What is Eye Level Literary Award?

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For more than two decades, Daekyo has been discovering new breeds of writers 
and literary talents through the annual Eye Level Literary Award. 
In recent years, the contest’s focus has shifted to uncovering and 
recognizing talented children from around the world.
Eye Level members and non-members are all invited to showcase their creativity 
and take a step closer to their dreams. The contest is held every summer, and the 
global winners are invited to Korea to attend the Awards Ceremony and travel around Seoul.

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WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

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All children between
4 to 9 years of age.

Anyone, including non-Eye Level members,
are invited to participate. Participants
will draw about the topic announced
at the start of registration and describe
the drawing in 50 words or less.

Vocabulary Disparity

How to begin? What word to use? Have you ever struggled to find the right word ? A strong vocabulary starts as early as a preschooler according to recent research.  As reported by Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report 2019, vocabulary disparity begins to appear at 18 months. 1

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Helping preschoolers learn new words can help improve the disparity and establish strong reading skills. Here are 6 ways to build a child’s vocabulary 2:

1.   Visit the Library

Ask the librarian for help if you are not sure where to begin. Attend the fun and engaging activities at your local library. Events at a library are a public service and typically are free.

2.  Teach and Reinforce The Alphabet

Singing the alphabet song is a simple way to get preschoolers engaged in learning. You can use the alphabet to play games such as selecting a word that begins with letters in order of the alphabet.

3.  Use Descriptive Words

Expand on the description of items when talking with your child. Using descriptive words may be beyond your child’s understanding but using them in proper context makes them more comprehensible. Also, try using synonyms with your child to broaden their vocabulary and word choice.

4.   Become a Super Sorter

Label items in your child’s room and sort items into bins. Seeing is learning and can teach children to think logically and build their vocabulary. Another way to learn new words is to help them visualize it - use flashcards or pictures from magazines for this.

5.   Practice Rhymes

Not only is rhyming fun but can help toddlers think about how different words can relate to each other. Reading books such as Dr. Suess can be fun.

 6.   Read Aloud Together

Book time can be quality one-on-one time with your preschooler. Select books that will interest your child and stretch their understanding. Along with reading, engage your child by asking questions and allowing them to ask questions. This will expand vocabulary and also begin to build comprehension skills.

 Expanding your child’s vocabulary is not difficult but it is necessary to help them along the path to reading. Starting early is the key to reduce the disparity of vocabulary for your child. While it does take some planning to attend the library or label/organize your child’s room, the benefits will become apparent as your child begins to incorporate new words into every day conversation.

1 Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report 2019, Omidyar Network, 2019

2 8 Fun Ways to Build a Child’s Vocabulary, Very Well Family, January 2019

Summer is Coming - Get Ready for the Slide

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As the school year comes to an end, students get excited about relaxing, having fun and enjoying the warmer weather. As they hit the playground and run for the slide, their memory and learnings from the school year begin to slide. So how do we prevent “slide” over the summer?

“In their overview of the summer slide, Quinn and Polikoff offer a few key facts:

  • Learning and achievement are perishable. The average student loses a month of academic-calendar learning each summer.

  • The impact of the summer slide contributes to a more pronounced achievement gap.

  • Research has found a link between socioeconomic status and the loss of reading skills experienced over the summer.

  • Studies show older students lose more over the summer than younger ones.

  • Students see greater academic dips in math than in reading.”1

Here are some things that can be done to slow the knowledge “slide”:

Head to the library. Read, read, read… select a book that interests the child. Reading improves English capabilities and increases word knowledge. Reading can be interactive by having discussions with the family – providing summaries or reading together for the younger ones. As writing is being more emphasized in school, a short book summary could be written to keep up the practice.

Keep the communication going. In addition to reading with the child or reviewing books together, communicate with your children. Ask about their day, incorporate items that are being studied – colors, letters, numbers, animals, history, civics, etc. Connect with an instructor or educational coach to provide support.

Complete work over summer. There are many options to get assigned work over summer break. Schools or libraries may supply summer projects. Also many after-school supplemental educational programs offer assignments for summer.

Do work at home. While there are many options to do homework over the summer, utilizing online versions of programs can be very supportive. The more interactive, the more likely children will spend some of their summer break doing online studies at home.

Implementing a strategy can prevent the “slide” of your child’s knowledge over summer. Contact your local Eye Level Center to discuss how their summer programs can help.

