Books

Reflecting in Communities of Practice: A Workbook for Early Childhood Educators

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Teaching young children is complex work. While you manage the day-to-day events that unfold in your classroom you also have to keep up with the demands of assessment and documentation. With all these challenges, how can you maintain the equally important tasks of encouraging children's curiosity and supporting their joy of learning? How can you sustain your own curious mind and joyful spirit in your work? Reflecting with other teachers in a community of practice can strengthen your abilities to respond to the children in your classroom and share meaningful experiences with them. 

This workbook is designed to be used with a group—a community of practice—but it can also be a self-study tool. The exercises help you to understand and practice the key elements of reflective teaching. Ten study sessions provide opportunities to engage with peers as you collaborate and connect theory and best practices in your classrooms. From Redleaf Press. 

Healthy Children, Healthy Lives: The Wellness Guide for Early Childhood Programs

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Early childhood is a critical time in human development. Understanding and supporting children's wellness early on can make the greatest impact on physical, social and emotional, and cognitive health throughout childhood and adulthood. This book provides a comprehensive collection of checklists and research-based information to help you evaluate and improve wellness in your program, making it a safe, happy place for each person—child and adult—who passes through the doors. 

The checklists cover six areas of wellness:

  • Nutrition and healthy eating habits
  • Physical activity and fitness
  • Emotional health and resilience
  • Physical health
  • Safety and risk management
  • Leadership

The completed checklists can be used to create an action plan to improve your program's approach to wellness. From Redleaf Press. 

Starting With Science: Strategies for Introducing Young Children to Inquiry

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Young children arrive at school with unrestrained curiosity and wonder about the world. In Starting With Science: Strategies for Introducing Young Children to Inquiry, the author explores the big ideas surrounding inquiry-based science. It provides practical suggestions and models for beginning teachers as well as those who are fine-tuning their practice. Four key questions underlie the book:

  • What is inquiry-based science?
  • How can pre-K, kindergarten, and primary-grade teachers incorporate inquiry-based science when faced with limited science background, insufficient time, and lack of resources?
  • What roles do the children, the teacher, and the environment play in an inquiry-based science program?
  • What instructional strategies are effective in implementing inquiry-based science?

In answering these questions, Edson provides a framework from which teachers can devise their own in-depth inquiry investigations based on district requirements and students' own interests. She also integrates literacy opportunities as well as explicit suggestions for effective assessment of inquiry-based science. From Stenhouse. 

The Power of Emergent Curriculum: Stories From Early Childhood Settings

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This remarkable collection of stories from early childhood settings illustrates what is possible when using an emergent curriculum approach. The stories tackle unusual topics, such as assessing the need for program rules, addressing the impact of a hurricane on classroom design, observing the empathy of toddlers, exploring children’s ideas about sculpture, and appreciating a long-term, multiage project in an after-school program. Overall, what readers witness is a rise in the quality of practice that results when responding to emerging topics. This book is a recent Comprehensive Member Benefit.

Learn more about the book.

Spotlight on Young Children and Families

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Family involvement is critical to the success of young children in early learning environments and beyond. Educators must strive to acknowledge and value the many differences of each family. Educators must strive to acknowledge and value the many differences of each family.  

In this collection of articles from Young Children and Beyond the Journal, the authors address topics such as sharing the care of infants and toddlers, acknowledging culture and promoting inclusion, conferencing with families, and helping to support learning at home. A list of key resources as well as questions and activities designed to aid readers in reflecting on the articles are included. 

Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice Set (Book & DVD)

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Developmentally appropriate practice is so fundamental to the early childhood field that all new educators need a sound grasp from the very start. While DAP’s basic concepts aren’t difficult or arcane, they can be understood wrongly or incompletely—and often are! This engaging set (Basics of DAP book and Looking at the Basics of DAP DVD) describes the core concepts and makes them meaningful to everyday practice.

Exploring Water With Young Children Trainer's Guide

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This indispensable handbook for trainers and administrators introduces staff to the Exploring Water With Young Children curriculum—from planning to implementation. Seven basic and eight advanced workshops develop staff members understanding of science and inquiry teaching skills. Includes strategies for supporting teachers over time through mentoring and guided discussions, as well as charts, forms, and reproducible overheads for extended study and reflection. From Redleaf Press.

Essential Touch: Meeting the Needs of Young Children

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Some early childhood programs have adopted no-touch policies, and others allow only a very minimal level of physical contact between teachers and children. Yet touch is as necessary as food or water for young children to thrive and grow physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Experiences of touch in all its forms—whether nurturing touch from adults, tactile explorations of the environment, or physical interactions with peers—are essential to high-quality early care and education.

Literacy and the Youngest Learner: Best Practices for Educators of Children From Birth to 5

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Literacy—the ability to listen, speak, read, and write—begins developing long before children enter elementary school. Catherine Snow states in the foreword: “Every early childhood setting needs a copy of this book,” and we agree. This volume will support teachers as they work to meet new literacy standards in developmentally appropriate ways, offering guidance on building essential skills such as oral language and phonological awareness and useful suggestions for dramatic play areas, book nooks, writing centers, and other spaces that together create a literacy-rich environment. From Scholastic.

The Intentional Teacher: Choosing the Best Strategies for Young Children's Learning

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New edition now available! As educators, we must act with knowledge and purpose to make sure young children acquire the skills and understanding they need to succeed. Planful, intentional teachers keep in mind the key goals for children's learning and development in all domains by creating supportive environments, planning curriculum, and selecting from a variety of teaching strategies those that best promote each child's thinking and skills. The Intentional Teacher considers how and when each type of learning (child-guided, adult-guided, or a combination) is most effective, and what teachers can do to support them. "This is one of the best early childhood books that I have ever read," says Sue Bredekamp, "and I have read a lot of them."

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