Ilene grew up in Bayside, Queens. She has a BA in Elementary Education from SUNY New Paltz and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Queens College. Ilene worked as a preschool teacher at the Mid Island Y JCC for over 13 years. She was a mentor teacher, always helping to guide new teachers at her school. Ilene is an innovator in early childhood education, always researching new theories and programs to help her children get the skills necessary to succeed in today's society.
Presently, Ilene is introducing a STEM curriculum to Long Island at the Jericho STEM Academy Preschool at Jericho Jewish Center. The entire staff had to complete classes to become STEM certified which is a great accomplishment. Ilene was President of Shaloma Hadassah where she successfully raised funds to benefit Israel. Ilene resides in Plainview, NY. She has 3 wonderful children, Laura, Rebecca & Jason.
____________________________________________________________________________ A Message from the Director, "And remember, also, that many places you would like to see are just off the map and many things you want to know are just out of sight or a little beyond your reach. But someday you'll reach them all, for what you learn today, for no reason at all, will help you discover all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow." Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! As I anticipate the beginning of the school year, I look forward to the children that we will soon meet and get to know over the upcoming year. I remember my first day of school as a child and the mix of excited anticipation and fear that I felt. I also remember the first day of school for each of my children and I remember, again, the mix of anticipation and fear that I felt for them—perhaps I was more nervous than they! I say this because I want you to know that we understand. Each one of our teachers is a parent. We all know the fears, the hopes, the problems, and the joys of parenting. Yet we are also Early Childhood Educators. We understand, perhaps better than most, how very important the task of educating the young child is. We want for your children a true education, because we know that education is not just what a child learns from reading a book (although much can be learned from reading!) or from memorizing letters, numbers, shapes, and facts. Education is what happens when one discovers meaningful information through experience. Here at Jericho STEM we hope to provide an environment rich in a variety of meaningful and exciting materials and experiences so that your child can explore, discover and absorb through our STEM activities. Remember what your child learns today will help to discover “all the wonderful secrets of tomorrow.” We’d like to welcome some new staff. Alice Markell, Stephanie Goodman and Gina Chan to Jericho STEM Academy. New for this school year are our extended hours. We will be opened from 7:00 AM -6:00 PM. School hours are extended as well from 9:00-3:00. We will be using the Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum to supplement our literature education this school year. I’m sure the children will benefit with the enriched vocabulary and classic literature. Warm Regards, Ilene
October, 2019 Some facts concerning STEM: There are profound ties between STEM learning and language learning. Early STEM instruction leads to better language and literacy outcomes (Sarama et al. 2012), and exposure to more spatial language during block play in infancy and early childhood leads to improved spatial thinking abilities (Pruden, Levine, & Huttenlocher 2011). Math skills and reading skills at kindergarten entry are equally predictive of reading skills in eighth grade (Business Roundtable 2016), and background knowledge about the world and how it works (much of which falls within the realm of STEM concepts) is critical for listening comprehension throughout life and for reading comprehension once children are able to sound out words (Guernsey & Levine 2015). For young children, STEM is all around. We want children to discover all the fun possibilities that STEM has to offer. Then they can build their interest in STEM over time. To help make that happen, we need to remember that STEM starts early(NAEYC).
