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Table of Contents
Preliminary Table of Contents
Annual Editions: Early Childhood Education 13/14
UNIT 1: Building a Strong Foundation
1. Want Success in School? Start with Babies!, J. Ronald Lally, Kappa Delta Pi Record, Jan–March 2012.
The title of this unit is Building a Strong Foundation and that starts with our infants and toddlers. To assume that a child who languishes through the first few years of life in a non-stimulating and uncaring environment will suddenly be successful when entering school is inaccurate to say the least. Brain development and readiness for future learning depends on early development. Lally outlines four key periods in a young child's life and provides recommendations for parents and educators for enhancing each stage.
2. A Poverty Solution That Starts With a Hug, Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times, January 7, 2012
This very short article has one key message grandparents have been saying for years, "You can't spoil a child by hugging." In fact just the opposite happens as children grow up knowing they are cared for and develop strong relationships with the protectors in their lives. Wiring a house under construction is easier than after it is built and the same holds true for wiring a child's brain to be receptive to learning and being successful in school. Children in poverty are especially vulnerable to the stressors facing them in life if they don't build trust in their environment and caregivers.
3. Why Pre-K is Critical to Closing the Achievement Gap, Ellen Frede and W. Steven Barnett, Principal, May/June 2011
Aimed at school administrators, but with a message for all, this article focuses on the role of a quality pre-K program in closing the achievement gap. An early formal school experience prior to kindergarten entry helps children develop the learning skills that will serve them for a lifetime of learning. The authors encourage administrators to educate themselves on the importance of early childhood education, readiness and the components of a quality program. Hiring highly effective teachers of young children and offering support services for families are important components of a successful program.
4. Those Persistent Gaps, Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley, Educational Leadership, December 2009/January 2010
In the ongoing quest to solve the achievement gap dilemma, educators are examining the many reasons for gaps between at-risk children and those not living in risk situations. Factors such as birth weight, exposure to language and literacy, and parent participation all contribute to school success or low achievement on tests. Collaboration among the individual and groups working with children in poverty is needed if the many factors affecting the achievement gaps among children are to be addressed.
5. The Messiness of Readiness, Pamela Jane Powell, Kappan, November 2010
Powell shares her concerns about the current practice of making young children ready for school instead of getting schools ready for all children. Readiness is defined in many different ways and educators are responsible for ensuring formal settings are developmentally appropriate and ready to meet the needs of all children in a child-centered learning setting.
6. Don't Dismiss Early Education as Just Cute; It's Critical, Lisa Guernsey, USA Today, April 28, 2010
Early Childhood educators know the importance of what they do and how quality early childhood experiences can make a significant difference in the life of a child and his or her family. Now the challenge is to help others realize that as well. Efforts at school reform, programs to close the achievement gap and efforts to guarantee a better prepared work force often miss starting the reform process with preschool children. Just as the roots of a tree can affect the other parts, the foundation for future learning needs support early in the life of the child.
7. $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers, Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, Nathaniel Hilger, Emmanuel Saez, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and Danny Yagan, Kappan, November 2010
Despite the wishes of kindergarten teachers to actually earn $320,000 per year, the authors of this article report findings from their research on the long term benefits of a high quality kindergarten experience on the students' life-long earnings. They found a strong relationship between the kindergarten classroom and the quality of the teacher on the adult wages which they reported to be a lifetime increase of $10,000 per student. Multiplying $10,000 times 20 students in each class produced the eye popping six-figures. Experienced teachers committed to their job were most successful in implementing best practices and raising test scores and adult income.
8. Are We Paving Paradise?, Elizabeth Graue, Educational Leadership, vol. 68 no. 7
The benefits of a play based child-centered kindergarten is the focus of Graue's article. Teachers must remind themselves of their knowledge base of child development and stay strong when asked to implement teaching practices not in the best interest of ever changing five year old children. She builds a strong case for a play based program. This is a must share article with administrators and families pushing for more academics.
