Learning to Reason Through Play

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In the grand scheme of things there are two big categories when it comes to learning; academic learning and intellectual learning. Neither of these categories stands alone, they are interdependent and both are critical for a lifetime of learning. Critical thinking skills fall under the umbrella of intellectual learning and are a big focus for us here at DCM.

The research is undeniable, the best way to develop critical thinking skills ...

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The Adult Role in Block Play

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Have you heard? As a part of our new daily drop-in programming we are offering facilitated block building! Unit blocks are a powerful teaching tool that have the ability to support all areas of a child’s development. Early childhood educators have been capitalizing on teachable moments arising in their block areas around the world for many years.

In fact, progressive educator Caroline Pratt began shedding light on the importance of unit block play in the early 1900’s. In the coming weeks ...

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Risk Taking and Failure as the Keys to Success

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Taking risks and failing are a natural part of childhood and perhaps, at times the most terrifying part of childhood from a parent and caregiver perspective. No one wants to see their child fail. However, I want us to take some time to think about risk taking, its relationship to creativity and learning, and its significance in a child’s overall growth and development.

Young children naturally take risks, in fact, it is how they learn – the learning process requires ...

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Clean-Up Time

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It’s AMP here at DCM; our Annual Maintenance Period for refreshing exhibits. Staff and volunteers are working diligently to clean, paint and (sometimes) refurbish every area, including exhibits and behind the scenes. This is no small task! We drag almost every exhibit from its comfortable space and embark on a deep cleaning of the ENTIRE Museum! Walls are painted, the smallest spaces are dusted and sanitized, and so much more.

In the spirit of AMP I thought I would take this ...

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Math Moments: Walk

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Did you know that a strong foundation in early math skills not only supports success in math later in life but also in reading and overall academic achievement? This might seem daunting, especially for those who may not feel overly confident in their own math skills, but supporting the development of early math skills is much easier than you think, in fact, you are most likely doing it all day every day already!

For the past few weeks we have been ...

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Safely Watching the August 21st Solar Eclipse

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On August 21, 2017 you will have a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to view a powerful solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets directly in between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s rays. The darkness that results is a rare occurrence, especially in the Chicagoland area. While solar eclipses happen a few times every year, the path of totality, or total darkness, spreads over less than 1% of the Earth’s surface and only occurs for ...

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Math Moments: Snack Time

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Every day our rituals and routines are packed full of rich opportunities for teachable math moments. In an effort to help make the math that occurs naturally in daily life visible to caregivers, and empower them to capitalize on these moments, we have created a series of short videos to equip you with the tools and language to talk about these moments.

The video we are sharing today challenges you to look at snack time through a different lens and ...

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Math with Shoes!

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Math concepts and skills naturally begin to develop very early in life. In fact, from the very moment they are born. As a result of the interactions they have with trusted adults and their everyday experiences, infants are beginning to formulate ideas about math and are using math concepts to make sense of their worlds. Think about it – the infant who signals that they want more, the toddler that attempts to climb inside a box that ...

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AWEsome Water

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The day has finally arrived! Our new AWEsome Water exhibit is open! Many years of planning and hard work have gone into the dreaming up and creation of this exhibit area. We know that water is naturally alluring and believe that our new exhibit components will stimulate the curiosity of all ages and that natural drive to answer those “what will happen if…” questions that set the stage for a lifetime of engaged learning.

One of the new additions ...

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Splish & Splash to Critical Thinking: Water Play

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If you have been to the Museum in the past few weeks I am sure you have noticed that our water exhibit is under construction. If you come visit in the next few weeks you might be able to catch a sneak peek of the instillation of our new water exhibit, AWEsome Water. Many visitors may be sad to be without water but we promise it will be worth the wait.

Few children can resist the draw to play in water, ...

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