Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 11, 2012

Lessons in everyday life

Crabbe program focuses on the youngest students

ASHLAND — A paper plate, a handful of popcorn, colored markers and tape — taken separately they all are ordinary objects, the flotsam of every household.

Combined, they form a powerful teaching tool for preschoolers to learn colors, shapes and sounds.

Parents in a new early-education program sat with their children in the Crabbe Elementary School library Thursday evening, folding the plates into clamshell-shaped receptacles, pouring in the popcorn and sealing them with tape. The children decorated the plates with markers and soon the rustling sound of shaking popcorn filled the air like a room full of maracas.

The session was the first of six in the Toyota bornlearning Academy, where parents learn three important things: they are the most important teachers in their children’s lives, learning goes on all the time and everyday objects and activities are better than textbooks and flashcards for teaching preschoolers.

The focus on preschoolers is important because research has shown most Kentucky children start kindergarten unprepared for it, said Ashland family resource center coordinator Geri Willis.

But parents can change that, and they can do it at meals, in the car, out in the yard or walking around the neighborhood.

“It boils down to doing easy things with your kids,” said Shannon Hankins, an instructional coach at Crabbe.

Count the steps as you walk up, she suggested. Count the marshmallows in the hot chocolate. Name the colors you see and talk about the shapes of everyday things. Make a drum from a coffee can or pour breakfast cereal into a water bottle to make a shaker.

Crucial to the success of these activities is the affection and interaction of a healthy relationship between parent and child, she said. Children learn best when they feel safe and loved.

Parents on Thursday learned children are born learning and learn best by doing and using all their senses, which is why counting Cheerios often works better than showing numbers on a flash card. They learned physical and brain development are interconnected, and learning doesn’t have to be a bore. “Make sure it’s fun. If it’s fun for you it will be fun for them,” Hankins said.

“We do a lot of these things at home, so it’s good to know we’re on the right track,” said Heather France. She and her husband, John, brought their 4-year-old daughter, Kaylee, and their 22-month-old twins, Ella and Abby, to the session. With three little girls, one favorite activity is counting shoes at pickup time, she said.

“It’s good to know our daily activities have an effect on their learning and how they grow.”

If nothing else, parents should understand that building close, loving relationships with children and using everyday moments for teaching opportunities is the key to successful early learning, Willis said. “So turn off the tube and turn on the lap.”

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

Text Only
Local News
  • Jesse Stuart Foundation celebrates 35 years

    The annual Jesse Stuart Foundation Open House from noon to 6 p.m. on Aug. 8 will be a huge celebration.

    July 28, 2014

  • 0729hagerman.jpg Hagerman talks law with Rotary

    At Monday’s lunchtime meeting of the Ashland Rotary Club, Boyd County Circuit Court Judge C. David Hagerman summed up current local legal trends — and how cases, courts and criminals have changed during his 20-plus year tenure.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue speaks during an interview in Salt Lake City

    Fish and houseguests both stink after three days — and much less time when a visitor pockets valuables without permission.

    July 28, 2014

  • 0728bank5.jpg Iconic Gate City bank torn down after partial collapse

    This weekend, Catlettsburg’s downtown silhouette lost one of its longest-lived landmarks.
    Demolition workers began to tear down one of the Gate City’s oldest downtown buildings following the former Catlettsburg National Bank’s partial collapse.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Study shows room for parking improvement

    It has been suggested that the parking layout along Winchester Avenue should change, bringing the city’s main thoroughfare down to two lanes.

    July 28, 2014

  • Anti-smoking tour kicks off in Ashland

    A scan in 2009 that was supposed to show doctors what was causing Deborah Cline’s eye problems by chance revealed the cancer in her lung.
    Two years later, Roger Cline watched his wife die of lung cancer. Deborah Cline was 59 and had never smoked.

    July 28, 2014

  • 0728bank5.jpg Gate City landmark demolished

    The historic Catlettsburg National Bank Building was being taken down after the front dormer window collapsed on Sunday.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • Local counties see drop in unemployment

    Boyd County was one of 117 counties that saw a decrease in its unemployment rate between June 2013 and June 2014.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726bigboy.JPG Big Boy to open Aug. 11

    The long-awaited Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant will open Aug. 11, and when it does it will be business as usual from day one: the eatery will open its doors to the early breakfast crowd at 6:30.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SOAR meeting at MSU Aug. 6

    Morehead State University and St. Claire Regional Medical Center will present Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers as part of a "Health Impact Series" under the new Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative.

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone