Strategies for engaging preschool students

“Minds like sponges” – New class will teach early childhood learning tips

Nov. 12, 2020 – A child’s mind is like a sponge, says DCPS educator Sonya McSwain, and the earlier they begin soaking in math and literacy skills, the better. 

It’s why McSwain, the district’s director of Early Childhood Learning, believes parents of pre-school aged children should listen to today’s virtual course on “Strategies for Engaging Preschool Students in Literacy and Math Activities at Home.” 

“The parent is the child’s first teacher,” said McSwain. “This course is a really good way to help them merge what their children will be learning in school and reinforce those skills at home. This is all in an effort to ensure these 3- and 4-year-old babies are ready to successfully transition to kindergarten.” 

The virtual course is at 6 p.m. today and is offered through the district’s Parent Academy. Registration info is available here

Some of the strategies that will be discussed include:  

  • Turning abstract concepts (counting to five) into concrete activities (asking your child to select five different objects from the pantry). This helps children learn to “subitize” which means to understand quantity without having to count.  
  • When reading, point out the difference between letters and words, between capital letters and lower-case letters, and between punctuation marks like periods, question marks and commas. 
  • Using real activities such as cooking, baking, telling temperature, and sorting money to show how learning mathematical concepts is helpful in real life. 

Unable to watch the course today? Don’t worry. Today’s virtual class will be recorded and available after the session on the Parent Academy website. 

Visit to see other upcoming courses as well as a YouTube library of on-demand virtual courses

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