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Keeping the Joy of Learning Alive – for children and for teachers

The conference In Defense of Childhood: Keeping the Joy of Learning Alive did not disappoint. It was energizing and inspiring to meet so many other early childhood educators who are working hard to stay true to what is best for children in this age of high-pressure, scripted curricula and high-stakes testing. What I love best [...]

“Me Want Daddy iPad”

Is it just me or does the iPad seem to be on everyone’s mind these days? This morning on NPR’s Morning Edition, the iPad was described as “widely popular”. Yesterday in the NY Times, the article Math that Moves: Schools Embrace the iPad, looked at the advantages of using iPads in the classroom. It [...]

Radical Preschool

As young children across the country start a new school year, and teachers across the country set up learning environments for their young students, many early childhood teachers will look to the HighScope Educational Research Foundation for guidance.  HighScope is a well-respected, research based approach to early childhood care and education.  The well-known Perry Preschool [...]

You can help protect preschoolers from too much screen-time!

I am in the joyful and exhausting throes of “Cousins’ Camp” (this year we have 15 first cousins, ages 4-13!) and don’t have time for a long post.  But I felt compelled to let everyone know about an important window of opportunity to advocate for our youngest children. Currently NAEYC (National Association for the Education [...]

Agents of change

Today I write about two unique opportunities. Your voice can help make this country a better place for children and play. First, as I’ve written recently, the Common Core Standards are now available for public comment at (until April 2nd). The current draft for kindergarten includes:

“Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to [...]

Empowered by People

It is easy to feel small and powerless when corporations like Disney bully and try to silence watchdogs and advocates such as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (see story in yesterday’s NY Times). The small staff at CCFC works tirelessly on a small annual budget of $250,000, protecting childhood from corporate encroachment, yet have been [...]

Alliance for Childhood’s Joint Statement of Early Childhood Health and Education Professionals

You know something is wrong when a kindergartner asks: “Mom, can I retire from school?”

Kindergarten has traditionally been a wonderful world of discovery and playful learning. It has been a place where young children grow in their independence, form relationships outside the family circle, and learn about the world around them in a thoughtful [...]

Alliance for Childhood’s press release on free play and obesity – A must read!

Alliance for Childhood released the following statement yesterday. Here they present compelling evidence and arguments in favor of recess and other unstructured free play opportunities for our children. This short piece is packed with current information and valuable resources for parents and professionals who are aiming to bring play back into the lives of our [...]

Playful learning is more than just Sight Word BINGO

This weekend my sons had four days off from school. They played and built; wrote thank you notes and get well cards; did some baking with their dad and helped clean the house. An excellent time all around.

I am worried tonight, though, because I know tomorrow will be tough for my two five-year-olds. Kindergarten [...]

The Wisdom of Play from Community Playthings: A gift to the early childhood world

Leave it to Community Playthings to convince me to break my rule against corporate sponsored teaching resources. Their new professional development guide The Wisdom of Play: Why Children at Play Are Their Own Best Teachers is outstanding. Their guide is free to anyone who asks. When school budgets are tight (as they are these days), [...]