Kindergarten Grand Finale at Disneyland!

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After an unforgettable final year at LBA in Ms. Liliana’s Redondo Beach classroom, the kindergarten students were fully prepared to begin their next chapter in elementary school. But before saying goodbye to Leap & Bound for the last time, Ms. Liliana’s class of 2017 dressed in their bright green T-shirts once more for one of their favorite parts of school: field trips! Wednesday, June 28th would be a day to remember for Ms. Liliana and her students as they embarked together on one last adventure… this time to the happiest place on Earth! A day trip with their classmates and parents to Disneyland on the last day of kindergarten would leave a lasting memory on the students before venturing to new schools for first grade.

 

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The adventure begins in Frontierland

Many parents and family members of the kindergarteners attended the field trip to help commemorate the students’ graduation from LBA at everyone’s favorite amusement park. Ms. Liliana and Ms. Tiffany planned an itinerary for the day, beginning at Splash Mountain in Frontierland. The kindergarten students eagerly boarded the log ride and were whisked away past singing animals and down the famous plunging waterfall drop. The final water splash was a thrilling conclusion after a long wait in line for the popular ride. Then it was on to the next adventure!

 

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The Splash Mountain summit looms behind Liam

After a quick lunch, everyone gathered on It’s A Small World for a relaxing break from the hot sun. The kindergarteners swiveled their heads through the ride, looking in wonder at all of the singing animatronic people from cultures around the world. There was so much to soak in and enjoy you almost couldn’t notice the familiar “It’s A Small World” tune playing throughout the ride.

 

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Shyla points out kangaroos to Lukas and Violet

 

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So much to look at, even outside the ride!

 

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Waiting in line = Great photo opportunity

Since the Disneyland passes lasted a full day, most of the kindergarten parents turned the field trip into a family event by staying at the park after the field trip concluded. Why not take advantage of the day to ride some more attractions and watch the fireworks show? Enjoying this special last day of school with family and friends had our Leap & Bound Academy kindergarteners jumping for joy… literally! It was one last field trip after a year of hard work and preparation that our LBA students will never forget.IMG_4303.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

LBA Hosts Innovative Teacher Training Seminar!

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Although Leap and Bound Academy schools were closed to students on Friday, June 30th, the Medical Center location was anything but empty! Teachers, staff, and administrators from every LBA school gathered at MC for a day-long teacher training seminar. The morning began with breakfast and teachers were divided into groups based on the age of students they educate. Each group had an organized list of seminars they would be attending for the day, taught by LBA staff members, teachers, and some special guests speakers.

Mr. Rodney, LBA’s in-house IT technician, gave a presentation on using technology in the classroom. He taught our teachers how to use ScratchCat, an iPad program designed to teach children the basics of coding. Ms. Dinah thought the program was “very cool”, and learned how to program her digital cat to move around and say hello! Mr. Rodney guided the teachers step-by-step through both the ScratchCat program and general “netiquette” (proper online behavior) so that our LBA educators will be fully prepared to teach students the basics of coding in the upcoming school year!

 

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Ms. Dinah learns to code with ScratchCat

 

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Mr. Rodney reviews online “netiquette” with LBA teachers

 

Outside on the patio, Ms. Tyana was conducting a small group seminar with fellow toddler teachers; the presentation focused on activities aimed to engage two-year-olds in the classroom and with one another. Ms. Tyana guided the teachers through a parachute activity to help young students memorize the names of their classmates.

 

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Ms. Angela smiles at the camera during the toddler seminar

After introductions, Ms. Tyana guided the LBA teachers through a series of interactive crafts designed to help toddler students improve their motor skills while learning the alphabet! The teachers created their own pineapple finger painting crafts as an example, which would help their toddlers learn the letter “p”.

 

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“p” is for pineapples… and painting!

Ms. Kathie, an early childhood services specialist at the Harbor Regional Center, was onsite at LBA presenting a special seminar titled “Behavior in the Classroom”. The Harbor Regional Center focuses on providing support for toddlers at risk of having developmental disabilities; Ms. Kathie’s presentation adapted those philosophies and methods into a classroom environment. Her seminar helped LBA teachers review conflict management and emotional support for students.

