10 Things Every Kindergarten Teacher Should Know

clock August 1, 2014 15:02 by author Kaplan Early Learning
It’s almost here—the beginning of a new school year! With only a few more weeks of summer left, a few brave souls will take on teaching kindergarten (some for the first time!) With such an exciting year ahead of you, we want to help make your transition to teaching as smooth as possible. We’ve already laid out what kindergartners need to know , now it’s time for 10 things YOU need to know as a kindergarten teacher: [More]

5 Ways to Help Students Foster New Friendships

clock July 30, 2014 14:34 by author Kaplan Early Learning
The first day of school can always be a little daunting for small children. Whether they are coming in with old friends or hoping to make new ones, social interactions go a long way in determining how the school year will play out. That’s why – as educators – we all have to do our best to encourage cooperative play and provide opportunities for friendships to blossom. It is not only an essential part of a child’s social and emotional development, but it will also make your classroom operate more smoothly during the school months to come! Without further ado, here are five ways to help students foster new friendships: [More]

Exploring Elementary STEM with NASA

clock July 28, 2014 10:26 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Love space and exploration? Then you will be excited to know that tomorrow marks NASA’s 56th Anniversary! Established in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower, the National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed to encourage peaceful space science exploration. NASA has since gone on to spearhead the Apollo moon landing, the Skylab space station, the creation of the space shuttle, and is currently aiding in the construction of the International Space Station (ISS). NASA also has an abundance of content on their website to look to for lesson plans when you need a little STEM inspiration. Here are a few, fun STEM applications you can use when teaching your elementary students about space: [More]

Choosing the Right Blocks for Your Classroom

clock July 22, 2014 10:01 by author Kaplan Early Learning
There are so many different types of block play! Wooden blocks, soft blocks, LEGO® blocks, magnetic blocks—it’s hard to know which set will be most beneficial to the children in your care. No worries! We’re going to break down a few of our most popular block play items for you: [More]

4 Innovative Ways to Create an Outdoor Classroom

clock July 18, 2014 08:51 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Want to take learning outside but not sure how? A plethora of pins (http://www.pinterest.com/kaplanco/outdoor-learning/) await discovery for making outdoor time beneficial to students. Athletic activities develop gross motor skills, sand boxes encourage sensory play, and sidewalk chalk allows students’ imaginations to soar. Everyone knows that the great outdoors presents a variety of learning opportunities for students, but what we want to do is show you how to take the classroom environment and bring it outside. Prepare for four ways to create outdoor learning spaces! [More]

4 Cost-Effective Ways to Reward Students

clock July 17, 2014 08:56 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Are you finding it hard to keep your students motivated? We have a few creative solutions for rewarding students based on good behavior that will stop even the most challenging of behaviors! Keep reward systems cost-effective while encouraging progress in problem areas with the introduction of these four fun ideas: [More]

How to Engage the Boys in Your Classroom

clock July 16, 2014 10:21 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Constant fidgeting, pushing, running around—does this describe the boys in your classroom? If you’ve found yourself scratching your head and wondering why it seems the girls in your class are “better behaved,” know you’re not alone! After years of believing girls’ and boys’ brains were the same, new research has led scientists to realize that not only are brains “wired” differently between the two genders, but that it affects learning approaches as well! Here are some distinct differences between how boys approach learning as opposed to girls and how you can effectively cater to those differences resulting in a balanced classroom. [More]

Summer Relaxation and Reboot for Educators

clock July 14, 2014 01:27 by author Kaplan Early Learning
The beginning of the school year is quickly approaching! Want to enjoy those last few summer months of sanity while also ensuring you are prepared for the year to come? To put your mind at ease during those well-deserved hours of relaxation, we have a few suggestions for turning that time into experiences that also count toward the classroom. Who said you can’t be a multi-tasker while relaxing? [More]

5 Read-Along Books to Start the Preschool Year

clock July 10, 2014 09:56 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Are you already in back-to-school planning mode? That’s ok! We are, too! Between mental checklists and stocking your classroom with supplies, it’s important that you also consider which lessons are going to be taught in the first few weeks of the school year. Many preschoolers may return to class with a bad case of summer slide (we hope not!) and you may find yourself face-to-face with a room full of students now at wider-ranging skill levels. Want to feel better prepared for whatever the first day of school has in store? Here are five read-along books to quickly engage your students and bring everyone up to speed: [More]

Summer STEM: Putting the Spotlight on Technology

clock July 9, 2014 10:16 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Whether it’s to avoid the dreaded summer slide or simply to integrate a more digital approach into your child’s education, pushing technology as a part of STEM learning is a great strategy for summer! Using computers, building bridges, and operating machinery all require an understanding of technology, and teaching children to integrate that knowledge into their approach to basic problem solving will only expand their capacity to find creative solutions to everyday problems. Here are a few ways to spotlight technology (both at home and in the classroom) and aid children in further science, math and technology explorations. [More]

Talking 'Math' Outside of the Classroom

clock July 7, 2014 09:28 by author Kaplan Early Learning
It’s easy for students to keep literary skills polished over the summer; after all, it’s called pleasure reading for a reason! But continuing student involvement in math outside of the classroom can prove to be a challenge. With organizations like the National Summer Learning Association putting precedence on preventing summer slide, we thought we would give you a few ways to “talk math” outside of the classroom. What’s more, finding ways for students to use math in real-world situations will ultimately better student comprehension when they’re back at school! [More]

3 Ways to Foster Independence in Children

clock July 2, 2014 08:35 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Are your students going to a beach, bunking down in a cabin, or taking a hike in the mountains for the 4th of July? Whatever it is students are doing for Independence Day, it’s important that they have time to make their own discoveries and build a sense of independence while doing so. Here are three activities you can suggest to parents while on vacation that will build independence in children, even as they are celebrating America’s centuries-old display of doing just that! [More]

Integrating Blended Learning into Your Elementary Classroom

clock June 30, 2014 14:11 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Today, many school systems and elementary programs are taking on the flipped classroom approach as a part of the blended learning model. Not familiar with blended learning? Find out the ins and outs of it in this related blog post. Whether you are considering flipping your classroom or incorporating a Flex model, here are a few suggestions on how to seamlessly integrate blended learning into your elementary classroom: [More]

4 Ways to Make Summer Reading Fun!

clock June 30, 2014 08:50 by author Kaplan Early Learning
It’s summer time and with it comes sunny days full of hours ready to be spent getting lost in the pages of our favorite books! Summer is a great time for students to discover pleasure reading and understand that learning can be an adventure! To help encourage your students’ parents to provide the right resources and prevent summer slide, here are our top four tips on how to promote summer reading in young children: [More]

The Ins and Outs of Blended Learning in the Elementary Classroom

clock June 27, 2014 08:21 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Between teaching in the classroom, grading papers outside of it, and keeping up with the consistent stream of meetings and conferences, it can be hard to make time to keep up with the latest trends and buzzwords in the field of education. Well, that’s where we can help! Here is a quick rundown of what blended learning is, why people are talking about it, and how to integrate a blended learning approach in your elementary school classroom. [More]