Infants and Toddlers at Work: Using Reggio-Inspired Materials to Support Brain Development

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-15
  • Publisher: Teachers College Pr

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This book contains a wealth of practical and specific activities and materials to use with infants and toddlers to enhance growth and development. Writing in the accessible style that her readers appreciate, Ann Lewin-Benham looks at current research from the neurosciences to show what teachers and childcare providers can do with very young children. For each material or activity presented, the text examines its relation to the rapid brain growth that characterizes the zero to three years, including sensory reception, movement, language, cognition, memory, vision, and motivation. Materials, with guidance for their use and where to find them, include: paint, mark-makers, man-made found objects, natural objects, clay, paper, and light and shadow. This is the definitive guide for trainers and professionals who work with young children.

Author Biography

Ann Lewin-Benham founded and for 20 years directed the Capital Children's Museum in Washington, DC, where she also founded and directed the Model Early Learning Center. She is the author of Possible Schools: The Reggio Approach to Urban Education and Powerful Children: Understanding How to Teach and Learn Using the Reggio Approach. For information about Ann's teacher workshops visit her website: AnnLewin-Benham.com.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Why Use Materials?p. 9
Infants and Toddlers in Flowp. 10
Humans: Unique Learnersp. 12
Sitting, Walking, Carryingp. 14
Structuring the Use of Materialsp. 20
Conclusion: Materials' Meaningp. 24
Framing Experiencesp. 25
The Brain's Attention Systemsp. 26
Facing Complexityp. 28
Challenges: Glue, Scissors, Clay, Sewingp. 32
Conclusion: Accumulating Skillsp. 39
Infants and Materialsp. 40
Infants' Predispositionsp. 41
Adults' Intentionalityp. 43
Food, Paper, Fabric, Soundp. 44
Day by Day in Provocative Infant Spacesp. 49
Conclusion: Natural Learnersp. 55
Man-Made Materialsp. 56
Cultural Contrasts: 10,000 Years Ago and Nowp. 57
Reggio and Neuroscience Resonancesp. 60
The Design and Development of Materialsp. 62
One Huge and Many Small Eventsp. 66
Conclusion: Meaning-Full Materialsp. 71
Painting with Temperap. 72
Stumbling, Reflecting, Learningp. 73
A Theory of How We Learnp. 75
Teaching with Intentionp. 77
A Culture of Relationshipsp. 78
Beginning Use of Temperap. 82
Conclusion: The Joy of Paintingp. 86
Clayp. 87
6-Month- and 2-Year-Old Reactionsp. 87
Molding the Brainp. 94
Joyful Tactile Experiencesp. 99
Conclusion: Clay, Creativity, and Competencep. 100
Mark-Makingp. 101
A Natural Languagep. 101
A Story from Reggiop. 105
Complex Intersections: Drawing and Decisionsp. 109
Small Choices/Large Impactsp. 110
Self-Portraits Plusp. 112
Conclusion: Drawing, An Imperativep. 114
Exploring Paperp. 116
Paper, Brain, and Handp. 117
New Ways with Paper: Eight Months of Activitiesp. 119
Paper, Infants, and Toddlers: Reggio Storiesp. 124
Conclusion: New Perspectivesp. 129
Natural Materialsp. 130
Learning to Seep. 131
Infant and Toddler Investigationsp. 134
The Bounty of Natural Materialsp. 137
Research, Nature, and the Classroomp. 141
Conclusion: The Power and Pleasure of Naturep. 144
Light and Shadowp. 145
How We Know What We Seep. 145
Discovering Light and Shadowp. 150
Conclusion: Enticing the Infant/Toddler Brainp. 158
List of Materialsp. 160
Art Suppliesp. 163
Toolsp. 164
Glossaryp. 165
Referencesp. 167
Indexp. 171
About the Authorp. 180
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