The Learning Professor Blog

To Trace or Not to Trace?

By Dr. Jenni Jacobs | February 12, 2020

Of all the topics about preschool literacy that I teach, the most hotly debated among teachers is that of tracing. A simple google search on preschool writing or curriculum ideas will no doubt result in some form of tracing. In fact, even some handwriting curricula encourage the practice. Whenever I introduce the idea of no […]

Language Matters When it Comes to Shame

By Dr. Jenni Jacobs | October 8, 2019

Recently I’ve joined several parenting (mom) Facebook groups online to get a sense of some of the topics that parents are struggling with. It’s supposed to be a place of support, where mothers can ask questions without fear of judgment. I have found it is quite far from that. I think I naively assumed that […]

Spoiling Babies???

By Dr. Jenni Jacobs | October 1, 2019

A friend of mine has a 7 month old infant in a group care setting. She came over with him the other day and told me that the day care had asked her not to hold him so much on the weekends because she was spoiling him. Apparently he was expecting the teachers to hold […]

The Process of Art: What Do I Say?

By Jacki Leader | September 29, 2019

Guest Blog by Jacki Leader “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou Our field has come a long way in what we consider art for young children. In the past, the art tended to be cookie cutter models, with each child’s art project looking near identical […]

Up or Down the Slide?

By Jacki Leader | March 1, 2019

Guest Blog by Jacki Leader Every time I am at a playground, whether it be at a school or in a community park, an interesting phenomenon occurs. Children of all ages try to climb up the slides.  If we stop and reflect on this phenomenon it makes sense.  There is a sense of thrill and […]

Goodness of Fit – Do we really practice it?

By Dr. Jenni Jacobs | October 26, 2018

As I prepare to teach a temperament class today at a conference, I’ve been reflecting on the topic of temperament. As I thought about the 9 different temperament traits I became very aware that the importance in knowing about these traits isn’t actually in the traits themselves, but rather in knowing how to approach, accommodate, […]

The Problem with Behavior Charts

By Dr. Jenni Jacobs | October 19, 2018

I recently taught a class in which we engaged in a discussion about the use of behavior charts in the classroom. These come in all different varieties….from forms sent home with parents to charts on the wall to flipping cards to those infamous stop light systems. Do these types of things really work? And are […]

Engaging Students in Physical Science

By Dr. Jenni Jacobs | October 8, 2018

Physical science is one of the three content items in science. (The other two are life science and earth & space science). Physical science deals with the properties of materials and objects. This includes things we can observe, such as height, weight, color, and transparency, but it also includes how objects respond in different situations. […]

Teaching to the Brain

By Dr. Jenni Jacobs | September 20, 2018

We’ve all heard of teaching to the test, and we all know that this strategy has no long-term success for children’s learning. Instead, I suggest “teaching to the brain”….using what we know about how the brain develops to influence what we do in our classrooms. During the first five years of life, the brain develops […]

preschooler completing a worksheet

The Problem with Worksheets

By Dr. Jenni Jacobs | September 3, 2018

You never want to get on a plane where the pilot learned to fly from worksheets. ~ Todd Whitaker I was teaching a class recently, and I noticed a common theme…as much as teachers have heard that worksheets are not appropriate they just seem to have a hard time letting go of them. I think […]