Archive for November 2014

Kindergarten: Creativity Triumphs Again

Here’s the proverbial picture that’s worth 1,000 words, my grandson’s kindergarten worksheet when asked to write the word “you.” Yes, you can make the boy learn sight words, but you can’t stop him from writing them the way he sees them. Thank goodness he has a teacher with a sense of humor who didn’t force... Read more »

6 Bad Holiday Habits

You would think at my age (8 grandkids – you do the math) I would have this holiday thing nailed. After making 40+ Thanksgiving feasts and countless Hanukah/Christmas celebrations, what is there to stress over? Well, I have some nasty holiday habits that haunt me every year from mid-November through December: 1.  I worry about... Read more »

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 »

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 »