Play, Projects, and Preschool Standards: Nurturing Children's Sense of Wonder and Joy in Learning

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Corwin Press, 2007 - Education - 159 pages
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Research tells us that young children learn best through play and hands-on activities. This research-based resource from two educators leading the effort to develop their own state's standards links sample early learning standards for children ages 3-5 with numerous ideas for creating joyful, playful educational experiences. In inviting, informal language, the authors walk readers through the creation of well-planned projects and activities that capture children's interest and develop critical skills. Covering both curriculum and social-emotional guidelines, the book provides guidance in helping three-year-olds make progress towards goals, and four- and five-year-olds accomplish learning goals. Repeated chapter features include:

Sample standards and benchmarks based on existing state and national association standards (e.g., NAEYC, NCTM, NCSS, NASPE, and more)

Connecting popular projects and themes with standards and benchmarks

Suggestions for designing optimal learning environments and motivating materials

Snapshots of "What Research and the Experts Say" and how it applies to practice

"Try This" activity ideas that put standards and benchmarks into practice

Suggestions for tailoring activities to meet the needs of English language learners and children with special needs

The final chapter ties all of the information together, and offers suggestions to support children's transition to kindergarten. An extensive resources section provides sample observation and assessment tools, helpful websites, a list of excellent children's books and songs, and more. Beginning and veteran preschool teachers will benefit from this user-friendly guide to meeting high-quality standards through joyful learning experiences.

 

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Contents

Designing the Environment With the Child in Mind
13
Developing Positive Approaches to Learning
25
Exploring the World Through Science
41
Learning About Our Community Through Social Studies
57
Engaging Children in Meaningful Literacy
69
Making Mathematics Inviting
89
Promoting Physical Development and Healthy Lifestyles
117
Putting It All Together
131
Final Thoughts 137 Resources
139
References
153
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About the author (2007)

Gera Jacobs is a professor of early childhood education and taught kindergarten, preschool, and the elementary grades for many years. She has published articles in a number of national and regional journals and produced a CD-ROM on inclusion for young children with special needs. She has presented at numerous state, regional, and national conferences, and has conducted many inservice presentations for teachers. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Governing Board and served on the NAEYC Affiliate Council. The Carnegie Corporation named her the South Dakota Professor of the Year in 2002. She was chairperson of the South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines Panel, responsible for writing the preschool standards for South Dakota.

Jacobs and her coauthor Kathy Crowley have helped to organize an annual statewide kindergarten academy for many years in South Dakota and have presented at kindergarten institutes in other states. They are the coauthors of Play, Projects, and Preschool Standards: Nurturing Children’s Sense of Wonder and Joy in Learning, published by Corwin Press and winner of a 2008 Teachers’ Choice Award, sponsored by Learning Magazine, and a 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers. Their collaboration began many years ago as team-teachers in a kindergarten classroom.

Kathy Crowley is a kindergarten teacher and has taught kindergarten, preschool, and the elementary grades for many years. She was director of an afterschool program and a member of the South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines Panel. Serving as a teacher leader for a statewide mathematics initiative, she provides training to other teachers on innovative math strategies. An active member of several professional organizations, she has presented at numerous state, regional, and national conferences. Crowley served as vice president of the South Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children and received the SDAEYC state service award in 2006. Her community named her the Teacher of the Year in 2007.

Crowley and her coauthor Gera Jacobs have helped to organize an annual statewide kindergarten academy for many years in South Dakota and have presented at kindergarten institutes in other states. They are the coauthors of Play, Projects, and Preschool Standards: Nurturing Children’s Sense of Wonder and Joy in Learning, published by Corwin Press and winner of a 2008 Teachers’ Choice Award, sponsored by Learning Magazine and a 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers. Their collaboration began many years ago as team-teachers in a kindergarten classroom.

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