 


  1. Ariel Goldberg, 2018,  What Summer Slide Actually Means-and 5 Ways to Fight it

Summer Learning Loss: Hold on to Math

It is broadly known that students lose academic progress over summer break. This is frequently referred to as “summer learning loss” or “summer slide”. While there are significant losses that can be measured, math shows the most loss.

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“As you can see in the graphs, summer learning loss is clearly observed in both math and reading in each summer term between third and eight grade. In the summer following third grade, students lose nearly 20 percent of their school-year gains in reading and 27 percent of their school-year gains in math. By the summer after seventh grade, students lose on average 36 percent of their school-year gains in reading and a whopping 50 percent of their school-year gains in math. In other words, summer learning loss increases with age through elementary and middle school.” 1

Here a few ways to hold on to math over the summer:

·         Discover Math: Math is all around us and together with your child you can have fun discovering math. Count the front doors as you walk around the block, use measuring cups to explore volume while at the beach or pool, watch license plates while on a road trip to play math games, let your imagination run wild as you discover math together.

·         Online Math apps: There are several online apps that can help with math:

o   Math Champ - available for iPads and iPhones, Math Champ is a challenging and innovative gaming app that allows students to test their math skills.

o   Eye Level Math Online – available on any browser, Eye Level Math Online is a fun interactive math game that covers addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

1 Megan Kuhfeld, July 16, 2018  Summer Learning Loss: What We Know and What We’re Learning

2019 Oratacular Winners Announced!

The Eye Level Oratacular is a public speaking competition that aids students in learning and practicing the basics of speech writing and delivery. Each year student’s are given a topic in which they must compose a and deliver a speech on. This year student’s were tasked with speaking about one thing they would change in the world.

We were incredibly impressed by the ideas that many of these student’s posed to impact change. Their speeches were well thought out and organized, and their delivery was nothing short of passionate! Many student’s spoke about global warming and how they wanted to improve the world around us. We were thrilled to see how these student’s were able to think outside of the box and come up with ways to better future generations.

The gold prize winners have qualified to go to the Eye Level Model UN Camp in Korea this August. While there, student’s will take part in an academic simulation of the United Nations, where they will play the role of delegates from different countries and attempt to solve real world issues with the policies and perspectives of their assigned country. Judging based on Daniela, Pranav, Nishanth, and Khevana’s Oratacular speeches, we have no doubt in our minds that they will all come up with impassioned and creative solutions!

The silver prize winners will receive a trophy and a $200 check for their accomplishments!
You can watch all the student’s Oractacular speeches in the 2019 Oratacular playlist.

Congratulations again to all the winners! We are so very proud of each of you and cannot wait to see the extraordinary things you are destined to accomplish in the future.

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More Social Interaction Needed

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In the age of mobile devices and social media, it seems like we are more connected than ever. However, studies have shown that the technology evolutions has caused more seclusion and people withdrawing from real social interaction. In combination with a more diverse population with different backgrounds and cultures this provides good reason to develop strong social skills in children.

·         Self-awareness: Understanding one’s own emotions, goals, values, limitations, strengths, and how they are all interconnected.

·         Self-management: The ability to regulate emotions and behaviors to manage stress and impulses.

·         Social awareness: Empathy and compassion for those who are different, while recognizing social norms in various situations.

·         Relationship skills: The ability to maintain healthy and rewarding relationships by communicating clearly, actively listening, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, resolving conflict and asking for help.

·   Responsible decision making: Learning to make choices by considering ethics, safety, risk, consequences and other people.

It takes role models, mentors, classroom efforts and parent involvement to develop these skills to increase social and emotional behaviors. Parents can lead the effort through community leadership and speaking with schools about incorporating SEL. Schools can be a support but it also takes community – after-school programs, mentorships and getting involved in activities with other children that promote positive social interaction.

1 Edutopia, 2019, Why social and Emotional Learning is Essential for Students

Importance of Sleep

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Every individual needs sleep. The amount of sleep varies from infancy to adult hood. The amount of sleep for school-aged children (ages six to 13) is critical as they are developing and learning.

Children aged six to 13 need 9-11 hours of sleep. After a full day at school, there are additional demands on their time with after school activities, sports, and play time to mention a few. Also, there are additional draws for their attention such as television, computers, internet – all of which can be deterrents to a good night sleep (resisting bedtime, difficulty falling asleep, and sleeping fewer hours).

Sleep problems and disorders are common at this age. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as ADHD and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school.

