Author - kathryno

When are you helping too much?
We have so much fun!
Sorting out Unit two
Erik Erikson
Who We Are Unit starting!
Attitudes and Learner Profiles
Elements of the PYP: Skills
Elements of PYP unit planning: Knowledge.
Loy Krathong Help

When are you helping too much?

This weekend one of my favorite authors sent an email out about things we should worry less about.  One of the things he mentioned was creating a perfect life for our children.  He referenced quite a few studies and discussed how American states are now making new laws to allow parents to be less micromanaging of our children’s lives.  Studies are finding that children who are not allowed time to try things on their own, and to be able to make their own decisions are struggling as teenagers and adults.


I’m not linking the author I read because his writing has cuss words in it, but his name is Mark Manson.  Instead, I found a link to an article for Psychology Today-


This article, as well as others that I read this weekend talk about children experiencing difficulties in their teens.  This focus is primarily because this way of parenting is new in the US (new as in it wasn’t this way in the 1970s). But, the examples and ways to help both can refer to toddlers as well.


The reason I am talking about this is that signs of anxiety and stress show up in toddlers just as they show in teens.  Toddlers crave autonomy and boundaries at the same time.  Our goal as adults is to give them both, safely.  If we can’t do that, it might affect them later in life.  How do we give them boundaries and independence?  Allow them to try things! For a while, until they ask for help.  AND, allow them to do things they can already do, even if imperfectly.

For instance, our students feed themselves, brush their own teeth, pick up messes, plan ways to play with toys, create art, open and close doors, “ride” bicycles, and climb.  Food might be everywhere, their teeth might not be cleaned to perfection, and toys might be oddly scattered about… but they did it by themselves! What a way to build confidence! They might struggle with a few doors, or not ride correctly, but they learned through the trial and error.  The brain grows through struggles. Confidence grows through struggles.  A good attitude and patience grows through struggles.  Without struggles, without feeling frustration, without feeling “negative” emotions, children can’t cope in the real world. Adulthood will be impossible for them.

The article lists a few specifics on how to let children experience life.  I’d just like to add for toddlers that adults learn waiting time.  Let them have time to try to open the lid, or feed themselves, or put on shoes.  If they fall, let them decide if they are hurt and need reassurance.  If they want something, teach them to ask for it nicely so they can learn waiting time too.  Our toddlers are strong and smart.  They can do so many things.  We just need to foster this as well as foster emotional health.




We have so much fun!


Here are some videos about our Trust and Caring day.



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March has been busy.  We have watched our children grow in independence and confidence.  Most of the class is separated for various times in our day and enjoying their time with only friends and teachers.

During this month, we have celebrated book week, had a separation workshop, and held parent teacher conferences.  It was a busy beginning of the month!

We will continue watching the students flourish.  They have managed to master feeding themselves, expressing wants and needs, transitioning to specials, and playing independently and with friends.  Just watch what we can do in the next 11 weeks!


Sorting out Unit two

Trust and Caring started a new unit recently. Our new unit is focusing on understanding ourselves. We are looking at how and why we interact with the world around us.  We are trying to see what our abilities are, how these abilities affect our choices, and how we play with others.
Much growth has happened in the T&C room.  Children are playing more constructively. They are sharing toys and waiting their turns. It is amazing how independence and confidence change how we behave towards and with others.  We have become quite a nice group of friends.
T&C students have mastered their routines now. They’re excited about specials and play. They feed themselves and express their wants. Now we go deeper; we delve into who we are and how that is the core of our decisions.


Erik Erikson

I have been reading about the stages children go through while growing.  At Trust and Caring age, they are going through “guilt -vs-autonomy”.  Here is a description of this-

The child is developing physically and becoming more mobile. Between the ages of 18 months and three, children begin to assert their independence, by walking away from their mother, picking which toy to play with, and making choices about what they like to wear, to eat, etc.


The child is discovering that he or she has many skills and abilities, such as putting on clothes and shoes, playing with toys, etc. Such skills illustrate the child’s growing sense of independence and autonomy. Erikson states it is critical that parents allow their children to explore the limits of their abilities within an encouraging environment which is tolerant of failure.


For example, rather than put on a child’s clothes a supportive parent should have the patience to allow the child to try until they succeed or ask for assistance. So, the parents need to encourage the child to become more independent while at the same time protecting the child so that constant failure is avoided.


A delicate balance is required from the parent. They must try not to do everything for the child, but if the child fails at a particular task they must not criticize the child for failures and accidents (particularly when toilet training). The aim has to be “self control without a loss of self-esteem” (Gross, 1992). Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of will.

