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How can we foster Inquiry?

 At this year's NSTA 2017 National Conference on Science Education, we explored how we can encourage Early Childhood educators to go beyond the Fairy tales and make-believe curriculum. With Andy Weir speaking about imagination and curiosity, teachers were constructing lander devices, exploring the surface of Mars and coding so they can bring these learning opportunities back to their classroom! Many resources can be found at ngss.nsta.org; https://sharespace.org/ and http://www.modrobotics.com/cubelets/

Today's Kindergarten: Fostering the Designer & Thinker

Summer 2017 a documentary will be released sharing the work of Frobel. Take a moment and view this trailer and consider what today's five year olds need in their learning environment. https://vimeo.com/168187510/5ac9a748f5

Hour of Code at Stratford School

Preschool students at Stratford School in Altadena, CA, worked with Middle School students in a virtual classroom to learn computer coding fundamentals. The activity was part of Hour of Code, a global event put together by Code.org. All 23 Stratford School campuses participated in the world-wide event.
A child's brain undergoes an amazing period of development from birth to three, producing 700 new neural connections every second! Getting ready for school begins at birth. Children learn best through their everyday experiences with the people they love and trust and when learning is fun!
This excellent guide to effective, appropriate, and intentional use of technology with young children provides strategies, theoretical frameworks, links to research evidence, descriptions of best practice, and resources to develop essential digital literacy knowledge, skills and experiences for early childhood educators in the digital age.

The Childrens Center at Caltech Announces Spring 2017 Workshops

Cause and Effect in Infancy: An exploration of Force and Movement is just one of the Spring series  workshops that will be offered at The Children's Center at Caltech. Children are innate scientists!  They need multiple opportunities to explore, experiment, make predictions, reflect and draw conclusions. Discover how intentional environments encourages active exploration to construct knowledge. For more information call 626.395.6860

ECSTEM 2017 A Huge Success!

With more than 700+ participants from 40 States and several countries, we thank you for attending and presenting. Joining Carrie Lynne Draper, Executive Director, Readiness Learning Associates, are Peggy Ashbrook @peggyashbrook; Dr. Chip Donohue @chipdono; Dr. Elisabeth McClure @cooneycenter and Susan Nall Bales #SusanNallBales.


Duke University Research Study Announces Quality Preschool Programs Make A Difference

The research of data pertaining to more than 1 million North Carolina public school students born between 1988 and 2000, which included kids in the Smart Start and More at Four Programs, showed that those children did better all the way through elementary school.  Professor Kenneth Dodge, Duke University said, "These programs in North Carolina are having the impact they were intended to have. These are investments worth making."  The programs reduced the odds that children would wind up in special education. Children who'd been through one of these programs made significan gains in reading and math skills and did better on tests measuring skills. http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article115442993.html

Using Agriculture to teach STEAM in Early Childhood

STEAM means Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics and Readiness Learning Associates is invited to visit Tuttle Orchards in Indiana, to see the multiple ways STEAM learning is happening here and share the programs we offer in communities around the country. Agriculture is a vast and dynamic field with an abundance of career links. From Botany, to Animal Geneticist, Seed and Soil Scientist, Veterinarian, the list goes on, and young children are able to participate in lessons using skills from these agriculture careers. Young children want to know what really happens on a farm.  One approach is to use the farm and mathematics to foster a love of STEM learning. We love doing Egg Carton Math; Seasons on a Farm; Below or Above?; Cow Glyphs; Farmyard Tanagrams and Pollination Probability! Tuttle Orchards is a favorite Indiana apple orchard featuring Apple Picking, Pumpkin Patch, Corn Maze, Kids Petting Farm. Tuttle Orchards provides Preschool Activities (on-line) as well as lessons on Honey Bees and pollination. Visit this link to find more lessons and suggested childrens books and more! (http://www.indianapolisorchard.com/educator-resources/)

STEM Notebooks in Early Childhood

STEM notebooks contain information about the students’ classroom experiences. Students are encouraged to use them as scientists and engineers would, before, during, and after all investigations. For older children, its a place where students formulate and record their questions, make predictions, record data, procedures, and results, compose reflections, and communicate findings. Most importantly, notebooks provide a place for students to record new concepts they have learned.A STEM notebook can provide students who are uncomfortable with writing a safe place to practice and develop their skills and see that writing is used in all STEM fields. What does it look like for children under the age of 5? Young children want to draw what they observe, can draw blueprints and design ideas, use their notebooks to brainstorm and so much more!

