When I was in preschool, my grandma gifted me a wooden puzzle stool. She had the letters of my name made into puzzle pieces that fit on the surface of the seat. It was such a special gift, and one that I played with for many, many hours during my childhood.
In early childhood education, we talk a lot about “at-risk children”. Moreover, we do all we can to identify these students through the lens of ethnicity, language and socio-economic status. This is especially true in the early childhood classroom, where so much attention is paid to managing so many different kids with so many different backgrounds and abilities.
Back to school is a special time of year. There’s a frenetic, anxious sort of energy in the air, but it’s also a curious blend of hope, panic, optimism and relief. No matter your feelings on the back-to-school season, it holds a particular type of magic for teachers, children and parents.
For more than thirty years, Fred Rogers beamed into homes from Atlanta to Anaheim, doing what was at the time, almost unthinkable – giving his undivided attention to young consumers who couldn’t pay for advertising, nor make donations to public television or speak on its behalf.
Every. Single. Child. Deserves. An. Equitable. Chance. At. An. Education.
Adding the right technology to your early learning program takes time and shouldn't be rushed. (No one likes a pricey tech tool that sits on a shelf covered in dust because it didn't deliver on its promises.) So before little fingers ever touch a screen, it pays to have a plan.
There's a confusing dichotomy when it comes to technology and early learners. One side of research and evidence tells us technology encourages growth and creativity and even helps early learners build positive relationships.
Many people envision kindergarten classrooms as being filled with tiny four-and-five-year-olds bouncing into school brimming with excitement and ready for a day filled with play and learning. A lovely scenario, but as an educator, you know it's not realistic.
We’re living more of our lives on the internet and in front of screens than ever before. Every day, mobile technology more closely resembles magic: It has helped us become more connected and efficient, and opened up worlds that were once only visible in our imaginations. Classrooms have been impacted by technology just as much as other parts of the world, which can be exciting territory for educators.
In the commercial world, data capture, storage and analysis are the backbones of innovation and optimization. Knowing this, why are educational organizations slow to adopt strategies to leverage data? Educators and their organizations have some data (graded papers, exam metrics, and pass/fail tests), but the insights are limited. While corporations are able to track changes over time and make future predictions, most early education programs are stuck with vertical reporting, which only shows the here-and-now.
If we want all students to succeed we need to eradicate “teaching to the middle.” That approach won’t work because it leaves too many students out of the equation.
A new school year means loading up your classroom with supplies. But along with the usual fresh bottles of finger paint and Kleenex boxes, early childhood educators need to find an extra supply of a less tangible resource: time.
Diversity isn’t taught – it’s experienced. And that experience starts early. Early childhood education teachers are tasked with many difficult tasks over the course of a school year and as a result, diversity and multiculturalism can be easily shelved as part of a unit or as an add-on to curriculum. But in order for these lessons to be meaningful, they need to be part of everyday life in the classroom.
In this episode of Hatch Chat, we interview an Education Manager from Alabama about her school’s response to