Posts in category "education"

A Commencement Message for Incoming Kindergarten Parents: Advocate

Recently, I gave a talk to a group of parents whose children are going to kindergarten this fall. The parents were amazingly caring people who want their children to be happy and to thrive as they begin their formal education. I’ve been giving these talks for 25 years, but in recent years they have felt... Read more »

Going to Kindergarten: Looking for Answers to 10 Tough Questions

For parents of prospective kindergarteners, May is the month of worries about the big transition from early childhood to the start of formal education. In preparation for participating in a panel discussion on Everything You Want to Know About Kindergarten (But were afraid to ask) on May 19 , 7:30 PM at Creative Coworking, 922 Davis... Read more »

Kindergarten Discipline: Carrots & Sticks

Back in August, my grandson started kindergarten filled with apprehension and hope. He is a generous, creative, spirited little boy who, while tall for his age, had just turned five, making him one of the youngest boys in the class. So I was a bit worried about how he would survive his entry into the... Read more »
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Play Must Follow Kids from Preschool to Kindergarten

Many years ago, the teachers of Cherry Preschool in Evanston, Illinois, tried an experiment during the dregs of winter when the children were cooped up in the gym day after day. They removed all of the gym equipment and replaced it with large boxes, fabric, duct tape, and markers. And the kids went to town building... Read more »

Why Parents Need a New Kind of Kindergarten Tea

I have given many talks to parents of children about to enter kindergarten, but the one I am giving on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Creative Coworking, 922 Davis in Evanston will definitely be different. I have promised to talk about Everything You Wanted to Know About Kindergarten (but were afraid to ask). Part... Read more »

PARCC Bullies

The headline of an Evanston Now (no connection to ChicagoNow) post screamed, “D65 Could Lose $7 Million Due to PARCC Testing.” This claim is not only misleading, but it is also terribly devise to the Evanston community. It is pitting neighbors against one another for fear they will have to come up with $7 million... Read more »
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Inclusion: A Preschool that Truly Cares About Other People’s Children

Welcoming and including children with special needs has always been part of Cherry Preschool’s mission. But this Evanston preschool community not only talks the talk, it walks the walk. At its annual fundraiser on March 21, parents, teachers, and friends of the school raised their paddles to donate $35,000 to fund next year’s Inclusion Program.... Read more »

Magic Johnson, Mayor Emanuel, and School Custodians

Gus Lira has been Cherry Preschool’s custodian for most of its 23-year existence. In my years as Executive Director, he came to our rescue time after time. If something broke, we could just call him at his day job. If teachers made a huge glitter mess, they would leave him a note apologizing in advance... Read more »

Last Weekend’s Inappropriate Kindergarten Homework

I really do not want to keep writing about this, but it is just so wrong. In the hope that schools and teachers who think kindergarten homework is the best way to prepare children for all of the homework that is coming down the road, I’m going to keep shouting STOP.  Your developmentally inappropriate homework... Read more »
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Excessive Testing Removes Bulletin Boards and Children’s Imaginations

A Chicago Public School teacher, who served as a proctor for the recent Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) testing, lamented several aspects of the exam. I have been writing about PARCC for some time now, but one of her complains struck me as something I had not considered. Teachers were... Read more »