Acting Out! Combating Homophobia Through Teacher Activism

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This is a down-to-earth, heart-to-heart book about what it takes to be an exceptional early childhood teacher. The author uses her experience as a classroom observer and a developmental psychologist to create a rationale for best practice-the reasoning behind the best (worst, and average) classroom practice. Cindy Rzasa Bess examines a variety of classroom scenarios and describes how teaching was done well or how it could be done better. She clearly illustrates how simple changes and heart-felt efforts can have outstanding results. This informative book will appeal to readers on a personal level and instill in them the need to fully understand their important roles in child's life.

Book Features:

A brief overview of the stages of early childhood development.

Detailed descriptions of high-quality early childhood education settings and materials.

Strategies for engaging children in center-based learning.

Descriptions of effective communications styles and teaching approaches.

Examples of the importance of humor when teaching young children.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807750384
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Series: Practitioner Inquiry Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

Part I The Early Childhood Education Context: The Children We Teach, the People We Are, and the Job We Do

1 What Exactly Is Early Childhood? 1

Putting Temperament into Perspective 2

A Brief Overview of Early Childhood Development 3

Dovetailing the Young Child with Preschool 13

Early Childhood Education Settings 13

2 Teachers Set the Stage for Learning 17

Who Chooses to Work with Young Children? 17

Integrating a Teacher's Education 18

Building Knowledge 19

Making Learning Opportunities Child-Friendly 20

Providing Materials That Include, Interest, and Engage 21

Creating a Center-Based Environment 22

Levels of Teachers-Levels of Teaching 24

3 Supporting Teaching Practice Through Observation 29

The Value of In-House Observation 29

The Value of Objective Observations 37

The Most Important Observers 39

4 Facilitating the Children's Preschool Experience Through Awareness 41

Knowing What Affects Teacher-Child Relationships 41

Knowing What Is Likely to Happen, Developmentally 43

Knowing What Is in the Environment-Use a Discerning Eye 46

Part II The Early Childhood Education Classroom Process: Daily Routines, Practices, and Materials

5 Ensuring a Safe, Healthy, and Happy Classroom 57

Safety Contingency Plans 57

Creating a Healthy Preschool Experience 63

6 Best Teacher Practice-Establishing Sound Daily Care Routines 71

Preparing for Healthy Snack and Meal Time 71

Creating a Reassuring Nap and Rest Time 74

Optimizing the Toileting Routine 77

Preparing for Gross-Motor Playtime 79

7 Enhancing Teaching Practice Through Effective Classroom Routines 81

Defining the Prime Daily Schedule81

Timing Is Everything During Early Childhood 82

Putting out Materials That Maximize Learning 84

Setting Up Meaningful Activities for Small Groups 86

The Value of Free Play in the Learning Process 87

Making the Most of Clean-up Time 87

Capitalizing on Large-Group Meeting Time 88

8 Creating the Optimal Center-Based Preschool Classroom 93

Defining the Space with Open-Option Learning Centers 93

A Puzzle Place 94

The Art Center 94

The Fine-Motor Area 96

The Writing Center 97

A Puppet Corner 97

The "Housekeeping Corner" 98

The Book Nook 99

The Cozy Corner 100

The Block Corner 101

The Discovery Center 102

The Sensory Table-Sand and Water 102

The Outdoor Playground and Indoor Gym 103

The Music Center 104

9 Optimizing the Center-Based Preschool Experience with Solid Teaching Practice 105

Facilitating the Art Experiences 105

Practice and Puppets 106

Supporting Dramatic Play 107

Bolstering Blocks 108

Encouraging Discovery 108

Supporting Music 109

Experiencing Literacy 110

Part III The Early Childhood Education Experience: Interpersonal Interactions

10 Creating Supportive Interpersonal Relationships in the Preschool 119

The Teacher-Children Connection 119

Meeting the Needs of Adults 124

11 Honorable Mentions and Memorable Moments 131

"… A Big Brother to a New Baby Named Meredith" 131

The Wall of Welcome 132

The Family Shrub 132

"Look! I'm a Garden!" 132

Human Alphabet Pictures 133

When You Want Someone's Attention, Whisper! 133

The Cow from China 133

Book Bins with Play Materials 134

Shoe Parking 134

Wallace the Worm 134

Bunk Beds in Dramatic Play 135

Little Suitcases in Dramatic Play 135

Ice Fishing 135

The Shuttle to Africa 136

The Dancing Gorilla Goes on Vacation 136

Instrumental Music to Build Puzzles By 137

Introduction of Paintbrushes: Mommy, Daddy, Baby Brother 137

Field Trips 137

Boxes … Boxes … Boxes! 138

Three … Two … One … Blastoff! 138

Cooperation Taught and Learned 139

The Song of "Life" 139

Let 'Em Be! 139

A… B … C … on the Computer 140

"Heigh-Ho…It's Off to Work We Go" 140

Home Depot Paint Strips 140

Recommended Reading 143

Index 146

About the Author 152

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