Block Play: The Complete Guide to Learning and Playing with Blocks

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Gryphon House, Inc., 2001 - Education - 176 pages
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Based on the view that blocks are a tool that preschool teachers can use to teach all the skills and concepts necessary for children to be successful learners, this guide presents over 50 activities to enhance the preschool and kindergarten classroom's block corner. Chapter 1 of the guide illustrates the skills learned through block play in the following areas: (1) mathematics; (2) science; (3) art; (4) literacy and language arts; (5) physical development; (6) social studies; and (7) social and emotional growth. Chapter 2 discusses how to set up a block center, including the types of blocks to purchase and selecting block accessories. Chapter 3 addresses the teacher's role in facilitating block play. Chapter 4 concerns assessment of students' block play and assessment methods. Chapter 5 provides suggestions for involving parents. Chapter 6 discusses the use of other construction materials in classroom learning centers. Chapter 7 provides tips on inserting structure into children's block play to extend their learning. Following this chapter are block play activities and activities using other construction materials at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Each activity description indicates the skills gained through the activity, delineates the materials needed, gives detailed instructions, and provides suggestions for assessment. The guide concludes with a list of 18 resource books and articles and a list of 33 children's books about blocks, buildings, and building with blocks. (KB)

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Chapter 2Setting Up a Block Center
Chapter 3What Do I Do Now?
Assessing Robert in the Block Center 36
Chapter 6Using Other Construction Materials
Chapter 7Making Connections to
A Closer Look at the Activities 69
Beginning Activities 144
Building Blindfolded 97
The Chain Reaction 103
Famous Paintings Buildings and Structures lll
Window Shade Grid 118
Stories About Building 124
The DoNothing Machine 131
Railroad Tracks l 38
Intermediate Activities 153

Words About Blocks 75
Picture This House 85
Craft Board Trees 91
The Circular Stage 159
Resources 165

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About the author (2001)

Sharon MacDonald, M.Ed., has been training teachers throughout the United States for more than fifteen years. Her training workshops and presentations focus on a variety of early childhood topics based on years of classroom experience. With a master's degree in education, Sharon has taught ages ranging from three-year-olds to adults and an inclusion program for children with disabilities. She is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at early childhood education conferences and has written many magazine articles.

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