Crisscross Applesauce: It's Time to Move On!

Posted by: Rhonda December 3, 2019

Crisscross-Applesauce. . .” This idiomatic mantra has been dictated in early education settings for decades. “Legs crossed, hands in lap, eyes on me. . .” The idea, of course, is that kids will pay greater attention to the teacher if they are required to sit still. But now, with abundant research showing the benefits of movement for learning, isn’t it time to call this practice obsolete?

Even for a limber adult, sitting on the floor, cross-legged, back straight, with hands in your lap, is a challenging position to maintain for more than a few minutes. So what are the alternatives? Read Rae Pica’s popular and controversial blog post here.

NAECY block tower

Building Connections at NAEYC

Posted by: Rhonda November 26, 2019

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the NAEYC Expo last week and added a colorfully personalized block to the Connect Tower. It was great meeting all of you face to face and hearing about what you do for children all around the country!

The lucky winners of the Connect Tower Raffle are Lizette Harvey and Kim Huntley. Congratulations!

Wishing you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

helping children succeed

Helping Children Succeed

Posted by: Rhonda November 19, 2019

In her book, Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky outlines the following list of seven essential skills every child must develop to be successful, not just in school, but in life:

#1: The ability to focus and exercise self-control
#2: The ability to notice and understand the needs of others
#3: The ability to communicate
#4: The ability to make connections (what fits together)
#5: The ability to think critically
#6: The ability to take on challenges
#7: The ability to become engaged, self-directed learners

Which classroom activity should you promote that supports children acquiring these invaluable assets? (Hint: it does not happen at a desk.) Read here.

process art

Embracing Process Art in Early Childhood Classrooms

Posted by: Rhonda November 12, 2019

“When my son was three years old, I went to an ‘art show’ at his nursery school,” relates Elizabeth Richards. “I stopped in front of a display labeled Whooo is it? and stared at the rows of perfectly assembled owls, each of which had a lift-up flap with a child’s picture underneath.

“As an early childhood educator, I had a gut feeling that something was off here. Was this what preschool art was supposed to look like? Where was the creativity and self-expression?

“That was the beginning of my questioning around how young children should experience art. . .”  Read more.


The Wisdom of Play

Posted by: Rhonda November 5, 2019

What makes early childhood education unique among other levels of education? It starts with the child, not the subject matter.

Grounded solidly in philosophy and scientific research, the early childhood curriculum should be the most holistic of any level of education. However, politically and commercially driven efforts have shifted the focus from the child to the curriculum—in a direction that dismisses play as irrelevant.

How do you define play? What is the function of play for children? And how do you teach others the value of play? Read what prominent advocates of childhood such as David Elkind, Joan Almon, and Stuart Brown have to say about this critical issue in our staff development booklet: The Wisdom of Play.

Download or request your free copy here.