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Volume 2 Issue 1
February 3, 2004


LOVE of Learning

WELCOME! to Education World's Early Childhood Newsletter. Each month, I'll share some ideas on a familiar teaching theme. Hopefully you will find a new activity idea or two -- or a new twist on one of your old favorites! Since I know you are very busy, I'll be short and sweet -- like most of activities I suggest.

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The Early Childhood Education Newsletter is brought to you by Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures®

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February is the month of LOVE. Valentines Day makes its annual appearance this month, but February is also a great time to turn your focus to another kind of love -- the love of learning.

Why not take time this month to share what YOU love to learn with the children you teach? Do you love learning about birds, about gardening, about people who lived long ago? Do you love to read, climb mountains, run marathons (or shorter races)? When you share the things you love, students will catch your enthusiasm, and they will see that grown-ups are still learning new things.

Take time to find out what STUDENTS would love to learn too. Make a list and search for books, activities, and invited guests who can share their knowledge of those topics. Who knows? Some other students -- or even you -- might get hooked" too.

What do you love about school, or teaching? What do your students love about school? Build on and share those loves.

In the ACTIVITY section of this month's newsletter, you will find some more ideas for teaching about Valentine's Day. Plus, find some fun ideas for celebrating Presidents Day and Dental Health Month too!

Have a month filled with love -- of learning!

Anne Guignon
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter

Coming Next Month: What's blowing in those March winds?


Learning about your TEETH
February is National Children's Dental Health Month, a great time for a visit from a dentist or dental hygienist or a class visit to a dental office.
* Have a "share a smile" party for another class to show off shiny teeth. Serve tooth-healthy foods.
* Share the book "How Many Teeth?" by Paul Showers with the class.
* Did you know that February is also Pet Dental Health Month? Take some time to learn about animal teeth. Which animals have pointed teeth? Which animals have flat teeth? Why? How can we take care of our pets' teeth? Check the books "Up Close: Teeth That Stab and Grind" by Diane Swanson and "Whose Teeth Are These?" by Wayne Lynch (photographer) to see if they
are appropriate for your class. Some photos and illustrations may be helpful even if the entire book is "too much" for little ones.
* If your students are losing baby teeth, create a picture graph to record the event. Use the graph to learn how many teeth students lose in February, March, April...

Learning about PRESIDENTS
Presidents Day recognizes the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and honors all presidents.
* Help your children learn to recognize and identify the current president. Hang several newspaper or magazine photos of President Bush where students can easily see them. Label the pictures with his name.
* Read stories about past presidents, especially Lincoln and Washington. Although the 200 year time span is difficult for young children, they can relate to "long ago" and the differences in transportation, clothing, and other details. Books include: "Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books" by Kay Winters; "Don't Know Much About the Presidents" by Kenneth C. Davis; "George Washington's Teeth" by Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora. (This book about Washington can connect with dental health!) You are bound to have a few budding historians.
* Show students the faces of presidents on U.S. coins and bills. Sort, count, and graph a pile of pennies and quarters. Toss a coin ten times and record the number of times a president's HEAD comes up.
* Some children may be interested in "Who was president when." their teacher was little, their mothers were born, etc.
* Do YOU have a favorite president? If so, share that with your class. Your excitement will be catching.

Learning about and celebrating VALENTINES DAY
* Create a storm of hearts in your classroom around Valentines Day. Using white, pink and red hearts, help children paste same-size heart shapes together, two or three over a length of yarn. Hang from the ceiling.
* Show children how to cut hearts from a folded paper. Trace several half-hearts, one inside the other. As children keep cutting on the fold, they will get small one solid heart and several open hearts. They are great for decorating Valentine boxes or Valentine cards.
* Sponge paint using sponges cut into heart shapes.
* Help children create rebus valentines for their friends using small pictures cut from magazines or from clip art. (Pictures will take place of words.) Children can practice reading the valentines they make.


Check out the following Web sites for more background and activities.

KidBibs: Biographies of Black American Heroes...
The list is great for all year -- not just Black History Month in February.

Enjoy Valentines Day
Filled with craft ideas; stories suggestions; math, science and other activities.

Activities and Crafts for Presidents Day
Instructions for president-related crafts

U.S. Presidents: From the White House Kids website

Pearly Whites: For Dental Health Month
Links to a variety of dental health information and activities.

Pet Dental:
Background information on pet dental health.


This week, Education World introduces its newest feature -- The Weekly Survey.
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This week's survey question:
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