Innovative Products Designed to Prepare Children for Academic Success
Hatch’s product development approach is to bring together the research basis for a powerful set of innovative products designed to prepare children to be ready and successful in school. Here we present the research that comprehensively defines “high quality” early childhood education programs with a focus on positive outcomes for young children in the area of school readiness. From this research, Hatch has culled a solid set of multi-dimensional and interconnected design principles on which the Hatch Innovative Product line is built. Hatch is pleased to both use and promote this process.
>Read our complete research basis (Download PDF)
Setting the Stage: Research Basis for How Young Children Learn
While physical, social/emotional, and cognitive functioning make up the three primary developmental domains, educators know these are interrelated in complex ways. Due to this, all the domains need attention because each influences the other. One good example is that children’s early experiences are linked to their impulse management and social skills. When a child has self-regulation and can relate well to others, he or she can more fully benefit from an educational setting. This can then allow for growth in the cognitive domain. Research shows that understanding and attending to such links between domains is needed for high quality learning and development.
The landmark report “Eager to Learn: Educating our Preschoolers” highlights that young children are better able to learn than current practices sometimes allow. A high-quality early education experience means including more academic areas such as letters and counting, as well as helping to build traits like being inquisitive, persistent, and independent. It is possible to motivate young children to learn concepts on their level by building on their natural eagerness to learn. Combining child-directed discovery along with direct teacher instruction on basic pre-academic skills such as vocabulary, language, and math supports the most effective learning for young children.
Learning occurs best in a supportive social context. Cognitive readiness can be achieved in ways that support the whole child. Teacher’s scaffolding needs to adjust and adapt to child’s competencies. Play supports all domains of children’s learning. Overall, being “multi-faceted” is the new role of the preschool teacher. Teachers become organizers of the environment, facilitators, managers, and scribes for children as they play and explore with materials and activities. While doing so, the child-directed learning will add to the teacher-directed activities. This leads to a successful balance for optimal learning. >Read More
Educational and Instructional Technology
It is well established that young children need a strong focus on cognitive development along with attention to their social/emotional development to reach their maximum developmental potential and technology can play a key role. Experts confirm that preschool and kindergarten age children are developmentally ready and able to benefit from instruction with technology and it is now known to have a major, positive impact on the social, emotional, language, and cognitive development.
It is recommended that many opportunities be given during the preschool years for exploration using technology tools in a playful, supportive environment. Researchers further agree that a number of technology applications have the potential to support and extend learning in the young child through their unique capability to provide excellent instruction in these important developmental areas that are critical for educational success. For example, research has found that preschoolers, who used computers with supporting activities for key learning goals, had more gains than children without computer experiences. Among others, these included gains in knowledge, long-term memory, verbal skills, problem solving, and manual dexterity
A set of studies with low-income children found those who received a computer curriculum had increases in cognitive, motor, and language scores compared to similar children in a regular curriculum. Recent research published in the journal Pediatrics also found that young children who had access to a computer compared to those who did not, performed better on measures of cognitive development and school readiness.
>Read our complete research basis (Download PDF)
The Power of Computers to Teach. Computers constitute environments that support teaching and learning by providing effective, supportive experiences. Effective computer software can guide its development, including:
- Actions and graphics should provide a meaningful context for children
- Attention should be given to reading level, attention span, clear instructions, and simple choice
- After adult support, children should be able to use the software independently
- There should be multiple opportunities for success
- Feedback should be informative
- Children should be in control
- Software should allow children to create, program, or invent new activities.
Using the Hatch Technology Products to Help Children Achieve Critical Outcomes
For over 20 years, Hatch has been the leading provider of developmentally appropriate technology solutions for early childhood classrooms across the country. Solutions are available for Toddlers through School Age groups, helping them build a strong foundation for future success in school.
Build a Foundation for Reading, Language & Literacy
Alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness and writing are the strongest, most enduring predictors and precursors to later literacy achievement. Building a strong foundation in these key literacy and language areas in addition to print awareness and rapid automatic naming of letters, digits, objects and colors, sets the stage for a child’s future ability to read. Skill family activities across all Hatch Technology and products capture the essence of these findings and best instructional practices by focusing on:
- Initial Sounds
- Onset rime
- Blending and segmenting compound words
- Blending and segmenting sentences
- Letters of the Alphabet
Enhancing Mathematical Concepts
The National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council published a landmark study in 2009 that showed that well before first grade, children can learn the ideas that support later, more complex mathematics understanding. Math experiences in early childhood settings should concentrate on number relations (which includes whole number, operations, and relations), geometry, spatial relations, and measurement. Hatch Technology and curriculum materials focus on:
- Counting Foundations
- Spatial Thinking
- Numeral Recognition
- Objects in a Set, Adding/Subtracting in a Set
- Common Shapes
In addition to supporting cognitive development, Hatch products support the development of important social/emotional school readiness skills such as cooperative play, self-regulation, turn-taking and problem solving. These skills are important to a child’s cognitive growth, impacting self-perception and peer relationship. Our products focus on:
- Emotional Control
- Behavior Control
- Control of Attention
- Social Competence
Our products our founded on well renowned research studies and national standards, such as:
- National Early Literacy Panel Report, Developing Early Literacy, 2008
- National Research Council Math Report, Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood, 2009
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards
- Head Start Child Outcomes 1993 and Head Start Act 2007
- Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS Observation Scale), 2008