Teacher's Innovation Project

Celebrating Month of the Young Child in Pittsburgh & Beyond

“This April Pittsburgh will celebrate our most valuable resource…children. There are many ways to celebrate. I trust you’ll find your own.” –Fred Rogers In March of 1978, Fred Rogers spoke these words in a public service announcement for KDKA, a Pittsburgh-based television station, to promote Month of the Young Child. Fast forward 38 years and Pittsburgh has transformed itself into KidsBurgh,...

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The Power of the Profession, Connection, and Relationship

I had the distinct pleasure and honor to attend and present at the 2015 National Association for the Education of the Young Child (NAEYC) Conference & Expo. This year’s theme was titled “The Power of the Profession.” After my experience there, I would like to retitle it: The Power of the Profession, Connection, and Relationships. Ruby Bridges, the first African-American child...

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The Toothpaste Theory of Child Development

Have you ever studied the label on a tube of toothpaste? A good number of years ago, out of sheer boredom, I picked up the tube while supervising my daughters as they brushed their teeth for the proverbial and interminable “two minutes.” The label reads: “Active ingredient: sodium fluoride.” Its function: cavity prevention. And just below that was a list of...

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Why Our Early Childhood Educators Deserve Better

Yvonne Atkinson knows toddlers. She understands where they’re at developmentally, how to cultivate their listening skills, and when they just need some unstructured playtime. When Kidsburgh asked Pittsburgh families to identify five exceptional early childhood educators, Atkinson—programs manager at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh—came out on top. No surprise, given her 45 years of experience as a beloved teacher. Fred Rogers...

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With App, Kids Can Communicate Through Art

“Early career” is not a phrase you’d readily apply to an educator whose work has brought him to locales as diverse as Chicago, Florida, and New Zealand, and who’s authored one book, with another one in the works. But Brian Puerling, the director of education technology at Chicago’s Catherine Cook School, has done all of the above. At age 32,...

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The Role of Rigor in Kindergarten

It seems every week, there’s another story about the benefits of early education or how investing in high-quality early childhood programs pays off. And President Obama’s recent 2016 budget proposal included a 10-year, $75 billion universal preschool request. But as a recent story in Education Week explained, there’s no real consensus on what a regular day in a kindergarten classroom should...

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Parents Boost Their Preschoolers’ Literacy Skills With Texted Tips

What’s the most cost-effective way to prepare toddlers for school? Turns out it might involve texting parents. A new study by Stanford researchers confirms what early studies were showing: Texting parents early childhood learning tips and reminders boosts preschoolers’ literacy skills. And it costs approximately $1 per family. Research has repeatedly found that kindergartners from low-income families are already behind their...

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