The Building Blocks of Preschool Success

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Written Expressly for Preschool Teachers, This Engaging Book Explains the "Whats," "Whys," and "how-tos" of implementing best practices for instruction in the preschool classroom. The authors show how to target key areas of language and literacy development across the entire school day, including whole-group and small-group activities, center time, transitions, and outdoor play. Derailed examples in every chapter illustrate what effective instruction and assessment look like in three distinct settings: a school-based pre-kindergarten, a Head Start center with many English language learners, and a private suburban preschool. Helpful book lists, charts, and planning tools are featured, including reproducible materials.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book presents practical ideas for teaching the essential components of a high-quality early childhood program: oral language and vocabulary, phonological awareness, emergent writing, and print and alphabet awareness. It also addresses assessment and the challenges of meeting individual needs. The vignettes from authentic classrooms are especially useful and engaging. The beauty of the book is that the content is relevant across different early childhood contexts; preschool teachers in either public or private settings will find it of great value. It would be an excellent choice for professional development study groups."--Michelle Picard, EdD, early childhood supervisor, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia

"Readers will find a blueprint for infusing preschool classrooms with literacy awareness, intentional instruction, and language play. The book systematically describes the building blocks of preschool literacy and provides valuable, classroom-based examples of what each component looks like. The writing style is extremely teacher friendly, making this the perfect text for preservice teachers as well as those already working in a variety of early childhood contexts. A 'must have' for preschool educators."--April Whatley Bedford, PhD, Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of New Orleans
 "The authors do an excellent job of integrating literacy throughout the preschool curriculum. They invite teachers to peer into the windows of diverse classrooms to view the way the techniques and strategies are implemented. I am a seasoned mentor teacher who has been in the field of child development for more than 20 years, and this book will become part of my personal resource library. I also recommend it for new preschool teachers who are setting up and planning their first classrooms."--Darla L. Pulliam, early childhood teacher, Culver City Unified School District, California

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606236932
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/12/2010
  • Pages: 198
  • Sales rank: 1,258,734
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine A. Beauchat, EdD, is Assistant Professor at York College of Pennsylvania, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in literacy education. Her research interests include professional development for preschool educators in the area of literacy and language instruction and effective techniques and strategies to bolster oral language and vocabulary development for at-risk preschool children. 

Katrin L. Blamey, PhD, is an early childhood literacy coach at the Delaware Center for Teacher Education in Newark, Delaware, and also coaches preschool teachers at a Head Start center. Her research interests include finding effective, practical ways to implement professional development in the preschool setting and developing instructional techniques for building the language and literacy skills of preschool-age English language learners.
Sharon Walpole, PhD, is Associate Professor at the University of Delaware School of Education in Newark, Delaware, where she teaches in both the literacy and educational leadership programs. She provides professional development for schools engaged in extensive change efforts and studies the work of literacy coaches in preschools, elementary schools, and middle and high schools. She is a recipient of the National Reading Conference Early Career Achievement Award.

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Table of Contents

1 The Realities of Preschool 1

Meet Pam, a Public School-Based PREK Teacher 2

Meet Elaina, a Head Start Center Teacher 7

Meet Sarah, a Private Preschool Teacher 12

Looking Ahead 15

2 A Focus on Oral Language and Vocabulary Development 16

What Is Oral Language and Vocabulary Development? 16

Why Is Oral Language Important? 17

What Does Language and Literacy Instruction Look Like? 19

Implementation in Three Classrooms 36

Where Can I Find More Information? 39

3 Comprehension 41

What Is Comprehension? 41

Why Is Comprehension Instruction Important? 42

What Does Comprehension Instruction Look Like? 43

Implementation in Three Classrooms 66

Where Can I Find More Information? 69

4 Phonological Awareness 71

What Is Phonological Awareness? 71

Why Is Phonological Awareness Important? 75

What Does Phonological Awareness Instruction Look Like? 76

Implementation in Three Classrooms 89

Where Can I Find More Information? 92

5 Print and Alphabet Awareness 94

What Is Print and Alphabet Awareness? 94

Why Is Print and Alphabet Awareness Important? 96

What Does Print and Alphabet Awareness Instruction Look Like? 97

Implementation in Three Classrooms 122

Where Can I Find More Information? 127

6 Emergent Writing 129

What Is Emergent Writing? 129

Why Is Emergent Writing Important? 131

What Does Emergent Writing Instruction Look Like? 132

Implementation in Three Classrooms 153

Where Can I Find More Information? 157

7 Tracking Children's Progress: The Role of Assessment in Preschool Classrooms 159

What Is Assessment? 160

Why Is Ongoing Assessment Important? 162

Assessments for Planning 163

Assessments to Reflect on Instruction 167

Assessments to Identify Children at High Levels of Risk 173

How Do You Actually Plan and Implement an Assessment System? 174

How Do I Share Assessment Information? 175

Where Can I Find More Information? 176

8 Making It Work for Adults and Children 177

Gathering Materials 177

Scheduling and Grouping 179

Reflecting 181

Collaborating 182

Learning 183

Children's Literature 185

References 189

Index 194

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