I recently worked with Parents magazine to develop short videos about Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 2nd Grade. Continue reading “Parent PhD’s “Back to School” Videos with Parents Magazine”
Recently I did some work with Parents magazine about the importance of preschool and what a quality preschool looks like. The first topic I was asked to address is something that I am asked often: How do you “prepare” a child for preschool? My answer is always to remember three things: Talk to them, Read to them and Let them PLAY. Continue reading “How to Get a Child “Ready” for Preschool”
Early childhood educators know that children learn the best and the most through their play. We are trained to see the learning and the different “content areas” within the play, and then ask good open-ended questions to enhance the children’s learning. Here is a video of simple block play experience with a 4 1/2 year old. Continue reading “Math, Science, Social Studies and ELA in Block Play”
As a teacher educator, I spend a great deal of time in early childhood and elementary classrooms observing student teachers. Not only do I enjoy seeing the students who worked so hard to master their craft succeed in the classroom, but I also enjoy spending time with children. They have such a pure and truly honest view of the world.
One of the easiest and purest ways to extend children’s thinking is to talk to them, especially when they are playing and exploring. Ask them some open-ended questions, give them time to respond, and BOOM! you have added to their knowledge and skills. You have made them think and verbally interact with you. That is the essence of how children learn. Continue reading “So what do I say to kids when they are playing?”
Found 2 unused shelves in the storage room so I decided to use them to display books. Looks even better than I thought! I have it in the playroom but would look great in a child’s room as well. Makes choosing a book even more enticing!
By age three, the brain has formed about 1,000 trillion synapses, which is twice as many as adults. As the synapses in a child’s brain are strengthened through repeated experiences, connections and pathways are formed that structure the way a child learns. If a pathway is not used, it’s eliminated based on the “use it or lose it” principle. Things that a child does only once will have very little influence on brain development. When a connection is used repeatedly in the early years, it becomes permanent.
I brought home a book from my office that we haven’t read with the kids before (The Mitten by Jan Brett). I told Miss H that we would read it after breakfast. She asked to hold it and said “Mommy I’m going to read it first.” She then sat down on the floor in front of her little brother in the bouncy seat and began to “read” the book to him. And what a story it was! It was a story of animals and snow and some made up words in between. Mr. M watched and listened intently, and added his own “words” when he felt it was necessary. They created their own “Shared Book Experience” all on their own. Continue reading “Read Read Read to your kids!”
While out to dinner last night my husband and I saw 2 different preschool-age children out to dinner with their parents. One was given a portable DVD player to watch and the other was given an iPad to play games on while at the table. Both were immediate – not responses to either child misbehaving or getting restless. What are your thoughts on this?
On May 24th our family happily welcomed Baby M. The past 3 weeks have been wonderful as we watch him get acclimated to the world, our family and especially his big sister Miss H. Every day I am reminded of both how amazing infants are and how important it is to meet their needs . When we meet infants needs and understand them, they learn to trust the world. This trust is the building block for the rest of their learning and development. Continue reading “Some Tips for Understanding and Responding to Newborns and Young Infants”