 

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Ms. Kathie introduces a puppet method to help comfort students

In another classroom inside, Ms. Erin and Ms. Victoria had set up chairs in a circle and were leading an open discussion on customer service and conflict resolution. Teachers were given scenarios in either classroom settings or with parents and practiced correctly responding to each situation. Every teacher and staff member engaged in the activity, openly discussing their approaches to each scenario. Together, the staff members found solutions to each problem while upholding LBA’s core values.

 

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LBA staff discuss conflict resolutions

Ms. Mary, director of LBA’s Torrance location on Palos Verdes Boulevard, was outside with a group of teachers specializing in 3-year-old children. Ms. Mary’s presentation focused on teaching children at this age the beginnings of reading and writing uppercase and lowercase letters. With over twenty years of experience as a teacher, Ms. Mary had plenty of tips and tricks to share with LBA teachers on how best to teach and engage toddlers. The group discussed social skills, phonics, and writing in a classroom environment.

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Ms. Mary shares examples of activities for 3-year-old students

Throughout the day, Ms. Victoria and Chef Jose provided delicious food and beverages for our hardworking teachers and staff. For lunch, Chef Jose even barbecued his own steak on the patio to make tri-tip sandwiches!

 

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Avocado Toast- a morning snack option!

 

 

 

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Afternoon snack- fresh fruit, pita bread, and hummus

 

 

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Thank you, Chef Jose!

 

 

 

 

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Good lookin’ food!

If you were wondering why LBA closed its doors for the day on June 30th, now you know that our teachers and staff were still busy! Everyone was hard at work learning new techniques and skills to ensure that all of our students receive a quality education. Because here at Leap & Bound Academy, “Safety, Fun, and Learning” will always be our top priorities for your child.

 

 

 

How LBA Spent the 5th of May!

May 5th is nacho average day of the week at Leap and Bound Academy. No, Cinco de Mayo is a party at this lively preschool; the holiday teaches LBA kids about Mexican culture while engaging them in the activities of this annual celebration. Ms. Angela and Ms. Barbara’s students made tiny sombreros and piñatas in the morning to begin the festivities!

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Petite Piñatas!
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Small Sombreros!

After a dreary morning, the skies cleared and the sun emerged: a sign that it was time for the older preschoolers to venture outside and take a swing at the full-size piñata on the patio! One by one, each of the Redondo Beach students took turns hitting the cardboard star, hoping to be the one to break out the prizes inside.

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Ari keeps his eye on the weak spot

Every student had taken their turn, but the surprisingly tough piñata would not back down. LBA’s teachers knew there was only one thing left to finally break open the prizes: they stepped in to finish the job!

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Ms. Liliana takes a swing! 

Finally, the piñata burst into a frenzy of prizes, and the kids scrambled to pick the best toy. Colored pencils, wind-up toys, stickers, coin purses, toy robots, and more were scattered around the patio. Each student was allowed to choose one toy to take home… and they were all very focused on picking the best one.

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Decisions, decisions.

Worn-out from the piñata excitement, Ms. Liliana’s kindergarten class headed back upstairs to enjoy a celebratory snack of nachos! The cheesy chips were a special treat for the LBA students, who munched quietly while listening to their teacher explain the history of Cinco de Mayo. May 5th was an iconic day for the Mexican city of Puebla in the year 1862, when the soldiers won an unlikely victory over French forces. Now, the day marks an annual celebration in America, and an opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and heritage.

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Masks, Beads, & Mardi Gras Things

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We’ve all heard of Mardi Gras, but a lot of people outside New Orleans celebrate Mardi Gras without knowing what it means. Not LBA students! On one Tuesday every year, Leap & Bound kids are taught what Mardi Gras represents as a holiday and cultural tradition. Read on to discover the real reasons we wear masks and throw beads today!

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Mardi Gras is celebrated in Southern Louisiana (especially New Orleans) and always falls on “Fat Tuesday”, a day in which members of the Catholic religion historically ate large meals and celebrated before the beginning of Lent the following day. Today at Leap & Bound, Ms. Sue’s class learned that purple, green, and gold beads and colorful masks are all traditions associated with the Mardi Gras celebration. After hearing about the tradition, Ms. Sue’s students were super excited to make masks of their own! Once the kids put on their homemade masks, complete with beaded necklaces and popsicle-stick handles, they were barely recognizable! With everyone eagerly involved in the Mardi Gras crafts today in Ms. Sue’s class, we could hardly tell these masked preschoolers apart!