November News The first two months of the school year have been a success for teachers and children because we have settled into our daily routines and are following our busy schedules. Each classroom has established rules with the children in their class. The rules although worded differently in each class are all about respecting each other, caring for self, others and the school. The children are making friends and are completing daily STEM activities in their classrooms. This year we are proud to be making green choices. Thanksgiving is one of our themes for November. Our learning themes integrate into each of our subjects making learning new and fun. Our toddlers will be counting turkeys and feathers. We will all enjoy learning about history and geography with the story of the first Thanksgiving. Our children have many reasons to be thankful. Therefore, it was a perfect time for us to be charitable and raise money for St. Judes Children’s hospital. I am sure you are all beginning to plan your holiday activities and some quality time with your children. Thanksgiving is a great time of year to establish new family traditions to compliment the old. Children love tradition. My adult daughters still insist that we set the table in the same way and make the same food for Thanksgiving. Traditions define us. They provide us with memories, reliability, and stability. Traditions give us safety in a sometimes confusing and chaotic world. Those of us that are parents know the importance of positive feedback, but in the hustle bustle of the day how many of us remember to provide our children with deliberate, specific words of encouragement and reinforcement? Here are a few easy tips and guidelines on how to recognize good behavior, support healthy self-esteem and increase your little ones learning. • Speak to others when your child is doing something great. “Honey, I see Lila buttoning her coat all by herself”. “Wow, I see Jason sharing his toys.” . • Offer 5 positive statements to every direction or correction given. Give specific, positive feedback. “You practiced your sight words today all by yourself!” • Using school language will help your child to learn school rules and expectations more quickly. “I see that you were being respectful of your environment today.” ** November 15th- Picture Day November 20th-Trip to Garvies Point to learn about Native American pottery **December 3rd-Parent/Teacher conferences in the evening Warm Regards, Ilene ____________________________________________________________________________ Promoting Mathematical Thinking: Infants & Toddlers November 6, 2019 Child Care Institute Young children are natural explorers and observers. During the first 3 years of life, children need the adults around them to help them make connections between what they observe and the language used to describe those experiences. As with most development skills, early mathematical thinking is integrated into lots of other areas of development, for example – language skills. Use rich math language when talking to children. They will not understand every word you use, but in order to learn the words, they have to hear them over and over again. Try to use math language to create context or explain something about the child’s experience. Here are a few examples: After feeding an infant, say “You must have been hungry, you drank your whole bottle,” or “You must not be very hungry right now, you only drank half of your bottle.” When dressing a child say, “Your socks have a pattern – they are red/blue/red/blue,” or “Let’s put one leg inside the right pant leg, and the other leg in the left pant leg.” While children are playing say, “You are sitting next to, or beside, Jamel,” or “You just placed the green block on top of the yellow one and the blue block is on the bottom.” During circle time say our teachers say “Our group has 8 children in it today,” or “Usually, we have 8 children in our group, but David is sick today, so there are only 7 children here.” Before an art activity with your child say, “Julianna, if you would like to paint, come sit at the table,” or “Today we will be using wide and thin brushes to paint different kinds of lines.” When a child arrives we can say, “Your book bag is heavy today, there are many items inside it,” or “Good morning Theo, you are the first child to arrive today. I am glad you are here.” On a walk say, “Look at these two trees, one is very tall and the other one is short,” or “Can you put your hand around this small tree trunk? How many children would it take to give the big tree a hug?” While children are exploring the sensory table say, “How many cups of sand fit into the red bowl?” or “Who has the biggest pile of sand in front of them?” When your child is cleaning up say, “Zoe, please pick up the circles and then pick up the squares,” or “Let’s see how fast you can put all of the blocks into the basket.” Sing songs about itsy-bitsy spiders and great big bears. Include clapping to the rhythm of the song or poems. Songs like the Hokey Pokey can be modified to be easier for young children to understand. You can switch out left and right for one arm and the other arm, for example. Be sure to provide a routine that allows children time to explore the environment, experiment, and make observations. More importantly, provide a wide variety of safe and interesting materials for children to explore. ___________________________________________________________________________ December December is a month that we at Jericho STEM Academy happily look forward to. In this busy month, we enjoy talking about all of the holidays that our little ones celebrate. We talk about families, friends, love, giving and sharing. We are lucky to have families from a variety of different cultures/religions who celebrate different holidays. It is so wonderful for us to be able to share our Jewish holiday traditions and to learn and appreciate our likenesses and differences. Early Bird Registration for the 2019-2020 school year will begin soon. Please tell all your friends about our wonderful school! The only STEM accredited preschool on Long Island! Some December events to look forward to at Jericho STEM: 1-Our Holiday party is on December 18th. 2- School wide hibernation party- December 4th 3- Parent/Teacher conferences-December 4th
VALET SERVICE – Please pull up to the curb near the valet sign between 9:00 and 9:15 every morning. Your child should exit the car on the curb side. PLEASE DO NOT PARK YOUR CAR NEAR THE CURB IF YOU ARE TAKING YOUR CHILD INTO THE SCHOOL All of us at The Jericho STEM Science Academy/Jericho Jewish Center wish you and your family a very Happy and Healthy Holiday Season! _______________________________________________________________________________ January 2020 Dear Parents, Happy New Year to all our families! I hope you all had a restful and relaxing break and spent lots of time with your family. We wanted to say “Thank you” for all the nice cards, kind gifts and “special treats” that we had received from our families!! We felt truly spoiled! We are looking forward to our first month of 2020 and our batteries are fully recharged. I am sure your children are all ready to see their friends and to settle into our routine again! Some Learning Adventure Enrichment programs will be changing in February. I’d like to highlight one of my favorites: DINOSAURS There will be a lot of roaring and exploring going on in our school. The children will learn about how dinosaurs lived and how they became extinct. We will sing dinosaur songs and you will hear us stomping through the hallways. Don’t be surprised if you see bones in our sensory box. Your child might be busy excavating (what a big word) and looking for fossils. Some of the educational activities we will be doing are: Ø Sort, count and match bones, foot prints, teeth and create dinosaur patterns. Ø Measure the size of a dinosaur by using ropes, paper rolls, masking tape Ø Create a skeleton out of different kinds of pasta. Ø Make our own fossils Ø Make dinosaur eggs Ø Bake fossil cookies and eat the foot prints after Ø Excavate in our sandbox (sensory table) Learn new vocabulary such as extinct, carnivore, herbivores We will be learning about artic animals this month. We will learn where the artic is located, and how the position of the Artic on earth results in very cold weather in relation of distance from the sun. We also learned about some artic animals and how they adapt to survive in the cold weather. They have a layer of fat beneath their skin called blubber. We put Crisco in a bag as the blubber and the children had the opportunity to feel the difference between having that extra layer of fat or not.
Labels-Please be sure to put your child’s name on everything brought to school. It helps minimize confusion when teachers try to determine ownership of similar clothing. ¨ Arrive by 9:00-Our goal is to officially have our children start the day by 9:15. Children arriving after 9:00 may have a hard time with participating during circle time. Children prefer to engage and or interact in the classroom before having to sit at circle time and start the academic part of the day. We encourage all families to bring your little ones by 9:15 a.m. Try to take advantage of our valet drop off which ends at 9:15. ¨ Extra Clothes– Please provide extra clothing for your children, including socks and shoes. Bring a full change of clothes with your child’s name. ¨ Rest time supplies-Please do not provide oversize pillows for your children, they do not fit in their cubbies, and often end up on the floor. Please label their sheets and blankets. If you forget your child’s bedding, we will have to charge you for a sheet that we will supply. To prevent late charges please remember that our school closes at 6:00 p.m. Since we are going into the heavy cold and flu months, please remember to keep your child home if they have an excessively runny nose, fever, diarrhea, or vomiting. State regulations require your child to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. This also applies to vomiting and diarrhea. We want to keep everyone happy and healthy this year! On behalf of the entire staff we wish you a happy and healthy 2020! Remember, my door is always open if you have any questions, comments or concerns. _____________________________________________________________________________ FEBRUARY Even though February is the shortest month of the year we have much going on! It is the international month of friendship which we will honor with discussions, stories, and encouragement on how to show love to friends. It is national children’s dental health month, so we will begin introducing our students to health and nutrition which will play a greater role in the upcoming months. Our school will have a visit from a dentist this month that will perform a puppet show about dental health for our children. Our children are very excited to complete STEM challenges relating to light, darkness and shadows. We also have activities planned using magnets and everyday tools. We will end the month learning about rockets, stars and planets. We hope the children will gain experience and confidence by asking questions and searching for answers. They have been learning to trust themselves, and their decision making abilities. Their curiosity has been met with enthusiasm. We are thrilled to have a special event this month; a planetarium is coming to our school! We are looking forward to our new Learning Adventure Enrichment clubs being offered here at Jericho STEM Academy. We now offer Tech Stars for the first time! Summer is quickly approaching and next month we will fill you in on some of the special activities we are planning. Warm Regards, Ilene ___________________________________________________________________________ MARCH February was an exciting month at the Jericho STEM Academy. Our children explored the night sky, had fun with shadows and learned about nocturnal animals. Learning about dinosaurs was also a favorite theme of the month. For Dental Health Month we were fortunate to have Smile Station come to our school and put on a puppet show for the children. We are also going on a trip to Jericho Smiles! Our author study for the month is “Dr. Seuss” and we look forward to celebrating his birthday on March 2nd. Not only are Dr. Seuss books loved by children all over the world but they introduce the fundamentals of reading. The children learn from the simple word repetition and rhyming. In honor of Dr. Seuss we will have a birthday party and everyone will have on their finest Dr. Seuss apparel. March always brings the anticipation of spring. It also reminds us of how fast the end of the school year is approaching.. We will be working on Earth Day preparations by doing recycled art projects both collaboratively as well as individually. There are several events planned for March: Our Purim Parade will be on March 9th. We are making groggers and will wear costumes for our parade. March 10th- Cornell COOP will be here with a presentation called Dairy Delights. We will learn how to milk a cow and will make ice cream! March 16- Scholastic Book Fair begins March 19- Officer Merkel will visit with the children. In the evening we will have parent teacher conferences. Regards, Ilene