It has been such a joy to work with Head Start teacher Rania and her preschoolers on the Next Generation Preschool apps over the last two years! Here’s a short video from our last visit of the school year (thanks to a third party app called Magisto!):
We’re sad to see some of our young friends graduate from preschool, but excited for what their lives will bring! Good luck, and many thanks to Head Start, Rania, and her class!!
Melisa Perez is an incredible teacher. From her, we’ve learned so much. She and her classroom children (along with 52 other teachers and over 300 additional children) worked with us to create the Early Math with Gracie & Friends apps and curriculum.
In our work with teachers like Melisa, we ask them to stretch beyond what they typically teach, and we support teachers by providing rich professional development and resources like our Teacher’s Guide. We also listen closely to teachers like Melisa so we can design our materials (including our apps and teacher support materials) in a way that real teachers find useful in real classrooms.
Many of the teaching strategies and words that Melisa used in her classroom are now part of the delicate scaffolding and audio feedback in the Early Math with Gracie & Friends apps. Many of her approaches with our hands-on activities helped shape the curriculum. We have been blessed to have her as part of the team!
To our delight, Melisa shared with us a little insight into how the Gracie & Friends apps and curriculum have also helped her.
That’s true partnership. That’s public media at its heart. That’s what makes First 8 Studios at WGBH.
We’ve spent the past year scouring the market for the best educational apps for preschoolers. We even took these apps into our preschool partner sites to test with kids. Our conclusion? Working hand-in-hand with preschool children and preschool teachers (in addition to child development and early learning experts) makes all the difference in the effectiveness of the app — both in terms of learning and fun.
That’s what the Next Generation Preschool Math project is all about. But don’t just take it from us – we asked Little Sprouts what they thought, and their responses warmed our app-building, educational-technology-loving hearts.