CrossFit for Kids



We are excited launch our CrossFit for Kids program with Coach Clarissa from Stability CrossFit this week. The goal of our CrossFit for Kids program is to introduce kids to CrossFit concepts within a play-based environment that teaches the basics of functional movement, develops motor skills and helps them to think of exercise as being FUN! The classes will be held in the Kiva or the nature playground. 

It's Community Service Week at The New E3 School!

Classroom 1, (three & four-year-old classroom) chose to focus their Community Service Week activities around learning what firemen and police officers do for our community.  Some friends even dressed up to celebrate.  They worked together on an art project to give to our local police officers to say "Thank You" for protecting our community!


Classroom 6, (two-year-old classroom) chose to focus their Community Service Week activities around caring for animals.  While flexing their creative muscles pretending to care for pets in the classroom and decorating boxes for donations and honing their empathy skills, the class collected pet food to donate to Winston Wishes, a Hampton Roads charity that helps pet owners living in the Hampton Roads Area during times of need with pet food and supplies. Winston The Cat himself came into the classroom to accept the donations and meet the kids! 


Classroom 8, (one-year-old classroom) focused on sharing, books and reading for Community Service Week.  They asked all The New E3 School families to donate used books and have created a community library in our Kiva for all of our classrooms to use.  The children helped set up the new library and had story time there to celebrate a job well done!


Professional Development (PD Day) was Yesterday! 

What a great way to start the day! The morning began with Angela Phillips from Angela Phillips Yoga Studio guiding teachers through yoga poses and helping them to bring yoga into each classroom. Namaste! 

Then our entire team was hard at work on PD Day! Kate Matthews with UVA CASTL was in town to focus on the core skill of think & how to emphasize hard work & effort with children. Check out these photos as our teachers collaborated in large and small group activities. 

And yes, those are real worms. Learning should be messy, slimy and fun. The worms were the prop for teachers to think about how to ask open-ended questions, help children predict, explore and guide children’s learning as they delve deeper into an activity and focus on a core skill. 

It reminds us all that it is important to recognize effort, perseverance and hard work in everything our children do from art, building with blocks, learning to ride a bike and playing sports. Hard work always pays off in the long run!

 Lisa Howard, President & CEO

Lisa Howard, President & CEO

The New E3 School Parent's Night February 2018


What an amazing turnout at our inaugural Parent’s Night about two weeks ago! We all know how challenging it is when you have young children to get out a-n-y night of the week, but especially on a cold, dreary and rainy Tuesday evening. That did not stop our families!

It was a packed house of parents listening, asking thoughtful questions and engaging with Dr. Amanda Williford with UVA CASTL, teachers and the leadership team. Dr. Williford walked parents through the STREAMin3 curriculum developed by UVA CASTL and implemented at our school.

STREAMin3 Handout

Our families walked away with a greater understanding of the five core & STREAM skills, on-site coaching and professional development model for our teachers and what it truly means to be ready for kindergarten. And Dr. Williford shared the Family Core Skill cards that support the same skills that the teachers are focused on in the classroom that week and ways to support and develop that skill at home in a fun and engaging way.

At the end of the evening, Dr. Williford shared the results of the K-Readiness Report (Spring 2017) in terms of the quality of classroom interactions and K-readiness skills. As you know, the children in the four-year-old classroom’s readiness to enter kindergarten was assessed in literacy, math, social skills and self-regulation. When compared to kindergarten-entry benchmarks the results show that children at our school met or exceeded benchmarks for math, literacy, and self-regulation. Some four-year-old children did not meet the benchmark for social skills (sharing, expressing their needs and wants positively, taking turns and complying with adult directions). This aligns with the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program statewide data in terms of children needing additional help in the domain of social skills in  participating school divisions.


"When compared to kindergarten-entry benchmarks the results show that children at our school met or exceeded benchmarks for math, literacy, and self-regulation."

