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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


August 2008 | 200 pages | Corwin
The goals and purposes of kindergarten have been changing rapidly in recent years. Today, in addition to providing learning experiences that support the development of the whole child, kindergarten teachers are also held accountable for guiding their students towards mastery of the academic skills and content presented in their state's standards.

The Learning-Centered Kindergarten is designed to help all kindergarten teachers - preservice, novice, and experienced - align their practices with the new expectations and prepare themselves for professional success in the kindergartens of today and tomorrow. The book's focus on a 'learning-centered' kindergarten brings together the established developmental kindergarten knowledge base, the current research on standards-based best practices in elementary school settings, and the newest findings on human learning to form a principled, practical, and effective approach that will help teachers improve their classroom practices and maximize student 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

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