Signs of not getting enough sleep in school-aged children include:

  1. Mood: Sleep deprivation may cause your school-aged child to be moody, irritable, and cranky. In addition, he may have a difficult time regulating his mood, such as by getting frustrated or upset more easily.

  2. Behavior: School-aged children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have behavior problems, such as noncompliance and hyperactivity.

  3. Cognitive ability: Inadequate sleep may result in problems with attention, memory.

  4. Decision Making: Reaction time, and creativity, all which are important in school.” (2018 Nationwide Sleep Foundation)

There are several things that can be done to help your school-aged child have a better night’s sleep:

  1. Develop a regular sleep schedule: Your child should go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day.

  2. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine: School-aged children continue to benefit from a bedtime routine that is the same every night and includes calm and enjoyable activities.

  3. One-on-one time: Including one-on-one time with a parent is helpful in maintaining communication with your child and having a clear connection every day.

  4. Set up a soothing sleep environment: Make sure your child’s bedroom is comfortable, dark, cool, and quiet. A nightlight is fine; a television is not.

  5. Set limits: If your school-aged child stalls at bedtime, be sure to set clear limits, such as what time lights must be turned off and how many bedtime stories you will read.

  6. Turn off electronics: Television viewing, computer-game playing, internet use, and other stimulating activities at bedtime will cause sleep problems.

  7. Avoid sugar and caffeine: Caffeine can be found in sodas, coffee-based products, iced tea, and many other substances.” (2019 Nationwide Children’s Hospital)

References: Children and Sleep, 2018 National Sleep Foundation; Sleep in School-aged Children,  2019 Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Eye Level CTC Registration is now OPEN!

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WHAT IS THE CRITICAL THINKING CHALLENGE?
The Critical Thinking Challenge is a team competition, open to all individual students, from grades 3 – 6, that promotes the practical application of mathematics, encourages teamwork, builds confidence, and increases learning skills, all while having FUN! 

80% of adults "strongly agree" that K-12 schools should teach critical thinking to students, according to a Gallup poll on American attitudes toward public education. While achievement in the classroom may depend on mastery of content in core subject areas such as math and reading, Gallup says it also "depends on more than knowledge of core content. Critical thinking , creativity, communication, and other soft skills, as well as student physical and social well-being, are also necessary for future success in higher education and in the workplace." (ProCon.org)

HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE CRITICAL THINKING CHALLENGE
- Online Registration at www.criticalthinkingchallenge.com
- Registration period: Feb 1st ~ Mar 17th
- 3rd to 6th Graders in the 2019 Spring Semester
- Registration Fee: None. Online Registration Only

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REGIONAL FINAL ROUND PRIZES:

GRAND PRIZE (1 TEAM PER REGION)
$1,000 USD

2nd PLACE PRIZE (1 TEAM PER REGION)
10" Tablet - one per team member

3rd PLACE PRIZE (1 TEAM PER REGION)
Bluetooth Speaker - one per team member

LUCKY 5'S PRIZE (RAFFLE)
5 x USD $50 Gift cards
(Attendants automatically entered)

Importantance Of Growth Mindset

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Education provides students with the opportunity to learn new things not only academically, but about themselves. One of the aspects that developed overtime was the concept of the growth mindset. Originally develop by psychologist Carol Dweck, the growth mindset enables people to “believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work-brains and talent are just the starting point” (Partnership, 2013). Additionally, “this view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment” (Partnership, 2013). This mindset doesn’t just happen inside the classroom but in the surrounding outside environment.

“Students who embrace growth mindsets—the belief that they can learn more or become smarter if they work hard and persevere—may learn more, learn it more quickly, and view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning and skills” (Partnership, 2013). When reinforced in the classroom and at home, students can continuously grow academically and personally. There are many ways in which parents can emphasize and help build a growth mindset within their children. Some of these ways include:

1.     Embracing Mistakes – Even when students fail at something or may not get to a certain expectation, it is essential to learn the importance of failure. Students learn from the way they complete tasks and determine ways in which they can be altered to get to a different ending. Ideally, students learn from their mistakes when they make it themselves. Students can’t learn when, as parents, we try to teach them what not to do from our own mistakes.

2.     Accepting Challenges – Many students, who may not have a growth mindset, will always tend to accept tasks that are easier, and they know they can complete quickly. Accepting challenges enables them to think outside the box, be creative and even embraces failure. This is their way to learn new things and essentially “grow”.

