1. Halloween and Farm Animal Tips from Time to Sign Inc.


    by PACE in Category: At Your Center/School,Child Behavior/Development,For Your Business,Just For Fun

     

    October is a fun month to teach sign language for ghosts and goblins. Story telling the fun way through sign. Farm Animals are visited during pumpkin searches.

    Check out the videos below to learn some great signs for Halloween!

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrT1nJ3UPoA&feature=youtu.be

    Sign Along to the We See Farm Animals Story!

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJCTRRY0DWg&feature=youtu.be

     * excerpted from Time to Sign, Inc. October Newsletter 

     

     

     

     

     

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  2. Developmental Screening in Your Community


    by PACE in Category: At Your Center/School,Child Behavior/Development

    “This book provides a logical and applicable framework for the screening process and is relevant to anyone interested in or implementing a screening program in their community.”

    Check it out! A glowing book review of Developmental Screening in Your Community was published in the September, 2014 Journal of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics:

    http://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/Fulltext/2014/09000/Developmental_Screening_in_Your_Community__An.14.aspx

     

     

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  3. How to Improve Your Web Ad’s Chance of Going Viral


    by PACE in Category: At Your Center/School,For The Adults,For Your Business,Marketing

    Question: You wrote about making money on Web videos. What about ways to make our company’s online advertisement a hit? We hear about ads going viral—what’s the best way to make that happen?

    Answer: Wouldn’t it be great if there were a simple prescription that could guarantee your Web ads would turn into viral videos, shared online from one social media account to another until you had a hit of Gangnam Style proportions?

    Unfortunately, there is no secret recipe that can truly predict what is going to catch on with the online masses, which is why so many carefully constructed, expensive Web marketing campaigns fall flat.

    There are, however, a few things to keep in mind that may help save your online ad from becoming a dud:

         Still from the Pick Them Back Up campaign

    Courtesy Procter & Gamble

    Still from the Pick Them Back Up campaign

    Question: You wrote about making money on Web videos. What about ways to make our company’s online advertisement a hit? We hear about ads going viral—what’s the best way to make that happen?

    Answer: Wouldn’t it be great if there were a simple prescription that could guarantee your Web ads would turn into viral videos, shared online from one social media account to another until you had a hit of Gangnam Style proportions?

    Unfortunately, there is no secret recipe that can truly predict what is going to catch on with the online masses, which is why so many carefully constructed, expensive Web marketing campaigns fall flat.

    There are, however, a few things to keep in mind that may help save your online ad from becoming a dud:

    Grab attention: “Ingredients for a viral video include an element that immediately hooks viewers,” James Percelay, co-founder of New York City digital marketing agency Thinkmodo, writes in an e-mail. If your ad is unique and surprising, it will be remembered. And something that sticks in viewers’ minds is something they’ll want to share with friends and family.

    Make it emotional: “Think about the Dove Beauty Sketch ads and how wildly popular they were,” says J.T. Hroncich of Capitol Media Solutions in Atlanta. “Google’s (GOOG)Dear Sophie ad is another one—it showcases the product’s features while beautifully telling a story.”

    Keep it short: Under two minutes in length—and not too slick—is the way to go. “Polished production values can diminish the impact of a viral video,” Percelay writes. You also don’t want overt branding or a heavy-handed sales pitch that will turn viewers off.

    Use inspiration and humor: Make viewers laugh and show how someone overcame an obstacle. “Or just acknowledge regular people doing something really remarkable,” Hroncich says. “A great example of that is the Proctor & Gamble (PG)ads about the mothers of Olympians. We sometimes take for granted the little sacrifices parents have to make to help their children achieve greatness. It was nice to see the people behind the medals and what they endured to get their kids to that point.”

    Be strategic: Release your ad at a time when your competitors’ ads aren’t being released and you’ll need fewer views to climb to the top at YouTube, advises Alexander Debelov, chief executive of online ad platform Virool. You can also beta-test your ad with a sample of viewers and improve it with their feedback.

    Keep it going: “When you see the pace of video views starting to slow, use more paid ad views and reach out to your biggest fans with new incentives for social sharing,” Debelov writes in an e-mail.

    But not everyone advises falling back on paid placements. Percelay says his agency won’t do it. “Thinkmodo never engages in this practice because it believes that generating an artificial audience does not effectively reach a brand’s desired consumer,” he says.

    “Organically earned views are the only ones that really count and are able to create a true viral effect for your marketing initiative.”

    By Karen E. Klein June 16, 2014

    Karen_klein
    Klein is a Los Angeles-based writer who covers entrepreneurship and small-business issues.

