Love, Writing and Chocolate Kisses

It's amazing what kindergarten students can do when given the opportunity. As this week came to a close I couldn't stop thinking about their amazing thoughts and writing about what love is. It's hard to believe that some of these same students, just 5 short months ago, started school without knowing the alphabet or even how to count to 10. Now their writing and profound thoughts on love have me counting myself lucky to be reminded about what love is. For me, love is my daughter ZoĆ«. As she approaches her first birthday I can't imagine my life without her. So, If you are lucky enough to be celebrating Family Day this Monday I hope you enjoy the holiday with your loved ones and maybe even enjoy some "choklit kises". 
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8 Things You Might Not Know About Finland's Education System

Finland has been cited a lot recently about their successful educational system. As part of my current Master's course in comparative education I am required to write an essay comparing my current educational system to any other country. I decided to use Finland for a number of reasons, the most important being their success on international measures such as PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). Through the many journal articles, research papers and books I have read in preparation for writing my paper I have come across 8 very interesting aspects of Finland's educational system that you may not have read before. It should be noted that for those looking to any other educational system for a "quick fix" needs to keep in mind the cultural, social and economic realities of their own context and the one they are studying. Can we learn from other systems? Absolutely. Can we transplant those...
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The Broken Heart Machine

Earlier this week I tweeted about a conversation I had with a kindergarten student and his drawing of a broken heart machine. The conversation I had with him was short but inspiring at the same time. His machine was quite simple. The broken heart would go into the machine on one side and come out fixed on the other. Brilliant. There was nothing sad that had happened to him recently he just wanted to draw a picture of a machine that would mend broken hearts. I left the room after our short conversation with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and pride that students this young are able to demonstrate compassion for others. Then came Friday and the horrible events in Newtown, Connecticut. As my Twitter feed filled up with information about the tragic event I couldn't stop thinking about the safety of the students in my school, about my own...
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Inquiry in Kindergarten

All week I found myself thinking back to the picture you see to the right and the resulting conversation with a struggling 4 year old student I'll call Sammy.  Sammy has some challenges that unfortunately interferes with his learning in the FDK (Full Day Kindergarten) program.  Nevertheless he comes to school everyday supported by his teacher and the classroom Early Childhood Educator.  But it was a simple conversation with Sammy that demonstrated the power of the inquiry-based learning philosophy of our FDK program.  As I walked into the classroom the first student I saw was Sammy.  He was totally engaged in his painting but was soon to be distracted from his masterpiece by another student wanting to take his blue paint.  Sammy didn't take kindly to the student just wandering over and not asking.  As I approached the arguing students I asked what the problem was.  The other painter said Sammy...
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