3.     Asking for Assistance – Sometimes when students are reluctant to ask for help it is because it may show a lack of competency. Many people think that asking for help shows a sign of weakness. On the contrary, asking for help is another sign of learning to grow. Students should neve be afraid to ask questions and ask for help as it shows a sign of curiosity. It also shows a sign of persistence, that they are willing to continuously work hard for what they are trying to accomplish,

4.     Last, but not least, Praise. Praising a child for something they have done well and something that they may have failed in is an important part to the growth mindset. Students see certain things that they do well with but also understand that it is okay to fail. They can learn from those failures and see them as a positive as not a negative. It is important to be specific about what they have done well and provide insight on how or what they may learn from certain experiences. Ultimately, supporting your child will enable them to see that you are always there for them no matter what.

 

 

Partnership, G. S. (2013, May 15). Growth Mindset Definition. Retrieved January 28, 2019, from https://www.edglossary.org/growth-mindset/

2019 Eye Level Oratacular

WHAT IS THE ORATACULAR?

The Eye Level Oratacular is a competition in which members and non-members will learn the process of speech writing and delivery in a fun and motivating environment.

The Oratacular will be held at participating local Eye Level centers. One winner from each center will have the chance to submit a recording of their speech for national judging

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WHO CAN PARTICIPATE

This event is open to all Eye Level members and non-members from 1st through 8th grade. Participants will join the event at a local learning center. Find a center by entering your State HERE.

REGISTRATION

Online Registration: December 3, 2019 – January 20, 2019
Event Date: February 2019 (Date & Time set by each center)
Website: www.oratacular.com
After registering, contact the center to pick up the speech materials and to find out about an in-center workshop.


EVENT PROCESS

AWARDS

One student from each participating Eye Level Learning Center's Oratacular will be selected to submit a video of their speech for national judging. 4 Gold and 8 Silver winners will be awarded for North America. Local prizes will be awarded by the participating center.

  • *All expenses paid for gold winners to attend the camp. No cash value or substitute prizes. 

  • Must be between 3rd & 6th grade to attend Model UN Camp.

  • Gold winners not eligible for camp due to age (not between 3rd & 6th grade) receive $500 USD Award + Trophy

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THANKS TO YOUR PARTICIPATION

For every child that participates in the Oratacular, Eye Level will donate $1 to the National Center for Families Learning.

The National Center for Families Learning works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families. Partnering with educators, literacy advocates, and policymakers, NCFL develops and provides programming, professional development, and resources that empower and raise families to achieve their potential.

STUDENT VIDEOS:





Happy New Year!

Eye Level is much more than a supplemental education company. We are a community of educators who care deeply about the individual growth of our students and their unique successes. We feel honored to have been part of so many children’s success stories, and we look forward to helping many more students reach their goals in the new year.

From all of us at Eye Level, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and a year filled with exciting learning experiences.

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Eye Level Holiday Event

On December 21st, Eye Level Hub celebrated the holiday season with students and local community members.

Children enjoyed live entertainment from face painting elves, a balloon maker, and a magician with a team of magical pets. There were multiple Eye Level math games on hand which allowed kids the opportunity to challenge themselves and win prizes. Carolers entertained the crowd with classic holiday songs and Ol’ Saint Nick made an appearance to take a photos and hand out gifts to every child!

Many members of the community also donated a toy to Toys for Tots and were entered into a Raffle to win a Nintendo Switch! Congratulations to the raffle winners and a big thank you to all those that donated toys!

We wish each of you happy holidays from our family to yours!

Don't Leave Learning Out in the Cold!

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Winter break is a time when families travel, celebrate the holidays and students take time away from their crazy, everyday schedules. Just like with summer break, it is important to continue to involve students in some form of academia to keep their wandering minds engaged. There are many ways to allow students to take a step back from the classroom but still keep their minds active and learning.

Here are some tips to keep your students from facing the brain drain—or brain freeze—of winter break. 

Supplemental Education
Continued work with an enrichment program will allow students to take a break from school but still continue learning and studying. Whether it's taking booklets away on travel or coming to class once or twice a week, students are continuing their education with the simple flexibility of the program. 

Museums and Planetariums
Places like Liberty Science Center in New Jersey or the Field Museum in Chicago, IL are great ways for students to have fun and keep the learning growing. These places not only teach students about science and history but make learning a fun, active process. Attractions such as IMAX movies on planets or nature and displays on the evolution of ancient history bring lessons from their school textbooks to life.

Culinary Work
The learning process is not limited to areas of math, science or reading. Over the winter, students can also focus on learning about things that are all around them. Independence at an early age can be very important. Cooking is a great way for kids to have fun and learn at the same time. Learning about culinary dishes from other countries and locations is an exciting method for students to be exposed to cultures from around the world. They are able to understand and cook different cuisines from countries that they may have an interest in visiting one day or have learned about in the classroom. 

Game Nights
Having game nights with the family can be a lot of fun but also involve learning. Games like Scrabble allow students to continue both spelling and vocabulary practice while involving a bit of friendly competition. Have a little something for the winner so kids have something motivating them as they play. Making a homemade Scrabble board with math pieces can also be a great way to keep students learning as they make their own equations. 

Homemade Experiments
It can be hard for many students to do a lot of experimenting in science class depending on the grades and resources within their schools. Students can make their own volcanos, constellations, or even homemade playdoh. They can even make editable crafts such as ice cream. These are great ways to make learning hands on and fun over the holidays. 

Eye Level Share the Warmth Event

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On December 1st, Eye Level students from around NJ came together to assemble winter care packages for the homeless. Each care package contained a hat, gloves, scarf, socks, hard warmers, water, granola bar, and a sandwich.

We are so proud of each and every child that attended and gave their time and effort for a great cause! This is a prime example of how the Eye Level program builds values and prepares students for the classroom and beyond.

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Eye Level Thanksgiving Food Drive

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In an effort to give back to the community, this year Eye Level partnered with Smile, a local food pantry in NJ to provide essentials to struggling families in time for Thanksgiving. Both Eye level headquarters and local Eye Level centers participated in the collection. Thanks to the efforts of the collective Eye Level family, nearly 100 lbs of food was donated to the Smile pantry along with diapers for families with babies. We are very proud of each student that donated and commend them for willingness to give back to the community!

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Importance of Learning During the Holiday Breaks

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During the winter holiday break, many students and parents take the opportunity to step back from their crazy schedules and focus on their families and being able to enjoy each other’s company. Just like with summer break, it is essential to continue to involve students with different aspects of academia to keep their wondering minds ahead of the game. It is important to stick to routines such a student’s bedtime and daily responsibilities. Being able to stick to the daily routines helps alleviate any difficulties when students return to school in the new year.

There are many ways where students can take a step back from the classroom but still do a tremendous amount of learning within the household. Taking a bit of time each day to read aloud to your child or have them read independently provides students with ways to increase learning, specifically in the comprehension and vocabulary area. This time also enables parents and children to spend quality time together. These learning moments enable parents to connect the home environment to the classroom. Reading and analyzing texts that are grade level or above provide students with deeper understanding of text.

There are other resources outside of the household where students can learn and challenge themselves over the break. Some of these resources include supplemental education, museums or planetariums, and workshops geared towards students. Enrichment programs provide students with challenging yet simplified subjects areas and museums or planetariums making learning fun and hands-on. Museums not only teach students about science and history but make learning a fun, hands on process. Students are involved with aspects such as IMAX movies on planets and nature and look at the evolution of ancient history, bringing those history textbooks to life.

For students to want to learn, you want to make learning fun. Students should take initiative rather then feeling like they must do something because they are being told to do so. Get involved in the learning process with your children. Just as brain drain could happen over the long summer months, it can also happen throughout the winter break. Focus in on what students enjoy doing and make it a fun experience with the ability to learn new things. Sign your children up for culinary classes, technology workshops or different crafting opportunities. Take them to the zoo or aquarium and allow them to experience learning all about the animals and nature all around us. Remember, for learning to be effective, it must be fun.

Halloween Math Coloring Activity

Parents, here is a fun yet educational Halloween activity that keeps kids entertained while still practicing their math skills! Print the below coloring sheets and have your kids solve the math problems at the bottom of the coloring page to determine what colors should be used to complete each coloring sheet.

Download the coloring sheets HERE!

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Middle States Accreditation Announcement

Eye Level Learning has recently received the honor of receiving Middle States Accreditation.

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We are pleased to have earned accreditation by the Middle States Association and to share in our success with the greater Eye Level Learning community, specifically the teachers, parents and students who worked so hard to make this possible.

Accreditation is an evaluation process that schools and educational institutions undergo to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of performance standards.

The accreditation process examines schools in a holistic way, supplementing student testing data and providing a more complete measure of a school’s performance,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. “School leaders, teachers and parents are to be commended for working together to create a concrete plan focused on providing high quality education for all students.