Posts in category "education"

Fun and Play are Good for Kindergarten – What a Surprise

The headline in today’s Chicago Tribune reads “Fun plays a part in learning, study says” in the print edition and “Focus on play in kindergarten may improve grades” online. Who knew? Well, I did, along with pretty much anyone who has taught preschool or kindergarten. Dare I say, even first and second grade teachers know... Read more »

Common Core Testing for Dogs and Cats

I’m not making this up. In the print version of Scientifics Direct, a very nice catalog of science-related activities for kids, it describes kits for creating interactive pet toys as being “like common core testing.” Among the things these kits claim they can do is teaching obedience commands and training both dogs and cats to... Read more »

What Do You Believe In? Ask The Little Preschool That Could

The seeds of what Cherry Preschool of Evanston, Illinois, believes in were present from the start. From the date of its incorporation in January of 1992 to its birth nine months later when it opened in September, the founders of “The Little Preschool That Could” asked themselves, “What do we believe in?” Our list included... Read more »
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12 Picture Books 4 to 8 Year Olds Should Read

This is National Young Readers Week – a perfect time to post my feelings about the demotion of picture books for the 4-8 year old crowd. I first noticed this phenomenon a couple of years ago as a volunteer at my local elementary school’s bookstore. Kindergarteners rejected beautiful, hardbound, age-appropriate, “pre-read” picture books, selling for... Read more »

I'm Asking Parents and Teachers of Early Learners to Write my Next Post - Genius or Fail?

Parents and teachers, I need your comments. I’m trying to figure out what educational experiences matter the most for early learners. Help me write a future blog post on what parents really want for their young children’s education. If you comment on this post (or even read it), I’m a genius. If not, it joins... Read more »

Another Frozen Winter on the Way -- Let’s Make Sure the Kids get to Move

If you think 2014 was the “winter of our discontent,” just wait to see what’s coming this year. After a cold, rainy, and even snowy Halloween (of course), most of the leaves have fallen and November has arrived. Is it possible we will soon be facing another winter of bitter cold and school closings? Will... Read more »
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Taking the Road Less Traveled: The Founding of Cherry Preschool

The first Cherry Preschool was born in 1990.  It existed on a scrap of paper hidden in a drawer – my personal dream. I wrote it the way girls often try out the names of boys they like. I just wanted to see how it looked. At the time, I was mourning the death of... Read more »

PARCC – A Test No One Wants to Give but Everyone has to Take

Suppose a new children’s cereal came on the market. Its manufacturer claims it is great for kids. It will make them smarter and more prepared for college and career. The cereal has no label of ingredients and the has never been tested to see if its safe. You only have the manufacturer’s claim that it’s... Read more »

To the Parent of the Shy Kindergartener

Since when did shyness in a 5-year-old become something requiring remediation? Apparently, in today’s kindergartens, it does. You see, shy kids generally don’t perform well on standardized tests given at the beginning of kindergarten. And that can be totally normal for a child with a shy or anxious temperament. But under our new approach to... Read more »
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Inequality, Poverty, and the Educational Reform Movement

How can a brilliant man who received a rigorous education at a private school and graduated from Yale University end up living in poverty and shot dead for dealing drugs in Newark? That is the question I grappled with as I read The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs. There is... Read more »