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M Is For…?

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How many “M” words can you think of? This exercise is probably easy for you since you are able to read this blog post right now, but for Ms. Tigi’s preschool students this exercise is a challenging activity. Luckily, Ms. Tigi knows how to make learning letters fun and engaging! She helped her preschoolers make crafts representing objects that start with the letter “M”. See if you can spot them all in this picture:

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There’s a monkey, a mask, a mitten, a mother, a mop, the moon, a mug, money, and more! Even the letter “M” next to the mitten is decorated with macaroni pasta noodles… which also start with “M”! These crafts are so cute and creative – each one was made using different materials and the students were able to use their imaginations to think of “M” words and decide how to make them.

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Ms. Tigi’s students love having their picture taken!

Aside from being a fun activity for the kids, Ms. Tigi’s craft allowed her preschool students to engage in a specific letter of the alphabet and master it. The finished crafts were able to provide a visual representation of words that start with “M”, giving Ms. Tigi’s students the ability to recognize these “m” words in real life! And the finished crafts look Magnificent! Or Marvelous? You get the idea 🙂

 

 

LBA Learns to Keep Sugar Bugs Away!

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Although February may be known for its red hearts and boxes of chocolates, it’s also National Children’s Dental Health Month! We had to take the opportunity to teach LBA students about taking care of their teeth. On Wednesday, Dr. G and Monica from Stephen E. Adams DDS were invited to our Medical Center location in Torrance and gave a presentation on dental health.

Dr. G and Monica brought a special friend with them to help with the presentation – a dinosaur in need of teeth cleaning!16797639_730597760451355_8236156562145895666_o.jpg The kids laughed as they watched the dinosaur get a check-up, and they learned that regularly brushing teeth and flossing helps to keep the “sugar bugs” away. The presentation was cute, entertaining, and taught our LBA students the importance of healthy dental habits!

5 Ways to Prevent Children’s Tooth Decay

  • Parents- Be careful when sharing forks and spoons with your child. Using the same utensils can transfer cavity-causing germs.
  • Encourage your children to eat healthy foods and limit their intake sugary drinks and candy.
  • Make sure your child starts visiting the dentist by the time they reach a year old! It is recommended for children to visit the dentist for a teeth cleaning and checkup twice a year.
  • Teach your children to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes (or sing the ABCs twice!) with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Ask your child’s dentist about dental sealants. They can be applied during a routine dentist appointment on the chewing surface of the teeth and help to seal out decay.

 

Kindergarten Share Day

Friday is Share Day for LBA’s Kindergarten class! Students bring their favorite toys from home for a Show & Tell with their friends at school!

While these students think they’re just playing with toys, their minds are soaking up important skills they’ll need for the rest of their lives: The first is being patient when taking turns, because they present their toys one at a time. Whoever’s in the hot seat is also learning to be confident by giving a brief oral presentation to all their classmates! Next, the class has a Q&A session, where students get to ask about the share toy, and inspire a spontaneous answer. With the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Liliana, each student learns how to ask questions that are inviting and pass no judgment.

Now who would invite children to bring in toys, and not expect them to play? After each student has completed a presentation sharing what they like about their favorite toy, it’s time to share the toys themselves. It’s the end of the day for this kindergarten class, and so we wind down with some free play time, before we put on our winter coats and join the rest of the school outside.

Share Day Playing

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Image description: Animated GIFs of LBA Kindergarten students playing with their share toys. Visible toys in these images include a fairy tale castle, a plush dragon, and a monster truck.

Schools around the county are already lining up their kindergarten classes for the next school year. It’s like applying for college these days! To make sure our preschool graduates have an opportunity to continue their LBA quality education into kindergarten, we’re hosting our own Kindergarten Round Up for each school, on February 7th, 8th, and 9th (and feel free to come to a different school’s Round Up if you’re busy that day).
Click here to view the event page on Facebook
See you next month! – Leap & Bound Academy

The Great California Shakeout!

13923718_621323401378792_3576388850134420023_oDid you take part in the Great Shakeout? Every year, schools throughout California participate in a state-wide earthquake drill to test emergency preparedness. LBA was no exception, and today our preschool students put their knowledge of safety to the test!

