Good luck, Ofelia!

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Sadly, today is Ofelia's last day at Baan Dek. We wanted to take this opportuinty to wish her good luck - sending her off in style! Next week, Ofelia is headed to England, where she'll pursue her graduate studies in Anthropology at the University of Reading. But first, an adventure with field school. We've really enjoyed having her as a part of our commuunity, and wish her the best of luck!

Meet Sarah Skaff

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We're very pleased to introduce you to Sarah Skaff, who will be joining Baan Dek as an assistant in the Fall. After our initial interview, we just knew that Sarah would make an awesome addition to our growing team. Her confidence, friendliness and excellent dispoition towards children were evident from the start.

Sarah, originally from Nebraska, completed her Bachelor's in Education from the University of Nebraska. Sarah has, in one capacity or another, been working with children for nearly a decade. As she relays, "With many different teaching experiences in those years, I hope to be able to be a great encouragement and help to your child in every aspect of his or her life." See what we mean about the confidence? We can't wait to have you meet her.

Topponcino and More

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As many of you know, our very own Jamie Bauer is working on her Toddler training at the Montessori Institute of Denver. She'll return at the end of the Summer, and help us pioneer the first accredited Montessori Toddler program in the state. Needless to say, we're very excited.

Jamie has been providing us with updates from the frontlines, so to speak, including quotes, inspirations and a few photos. We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the images that Jamie has shared with us. Take a look at what she's sewed:

"The pillow is a Topponcino, a pillow for a new baby that they can be carried/transferred from person to person on. The next is the weaning set which includes a table cloth with place settings, a bib, a napkin, and a carrying case."

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Play and Work

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As many of you know, our very own Mrs. Bauer set off on an adventure this Summer. She headed to Denver, Colorado, to start her Toddler Montessori training at The Montessori Institute, which just celebrated its twenty-fifth year, directed by Mrs. Judy Orion.

As a part of the extensive, practical, hands-on training, Mrs. Bauer will also be immersed in the writings of Maria Montessori. We received a little, inspirational update from her first day on the front lines: "When a child is doing a self-constructed activity there is no difference between play and work."

We're very excited for Mrs. Bauer, and we'll definitely try to keep you posted on both insights and updates.

Literacy Tips for Summer

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We sat down with Ms. Wood to discuss some fun ideas to implement literacy over the Summer. Here's some of what we came up with:

  • Library: Go to the library! A lot! "The library is like a candy store where you can sample everything," says Ms. Wood. The library is also a great opportunity to foster and encourage responsibility. "For your young child - they could keep the receipt and put it somewhere safe, the fridge perhaps, to make sure all the checked-out books make it back to the library." The public library also has a summer reading program that might be fun for your child to participate in, learning about new authors and other illustrators.

  • Grocery Store: The summer provides excellent opportunities for daily adventures. For instance, your young writer can help compose the grocery list, and their emerging reading skills can be engaged at the end of the trip to ensure that you got everything on the list. Did we get bananas? Check. How about the orange juice?

  • On the Road: Play road games. As families set out on road trips over the summer, there are a number of practical, engaging ways to implement literacy. For instance, you can see which letters your child can identify in license plates, or what states they can read, or, perhaps you can read some bumper stickers together. Be careful on this one!

  • Play rhyming games. So, you're headed down the road, and you're looking for something productive to do, to help keep your children occupied. Perhaps you would like to see how many words you can think of that rhyme with a certain word. Start with something easy, like bee or light. For an added challenge, your child can write them down and keep lists.

Hope you enjoy some of these suggestions. We're sure you have others, and we'd love to hear what works for you!