Preschool Math Activities

It is possible to nurture young minds by making them to go through mathematical activities at a very young age. By exposing the little minds to various activities like counting, number sequencing and patterns, it is possible to train up their minds. There are various kinds of activities and they should be chosen as per the age groups. If you go through online, you can access free as well as premium sites which offer preschool math activities.

Preschool Math Activitie

How to make the most from the activities?

It is possible to make the most from preschool math activities by exposing the little minds in a systematic way. They should not be overburdened by dumping too many exercises and making them to go through lessons which are beyond their capacity. All the activities should create interest in them. They should have fun with and every activity. If you include everyday aspects in these activities, it is very easy to grasp the concept. The child will be immersed in these activities automatically when you give proper direction and encouragement.

Examples

Some of the everyday examples are ‘counting of stairs’ at home or school. The ingredients that are used in the cooking process can be counted. You can ask the child to prepare groups of various kinds of items of play. Children can remember various kinds of shapes like circles, rectangles, squares and triangles and they will also be able to form a shape by joining various items together.

Methodologies

It is true that the ways math are taught today are completely different from yesteryears. There are drastic changes and children have ample opportunities to explore the real world in the way it is present. Instead of teaching only one way to solve mathematical puzzles, children are encouraged to explore new ways in an open way.

The role of teacher or trainer in delivering the right kind of education is very high. If the teacher is aware of the multiple ways through which a mathematical problem can be resolved, he will encourage students to come with various solutions. The teacher should be resourceful and willing to learn and implement new strategies so that the learning process will be more intuitive. If you ask a child about the way he got the answer to a particular mathematical issue, you will understand his or her way of thinking. Instead of teaching solutions, it is required to show the way to reach those solutions. When a proper platform is created to bring out the best present in children, it is possible to teach complex math in simple ways.

When the child’s mind is molded in a proper way, the child will be able to learn the basics in an appropriate way. The child should have lots of mathematical materials such as beads and blocks. They should be encouraged to use their fingers and the body to begin the counting journey. The physical surroundings should be treated in such a way so that an interesting atmosphere is created to learn mathematics subconsciously.

Enriching and Entertaining Preschool Math Activities

Mathematics make a sense of the physical world the children live in and hence preschool math activities make a strong case for their future learning abilities and reasoning. In all normal children, there is strong desire to calculate in their crude ways as well as reason out with objects and odd tools. These children even try to make their calculations while ascertaining distances, sizes and amount of a particular item or things. Many children count the number of stairs they have to climb while at home or school. Besides, they create their own shapes of things by selecting similar objects and place them next to the other. Even in their childhood fancies and little aspirations, they bring out numbers or their additions and subtractions with totally different ideas and their own unique out of the box techniques.

Preschool Math Activities

This is the time to explore their individual creativity and little guidance can go a long way in getting them to make headway into exploring the more entertaining and complex arrangement of numbers and the sizes and amount of different boxes and toys. In the modern world, there has been a paradigm shift in the presentation and evaluation of mathematical inclinations among children and this has brought in a new perspective into the preschool math activities of the children.

Benefitting from a strong start

Children nowadays have more attractive things and wider range of items to explore than was available in ancient days and it is here preschool math activities can benefit them. Teachers and parents can make the best out of the circumstances and encourage them to do their own calculations and arithmetic so as to bring out the best potential from them. Once they get this base they would undoubtedly generate more interest and start learning more of the formal math in the future.

Again, the new ways of learning math have become even more varied with possibilities of solution in several different ways and methods. For children this would be better as they would be explore these new ways and teachers can on their part make them more receptive to ideas and problem solving methods. Sometimes, even asking a few gentle questions like ‘how did you get that answer’ or ‘how did you manage it’ can make their learning even more challenging and enriching.

There are toys and tools that experience the cognitive abilities of children by giving them a run with their imagination as well meaningfully convey an understanding that would enable them to make out solutions on their own. It is usually seen that children start to wonder and grasp math in the age period of 1 & 2. Again, studies have revealed that children of 3 years start to enjoy and explore patterns and shapes as well as matching them while by 4 years they learn the early stages of geometry and counting during their preschool math activities.