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  4. A simple “Elmer the Elephant” counting game!


    by PACE in Category: At Your Center/School,Child Behavior/Development,Just For Fun

    Books are a wonderful way of exploring and learning about a new concept.  It provides as an introduction and also an extension of the learning into an activity.  Elmer’s First Counting Book by David McKee is a fabulous book to introduce counting to young children and toddlers.

    This counting activity involves reading and sharing the story Elmer’s First Counting Book.  Followed by a count and match the number activity using coloured squares that imitate the colourful patches on Elmer the Elephant from the book.
     
    Elmer the Elephant Counting Activity
     
    You will need a large sheet of paper, black marker pen, ruler, scissors, coloured paper and Elmer’s First Counting Book. Glue is optional. 
    To make the coloured squares, cut up the coloured paper into squares approx. 2.5cm x 2.5cm.
    I used the ruler and black marker pen to create the graph like sections for each number on the paper and also wrote the numbers with matching dots to represent the value.
    The glue is only optional, we did not glue the coloured squares down, to allow for this activity to be completed and play with over and over again
     
    Let’s Play
    Elmer the Elephant Activity Ideas
     
    Some ideas:
    • Allow your child to hold the book and have full ownership of the reading experience.
    • Talk about the cover page and title such as, “What do you think the story is about?”
    • Model to your child the counting and pointing at each picture as you count it. Hold your child’s hand/finger as they point and count with them.
    • Ask questions throughout the book such as “Do elephants really look like Elmer?” “Do crocodiles laugh?” “Which page is your favourite, why?”
    • For older children, ask them to find the number 1, number 2, etc on each page and point to it.
    • Place a coloured square over each picture when counting in the book Elmer’s First Counting Book.
    Let’s Learn
    Counting Book Activities for Toddlers and Pre Schoolers
     
    I really like the way this activity introduces children to counting, early graphing skills and also representing the value of  each number.  The higher the number the more squares are needed to make that number.  It is also repetitive and allows children to practice counting out loud.
    Learning Opportunities
    • Fine Motor Development – manipulating objects.
    • Hand-eye Coordination and Control
    • Concentration
    • Language development – Counting our loud and pronunciation of numbers. Developing vocabulary from reading the book Elmer’s First Counting Book.
    • Mathematics – Recognising numbers, value of numbers and early graphing skills.
    • Sorting by colour and number.

    This post is from:

     
     
     
     
    The aim of Learning4kids is to create an online resource where parents, educators can find a useful box of activities and play ideas to do with their children that will also help promote learning and development that are FUN!!
     
    One thing to best describe me is that I am BUSY, VERY BUSY as a Mum and a Teacher but I wouldn’t have it any other way!  My name is Janice and I am a mum to 3 beautiful girls who I admire and adore more than anything in the world.  I also teach Kindergarten, Year One and I am also involved in an Early Years Playgroup who I write learning programs for.   Teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my children and students is what I love most and being in the moment as I watch them discover in those amazing light bulb moments.  I hope my little hobby blog brings you some useful ideas.
     
     
     
     
      
     

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  5. Great Bilingual Book for School Age Children


    by PACE in Category: At Your Center/School

    Here is a great #bilingual book for school age children, recommended by Open Wide the World, as part of the #ReadtheWorldMKB summer reading series:

    This is from:

    Multicultural Kid Blogs

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  6. The Bubble Wrap Project from Reggio Children Inspired!


    by PACE in Category: At Your Center/School

    The Bubble Wrap Project Who knew how beautiful… |
    Reggio Children Inspired
    reggiochildreninspired.tumblr.com
    Who knew how beautiful filling bubble wrap with fabric and ribbon would be? Perfect for nifty little fingers! The children have been apt with cutting fabric and ribbon, then  stuffing it into bubble wrap pockets. Its a CAREFUL operation! One where the teacher and student are really partners. A teacher carefully makes a small incision in the back of the bubble and the little fingers do the rest. We then put scotch tape on it “like a band-aid” as one child stated today. My favorite recycled art project this year thus far!

    REGGIO CHILDREN INSPIRED

    I am a NYC teacher inspired by the the practice of the Reggio Emilia Approach. In 2005, I attended an educator’s conference in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Over the past 8 years, I have learned so much about the amazing philosophy of education that stems from this small town in Italy. There is so much that I feel Reggio has to offer us as educators. The Reggio approach to Early Childhood education is based on relationships between the child, parent, teacher, classroom and community.
    The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
    Children must have some control over the direction of their learning.
    Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing.
    Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
    The city of Reggio Emilia in Italy is recognized worldwide for its innovative approach to education. Its signature educational philosophy has become known as the Reggio Emilia Approach, one which many preschool programs around the world have adopted.

