Tips for Making Smart Professional Development Investments

clock February 25, 2015 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Do you dread attending professional development trainings or taking online training courses? Professional development is an important part of being a successful and effective educator, but professional development for educators in the United States has a variety of issues and shortcomings. Ninety percent of teachers in the United States have participated in some type of professional development opportunity, but many of those teachers believe that most of the training they receive is not useful o... [More]

Summer Learning Loss – Remediation vs. Skill Maintenance

clock February 24, 2015 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Guest Post by Donna Lasinski I created the ThinkStretch Summer Learning Program because the effects of summer learning loss were apparent. I saw first-hand how students worked hard all year only to lose learned skills over the summer. I am thrilled to see that, as of late, summer learning loss has gained greater amounts of attention both in the school systems as well as in the press. Unfortunately, much of the discussion around summer learning loss and its negative effects on students fails to d... [More]

Interactive Read-Alouds in the Classroom

clock February 19, 2015 10:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. The benefits are greatest when the child is an active participant.” (Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson) What is an interactive read-aloud? An interactive read-aloud is a literacy event whereby children actively engage in listening and talking about the text throughout the duration of the read-aloud. In contrast to the traditional read-aloud whe... [More]

Chinese New Year Activities for Preschoolers

clock February 17, 2015 09:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Celebrating the Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year) is a great way to teach preschoolers about diversity and introduce them to another culture. Starting on February 19th, this year’s Chinese New Year welcomes the Year of the Goat (or sheep or ram if you prefer). Be sure to check out Asia for Educators by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University and the Chinese New Year landing page on the History Channel’s website for a variety of... [More]

Tips on Teaching Children About Dental Health

clock February 12, 2015 10:45 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Tooth decay is the most widespread chronic children’s disease in America. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, it affects more than 42% of children 2-11 years old, and almost 23% of the children in that age group have untreated tooth decay. The importance of oral health is often an overlooked issue, especially in the classroom, which is why taking the time to discuss dental care with the children in your classroom is essential to their overall health. In... [More]

Celebrating Presidents’ Day in the Classroom

clock February 10, 2015 10:45 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Presidents’ Day celebrates the lives of American presidents and recognizes their work for the American people. The holiday was established in 1885 in honor of President George Washington and was originally celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday (January 22) before the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved it to the third Monday of February (History Channel). Even though it is now widely known as Presidents’ Day, it is important to note that the holiday is still officially n... [More]

Exploring Plant and Animal Life Cycles with Students

clock February 6, 2015 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Children are naturally curious about the plants and animals they see outside, read about in books, and watch in movies. They want to know how a butterfly gets its wings or how a tiny seed grows into a big plant, which is why encouraging children to ask questions and helping them find answers is so important. Exploring plant and animal life cycles with students is a great way to teach children about life science and help answer their questions about plants and animals. Here are a few fun learning... [More]

Fun Valentine’s Day Activities for Infants and Toddlers

clock February 4, 2015 12:55 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching—have you thought about the Valentine’s Day activities you want to do with the infants and toddlers in your care? Celebrating Valentine’s Day provides a variety of learning opportunities for infants and toddlers. You can help them learn about love and kindness while also helping them learn colors, shapes, and basic vocabulary words. Here are a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day activities for infants and toddlers:  1. Paint w... [More]

We’ll Be at the National Title I Conference!

clock January 30, 2015 10:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Located in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah, this year’s National Title I Conference (February 5-8) is sure to be a hit with the thousands of Title I educators attending professional development sessions and presentations. The 2015 National Title I Conference theme is Leading With Wonder, which was inspired by comments from President Lyndon B. Johnson at the signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Several activities at this year’s National Title I Conference will... [More]

SAM Animation Is Now HUE Animation!

clock January 28, 2015 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Do you use stop-motion animation in your classroom? SAM Animation, one of our most popular technology products, recently changed its name to HUE Animation. A stop-motion software program that is specially designed to increase student engagement and content understanding, HUE Animation is great for both beginning and experienced student animators. This simple, easy-to-use technology was created by teachers and is perfect for classroom use. Hue Animation Studio Once you install HUE Animation Stud... [More]

Helping Kids Learn Fundamental Math Skills: Counting & Sorting

clock January 23, 2015 09:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Before children can add and subtract and learn more advanced math skills, they have to learn how to count and sort. Being able to count and sort will ultimately influence their success in kindergarten and throughout their school career. You can help children practice their counting and sorting skills with the following tips, reminders, and learning materials: Be sure to place books about counting in the learning environment. Books that help children learn to count, such as Anno’s Counting... [More]

Five Fantastic Classroom Storage Solutions – Lockers & Cubbies

clock January 20, 2015 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Need a great way to stay organized in the classroom this year? Lockers and cubbies are great furniture options for the classroom—they’re the perfect place to store book bags, coats, and other student belongings. Check out these five fantastic lockers and cubbies to see if one is the perfect fit for your classroom storage needs!  1. Ash File-Cubbie-Tote Locker A fully assembled, all-in-one unit that can double as a portfolio center and combo coat locker. Double coat hooks are fe... [More]

Tips for Helping Kids Start the Transition to Kindergarten

clock January 16, 2015 09:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Are the children in your care starting kindergarten next school year? If so, you’re likely looking for ways to help children and their families make the transition to kindergarten. Here are a few tips and resources to help you get started: 1. Send Activity Sheets and Transition Kits Home with Children Activity sheets and transition kits can help children learn the math skills, reading skills, and other academic skills they need for kindergarten and school success while also helping you bri... [More]

Using Primary Sources to Teach Children about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

clock January 14, 2015 09:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
As the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday draws closer, many classrooms will be filled with writing activities, creative art projects, and powerful service-learning opportunities designed to honor the vision of service Martin Luther King Jr. represents. All of these activities and projects are fun, effective ways to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but what about understanding the man and times behind this important holiday? Teaching the impact of Martin Luther King Jr. through the use of prim... [More]

5 Wonderful Winter Activities for Preschoolers

clock January 9, 2015 12:59 by author Kaplan Early Learning
As we settle in to the first full month of winter, it’s important that you plan some winter-related activities for the children in your care. Preschool children are at the age where they can begin to understand why snow falls in winter and why water turns to ice at a certain temperature. To help you teach children about the wonders of winter, here are five of our favorite winter activities for preschoolers: 1. Explore Science with Peppermint Peppermint Water Science Sensory Play is the pe... [More]