EDWORDS: Latest Blog Posts

  • Is Your Child's Classroom and Home Emotionally Intelligent? If Not, Why Not?

    And we wonder about what is going on in our world today? Our children spend most of their lives either at home or in the classroom. Studies are now showing the absolute need for a change in how we raise our children emotionally. We are all affected by our chaotic, instant global environment that bombards us each and every day. Our young children experience instant gratification through their ipads and toys, our teens creating excitement through twitter and instagram and our adults addicted to th ...

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    by Karen Stone
    Tuesday, 05 May 2015
  • Investing in Collaborative Caregiving

    When a child enrolls in our program, he is not an isolated entity. Also enrolling is her family. Remember, this child has been spending the majority of her time with them. The bond between them has formed the basis for what will come next. The family is the child’s first teacher and much has already been learned before she comes to you. We always think about all we have to share with families… information about child development, parenting, proper nutrition, appropriate playthings, and activiti ...

    by Debra Pierce
    Tuesday, 05 May 2015
  • If you knew you would succeed, what would you try?

    Conversation on the topic of innovation in education can be found at every turn. If you Google search it right now, you’ll get more than 350 million results. Articles abound (like this one from Edutopia) on the topic of innovation in education, and in seconds, anyone can find videos (like this that features Bill Gates) or lists of innovative educators worth following (like this one – look on page 15). There’s something contagious and exciting about innovation. The best educators ...

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    by Aaron Hogan
    Tuesday, 05 May 2015
  • We have to stop pretending…

    Anyone who has read Scott McLeod’s blog knows that he is not afraid to challenge the status quo.  A few weeks ago, he challenged his readers to join in answering: When it comes to education, what are 5 things that we have to stop pretending?  The response has been inspiring.  So, I’m happy to join in with my 5 below. When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending… that we can talk about “21st century classrooms” as though they are something of the future that techno ...

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    by Nick LaFave
    Tuesday, 05 May 2015
  • 5 Things to Stop Pretending

    The other day some of my friends challenged me to come up with a list of five ways that we need to make school different.  Only five!  Here goes. I was lucky to attend the recent On The Rise K-12 conference, featuring a keynote by Ron Canuel.  Among the many great things he said during that speech was that we need to look at Kindergarten classes as a model for all classes.  This got me thinking: what is it about Kindergarten that we want to see move up?  If I had a magi ...

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    by Emily Caruso Parnell
    Monday, 04 May 2015
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Posted by on in General

And we wonder about what is going on in our world today? Our children spend most of their lives either at home or in the classroom. Studies are now showing the absolute need for a change in how we raise our children emotionally. We are all affected by our chaotic, instant global environment that bombards us each and every day. Our young children experience instant gratification through their ipads and toys, our teens creating excitement through twitter and instagram and our adults addicted to the phone and internet all causing a breakdown of communication across the board.

Education and our classrooms are focused on standardized testing causing intense stress for students and teachers leaving little time for the creativity, communication, play, problem solving necessary for a well-rounded education. Aristotle, how many years ago, is quoted as saying, “Educating the brain without the heart, is no education at all.

Teaching Emotional Intelligence in classrooms and in our homes, will help calm the current chaos, will refocus our parents and our educators and will bring civility back to communities! Bullying on all fronts will slowly dissipate for with the practicing of new behaviors and refocusing on the positive messages and development our emotional brain requires, we will set in motion what is required to leave our children a different legacy than they are destined for today.

What does having an emotionally intelligent and home look like? These behaviors will resonate as daily occurrences:

Empathy for others through kindness/teaching appropriate relatedness

...

Posted by on in Early Childhood

When a child enrolls in our program, he is not an isolated entity. Also enrolling is her family. Remember, this child has been spending the majority of her time with them. The bond between them has formed the basis for what will come next.

The family is the child’s first teacher and much has already been learned before she comes to you. We always think about all we have to share with families… information about child development, parenting, proper nutrition, appropriate playthings, and activities. But, we also need to consider how much valuable information families have to share with us!

A family’s intimate relationship with their child gives them important understandings about behavior, temperament, preferences, fears, likes, dislikes, and sources of distress and comfort. It is important to invest time in creating a collaborative relationship with them.

Parents have goals for their children and are actively providing support towards these goals at home. Likewise, we teachers have goals for this child, as well. Wouldn’t it be far more productive if both parents and teachers could share and collaborate on goals and the implementation of these goals? Absolutely!

If we used the goal of potty training as an illustration, we can see how this makes sense. If the parents and teachers discuss this goal and decide on steps to reach it, what happens at home will extend to what happens at school. There will be a predictable and consistent approach to learning to use the toilet.

...

Posted by on in Education Leadership

Conversation on the topic of innovation in education can be found at every turn. If you Google search it right now, you’ll get more than 350 million results. Articles abound (like this one from Edutopia) on the topic of innovation in education, and in seconds, anyone can find videos (like this that features Bill Gates) or lists of innovative educators worth following (like this one – look on page 15).

There’s something contagious and exciting about innovation. The best educators thrive in the search for serving students well, and that shows today more than ever.

Even with all these voices in the conversation promoting innovation, innovation is still a little intimidating for me.

It’s not that I don’t want to take part in it. I led the charge to change our bell schedule moving into this year to give our teachers opportunities to help students who were tough to catch up with before and after school (probably equal parts “I won’t” and “I can’t” make it in for help outside of school).

Still, these moments, and probably many others, stand in the way of getting a great idea off the ground:

...

Posted by on in General

Anyone who has read Scott McLeod’s blog knows that he is not afraid to challenge the status quo.  A few weeks ago, he challenged his readers to join in answering: When it comes to education, what are 5 things that we have to stop pretending?  The response has been inspiring.  So, I’m happy to join in with my 5 below.

When it comes to education, we have to stop pretending…

  • that we can talk about “21st century classrooms” as though they are something of the future
  • that technology is a supplement and not a necessity
  • that it’s more effective to ban social media in schools than to embrace it as a tool for learning
  • that today’s students want to be taught in the same way we were taught
  • that all digital natives are digitally literate

You can join in by posting 5 things on your blog and sharing it using the #makeschooldifferent hashtag.  You can share the URL of your post in the comments on Dangerously Irrelevant.  Check out the running list here.  You are also welcome to share in the comments below.

In keeping with the challenge, I’d like to hear the thoughts of David Dulberger, Allison Rae Stewart, Nick Grantham , Rae Pica, and Alice Keeler

...

Posted by on in Early Childhood

The other day some of my friends challenged me to come up with a list of five ways that we need to make school different.  Only five!  Here goes.

I was lucky to attend the recent On The Rise K-12 conference, featuring a keynote by Ron Canuel.  Among the many great things he said during that speech was that we need to look at Kindergarten classes as a model for all classes.  This got me thinking: what is it about Kindergarten that we want to see move up?  If I had a magic wand, here's where I'd put my energy.

1.   The Environment: If we accept that the environment is, itself, a teacher, we need to take a hard look at what our environment is saying to students.  Last week, I overheard two of my students talking about grade 1.  The conversation went something like this:

"I don't want to go to grade 1."

"Me either, I want to stay in this class forever."

...