Taking 10 STEPS towards STEM Confidence at Stan & Carolyn Little Conference

What are the 10 Steps needed for STEM in Early Childhood Education? Are you looking to integrate STEM in to your center or program?  With more than 20 years experience, Readiness Learning Executive Director, Carrie Lynne Draper will be sharing with policymakers, researchers, educators and daycare providers what 10 Steps they can take for STEM as the Keynote Speaker at the 20th Annual Early Childhood Conference! Early bird registration prior to September 23, 2016. LOCATION: College of The Desert. For more information http://www.eventbrite.com/e/stan-carolyn-little-conference-2016-registration-25956306010

ECSTEM Offers Fall 2016 Workshops

Readiness Learning Associates is proud to serve on the ECSTEM Steering Committee!
ECSTEM has announced their Fall 2016 Workshops including:
September 10: Force & Motion with An Emphasis on Spatial Awareness
October 8: Mathematics in Early Childhood
November 12: Deconstructing Literacy: A Deeper Look at early Literacy Comprehension
Registration is now open. For more information visit: www.ECSTEM.org

Discovery Center, Boise, Idaho, Wiring Young Minds for Engineering

Discovery Center of Idaho opens is latest exhibit: ZAP: The Current,  which certainly SPARKS your imagination! Children of all ages experiment exploring energy generation, transformation, distribution and its use! Powering generations for a hundred years, Idaho Power, has contributed to this amazing, interactive exhibition. Carrie Lynne Draper, RLA, Executive Director, worked with young students to better understand electrical engineering and have them consider future careers as an engineer.

STEM in the Schoolyard

Many schools are looking for play structures that promote STEM.  We are fortunate that we get to see many ways to provide science, engineering thinking in the schoolyard. Here are a few. For resources, recommended architects and designers of places where children can explore materials, create, design and test their thinking, contact us.

Stepping Up to STEM ACT

Congressman Mike Honda, Albert Einstein Fellow Joanna Hubbard invited Carrie Lynne Draper and Rudo Kashiri to come to Washington, DC for an opportunity to share why STEM is needed for our youngest learners in June.  Congressman Honda continues to raise the profile of STEM at the Department of Education, asking for funds to develop educational technologies and foster collaboration within state STEM networks to establish common STEM educational goals.  In addition, INVENT Act (H.R. 1492) Innovations for our Nation's Vital Educational Needs for Technology will develop curriculum tools for use in teaching innovation and fostering inventiveness at the K  levels.

Discovery Cube Brings A Futuros Radiantes Program to LACOE STEAM Conference

A little girl listens to the rain, she imagines rain falling everywhere, from rooftops to streets, from fields to streams, from rivers to the ocean.  Imagine teaching about the Water Cycle, making it rain inside a jar, using a paper-towel tube to build a 'rain stick' and explore sound elements and doing this all in Spanish with your students?  Maria Elena Serratos and Laura Schmidl, Discovery Cube Science Center, Santa Ana & Los Angeles, CA, presented a workshop for Early Childhood Educators today in both Spanish and English. Recently recognized with top honors from the State of California and the White House, teachers enjoyed learning how to incorporate science, literacy and engineering in to a great STEAM lesson! For more information about these types of lessons contact:[email protected]

Carrie Lynne Draper invited to White House Early Learning STEM

"It is my honor to accept the invitation of the White House to attend the Early Learning STEM Symposium, April 20 & 21, 2016, " says Executive Director, Carrie Lynne Draper. The President recognizes the importance of exposing all of our learners to STEM experiences. In his State of the Union address earlier this year, the President challenged all of us to provide every student with authentic STEM experiences to learn subjects like science, math, and computer science.
Building on the President’s early learning  and “Educate to Innovate” agendas, the White House,  working with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, hope to advance this focus on STEM experiences in the coming months by identifying research gaps, best practices, and education technologies to support our youngest learners, parents and caregivers, educators and community leaders with early STEM education. The April meeting, the White House, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Invest in US, will hold the Symposium at the White House to focus on this important work and Readiness Learning Associates has been asked to highlight our commitments in this area.

