Sunday, August 3, 2014


West Virginia is a beautiful state full of fantastic teachers who are committed to children! Last week when I was there the teachers told me how they are emphasizing “active learning.” Blocks are going back in kindergarten and they are encouraging working in groups, centers, and hands-on learning. One county has limited all grade levels to two worksheets a day, and they have put a one hour limit on screen time for young children.

I don’t know who is behind this, but I’d like to give them a great big hug and nominate them for Secretary of Education!!! I am hopeful that the pendulum is starting to swing back in favor of children and developmentally appropriate practices. I know some people don’t like DAP, but who can argue with ACTIVE LEARNING? This is exactly what brain research and 21st Century Skills advocate.

Michelle Martin had recently attended an orientation meeting for parents at West Virginia University. The President of WVU reminded parents that grades might not be near as important as they thought they were. He explained that these are the top five skills employers are looking for:
     1. Oral communicate skills
     2. Knows how to work in groups
     3. Knows how to use resources
     4. Written communication skills
     5. Grades

Sounds like good early childhood practices, doesn’t it? I told my friend about what they were doing in West Virginia and he said, “Let’s move there and get a job!” Education is a
journey…a journey for the WHOLE child so that they will have the life skills they need one day to be active citizens.

Here is the link to the Office of Early Learning if you'd like additional information.

Cheers for West Virginia!!!! 

Zip an Expression
Recognizing and accepting children’s feelings is something we all strive to do. Kristin Teter, a preschool special needs teacher, came up with this idea to help children communicate feelings. Draw faces with different expressions on the left side of a sheet of paper (cut to 10”) and insert in a zip gallon bag. Children can slide the tab to indicate how they are feeling.