Active Experiences for Active Children: Literacy Emerges

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9780130834355: Active Experiences for Active Children: Literacy Emerges

Based on three of the best known and heralded theorists (Dewey, Vygotsky, and Piaget), this comprehensive resource tool illustrates and demonstrates how teachers can plan meaningful learning experiences that lead to reading and writing. The content and concepts included in the book are based on those found in the joint position statement of the International Reading Association and the National Association for the Education of the Young Child. Readers will feel confident that they know how to plan activities that hold meaning for children—activities that will actually keep children's minds and bodies engaged and will lead to productive learning of language and development of literacy. A separate chapter on “Second Language,” along with chapter-by-chapter features, brings learners up-to-date on this increasingly prevalent demographic issue in education, and prepares them to address it in every aspect of their instructional planning and delivery. Other key chapter topics include building connections to home and community: extending active literacy experiences, and the form and structure of language learning. For pre-service and practicing teachers.

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface

"What can I do tomorrow?" teachers ask. "And I don't mean just another silly activity. I need something that will keep children involved and lead to successful learning." Grounded in John Dewey's philosophy that all genuine education comes through experience, but that not all experiences are equally educative, Active Experiences for Active Children: Literacy Emerges answers teachers' questions about what to do tomorrow.

Both pre- and in-service teachers will find this book useful. It is suitable as a text, or a supplemental text, for early childhood courses in community colleges and four-year college programs.

There are numerous activity books available. These, however, present isolated language activities that are often meaningless to children and void of any real content or learning. Active Experiences for Active Children: Literacy Emerges offers teachers an integrated approach to planning language learning for young children.

Its practicality will also be ideal for teachers who desire the best for young children but have limited training or formal preparation. Professionals working in childcare, Head Start, or other early childhood settings will find that Active Experiences for Active Children: Literacy Emerges supports their growth and understanding of how to put theory into practice. ORGANIZATION

This book is the second in a series of books designed to illustrate how to plan and implement meaningful, thematic experiences that truly educate young children instead of just keeping them busy. Teachers are given guides to planning and implementing curriculum that will lead to children's academic success.

Active Experiences for Active Children: Literacy Emerges consists of clear, concise, and usable guides for planning meaningful language learning experiences for children in childcare, preschool, Head Start, or other early educational programs.

The experiences in this book lead to successful language learning because they

are grounded on children's interests and needs and in their here-and-now world have integrity in terms of content key to language learning and learning to read and write involve children in group work and projects have continuity. One experience builds on another, forming a complete, coherent, integrated learning curriculum for young children as well as connecting the early childhood setting to children's homes and communities. promote the language skills and attitudes children will need not only to perpetuate our democratic society, but to continually improve that society provide time and opportunity for children to think and reflect on their experiences

The first four chapters describe how to plan and implement experiential language learning. These offer pre- and in-service teachers of young children an overview of theory and research on the role of experiences in children's language learning. The first chapter illustrates how Dewey's theories of learning and teaching can be put into practice. This is followed by chapters on the role of language learning environments, in the classroom, home, and community. Chapter 4 reviews research and theory and discusses concepts key to language learning, reading and writing.

Next, eight guides for planning and implementing active and meaningful language experiences are presented. These guides include sections for the teacher and for the children.

The section "For the Teacher" begins by identifying concepts key to learning language, reading, and writing. Goals and objectives are stated. This section discusses ideas for connecting children's home and family to the school, and describes how to evaluate and assess children's language learning.

The section "For the Children" consists of ideas for implementing the identified goals and objectives through thematic, integrated, and continual experiences. In this case, the guides are based on skills and knowledge required for literacy to emerge. AUTHORS

Another important feature of the book is the expertise and background of the authors. Together, they bring a unique perspective to the book. Both have experienced Deweyan education. Both have worked in Head Start, childcare, and other early childhood settings and thus bring an intimate knowledge of practice to the text. And because both are researchers, the latest in theory and research in the field of early childhood education is represented in the text. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We wish to thank Ann Davis, whose knowledge of active children and thoughtful guidance contributed to the development of this book. We appreciate the expertise of Sheryl Langner. The careful attention of Pat Grogg to the details of book production merits special thanks.

We would like to thank the following for their valuable suggestions and comments: Adrienne L. Herrell, California State University, Fresno; Alice S. Honig, Syracuse University; Leanna Manna, Villa Maria College (NY); Edythe H. Schwartz, California State University, Sacramento; and Thomas D. Yawkey, Penn State University.

About the Author:

CAROL SEEFELDT, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of human development at the Institute for Child Study, University of Maryland, College Park, where she taught graduate and undergraduate classes for 28 years. She received the Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award from the university and has published 23 books and over 100 scholarly and research articles for teachers and parents. Her books include Social Studies for the Preschool/Primary Child, Active Experiences for Active Children: Social Studies, and Current Issues in Early Childhood Education with Alice Galper, and The Early Childhood Curriculum: Current Findings in Theory and Practice.

During her 40 years in the field, Dr. Seefeldt has taught at every level from nursery school for 2-year-olds through the third grade. In Florida she directed a church-related kindergarten, and served as Regional Training Officer for Project Head Start. She has conducted teacher training programs in Japan and the Ukraine and has been a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows.

Carol's research interests have revolved around curriculum development and program evaluation as well as intergenerational attitudes. Most recently she was principal investigator of the Montgomery County Head Star—Public School Transition Demonstration.

ALICE GALPER, Ph.D., educator and consultant, received her doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park. Previously she was a classroom teacher in New Hampshire and a Head Start Consultant in the Washington, DC, area. She was a professor of human development at Mt. Vernon College, Washington, DC, for nearly 20 years and at the University of Maryland. She assisted Carol Seefeldt on the research component of the Montgomery County Head Start—Public School Transition Demonstration. Currently she is on the adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland.

Alice's research has revolved around intergenerational attitudes and program evaluation. She has written many articles for such journals as Child Development, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Early Childhood Research Quarterly. She is co-author with Carol Seefeldt of Continuing Issues in Early Childhood Education and Active Experiences for Active Children: Social Studies.

Alice presents workshops and papers regularly at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Conference, the Head Start Research Conference, and the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meetings, among others.

Active in community affairs, Alice has been appointed by Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, DC, as co-chair of the Interagency Coordinating Council of the DC Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers, and volunteers for the Black Student Fund.

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