It’s that time of year when children and parents start thinking about year-end assessments. Most schools use these test scores to determine next year’s placement decisions. Both students and parents may experience a strange mix of emotions from eager anticipation for summer to angst for the dreaded tests. Teachers can help parents and make a big difference in increasing preparedness and decreasing anxiety. Here are a few tips to share with parents to make sure that students perform to their potential on the last tests of the year. [More]
The Hispanic achievement gap has been an ongoing challenge for years. Studies show an early and persistent gap between the achievement of Latino students and that of their white peers. The gap appears by the time students have reached the 3rd grade and remains fairly consistent throughout their school careers impacting graduation rates and college enrollment. [More]
It's important to push math in early learning classrooms not only to encourage STEM efforts in the classroom, but also to effectively aid in efforts to bring Common Core Practices into play. But to make math more approachable for students, we thought we would introduce our latest math program and a few featured products that turn math learning into a whole new experience. [More]
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. With busy schedules and teacher appreciation week, it’s hard to fit everything in. That’s why we thought we would provide a few simple activities you can get students involved in to show moms the appreciation they deserve. With all of the hats they wear, it’s important to make sure young children understand the extraordinary efforts of their moms.
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-9, 2014), Kaplan Early Learning Company will kick off its first-ever Kaplan Classroom Heroes campaign. For the next three months, Kaplan invites you to nominate a childcare professional, preschool teacher, or elementary school educator that you believe goes above and beyond when it comes to the needs of students. [More]
Summer is the perfect time for children to realize that learning can exist apart from worksheets and vocab lists, that in fact, learning can take place anywhere at any time. With time outside the classroom, students will have more opportunities to try new interests that may not align exactly with school curriculums but are topics they are keenly interested in learning more about. Here are a few areas that you and the children in your care can explore together that will ensure little minds are continuing to learn and grow: [More]
Think about the discussions that happen in your classroom. Are they frequent? Do all students participate or are they monopolized by a handful of students? Do you use discussion to merely check understanding or do you engage students into purposeful conversations to develop thinking?
Meaningful classroom conversations have always been important to teachers, but Common Core Standards identify purposeful talk as an essential skill that must be taught. Knowing how to hold a... [More]
Happy Earth Day!
Introduce the wonder of growing things, the responsibility of caring for crops, and the thrill of observing the different parts of plants with the help of an EarthBox®!
So, what exactly can you plant in an EarthBox®? Depending on the climate of your outdoor classroom, you may have more options than you realize. Here are just a few ideas: [More]
There are plenty of activities you can involve your elementary students in for earth day, but the majority of things we can do to make the Earth a little greener are simple changes to our day to day schedule. Here are a few actions you can take and encourage your students to take to celebrate Earth Day, and hopefully, make those small actions a part of a lifelong routine. [More]
Love them or hate them, the Common Core Standards are a reality for 46 states. This is a major step toward better preparing our students to graduate from high school and be career ready. And while most buy in to the premise of a change in creating a coherent national framework for what students should know and the way they learn, there is a disconnect in the lack of professional development for teachers to transform their classroom practice to align to these new benchmarks. [More]
Have you heard about the STEAM vs STEM debate? It’s quite the rage amongst teachers now and with good reason. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) presents a viewpoint of early education that incorporates precedence on arts integration with math and science learning, whereas STEM is the original viewpoint of concentrating solely on pushing science, technology, engineering and math. To better understand the ramifications of both viewpoints and because it is important to discuss in relation to our early education system, we thought we would give you information on both approaches to bring awareness to such a prevalent educational issue. [More]
April is Financial Education Month, and more and more schools are looking for creative ways to teach elementary students about personal finance. Many students struggle with conceptualizing basic money skills, let alone the financial tools that are essential to our everyday lives. But, financial literacy is a necessity if we are to make sure that students are college and career ready. [More]
This week, we are running a special giveaway for Kaplan fans! If you enter our Sand & Water Table Sweepstakes, you will have a chance to win our Neptune Sand & Water Table and a mat to go underneath. The second place winner will also get one of our absorbent mats, perfect for creative aftermath! But to get you even more pumped, here are a few creative ways sand and water tables can be used for everyday learning in the children in your care. [More]
Happy April Fool’s Day! Instead of pulling tricks or giving misinformation, we thought we would use the holiday as an opportunity to separate myths from facts when it comes to Common Core standards. With Common Core being such a large and multi-faceted initiative, it is no wonder there are so many questions concerning the standards. We came up with a list of reasonable worries floating around and answers straight from the source. Check out what we found below: [More]
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While everyone is talking about shamrocks, pots of gold and little green men, we thought we would take the opportunity to talk about an even more important opportunity the holiday presents: the opportunity to go green! [More]