9. Ensuring Our Voices are Heard: A Primer for Communicating with Legislators, Mick Coleman, Rachel Hagues and Charlotte Wallinga, Childhood Education, March/April 2012
Those who spend their days working with young children and their families don't think of advocacy as a part of their job, but it plays such a critical role since we work with a population unable to speak on their own behalf. We have to be savvy and prepared in contacting and communicating with elected officials at all levels. The authors provide tips for advocates to educate others on the needs of young children and their families as well as those in the profession.
10. Take Charge of your Personal and Professional Development, Carla B. Goble and Diane M. Horm, Young Children, November 2010
Unlike the other articles in this edition which all focus on the care and education of young children, this article is included for the professional educator reading this book. Teachers and caregivers are responsible for keeping up to date on best practices and must develop a plan for ongoing professional development. The children in your care deserve the very best.
UNIT 2: Young Children, Their Families, and Communities
11. Caring for Rosie the Riveter's Children, Bill MacKenzie, Young Children, November 2011
Called the, "best child care there ever was", the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland, Oregon provided round the clock child care so women could build the ships during World War II while the men served in the military. We have much to learn from reviewing our history where families could pick up prepared meals, school age children had weekend and school holiday programs and teacher salaries that matched those of the workers in the shipyard. Application can be made to the needs today for employer supported childcare.
12. Stopping Childhood Obesity Before it Begins, Deborah Mazzeo, Sheila A. Arens, Carrie Germeroth and Heather Hein, Kappan, April 2012
The abundance of articles on childhood obesity speaks strongly of the urgency of this issue. Early intervention, daily physical activity and staff aware of the importance of prevention of obesity during the early childhood years is critical. First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move program is developing awareness, but more work is needed.
13. The Impact of Teachers and Families on Young Children's Eating Behaviors, Erin K. Eliassen, Young Children, March 2011
The ongoing focus on childhood obesity has forced school personnel and families to work together to find solutions. The author shares strategies for encouraging children to develop healthy eating behaviors during the early childhood years that will serve them well throughout their lifetime.
14. The Power of Birth Order, Linda DiProperzio, Parents, October 2010
We have heard for years that one's birth order in a family can predict many outcomes. In this interesting examination into the world of family order and siblings the reader may see glimpses of themselves or brothers and sisters.
15. Teachers Connecting with Families in the Best Interest of Children, Katherine C. Kersey and Marie L. Masterson, Young Children, September 2009
Establishing positive relationships with the families and young children with whom teachers works is paramount to engaging the child in meaningful experiences. This article included many strategies for before and during the year all with the purpose of developing connections and collaboration between the families and the school setting.
16. Creating a Welcoming Classroom for Homeless Students, Jennifer J. Slopek, Education Update, Association for Staff and Curriculum Development. June 2010
With a close to 50% increase in the population of homeless children since 2008, educators must alter the ways they interact with homeless children in school settings. Academic achievement for homeless children, many who are at-risk for academic success, first hinges on their ability to form a trusting relationship with their teachers, deal with stress, and to feel safe in the learning environment. Communicating with families in creative ways is the responsibility of the teacher.
17. The Fight for Better Maternity Leave, Catherine Holecko, Parent, February 2012
Families need support at all times while raising children but no time is more critical than immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. Unfortunately the U.S. ranks at the bottom of the list when it comes to supporting parents and their infants. Employer supported policies that are family friendly can help families bond.
18. Keys to Quality Infant Care: Nurturing Every Baby's Life Journey, Alice Sterling Honig, Young Children, September 2010
When Dr. Honig speaks or writes about infants, we listen. She asks caregivers who work with infants to spend time exploring the different temperament and individual skills and interests babies bring to a group care setting. Developing nurturing relationships with infants and their families hinges on the caregiver using a variety of techniques which Honig presents. Excellent strategies for caregivers are included.
19. Gaga for Gadgets, Margery D. Rosen, Parents, February 2011
Watching a DVD on the way to the grocery store, playing with mom's smart phone and downloading an app to the family I-Pad are all daily encounters for many young children, including infants and toddlers. The escalation of technology into our lives means adults must be vigilant in introducing appropriate technology to children.