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  7. Tips for Effective Advocacy for Children!


    by PACE in Category: Advocacy,At Your Center/School,For The Adults

    public_policy_img

    We want to share with you the key components to successful advocacy campaigns for children:

    • Know the facts: To gain and maintain credibility, it is critical that you have the all of the facts on both sides of any issue. Having this information at your finger-tips will help you in conversations with government officials, the media, other advocates, and the general public.
    • Use the facts: Any position you take should be grounded in the facts. It is often helpful to put your facts into one-pagers that you can distribute.
    • Have clear and concise message: Government officials, the press and the general public do not have time for long-winded conversations or documents—you need to get to your point quickly and concisely. And remember to watch out for the jargon and acronyms used in different fields—you want everyone to understand the issues you are raising.
    • Nurture relationships and work collaboratively: Advocacy is a joint venture- you need to find your allies and work with them. Your chances of success are much greater when there are large numbers of organizations and people on your side. Whenever possible, be sure you and your allies have consistent data and the same messages.
    • Engage the public: Use the media, social media, petitions, letters, e-mails and other grassroots strategies to engage as many Californians as you can. Remember numbers speak loudly to elected officials!
    • Make your voice heard! Advocacy is not the place for being shy. Make sure you spread the word—through meetings with government officials, press conferences, letters, petitions, rallies, and phone calls. And don’t forget to talk about what you are advocating for at dinner parties and social events- you never know who can become a useful ally.
    • Say thank you: Remember that everyone is busy and their time is valuable. Keep your meetings short and always say thank you afterwards. When your advocacy is a success, always thank everyone who helped you achieve your victory!

     

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  8. Pledge to Prevent Child Heatstroke in Cars


    by PACE in Category: Advocacy,At Your Center/School,For The Adults

    Heatstroke is the number one killer of children, outside of car crashes. That’s why the Administration for Children and Families has joined with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to attempt to reduce these deaths by reminding parents and caregivers about the dangers of heatstroke and leaving children in hot cars

    Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for children 14 and younger.Heatstroke infographic

    • From 1998-2013 606 children died due to heatstroke, representing 61percent of total non-crash fatalities in this age group. of the 606 deaths:
      • 52% were forgotten in the vehicle
      • 29% gained access by themselves and became trapped
      • 18% were left intentionally
      • 1% were unknown cases
    • In 2013 44 children died of heatstroke in the U.S.
    • Children are at a higher risk than adults of dying from heatstroke in a hot vehicle especially when they are too young to communicate.
    • A child’s temperature heats up 3 to 5 times faster than that of an adult’s

    Read the Blog View the Video | Sign the Pledge | Get the Facts | Check the Safety Tips

    HHS in partnership with DOT/NHTSA have developed a voluntary Pledge Form that providers and parents may use to work together to keep children safe.

     

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  9. Terminating a Difficult Employee


    by PACE in Category: At Your Center/School,For The Adults

    Terminating a Difficult Employee
    By: Katharine Meyer

    One of the most unpleasant duties of being the CEO of a non-profit organization is firing an employee. It is a difficult and stressful task regardless of whether it is the result of downsizing or poor performance. However, it becomes even more unpleasant when you have to fire the “toxic” employee; the one employee that constantly complains, is insubordinate, a gossip, unprofessional, and/or cannot work well with others.
    Firing such an employee is sometimes an immediate and emotional decision. However, we have seen many of these “on the spot” firings – where an executive fires a person during a moment of frustration or anger – go wrong. Frequently, these types of firings lead to litigation, and claims of wrongful termination. While most employees are “at will” employees who can be fired at any time, an employee’s termination should ever be a rush to judgment. Instead, the termination of an employee should come at the end of a thoughtful, well-documented and transparent process. This article provides guidance as to how to properly fire a difficult employee, in order to reduce the risk of costly litigation.
    1. Have a Disciplinary Process – and Follow It. When a CEO tells us that she wants to terminate an employee, our first question is whether the organization has a written disciplinary or termination policy. It is surprising how many CEOs cannot answer this question. If you have a disciplinary process, in most cases, it should be followed.[1] If you do not have a written disciplinary process, you still need to make sure that every employee is treated fairly and consistently. For instance, let’s say you have two employees, Joe and Jane. In January, Joe is has three unexcused absences. You speak to Joe, and put a note in his file. In October, Jane also has several unexcused absences. You do not really work well with Jane, so you terminate her based on these absences. There is now a risk that Jane could claim that you discriminated against her, because she is a member of a protected class. You have now left the organization open to this kind of claim.
    2. Document, Document, Document. There needs to be evidence to back up any termination. However, many supervisors dislike giving poor performance evaluations. Often times, they are afraid of the repercussions in the workplace if they give an employee a negative review. Therefore, reviews tend to be glowing, or, at worst, neutral, instead of realistic. But a supervisor is doing her association a disservice if she does not give an honest evaluation of every employee. When an employee is terminated for poor work product or conduct, but has only positive performance evaluations, it is more difficult to prove that an employee’s performance or conduct was the reason he was terminated. Therefore, make sure to meet with a problem employee early on, and explain what he has done wrong. Explain what you want him to do differently, and how you will measure his performance in the future. Also, let him know what the consequences are if he does not improve. Put a memo in the employee’s file, documenting what was said at this meeting.
    3. Determine the Risks of Firing the Employee. As stated earlier, while most employees are employees “at will” and can be terminated at any time, for any reason, there are risks involved with firing certain individuals. Therefore, before firing any employee you should check to see if:

