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February 18, 2017
Sophie Miller

Incentivizing Learning

Learning Through Play

My mother says that I began reading overnight. One day, she recounts, I was begging her to read me Hop on Pop on repeat, a wish that she refused out of sheer exhaustion of the book’s lacking plotline. The next day, she found me alone in my room, reading Hop on Pop aloud to myself. At first she thought I had memorized the book – how hard could it be? But when she put a different, less well-loved story in front of me I could read that too. When presented with the options of either going without the story or figuring it out myself, reading all of a sudden came quickly and naturally to me.

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February 13, 2017
Carol Tang

Finding the Time to Play

Kids And Creativity, Creativity, STEM Education / Play, Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

Dr. Carol Tang is the Executive Director of the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco. She is on the Board of Directors for the National Afterschool Association, the How Kids Learn Foundation, and Artists United as well as a reviewer for the academic journal, Afterschool Matters. She previously was employed as the team lead for out-of-school time grant making portfolio at the S.D. Becthel, Jr. Foundation, the director of the Coalition for Science After School, and head of exhibitions and public programs at the California Academy of Sciences. Carol has a Ph.D. in paleontology and is the author of the Jurassic articles in the Encylopaedia Britanica Online. You can reach her on Twitter at @CarolTang1.

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February 11, 2017
Rachael Rufino

5 Education Trends Your Child Wants to be a Part of

Music Education, Kids And Creativity, Creativity, STEM Education / Play, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

Education methods have always aimed to ensure future generations are fully prepared to contribute to the working force as adults.  But what about preparing children to also function as social members of society?  More recent approaches to education are now focusing on developing wholesome, happy children with the ability to develop healthy relationships and persevere through the trails of life.

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February 06, 2017
Cait Curley

The Importance of Play: Gameschooling in the Home

STEM Education / Play, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

About Cait: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, MA/CAGS is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies. You can also find her hanging out with Kara at The Homeschool Sisters Podcast, contributing to the Huffington Post, and chatting about gameschooling in the My Little Poppies Gameschool Community.

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January 30, 2017
Alana Hackes

The Importance of Recess

STEM Education / Play, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

 

When I think back on my elementary school years, many of my memories are tied to the time I spent on the playground during recess. The playground is where I made my first friends in school while playing games together. As a kid, I spent much of my class time longing for recess and time to play. At my school, we had recess twice; once in the morning for 15 minutes and once in the afternoon for 30 minutes. If an ounce of that time was taken away from me, as a kid, I would’ve revolted.

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January 09, 2017
Rachael Rufino

3 Easy Enrichment Methods to Start Now

Kids And Creativity, Creativity, Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

It’s difficult thinking up new ways to keep children interested, stimulated and occupied day-to-day.  In fact, the same can be said for all cognitive beings.  Preventing boredom in children, adults and even animals can reduce stereotypic behaviors (such as nail-biting, hair-twirling and pacing) and have profoundly positive effects on their quality of life.  By introducing new stimuli, you are providing a person or pet with an interesting, and sometimes challenging distraction. 

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December 17, 2016
Rachael Rufino

Do These Optical Illusions Have You Fooled?

Creativity, Learning Through Play, STEM, Brainteasers, STEAM

 

Can you see the hidden 3D image in the stereogram above?  Continue reading and the answer will be revealed…

Optical illusions help us understand how we perceive the world around us and why.  Sometimes what we believe we are seeing, isn’t reality.  Why does this happen?  Our brain works to interpret everything we see, and sometimes shadows, lighting, shapes and other factors mislead that interpretation.

Stereograms

Our depth perception is challenged with stereograms.  Finding 3D shapes within a 2-demensional image isn’t easy, but by staring at a repeating pattern in wallpaper, the brain is tricked into matching pairs of them to perceive a virtual plane behind it.  This virtual plane is where the hidden image lies.  This was discovered by Dr. Bela Julesz in 1959, which helped change the belief by most vision scientists at the time that depth perception solely occurs in the eye.  It is now known that depth perception is a neurological process that occurs in the brain. 

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