UNIT 3: Diverse Learners
20. Teach Up for Excellence, Carol Ann Tomlinson and Edwin Lou Javius, Educational Leadership, February 2012
The phrase engage their minds is a powerful reminder to all teachers of what we need to do to foster the love of and joy in learning. Setting the academic achievement bar high then providing the support and services to help diverse learners achieve is one of the most important jobs for a teacher. The authors provide principles for teaching up to afford all students, especially those at-risk, the opportunities to learn in an excellent environment.
21. The Wonder Years, Annie Papero, American School Board Journal, Vo. 198 no. 8 pga. 29-31
When Papero speaks of the wonder years, she is referring to those most important years prior to public school entry age when the foundation for future learning is often set. Poverty, family instability and low quality child care all contribute many children not maximizing learning experiences during those early childhood years. When school districts start to recognize assisting diverse learners starts long before they enter school, progress will be made in closing the achievement gap.
22. Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Strategies That Work, Clarissa Willis, Young Children, January 2009
Willis describes some of the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder, which is diagnosed in one in every 150 babies. Teachers have many questions related to behavior, needs, and specific strategies that will best reach these children in an inclusive setting. Suggestions for classroom routines are included.
23. Individualizing Instruction in Preschool Classrooms, Mary B. Boat, Laurie A. Dinnebeil, and Youlmi Bae, Dimensions of Early Childhood, Winter 2010
Interest in differentiating or individualize learning experiences to meet the needs of all children is high among teachers. Teachers first need to know how to differentiate and how to best support each child in his or her learning. Strategies for scaffolding are included.
24. The Why Behind RTI, Austin Buffum, Mike Mattos and Chris Weber, Educational Leadership, October 2010
Teachers of all levels of children must be familiar with Response to Intervention tiers and the strategies implemented to prevent future failure. When educators look for ways to differentiate the learning, so every child can learn, success will happen.
UNIT 4: Supporting Young Children's Development
25. Assessing Young Children's Learning and Development, Jacqueline Jones, Principal, May/June 2011
The key question in this article is the third one in the opening paragraph, "What do the teachers and parents need to do so that each child is prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond?" That removes the heavy burden of the child not being ready and requires the adults to accurately assess each child's developmental level before planning the learning based on the standards.
26. Assessing and Scaffolding Make-Believe Play, Deborah J. Leong and Elena Bodrova, Young Children, January 2012
Teachers have a critical role to play in the fostering and encouraging of pretend play for young children. We scaffold their play through our planning, the environment and materials we provide, the language we use and the way we extend the learning. Become supportive of the play going on in your classroom.
27. Using Toys to Support Infant-Toddler Learning and Development, Gabriel Guyton, Young Children, September 2012
A solid background in child development, coupled with a keen understanding of the needs and interests of young children, will enable a teacher to select and offer developmentally appropriate materials and toys in his or her infant and toddler classroom. Guyton provides suggestions for choosing and using materials with young children.
28. Helping Children Play and Learn Together, Michaelene M. Ostrocky and Hedda Meadan, Young Children, January 2010
Helping preschool children learn how to play and cooperate with their peers is a critical part of an early childhood educator's job. Young children today are having fewer opportunities to engage in freely chosen play where they make the decisions. Through engagement in cooperative experiences, children develop social and emotional competence and enhance their learning opportunities.
29. Rough Play: One of the Most Challenging Behaviors, Frances M. Carlson, Young Children, July 2011
Every teacher and parent deals with the dilemma of how to best handle rough and tumble or rough play. Young children need clear expectations for behavior along with ample opportunities to use large muscles as they practice physical skills through play.
30. Play and Social Interaction in Middle Childhood, Doris Bergen and Doris Pronin Fromberg, Phi Delta Kappan, February 2009
At a time when recess and free play are disappearing from early childhood programs, Bergen and Fromberg discuss the importance of play during the middle childhood years. Social, emotional, physical, cognitive and creative development are enhanced through play.
