5 Ways to Help Your Child Have a Smooth Transition into School

Posted by Liz Christopher, Tara Giordano, and Patti Reynolds on August 24, 2018 at 10:43 AM


Children entering PreK and kindergarten may be spending the day away from home for the very first time, and that make kids feel both excited and anxious. Even children who have attended an early childhood program need to prepare for the differences that come with going to school rather than daycare. As a parent, having a clear morning routine is one thing you can do to help start your child’s academic journey on the right foot. Use the five tips below to create a streamlined, stress-free process that will help your child begin every morning with confidence!

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Topics: Parenting Tips

5 Healthy Eating Habits for Kids

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on August 10, 2018 at 10:31 AM


As children get older, it’s important to help them healthy eating habits. Whether packing lunch, grabbing a snack after school, or ordering dinner in a restaurant, there are many opportunities for kids to control what goes into their bodies. Here are five tips to help you teach your child how to make nutritious choices.

Eat the rainbow

  • Encourage your child to build a plate that has an abundance of color from a variety of fruits and vegetables. A fun way to do this is to make edible art with your child! For example, create a forest scene using broccoli for the trees, an orange slice for the sun, sliced blueberries for a lake, and cauliflower florets for clouds .
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Topics: Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

Why We Love Thematic Learning (and You Should, too!)

Posted by Christine Diubaldo and Candyce Pizzala on June 29, 2018 at 2:00 PM


The Four C’s

For years the world of school was focused on the Three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. But in today’s world it’s not enough to read a book, write a story, and do a few math problems; we need to prepare our students for an ever-evolving global society. Now, education organizations around the country, including the National Education Association (NEA) are talking about the Four C’s:

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Creativity


The Fifth C: Chocolate!

In the Third Grade we tackle the Four C’s and more through thematic learning. Thematic learning is when students focus on one theme that connects multiple subject areas. For example, in our Chocolate Economics unit we use the overarching theme of chocolate to bridge several content areas. Some highlights of the unit include:

  • Science: Investigation of the cacao bean and its rainforest habitat, including the layers of the forest, the geography and weather conditions needed to sustain a tropical rainforest, and the importance of sustainability and conservation of these areas;
  • Social Studies: Discussion of the history of chocolate, from the Aztecs and Mayans to the explorers who brought chocolate to various countries and continents;
  • Reading and Performing Arts: Reader’s Theater performances—complete with costumes and music—of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Kaypok Tree;
  • Economics (including research, writing, and math): Participation in the full scope of activities related to the business of chocolate-making, such as conducting market research, production of actual chocolate creations, branding & advertising via print and television, and, eventually, a Market Day where students sell their chocolate and calculate their profits, which are donated to charity organizations selected by the students.


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Topics: Education, Academics

7 Places for Summertime Family Fun in Delaware

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on June 15, 2018 at 2:13 PM

Every year, students excitedly wait for the arrival of summer, a time when they get to escape the routine of school and try something new. Though the anticipation of summertime freedom can be exciting, often, when summer arrives, kids get tired of having nothing to do and bored with the lack of routine. A great way to get out of a summertime rut is to plan day outings for the whole family. Here are seven fun things for you and your family to do this summer in Delaware.

Rehoboth Beach

What better place is there to bring a child on a sweltering summer day than the beach? Rehoboth Beach, Delaware offers public sandy beaches with access to a boardwalk with food, shops, and an amusement park, “Funland.” This is a wonderful place to get away with the family, enjoy a swim in the ocean, sunbathe, and have some fun on a ride or play a carnival game.

Delaware Art Museum

Bring out your child’s inner artist with a trip to the Delaware Art Museum. In addition to being a non-profit art museum with permanent exhibits and changing temporary exhibits, the Delaware Art Museum is very welcoming of families and children. They have a reduced admissions fee for families of up to 2 adults and 4 children and children 6 years old and under get in free. Museum admission is free on Thursdays from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM and on Sundays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the museum holds public tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. They also offer stroller tours, youth and adult art classes, and storytelling performances for kids. For families this summer, they will also be holding special yoga in the garden events, studio Sundays, and a summer solstice labyrinth walk.

