• Photos by TIM EMMONS - J.K. Hileman Principal David Estes demonstrates how the WePlaySmart Table operates.
  • Pre-K students at J.K. Hileman Elementary play a skill-based game which encourages executive function.

J.K. Hileman Elementary is front-runner in implementing 21st century technology

“It is imperative that we make the development of key social and emotional competencies a priority for early childhood learning if we are to overcome the rise of behavior problems in our classrooms and build a successful foundation for our young learners,” said Ginny Norton, a leader in educational technology. “By obtaining age-appropriate social-emotional skills, children are more likely to achieve greater success academically and experience fewer learning problems.”
With these concepts in mind, Queen City ISD investigated the world of technology to assist in reaching this goal. 
The school district purchased the WePlaySmart from Hatch®, a state-of-the-art multi-touch interactive table that facilitates child engagement in learning and fosters peer relationships while providing authentic data over time to teachers concerning individual student development. 
The school district nearest to Queen City with this “latest and greatest” technology is Plano ISD.
In J.K. Hileman’s prekindergarten classrooms, visitors will see several students huddled around the WePlaySmart table…playing games.
What the students don’t realize, though, is that these are skill-based games which encourage executive function, behavioral control, social competence, and emotional control. 
Each of the more than 275 research-based activities provide fun, cooperative interactive opportunities for children to practice and develop capabilities to make their own decisions, solve problems, and collaborate in a variety of familiar and new environments.
 In addition, while children are working together to play these games, they are developing core literacy and math skills needed for academic success.
“We have high expectations for our prekindergarten students and for providing them with the very best educational and developmental opportunities to ensure their academic and life success. The WePlaySmart tables in each of our three classrooms are highly engaging for our smallest students and provide these budding learners with an advantage in developing the necessary collaboration skills our 21st century market demands,” Assistant Principal Shannon Henderson said. “We appreciate the thoughtful planning and foresight of our district to put resources in place that provide this advantage for our Queen City students and families.” 
“We are proud to offer our youngest learners such outstanding technology to help them on their educational journey,” Principal David Estes remarked. “They have learned several developmental concepts already through the activities available on the WePlaySmart Table. We will continue to utilize this technology as a daily center for learning in our Pre-K program.” 
WePlaySmart by Hatch provides a cooperative learning environment for early learners that teaches positive behavior and teamwork. 
This innovative system captures authentic audio of peer conversations so that teachers can review, assess, and report on social-emotional development.
Hatch Education Experts created a state of the art multi-touch table solution, WePlaySmart that is perfect for any preschool classroom. 
Games are designed to encourage collaboration, to automatically target areas that need development and to save the children’s conversations during play throughout the school year. 
Teachers can listen to audio recordings to evaluate how children are developing with a set of assessment tools to aid them in making informed observations on social-emotional development. 
WePlaySmart by Hatch games also provide opportunities to develop math, literacy, social studies and science skills for cognitive ages 3-6 with more than 275 cognitive games.
WePlaySmart by Hatch is a multi-touch table with 32 touchpoints, allowing four children to play simultaneously. 
The games are designed to encourage collaborative measures versus parallel play. 
By working together, children learn to solve problems, take turns, follow instructions and be team players. 
Game play in WePlaySmart by Hatch is visible from all positions around the table to ensure that no child is left out, or unable to participate in an activity.

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