Monday, June 28, 2010

Music (Part 1 of 4)

"Music gives a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
and life to everything."

~ Plato ~
Music is all around us: the radio is on during your morning drive to work, music is in the wind and trees outside, it’s in the humming of a child as she swings, and it’s in the steady beat of an infant learning to clap. Music is one of the most ubiquitous phenomena in nature, and it’s also frequently overlooked as a learning device for many subjects.

In the next few weeks we’re going to talk about the importance of music in outdoor education for children six months to six years old, and how The Adventurous Child can supply your outdoor classroom with musical equipment for play and for learning.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fine Arts

Here at The Adventurous Child, we get really excited about learning. We get especially excited about the fine arts (think music, creative play, and visual arts) because they’re just so much fun! Who doesn’t have memories of finger painting, musical instruments, and acting out plays when they were little?

Every so often, our blog will examine a different kind of fine art. First up: music!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Assessment is ... Continuous (Part 3 of 3)

A lot of our products at The Adventurous Child, which we built with state early standards in mind, are useful for assessing children. For example, our balance beam will help them develop balance and coordination through outdoor play. Moreover, the ability to step from narrow beam to narrow beam requires a greater skill level than just walking on a standard preschool balance beam. Watch your children's understanding in gravity and enjoyment of motor and sensory experiences increase as they move up the incline plane balance and step to the level beam!

Our stepping pods are another great way to monitor children's physical development. While crossing the Playground Stepping Pods, a child’s brain, eyes and feet all have to work in accordance with one another to move from lower pods to higher pods and back, and to step from a small object to another small object. Aside from assessing development, this is fun, too!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Assessment is … Continuous (Part 2 of 3)

At The Adventurous Child, we understand that assessment is not only happening at the end of the semester or year. Teachers are constantly assessing their students’ progress. Assessment can also take many forms: it can be the teacher and his state-mandated report card, or it could be the day care center instructor monitoring her children's social, emotional, cognitive, and physical milestones daily.

In a few days, we’ll show you some of our products that will assist you in assessing children’s developmental milestones. Of course, if you’re too excited to wait, here’s a sneak peek.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Assessment is ... Continuous (Part 1 of 3)

Here’s some food for thought!

Kim Hughes and Dominic Gullo from the magazine Young Children wrote about assessment:

Assessment is a continuous process. Ideally, assessment describes the progress of a child’s learning not just after a single test but over time. There is no beginning, middle, or end to learning, so it follows that assessment of children’s learning should not be limited to measurement only at the end of an instructional unit” (Hughes & Gullo, 2010, p. 57-8).

We at The Adventurous Child want to know… how do you assess your children?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Welcome Back!

Hi, everyone. It’s been a while since we last chatted. Springtime is busy at The Adventurous Child and at our Outdoor Preschool Store, and we bet it’s busy for you, too. School is winding down – or over for the summer – and teachers are busy filling out end-of-year report cards and assessments for their students.

If you’re a teacher, parent, student (or former student), then you know the importance of assessment. Teachers strive to evaluate their students as fairly as possible, but it can be difficult to know what “fair” assessment is. Kim Hughes and Dominic Gullo wrote a fascinating and effectual article about assessment in the May 2010 issue of Young Children. The authors examined the importance of assessment, describing it as continuous, comprehensive, and integrative.

In the next couple weeks we are going to look at how The Adventurous Child’s products and play structures will not only create fun and educational opportunities for your students, but will offer you innovative ways to assess them as well.