Preschool Expo

Are you in the market for a preschool? Are you looking for a good place to start your search? Then you should come to the Preschool Expo on January 29th! What is the Preschool Expo? It’s an event that brings representatives from many area preschools to one location, on one date. That way, it’s easy to gather information on preschools and talk with the representatives in order to find a good fit for your child! This free event is co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor District Library, Washtenaw Success by Six, Child Care Network, and U-M Work/Life Resource Center. Come explore your options at the Preschool Expo!

Date: Sunday, January 29th
Time: 1:00 – 4:00p.m.
Place: Palmer Commons on the U-M Campus
100 Washtenaw Ave.
(Located at the intersection of Central and Medical Campuses)
Parking: Free parking available in the structure across the street from Palmer Commons

Building Bridges Therapy Center Discusses: Kids Falling Through The Cracks And How Technology Can Hinder Or Advance Skills

Monday December 19, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

How can technology assist young children? And when is technology time just too much?

Join us for this informative evening as Occupational Therapist Stephanie Ramser and Speech Pathologist Janice Pagano from Building Bridges Therapy Center discuss the influences technology has on social skills, handwriting, and ADHD in young children - and also how it can help (or hinder) children in those formative school years.

Wow, I Wrote That!: Early Story Writing with Young Readers

Children love stories, reading them, hearing them, telling them. Stories help children experiment with language while practicing their ability to both imagine and describe their world.
Before your child is ready to write themselves, but when they are old enough to read and listen to stories, combine their love of your stories with your literacy to help them create their own book. Dictating stories for your child is an excellent way to practice their Vocabulary and Narrative Skills, both identified as Key Early Literacy Skills.
Staple together a couple of pieces of paper with their favorite crayons and markers nearby. Ask your child to tell you a story, which you then write down onto the paper. Don't worry too much about editing, since it is important that the child see that the story is their writing from their words.
After you’ve written down their story, have the child illustrate their story. They may want to have some of their favorite books nearby, so that they can emulate the style of those works. Be ready to read for them bits of their story from each page so that they can more closely match the picture to the part of the story.
After the story has been illustrated, take the time to have one or both of you read the story aloud, giving extra attention to the accompanying artwork and allowing the child to further embellish and explain that artwork and their story.
When finished, make sure to keep your child’s work, to be used as both a reading resource and as a memory of their writing life.

Parenting on Purpose: A Mindful Approach

Wednesday November 9, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

The demands and expectations of everyday life can diminish our sense of well being and connectedness to ourselves and our children.

This talk, featuring Eileen Bond, L.M.S.W., will present practical and usable skills drawn from recent brain research, mindfulness, and evidence-based parenting techniques to help parents be calmer, more present, and intentional with their child. It is co-sponsored by the Institute For Human Adjustment at the University of Michigan.

A Strategy for Reading with Preschoolers: Prompt, Evaluate, Expand, Repeat

Even if you know that reading to your child is most effective if the child and you are both reacting to the book, it can still be difficult to think about how to engage your child. One effective method, explained more fully here, is to use a brief sequence of exchanges to solicit responses of greater depth.

The sequence is called PEER, and stands for Prompt, Evaluate, Expand, and Repeat. In Prompting, the adult asks a child a question about something that they see or have just had read to them. The adult then Evaluates, considering what the child has said. Next, the adult Expands upon the child's statements, adding new information. Repeat the prompt from the beginning to see how the child has adapted the new information.

Through a quick interaction, the child gets to test the edge of their understanding, learn a little bit more, and gain confidence in their abilities. It also gets the adult in the habit of engaging the child in conversation about reading, which is great for the long-term development of the child's reading habits.

Whimsy and Wisdom from Wayside School

Picking exactly the right BOCD for a long family car trip can be very important. For a steady stream of witty, engaging stories, try The Wayside School Collection, by Louis Sachar. For newbies, Wayside School was supposed to be 30 classrooms on one level, but accidentally it was built 30 stories high with one classroom on each level. Characters -- both kids and adults -- are engaging, hilarious, and entirely believable (at least to me). The BOCD collection has 7 discs each lasting 77 minutes -- for a total of almost 9 hours of listening. Hit the road, pop in Disc 1, and prepare for happy listening!