(University of Virginia Center for Advanced Teaching and Learning, K Readiness Report for The New E3 School, 2017)


Research tells us that teacher-child interactions are one of the strongest predictors of children being ready for kindergarten and a critical component to high quality classrooms. The CLASS is an observational tool used nationally that measures the quality of teacher-child interactions across critical learning domains of teaching that are linked to student achievement and development (emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support). The CLASS scores provide evidence that teachers at TNE3S are engaged in high-quality, supportive interactions with children. When compared to other well-regarded programs in other states (Boston’s or Georgia's pre-k programs), the scores at The New E3 School are the same or higher.

The data collected in 2017 helped to inform the teaching and learning at our school and the final development phase of the UVA CASTL curriculum package (high-quality curriculum, coaching, professional development and the ongoing progress monitoring of teachers and children).

The New E3 School is a special and whimsical place where our children are developing a love of learning, playing, building upon their interests and experiences, asking questions, solving problems, working in teams, talking, thinking and creating. And none of this would be possible without a strong partnership between our school leadership, teachers and families.

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With Gratitude,

 Lisa Howard, President & CEO

Lisa Howard, President & CEO

STREAMin3 Curriculum



At The New E3 School, our classrooms are filled with children exploring, experimenting and engaging in daily STREAM activities and core skills.

The components of the curriculum focus on: children’s interests & experiences, active engagement & experiences, play & fun, problem solving and curiosity.






CORE skills:

Relate-with peers and adults

Regulate- their emotions, attention and behavior

Think- deeply about the world around them

Communicate- with others productively

Move- their bodies to achieve goals

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S.T.R.E.A.M. Skills:

Science-scientific method, understand natural and physical world

Technology- using tools to create, explore and innovate

Reading- book understanding, alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, print concepts, early writing

Engineering- understand how and why things work

Art- creating, expressing, and imagining through a variety of mediums

Math- number sense, geometry, spatial relations, patterns, measurement

Posted on February 22, 2018 .

The New E3 School Turns 3!


Happy 3rd Birthday to The New E3 School(TNE3S)! Today marks the third birthday of our school. This has been a vision in the making for the last five years or so. Our school opened its doors in 2015 with nine children by design and we have almost reached capacity.

Time and time again, I am asked why TNE3S was created. Our prototype model school was created to begin to answer the question of what works in helping children be ready for kindergarten and show that when children have a high quality early education experience they enter kindergarten ready and that investment pays off when the same infusion of high quality occurs in kindergarten through third grade. Our goal is to show that high quality early education narrows the achievement and readiness gaps in a socioeconomic diverse model. It was designed to be a cost-sustainable and replicable model so that everything that is happening inside the building could happen in any early childhood program.


We teamed up with UVA’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning (CASTL) to develop the recipe for high quality. All too often, you hear the phrase high quality early education thrown around; however, there hasn’t been a clear and simple definition of what that means and what that should look like for our children. And let me be clear that recipe must ensure that children are learning by doing and through play in a way that develops a love of learning and natural curiosity for the world around them. That recipe must also include equipping teachers with the tools they need to be effective in the classroom.

Our approach is to have intentional and integrated teaching and learning. How? The STREAMin3 curriculum developed at the UVA CASTL is designed using the latest developmental and early education research. The STREAM: Integrated. Intentional. Interactions. Curriculum focuses on 5 core skills that form the building blocks for later learning and 6 STREAM skills to prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond. All components focus on:

·         Children’s interest

·         Active engagement & experiences

·         Fun & play

·         Problem-solving & curiosity

This model includes: curriculum, coaching to implement the model and in-person, on-site professional development for the teachers and progress monitoring assessments.


We could not have a high quality early education demonstration model school without our highly skilled early educators! We are thankful for our teachers and staff who work tirelessly to help our children grow, develop and thrive. There is a partnership between teachers, staff and families to build a strong foundation for academic and life success for every child.