31. Is Tattling a Bad Word? , Katharine C. Kersey and Marie L. Masterson, Childhood Education, Summer 2010
All teachers deal with tattling but often are unsure of their approach to handling this common childhood practice. Teachers wonder if validating the tattler will only lead to more and are not certain if they should just ignore the behavior hoping it will go away. Kersey and Masterson provide suggested comments adults can use with children when helping them develop appropriate social skills.
UNIT 5: Educational Practices that Help Children Thrive in School
32. Knowing is Not Understanding: Fallacies and Risks of Early Academic Instruction, David Elkind, Young Children, January 2012
Parents and teachers are often looking for ways to bolster their children's early academic instruction through curriculum and materials. Elkind gives an explanation of what is really happening when children develop the complex cognitive skills of reading and beginning math. Clarification between knowing and understanding can help teachers and parents find developmentally appropriate strategies to use in early childhood programs that truly engage and motivate young children in their learning.
33. Kindergarten Dilemma: Hold kids back to get ahead? Stephanie Pappas, msnbc.com September 6, 2010
The national trend for many middle and upper middle class parents to delay kindergarten entry for their children has hidden costs many economists state. Delayed kindergarten or "redshirted" children lose any gains they achieve by being older, often by the third grade. There is a slight academic advantage early in their academic career.
34. Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Age of Testing, David McKay Wilson, Harvard Education Letter, May/June 2009
Wilson's message to all teachers is to hold strong to principle of child development and provide an environment that is developmentally appropriate for all young children to learn. Pressure to use scripted curriculum and deny children the opportunity for inquiry-based learning is forcing many teachers to not follow what they know to be best practice. Four key foundations of development are described.
35. Making and Taking Virtual Field Trips in Pre-K and the Primary Grades, Dennis J. Kirchen, Young Children, November 2011
With funds being severely cut throughout many districts, field trips are usually the first to be eliminated. But now, field trips are available without leaving the classroom due to the creation of virtual field trips. Kirchen outlines suggestions for selecting pre-developed virtual field trips, the benefits of this new education strategy, and a helpful example of a planning outline for incorporating a virtual field trip in a unit plan.
36. Repeating Views on Grade Retention, Pamela Jane Powell, Childhood Education, Winter 2010
Powell provides a historical look at the research on grade retention going back over 100 years. She provides a summary of the research on this ineffective practice and includes alternatives to holding children back a grade. Differentiating the learning environment and including practices that are developmentally appropriate are key.
37. When School Lunch Doesn't Make the Grade, Elizabeth Foy Larsen, Parents, September 2010
The battle to combat childhood obesity can start in the school cafeteria. Eating behaviors developed after consuming meals high in salt, sugar and fat can last a lifetime. Parents and teachers can take charge and work for change in the food served to school children. Suggestions are provided to bring about changes in your school.
38. Give me a Break: The Argument for Recess, Barbie Norvell, Nancy Ratcliff, and Gilbert Hunt. Childhood Education, Winter 2009/2010
Without supporting research, school administrators across the country are eliminating recess. Healthy physical development, as well as the development of social skills, is being affected by the elimination of recess
39. 5 Hallmarks of Good Homework, Cathy Vatterott, Educational Leadership, September 2010
With pressure for academic achievement starting early, homework is viewed as a way to extend the learning into the home setting. Effective homework is purposeful, among other things, and not randomly assigned for all children to do the same work. Families of young children play a key role in the homework discussion with family support and supplies available two factors that may affect its successful completion.
Unit 6: Teaching Practices That Help Children Thrive in School
40. Supporting Children's Learning While Meeting State Standards: Strategies and Suggestions for Pre-K-Grade 3 Teachers in Public School Contexts, Lisa S. Goldstein and Michelle Bauml, Young Children, May 2012
Teachers are professional decision makers supporting their students' learning with daily decisions concerning classroom activities and lessons. Goldstein and Baumi suggest three traits necessary for teachers to balance the needs of the students and the rigorous demand of state standards and district-mandated curriculum.