This is why a preschool such as Magic Years is so wonderful for children.  We have the space and the teachers to create an encouraging environment that allows for failures and successes.


Who We Are Unit starting!

This week, Trust and Caring has started a new unit.  This unit is on the transdisciplinary theme “Who We Are’ with the central idea being, “We understand more about ourselves everyday”.

Students will be focusing on how they feel, what their attitudes are, and with whom they have relationships.  Through this focus, they are growing in independence, respect and cooperation.
Our main goals for this unit are to see children making choices on their own.  Children learn more when they are left to be independent to explore, test ideas, and try new things.  They feel successful when they are allowed to make the decisions they can easily make on their own: whether to eat, what to eat, feeding themselves, what to play, etc.
All of the children in Trust and Caring are of the age to be doing these things on their own.  Maybe they don’t all hold a spoon well, but they know how to feed themselves with their hands.  Maybe they don’t sit and play intimately with toys, but they are aware and thinking.
Some children in Trust and Caring would like to sit and watch others, this is part of their experience.  Some would like to test a few toys for throwing or eating.  Some are ready to build block towers and make icecreams from playdough.  All these things are fine and appropriate.  This is what we want to see, children making their own decisions and trying out autonomy and independence.
After all, it is what is in the best interest of the children.

Attitudes and Learner Profiles


The third element in the IB has to do with behaviors. The IB labels these as attitudes and they are linked to IB learner profiles. In this unit, we are looking at the learner profiles inquirer, knowledgeable, and communicator.

The attitudes we are looking for are communicator, curiosity, and independence.

An Inquirer uses research and thinking skills. “We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.”
Someone who is knowledgeable grasps the 5 areas of knowledge. “We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global signi ficance.”
A communicator uses social skills. “We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively , listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.”
Confidence is also connected to social skills. It is defined as “Feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions and choices.”
Curiosity uses Research and thinking skills. Students are “Being curious about the nature of learning, about the world, its people and cultures.”
Independence uses self management skills.  Independent children are “Thinking and acting independently, making their own judgments based on reasoned argument, and being able to defend their judgments”.

Elements of the PYP: Skills


Our second area that we look at is skills.  This is where we see the most growth in toddlers.  What is amazing is that all this growth happens through play and interaction!



Sustains attention to complete a task

Understands how objects can be used

Makes connections


Social skills (also PSPE)

Trusts known caring adults

Interacts with peers

Learns to be a member of the group

Accepts responsibility

Respects others

Expresses and manages feelings


Self Management Skills

Collects objects for play

Puts things away


Keeps hands to self

Uses appropriate behavior

Follows routines

Separation started/finished


Motor Skills


Use stairs with little help

Kicks ball




Pedals bike


Picks with pinscher grasp

Pours drink with minimal spilling

Beads on a pipe cleaner



Gains knowledge through repetition/ trial

Shares thinking



While we talked in conferences, this is the list we referred to most.  It is amazing to see the daily changes that happen in these skill areas.

Elements of PYP unit planning: Knowledge.


When we are planning a unit, we focus on the five elements of the PYP: Knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action.  What we are looking for in each area depends on the age group with which we are working.  Trust and Caring children are between 1-2 years of age.  Do you know what knowledge they have/ can learn?


Uses number words


Understands more/less

Compares and Groups by attributes- color, size, shape

Understands directionality


Language Arts:

Names things

Says 2 word phrases

Join in familiar songs and rhymes

Recognize that people speak different languages

Shows interest in books

Makes marks

Differentiates between pictures and writing



Responds to different forms of art

Explores different forms of art (music, drama, dance, visual)



 plans ways to use objects to perform  tasks

shows a beginning understanding of cause and effect

uses problem solving strategies


Social Studies:

Recognize that people speak different languages

Show empathy
Each of these bits of knowledge is usually learned around/before the time the students move to Joy and Confidence.  Isn’t this amazing?  so much to learn!






Loy Krathong Help

This week we will be celebrating Loy Krathong.  We will be making krathongs on Friday in the morning.  We are scheduled to float them at 9:40.

This Wednesday (Nov 1) at 2pm the Loy Krathong Committee and parent volunteers will be folding and preparing the banana leaves that students will need for their Kratong-building on Friday.  They are hoping to have as many volunteers as possible so that the work goes quickly and isn’t too difficult.

If it is possible for any Trust and Caring member to help, that would be wonderful.  This will allow us to make our krathongs quicker and easily in the early years program, as our children are not ready to fold the leaves themselves.

Ms. K