Methodology

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FasTracKids Preschool Leads The Way in STE(A)M Learning

New Study Proves Add’t Value in Early Childhood STE(A)M Learning

We’ve long known how powerful exposing children to academics at a young age can be for their scholastic growth. We’ve written several articles about it over the last few months. Finally, more and more educators and schools are catching on to the STEAM phenomenon – realizing that teaching early childhood Math, English Engineering and more can have substantial positive effects on a student’s academic career.

A new study conducted by Berkeley published in the Journal of Applied Development Psychology supports what FasTracKids preschools have been doing for a decade: that “academic preschools yield stronger benefits.” The main author, Bruce Fuller, asks “whether pre-k impacts range higher when teachers spend more time on activities emphasizing language, preliteracy, and math concepts.”

Based on their research, the author concluded that “…for the average American child it’s encouraging to learn that academic-oriented preschool yields benefits that persist into the kindergarten year, and at notably higher magnitudes than previously detected.”

We’ve Been Doing It For a While

What great news this is! Research like this helps us prove to parents that their child will benefit by enrolling with our preschool programs way more then enrolling with a competitor. Most preschools still use a non-academic curriculum or lack curriculum all together. We see that parents want their child to have the best possible education and it is our duty to fulfill that need. We agree that “dressing up like a firefighter” is not enough. It certainly has an important place, but there are more important lessons to be learned.

We have realized that preschoolers can soak up and understand more information both broad and deep than previously thought. Fuller states, “If you can combine creative play with rich language, formal conversations and math concepts, that’s more likely to yield the cognitive gains we observed.” This is exactly the kind of activities that our preschools powered by FasTracKids delivers.

Sign up for a free preschool trial class today!

Click here or call 718-260-8100

Care vs. Curriculum in Preschool and Early Childhood Education

The majority of parents of young children are faced with the dilemma of what type of child care arrangements to make. Parents are most often offered the care only option AKA daycare in one form or another. “Care” can be a nanny or daycare center where children are dropped off and essentially do little more than eat, nap, and free play. They are kept safe and are “cared” for, for a specific amount of time. Many parents do not realize that another option exists.

care vs curriculum in park slope preschool education

Park Slope Preschool powered by FasTracKids believes that curriculum should and can be holistically integrated into any care arrangements for young children… Research shows that children thrive when thought provoking curriculum is woven into their daily routine. Their minds develop fully when academic and fun challenges are offered.

We holistically blend smart free play, art and music with early academics to help develop the entire child. We believe that it is possible to choose a program that incorporates all of these aspects… As expectations and standards of what constitutes kindergarten readiness rise, we must provide our children with the best building blocks available for their success.

A curriculum based program allows children to reach milestones earlier and to rise to their full potential. Our students are caring, thoughtful, and creative. They are well prepared for their next stage. This can only be achieved through early childhood curriculum based programs.

Written by Daisy Farrugia – Director of Park Slope FasTracKids

Contact Daisy for a free trial today

Brain Based Educational Zigzagging

This educational zigzagging article originally appeared on FTKny.com in 2013

How Brain-Based Educational ZigZagging is used in the FasTracKids Preschool Programs

educational zigzagging park slope preschool

The uniqueness of children’s minds creates a special challenge for FasTracKids instructors. Brain changes are still noticeable 48 hours after stimulation to the brain occurs. Many of these changes are significant to and predictive of the child’s future learning. In studying the brain, we have learned that the areas developed depend on the type of stimulation received. That’s where educational zigzagging comes in.

FasTracKids students are exposed to complex activities to exercise and form brain connections. These activities must be presented in a fun, challenging way to insure that the children are engaged. They are further enhanced when they are accompanied by continuous feedback from instructors and peers.

FasTracKids utilizes Educational Zigzagging methods that promote repetition without repeating the same piece of information in the same way. The content of the FasTracKids program is combined with the unique delivery of the lesson to form the key ingredients for growing young minds. The subject matter is continually reinforced through new activities using different modalities throughout the lesson to strengthen the children’s neural connections, without the typical loss of interest.

Educational Zigzagging refers to the learning of a concept by reinforcement of the subject matter through the use of many different exposures and applications. In a FasTracKids lesson, the concept to be learned is the center focus and is presented on the FasTrack Learning Station®. After each exposure to the concepts, activities are planned to strengthen the learning of the concepts. This includes learning through hand-on projects, experiments, role-plays and videotaping. The return after each activity to concepts presented by the lesson results in a zigzagging effect.

FasTrack Learning Approach

FasTracKids® is committed to encouraging every child to maximize his or her potential. FasTracKids classes are focused on helping children excel inthe 5 Cs: creativity, communication, confidence, critical thinking and collaboration. Our proprietary Educational Zigzagging℠ method allows children to gather information through exposure to visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning, meeting the needs of various learning styles. This method allows FasTracKids to accommodate many different learning styles, while identifying the development of different early learning skills. FasTracKids incorporates these elements in each structured lesson, providing opportunities for children to experience growth in each subject area while having a great time.