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Update and exciting news about Defending the Early Years

On March 23, 2012 in the post Keeping the Joy of Learning Alive – for Children and for Teachers, I wrote about a new project called Defending the Early Years (DEY). The mission of DEY  is to “encourage educators to speak out about current policies that are affecting the education of young children.”

Earlier this [...]

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 [...]

What is the Big Deal About Blocks?

“What is the big deal about blocks?” Melitsa Aliva asked me this question earlier this week. We were recording a podcast for her show, Raising Playful Tots ,  based in the UK.  Blocks  have been a longtime favorite of mine, and I have been advocating even more for block play as the pushy digital world [...]

The Rightful Return of Recess

Did you see this headline earlier this week in the New York Times?!?

Recess is Making a Comeback in Schools

Recess, which has been squeezed out of so many school days, is starting to gain traction once again. Recess has become part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, and national organizations such as [...]

Real versus virtual…drawing hearts

Drawing hearts is important work for many young children. Hearts aren’t too easy to draw, either. It takes practice to draw a passable, if not perfect heart, but the motivation is often high. I have watched the scenario unfold time and again in the early childhood classroom. One child (often a girl with an [...]

Is your baby’s iPad drool-proof?

We were sitting around our campfire Saturday evening when my son said, “I’m glad we did this instead of watching TV.” I smiled and added, “Me, too.” It was our first campfire in many months, and we had a great time talking, laughing, watching the beautiful blaze, and toasting a few marshmallows.

The lure of [...]

“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 [...]

Find us at NAEYC’s Annual Conference!

Today I am packing for Anaheim, CA, where I will be joining friends and colleagues at the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Annual Conference. I’ll be there with other members of  TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment) and we will be sharing our resources Media and Young Children Action Guide and  [...]

Fighting to reclaim kindergarten? Watch this video…then share it!

One of the best new resources I have seen is a powerful video by the Gesell Institute, The Role of Play in the Overly-Academic Kindergarten.  The Gesell Institute of Human Development is a non-profit organization located on the Yale campus. Their seven and half minute video is a clear look at what works in [...]

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 [...]