Block Play and Make Believe For Everyone

Learning centres are an important place for children to develop cognitive, social and emotional skills as they imagine, create, interact and clean up together. Far too often, however, we see stereotypical gender roles play out in centres, as children act based on the things they hear and see on TV or in stories, and observe through family interactions. How do …

Is There a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Decorate Your Classroom?

You have more than likely read some version of the study that went viral this summer, conducted through Carnegie Mellon University. Or perhaps you have had this debate with your colleagues, or with administration. Does a colourful Kindergarten classroom encourage or distract from learning? The study, which is one of the first to examine how the look of the classroom …

Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe This Halloween

H   Hold a flashlight while trick-or-trating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house. A   Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult. L   Look both ways before crossing the street. Cross at stop signs and cross walks wherever possible. L   Lower your risk …

Have you heard of the Switch Witch?

If you are planning on introducing the Switch Witch are your house, here are some tips to get the ball rolling-er, the broomstick flying: Decide what you want the Switch Witch to achieve, and modify the story to fit. Plan the seed ahead of time; don’t wait until your kids are putting on their costumes to mention it. Have a …

Fine Motor Skills As Indicators of Academic Success

Recent research suggests that fine motor skills in each childhood are high predictive of academic success in elementary school. Early childhood is a critical time for children to develop fine motor skills. It is important for teachers to identify those children who are most likely at risk of fine motor weakness as early as possible and to subsequently incorporate specific …

Calico Critters and The Power of Pretend Play

Calico Critters from Cloverleaf Corner are the most adorable way for children to actively use their imaginations! With a wide range of products that replicate real-world communities, Calico Critter toy sets and figurine inspire children to act out the real life situations or make believe ones, and are an important ingredient children ages 3-8 need to develop skills that lead …

10 Things You Need To Know About Kids’ Concussions

According to a survey commissioned by Hockey Canada during the 2011-12 season, three out of 10 parents said they had a player who suffered a concussion. Of every 1,0000 Canadian children, between three and five will suffer a concussion each year. If your child is in a contact sport, here are 10 things you need to know about kids’ concussions …

Five Simple Ways to Raise a Reader

Reading strengthens children’s analytical thinking skills, improves their memories and expands their vocabulary. Reading is also an excellent way to reduce stress. But how do you raise a reader? Here’s are five simple ideas for you to try, and whether you have a toddler or a school-age independent reader, these ideas can apply to all! Establish a story time. Make time every …

7 Musts for Using Manipulatives

*This article was posted in the April 1996 edition of Instructor called “Hands-On Help from Marilyn Burns”. View this entire publication as a pdf here.  You find them in classrooms across the nation — buckets of pattern blocks; trays of tiles and cubes; and collections of geoboards, tangrams, counters, and spinners. They’ve been touted as a way to help students …

Using Manipulatives for Reading Intervention

You know manipulatives are an effective teaching tool.  The exciting news is that they’re not just for math any more.  Reading Rods are manipulatives that integrate colours, sounds, shapes and patterns so students can grasp everything from letter-sound correspondence to abstract grammatical concepts in their hands, and their minds.  Reading manipulatives cater to multiple learning styles, link the abstract to the …