Encouragement

Children if helped in their preschool math activities develop better mathematical skills than those who do not. Make sure you too engage your child in preschool math activities daily.

Scholarship for Muslim women honors pioneering scientist

When it came to pursuing a scientific career, Tasneem Essader encountered forces pulling her in and pushing her away: She drew inspiration from her mother’s work in chemistry, but initial discouragement from her engineer father, who thought she should do something else. She was inspired by women engineers she met, but found few girls around her in advanced high school science classes.

Essader, who feels strongly connected to her Muslim faith, also struggled to find the right fit among an array of identity-based scholarships as she looked to help ease the financial burden of college.

Then, an uncle informed her about the Adawia Alousi Scholars program, and the obstacles started to fall away. She found that fit, and a kinship with the scholarship program’s namesake.

“After reading about Dr. Alousi’s life, I felt like the struggles I faced because of who I am in the field I want to pursue have been validated,” Essader wrote in her essay application, “that someone who has gone through the same struggles as I have and has something about it to make it easier for future generations.”

The scholarship, established at the Dearborn, Michigan-based Center for Arab American Philanthropy with money from Alousi’s family trust, is believed to be the first of its kind for Muslim-American women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Essader is in the inaugural class of 11 recipients of the scholarship, named after a scientist who helped develop a pioneering drug treatment for congestive heart failure in the 1980s.

Alousi, who died in 2010, was an Iraq-born Muslim who had to fight to earn recognition in a male-dominated field. She wanted money from her trust to go toward charity.

“We reflected upon who my aunt was, what she would want. She was most passionate about her science and Islam — the scholarship reflects those passions,” said nephew Amin Alousi, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Alousi said his aunt’s pharmacological research was the backbone for a new class of drugs for congestive heart failure — and she and her colleagues were the first to bring such drugs to market. Still, he added, she faced discrimination being “a foreign-born woman.”

“She really did have to be vocal,” Alousi said. “On all the scientific papers, she insisted on being recognized as a lead author.”

Alousi said the scholarship includes grade requirements but he added, “We want people with a compelling story,” including “overcoming hardships.”

Essader, a freshman at the University of North Carolina, wants to “carry forward Dr. Alousi’s spirit by breaking the stereotypes surrounding people who look like me.” Essader says her father has grown more encouraging as he sees her passion for her intended career in biomedical engineering.

Another recipient, Teeba Jihad, said her “family was under attack” in her native Iraq as members of the Shiite sect of Islam during wartime. After coming to the U.S. at age 11, she faced name-calling and criticism for her modest clothing. Jihad, who had a cancer scare in 2013, is studying biomolecular science at New York University and has worked in a lab to develop breast cancer treatments using magnetic, nanoscale particles. The scholarship, she wrote, allows her to “continue to create a positive image of young Muslim females.”

Alousi hopes the recipients’ achievements help dispel misconceptions.

“The bigger narrative of how often people in the West or in the United States wrongly assume Muslim women are uneducated, not successful, or not outspoken — I think that’s the bigger story that we hope to overcome with this scholarship and the young women it supports,” he said.

___

Karoub is a member of AP’s Race and Ethnicity Team, and frequently writes about religion. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jeffkaroub and find more of his work at https://apnews.com/search/jeff%20karoub . Sign up for the AP’s weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from the Midwest and Texas: http://apne.ws/2u1RMfv .

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/10/scholarship-for-muslim-women-honors-pioneering-scientist.html

Star Ratings or Star Children

How can ratings systems potentially work against play-based and social-emotional learning? Shanda challenges center directors to be willing to take a lower star rating in order to meet the needs of your children at the time.

Creative Block Play

Blocks are the perfect 3 dimensional material to encourage learning with all five senses. Blocks provide so many opportunities to teach math, social-emotional, and fine motors skills.

Interrupting the Cycle of Poverty with Early Childhood Education

How can we professionalize and elevate early childhood educators?

Fighting Off the Wolves: ED and HHS Host Landmark Human Trafficking Prevention Event

3 tips on how to shop for gender-inclusive toys this holiday season

My favorite Christmas gift I ever received was a computer game—”Secret of the Scarlet Hand,” the sixth mystery in the Nancy Drew PC series. Playing the game, my friends, sister, and I would huddle around our bulky family Dell computer for hours on end. With one person controlling the mouse, the rest of us would watch earnestly, eyes glued to the screen, or peeping through spaces between fingers that nervously covered our faces.

