Celebrating Halloween with Ideas from Our Teachers


This week, we want to share some great ideas for celebrating Halloween from teachers following us on Instagram.

@firstgradedualadventures shared a great idea to engage students with six Halloween stations, creating awesome and fun art projects. 

@kristinbertie shared a great way to motivate students about writing.

Who doesn’t love pumpkin carving? You can see how engaged these students are in this art project. @mrs.giannotti

Do you want to surprise your students this Halloween? Look at this cute idea from @primaryplayground

Your students are going to love this idea! Monster traps. @prideandjoyinprimary

Take a look at this creative idea from @pnetherly for decorating pumpkins. 

This how we celebrate Halloween at Genius Plaza:

A song about safety tips for trick-or-treating.


Play song

An eBook about the origins of the Halloween.

Read eBook

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The Importance of the Arts in STEAM

During a recent conversation with an executive from a tech firm, he asked why we were focused on “STEAM” rather than “STEM.” Genius Plaza has long been a champion for the arts – the “A” in STEAM. That is why this recent post by Jennifer Brown caught my attention. She points to a recent piece by Tom Perrault titled “Digital Companies Need More Liberal Arts Majors,” in which the author states, “There will be a limit to how far computers can replace human capabilities, at least in the near long term.”


The Arts as a Focus in 2017


This year there seems to be many more thought pieces and articles on this topic. Earlier this summer, in the piece titled “People Like Condi Rice and Albert Einstein Show Why We Need the Arts”, Tim Kaine points to a paper by Dr. Robert Root Bernstein from 2008 which found that, “Nobel Laureates in sciences are twenty-two times more likely than the average scientist to sing, dance, act, or perform in some way; seven times more likely to be a visual artist; and twelve times more likely to write poetry and literature.”

Albert Einstein


Additionally, this week in Education Drive, there was a feature about how Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland is incorporating the arts into their STEM efforts. Bravo!


Preparing the Future Generation of Geniuses



At Genius Plaza, this is music to our ears. You see, for our founder and CEO, Ana Roca Castro, focusing on STEAM has never been a question. We are thrilled to see the private and public sector increase focus on the “A” as we prepare the future generation of geniuses. Be on the lookout for updates from us on the “A” in STEAM.


Education News Update!

This past week, The New York Times discussed the recommended way to raise a truly bilingual child. It stated that it is very important for the child learning a language to be constantly exposed to it, whether the child is learning one or multiple languages. “Early exposure to more than one language can confer certain advantages, especially in terms of facility with forming in that language.”Young children who are learning two languages at once often mix the languages, but that doesn’t mean they are confused. Often, adults who are bilingual are able to switch back and forth between languages in the same conversation, which is a sign of language ability. Exposing children to multiple languages at a young age is paramount to building those language skills and the child will sound more like a native speaker.

As discussed in EdSurgeblended learning is not always the easiest for teachers to effectively implement in the classroom. The key is for teachers to be willing to make mistakes while refining, adapting, and modifying their teaching approaches in order to meet their students’ needs. Extensive research was conducted over the past five years on blended learning. Five years ago, blended learning focused on station rotation. “Students rotated between a small group station, an online station, and an independent practice station staffed with a paraprofessional every single day.”

After the five years of research, it is now recommended to combine the station rotation model with the flex model of blended learning. “This balance has given students time to work at their own pace and demonstrate mastery in their own way.”MultiBrief recently examined the importance of art in the classroom. The new movement from STEM to STEAM puts art within the STEM acronym to encourage innovation by creating a relationship between the sciences and arts. The integration of art in K-12 education, according to MultiBrief, will influence employers to hire arts and design graduates.

“Whether today’s students go on to be artists, doctors, or politicians, we know that the challenges their generation faces will demand creative solutions.” Over the past few decades, art in education has declined. However, Arts Education Partnership has recently set a new goal to make the arts part of every child’s education in the United States by the year 2020.Genius Plaza was recognized for their bilingual K-12 platform in an article by Nibletz last weekend while they were attending the National Principals Conference. Genius Plaza is one of the very few e-learning platforms out there that is 100% bilingual. The Genius Plaza platform can be viewed in Spanish and English, giving both Spanish and English speaking students equal opportunity and access to a wide array of resources.

Genius Plaza has a very unique bank of over 100 videos of STEAM careers and professions known as Learning Champions, produced by their team. These champions are often Latinos, people of color, or women, showing that anyone can become anything they set their mind to, emphasizing the importance of diversity.

Learning Summer Victory Challenge!

Last week we launched our Summer Victory Challenge, because we know a lesson a day will keep students ahead of the game.  The goal is for students to have fun while making sure they do not fall behind.  If you have not gotten started yet, here is a tutorial created by a user that you may find helpful: Tutorial on how to create account.

As you can see in the tutorial, each student takes a diagnostic test to help define their competency.  Once they take this test, they will receive daily lessons based on their given level.  The student will take a test every week on different topics to help them excel.

The following is information on the amount of time students should spend studying each day based on their competency level.

So how do we make it fun?  Here are some tips on things students can do on Genius Plaza.  They can win rewards and be entered into weekly raffles!


We are available to chat every day from 9 to 5 EST to help you and your family.  Keep an eye on our blog as we continue to share tips and information to make this a great summer!