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The Learning-Centered Kindergarten
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The Learning-Centered Kindergarten
10 Keys to Success for Standards-Based Classrooms

  • Shari Y. Ehly - Assistant Principal - Gattis Elementary, Round Rock ISD

Courses:
Kindergarten

August 2008 | 200 pages | Corwin

"Ehly's book is vital for any novice early childhood teacher. Her straightforward writing style helps teachers understand developmentally appropriate practices, and the book gives concrete examples on how to implement them in today's accountability-driven educational climate."
—Melissa Dubick, ESL Prekindergarten Teacher
Austin Independent School District, TX

Promote learning every day by aligning your practice with standards-based expectations!

Today's kindergarten teachers are expected to provide learning experiences that support the development of the whole child and also be accountable for guiding their students toward mastery of the academic skills and content included in state standards.

This valuable new resource shows preservice, novice, and experienced kindergarten teachers how to improve their practices to meet the new expectations and prepare children for success beyond kindergarten. This practical guide brings together the established knowledge base on child development, the current research on standards-based best practices in elementary school settings, and the newest findings on learning. Offering 10 keys to success, such as developing behavioral expectations and establishing partnerships with students and families, this classroom-friendly reference guide includes:

  • Practical tips for implementing the 10 key strategies
  • Lesson plans, templates, forms, glossaries, and other helpful resources
  • Real-world classroom vignettes of master teachers in action
  • Checklists at the end of each chapter

The Learning-Centered Kindergarten helps all early childhood educators enhance their classroom practice and foster students' future success.


 
Foreword by Lisa S. Goldstein
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction: The Importance of Learning-Centered Kindergarten in Today's Standards-Centered World
No Child Left Behind, Standards, and Changes in Kindergarten  
The Need for Learning-Centered Kindergarten  
What Is a Learning-Centered Kindergarten?  
Making Your Kindergarten a Learning-Centered Classroom  
 
Key One: Embrace Kindergarten's Multiple Purposes
The Challenges of Teaching Kindergarten Today  
Learning-Centered Kindergarten: A Bridge Between Two Worlds  
Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Carlos Lesson: Sensory Awareness and Vocabulary Development  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Guiding Principles and Practical Strategies  
Use Your Professional Knowledge Base to Guide Your Practice  
Opportunity for Professional Growth  
Pulling It All Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Two: Understand How Children Learn
Learning Theory and Creating a Learning-Centered Kindergarten  
Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Cook Lesson: Flat Stanley Revisted  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Three: Recognize the Special Needs Child
Identifying Special Needs Students in Kindergarten  
Identification and Modification  
Behavioral and Academic Challenges  
Classroom Snapshot--Ms Washington  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Four: Develop Behavioral Expectations and Procedures
Creating a Learning Environment  
Consequences and Rewards  
Common Causes of Misbehavior  
Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Hunter  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Five: Create a Supportive and Engaging Learning Environment
Classroom Design  
Think About This...  
Classroom Learning Environment  
Role of Curriculum and Instructional Practices  
Developmentally Appropriate Practices and the Standards  
Classroom Snapshot--Mr. Goodwin Lesson: Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Six: Recognize Your Students as Members of Families, Communities, and Sociocultural Groups
Culture  
Include Families and Caregivers  
Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Macrone Lesson: All About Me  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Seven: Establish Partnerships With Students and Families
Building Relationships  
Go the Extra Mile  
Caregiver Education  
When Nothing Helps  
Classroom Snapshot--Mr. Bradley  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Eight: Plan Meaningful Learning Experiences to Connect Your Students to the Standards
Developmentally Appropriate Practice Can Be Rigorous Too  
Designing Learning Experiences for a Learning-Centered Classroom  
Know Your Students  
Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Sandburg  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Nine: Showcase Your Students' Learning and Their Engagement With the Standards
Kindergarten Teachers: Really Teaching or "Just Playing"?  
Making a Connection to the World  
Classroom Snapshot--Ms. McCardo  
Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Key Ten: Form Alliances With Colleagues and Commit to Your Own Professional Development
Learning-Centered Means Everyone, Every Day--No Exceptions  
Begin With Collaboration  
Professional Development  
Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Lawrence and Ms. Simmon  
Reflection of Classroom Snapshot  
Pulling It Together  
Reflection...  
 
Resources
 
Glossary
 
Helpful Readings to Strengthen Your Knowledge Base
 
References
 
Index

“Ehly’s book is vital for any novice early childhood teacher. Her straightforward writing style helps teachers understand developmentally appropriate practices, and the book gives concrete examples on how to implement them in today’s accountability-driven educational climate.”

Melissa Dubick, ESL Prekindergarten Teacher
Austin Independent School District, TX

“The book brings home the important point that the kindergarten year, when designed appropriately and taught by effective and well-trained teachers, is the foundation for success in later years. The classroom snapshots transform theory into practice and make implementation of these outstanding guidelines like child’s play!”

Joan M. Berry, Instructor in Education
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

"Provides concrete, usable examples for today’s kindergarten teacher to reconcile the standards-based classroom with the learner-centered classroom.”

Jenna Bibb, First-Grade Teacher
Wilder-Waite Grade School, Peoria, IL
Key features
  • Each chapter begins with a brief presentation of the main ideas at the heart of the chapter.
  • Each chapter offers boxes that define and clarify key terminology, real "Classroom Snapshots" that demonstrate excellent practice in the kindergarten classroom, "Teacher Talk" sections with voices of real teachers, practical strategies, and a chapter-concluding checklist.

 

Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction

Key 1


Preview this book

For instructors

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