From the day we opened our doors, we have had an all-star team comprised of our board of trustees, school leaders, parents, teachers, coaches, licensing specialists, yoga teacher and UVA CASTL researchers. Together, we set out to show what an elevated early education program should look like for all children regardless of their zip code and define the features of an excellent high quality early education program.


Stay tuned! Over the next few weeks, we will unveil our STREAMin3 curriculum, professional development and coaching model and the k-readiness results.

We look forward to another year impacting the children in our region, state and beyond. What we are doing at TNE3S is influencing early childhood research and practice. Thank you for being a part of this important work.

With gratitude,

Lisa Howard

President & CEO

E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Posted on February 2, 2018 .

Indoor Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers!

While we wait for the snow and ice to melt, here are a few activities to keep your child entertained!

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Paper Plate Ring Toss

Materials needed:

  • paper plates
  • paint
  • scissors
  • long cardboard tube (from paper towels, etc)
  • tape

For the rings: Cut the middle out of the plates & decorate using paint.

For the stand: Cut slits in the bottom of the tube, flatten and tape to the reverse side of a plate.

Thanks to A Little Learning For Two for the fun idea!


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Paint the snow

Materials needed:

  • A plastic bin
  • Water & food coloring
  • Paint brush
  • Snow

Fill a bin with snow, mix small containers of water and food coloring and let the play begin!

For more indoor snow play activities, visit A Jeweled Rose.





Sticker Names

Materials needed:

  • Stickers
  • Construction paper
  • Marker

Grab a piece of paper and write your child's name on it. The goal: Cover the letters with stickers!

Head over to Busy Toddler for more activities!

Posted on January 8, 2018 .

Winter themed activities to do indoors!

With winter weather in the forecast this week, we've compiled a list of activities and crafts to do indoors! 




Make a snowman!

The snowman is easy to craft from a plastic bottle. Kids enjoy filling the snowman with snow and attaching eyes, nose, mouth, and accessories. For instructions, visit








Snowflake painting!

Materials needed:

  • Painter's tape
  • Canvas
  • Paint & a paint brush

Visit for more!








Mitten Math Snowflake Counting!

Materials needed:

  • Foam mittens
  • Foam snowflake stickers
  • Permanent marker
  • Tray

To prepare mitten math, count out five to ten craft foam mittens and write numerals on the bottom using a permanent marker. Then count out enough foam snowflake stickers for each mitten. Arrange the foam mittens and snowflake stickers in a tray as an easy invitation to play. for more!

Posted on January 2, 2018 .

Small Children Have Big Feelings

Be a “feelings detective”

Parents and caregivers can learn a lot about their child by watching them from birth. What makes them anxious? How often do they get hungry? Are they fussier when they’re tired? It helps to learn your child’s patterns, and to imagine what they might be feeling. In a challenging situation, you might try asking yourself, “What else could be going on here?” This can help you respond calmly and consistently to their needs. Small children have big feelings.

Be kind to yourself

It’s easier to be loving and patient when a child is smiling and playing than when they’re crying or being demanding. But difficult behaviors are a typical part of early childhood, and it’s natural for parents to have all kinds of feelings about these challenges. Respect your feelings, make sure your child is safe, and let yourself take a break if you need to regain your cool. When you can calm yourself during challenging times, you’re letting your baby know they can rely on you to help them manage their own emotions.

Build a toolbox together

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As your child develops, you can teach them to recognize their feelings by naming them, such as “It’s frustrating when you can’t get what you want”, or “It can get so boring when you have to wait”. You can also help them identify simple choices they can make to feel better, such as “Let’s wait our turn by playing with these blocks instead”, or “Let’s sing a song while we wait”. Offering alternatives helps them learn to express themselves in better ways that will serve them throughout life.

Read more from Talking is Teaching.

School Success Starts at Home

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Parents who play with their kids and provide learning materials like books and craft supplies help ensure that their kids get started on the right foot.

Watch the video below for more from Child Trends on school success starting at home.

Posted on December 7, 2017 .

