Careplay Ride-On Push Cars have remained a favorite, and they hold up great, even when used as off-road vehicles, which is probably not the original intent–they absolutely love to ride them down the little hill on the playground, and race them on the sidewalks. Age recommendation: We recommend these for children just learning to walk through about two and half years old. Three year olds still like them, but they are starting to get too big to use them appropriately, so you might begin to see three years trying to use them in other less desirable ways, like standing on them…. Top 5 Reasons We Love the Careplay Ride-On Push Cars:
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Don’t Fix Feelings–Coach Them

The authors of the book, Social Emotional Tools for Life, Michelle Forrester and Kay Albrecht, do a wonderful job of concisely summarizing the theory and reasons behind emotion coaching, which is the approach Foundations uses for helping children through their emotions. They advise: “When children are upset, it’s natural to want to comfort them by making their big feelings go away. Emotions don’t need fixing…. Instead, focus on helping children name the way they are feeling and manage their intense emotions. Recognize and validate that the emotions are present and real to the child. Then, connect intense emotions to appropriate behaviors (such as taking deep breaths or sitting in a cozy corner) and teach children to use problem-solving skills, like calling for help from an adult or making a plan to get what they want. This helps children manage how they feel without dismissing their feelings.” Click here to learn more about Foundations for the Future’s Philosophy & Vision. Enjoy a few photos of some social-emotional highlights from this morning, including our school-age students who obliged me by demonstrating a
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Childcare Funding for Military Families

Foundations is proud to be one of the few approved military child care providers in the #Kennesaw #Marietta area! Many military families are eligible for financial subsidies that help pay their child care tuition at Foundations. We find that most military families do not even know about this great program, and it is an incredible benefit to the people that faithfully serve our country. The beginning of the school year is a great time for new families to start. We have very limited spaces in our #infant and young #toddler programs, and we are filling up fast in our early preschool and #preschool classes. Many active duty military families are eligible for up to $1500/month of assistance on their childcare tuition! Army Child Care Assistance Information (copied from http://www.usa.childcareaware.org/fee-assistancerespite/military-families/army/ on 6/22/17) “Army Child Care Fee Assistance was created to provide authorized Reserve and Active Duty personnel assistance in locating, selecting, and offsetting the cost of civilian child care when on-base child care is not available or a viable option for the service member and their family. The programs available through Child
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First Day of School Year 2014-2015

What a wonderful start to the first day of school! Everyone jumped right in! Art with Ms. Misha, exploring outside, playing getting to know each other games, setting up a full size outdoor camping tent, and even a math challenge! The first day of school bring back many memories for adults, and we watched as many of those memories were made today for the children at Foundations.  The teachers took extra care to make sure that each student had a memorable day, building on the exciting meet of meeting new friends and seeing old ones, talking about summer vacation adventures, and getting to explore their classrooms.  #firstdayofschool #infants #toddlers #preschool #PreK #elementary #middleschool #FoundationsfortheFuture #Kennesaw
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Integrated STEM in Pre-Kindergarden

Here’s the Pre-K class using a fun, hands-on project to integrate all areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Integrating subjects, instead of studying them each separately, is more real-world applicable as well as more time efficient. When done through a project that really engages the students, then critical thinking, creative, and collaboration are all covered as well. And since choice and interest increase motivation and long-term memory, you have one very powerful project all rolled into something these Pre-K students probably just thought was a really fun day. #prek #STEM #FoundationsfortheFuture #Kennesaw
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Summer Camp Egg Experiment

Egg Drop WIN or FAIL? Watch this 1 minute video to find out if the Summer Camper’s egg protection design could withstand a 15′ drop to the hard floor!  Foundations Summer Camps include many great ways to incorporate science, math, reading, spelling, and more into fun projects like this one.
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Subitizing! Visual Perception of Number Quantities

Subitizing is the visual perception of number quantities.  It builds early concepts for place value, quantity, and addition/subtraction strategies.  It is a foundational mathematics skill, and one that teachers incorporate into games for toddlers, preschool, Pre-K, and even older students.  And it is a word you can impress people with (it is pronounced like scuba-tizing, without the “c” in scuba). Try it out for yourself: In this image, there is a long row of dots.  Can you tell how many there are at a quick glance?  Most people cannot without counting them.  In the image below, where the dots are grouped like they are on dice, most people can quickly recognize the quantity.  Both images have 10 dots.
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Spanish Class for Toddlers, Preschool, & Pre-K

Spanish with Mr. David (from Columbia!): Infants and Toddlers played with vehicles while listening to Mr. David narrate and converse in Spanish, getting that exposure to the sounds and words of the Spanish language. Preschool students played fun interactive games like Color Bingo all in Spanish. Pre-K Summer Camp students learned transportation vocabulary and then played a game naming the vehicles they had learned about.
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Be Safe and Look Again

