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September 2014 Newsletter and Articles
August 26, 2014
Hi There!

September 2014 Preschool Primer Newsletter

Welcome to the 33rd issue of the Preschool Plan-It Primer, a free newsletter from .

My hope is that you find information in each newsletter that is helpful to you- the Early Childhood Educator- as you work with this wonderful group called Preschoolers! This is the mini-newsletter that focuses on theme suggestions and new additions to the website.

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September 2014, Issue # 33

In This Issue:

Article: Separation Anxiety

Interest Learning Centers Overview

Tips & Timesavers: Daily Communication with Families Tip

Theme Suggestions for September

What’s New? Search It, Find It, Plan It!

Separation Anxiety

Happy September! I can't believe it's back to school time already! This summer went by far too fast! I think I am having some separation anxiety about that!

And, this is the time of year for us to possible see some Separation Anxiety from our preschoolers.

Picture the Scenario: It's the third week of preschool. Everyone seems to be getting used to a routine together. One day, when nobody expects it, one of your "I'm here! I Love School! I'm ready to face the day!" preschoolers grabs Mom's ankles and won't let go. Crying. Pleading. "Please! PLEASE! MOM--DON'T LEAVE ME!!!". Mom looks at you with that deer in the headlight look because even she is not sure where this came from!

Separation anxiety can appear in many forms. And, it does not happen ONLY during the first two weeks of school. Most of your preschoolers will transition fine into the classroom. However, you will have a few that do not. They may sit quietly on a chair and not intereact. They may cry. They may have an all out breakdown. What's a preschool teacher to do?

"A child's apprehension or fear associated with his or her separation from a parent or other significant person."

This is the definition of separation anxiety from The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary, according to

It is the fear of the unknown. And let's face it. In preschool, there are many unknowns for children because so many things are new. And new=unknown!

They are in a new building, facility, environment.

They are around other children they have not met before or have not seen for several weeks or months (such as during winter breaks, holidays or summer break).

They are around adult strangers: adults other than their parents or primary caregivers.

They are in a large group for the very first time in their lives.

Let's talk Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs. Many of us have taken classes where we studied his theories along with Piaget and others.

Maslow stated that there is a hierarchy of stages of human development that we all go in and out of throughout our lives.

Once one has been met, and we are secure in that need being met, we move on to the next level of growth.

The stages are based on basic human needs we all have:

1. Physiological--These are our basic needs: water, food, sleep, breathing, etc.

2. Safetyy--Once our basic needs are met, we look for our safety needs to be met. For children, this would be their families, pets, and their own bodies.

3. Love/Belonging--Once our basic and safety needs are met, we grow into the stage of love and belonging. This is as crucial as our basic and safety needs. This stage is developed by building trust--with other children and with new adults in our lives.

4. Esteem-- Once our basic & safety needs are met and we feel we are loved and belong, we then develop confidence in ourselves and build respect for ourselves and for those around us.

5. Self-Actualization--With all the previous needs and developmental areas intact, we can then grow and develop even more such as by developing problem-solving skills, spontaneity (being flexible!), etc.

This heirarchy is not one that we "climb", reach the top and stay. Life happens and impacts a certain area and brings us back to that level of need.

For example, we may be in between or at Esteem and Self-Actualization when the death of a family member occurs. This will impact us to the point of our own safety needs (remember, that includes family) and our sense of where we belong is impacted. During the grief process, it can take a while for us to develop a new routine and find a "new normal" that allows us to develop that sense of esteem and actualization again.

For preschoolers, starting school after a summer home or after being home for 3 years with no large group experience brings children back to Stages 1 and 2!

Will my needs be met? Can I trust these new adults? Will I have friends? Will I eat here?

There are many things you as a teacher can do to help your students transition into the classroom in way of supporting parents when they leave and educating parents on Separation Anxiety.

You can read more about this by reading the full article on Separation Anxiety here: Separation Anxiety Article for Teachers

You can read more on how to create a helpful Parent Tips Letter on Separation Anxiety here: What to Consider in a Separation Anxiety Parent Tips Letter

Or, you can read more about a Separation Anxiety Parent Tips Letter that I created. It is completely editable and ready to be individualized by your program! Parent Tips Resource Letter for Separation Anxiety

Interest Learning Centers-Overview

I had planned on writing up a page on the Music & Movement Interest Learning Center. However, I apologize, this summer just slipped through my hands somehow? Can anyone else relate??!

At this time of year, it is always fun to rethink our classroom set up and move things around. I move my room around a LOT during the year.

I wanted to direct your attention to the Interest Center Main Page. It talks about interest centers in general AND there are links for most of your learning centers.

Those links will give you information on what to consider with regard to placing the center near (or away from) other centers, materials to have in each center and how to prepare a center.

I hope you find them helpful! You can go to the main interest center page by CLICKING HERE

Tips and Timesavers

BOLD Communicating With Families

Families LOVE to know how their child's day was. There are so many ways to communicate with them. Some time consuming, some not so much.

At the beginning of the year, there just is not enough time to fill out a "My Day in Review" type form for each child, unless you have the staffing to help do that.

We incorporated our White Board. We list the activities we want parents to know about and post it on a white board at the pick up area. It is easy to change each day and it communicates information they can talk with their child about.

Doing this allows us the time to help the children into the new year rather than find the time to write about it!

You can read the full teacher tip by clicking this link: Daily Communication with Families Teacher Tip

Theme Suggestions for September

The first month of school is a great time to really get to know all about each other! This is why I've included All About Me, Family AND Pets as potential themes!

All About Me Theme

Back To School Theme

Colors Theme Great time to evaluate their color knowledge!

Family Theme

Friendship Theme

Manners Theme

Pets Theme

Teachers Theme

In-Service Workshops

Looking to get some in-service hours in this month? This workshop UNDERLINE/BOLD/ITALIC might END U/B/I qualify in your state/province (check with your Director or Licensing Regulations to be sure):

Science in the Preschool Classroom Online Workshop

The Preschool Cubby- My Resource Center!

With over 125 themes on my theme page, there are many activities to make your own activities using clip art, magazine pictures and other pictures. I have received many emails asking if the games are available some where to print and use.

Based on these requests, I have begun to put many of these resources together in resource packs.

The packs will have between 30-70 pages of activities that you can print, cut, laminate and use!

Some of the resources will include matching games, board games, math activities, circle time and small group charts, science printables and more!

They will be available in my store, The Preschool Cubby, found on the website at Preschool Cubby Resource Center

There are a couple of freebies there! A Circle Time Conversation Poster and a Bread Theme

New Resources Added to the Preschool Cubby

All About Me Theme Resource

Back To School Theme Resource

Potato Head Math Game Boards and Cubes

Separation Anxiety Parent Tips Letter

Other Available Resources on the Website:

Preschool Plan-It Amazon Store (Recommended Preschool Items)

My Store (Personal Books and Items for sale)

Product Review Page A page to find honest reviews on books and products I have personally read or used in the classroom.

Comments? Ideas for future newsletters? Feedback? This newsletter is written FOR you, so I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think!

Until Next Time,


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