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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 [...]

In Defense of Childhood Conference – March 10th

This coming Saturday proves to be an outstanding and inspiring opportunity for early childhood educators and parents who can make their way to the In Defense of Childhood Conference in NYC…

IN DEFENSE OF CHILDHOOD: Keeping the Joy of Learning Alive A Conference for Educators and Parents

Saturday, March 10, 2012, [...]

LEGO Friends vs. LEGO Education: What’s the lesson here?


“Those aren’t real LEGO minifigs!” my son said, as he watched a commercial for the new LEGO Friends line. “What do you mean?” I asked. “They aren’t real minifigures. That’s not what LEGOs look like!” His brother shook his head in literal disbelief as he watched. “I know a lot of girls who [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Real versus virtual…kayaks, cows and worms

The other day my family and I were lucky enough to spend time swimming in a lovely pond. Our friends have a small kayak that was the perfect size for my seven year old sons to try out. It was magnificent – watching as they each took a turn paddling about the pond. After just [...]

Save Our Schools – A Great Beginning



My head is still spinning. On Sunday evening I returned from Washington, DC and the Save Our Schools Rally. More than just a rally, it was four days of connecting with other educators, parents, students and activists who are ready to take a giant step towards reclaiming the [...]

Words of Wisdom from Dr. Lilian Katz

“We are doing earlier and earlier to children what we shouldn’t do later.” These words of wisdom were offered by Lilian Katz – in reference to the current trend of aligning curriculum and programs in an effort to prepare children for the next step in their education. I had to applaud. In that one sentence, [...]

Inspired by Teachers

Wow! There is busy . . . and then there is BUSY! This has been a BUSY few weeks. Wonderful, though. Beginning with the powerful Rally to Save Public Education in Cambridge, MA (see previous post); continuing with a wonderful visit to my former school, Mission Hill School in Roxbury, MA;  then a quick [...]

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 [...]