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.
At Hatch Early Learning®, our products and resources are not only research-based, but they are also research-proven and validated. The accompanying criteria report and whitepaper help prove that Ignite by Hatch™ supports the delivery of positive outcomes for all young learners!
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.
Our webinar’s speakers are so brilliant, we wish we could have asked them questions all day long. Kay Holman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP from Towson University and Erica Solliday, M.S. and Catherine Walton from Baltimore County Public Schools treated us to an insightful look into the world of autism among early learners. But since we couldn’t keep them all day, they were kind enough to choose a few questions from a recent webinar. (If you missed this fantastic discussion, please click here to watch it.) Read on for what they had to say:
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.
As I sit here patiently waiting for the birth of my daughter in less than 3 months, I all too often picture her emerging from the womb with an iPad, securely in her grip, loaded with various instructional resources ready to guide me for the next 18 or so years of her life. While I have come to realize this will not be the case, it has made me think about the use and implementation of technology in the earliest of classrooms.
I have devoted my professional life to progressing the field of early childhood education through the use of technology. Being the leader of a mission-driven organization, much of my time has been dedicated to how innovation can help solve challenges facing our field. One of the challenges we face is how to make developmentally appropriate technology an integral part of every classroom.
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.
"Move forward." Xavier is 4-years-old, and he is holding a tiny tile with an arrow on it. We are playing the robot-powered coding game, Matatalab, and I've just asked him what he thinks the tile means. Granted, I had prompted him generously.
Xavier's teacher, Ms. Owens, approaches curiously from across the room. "Did he speak?" she whispers. "Xavier doesn't speak that often."
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.
Running! Climbing! Jumping! These are important elements for optimal growth and development in young children. Not only are children strengthening bones and muscles, but they are also building their brains! Young children need time for active, full body play every day.
Since 1949, the month of May has been observed as Mental Health Month in the United States. The purpose of Mental Health Month is to raise awareness about the importance of Mental Health and stop the stigma associated with it. Mental health is defined as our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It effects how we think, feel, and act in response to events that have happened in our lives.
Normal has changed! For my family, the new normal includes my husband and me working full-time from home while caring for and educating our 3.5-year-old son. Even though we are approaching the 3-month mark of the stay-at-home order, we are still getting used to the shift in our day-to-day routines, roles, and responsibilities. Meanwhile, our son is still adjusting to being without classmates, friends, teachers, and his prior pre-school days packed with engaging activities.
Do you remember asking your parents or other family members to tell you a story when you were younger? I sure do! I know my parents can still hear the echo of my whiney plea: “Tell me a story!” That said, the memories created when my family relented and told me real stories about their past, or made-up stories about the future, are among my favorites!
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! (Though a week feels so insufficient.) Now more than ever, parents across the country have appreciation for everything teachers do for their children. Teachers are selflessly motivated to care for, influence, and inspire development in children. Every day, as we interact with members of our community, find comfort in books, and witness scientific and engineering feats, we see the positive impact of teachers.
What is a cloud? Why do boats float? How does a car work? Young children have an innate ability to ask questions like this every day, in fact, researchers estimate that preschoolers ask an amazing 76 information-seeking questions per hour?! Since curiosity is at the heart of all innovation, the earlier we help children harness and direct their interest in exploring the world around them, the more motivated they will be to uncover the answers!
The combination of closed libraries and my son’s constant request for the same stories to be read aloud prompted me to research and develop some tips and tricks to help us all maximize daily read-alouds and repetition. Because these are research-based, we can all feel good about integrating these techniques into our daily routine!
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, working from home full-time wasn’t an adjustment for me; I’ve been doing that for years. However, working from home full-time with a two-year-old (Jack) and four-year-old (Frankie) at home was uncharted territory for me. It’s a balancing act that millions of parents are suddenly trying to master quickly and with a little bit of grace, if we’re lucky!
Allow me to set the scene: I am propped on a stepstool in my daughter Lucy’s bathroom. I’m balancing my laptop on my knees as Lucy enjoys her 2nd popsicle (sugar-free = lunch?), plays, and splashes! I already feel like this a “mom win” because the popsicle in the bath makes for an almost-no-mess, very little stickiness situation! It is 11:41 AM, and I am on a conference call with my team, and because we are all working from home, our cameras are on as we connect virtually.