Exposure to Holiday Festivities Is Important

It is our spring vacation from school and we just had our annual Easter egg hunt and the kids had a blast! Including your children with or without special needs in holiday festivities is important. My youngest child (the one with the glasses as pictured below) is 2.5 years old. Although he is adorable, affectionate, witty, and says the cutest things, he could also be feisty, very active, stubborn and demanding. He has screaming tantrums in public and can wriggle himself out of any seatbelt. Like people say, he has the “terrible two’s.” Including him in activities and taking him out could be stressful for me, my husband and his siblings. Of course, it is easier not to include him and have him stay with a babysitter as we go to different events and socials. But we consider the importance of general exposure towards the daily activities and events in a child’s life. We look at his siblings and see how important it is to include him in the same activities and socials as his siblings. We keep in mind the importance of not singling him out because of his “unique personality and character.” Although, we have not yet traveled on a plane as a family knowing that it will be an adventure to itself!

For children with special needs, it is important that they are exposed to what typical children are exposed to. Have the child be included in egg hunts, opening presents at Christmas and presents on their birthday. It is as equally important for exposure if the child with special needs has siblings who may be typical. Children with special needs (depending on the level of cognition) are observant and aware of their environment and surroundings. We as educators and family members consider their feelings and show respect by treating them as they would any other child. As a teacher of children with special needs, I understand it takes patience, persistence and enthusiasm. I understand it is easier to say things than to actually perform the task. With initiation and consistency, it would become second nature. Please feel free to comment or ask questions. Have a restful and pleasurable spring break!

 

 

 

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February break adventures in the snow with my children……

FEBRUARY BREAK ADVENTURE IN THE SNOW WITH SCHOOL RELATED IDEAS…

Subjects: Reading,  Math, Technology, Science and Art

1) Reading: Books to read.. (see below)
2) Math and Science: See teachinglittlepeople.blogspot.com (see picture below of pocket chart with the snowman poem)
3) Science: hot and cold (for students who learn using concrete symbols: use hot and cold water or a blowdryer) You can also teach a lesson on what to wear in the winter cold weather and summer hot weather.
4) Art: You can make snowmen out of cotton or marshmallows or use chalk or white paint for a winter scene.
5) Technology:  pbskids.org videos on winter
6) ** Outside exposure is important for children with special needs: If there is snow outside, it would be great to have them touch the snow and feel the cool air on their face.

snowymath biggestsnowmanbooksnowydayb

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Since February Just Passed, Here’s Some Facts On Chinese New Year…

CHINESE NEW YEAR

FROM WIKIPEDIA, THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA

Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as theSpring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year“.
The source of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors.[2] Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland ChinaHong Kong,[3] MacauTaiwan,Singapore,[4] ThailandIndonesiaMalaysiaMauritius,[5] Philippines,[6][7]and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity.” Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.
Lunar New Year refers to the first day of a secular, sacred or other year whose months are coordinated the cycles of the moon. The whole year may account to a purely lunar calendar, which is not coordinated to a solar calendar (and, thus, may progress or retrogress through the solar year by comparison to it, depending on whether the lunar calendar has more or fewer than 13 months); or the year may account to a lunisolar calendar, whose months coordinate to the cycles of the moon but whose length is periodically adjusted to keep it relatively in sync with the solar year – typically by adding an intercalary month, when needed.
The following East and Central Asian Lunar New Year celebrations are, or were historically, based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar: (occurring in late January or February)
•                Chinese New Year
•                Japanese New Year (prior to 1873)
•                Korean New Year (Seollal)
•                Mongolian New Year (Tsagaan Sar)
•                Tibetan New Year (Losar)
        Vietnamese New Year (Tết)
Red envelopes
Red packets almost always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. Per custom, the amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals. Sometimes chocolate coins are found in the red packets.
Odd and even numbers are determined by the first digit, rather than the last. Thirty and fifty, for example, are odd numbers, and are thus appropriate as funeral cash gifts. However, it is common and quite acceptable to have cash gifts in a red packet using a single bank note – with ten or fifty bills used frequently. It is customary for the bills to be brand new printed money. Everything regarding the New Year has to be new in order to have good luck and fortune.
Red packets are generally given by established married couples to the younger non-married children of the family. It is custom and polite for children to wish elders a happy new year and a year of happiness, health and good fortune before accepting the red envelope. Red envelopes are then kept under the pillow and slept on for seven days after Chinese New Year before opening because it symbolizes good luck and fortune when you sleep on the red envelopes for seven nights.

Clothing

Clothing mainly featuring the color red or bright colors is commonly worn throughout the Chinese New Year because it was once believed that red could scare away evil spirits and bad fortune. In addition, people typically wear new clothes from head to toe to symbolize a new beginning in the new year. Wearing new clothes also symbolizes having more than enough things to use and wear in the new year. Red is a color of good luck.

Gift exchange

In addition to red envelopes, which are usually given from elder to younger, small gifts (usually of food or sweets) are also exchanged between friends.

TIPS FOR THE CLASSROOM TEACHER AND FAMILIES AT HOME..

Subjects : Reading, Art and Technology1) Reading:  I usually read a book before presenting a lesson that pertains to the lesson. You can read a book first to introduce and share information about Chinese New Year. (some sample of books are pictured below) After reading the book, you can make Chinese lanterns or dragons  (seewww.origami-resource-center.com).2) Technology: I try to add a technology piece to my lessons. Here’s a great 5 minute blurb on Chinese New Year:  www.history.com and type Chinese new year under “search”
2) Art:  Make red envelopes by coloring white envelopes red or purchasing them at an Asian grocery store. Use your preference of how much money you want to put in the envelope
(for ex. 1$, 2$, etc.)
Below are the pictures of the books recommended for Reading. Also, I’m sharing pictures we took during the new year family gatherings. Enjoy!
T175 SC AW AW-1 book1
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