With the complications that have come from COVID-19 including online and hybrid teaching and the different achievement levels of students being even more of a factor, tools that can offer some assistance to teachers are in more demand than ever. Playdough to Plato and The Stem Laboratory both have multiple options that offer an enormous collection of resources for Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers.

Both Playdough to Plato and The Stem Laboratory websites were started by a teacher who began teaching 2003 and “fell instantly smitten with students’ magical lightbulb moments.”

Malia earned her National Board Teaching Certification and then a Master’s from Stanford University. During a year-long maternity leave she was missing the classroom and started sharing the games she was playing with her preschooler on my blog called Playdough to Plato. The blog quickly grew and she began hearing from teachers around the world who wanted to help students make more progress with less planning time.

So she started designing teaching tools and training to help teachers do just that through Playdough to Plato and The Stem Laboratory – both of which feature some free resources as well as different levels of resource access, support and training. There’s also a community aspect to them where educators can engage with each other and share additional ideas. Playdough to Plato focuses more on reading literacy, while The Stem Laboratory features resources designed to help students master science and math as it relates to solving real world problems and understanding how the world works through critical thinking and hands-on activities.

The blogs on each website – Playdough to Plato and The Stem Laboratory, offer free ideas and downloadable activities, with good descriptions of how they are addressing related concepts in easily taught and remembered ways.

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