Have you ever considered the active ingredients in toothpaste? I have discovered that there is only one active ingredient in toothpaste—fluoride. Without the fluoride, there is no benefit to toothpaste. The inactive ingredients have no power to protect teeth. Let’s consider this analogy to education with the active ingredient as developmental relationships. Authors and researchers, Junlei Li and Dana...

The maker movement and tinker time are two hot trends in early childhood education that integrate STEAM content (Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/Math). Making or tinkering encourages learners to think with their hands. Materials are explored, manipulated and evaluated by children. Children are encouraged to “wonder” about the possibilities and develop their own understanding of how things work. Mak...

Over the past three years, one of my passions has been learning about the utilization of loose parts within indoor and outdoor classrooms. I have been fortunate to have heard the authors of Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children, Myriam Beloglovsky and Lisa Daly, speak on several occasions.  In their first publication, loose parts are described as those that “children can carry, combine, redesi...

On a scale of 1-10, how are you feeling about approaching a new school year?  As a veteran teacher and mother, I often had very mixed feelings. On one hand, I enjoyed the simple, carefree days of summer. (However, my own children often wanted rides, money or activities!)  On the other hand, I adored the concept of a new school year so I could try to do better than I did the previous year. Usually, I s...

This is my second blog post related to common phrases that I hear repeated in preschool classrooms. During a recent classroom observation at interest area time, the following scenario occurred.  Joe was engaged in the toy area with all of the magnet tiles building complex structures. Marcos decided to change interest areas and walked over to Joe and began taking the tiles. Let’s consider two different...

"Don't go up the slide!" There are certain sentences that are frequently spoken by teachers of young children and this is one I hear repeatedly when I'm observing in outdoor learning environments. So, why do children enjoy climbing up the slide?  I decided I was going to do some informal research on this matter. During a 45 minute observation, I noted two children going down the slide and eight childr...

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Training Spotlight

1st-3rd grade educators worked together to learn engaging ways to develop number sense. Students will develop fact fluency while playing games that use their number sense strategies. By learning their facts in this way, students are not merely memorizing, but rather learning to work with numbers flexibly.  “Low achievers are often low achievers not because they know less but because they don’t use numbers flexibly – they have been set on the wrong path, often from an early age, of trying to memorize methods instead of interacting with numbers flexibly.” Jo Boaler,  Stanford University, 2009

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April 8, 2019

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