Playing as the famed girl detective herself, we’d open forbidden passages and interview suspects around a museum exhibit of ancient Mayan artifacts. We completed cultural-, literary-, and science-based challenges, eventually losing our minds when Nancy became trapped inside a monolith with a mummy. I credit that game with the launch of my Nancy Drew obsession, and my interest in journalism that followed.

Perhaps the best part of the gift was that there wasn’t anything inherently masculine or feminine about the way the game looked or felt. I don’t remember feeling like Nancy had to “think like a man,” or that she was ever told she was smart “for a girl” to solve the mystery. It was a game that followed a female protagonist, not a game specifically made for girls—the kind of toy I’d hope to purchase for a niece or nephew to give them an opportunity to explore their interests.

There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with gender-specific toys—I was a huge “Barbie girl” growing up, too—but according to toy experts, we run into trouble when we limit children’s play to toys marketed to a specific gender, perhaps limiting children in their understanding of what they find interesting as a consequence.

It might seem daunting to purchase gender-inclusive toys for the kids in your life, especially if you may not necessarily know what the child likes. However, toy experts and advocates from Global Toy Experts, STEMToyExpert.com, and Let Toys Be Toys, break down how to shop with gender-inclusivity in mind this holiday season.

1) Steer clear of gendered packaging and stereotypical choices.

Richard Gottlieb, founder of toy consulting company Global Toy Experts, told the Daily Dot that this notion that pink is “for girls” and blue is “for boys” didn’t begin until the 1930s, when department stores began gendering baby clothes to sell more products. While stores in New York and Philadelphia were initially split on which color was “for girls,” pink eventually won out, its feminine connotation brought into the mainstream with the success of the Barbie doll.

Most obviously, this marketed packaging manifests itself into toy aisles and onto the boxes themselves. Gottlieb used the example of the original Battleship game, the exterior of which showed a father and son playing the game, with a mother and daughter doing dishes in the background.

Even representation in toy catalogs matter. Tessa Trabue, a campaigner with the United Kingdom-based gender-inclusion toy campaign Let Toys Be Toys, told the Daily Dot that it’s important for advertising and catalogs to show boys and girls playing with all toys—as opposed to seeing two girls play with dolls, or two boys play with building blocks. When children see this kind of representation, they better understand that these toys aren’t just for a specific gender, and are also for them.

“If basing on a gender, it’s going to be based on stereotypes, and that’s not the best way to shop for a child,” Trabue said. “ that when people buy presents and they don’t know their children very well, they just end up with, say, a sea of Barbies for a girl, and the girl doesn’t even like Barbies. Do you really want to waste your money on a toy the child doesn’t even want?”

2) While toy brands might be introducing girls to STEM, gendered STEM toys are still gendered.

Let Toys Be Toys, which has helped push for gender-inclusivity in toys for about five years, doesn’t endorse certain toys or toy brands, Trabue said. However, she said that even when toy companies make toys such as engineering-based kits, home repair tools, or chemistry sets specifically for girls, these products are still gendered. In being gendered, these toys continue to send the message that girls are different and need a special way to get into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields.

Will Asbury, owner of STEMToyExpert.com, told the Daily Dot that the organization too holds mixed opinions. However, this seemingly reinforced gender bias doesn’t mean these STEM-specific toys for girls don’t serve a purpose.

“Whilst we agree that toys can play an important role in encouraging girls into STEM, it does seem counterintuitive that we are designing toys specifically aimed at girls in an effort to reduce gender bias!” Asbury wrote in an email. “That said, if STEM toys for girls do encourage more girls to enter STEM fields, then we do not see the harm in it.”

STEMToyExpert.com’s list of the top STEM toys for girls includes several of these gendered options, including the popular GoldieBlox interactive toys, and a roller coaster and amusement park building kit from Lego Friends. To find STEM-related toys that don’t enforce a gender bias, however, Trabue suggested gift shops within museums and science centers. She also suggested looking into independent toy stores, which may have a greater selection gender-inclusive toys but might be on the pricier side than big box stores.

