Category Archives: Learning through Play and Experience

Succeeding Through Failure: Read Along Section 7–What If Everybody Understood Child Development?

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, my brother’s room was a shrine to Michael Jordan.  After I came home one day, devastated about missing out on a part for a children’s theater production, I was taken by my brother … Continue reading

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An Assessment of the Testing Culture: Read Along Section 6 – What If Everybody Understood Child Development?

The topic of “testing” gets a very passionate response from educators (and parents), and not usually a very good one.  But ask them about assessments, and you’re likely to get a very different response.  It may be a matter of … Continue reading

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Wait! What Happened to Recess? : Read Along Section 5 – What If Everybody Understood Child Development?

The mystery of the disappearing recess, is not an uncommon topic of discussion in elementary education.  The majority of adults remember a morning recess, a lunch recess, and an afternoon recess.  I think most Americans would hazard a guess and … Continue reading

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Trouble Sitting Still: Read Along Section 4 — What If Everybody Understood Child Development?

It was years ago that I read the passage, but it is one of the first that comes back to me as I consider the importance of recognizing that the work of the mind and the work of the body … Continue reading

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Speak Up! How Words Can Make a Big Difference for Little Kids

The 30 million word gap has become somewhat legendary.  But in case you missed the recurrent rumbling, here’s the quick rundown.  Back in 1995, researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley recorded hours and hours of interactions between parents and children.  … Continue reading

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Let Them Be Little: Read Along Section 3 – What if Everybody Understood Child Development?

Until about the mid 1700s, childhood wasn’t recognized as part of the lifespan.  Children were viewed as miniature adults.  The same rules, expectations, and responsibilities were applied equally to children and adults.  (Hence, the child kings, child brides, child laborers, … Continue reading

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Before They Write: Fine Motor Foundation

“Way before we put a pencil in a child’s hand and ask him to write, we need to have a foundation of fine motor skills.” I could tell right away that while I thought I had said something simple, it … Continue reading

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The Powerful Purpose Behind Playing Pretend

One of my favorite moments during my last Powerful Play workshop was talking with the table of teachers who were doing their in-depth study on dramatic play.  With wide eyes and excited tones they made connections between the play they … Continue reading

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Filed under Building Readers, Child Development & DAP, Learning through Play and Experience