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|Pt. I||Today's Kindergarten||1|
|Ch. 1||Today's Kindergarten: The Past Is Present||3|
|Ch. 2||Understanding Readiness in the Context of Theory and Research||21|
|Pt. II||Ready or Not||39|
|Ch. 3||Four- and Five-Year-Olds Grow and Develop||41|
|Ch. 4||Are Schools Ready for Four- and Five-Year-Olds?||61|
|Ch. 5||Classrooms Are Ready||81|
|Ch. 6||Teachers Are Ready to Guide Children's Social Behavior||101|
|Pt. III||The Integrated Curriculum||121|
|Ch. 7||Planning an Integrated Curriculum||123|
|Ch. 8||Assessing Kindergarten Children||143|
|Ch. 9||Art in the Kindergarten||161|
|Ch. 10||Music and Movement||183|
|Ch. 11||Literacy Learning for Four- and Five-Year-Olds||201|
|Ch. 12||Language Arts for Four- and Five-Year-Olds||221|
|Ch. 13||Integrated Mathematics in the Kindergarten||241|
|Ch. 14||Children Study Their World: The Life, Physical, and Earth Sciences||259|
Kindergarten programs may be half day or full day and everything in between. Full-day programs are popular because they offer children more learning time and respond to parents' needs for full-time schooling for their children. Today more than 56 percent of five-year-olds attend a full-day program, and about a fourth of all four-year-olds attend full day.
A new kind of teacher, one who is highly skilled and knowledgeable of four- and five-year-olds, their families, and the community in which they live and of the process of teaching curriculum content, is called for. This book, Kindergarten: Fours and Fives Go to School, was written to enable students to become effective teachers of four- and five-year-old children, whether they will teach in preschool, pre-kindergarten programs, or kindergarten for four- and five-year-olds. Because the text offers current, up-to-date views of readiness and deals with continuing issues in kindergarten education, in-service teachers will find the text a valuable resource as well.
Kindergarten: Fours and Fives Go to School is a comprehensive guide to teaching in today's kindergartens or preschool programsfor four- and five-year-olds. Part I places the kindergarten in historic perspective and presents current issues surrounding today's preschools and kindergartens. Part II includes chapters on the growth, development, and learning of four- and five-year-olds, and how to prepare classrooms, schools, and teachers to work with four- and five-year-olds. Part III presents chapters on planning and assessment and the integrated content areas of art, music, literacy, mathematics, and the life, physical, and earth sciences.
Based on theories and principles of child growth, development, and learning, Kindergarten offers teachers a solid foundation on which to develop teaching skills. A separate chapter illustrates the growth and development of four- and five-year-olds and children with special needs. Throughout the text the principles of growth and learning, which guide the curriculum and teaching, are made clear. Specific experiences or ways of including children with special needs are found throughout the text as well. Special attention is given to children just learning English.
Kindergarten: Fours and Fives Go to School views learning as an integrated whole that involves schools, families, and the community. Thus, there is a focus on working with administrators, aides, supervisors, resource persons, and others within the school as well as with families.
Likewise, the curriculum is presented as a whole entity. How to plan for thematic, project learning is the focus of one chapter. The curriculum areas of art; music; the language arts; the life, physical, and earth sciences; and mathematics, although appearing as separate chapters, are presented in a way that forms an integrated, whole curriculum. Assessment and evaluation are not separate from the curriculum. Authentic evaluation techniques, which are integral to learning experiences, are advocated. Standardized testing and its merits, as well as its detriments, are explained.
Four- and five-year-olds, as all humans, learn through their physical, mental, and social activity. Thus, this text presents experiences that require children to be active. Specific suggestions for teaching content through play are given in each of the chapters.
Reality Based. Both of the authors bring an extensive background of educational experiences that are reflected in this text. The first author has taught both four- and five-year-old kindergarten in a number of settings. The second works with preschools for both four- and five-year-olds in the Baltimore City Public Schools.
The vast educational experiences of both authors bring reality to Kindergarten: Fours and Fives Go to School. All the suggested experiences in the text are based not only on theory and research but also on the real, firsthand experiences of the authors. This gives the text a practicality that will be of great use to the beginning kindergarten teacher as well as the expert.
We wish to acknowledge the support and expertise of our editor, Ann Davis; the production editors, Sheryl Langner and Lea Baranowski; and the dedicated work of the reviewers, Richard P Ambrose, Kent State University; Ann Harsh, Hattiesburg Public Schools, Mississippi; and Steven F. Reuter, Minnesota State University, Mankato.