Of course, these options may not be available to people who don’t live in cities with such centers, so it never hurts to do a little online shopping, too. Asbury, whose website specializes in discussing STEM toys, told the Daily Dot that adults may be interested in looking into Lego Boost, a robot coding and building set, and Anki Cozmo, an artificial intelligence-based robot, which are both gender-inclusive.

3) Don’t forget about toys that emphasize caring activities for boys.

Gottlieb said that this push for gender-inclusive toys should, above all, make it so that children don’t feel there’s a “no-go zone” in the toy department—this goes for boys as well. Trabue said Let Toys Be Toys specifically uses the Twitter hashtag #caringboys to promote and encourage the practice of boys using caring toys, such as dolls and strollers, play kitchen sets, and cleaning toys.

However, because many of these kinds of toys are pink, boys are still resistant to choose and play with such toys. Going back to the point of gender-inclusive packaging and advertising, Trabue emphasized the discouraging nature of caring toys as a reason to advocate for companies to dismantle gendered toy aisles and catalogs altogether.

“We think it’s very important that boys are allowed the chance to play with caring dolls and explore these activities…It’s nice on the packaging if they could see a boy playing with the doll,” Trabue said. “It’s strange. Why wouldn’t you want to give boys the chance to explore caring play? Even if they don’t become fathers, don’t want them to be caring human beings?”

In the U.K. this is already happening—the Let Toys Be Toys campaign has helped remove gendered signage from toy aisles in major U.K. retailers, such as the Entertainer and Boots, and has also seen a 70 percent drop of online retailers ending the use of gendered denotations on catalogs. The campaign also gives out “Toymark” awards to book and toy businesses that market their products gender-inclusively.

Gottlieb’s company, too, has also helped lead toy companies toward more inclusive products, and assisted in removing gender categories from the annual Toy of The Year awards. But in the United States, one look at the Toys-R-Us website in their segregated toys for boys’ and girls’ outdoor play, as pointed out by Trabue, shows how much further mainstream toy companies need to go to achieve gender-inclusivity.

However, consumers in doubt about what to purchase their niece or nephew don’t need to shell the out big bucks for the perfect toy. After all, it’s the thought behind the toy that counts—literally.

“Think in more terms of the interest of the child, or your interest—there are two ways to give a gift,” Gottlieb said.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/gender-inclusive-toys/

U.S. Department of Education Releases Additional Funding to Support Schools and Students Impacted by Hurricanes

Washington — Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced $10.4 million in additional funds to assist students at more than 900 schools affected by the recent natural disasters. The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program funds will be distributed to schools located in Federal Emergency Management Agency-declared major disaster areas impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as schools across the nation that have enrolled a significant number of students from the impacted areas.

More ugly moments in NFL games show that football is killing itself

Savage sacked during another play during the Texans-49ers matchup.
Image: Eric Christian Smith/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Football is violent, but the public’s disgust with the damage caused by America’s most popular game might finally have reached a critical point this season. The sport is killing itself, and the most powerful arbiter of its practice, the NFL, might just let that death happen by not taking care of its players. 

Football’s high potential for injury is obvious whenever it’s played, but a particularly egregious moment of official malpractice came during the Houston Texans-San Francisco 49ers matchup on Sunday, which drew fresh rounds of criticism, for good reason. 

Texans quarterback Tom Savage took a hit hit after delivering a pass from his own endzone and was knocked to the ground by 49ers defensive end Elvis Dumervil, a fairly routine play. Something was visibly wrong with Savage afterward, however, and it was a moment that should give all viewers pause.

The Texans QB visibly quivered and twitched on the ground as an official stood over him (since we don’t have any information from the Texans medical staff, let’s refrain from calling this a seizure). Savage was taken out of the game for a medical evaluation, as is dictated by the NFL’s Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol after such a big hit — but he returned to the field of play just a few minutes later. 

Savage’s return sparked fury among observers on Twitter, and rightly so. 

Most of the ire comes because of Savage’s reactions to the play, which clearly gel with concussion symptoms listed by the league in its protocol. Those involuntary movements should have been noted by the two athletic trainers, or “Booth ATC Spotters,” who observe video replays of every game in real time. The video review is necessary in case the physicians on the field miss out on key details during the speed and commotion of a post-play injury, lest they allow a seemingly-lucid-but-actually-concussed player back in the game — which is exactly what happened with Savage. 

