How to Make Poetry More Accessible for Children

clock April 23, 2015 12:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
“Poetry: the best words in the best order.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge Guest Post by Debbie Linville At the most basic level, literary works are categorized as either poetry or prose. April is National Poetry Month; therefore, it is the perfect opportunity to liberally sprinkle the curriculum with an abundance of poetry reading and poetry writing. Besides the fact that poetry crosses all genres and content area topics, making it the smart choice to bridge ELA and content area standards... [More]

Developing Critical Thinking Skills…NO PLANNING REQUIRED

clock April 22, 2015 10:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Guest Post by Jill Nolen and Laura Beaver Do the words “developing critical thinking skills” send your mind directly to a list of question stems a mile long? That’s definitely one way to develop critical thinkers. Unfortunately, the questions can be time consuming. Keep reading to discover lots of opportunities to develop critical thinking skills that pop up within a piece of literature and don’t require any preparation. Most read-aloud books read in classrooms are works ... [More]

Join Us in Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Leadership Connections!

clock April 21, 2015 09:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Leadership Connections is a national conference that provides exceptional professional development and networking opportunities for early childhood administrators. Since the inaugural conference in 2001, Leadership Connections has grown from 200 attendees to over 550 attendees. Kaplan Early Learning Company has been a proud supporter of Leadership Connections since the beginning and has partnered with them for the past 12 years. With the help of Donna Jonas, Kaplan became the first exhibiting ve... [More]

Five Ways You Can Celebrate Earth Day with Your Students

clock April 16, 2015 09:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Earth Day has grown into a global celebration that focuses on educating people about environmental issues and raising awareness of what can be done to conserve the earth. Senator Gaylord Nelson originally came up with the idea of Earth Day to help push environmental issues into the national spotlight, and thanks to a fantastic grassroots effort, the first Earth Day in 1970 was a major success (History.com). This year, April 22 marks the 45th annual celebration of Earth Day. Here are a few ways y... [More]

Addressing 10 Common Myths About Autism

clock April 14, 2015 09:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Do you think that autism is contagious, that autism can only affect boys, or that children with autism die young? These are just a few of the myths you may have heard about autism at one time or another. Knowing what is true or false about autism and how it affects children can help you provide a better support system for children with autism and their families. In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, here’s the truth about 10 common autism myths: As Clarissa Willis states in Teachin... [More]

Tips on Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse

clock April 10, 2015 09:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” –Maria Montessori If you’ve watched or read your local news lately, you probably know of at least one case of child abuse in your community or state. Child abuse is a major issue in the United States—Child Protective Services received reports of 678,932 victims of child abuse and neglect in 2013, and about 1,520 children d... [More]

Get Kids Moving and Rolling with Trikes!

clock April 8, 2015 09:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Winter has finally faded into spring, which means children and adults of all ages are ready to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. If you’re looking for ways to encourage the children in your care to be more physically active this spring and summer, try having a few tricycles on hand for them to ride. Tricycles provide a variety of fun and safe active play opportunities for children, and they can also help children work on developing hand-eye coordination, balance, and other gross mo... [More]

Using Humor in the Classroom

clock April 1, 2015 09:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Happy April Fools’ Day! Have you already pranked your students or been pranked by someone? Humor and pranks abound on April Fools’ Day, but there are a variety of ways using humor in the classroom throughout the school year can benefit your instructional strategy. For example, humor is a great ice breaker, and using it the right way can help you relate to students. Humor can also help students feel less anxious and more comfortable with you and their peers. As long as everyone is res... [More]

Promoting Intentional Test-Taking Strategies

clock March 31, 2015 10:45 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Guest Post by LaTina Robinson My husband once asked me to name the most important test-taking strategy shared by principals the day before a test. Hesitant, I waited before answering. He was not an educator. Surely, this was coming from his perspective as a parent. Then it hit me. “Going to bed early?” I said questioningly. He nodded in agreement and walked away feeling proud. I simply laughed.  This brief conversation caused me to deeply reflect on identifying the best test-tak... [More]

Kaplan Technology: Creating Awesomeness Everywhere

clock March 27, 2015 11:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
The world of educational technology continues to grow and change, but most of the technology devices and software available to teachers and students focus on assessment and have a prescriptive design. This is where Kaplan Technology differs. When our IT team first began developing our Shine-2 Software, the goal was to think outside of the box and create something meaningful for kids and easy for teachers to utilize in the classroom. The result was educational software that encourages exploration... [More]

We’ll Be at NHSA’s 42nd Annual Conference and Expo!

clock March 25, 2015 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Join us as we celebrate 50 years of opportunity! Located in Washington, D.C., the National Head Start Association’s 42nd Annual Conference and Expo will be held from March 29 – April 2, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Thousands of professionals from the Head Start and Early Head Start community will be on hand to participate in the various festivities, presentations, and trainings. One of the highlights of the event will be Head Start’s 50th Anniversary Gala... [More]

How You Can Add Rigor to Elementary Gardening Projects

clock March 23, 2015 11:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Gardening can provide a variety of engaging learning experiences, but have you considered how you can encourage critical thinking and help students have a deeper understanding of the concepts you’re trying to teach them with gardening projects? Here are a few tips you can use to make gardening projects more rigorous for your elementary students: Have your students record their observations in a science journal. Graph a variety of measurements, such as temperature, plant growth, water coll... [More]

Manipulative Ideas for Sand and Water Tables

clock March 20, 2015 09:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Children love to experiment with sand and water, which is why the sand and water center is often one of the most popular areas in a classroom or center. If you’re looking for ways to create new sand and water experiences for the children in your care, we have some great ideas! Based on a list featured in Judy Fujawa’s (Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Early Childhood Education, here are some manipulatives you can place in a sand and water table to create fun sensory experien... [More]

Dig Deeper into Differentiation: Three Tips from a Literacy Consultant

clock March 19, 2015 02:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Guest Post by Janine Bracco Cox “They are not growing, and I’ve tried everything!” As a literacy specialist and instructional coach, I’ve heard this from many passionate educators who are trying to figure out why their differentiation strategies simply aren’t working as well as they’d like or need. Here are three tips for effective differentiated instruction from recent classroom experiences: 1) Ask Yourself Key Questions About Students’ Needs I recently... [More]

Six Spectacular Spring Crafts for Preschoolers

clock March 18, 2015 10:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Friday, March 20th marks the beginning of spring this year, and we can’t wait for it to officially arrive! We’re sure you and your preschoolers are also anxious for spring to start, which is why we’ve come up with this list of six spectacular crafts to help preschoolers welcome spring! 1. B is for Butterfly Based on an activity in The Budding Chef, this edible craft is a great way to get preschoolers excited for spring! Ingredients: bananas, peanut butter (or another type of sp... [More]