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This post is part of a new blog series where two authors present the pro and con side of a relevant topic – this week, that topic is whether or not cursive should be taught in school. If you like (or dislike) the format, or just want to get involved in the conversation, please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page!

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January 14, 2017
Kacey Templin

Pros and Cons Series Part 2: Tablets Vs. Textbooks

STEM, STEAM

This post is part of a new blog series where two authors present the pro and con side of a relevant topic – this week, that topic is tablets versus textbooks in the classroom. If you like (or dislike) the format, or just want to get involved in the conversation, please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page!

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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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December 12, 2016
Kacey Templin

Milestone Series: Cognitive Development

STEM, STEAM

Every day, we as humans must reason, problem solve, conceptualize ideas, and make decisions, both minor and major. We don’t think about how we think, we just do it. As an adult, you know that when you place a cup in the cupboard and close the door, it hasn’t disappeared from existence. You know how to articulate complex ideas, such as driving directions or recipe instructions. You weren’t born knowing how to do these things, but over time, your brain developed to accommodate higher levels of cognition. Cognitive development is a complex and lifelong process. It encompasses everything from concrete knowledge about the world around us, to more abstract knowledge that includes a person’s temperament and personality. Today’s milestone post focuses on how your child’s thought process develops, and how you can help to encourage healthy development.  

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December 05, 2016
Rachael Rufino

How Animals Improve Child Development

STEM, STEAM


If you grew up with a family pet, it’s hard to imagine life without one.  Many positive childhood memories are experiences with a beloved pet, such as feeding, petting, playing, or even sharing your secrets with the family cat or dog.  Research has proven that all of those experiences help children develop positive values.  These interactions with animals have also proven to be more effective in developing social skills amongst children with disabilities or who have been traumatized, than standard methods.  Although pet ownership is rewarding, there is a lot to consider before adding another member to the family.  There are also alternatives to pet ownership if you want your child to have animal experiences but cannot have a pet in your home.  The traits and psychological benefits your child will develop around animals will aid them in nearly every aspect of their life.

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November 28, 2016
Rachael Rufino

Milestone Series: Literacy Development

STEM, STEAM

Early literacy begins during the first three years of life, creating a foundation that empowers children to understand the relationships between reading and writing.  These childhood literacy experiences are crucial to developing life skills, such as socializing and money management.  Understanding which literacy materials are appropriate for your child, and how to spot and address literacy difficulties are vital to early language teaching.  Research studies on early literacy have helped create learning timelines and given parents and teachers the tools they need to answer the following questions: What should a child learn before they start kindergarten?  Where does someone begin when teaching a child the fundamentals of language? 

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