Whitney Brothers® Introduces Nature View Mobile Book Browser

Keene, NH, Award winning children’s furniture brand Whitney Brothers® today introduced the Nature View Mobile Book Browser, an imaginative interpretation of a standard book display for Early Learning environments that features a stunning waterfall image on the front and dry erase marker board on the back.

The exclusive design combines utility with beauty to entice children to pick a book and sit down by the serene brook for a peaceful read. The front features four graduated display shelves with a lip that provides stable book display and maximum front cover visibility. The back includes a dry erase marker board for drawing, writing, lessons or whatever the classroom activity entails. The browser is mounted on four heavy duty non-marking lockable casters and coordinates with all other furniture pieces in the
company’s award-winning biophilia-inspired Nature View Collection, an industry first in Early Learning furniture.

Scientific studies show that biophilic design helps to reduce stress, enhance creativity, focus clarity of thought and improve well-being, benefits that can foster a child’s deep connection to their learning environment and set a positive trajectory for future learning outcomes. The Nature View Collection by Whitney Brothers® now encompasses 35 separate furniture pieces that have earned product design
awards from Interior Design magazine, Spaces4Learning, GOOD DESIGN™ and Teacher’s Choice Award.…Read More

Whitney Brothers® Nature View Writing Center Earns Platinum Spaces4Learning 2022 New Product Award

Keene, NH, July 29, 2022 – Acclaimed Early Learning furniture brand Whitney Brothers® today announced its new Nature View Writing Center received the Platinum 2022 Spaces4Learning New Product Award, one of the most widely recognized awards for product innovation in the educational products market.

The inventive design of the Nature View Writing Center accommodates social distancing and activity workspace in Early Learning environments, a nod to the impact of covid-19 on student desk design. The vibrant woodland scene on the desk’s clear back panel brings the calm of nature indoors and creates a comforting personalized activity space for young children that also provides important visibility for adult supervision. Notably, the 2022 award marks the company’s third consecutive win and fourth in the last six years, vaulting it to the level of a few select brands.

Now in its seventh year, the Spaces4Learning New Product Award program honors manufacturers and suppliers whose products or services are judged for their ability to enhance learning environments. The contest judges are members of the publication’s Editorial Advisory Board, a panel of executives and professionals from leading industry vendors, industry associations, and architecture firms.…Read More

5 steps to an engaging online elementary program

Elementary education is the foundation for early learning, providing students with the skills and community they need for future success in school and life. Thanks to today’s technology, helping them start on the right foot is easier than ever – especially with online learning opportunities.

Online learning has become a growing trend among K-12 students, including elementary students. In fact, we successfully launched our own online elementary schools, which grew by 10,000 students over the past four years.

If you are a school or district leader looking to build an online elementary program, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five steps that helped our teams successfully build and maintain an online elementary program that drives student and parent engagement:…Read More

SEL shines on Sesame Street

A new partnership between Sesame Workshop and Discovery Education leverages social and emotional development and learning for a whole-child approach that will target early learners in grades PreK-2.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, and Discovery Education‘s K-12 digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. The new Sesame Workshop-branded early learner channel will include high-quality video content; lesson plans and educator resources; interactive games and activities for kids; and family partnership supports–all focused on a whole-child approach.

Incorporating social and emotional competencies into early learning is critical, and it’s especially important for children who are entering preschool for the first time–they are “pandemic babies” who likely missed group early learning opportunities due to social distancing and pandemic policies.…Read More

It’s time to focus on learning experience design

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that understanding the whole student matters. Since March of 2020, billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of person hours have been spent enabling remote learning access, rolling out strategic student supports—particularly around mental health—and providing emergency aid for students struggling with basic needs.

All the while, the committed educators focused on meeting this moment embraced a clear truth: Maslow trumps Bloom on learning journeys. Whether its early learning, K-12, higher education, or job training, we have been forcefully reminded by COVID to focus on the whole student experience if we want our learners to begin, continue, and succeed on their pathways to and through education.

Even pre-pandemic, a holistic student supports approach was becoming an essential feature of student success initiatives, particularly as the focus on student completion took hold over the last decade. However, much of this work has been anchored in strategic outreach and advising reform. With what we’ve learned and lived through over the last two years in rethinking instruction and student support with learner experiences at the center, we are now challenged to embrace this perspective in a more fulsome and integrative way in the learning process itself. Put simply: now is the time for learning experience designers.…Read More

McGraw Hill Acquires Kidaptive, an Adaptive and Personalized Learning Company

McGraw Hill today announced that it has acquired Kidaptive, Inc., an adaptive learning platform company with industry-leading expertise in learning science, early learning, and data analytics worldwide.

