Beautiful Beginnings: A Developmental Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers / Edition 1

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Overview

Developed by two respected research consultants for Early Head Start, this extensive curriculum takes a joyful activity-based approach to enhancing the development of infants and toddlers. Professionals and parents will get more than 350 photocopiable, easy-to-use activity sheets divided into six age ranges between birth to three years that build on each child's natural strengths and interests, recognize and expand on emerging developments, and encourage progress in areas of concern.

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Editorial Reviews

Martha Staker

"Raises the bar by defining how early educators can structure intentional experiences for infants and toddlers."
Director, The Bryan Community Student/Child Learning Center, Lincoln, Nebraska - Monica Asher
"A welcome addition to our student/parent program. The activities foster positive learning interaction between parent and child."
Professor Emerita of Child Development, Syracuse University - Alice Sterling Honig
"A useful source of specific activity ideas for caregivers and parents . . . always reminds the caregiver how important it is to stay close, observe, and interact in responsive, gentle ways with an infant."
University of Nebraska, Lincoln - Carolyn Pope Edwards
"A versatile curriculum . . . readily understood and carried out by parents, home visitors, and center-based providers."
Lecturer, Ruth Staples Child Development Lab, University of Nebraska, Lincoln - Julie Jones-Branch
"A comprehensive curriculum that gives value to the learning process from birth . . . support[s] parents and educators in their quest to enhance children's learning potential."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557668202
  • Publisher: Brookes Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/1/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 428
  • Sales rank: 690,792
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen H. Raikes, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She received her doctorate in child development from Iowa State University. Previously, she has had teaching positions at the University of California, Davis, and at Iowa State University. Among other foci, she has maintained a career-long interest in secure base relationships for infants and toddlers and first created an attachment-based model while Director of Infant Toddler Programs and Director of Research at the SRI/Saint Elizabeth and Gallup Organization Child Development Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was also a Society for Research in Child Development Executive Policy Fellow at the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the time the Early Head Start program began and co-directed the national research for that program. Today, her work focuses on programs for children in poverty, with special emphases on infants and toddlers, children at greatest risk, and optimal timing of intervention as it relates to developmental trajectories, school readiness, and later success, as well as on innovative continuous program improvement efforts using research and evaluation. She is a board member of the Nebraska Early Childhood Endowment Board, the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, and the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and is a member of the National Forum on Early Childhood Program Evaluation.

Ms. Whitmer is an educator and early intervention and prevention specialist. She holds master's degrees in educational and administration and human development and the family. Ms. Whitmer has taught children of every age, has served as an elementary school administrator, and has traveled extensively to provide training and technical assistance for Early Head Start and Head Start Programs. Today she works primarily with parents and teachers, consulting on a variety of early childhood topics. In addition to curricula, a topic she is particularly passionate about is teacher development and renewal in the area of early childhood education.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Chapter 1 of Beautiful Beginnings: A Developmental Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers, by Helen Raikes, Ph.D., & Jane McCall Whitmer, M.S.

Copyright © 2006 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Makesha is a teacher in an infant care center. Four infants have been assigned to her, and they constitute her “family.” At the center, she is considered their primary caregiver. Makesha is fascinated by, and engaged in, watching and thinking about these four babies, all of whom are between 7 and 10 months old. She loves observing their new developments and finding ways for the babies to exercise their emerging skills. They develop so fast! Makesha often consults the curriculum used by the center for new ideas she can implement for each emerging stage. The curriculum also helps her look for things the babies can do that she might not have noticed.

Layla has just started working in a small child care center operating out of a community center. She is working in the infant room with the young infants, ages 6 weeks to 6 months. She admires their tiny fingers and toes and how the older ones struggle so mightily to master rolling over and sitting up. Layla tries to follow the example set by her coworkers, but sometimes they are busy. To tell the truth, other than carrying the babies around, she’s not always sure what to do with them. She wonders how she can help them learn and develop.

Rick is a teacher in a toddler center that uses the Beautiful Beginnings curriculum. The toddlers he cares for compose a rambunctious group of four to six, depending on the day of the week. Rick develops a daily schedule that includes new Beautiful Beginnings Experiences for the children that are based on their development and individual differences. His classroom is ready—all of the materials for a curriculum of toys and materials for children from 18 to 36 months are on hand, carefully arranged in baskets, trays, and bins, with their location in the classroom pictorially marked so children can find and return materials. Some are in shelves that only open when Rick can carefully supervise their use, whereas others are available at all times.

Looking around the classroom, an observer sees 28-month-old Tommy pouring water from one container to another, working within the water table to contain any spills as he begins this new Experience of controlled pouring. In another part of the classroom, Zia is carefully carrying a basket of beads to a mat. She sits on the mat and begins to string these large beads. Andrew and Alan are placing large blocks end to end. Rick brings them a basket of two small cars and illustrates pretending that the cars drive down a roadway. The boys’ eyes light up and they begin to imitate him. He is pleased because “pretending” was an Experience he had planned this week for these boys. He’d observed them putting the blocks end to end several times and thought they might be ready for the new pretending Experiences. He made a mental note to bring out the large steering wheel tomorrow to see if they expanded “pretending to drive” from today to this new arena. As Tommy finishes, Rick shows him how to put the two small containers back on the shelf and to select something else.

These stories illustrate why using a curriculum such as Beautiful Beginnings is so important in working with young children. Teachers, home visitors, program directors, and parents may ask, “Isn’t it enough just to offer lots of toys and a lot of love and affection? Why is such a curriculum necessary?”

WHY A CURRICULUM IS NEEDED

Researchers and experts agree that an environment rich in opportunities helps infants and young children develop optimally. Several of the reasons why are detailed here.

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Table of Contents


About the Authors
Preface
Acknowledgements

Section I. Getting to Know Beautiful Beginnings

  1. Introduction
  2. Infant and Toddler Development
  3. Using Beautiful Beginnings: An Individualized Program

Bibliography
References
Children’s Books
Children’s Music
Materials and Equipment List

Section II. Beautiful Beginnings Experiences

0–6 Months
Overview Goals Chart
Communication
Gross Motor
Fine Motor
Intellectual
Discovery
Social

6–12 Months
Overview Goals Chart
Communication
Gross Motor
Fine Motor
Intellectual
Discovery
Social
Self-Help12–18 Months
Overview Goals Chart
Communication
Gross Motor
Fine Motor
Intellectual
Discovery
Social
Self-Help18–24 Months
Overview Goals Chart
Communication
Gross Motor
Fine Motor
Intellectual
Discovery
Social
Self-Help
Pretend24–30 Months
Overview Goals Chart
Communication
Gross Motor
Fine Motor
Intellectual
Discovery
Social
Self-Help
Pretend30–36 Months
Overview Goals Chart
Communication
Gross Motor
Fine Motor
Intellectual
Discovery
Social
Self-Help
Pretend

CD-ROM Contents

About the Authors
About this CD-ROM
Blank Goals Sheet
Beautiful Beginnings Experiences & Overview Goals Charts
0–6 Months
6–12 Months
12–18 Months
18–24 Months
24–30 Months
30–36 Months

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