A baby mouthing a book.
Small tears in the pages of a paperback.
A caregiver reading to a child in a rocking chair before nap.
Each snippet described here tells us something about early literacy. Babies first explore texts with their senses, young children learn book handling and how to turn pages through practice, and caregivers read to children at various times of day to promote attention, rest, interest, and imagination. Each snippet also exemplifies one of the many ways children become earnest readers. Continue reading
The A in STEAM
The A in STEAM stands for Art. Art in STEAM helps little ones learn and think creatively, encourages children to appreciate the arts in many different forms, helps with self-expression, helps with exploration of emotions, increases cultural awareness, develops fine motor skills, and helps with problem-solving. Art can be encouraged in play and in hands-on, open ways. Art in STEAM mainly focuses on process and freestyle art. However, not all programs can incorporate process art all the time, so there can be moments to create more craft types of art. Art also includes music, dance, and pretend/dramatic play. Art can be incorporated into many other elements of STEAM.
Here are 9 easy Art ideas for your setting:
The holiday of Purim is arguably the most joyous day of the Jewish year. Purim marks the time that Queen Esther helped save the Jewish people from being harmed by Haman, a confidant to King Achashverosh, who did not agree with the customs of Jewish people. (You can read a detailed account of the story here.) If you are approaching Purim from a Christian lens, it is helpful to know that King Achashverosh is referred to as King Xerxes in the book of Esther in the New International Version of the Bible (it will also explain variations in the spellings of certain names).
The Purim story involves violence and death, but Jewish families and preschools often modify this story to help children understand how one person can make a difference. When Queen Esther, a Jewish woman, learned of Haman’s plan, she spoke up and saved her people. Her courage is commemorated each year in Jewish communities, where people host parties, wear costumes, give gifts to family and friends, read the megillah (the story of Queen Esther), and offer tzedakah, or charity, to those in need.
by Katie Brazerol
Children benefit from choosing and freely exploring materials in interactive learning centers throughout your setting. Providing a space that encourages children to explore, interact with others, and use critical thinking skills without constant adult direction allows them to gain independence. Children can use independent activity centers during free play or as transition activities while waiting for others to finish a task.