Thanksgiving Activities for the Classroom (with 2 Free Printables!)

clock November 18, 2014 09:15 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Thanksgiving is almost here! Are you ready? We’re sure you’re looking forward to spending time with family and enjoying all of the delicious, mouthwatering foods that embody the holiday, but there are still a few days of class left to get through before everyone can enjoy Thanksgiving. To help you make it through these last few days, we’ve scoured Pinterest for some creative Thanksgiving activities and created two engaging printables of our own that you can use to celebrate Tha... [More]

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

clock November 13, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Native Americans have played a significant role in the history of the United States. As President Obama states in his 2014 National Native American Heritage Month Proclamation, Native Americans were “[t]he first stewards of our environment, early voices for the values that define our Nation, and models of government to our Founding Fathers -- American Indians and Alaska Natives helped build the very fabric of America.” Taking time to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in your c... [More]

It's National Young Readers Week!

clock November 11, 2014 12:45 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Celebrate the young readers in your classroom by throwing a reading party or giving them opportunities to read something of their choice. Taking time to celebrate young readers is a great way to show children that reading matters, especially when many students dislike reading or struggle to read at grade level. Children’s literacy is at a critical point in the United States—research shows that children who are not reading proficiently by the time they are in third grade are four time... [More]

Shake It Off! 10 Stress Busters for Teachers

clock November 5, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Even though April is National Stress Awareness Month, we just started the most stressful time of the year for many adults, especially parents and teachers. Whether it’s planning holiday parties for your students and/or your own kids or rushing around trying to figure out what gifts to get everyone, the holiday season screams stress. To help you beat the effects of stress in your life, we’ve come up with a list of ways you can shake it off (just like Taylor Swift!) and actually enjoy ... [More]

Writing Invitations

clock November 4, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
“It is terribly important for kids to read and write for the reasons that people the world over read and write, which is to communicate, to delight, and to laugh.”- Lucy Calkins Authentic Invitations: It is important to offer children authentic invitations to write. Research is clear…teachers who provide students with daily opportunities to write about topics they choose and offer them a plethora of options to share their writing (beyond the classroom teacher and classmates) ... [More]

Five Ways You Can Teach Children About the Importance of Voting

clock October 30, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
While this isn’t a presidential election year, there are still a number of important political races occurring around the United States. Teaching children about the importance of voting and the importance of voting in all elections (not just the presidential election) can have a lasting impact on future voters. Civics is usually not emphasized or adequately taught in many classrooms, which is one reason why young adults are often apathetic towards the voting and election process. According... [More]

Engaging Fall Activities for Infants and Toddlers

clock October 28, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
It’s finally starting to feel like fall! The cool, crisp mornings and the changing leaves make fall one of the most enjoyable times of the year (the pumpkin spice lattes certainly don’t hurt either!). While you may have a long list of your favorite things about fall, it’s important to remember that infants and toddlers are just discovering what makes fall special and different from the rest of the year. They look at changing leaves and falling acorns with a sense of wonder and ... [More]

Curbing Bad Language in the Classroom

clock October 24, 2014 09:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
“Uh-oh. Someone said a bad word!” If you work with children or have children of your own, you’ve probably heard (and said) this or similar statements many times. Children use inappropriate words for a variety of reasons—they may hear someone else say the word and say it on accident, they may be upset and use bad language to hurt someone else, or they may say a curse word to get attention from adults and other children. Inappropriate language is often a challenging behavio... [More]

Using Pizza to Teach Math

clock October 23, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
If you like eating pizza, you have another reason to enjoy a slice this month—October is National Pizza Month! Pizza is one of those foods that almost everyone can appreciate, so think outside of the pizza box and celebrate the gooey, cheesy goodness with your students by using pizza as a tool to teach counting, shapes, sorting, addition, subtraction, fractions, and other math concepts. Whether you choose to use real pizzas or pizza-related materials (such as the Pizza Fraction™ Fun ... [More]

Preschool Halloween Hacks and Activities

clock October 21, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Halloween is less than two weeks away—are you ready? If you haven’t started planning a class Halloween party or if you have no idea about the types of activities you want to include in your lesson plans, we can help you save time and energy! Here’s a list of quick and easy preschool Halloween hacks and activities that your preschoolers (and their parents) will love: 1. Pumpkin Pie Playdough Candy is a popular treat for students on Halloween, but pumpkin pie playdough is a grea... [More]

Halloween Equals Writing Prompts Galore!

clock October 17, 2014 10:00 by author Kaplan Early Learning
We've recently talked about utilizing writing notebooks and creating successful writing workshops on the Kaplan Blog, but one thing we haven't talked about is writing prompts. Writing prompts give children purpose in their writing and can spark their creativity and imagination. Whether children are just learning to write or have more advanced writing skills, you can pick writing prompts that are developmentally appropriate while also being fun for children to brainstorm and come up with creative... [More]

The Great School Lunch Debate

clock October 16, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
It’s National School Lunch Week! We thought we would celebrate by discussing the ongoing school lunch debate and by sharing tips on how you can address parents’ concerns about what their kids are eating at school. In recent years, school lunches have been at the center of a national conversation about the nutritional value of the food served in schools. Some people argue that school lunches offer too many bad food choices and not enough healthy options—something the Healthy, Hu... [More]

Rules for a Friendly Preschool Classroom

clock October 14, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
There’s a lot going on in October–Fire Prevention Week, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, Halloween–but did you know that October is also National Bullying Prevention Month? People often think of bullying as something that occurs in elementary school and in the upper grade levels, but bullying can also occur in preschool and other ECE environments. According to, “Children as young as 12 months can be aggressive when relatin... [More]

Questioning Strategies: If You Want Good Answers, Ask Good Questions!

clock October 9, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Guest Post by Ellen Mulligan How many questions do you ask in the course of one math class? The answer would probably astound you. We ask many questions. However, are they deep, thought-provoking questions? Tape your class some day and really analyze the types of questions you ask. I would venture to say that the vast majority of them require only “one word” or “one number” answers. It is a by-product of the fast food economy. We drive up to a window, order the #5, and re... [More]

Tips for a Successful Writing Workshop

clock October 7, 2014 10:30 by author Kaplan Early Learning
Children want to write… Choice About Topics Best writing is that which comes from a writer’s thoughts, experiences, and dreams. A prompt of the day or a scripted writing curriculum will not provide the level of authenticity, inspiration, and motivation that comes from allowing children to write about what matters most to them. Support children in understanding that they have everything they need to be great writers: powerful ideas and a desire to share them with others. It is critic... [More]