Kidaptive’s world-class team of learning scientists, psychometricians, data scientists and engineers will join a new Center for Innovation within McGraw Hill’s School group, led by Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Shawn K. Smith, who joined the company in November 2020. The team is focused on developing smarter and lighter student-centered solutions that will power even more personalized learning experiences.

“We see tremendous potential in this combination of McGraw Hill’s content development expertise, vast curriculum inventory and extensive student interaction data with Kidaptive’s ability to pinpoint each student’s position on a personal learning journey,” said Sean Ryan, President of McGraw Hill’s School group. “This is about delivering precision at scale to the benefit of students, teachers and families.”…Read More

Using a growth mindset as the foundation for SEL

Research continues to show the benefits of social-emotional learning (SEL), especially with elementary-age students. But as SEL gains ground, educators need to think about best practices for adding it to their classroom. One of those approaches includes using a growth mindset.

In “SEL and Academic Learning Catalyst: Growth Mindset,” presenters Dr. Desiree Margo, principal at Redmond Early Learning Center, and Dr. Kendra Coates, Growing Early Mindsets (GEM) author and professional learning specialist at Mindset Works, explain why a growth mindset is the strongest foundation for both SEL and academic learning. They caution, however, that both principles need to be integrated into the regular classroom and throughout school activities to achieve the best results.

Related: 10 signs you’re doing SEL right…Read More

The best PD webinars of 2016—did you watch?

edWeb.net just completed an analysis of their 2016 webinar viewership stats for 2016.  The professional learning community hosted 260 PD webinars in 2016 that were viewed by 165,000 educators – an average of 635 educators per webinar.  Thirty eight webinars (15 percent) were on early learning topics and had 45,000 (27 percent) of the viewers.  Early learning webinars had an average of 1,160 viewers, almost twice the average of all webinars.

Fourteen of the top 25 webinars of the year were on early learning topics, presented by some of the most expert and engaging early childhood educators. All webinars have been archived, and can be viewed by clicking the links:

  • From Chaos to Calm: Building a School Family where even the Most Difficult Children become Helpful and Caring presented by Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D., award-winning author and Founder of Loving Guidance, Inc.
  • S/he Hit Me First: Learn Proactive Solutions to Teach Social Emotional Skills through Daily Conflict presented by Jill Molli, M.A., Educator, Keynote Speaker, Instructor for Conscious Discipline
  • Jean: Brain Breaks to Help Students Move and Learn presented by Dr. Jean Feldman, teacher, consultant and celebrated author of more than 10 books on the topic of early
  • Teaching Numeracy to Young Children: A Responsive and Differentiated Approach presented by Brian Mowry, M.A., Early Childhood Mathematics Consultant and Specialist
  • Jump into Literacy, Math, & Science: Active Learning for Preschool Children presented by Rae Pica, Author, Keynote Speaker & Education Consultant
  • Much More Than the ABC Song! Music That Naturally Supports Children’s Language and Literacy Skills presented by Devi Borton, M.A., Early Childhood Music Specialist, Outreach Mentor, and Teacher Trainer at Music
  • Transition Activities that Build Young Brains, Manage Behavior presented by Ellen Booth Church, Adjunct Professor, Nova Southeastern University

(Next page: 7 more of the top early learning PD webinars of 2016)

…Read More

Benchmark Education announces new early learning literacy intervention program

Literacy publisher Benchmark Education Company (BEC) announced a new literacy intervention program for grades K–2 in print format with online support. Spring Forward helps students build essential literacy skills through explicit strategy-based instruction.

The program provides teachers with everything they need to help struggling young readers accelerate progress in developing foundational skills, oral language, metacognition, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing. The program includes 228 new leveled books, with an equal number of fiction and non-fiction titles. BEC released its best-selling parallel intervention program in Spanish, Soluciones, last year.

Each Spring Forward grade-level purchase option consists of six copies each of 60 or more science and social studies leveled books organized into two-book sets. Each two-book set features a double-sided colorful poster companion and a Teacher’s Guide that provides week-by-week instruction. The two-book sets and posters provide opportunities to read across texts at each student’s instructional reading level to compare and contrast ideas, themes, story elements, and author’s craft elements.…Read More

Fab labs to launch in early childhood programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM will develop early childhood fab labs in Head Start programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES), a developer of digital fabrication laboratories (fab labs) and STEM curriculum and school design, has been named a partner in the Federal government’s new Early Education STEM initiative.

TIES is among a group of leaders who participated in April’s Early Learning Symposium hosted by The White House, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and Invest in US. The event highlighted the importance of promoting active STEM learning for our youngest children and to celebrate a broad range of public- and private-sector leaders committed to promoting STEM learning across the country.

In March 2016, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, in partnership with TIES and FableVision, launched the world’s first Fab Lab for young learners (ages 3 to 10) to help them navigate the design process from concept to production, and turn their ideas into reality.…Read More