Alison Balis Hirsch

Alison has been involved with early childhood education for over 20 years. She received her BS from the University of Massachusetts and her M.Ed. with a focus in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University. She began her career in Chicago, working in a kindergarten classroom and then in a pre-kindergarten classroom before becoming the head teacher and Executive Director of a non-profit preschool where she worked for 12 years. Alison’s focus is developing hands-on, creative activities that support educational standards and creating beautiful play-based environments that welcome, nurture and excite young children and their families.

In 2008, Alison and her husband relocated to San Francisco where they are raising their two children, ages 7 and 5. Currently, she volunteers in a variety of capacities at her children’s schools, collaborating with teachers within the classroom setting in addition to serving on a number of committees where she volunteers with other parents and early childhood professionals in areas such as inclusion, playground and building design, and classroom organization.

Posts by Alison Balis Hirsch

Cooking with Preschoolers

posted by Alison Balis Hirsch Cooking with kids offers a wonderful array of learning opportunities for young children. It provides practice in language arts (vocabulary and “reading” a recipe), science (chemistry and exploring the senses), and developing social skills (cooperation and turn-taking). The kitchen also provides a range of math practice such as counting, measuring, […]

Classroom Jobs: The Snack Helper

posted by Alison Hirsch Balis There are many reasons to provide “jobs” for children in the preschool setting. A job shows the importance of the child’s contribution to the group and his/her affect on the social fabric that is the class community; it provides practice in children’s developing social skills, such as speaking in front […]

Order in the Classroom

by Alison Balis Hirsch or·der ˈôrdər/ noun: the arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern, or method an authoritative command, direction or instruction verb: to put into a methodical, systematic arrangement to bring about order One of the first learning experiences I recall as […]

The Importance of Daily Routines

Following a daily routine at school provides stability for children, allowing them to feel more secure in the classroom setting. The schedule should not be rigid; in fact, the ideal schedule is flexible and adapts to both the needs and interests of the kids, allowing for spontaneity within the structure of the school day. A […]

Introducing the Guest Blogger for August – Alison Balis Hirsch

Hello readers! Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Alison Balis Hirsch: my friend and colleague. Over the years, I have mentioned Alison in several of my own posts as I have always looked to her as a model for exceptional teaching and parenting. This month, Alison is writing about setting up classroom systems […]