Using robots to help preschoolers love STEAM

In the spring and summer of 2020, Brooklyn Preschool of Science closed down for six months due to COVID-19. During those same six months, almost 300,000 people left New York, so there are certainly fewer families in our zip code than there were in March.

Even so, our independent preschools are back to serving 300 families at three locations, offering in-person classes for students ages 2 to 5. Parents are trusting us with their children not just because of the safety precautions we’re taking, but because of our pedagogical approach, which begins with a spirit of inquiry and ends with students who have a lifelong love of science.

An inquiry-based, hands-on approach…Read More

CASEL Releases Updated Guide for High-Quality Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs

48 Programs Receive Highest Designation

CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) published an updated edition of its most frequently accessed resource, The CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs, commonly known as the CASEL Program Guide (https://pg.casel.org). As the leading authority on evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL), CASEL is uniquely positioned to review and rate programs with potential to promote desired competence development among children and youth, preschool through high school. With the rising popularity of SEL and the growing number of program options, this Consumer Reports-style guide will help district and school leaders select effective programs that support their students’ social, emotional, and academic well-being. 

Programs are reviewed against evaluation, design, and implementation criteria to help ensure the consistency and quality of program delivery. Programs in the CASEL Program Guide are designated as either SELect, Promising, or SEL-Supportive. …Read More

Osmo for Schools Supplies Cincinnati School District with Learning Systems for Pre-K to Grade 12 Specialized Learning Units

Palo Alto–Osmo for Schools announces that it has supplied the Cincinnati School District with various Osmo for Schools learning systems which will be implemented into 50 classrooms by the start of the fall semester (August, 2021). The learning systems are intended for specialized learning units covering preschool to grade 12. Cincinnati schools recently reopened to full-time, in-person learning on April 1.

“At first, we tested out popular Osmo for Schools apps like Words, Tangrams and Numbers, allowing teachers to sign the product out at our lending library for about one year, and this went very well,” says Joelle McConnell, Intervention Specialist for the Curriculum Access Team at Cincinnati School District, whose focus is instructional technology for students with disabilities. “Based on their positive experience, our district moved forward with a larger purchase of Osmo for Schools products that included Coding Family, Pizza Co., Monster, Detective, Little Genius, and Cases.” 

McConnell came across Osmo a few years ago when researching tech solutions which are fun, engaging and educational for the district’s students in specialized learning units, which includes those with autism and a range of disabilities. After the district’s dedicated IT department tested the Osmo for Schools’ products to make sure they are safe and ensure privacy, she and others began testing Osmo out.…Read More

School District Uses Digital Signage to Stay Connected

Keeping connected amidst the global pandemic has become critically important for schools. Central Lyon School District in Rock Rapids, Iowa has leveraged its digital signage to facilitate sporting events and maintain a community spirit – even while observing official health and safety guidelines. 

Central Lyon is a unique K12 school district that serves 780 students, from preschool to high school, in one large campus building. While they were fortunate to be able to open for the fall 2020 school term, they needed to adapt to new protocols and guidelines for social distancing. 

In addition to mandatory mask-wearing for students, there are also limitations on attendance for sports and other events. School safety is of utmost importance so digital signage has been an important ally in communicating the social distancing regulations and attendance capacity limits. …Read More

First-of-its-kind, all-electric mobile preschool

A first-of-its kind vehicle will be hitting the streets this autumn in Colorado as an all-new, all-electric, ‘Magic Bus’ Mobile Preschool will serve to put early-childhood education on wheels.

The Magic Bus is a program of the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365, and is a Winnebago Industries Specialty Vehicle – the first all-electric mobile preschool in the world.

The all-electric bus will join its gas-powered counterpart so that two buses will make the rounds through neighborhoods in Eagle County Colorado, four days a week beginning Oct. 5, 2020. Classes are an hour-and-a-half long and are free of charge, helping ensure that critical childhood learning is available to as many children and families in the community as possible.…Read More

DoE compiles new report on using tech with young learners

When it comes to using technology with the youngest learners, educators have tried for years to strike a balance between what kinds, if any, and how much.

Now the federal departments of Education and Health and Human Services are throwing in their two cents with the release of a new policy brief on the subject, which advocates active, meaningful, and socially interactive learning for kids up to eight years old.

The brief is intended as a helpful resource for educators and others caring for young children, but is also directed at researchers and technology developers, highlighting topics for further research and encouraging the development of research-based products.…Read More

Education.com unveils guided curriculum for math, reading

Education.com, an online education destination for teachers, parents, and homeschoolers looking to help their kids succeed in school, announced a new guided curriculum that changes the way they help their preschool and elementary children develop essential skills.

The new skills-focused curriculum combines 30,000 expert-created resources from the industry’s most comprehensive learning library with step-by-step guided lessons mapped to specific skills, to more easily and effectively strengthen the math, reading, and writing skills that are essential for school success.

At the heart of education, children need to develop foundational math and reading skills to succeed in school. All kids struggle with these core skills at some level, and their parents and teachers equally face fundamental challenges in trying to help them: identifying the most essential math and reading skills, finding various ways to keep a child engaged in learning, and finding an educational solution that connects foundational skills to the learning needs of the individual child. Education.com’s new math and reading platform uniquely helps parents and teachers address these challenges by combining easy to follow step-by-step lessons with a variety of learning formats for a multi-sensory approach aligned to the essential skills kids need to learn.…Read More

California dems propose free preschool

A top California lawmaker unveiled a $1 billion proposal on Tuesday to fund free public preschool for all children in the most populous U.S. state, the latest challenge by Democratic leaders to fiscal restraints imposed by Governor Jerry Brown, Reuters reports. The plan by Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg to offer pre-kindergarten to California 4-year-olds comes as he and other Democratic lawmakers try to push Brown to raise spending on social services, including education, in next year’s budget…

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How lasting are the benefits of preschool?

As President Obama advocates for a dramatic expansion of publicly funded preschool, there is growing debate about whether preschool pays off academically for kids, says for the Washington Post. Most controversial is the so-called “fade-out” effect that has surfaced in research, showing that students who attend preschool begin kindergarten more prepared than control groups of students who did not, but they lose their edge on reading or math tests within the first few years as other children catch up…

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