The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers

Fascinating article by David Leonhardt on the economic implications of a strong, quality early childhood education.

“How much do your kindergarten teacher and classmates affect the rest of your life?  Economists have generally thought that the answer was not much. Great teachers and early childhood programs can have a big short-term effect. But the impact tends to fade. By junior high and high school, children who had excellent early schooling do little better on tests than similar children who did not — which raises the demoralizing question of how much of a difference schools and teachers can make.

There has always been one major caveat, however, to the research on the fade-out effect. It was based mainly on test scores, not on a broader set of measures, like a child’s health or eventual earnings. As Raj Chetty, a Harvard economist, says: “We don’t really care about test scores. We care about adult outcomes.” ‘

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The Future is in Our Classrooms

These are inspiring videos about the state of education in America, one particularly being an upcoming movie trailer.  How powerful, how thought-provoking, how important for the future of our children and our world.  This is what is at stake if we do not appropriately and swiftly address the crisis in public education today!

Waiting for “Superman”

The Future is in Our Classrooms

l is for longest picture in the world

And l is for LOVE it!  This is such a magical activity to do with your children, the whole family, or a class of preschoolers.  Not only is it a therapeutic exercise to go down memory lane but is just so artful on multiple levels.  You can do this over a week’s or month’s time and even do it seasonally.  I love adorning one’s living, creative, or quiet space with the finished product.

longest picture in the world - 37

“Glass” Sculpture/Collage Hats/Alpha Rocks

This looks like a very fun, very easy “glass” sculpture activity that many children of very young ages can do with some adult help.  I love the use of wire and the fact that the sculpture can be manipulated into different forms.

Cut Paper – Collage Hats

Another fun activity that gets children thinking three-dimensionally.  Collage is always a favorite art activity and creating one that becomes a hat seems delightful.  This activity would work well for children ages 3-6.

Alpha Rocks

This is a very unique idea of encouraging reading, writing, fine motor skills, and creativity all wrapped into one by making alphabet rocks!

Morning Earth

Here are some fantastic examples of Earth art by children.  These would be lovely additions to anyone’s nature table.

Some invigorating science and art connections can be found below:

How We Learn Science Through Making Art

31 Learning Activities: Science Through Art

Growing Imagination

Creative Parenting

We work on teaching our little ones lots of things from letters and numbers, songs and rhymes, table manners, how to ride a bike and on and on. But what about imagination? There’s no doubt that creative thinking is a vital skill in both childhood and adulthood, but can it be taught? Perhaps not in the ordinary sense of teaching. Nevertheless, there are many ways to support and enrich our kids’ natural creative tendencies. This week, The Savvy Source has been prompting their imaginations with all kinds of games, projects and make-believe. Come join the fun!

Tell me a story
Fun and games, diy-style
Creativity in the kitchen
An anywhere art project
Let’s have a show!

American Children Growing Less Creative

Tests since 1990 show a steady decline in the creativity levels of American children, despite the fact that IQ tests indicate they are getting smarter.  Read this article from care2 about how American children are growing less creative.

KEY TAKE AWAYS

-It is when education centers around the asking of questions and the searching for solutions, that learning occurs and creativity is fostered.

-Parents can promote creativity, too, by encouraging the natural instincts of children to ask “why”.

-Parents who are responsive, but who also challenge their children and create a home environment where children must learn to be flexible and to entertain themselves, produce more creative youngsters.

-The king of all creativity makers is still play.

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