Connecting Emergent Curriculum and Standards in the Early Childhood Classroom: Strengthening Content and Teaching Practice

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The most pressing challenge in early childhood education today is to find a way to meet the standards within a developmentally appropriate approach. In this book, two active early childhood educators provide teachers with resources to bring content alive in the daily, action-based pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms, and explore ways to document it. The book includes lists of key content ideas-coordinated with learning standards in science, mathematics, social studies, and the communication arts-to guide teacher observations of, and interactions with, young children. Chapters focus on ways to extend children's emerging use of content in the block, manipulatives, water and sand, drama, expressive arts, and literacy centers, and link to the development of themes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807751091
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 6/25/2010
  • Series: 0
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 761,302
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Our Response to the Current Challenge 1

Two Curriculum Models, One Common Academic Goal 2

Our Big Ideas for a Successful Action-Based Learning Environment That Addresses the Standards 4

Children's Interests Drive Learning 4

Strengthening Content Learning 6

Summary 9

2 Defining Content: Addressing the Challenge to Expand Content and Strengthen Skills 12

The Way Young Children Learn 12

Addressing the Deficiencies in the Early Childhood Standards Movement 15

Organizing Teacher Content Knowledge 16

Key Content Ideas in Science 18

Key Content Ideas in Mathematics 23

Key Content Ideas in Social Studies 24

Key Content Ideas in Language and Literacy 25

Summary 26

3 The Teacher Role in Strengthening Content and Meeting the Standards 28

Steps in the Process of Expanding the Teacher Role 29

Identifying Emerging Key Content Ideas Through Observation During Center Time 30

Initiating and Extending Conversation During Center Time 32

The Use of Recording Forms for Professional Reflection 38

Expanding the Curriculum Within the Centers 38

Expanding the Content Through Group-Time Activities and Themes 40

Assessing and Documenting Children's Learning 41

Summary 44

4 Strengthening Content in the Block Center 46

Stages of Block Building 49

Expanding the Content During Center Time 56

Seeding and Leading in the Block Center 57

Moving with Content Beyond the Block Center 57

Summary 60

5 Strengthening Content in the Water and Sand Center 61

Developmental Stages in Learning About Water and Sand 62

Expanding the Content During Center Time 63

Structured Learning Opportunities 68

Summary 77

6 Strengthening Content in the Manipulatives Center 78

Categories of Manipulative Materials 78

Using Materials in Different Ways 80

Progression in Levels of Use of Materials 81

Content Inherent in the Use of Single-Purpose Materials 82

Content Inherent in the Use of Sorting and patterning Materials 83

Content Inherent in the Use of Construction Materials 85

Role of the Teacher 86

The Interplay Between Adult-and Child-Driven Activities 87

Curricular Connections 89

Topic: Animals and Their Characteristics 89

Summary 91

7 Strengthening Content in the Drama Center 92

Forms of Dramatic Play 92

Views About Adult Involvement 93

Enriching Curriculum Through Focused Program Experiences 94

Content Focus in Theme Development 94

Supermarket Theme 95

Teacher Reflection 101

Summary 102

8 Strengthening Content in the Expressive Arts and Literacy Centers 103

Literacy Content 103

Expressive Art Content 104

A Developmental Perspective 105

Standards in Language and Literacy and the Expressive Arts 107

Setting Up and Seeding the Literacy and Expressive Arts Centers 109

Experimenting and Discovering with Media Materials 109

From Discovery to Expressing with Media Materials 112

Promoting Communication in Curriculum Activities 113

Stimulating Creative Expression 114

Sample Developmental Experiences 115

Expressing Ideas in Response to Science Events 120

Summary 122

9 Assessing Children's Learning: Documenting Results for Accountability Purposes 123

The Assessment progression 124

Sources of Assessment Data 125

Collecting Observational Data: Phase 1 in the progression 126

Designing Assessment Tasks in Management and Curriculum Activities: Phase 2 in the progression 129

Teacher-Designed Standard Tasks: Phase 3 in the Progression 136

Disseminating Assessment Information 136

Summary 137

10 Next Steps for Strengthening Content and Teaching practice in the Action-Based learning Environment 138

Meeting the Challenges 139

Our Challenge for the Future 141

Appendix A Physical Science Content 144

Appendix B Life Sciences Content 151

Appendix C Earth and Environmental Science Content 153

Appendix D Mathematics Content 154

Appendix E Social Studies Content 158

Appendix F Language and Literacy Content 161

Appendix G Guide for Planning and Implementing Themes 164

Appendix H Focused Curriculum Planning Form 166

Appendix I Sample Theme: Shoes 167

Appendix J Developmental Continuum for Visual Discrimination 169

Appendix K Developmental Continuum for Auditory Discrimination 170

Appendix L Developmental Continuum for Developing Number Sense 171

Appendix M Mathematics Observation Recording Form 173

Appendix N Physical Science Observation Recording Form 176

Appendix O Sample Checklist: Alphabetic Knowledge 177

Appendix P Visual Discrimination Observation Recording Form 178

References 179

Sources for Publication of Curriculum Standards 184

Children's Books Used in the Shoe Theme 184

Index 185

About the Authors 194

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