Tag Archives: maths

It’s Never Too Early to Engage Children in STEM Education

istock_kids_stemExperts in education throughout the world agree that there is a national imperative to graduate students with an understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In 2007, a Carnegie Foundation commission concluded that the capacity to innovate and thrive in the modern workforce depends on a foundation of math and science learning.

But what is STEM exactly? STEM is an interdisciplinary and an applied approach to teaching. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications. STEM can also be described as a philosophy: it’s a way of helping students to think in a more connected and holistic way.

Many parents ask us what age we think it is appropriate to start teaching STEM to children. We believe that it is never too early to start STEM education.

Children are very active learners at 1,2 and 3 years old so you don’t necessarily have to wait until they start kindergarten to engage in STEM activities. The research is quite clear that the best practice in early childhood education is to break away from passive instruction and allow for more play and investigation, and this kind of learning early in life builds skills and interests that serve children throughout their school years, and later in life. Take your children to the park and let them explore, get up and watch a sunrise with them or let them swim in the sea.

Lilian G. Katz, in STEM in the Early Years, lays out a case that the best practice for early education is to allow students to be active, engaged, and take initiative in their own learning. Allowing our children to have the opportunities to take initiative in their own learning is not only good for STEM learning, but for overall long-term academic success.

In a lot of academic instruction children are in a passive or receptive mode instead of being more active. Early childhood education should tap into children’s natural curiosity and give them ample opportunities to be active participants in their own learning. Natural settings offer children almost unlimited opportunities to explore and investigate, helping them build STEM skills that create a solid foundation for future learning.

If you’d like more information about STEM education please get in touch. We over private and group out-of-school classes in Toronto.

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Why Jump Math?

Jump MathI don’t think it’s a secret that here at Light in the Attic Learning we love and trust the JUMP math program. JUMP math was created by our hero John Migthon and brings excitement to learning mathematics. The program holds students attention by turning them into active learners seeking out how to solve problems, instead of being passive learners who are taught a method.

While the program does turn the student into an active learner, it does not bombard them with too much information. Its slow burn approach really allows them to grasp the information at their own pace. Here at Light in The Attic Learning we provide personalized tutors and programs in order to help your child learn, and not memorize the material at their own, unique pace. JUMP really facilitates this way of learning and that’s why I love it.

Another reason I love JUMP is because unlike many curriculum’ word problem approach to math (which seeks to teach key concepts through contextualized word problems), JUMP uses a building block approach, which makes sense when you acknowledge that math is a subject that builds on prior knowledge.  This building block approach to math, strips down every aspect of a math equation and teaches the basic concept in a step-by-step fashion. By providing basic concepts or the building blocks, students will always have the tools and confidence to solve any mathematical problem they face.

Also, by focusing on steps (or building blocks) our tutors can identify the specific concept that is at the source of any blockage and focus on explaining that specific step.

Overall, as an educator and parent I love to engage the people around me and help them gain the essential skills to succeed in all their endeavors. JUMP math works in coordination to this belief. That is why JUMP is effective and a staple of Light in the Attic Learning.

Do you have any questions about the JUMP Math Program? Click the email button below and send me an email! I’ll get back to you ASAP.

All the best,
David

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