The drill came as a surprise to our Leap & Bound Torrance students, who were immersed in their morning lessons when Mrs. Mary and the office staff began ringing bells at 10:20am. Our students and faculty recognized the ringing bells and confidently began the drill; they stopped what they were doing and held protective positions under their desks. LBA kids are taught to protect their heads and necks while securing themselves under a strong foundation (like a desk!). Although the event was a surprise, the drill itself was familiar to students: LBA conducts routine earthquake drills every six months to ensure the safety of both children and faculty in the event of a crisis.

At the conclusion of the earthquake drill, teachers practiced standard evacuation procedure by leading their students out of the building. Students organized themselves, with the help of their teachers, into single-file lines and walked calmly outside to the blacktop in an organized manner. The school directors used their daily sign-in sheets to take attendance of the students. Parents: Don’t forget to sign your child in when you drop them off! In the event of an emergency, sign-in sheets are used to account for each student.

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After making sure that each student was present and accounted for, Mrs. Mary congratulated the kids and staff on a job well done! Living in California comes with the unpredictability of earthquakes, but with practice drills every six months, our LBA students feel safe and prepared!

Thank You Teachers!

October 5th is a very special day for of all of our spectacular teachers here at LBA: It’s World Teachers’ Day! The day is celebrated to create awareness, appreciation, and understanding for the hard work that teachers around the world do for education and development.

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The beginning of the holiday dates back to 1994: UNESCO (United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization) founded the holiday on October 5th because on the same day in 1966, the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation was passed. The recommendation set forth the rights and responsibilities of teachers, as well as international standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, teaching and learning conditions. The holiday will be celebrated around in the world in major cities such as London, Paris, Rome, New York, and San Francisco.

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Here are some fun ways for you celebrate the holiday, no matter what age or grade you’re in. This is perfect for the littlest of preschoolers to the biggest of high school students.

  1. Give your teacher an Apple! Although somewhat stereotypical, what teacher wouldn’t enjoy a shinny red apple to start their day?

2. Coffee!! What’s the drink that your teacher has every morning? There’s nothing that a teacher enjoys more than a cup of coffee to launch them into teaching their students! Bringing in some fresh coffee, or a gift card to Starbucks or Coffee Bean, will always brighten up a teacher’s day!

3. Probably your teacher’s favorite gift would be that you come to school happy and ready to learn! There’s nothing that can make school more fun than being prepared and excited for school!

Bat-erday Night Fever

 

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“I’m Batman” – Such a catchphrase could only belong to a man who knows the weight his name carries. Batman goes down in history as one of literature’s most iconic characters. September 26th has been officially declared National Batman Day in the United States and has gained a major following in the past couple of years.

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Batman himself dates back to the year 1939 when he premiered in the comic series Detective Comics issue number 27. From that moment on Batman has become a staple of pop culture and has appeared in enough comics to fill a thousand boxes. Wow! Over the years the dark knight has undergone many different characterizations making him a unique character since most people differ on which version they like the best. They range from the campy fun of the Adam West batman to the older, darker version seen in this 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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Throughout his many years of existence, batman has continued to entertain generation after generation of fans. If you’re stuck up stream without a paddle and need some fun things to do today, Batman’s owners at DC Comics have recommended their own special ways to enjoy this holiday for both you and your children.

imagesThe first way is to attend a community batman celebration event. There are tons of events all around the community including signing with famous comic book writers and screening of just about every Batman movie that has come to cinemas. Another fun way to celebrate is to play dress up! What’s more fun than becoming the caped crusader and enervating off all of Gotham’s villains like the Joker and the Penguin.

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Our favorite way to celebrate is with Batman crafts! There are tons of different crafts you can do with your children including coloring pages, cut out masks of batman’s various collection of cowls over the years or get a blank sheet of paper, paint it black and add your own yellow bat symbol for your own spectacular design.

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The last suggestion to have fun today is to throw a batman themed party! What entails a batman party? You decide! The conventional way is to invite over friends and family (dress up optional) and make some batman snacks like bat-shaped cookies and watch your favorite batman outings. We recommend Batman: the Animated Series from the 90’s for a fun viewing experience for the whole family. Now we at LBA have only one thing left to say. Have a great Batman Day!