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    Blending Hands-on and Digital Learning: Holiday Edition

    Topics: Blending Hands-on & Digital Activities, Elementary (4-12), Teen (13-17), Parents, Articles

    Building on our theme of blending hands-on and digital learning, the holidays are a great time to utilize technology to help kids understand tradition and explore not only the world around them, but also beyond their own communities. No need to stress about how to keep your kids entertained over winter break, because this week we examine photo and video apps that help build basic language skills, Santa letter writing websites to build emergent writing skills, and a video to illustrate what magic occurs inside the oven as we bake our sweet treats this season. 




    At Stages we believe in using high quality photographs to help build early language skills in kids with language delay.The holiday season is no exception; it is a great time to continue to build language at home and around family.

    The holidays are a fun, memorable time of year, but it can also be a stressful time for kids to both remember traditions and the corresponding vocabulary. No matter what holiday your family celebrates, Animoto is an app that creates “videos for everyday events to life’s most important memories.” Throughout your festivities and everyday traditions during the season, snap a photo and seam them together through the Animoto app or website. After the photos have been uploaded, you and your child can go back and practice labeling the decorations or traditions shown in the photos. Once completed, you now have your own holiday photo book that you can replay throughout the season and use to prepare your children the following year.

    Pricing: You can create short, 30 second videos for FREE with the lite version. 

    Ask Santa photo-of-santa

    Are you working with your child to build emergent writing skills? What better motivation to dive into writing than writing to Santa! Just as you read both letters from the mail and letters delivered via email, so does Santa! This is a great way to explore both modes of correspondence. After writing Santa a handwritten letter, you can hop onto the Internet with your child and go to AskSanta.pearl.com. From December 1-24th, you children can post burning questions to Santa and he will respond individually. On top of building a love for writing, the site will donate $1 to juvenile diabetes research for every email that he gets, so keep those questions coming!

    Pricing: Free!  

    The Chemistry of Cookies

    Here at Stages we typically stick to our younger learners, but this video was just too interesting not to share. No matter what holiday you celebrate, your family is probably surrounded by sweets this time of year. To help remove some of the guilt of devouring endless sweets, why not make baking a teachable moment? Before going elbow deep in flour, gather some baking assistants and watch this quick video by Stephanie Warren on the Chemistry of Cookies. After viewing, turn your kitchen into a science lab and become mad scientists. Measuring, mixing, and observing are all important skills for budding scientists. Were their observations in the oven similar to the video? Who knows, this video might spark interest in additional kitchen “experiments.”

    After learning about the Chemistry of Cookies, head over to our Health and Nutrition page to see products that will help your child to gain an appreciation for proper nutrition and healthy life habits.
    Health and Nutrition Collection
    Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M.

    Written by Lindsey Dunn, Ed.M.

    Lindsey Dunn received her BS in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin with a specialization in literacy and teaching English as a second language. After graduating, she began teaching in an inclusive kindergarten setting in Katy Independent School District, a leader in educational technology implementation. During her time as a teacher, Lindsey worked on modifying various educational technologies to meet the range of needs of her younger learners. In 2013 she completed her Ed.M at the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus in Technology, Innovation, and Education. Following her time at Harvard, she completed a graduate school fellowship with Education Pioneers, a program geared towards training leaders to transforms the education section. As an Education Pioneer Fellow, Lindsey worked with STEMscopes, a science curriculum publisher, based out of Rice University in Houston Texas. During her summer she facilitated over eighty-five prekindergarten through twelfth grade teachers through the training and development of a new curriculum based on the Next Generation Science Standards. Lindsey has also consulted with large educational publishers and video game designers on effective learning design.