Kindergarten: A Teacher, Her Students, and a Year of Learning

Overview


Hailed by renowned educator Deborah Meier as ?a rare and special pleasure to read,? Kindergarten explores a year in the life of a kindergarten classroom through the eyes of the gifted veteran teacher and author Julie Diamond. In this lyrical, beautifully written first-person account, Diamond explains the logic behind the routines and rituals children need to thrive. As she guides us through all aspects of classroom life?the organization, curriculum, and relationships that create a unique class environment?we ...
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Kindergarten: A Teacher, Her Students, and a Year of Learning

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Overview


Hailed by renowned educator Deborah Meier as “a rare and special pleasure to read,” Kindergarten explores a year in the life of a kindergarten classroom through the eyes of the gifted veteran teacher and author Julie Diamond. In this lyrical, beautifully written first-person account, Diamond explains the logic behind the routines and rituals children need to thrive. As she guides us through all aspects of classroom life—the organization, curriculum, and relationships that create a unique class environment—we begin to understand what kindergarten can and should be: a culture that builds children’s desire to understand the world and lays the foundation for lifelong learning.

Kindergarten makes a compelling case for an expansive definition of teaching and learning, one that supports academic achievement without sacrificing students’ curiosity, creativity, or development of social values. Diamond’s celebration of the possibilities of classroom life is a welcome antidote to today’s test-driven climate. Written for parents and teachers alike, Kindergarten offers a rare glimpse into what’s really going on behind the apparent chaos of a busy kindergarten classroom, sharing much-needed insights into how our children can have the best possible early school experiences.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A source of inspiration.”
—Vivian Paley, author of The Boy on the Beach

“As a classroom insider, Diamond pulls back the curtain and allows parents and others a view of how an effective classroom actually works.”
Library Journal

“[A] reaffirmation of the crucial role teachers can play in the development of children.”
—Herbet Kohl, author of 36 Children and ”I Won’t Learn from You”

"[Diamond] has captured the world of the class—at times chaotic, always busy, usually inspired."
Los Angeles Times

"Diamond’s book is an extraordinary resource for parents and teachers at all stages. It is honest and masterful, engrossing and unique. And it is utterly real."
—Ruth S. Charney, co-founder of Northeast Foundation for Children and author of Teaching Children to Care

"Highly informative."
Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Educator Diamond has worked with the younger set for 25 years. Most recently, she taught kindergarten at New York City's P.S. 87, the setting for this memoir and sourcebook for current or aspiring teachers and parents. In the foreword, artist and writer Feiffer reminisces about his own school days, reveals that Diamond taught one of his daughters and offers words of praise for the book, citing its rich "sense of inquiry, observation, mission and self-examination." Indeed, Diamond's passion for her work, affection for the kids and her dedication to their improvement is evident throughout the book. Even as she describes her experiences with her pupils, she details the times she questioned her own judgment. She is also frank about how to engage a child and when to involve his or her parents: for example, she describes a student named Henry (whose "Welcome to the Aquarium" sign inspired the book's title), who is initially reluctant to participate in artistic projects, and decides to call in his parents to talk about her concerns. Diamond's honesty makes for a highly informative if overlong narrative. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Diamond, a teacher for 25 years, follows a prototypical group of kindergarteners from their first day, when everything is new and scary, through an entire school year, as the class develops its own unique personality, organization, voice, and relationships that shape each child's future experiences in schooling. As an educator grounded in the progressive tradition, Diamond believes that experiences and ideas shape schooling; by developing a classroom environment that mirrors our values and ideals, we are better preparing kids for future roles in society than the current extreme emphasis on test scores and outcomes does. As a classroom insider, Diamond pulls back the curtain and allows parents and others a view of how an effective classroom actually works. The writing is easy to follow, and Diamond glosses over research in favor of anecdotes gleaned from nearly three decades in the classroom. Highly recommended for libraries supporting academic programs in education, as well as larger public libraries.
—Mark Bay

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595583482
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 785,273
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author


Julie Diamond has taught young children for over twenty-five years in a variety of settings, most recently in the New York City public schools. She has taught curriculum to graduate students at Bank Street College of Education and the City College of New York. She currently supervises student teachers for New York University and City College. Diamond’s published work includes book reviews, short stories, and a critical analysis of education in Pakistan.
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Table of Contents


Foreword Jules Feiffer Feiffer, Jules
1 August: Beginning the Year 7
2 Routines and Rituals: Making the Room Theirs 17
3 Collages: Making Art 43
4 Finding Curriculum: A Study of Squirrels 62
5 The Uses of Literacy: Constructing Knowledge 88
6 The Uses of Literacy: Reading and Writing 115
7 Midwinter Doldrums and Quarrels 131
8 Welcome to the Aquarium: Knowing One Child 157
9 June: Meanings and Metaphors at the End of the Year 188
10 Postscript: Being a Teacher 205 Notes 225 Children's Books Cited 235 Index 237
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Carri

    "Ok!" Picks up a flute gently and blows a note. It plays the note perfectly. ((Gtg. Nite. Btw its Candystar))

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Ms Maes.

    Kk. Gtg too. bye.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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