Posts in category "education"

Learning Through Play: Another Visit to Cherry Preschool

I walked into a classroom at Cherry Preschool in Evanston, Illinois to check out the recent activities and get my fix of watching preschoolers doing what they do best – learning through play. A brief disclaimer: This is the school I founded and directed until my retirement, so it is definitely my happy place. The... Read more »

Developmentally Appropriate Education: How to Teach Science to Preschoolers

When was the last time a teacher pulled you into her classroom so excited to show the work of her students? It happened to me last week at Cherry Preschool when teacher Ann Donoghue stopped me as I was leaving and said, “You have to see what our kids did last week. It was so... Read more »

How Not to Honor Martin Luther King

At a grade school assembly to honor Martin Luther King, a child from a self-contained class for children on the autistic spectrum sat in the back of the room with his aide. He had no role in this assembly. He didn’t get to shake an instrument to accompany a song his grade sang. He didn’t... Read more »

The Art of Developmentally Appropriate Early Childhood Education

There is no better place to lift my spirits on a dreary winter day than Cherry Preschool. I stopped by the school where I served for 15 years as founding director to make copies for a meeting about kindergarten that I will be co-hosting next week. As I looked at the children’s art displays, it... Read more »

Why People Don’t Volunteer: Ten Ideas to Get More Folks Involved

Last week, I wrote about the decline in volunteerism in schools. It certainly touched a nerve for some folks in my community. No one disputed that it is happening. Comments ranged from “I made all of my closest friends at my children’s school while volunteering” to “there has been an increase in the banter that... Read more »

Schools Ask: Where Have All the Volunteers Gone?

Schools seem to be struggling much more than in the past to find volunteers. With my deepest apologies to Pete Seegar, something has seemed to have “picked them, everyone.” For the past few years, the administrators of the preschool I founded have been telling me things are different these days. When the school started back... Read more »

President Obama Opts Out of High Stakes Testing

Finally. In the twilight of his Presidency, President Obama seems to feel free to say what he really thinks about guns and racial profiling and climate change and…testing. Yes, he’s sorry about all of those high stakes standardized tests like PARCC that I have been bemoaning since I started blogging two years ago. A comprehensive... Read more »

Social Impact Bonds: Chicago Plays Pay for Success with Young Kids

I’ll confess that in my capacity as an early childhood director for over twenty years, I often made the argument for the benefits of quality early childhood education. I discussed it at community meetings as a way to level the playing field to give every child a decent start in life. I wrote about it... Read more »

Separation Anxiety: Struggling to Say Goodbye

In politics, the October surprise refers to the big event that happens just before an election to shape its outcome. But anyone involved in early childhood education knows that while some kids cry in September, others fall apart in October after their parents think they have made an excellent adjustment. This is a preschooler’s version... Read more »

PARCC Test Fails Kids Again

Parents, brace yourselves. The results are in and only 30-40 percent of the students (depending on grade level and subject) who took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) standardized tests last spring have passed. The Chicago Tribune describes the scores as a “troubling picture.” It’s time to start the blame game.... Read more »