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Executive Function and Nature 2

Preparing Children for Life

Posted by: Rhonda October 17, 2017

In today’s digital world, facts are not far from our fingertips. However, knowing how tall a mountain is isn’t the same as knowing how to climb it.  How can teachers equip their students with the skills needed to meet the challenges of the future? Challenges that we can’t even imagine?

Michelle Rupiper maintains that the best way to prepare children for a successful life is to foster the development of executive functioning skills. These skills include the ability to plan, reason, remember, and problem-solve.

Inside the classroom, however, may not be the best place to build these critical skills. Research suggests that getting outside in nature is a far better environment for developing and strengthening executive function. Read more.

PreK Spaces

Designing your Pre K Space

Posted by: Rhonda October 10, 2017

Learning doesn’t happen sitting down—at least not when you’re four years old! The preschool years should be ones of active, hands-on discovery and exploration. This requires a stimulating environment that offers choices to children, invites them to engage in a number of activities, and encourages them to explore a wide range of materials.

It takes thoughtful planning to design an environment that is calm and well-ordered, yet at the same time full of activity and movement. 

No matter what your space is like, your decisions about room layout are crucial. Our staff development guide Pre-K Spaces will help you to create a space where children can thrive and learn. Request your free copy.

 

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.

Flexible Environments

Creating a Flexible Learning Environment

Posted by: Rhonda October 3, 2017

Infants and toddlers develop at an astoundingly fast rate. A supportive environment cannot remain static, but must be continually adapted to meet their changing needs. 

Creating such an environment while meeting licensing requirements for visibility and furniture stability can be challenging, but is not impossible.
Find out how the Heritage Child Development Center in Hartford, CT uses Roomscapes to achieve both these goals. View case study.

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.