Project-Based Learning with Young Children / Edition 1

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If your young students ask, "Why are we doing that?"
if they wonder what school learning has to do with life outside of school,
if YOU wonder how you will motivate, engage, or otherwise inspire your students to take schoolwork seriously,
then read this book.

Deborah Diffily and Charlotte Sassman give us pause to rethink the look, feel, and content of classrooms. They remind us that even the youngest students can fully participate in the life of their schools and their communities. And they show us just how successful children can be in conducting their own projects.

The authors detail the characteristics of an Applied Learning project, a venture in which students connect school work to the real world and direct their own learning. They offer a timeline for one such project, and describe several more, with suggestions for additional project topics, research resources, and end products. Using numerous vignettes and examples from their own teaching experiences, they demonstrate that, above and beyond academic learning, children grow into contributing members of different groups by learning how to negotiate and compromise, direct their own learning, and make daily work choices that mesh classroom learning with real-world projects.

As one six-year-old explained, "Projecks can be educkashional. Projecks can be fun." This book's purpose is the same: to help you understand the power, and the fun, of project-based learning. Try it and possibly change your life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“I eagerly await the impact this book will have on the early childhood classrooms I know best.”–Shelley Harwayne, Superintendent of New York School District #2
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325004471
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 8/1/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Diffily is an assistant professor of Early Childhood Education at Southern Methodist University. As a former kindergarten and first-grade teacher, Deborah shares both theory and personal experiences in presentations, articles, and books. Her primary areas of interest are supporting children's development in reading, writing, and science; project-based learning; and working with families.

Charlotte Sassman is a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center in Fort Worth, Texas. During her 25 years in public education, she has been a staff developer, curriculum writer, mentor teacher, and frequent contributor to national magazines. Her primary areas of interest are young children's writing and reading, project-based learning, and school reform.

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Table of Contents

1. Early Childhood Projects: An Introduction

The Applied Learning Classroom

Creating a Classroom Community

Before the First Project

Getting Started

Your First Project

Learning Skills Through Projects

Assessing Children's Work and Progress

Parting Words of Advice


A. The History of Projects in American Education

B. Books About Project-Based Learning

C. Possible End Products

D. Suggested Topics and Research Sources for Applied

Learning Projects E. Involving Families

F. Learning Embedded in One Project

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