The NFL is considering band-aids to solve its problems, when the appropriate response is an emergency surgery.

The quarterback was only back in action for a few more plays before he was replaced by T.J. Yates and, unsurprisingly, ruled out of the game with a concussion.

A reckoning

There will surely be some type of league response after the Savage incident, but as a football fan and former player, I wonder if it will be a matter of too little, too late. We went through this song and dance the week before, after all — following a particularly violent slate of games, the NFL reportedly considered adding rules for automatic ejections, as the NCAA has implemented.

An automatic ejection would not have helped Tom Savage, though. Elvis Dumervil’s hit wasn’t dirty, and it appeared to be contact with the ground that caused the concussion. The NFL is considering band-aids to solve its problems, when the appropriate response is an emergency surgery. 

The types of plays that knocked Savage out of the game aren’t new, nor is the neurological trauma sustained by football players as a result of those plays. But the response to the incident among fans seems to be much more pointed than in years’ past. 

The difference this season, it seems, is a growing awareness that the wanton collateral damage inflicted by the sport just isn’t right. Thanks to our evolving understanding of the tollconditions like Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, more commonly known as CTE, can take on gridiron heroes after their playing days are done, the big hits are more cringeworthy than exhilarating. 

That awareness comes with no thanks to the NFL, which took until last year to officially acknowledge the link between football and CTE, concerned about the disease’s impact on the league’s bottom line. The degenerative neurological disease has become a bogeyman for football players and fans alike. Players who have either died young or ended their own lives, like Junior Seau or disgraced Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, are now known to have suffered from the disease. 

Most visibly, the New York Times ran an incendiary report in July detailing the results of a Boston University study that found CTE in the brains of 110 of 111 former NFL players, and 177 of the 202 samples examined in total. The study wasn’t perfect, but the prevalence of the disease and its link to football was impossible to ignore.   

Image: John Glaser/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

Shortly after the research ran, the player widely considered the smartest man in football, Ravens lineman John Urschel, retired. He later said the study wasn’t the sole cause for his leaving the game, but he still joined a class of other early exits like Chris Borland and Rashard Mendenhall, who chose to end their careers on their terms, before the specter of CTE had more of an opportunity impact their future selves. I think about the brain damage I caused myself with my own two concussions, and dread the thought of what might be coming for me further down the road. 

That self-reflection is why football will die — the reckoning everyone who has played or who has loved someone who played now faces — as the NFL continues to let players appear to suffer seizures on the field in one moment and return to face the violence of the game in the next. If breakthroughs allow neurologists to diagnose CTE in living patients, as the most recent research suggests could be possible, that reckoning will increase a hundredfold. 

If football has to die, it should.

Anecdotally, I know the death throes of the sport have already begun. My father has coached youth football since I began playing in 1998, and the last few years have seen a drastic decline in participation. He’s loved the game his whole life and has changed his approach to make it safer for his players, but he’s convinced the sport will be doomed in a few years if things don’t change from the top down.

I love football too, far more than I should. I don’t want people to stop playing. I want the game to evolve to be safer for its players, like it did when Teddy Roosevelt got involved in its early days, when player deaths were even more common. I want it to maintain some level of the violence it’s known for — and it’s important to remember that all sports come with some degree of risk — but not without the appropriate considerations to keep players as safe as possible.

Every Sunday that leaves us with travesties like Tom Savage being allowed back on the field after taking a hit that leaves him shaking on the ground is a missed opportunity to fix things. But the people in power might not care until this problem is too far gone.

If football has to die, it should. Those of us who love it will just have to be ready to let it go.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/10/football-is-killing-itself/

Secretary DeVos Announces Rethink School Summits to Highlight Innovation in K-12, Higher Ed

Washington — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the Department will host two Rethink School Summits in the coming weeks—the first focused on higher education and the second on K-12. These summits will bring together education leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs from around the country who are demonstrating student-centric models can improve student achievement.

Best Child Care Centers in Austin

Research is key to understanding your options and narrowing down the best preschool for your child.