The Arts: Reducing Stress in Children

A new study from Child Trends explains that selecting a preschool that incorporates art, music and dance into it's curriculum helps reduce stress levels in children. 

Watch the video below to hear from children who have participated in these programs and to learn more from the researchers behind this study.

Posted on November 6, 2017 .

Year-round Outdoor Play Can Boost Kids' Performance in School

Spending free time outside can particularly benefit a child’s development when pursued year-round.


Outdoor play in childhood is associated with many soft skills that are important for school success, such as executive functioningExecutive functioning is defined as a set of mental processes that enable us to plan, prioritize, focus attention, filter distractions, and more. These skills are important assets for learning in preschool, elementary school, and beyond.

A recent study from Norway looked at the associations between time spent outdoors during child care and executive functioning. Among children ages 4 through 7, those who spent more time outside during child care performed better on an executive function assessment and showed fewer inattention-hyperactivity symptoms. Further, numerous studies have found that playful engagement with nature in kids under age 12 was linked with improved mental health and emotional regulation.

Read more from

The Foundations of Reading: Talking is Teaching

I was recently on an airplane watching a Dad traveling with his baby daughter, who was probably just about a year old. The plane we were on was having mechanical difficulty that caused it to remain on the tarmac for nearly an hour before take-off, no short amount of time for such a young child. Although this Dad certainly had his hands full, he did a great job of keeping his daughter entertained. And though there were a book and a few toys on hand, at the center of the entertainment was a conversation. When Daddy was face to face with baby - singing a song or reading a book or just commenting on what a pretty girl he had, all was well. When Daddy stopped talking, baby's attention began to drift. The conversation was the engagement.

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Over the hour that we waited on the tarmac, I took the opportunity to do a bit of reading myself and stumbled upon a blog, A Little More Conversation: Language and Communication Skills That Make All of the Difference for Kindergarten ( The author, Devin Walsh, is a kindergarten teacher in Mississippi and she opined on the importance of conversing with children to develop the language skills that serve as the foundations for literacy as kids enter school. The truth of Ms. Walsh's thinking was being aptly demonstrated in the row immediately in front of me.

The importance of regular conversations in developing language is abundantly clear in the research. Kids who are regularly engaged in meaningful conversations have larger vocabularies, as well as better social skills. It's language that provides the links that connect us. For those who lack that early exposure, the consequences are deep and lasting and are inextricably tied to the ability to learn to read.    

As I continued on my journey, my next flight was also populated with a fair number of children. A Mom with 2 young boys, probably about 2 and 3 years old, next came to my attention. They boarded the plane fairly late, apparently as the result of a connecting flight that had been delayed. The exasperation on the part of Mom was palpable and as the rambunctious little boys began debating who would get the window seat, out came the electronics. Mom's phone and her iPad came out of her purse and the boys quickly settled in to their games. I could see the games that involved colorful letters and shapes jumping off the screens at the kids. They were certainly happily engaged, being exposed to educational content, and pretty much speechless for the duration of the hour-long flight.

There are many ways that we can teach our kids and technology is certainly a valuable tool. That said, I believe Devin Walsh got it right when she pointed to the need for "a little more conversation." As parents, we all need a break some times and technology can fill a void but it cannot replace a conversation with the most important person in your life. So, the next time you have some time with your children, please sing them a song, or read them a book or tell them how lucky you are to have them. Not only will you be better connected for it, they'll be better readers.                                       

Judy Jankowski, Ed. D.                                            

Posted on September 18, 2017 .

Yoga Bug: Simple Poses for Little Ones


Learning to love and accept our bodies, building lifelong attention, and self-soothing when distressed—when it comes to the benefits of yoga, you can’t get started too early.

Sarah Jane Hinder has introduced a new yoga board book: Yoga Bug: Simple Poses for Little Ones.

For infants to four-year-olds, this delightfully illustrated book guides young people and their caregivers through ten simple and authentic poses (named after insects) that will benefit children for a lifetime. 