    a. The person is part of a protected class? (e.g., is this person: (i) a minority, (ii) over 40, (iii) disabled; or (iv) a woman?)
    b. The employee has a medical condition that would affect his work performance, such as a chronic disease or alcohol or drug addiction, which could be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
    c. The employee has been subject to sexual harassment?
    d. The employee has been properly classified as exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act?
    If you believe that any of these risks apply to the employee you want to terminate, we strongly recommend that you speak with your legal counsel before firing this individual. There may be ways you can limit your liability risk prior to his termination.
    4. Prepare for the Termination Meeting. Once you decide to terminate an employee, it should be done quickly. However, put some time and thought into preparing for the termination meeting. Terminating someone by phone or e-mail should be a last resort. Ideally you should terminate someone in a neutral office area, like a conference room. You should always have another high level person in the room, to witness the conversation. This conversation should then be transcribed and placed in a file. Calmly and clearly tell the person that they are terminated, and briefly explain why. Explain that they will need to return all company property, such as keycards, laptops, phones, etc. If a release agreement is being provided to the employee, usually in exchange for a severance payment, it should be given and explained to the employee at this time. The employee should then be escorted to his desk to collect his belongings, and then should be escorted out of the office. If possible, schedule this meeting at a time when many people are not in the office. First thing in the morning, the end of the day, or even lunch hour are all good options. Finally, plan ahead and make sure that the employee has no access to the organization’s servers, e-mail and computer systems once he leaves the office.
    5. Execute a Release. Many companies find that it is helpful to have an employee sign a release agreement at the time of termination. This release usually states that the employee releases the company from any wrongful termination claims, in exchange for a severance payment. Make sure the severance payment is consistent with written policies and organizational practice. In exchange for a few weeks extra pay, the company gets the peace of mind that an employee will not be taking legal action against it for wrongful termination. There is certain language that needs to be included in such a release, especially if the employee you are terminating is over the age of 40. Therefore, consult with your legal counsel if you decide to have an employee sign a release at the time of his termination.
    Ultimately, terminating a hostile or toxic employee needs to be done with care. Working with legal counsel and following your policies and procedures will limit the risk of future litigation.

    ________________________________________
    [1] For any association that has progressive disciplinary procedures for employees, we recommend that your Employee Manual clearly state that such procedures will be followed by the association only when appropriate, and that the association has the right to terminate any “at will” employee at any time without following the progressive procedures. This will give the association some flexibility if it is unable to follow the progressive disciplinary procedures, or if, based on an employee’s egregious conduct, it has to terminate him immediately.

    If you are interested in learning more about “Terminating a Difficult Employee,” contact Katie Meyer, GKG Law, P.C. at 202.342.6775 or kmeyer@gkglaw.com.

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  10. Pre-K Availability Varies by State (ABC News)


    by PACE in Category: Uncategorized

    Pre-K Availability Varies by State (ABC News)- A new report finds wide disparities in the number of spots available for publicly funded preschool programs. A whopping 94 percent of 4-year-olds attended such a program in the District of Columbia and more than 7 out of 10 did in Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont. Ten states had no such program.In fact, even as lawmakers from both parties have embraced the idea of expanding early childhood programs, the number of children enrolled in state preschool programs saw a modest decline of about 9,200 children in the 2012-2013 school year — the first such reduction since 2002, when researchers at Rutgers University started tracking pre-K trends. Even as funding increased from a year earlier, more than half of states with programs made cuts. California alone, for example, lost nearly 15,000 slots. Overall, $5.4 billion was spent by states on pre-K funding for about 1.3 million preschoolers. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the data is a “reminder of how much work we still have to do to ensure that every child gets a running start.” Supporters say preschool programs help level the playing field for young children who enter kindergarten well behind their peers and never catch up, and members of the business community are among those advocates for preschool expansion. But the quality of such programs vary. No states require preschoolers to attend school. Some states seek to universally offer it. Others base eligibility on family income. Under some setups, a community-based program receives public dollars. Other programs are within elementary schools. While some states offer state-funded preschool to 3-year-olds, the programs are much more popular for 4-year-olds.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/pre-availability-varies-state-23691100

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