Fostering Wonder

This past Monday, two teachers from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) provided an exceptional learning session on fostering wonder in young children.  SEEC is an amazing center that is actually housed within the Smithsonian Institute.  Because of their unique location, they are able to provide their students with museum based learning through frequent visits to the exhibits.  The philosophy of SEEC is we are not cute, we are brave.

  

“At SEEC we invite children to be extraordinary, to wonder, and to explore the world around them. We teach children to search for knowledge rather than simply be fed information. We give children the time and space to see the effects of their curiosity and to think richly and deeply about things.”

 

The educators at SEEC recognize that most schools are not in the same situation.  The main message of their session, however, was that your location does not need to limit the experiences you can provide for your students.  Educators need to be aware of all the wonderful resources that are available in their own communities.  Plus, the Smithsonian allows everyone to benefit from their vast collections virtually.  Your class of four-year-olds can observe a famous painting or wonder about an interesting artifact by visiting the Smithsonian website.   Although it would be nice to walk down the road to the museum, there are millions of resources that are just a click away.

 

https://www.si.edu/SEEC

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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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