Be Safe and Look Again
Do Not Leave Children in the Car Georgia launched a campaign to promote awareness of the danger vehicles can present to children. Here’s a couple of surprising facts: –Heat cannot escape a vehicle: at 70 degrees outside, it can hit 105 degrees in the car in 20 minutes, and 117 in 60 minutes! –Children’s body temperature rises five times faster than an adult. A 104 degree body temperature is enough to cause death. Pass this on to friends and family to remind them to Look Again. (Foundations only does field trips off site occasionally–we prefer on-site events–but when we do, we follow the rigorous guidelines set for double checking the bus by teachers and an administrator to make sure everyone is off safely.) Look Again Video – Be Safe with Children
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Brain Power Video: Laugh and Learn

Brain Power Video: Laugh and Learn
Get your laughs watching this funny and insightful video clip on just why “Exercise Boosts Brain Power” and why we need it in our classrooms, by Dr. John Medina, author of the Brain Rules book.  Foundations was designed from the ground up to have lots of spaces for movement to boost brain power: large outdoor playgrounds; covered outdoor playgrounds so children can still play even in inclement weather; nature trail areas; indoor gym with foam pit, trampoline, spring floor, and rock wall; and our spacious classrooms with lots of room for movement and exploration. Click Here for Brain Power Video
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Move to Learn

Move to Learn
Students of all ages get active every day at Foundations.  From an infant’s first explorations of movement, to our elementary students choosing to learn where it is most comfortable for them (even the floor sometimes!), to all the ages in between where they engage in hands-on projects and dynamic play—movement is a part of the daily learning experience at Foundations.
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No Sitting Still: Movement Schools

No Sitting Still: Movement Schools
Why do we make children sit still in school all day?  This is challenging even for adults, and children are naturally more active.  Foundations School embraces the research that shows that movement boosts brain power by incorporating movement throughout the day, from preschool through middle school. One of our core values is “Move to Learn.” Capitalizing on how our bodies and brains have been designed to work best makes students more efficient learners. CNN published an extensive article on this subject on March 30,2014
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Foundations Teachers Present at the ITEEA International STEM Conference

Foundations Teachers Present at the ITEEA International STEM Conference
Dr. Maria, Mrs. Angie, Mrs. Sheila, and Mrs. Lindsay are attending the ITEEA conference in Orlando FL this week. This international STEM education conference has drawn attendees from all over the world, and we are so proud that our teaching team was invited to be presenters at the conference. They are showcasing some of the many STEM projects the students have done at Foundations this year, and the strategies they use to engage students in the learning process. We thank them for their true dedication to educating our students!
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The Future of Reading

The Future of Reading
Check out this amazing new method of speed reading using technology: spritzinc.com. We are tasked with the challenge of preparing children for a future we can barely imagine. This new reading format shows that even the most basic things we take for granted in education, like reading, may be very different in our near future. How do we face this challenge? By fostering children’s natural curiosity to constantly learn new things, integrating critical thinking in every project and subject, and allowing students to find their best path to learning.
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STEM Team Challenge

STEM Team Challenge
Over the last couple of weeks, our 2nd-6th grade students have been working on STEM Team Challenges. Many of the supplies for these challenges came from the grants that Ms. Lindsay and Ms. Angie won, when they were recognized as two of the eight science teachers chosen state wide for recognition by the Georgia Science Teachers Association. In 2nd-4th grade, teams competed to make the marble travel the fastest and go the farthest. In 5th-6th grade, teams designed Rube Goldberg machines to water a plant and build a Physics Tower. These projects integrated important science, technology, engineering, and math standards. Students also displayed creativity, critical thinking, team work, and presentation skills! Foundations teachers take every opportunity to meet academic standards through project work like this, because it offers so much more to the students than just the facts.
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What is STEM anyway?

What is STEM anyway?
“Every 29 seconds another student gives up in school, resulting in more than one million high school students dropping out every year.”  Statistice and facts About Hight School Drop out Rates – The Silent Epidemic STEM is certainly a buzz word in education right now. But what does it really mean? This article from LiveScience.com summarizes what STEM is and shows why it is important for students to have a proficiency in STEM subjects. Foundations is proud to be a STEM school starting with our toddler programs and going through our elementary programs. Because we focus on teaching through children’s interests, it is a natural fit for our program. Children are inherently curious about the world around them, so they are wonderful engineers and scientists. We capitalize on that natural interest to integrate other subjects through projects that truly engage them while meeting academic standards. We continue this process through our elementary school, so that students at Foundations have a strong background in STEM learning and are well prepared for a future where STEM careers are in high demand.
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Changing the Conversation

So much is said about “education” in the press that I see a real need to change the focus of the conversation to “learning” and “creating a love of learning” among children. Education is an industry run by adults and includes school systems that focus on costs, teachers and programs – not on learning! Learning is a process that is focused on children. In fact, a child’s love of learning continues to blossom and, as an adult, they instinctively become life-long learners. Research tells us that children are naturally motivated to learn by their own interest and their own curiosity – rules and curriculums shouldn’t interfere with this natural learning. Changing our own conversation away from education to learning creates a more positive perspective of a child’s progress.