The Nation's #1 Early Childhood STEM Conference, ECSTEM 2016

Thank you to the following people for making this the BEST conference yet! Our 5th Annual Conference brought Dr. Russ Shilling, US STEM Director, Dr. Susan Hackwood, Executive Director, CA Council Science & Technology, Dr. Chip Donohue, Dean of Distance Learning & TEC, Erikson Institute, Author Peggy Ashbrook, Kafi Blumenfield, Executive Director, Discovery Cube Los Angeles, Susan Wood, Executive Director, The Childrens Center at Caltech and Carrie Lynne Draper, Executive Director, Readiness Learning Associates, Veronica Dayag, ECSTEM Conference Coordinator and many more to address the STEM needs of our youngest learners!

Music, Motion & Math!

Join Readiness Learning Associates at The Childrens Center at Caltech, this Saturday, December 5, 2015, for Music, Motion & Math, presented by Dayita Datta, Music Specialist. Training the ear for young children, while using musical pattern recognition, is an integral part of fostering math skills. Usage of mathematical intelligence and awareness by pattern recognition is learned through song, tales, folk dance, tap dancing, and playing a variety of instruments. Join early childhood educators and parents at this workshop. For more information call: 626.395.6860. A part of the ECSTEM PDD series (www.ecstem.org)
A Beginner's Guide to Gardening with Children
Join Readiness Learning Associates at The Childrens Center at Caltech for an Early Childhood Educators gardening workshop will provide the Who, What, When, Where & Why with a focus on Life Science. Be prepared to get dirty! Saturday, November 14, 2015, 9AM-12PM.

Ipad and your child, is it 'digital daycare', does it empower educators, or is something else happening? http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/09/the-ipad-and-your-kid-digital-daycare-empowering-educator-or-something-bad

Research shows that design and imagination are at the heart of Engineering! However,  did you know that nurturing a child's early development by exposing them to language and books fosters their engineering, math and science identity?  Infants and Toddlers need hands-on opportunities to each of the six early literacy skills; print motivation, print awareness, vocabulary, phonological awareness, narrative skills and letter knowledge through books, songs, rhymes and movement exercises. Exposing them to non-fiction books like nature, how-things-work or are made, and tapping in to what children are naturally curious about, promotes Early Childhood STEM learning.
Many ask us about using technology with younger children.  Believe it or not, digital microscopes and other cool technologies can be used with children to promote the multiple 'languages' of children. One of the best panels of experts we have seen is available here. If you were unable to be present for this NAEYC workshop, catch it now at this link: http://youtu.be/iXdDBXhH4AI
Wendy Brenneman, Carnegie Science Center, Early Childhood Coordinator, is leading BIG programs for small scientists! Wendy brings high quality STEM programs to a 5 state area in partnership with more than 150 regional preschool classrooms. From robotics to units and lessons learning about Science Tools, Sound, Suds & more! Wendy met with Carrie Lynne Draper, RLA, in Pittsburgh, to discuss ways CSC could join ECSTEM to bring more robotics and technology to our youngest STEM learners across the nation!
Popular Workshops:
--Engineering Encounters: What is the E in STEM?
Can children Birth to Age 6 Engineer? What does engineering look like for K-12 students? We will
identify ways children engineer everyday and the processes they use to engineer.
--Playfulness Engineering
A child's world is all about play. They design their adventures, games, and story lines. Using design as a way to create, invent, plan, improve, test.

STEM Learning in Early Childhood requires 'real orange' moments of investigation!

Carrie Lynne Draper, STEM Director, spoke to MOMS of Orange County to share how we can nurture STEM seeds found everywhere!

Does your Early Childhood STEM Program pass the 'Orange Test'?  Sadly, too many children never have the 3-dimensional 'real orange learning' experiences needed to help them become problem solvers and grow their confidence as learners! More preschool children only see oranges in print or digital media. Perhaps because of time, or the fact oranges can be messy, parents rarely allow children to truly investigate an orange. To hold one, predict how many segments await inside, how to peel an orange, measure its circumference, juggle, roll one; there are so many possibilities for learning with a REAL ORANGE!

Join us at The Childrens Center at Caltech, Saturday, May 16, 2015, 9AM-Noon, for Engineering Encounters in Early Childhood, presented by Carrie Lynne Draper, STEM Director. Educators from around the country will learn how to engage our youngest learners in the Engineering Design Process; how we can promote Higher Order Thinking & Problem Solving Skills and will then tour the Center. Cost: $60.00. For more details: Call The Children's Center at Caltech, 626.395.6860 or email RLA at [email protected].