Magazine Update -- Film Stars, The World Cup and Swimming Babies

swimming baby by tomeppy, Flickr.comswimming baby by tomeppy, Flickr.com
If our scorching 90-degree weather is any indication, summer is finally here! Before packing up to hit the beach, make sure to check out some of our awesome youth magazines.

For Parents:
American Baby -- Stroller reviews, tips for new dads and a guide for teaching your tot to swim.

For Kids:
Nintendo Power -- Check out Sonic Generations for the 3DS, plus an advance look at Mega Man Legends 3!

Sports Illustrated Kids -- Learn more about the Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto and the Brazilian world cup star Marta. Also in this issue, a profile of the US women's world cup team, and "10 Ways to Make Sports More Awesome."

For Teens:
Justine -- College advice, a great list of books for summer reading, and a look at actor Grey Damon - leading man of new series "The Nine Lives of Chloe King" (based on these books).

Lucky -- A talk with actress and teen book author Lauren Conrad, and style advice from actress Rose Byrne.

Thrasher -- It's "The Interview Issue," and you will not believe how many interviews they managed to cram into this magazine: Aaron Homoki, Cody McEntire, Ben Hatchell and Daniel Lutheran are only the merest sampling of what Thrasher has to offer.

WWE Magazine -- An interview with John Cena, and 50 things to do this summer.

Building Bridges Workshop for Parents

nanniesnannies

On Monday May, 23 at 6pm, College Nannies and Tutors, in partnership with Building Bridges Therapy Center, will be hosting a workshop for parents at the Learning Center at 3907 Jackson Road. In this one hour event, a speech therapist will discuss speech and language development and another professional in the field will be discussing general development and sensory processing. These topics will cover all ages of children. If you are interested in this, please call 734-761-8393 to reserve a seat.

Magazine Update -- Giraffes, Plays and Magical Neurology

by stevendepolo, Flickr.comby stevendepolo, Flickr.com

You may have noticed that Ann Arbor is steadily sinking into the ground. Shocking news! But as you await the inevitable plunge towards the center of the Earth, at least you can read these cool new magazines.

For the kids:
Zootles is all about Giraffes, the tallest animals on Earth!

Plays Magazine gives you seven all new scripts for aspiring thespians, including "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" inspired by the classic Sherlock Holmes story!

Dig magazine digs into the Aztecs (get it?), and Muse magazine tells you about the weird brain glitches that make magic tricks work.

For the parents:
American Baby is ready to tell you all about decoding your baby's mood signals, dealing with kid-caused embarrassment, and going on baby-friendly vacations.

Have fun!

Author Birthdays: Trelease, Robinson, Cullin

March 23rd marks the birthday of authors Jim Trelease, Kim Stanley Robinson, Mitch Cullin.

Jim Trelease is an American artist, writer and educator. His The Read-Aloud Handbook, according to his website, "was the inspiration for PBS's 'Storytime' series". It emphasizes the importance of reading aloud to children, and has been used by both parents and educators.

Trelease also published a collection of stories which he thinks are perfect to read aloud. It includes many classics, as well as some inspirational stories, like "I have a dream: the story of Martin Luther King, Jr" by Margaret Davidson.

Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer. His Mars Trilogy has won Hugo and Nebula Awards. The trilogy focuses on a world in which Mars is a colony (by 2027, no less).

In 2009, Robinson published Galileo's Dream, in which Galileo travels to the future and finds himself caught up in political struggles on one of Jupiter's moons.

Mitch Cullin is an American writer of both novels and short stories. His collection of short stories is called From The Place In The Valley Deep In The Forest, and, as explained in a Booklist review, while the stories' topics are not fictional, "Cullin completely avoids making essays of his stories by focusing on vividly realized characters caught in the middle of those circumstances".

Cullin's A Slight Trick Of The Mind is a story of Sherlock Holmes in his old age, his memory failing. The cover is a tribute to Holmes' love of beekeeping in the novel.

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