The Importance of the Environment in the ECE Classroom

To prepare for the arrival of their students, teachers are designing their classrooms as learning environments. What goes into setting up a classroom?

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Are you laughing enough?

I recently came across this Psychology Today post from 2011 that claims the average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day; meanwhile the average 40-year-old, in comparison, only laughs 4 times a day.  While the author, Pamela Gerloff,  admits she couldn't find any conclusive citations to prove that these figures were accurate, there is a still …

We’re going on a toy hunt…

Yesterday, I started seeing commercials for "holiday shopping". I swear they keep starting earlier and earlier each year! I barely put away (aka threw out) my Halloween costume from this weekend! But as always, it has started my brain thinking about toys for kids. People often ask, "What are the best toys I can give …

Educational Justice

Last year, I attended a discussion based around the theme of Justice. I was curious to attend because the discussion was facilitated by 3 members of the Harlem Children's Zone administration - their goal was to look at justice through the lens of education. I received my masters degree from an institution that prides itself …

Books on Separation

I originally posted this blog 2 years ago, but these books are classics and still worth checking out as you begin planning for next month’s first day of school!

Samantha Fair

Before school starts, I want to share some book suggestions. The following is a compiled list of books I personally use in my classroom to ease separation anxiety and discuss feelings during the beginning of the new school year. There are many other great books out there, but I only wanted to recommend ones that I have a personal connection to. Enjoy!

You Go Away by Dorothy Corey 

As Amazon puts it, “this is the classic of all separation books”. I have used this book many times in classrooms. I think it is particularly useful for twos as the concept and text are extremely basic: You go away, and then you come back!

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell  

I read this book every year during the first week of school, as children inevitably find something in it they can connect with. The story is about three owl babies…

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Planning for Separation

Samantha Fair

Summer is in full swing and school is probably the last thought on many children’s minds. However, it is always on mine! As I see happy children running through sprinklers and enjoying special family time, I wonder how many of them will be going to school for the first time this fall. While school may seem far away, it’s never too early to begin thinking about Separation and how your family can prepare.

Separation anxiety is completely normal and to be expected (for children and parents alike!) While this blog is mostly be about preparing your child, I would like to first address any anxiety on the part of mom and dad. Before my own first day of school, my mother had been prepared ahead of time by my new preschool teachers for a potential downpour of tears on my part. However when the time came that first day I…

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Daniel Siegel and the Adolescent Brain

I've spent much of my adult life studying how young children develop and learn. The world of early childhood can feel like a beautiful rainbow-colored, idealistic bubble. It is full of rapid development and snuggles, what could be better? But the children we teach do not just exist in this bubble; each of the young …