41. Promoting Emotional Competence in the Preschool Classroom, Hannah Nissen and Carol J. Hawkins, Childhood Education, Summer 2010
There is strong research indicating positive social interactions between young children and the important people in their lives including family, friends and adults leads to the development of emotionally competent individuals. Teachers help young children build relationships by coaching, serving as a role model and creating healthy environments.
42. Helping Young Boys Be Successful Learners in Today's Early Childhood Classrooms, Nancy Gropper, Blythe F. Hinitz, Barbara Sprung, and Merle Froschl, Young Children, January 2011
Gender differences in the development and learning styles of children have stymied teachers throughout the years. New research on learning styles, especially of young boys, and the role of the adult in fostering an optimal kindergarten environment are shared by the authors.
43. Developmentally Appropriate Child Guidance: Helping Children Gain Self-Control, Will Mosier, Texas Child Care Quarterly, Spring 2009
Our ultimate goal for guiding children's behavior is to have children express their emotions in socially acceptable ways as they learn to develop internal control. Teachers who employ natural consequences for inappropriate behavior help children develop the skills they will need throughout their life.
44. Arranging the Active Learning Environment: Setting up the Preschool Classroom, Nancy Vogel, High Scope ReSource, Spring 2012
Vogel outlines some basic guidelines for developmentally appropriate programs in the arrangement of classrooms that encourage exploration, creativity, active learning, and safety. Besides suggestions on the use of space, recommendations are also given for enabling the independence of the child in the classroom, choosing appropriate equipment and materials and designing inclusive classrooms.
45. Want to Get Your Kids into College? Let Them Play, Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis, CNN.com , Accessed September 2012
This article is a powerful statement on the importance of allowing ample opportunities during early childhood for children to hone those lifelong skills through play. Cooperation, inquisitiveness, motivation, creating and sharing are just a few of the behaviors learned through play that help with achievement in all areas of development.
46. Acknowledging Learning Through Play in the Primary Grades, Jeanetta G. Riley and Rose B. Jones, Childhood Education, Spring 2010
In the rush to meet all of the elementary standards, primary teachers are forfeiting opportunities for their children to learn through play based experiences. There are many ways teachers can provide for hands on investigative play opportunities that meet learning standards in literacy, math and science as well as social skills.
UNIT 7: Curricular Issues
47. From STEM to STEAM How Early Childhood Educators can Apply Fred Rogers' Approach, Hedda Sharapan, Young Children, January 2012
STEAM, a Fred Rogers' philosophy and approach to early childhood education, is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, which builds the foundation to math & science related knowledge and skill base. Sharapan recommends the STEAM approach to facilitate inquiry-based thinking and discovery. Fans of Fred Rogers' approach will enjoy this comprehensive explanation of the different facets of his philosophy and technique.
48. Supporting the Scientific Thinking and Inquiry of Toddlers and Preschoolers through Play, Maria Hamlin and Debora B. Wisneski, Young Children, May 2012
Science and play come together in this article to support the development of scientific inquiry in young children. Hamlin and Wisneski provide a helpful chart for explaining how simple materials in an early childhood classroom can connect to scientific concepts through play activities. Teachers are able to combine content with their knowledge and understanding of play to help guide children's play experiences in the area of science.
49. Every Child, Every Day, Richard L. Allington and Rachael E. Gabriel, Educational Leadership, March 2012
Alliington and Gabriel introduce six research-based elements of literacy instruction that will ensure high-quality instructional activities for all students, every day. A student's personal choice is a key to the effectiveness of these elements even for struggling readers.
50. Why we Should not Cut P.E., Stewart G. Trost and Hans van der Mars, Educational Leadership, December 2009/January 2010
Eliminating physical education and recess so children can have more classroom learning time is happening all across the country. Trost and van der Mars provide research which shows academic performance did not change when physical education was decreased. They discuss the link between academic achievement and physical fitness and obesity.
51. Developing Fine Motor Skills, J. Michelle Huffman and Callie Fortenberry, Young Children, September 2011
Proper muscle development is crucial for a young child's physical fine motor development and the acquisition of skills in conventional writing. Huffman and Fortenberry provide a list of activities and materials that will engage children in different levels of motor development.