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

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

by Julie Diamond
     
 

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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

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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.)

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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:
05/03/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
724,643
Product dimensions:
8.04(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.64(d)

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