Enjoy some cozy downtime with your youngster during this Holiday Season with any of these “Jingle Book” recommendations from Lower School Librarian Betty Castello. Let them form the basis of new bedtime traditions this year and for years to come. They can also make excellent Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers for the young ones in your life.
Technology is everywhere and has become an essential aspect of our school, home, personal, and business lives. Walk into most pre-K or kindergarten classrooms today, and you are likely to see interactive whiteboards, students utilizing iPads, robotics activities, and other tech-based learning aids and apps. By high school, students are engaging in ever more complex uses of technology to learn advanced coding, engineering, 3D modeling, and all manner of internet and artificial intelligence-based research techniques.
The proliferation of technology in education and the need to support healthy media use has prompted many schools to adopt acceptable use policies and other guidelines for supporting mental, physical, and social-emotional growth in the real world measured against the many hours students spend surfing the digital world.
The Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Business School have joined forces to create the Digital Wellness Lab, and their “Best Practices for Digital Wellness” calls for families to mirror the work of educators by sitting down with their teens to create shared media use agreements in the home.
After weeks of summer fun, a relaxed bed-time routine, more screen time with video games or nighttime movies, and a casual approach to daily responsibilities, your child may be experiencing some anxiety about the return to school in a few weeks, or may be feeling a little less than excited about the prospect.
Experts say there are a number of ways in which parents can ease the transition back to school by using the last few weeks of summer prior to the start of class to physically and mentally prepare for the new academic year.
A major forte at an independent school such as Oak Knoll is the bespoke nature of its college counseling program. Smaller class sizes, lower faculty to student ratios, and individualized learning allow students to be known and honored for their unique abilities and personalities. At Oak Knoll, this enables our college counseling team to tailor a highly personal approach to researching and applying to universities which is introduced to freshman and sophomore parents each year at our College Counseling Roadmap — a late Spring session for families of ninth and tenth graders that offers the following expert advice for gradually navigating school visits, applications, interviews, and acceptances.
According to recent research, the number of children 0-17 years of age who read for fun has dramatically dropped over the last decade. Those who said they read for pleasure “every day” or “nearly every” day have plummeted from 38% to 25%. Experts attribute this drop to a variety of factors including: the rise of technology and digital entertainment, the decline in numbers of caregivers who read aloud to their children at home, and some schools who focus on the acquisition of reading “skills” which leads to students approaching reading as work rather than fun. Oak Knoll prides itself on being a community that bucks that trend and furnishes our students with a lifelong love of reading.
Fifteen years ago, a helpful blog post might have listed five ways parents can assist their children in becoming computer literate. As the wave of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine intelligence (MI) crashes over society, it is now vital that parents assist their children in becoming “reality” literate.
One of the cunning aspects of chatbots such as ChatGPT and others from Microsoft and Google are that they return information to users in natural language. Unlike a simple Google search that returns text and links scraped from the internet, AI synthesizes millions of bits of information and seeks to “chat” with the user as a means of cultivating a relationship. Users, especially younger users, may be fooled into thinking there is a real person on the other side of the conversation. That could be costly.
With the addition of two new full-time faculty in the Upper School, the Creative Arts Department at Oak Knoll is spreading it’s wings. Music teacher Teresa Gotanco and Theater Teacher Lisa Bodollo joined the team for the 2022-2023 school year and they are collaborating with an ensemble of students to stage a particularly challenging musical, James and the Giant Peach. Here is Teresa Gotanco with some highlights including a sneak peak at the performance.
Is social media bad for teen health? It doesn’t have to be. That was the key takeaway following a talk with Upper School students by social media expert Bailey Parnell. Parnell is the founder of #SafeSocial and CEO of Skills Camp – a company that offers soft skills training to businesses and educational institutions. She presented students with some very compelling risks of social media addiction and its effects on mental health – especially with young women – but also offered advice on bringing balance to your online self by maintaining balance with your offline self.
We recently posted a blog entitled, Reading Aloud to Your Pre-Kindergarten Student. Yes, research supports the notion that this act improves cognitive development, but who needs an excuse to cuddle up with a wee one during the holidays or any other time of year!
As a follow up, Lower School Librarian, Betty Castello, put together this list of some of her favorite holiday-themed book recommendations for the little elves in your life. Book descriptions are courtesy of amazon.com.
This holiday season, give your pre-kindergarten student the gift of a lifetime–give them a story a day. Whether it’s reading aloud to them at bedtime, listening to an audio book in the car, or sharing a story during bath time, research overwhelmingly supports the fact that exposing young children to aural storytelling at an early age, improves their cognitive development.