Check out the Yoga Bug video below! 



Posted on August 29, 2017 .

Learning Through Sensory Play!

Materials: Shaving cream & Cookie Sheet

1. Let your child draw, make letters and words in the shaving cream.

2. Help them sound out the words as they write them.

3. This can also be a fun bath time activity!



Lisa Howard, President & CEO

Posted on August 8, 2017 .

Clothespin Match-Up

 Photo credit: A Spoonful of Learning

Photo credit: A Spoonful of Learning

UVA curriculum activity to do at home!

Materials: Clothespin (wooden), index cards with numbers 1-10 written on them

1. Have your child put the number of clothespins on the number card (example: card has a "4" on it, child puts four clothespins around the card).

2. Ask the child to do that for each card & count aloud as the clothespins are attached.

3. Remove the clothespins and start again.

Variation: write letters on the clothespin & match up the letters to the word.

What: Builds fine motor skills.


Lisa Howard, President & CEO

Behind Every Child Behavior, There Is A Feeling

Learning about your child’s development

Here are some basic age-appropriate ways that you can support your child’s feelings:

Birth to 9 months old

  • Talk, read, and sing to your baby. By holding, cuddling, singing and talking to your baby every day during daily routines, you provide the nurturing their growing brains need. And your baby needs your loving touch and soothing words just as much when they’re fussy to help them feel special. A bonus is that these bonding moments help you feel better, too.
  • Help your child transition to a new caregiver. A favorite toy, stuffed animal or blanket can help comfort your baby in unfamiliar situations. Also, be aware of your own response to a new caregiver when your baby is present; your baby can notice concern in your facial expressions and body language even when they are very young.

9 months to 18 months old

  • Be an emotional role model. Even at a young age, your baby learns by watching you. Taking a deep breath during stressful situations, expressing joy when you’re happy, and letting your child know that you love them helps them learn how to behave with others.
  • Be aware of developmental stages. Though your baby is becoming a toddler, they’re still not capable of doing things that older children can do, like sharing toys or playing one-on- one with other children. The more you know about what your child is capable of at a certain age, the more prepared you’ll be for the times when they need a little more help to get along with others.

18 months to 24 months

  • Talk about feelings. As your child learns new words, ask your child to think about how they’re feeling, and offer words to help them express difficult emotions.
  • Help your child develop appropriate responses. Young toddlers need guidance to understand the appropriate ways to behave when they’re angry, disappointed or frustrated. You can help them by hugging them, telling a story, singing a song, or giving them a favorite toy or blanket so they can self-soothe.

24 months to 36 months

  • Offer choices. Older toddlers typically want to feel some control over their environment. Let them decide how they will accomplish tasks, or offer simple “either/or” choices. Simple choices can reduce conflicts and help your child learn to communicate their needs and wants using words.
  • Praise good behavior. Be specific about what they did right, and how that made you feel.

Read more from Talking Is Teaching.

Posted on June 14, 2017 .

What Does Serve & Return Look Like in Early Childhood?

How do you build a child’s brain? Well, one of the most promising approaches might remind you of a game of tennis or playing ping pong. Research tells us that the interaction between children and adults matter. When an infant or young child babbles, coos, talks or cries and an adult reacts with a positive response, a healthy brain is developed.

A baby cries………… the adult responds with a touch, holding or a hug.

A child motions or gestures..…………. the adult responds with eye contact and their own motion or gesture. 

A baby babbles………… the adult responds with words and talks back to the baby.

A child drops an object……… the adult picks it up.

A baby picks up a book………. The adult looks at the book and reads it aloud.

A child points at a picture in a book……… the adult talks about the picture and points to the same picture while describing the illustration. 

A healthy brain is developed when there is a responsive relationship with the adults in a young child’s life.

If responsive caregiving is not present, the brain does not develop as expected, which may cause difficulties in learning and behavior.

 Lisa Howard

President & CEO





Posted on May 30, 2017 .