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Teacher and Director

Ms. Jenna Miller

Ms. Jenna has been working with the children and parents at Sun 'N Fun since 2011. She is dedicated and passionate about child development and working in a classroom as well as with parents and families.

She is highly skilled, knowledgeable, and confident in a wide variety of Early Childhood Education. Ms. Jenna is certified in approved Training on Preventive Health Practices, Certified in pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation and pediatric first aid.

Q&A

    Q: How long have you been teaching preschool?
    A: I have been teaching preschool since 2006 and working with preschool through Kindergarten age children since 2001.

    Q: What made you want to be a preschool teacher?
    A: I first decided that I wanted to become a preschool teacher while in college. I was an aid in a pre-k class for a wonderful teacher, Pam Litzinger. She showed me how to relate to the children and what true passion was about. It was during my experience in her classroom that I knew I would always be in the classroom sharing what I learned and influencing young lives.

    Q: Why is play-based learning so important for preschoolers?
    A: Play-based learning is important in so many ways. Children intuitively seek new information and gain skills and confidence through play, so it is a natural stepping-stone for preschool learning. Play is a powerful motivator, encouraging each child to be creative and curious and to develop his or her ideas, understanding and language. Through play, children explore, experiment, test and apply what they know. Play-based learning makes a child feel confident and secure and that is the best environment for learning to take place.

    Q: What are some examples of learning through play?
    A: The children are constantly learning at Sun-N-Fun while having fun. We encourage a lot of imaginative play through music, dress-up, puppets, and other dramatic play – all of this helps the children to develop their imaginations and understand the concept of creative story-telling as they become pre-readers. We help them to develop the hand strength they will need for writing through fun fine motor activities like lacing beads and pinching eye droppers during water play. We all know these little ones love to engage in running, jumping, climbing, pumping their legs on the swings and bike riding - these activities work to develop their large muscles while challenging their bodies’ abilities and developing their confidence.

    Play-based learning offers the opportunity to develop many of these skills at once during a single activity. For example, we recently tried out a recipe for homemade “puffy paint.” The children used their math skills to measure and count ingredients. There was also the science lesson in the mixing of the separate ingredients - flour, water, and salt – to observe how they mixed together and formed a paste. Then while we added the food coloring we discussed the way colors can be combined to make other colors. The children made predictions as they mixed colors together. In the end, the children were amazed that their measuring, mixing and color combining had resulted in PAINT! And they were thrilled to have a free art experience with the result.

    Another recent example was a fun game of Letter Bingo on the floor. The children counted out the squares and circles before the game. Then, during the game, as each letter was called the children would shout out words that they thought started with that letter. They were practicing their pre-reading phonetics while trying to fill up their bingo card to call out that simple word “Bingo!”

    Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about play-based learning?
    A: I think that one of the biggest misconceptions of play-based learning is that it is unstructured or lacks adult involvement. Play-based learning at Sun-N-Fun requires a lot of adult involvement, as the above examples of the paint mixing and the letter bingo game show. A great deal of thought goes into all of the learning activities that go on at our school, but we maintain our focus on play because play is the way preschoolers learn naturally and it is the best way to engage their intellectual curiosity. We do also have unstructured, free play times, but these also require a lot of adult involvement since adults are there to help the children when issues come up such as resolving conflicts with peers, problem-solving and negotiating turn-taking.

    Q: Are Sun-N-Fun children prepared for kindergarten?
    A: Yes, I think the children at Sun-N-Fun are well prepared for Kindergarten. Our curriculum covers letter and sound recognition, math and science skills, and fine motor muscle building for writing. We also offer an optional after-school program 2 days per week for the last 2 months of the year for our kids that are headed to kindergarten to work with me in a small group on kindergarten readiness.

    But I think one of the most important things we do at Sun-N-Fun to prepare children for kindergarten is to help our kids develop their social skills, helping them build the skills they need to feel confident about resolving their conflicts and solving their problems with peers. Plus, coming out of a play-based program, they head to kindergarten with their natural curiosity and a love of learning. We are so excited for our graduates to start kindergarten but so sad to lose them - it is truly bitter sweet!

 
School Hours
Monday-Friday
9:00am-12:15pm

Street Address
343 12th Street
Seal Beach, CA 90740

Mailing Address
PO Box 364
Seal Beach, CA 90740-0364

+1.562.430.4384


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