Singing transitions

Singing through Transitions

Posted by: Rhonda October 3, 2017

Why do so many of you use “the Clean-Up Song” to indicate that it is time to pack up the toys?

Probably because it works! Repetitive, familiar songs are one of the best ways to announce and calmly ease children through daily transition times. A child doesn’t need a lot of information to transition, and a tune—used regularly—offers them a signal without overwhelming them with words.

In her years of teaching experience, Margaret Hooton has acquired a wealth of tried-and-tested little songs for all moments of the day. Try them yourself! Listen here.

Transitions blog_2

Teachable Transitions

Posted by: Rhonda September 19, 2017

No matter how you structure your day, transitions are an inevitable part of working with young children. There is always somewhere to get to next, another activity to begin, or an activity to clean up. Often, this involves expecting children to wait quietly or stand still in a line—two things that do not come naturally to any child. No wonder chaos easily erupts!

However, it doesn’t have to be like that. Rae Pica insists that with a little bit of imagination and intentionality, transition times can be powerful learning opportunities. Find out how.

Sand Art

Art in the Sand Box

Posted by: Rhonda September 12, 2017

One of the underlying premises of the Outdoor Classroom idea is that everything you can do indoors can be replicated outside. This particularly lends itself to art. In fact, the possibilities for creative and messy activities increase dramatically when taken out of doors!

Here's an activity incorporating art in the sand area. Of course you can do it anywhere, but we set this up right in our sand box where the primary material for this project was abundant—sand! It also made the clean-up really easy. Instructions here.

block spotlight

Why are blocks disappearing?

Posted by: Rhonda September 5, 2017

In the name of school readiness, block play is increasingly marginalized in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Instead of having hands-on, sensory experiences with three-dimensional objects, children are sitting in front of two-dimensional screens and worksheets. This is detrimental to their learning.

With new and compelling evidence linking the importance of good spatial skills with future achievement in all the STEM areas of learning, early childhood educators must start paying attention. “I am more convinced than ever that blocks are one of the most essential materials for the early childhood classroom,” writes Rosanne Regan Hansel.

Bring back the blocks! Read more.

IT Spaces

Just My Size!

Posted by: Rhonda August 29, 2017

Setting Up an Infant and Toddler Space

The world is so big. Your classroom needs to be child-sized; a place where a child can reach, sit, play, and work on their own without constantly needing adult assistance.

When the environment is intentionally designed for the youngest learners, children can safely explore what interests them. Caregivers spend less time lifting children, putting them in chairs, getting toys for them, and managing difficult behavior.

Getting the environment right is an on-going process. To help you, we partnered with WestEd's PITC to create Infant and Toddler Spaces. This booklet guides you through creating a space where the youngest children can thrive and learn. Request your free copy here.