Brandywine Zoo

Any animal enthusiasts in the family? A trip to the zoo can amaze and delight! Spread across 12 acres of historical land in above the Brandywine River, the Brandywine Zoo is one of over 200 accredited zoos and aquariums in North America. It is open year-round and is committed to taking exceptional care of animals and making family visits enjoyable. This idyllic zoo houses 120 different species and is a great place to escape for the day with the whole family. They hold special events every week, such as “Story Time,” held every Thursday, in which the children are read animal stories, “Reptile Shows,” Fridays through Sundays, where kids can find out about the unique abilities of reptiles, and many more fun events focused on the education of children and their families .

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Topics: Community, Summer, Parenting Tips

How Design Thinking Inspires Future Engineers

Posted by John Bell on June 1, 2018 at 12:30 PM


Design Thinking is a teaching approach that incorporates the engineering design process in hands-on, collaborative projects. Students are guided through the design steps to problem solve. The process is meant to be repeated to create the best possible solution. Project-based and problem-based learning engages students while providing essential Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills that inspire innovation.

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Topics: STEM, Academics, Education

Tools to Teach Coding to Kids

Posted by Patrick Martin on May 18, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Elementary school is the perfect age to teach coding. Learning to code is fun, empowering, and provides essential 21st century skills. According to the US Department of Commerce, within the last ten years STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) employment opportunities have grown by 24.4% vs. only 4% in non-STEM fields, and STEM-focused employees make an average of 29% more than non-STEM workers. It is important that we provide our children with the computer science skills necessary to be successful.

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Topics: STEM, Academics, Parenting Tips, Education

Is It Writing or Recess?: Getting Kids Excited About Writing

Posted by Susan Bachtle and Missy Bloom on May 4, 2018 at 12:30 PM

The schedule says “language arts,” but, at first glance, you might think the fourth-grade class looks more like they’re having recess than writing. Students are scattered around the room and spilling into the hallway, happily chatting in pairs, drawing pictures, sticking and re-sticking multi-colored Post-Its on bright yellow paper, or laughing uproariously at a story being told by a teacher. But, believe it or not, this is what writing looks like in our classes! This past summer we traveled all the way to Barcelona, Spain and joined nearly 200 other teachers from all over the world at a summer writing institute created by Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading & Writing Project. The week-long training introduced us to new ways to think about, talk about, and teach about writing, and our classes at Sanford School haven’t been the same since. Now when we approach writing lessons we think about how we’ll support the three different types of communication that we want to see happening throughout the class: teacher-to-student, student-to-student, and student-to-self.

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Topics: Academics, Parenting Tips, Education

The Power of Student-Led Conferences

Posted by Christine Yasik on April 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Parent-teacher conferences have been a staple of communication between home and school for many decades, and certainly, there is value in maintaining those important traditional conversations, which often take place without the student being present. This communication is a key to student success. However, the paradigm is shifting, and the age-old process has changed in many schools, as the students are frequently not only attending the conference but actually leading it. Monica Martinez, a senior scholar for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and co-author of a book that addresses school approaches that facilitate deeper learning, queried, “How many of us, as students, appreciated being talked about in the third person as if we were invisible?”

Student-Led Conferences (SLC) are not new by any standard, but they are gaining momentum and popularity, not because they are a “trend,” but because they encourage and empower students from the elementary level through high school to take responsibility for their learning in a way that might not have happened previously. The format for an SLC can vary widely, from the use of a questionnaire, sharing a portfolio, or highlighting a strength and area of growth in every subject, but the common denominator requires that the student communicates to the parents WHAT s/he is doing in school and WHY.

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Topics: Parenting Tips, Education, Academics

Five Advantages of Personalized Learning

Posted by Sandy Sutty on April 6, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Personalized learning is when the planning, teaching, and assessment focus on the individual needs and interests of each student. It provides an education that includes differentiation and individualization, tools which support student success.

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Topics: Education, Parenting Tips, Academics

How To Prevent Student-Athlete Injuries During Spring Sports

Posted by Authored collaboratively by Troby Roosevelt & Staci Krape on March 23, 2018 at 4:47 PM

The school year has just flown by, and spring sports are already upon our young athletes! The spring sports season is an exciting time, as our player's transition from their previous indoor setting and venture back to the outdoor fields of their respective sports. With all of this excitement and the abrupt downtime of spring vacation, early season injuries can be very common. However, by pacing one’s self and properly preparing the body, any athlete can take the initiative to ensure that they will start their season on the right foot.

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Topics: Athletics, Parenting Tips, Health & Wellness

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