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Annual Editions: Early Childhood Education 12/13, Thirty-Third Edition
1. $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers, Raj Chetty et al. Kappan, November 2010
Despite the wishes of kindergarten teachers to actually earn $320,000 per year, the authors of this article report findings from their research on the long-term benefits of a high-quality kindergarten experience on the students' lifelong earnings. They found a strong relationship between the kindergarten classroom and the quality of the teacher on the adult wages, which they reported to be a lifetime increase of $10,000 per student. Multiplying $10,000 times 20 students in each class produced the eye popping six-figures. Experienced teachers committed to their job were most successful in implementing best practices and raising test scores and adult income.
2. Those Persistent Gaps, Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley, Educational Leadership, December 2009/January 2010, vol. 67, no. 4
In the ongoing quest to solve the achievement gap dilemma, educators are examining the many reasons for gaps between at-risk children and those not living in risk situations. Factors such as birth weight, exposure to language and literacy, and parent participation all contribute to school success or low achievement on tests. Collaboration among the individuals and groups working with children in poverty is needed if the many factors affecting the achievement gaps among children are to be addressed.
3. The Achievement Gap: What Early Childhood Educators Need to Know, Barbara A. Langham, Texas Child Care Quarterly, Fall 2009
Article one focuses on the reason for the achievement gap, and this article by Langham addresses some solutions, especially for reaching preschool children. Many are beginning to wonder if the gap can ever be closed.
4. The Messiness of Readiness, Pamela Jane Powell, Kappan, November 2010
Powell shares her concerns about the current practice of making young children ready for school instead of getting schools ready for all children. Readiness is defined in many different ways and educators are responsible for ensuring formal settings are developmentally appropriate and ready to meet the needs of all children in a child-centered learning setting.
5. Invest in Early Childhood Education, Sharon Lynn Kagan and Jeanne L. Reid, Phi Delta Kappan, April 2009
In her succinct and informative style, Kagan, joined by Reid, outlines a number of recommendations for moving forward with early childhood education in this country. The roles of the federal government, states, local communities, and families are described. The article is a must-read for anyone interested in ensuring quality programs are available for all young children. The authors contend that universal preschool should be available, but not required.
6. Joy in School, Steven Wolk, Educational Leadership, September 2008
With the focus on academic achievement, teachers are feeling the pressure to teach so that students learn. For many teachers, that means an academic approach where the joy and passion for learning is lacking. Wolk reminds educators to plan developmentally appropriate activities that encourage children to develop lifelong learning habits.
7. Early Education, Later Success, Susan Black, American School Board Journal, September 22, 2008
What used to be called K–12 education has dipped down to include the very critical preschool years. School districts are beginning to align their PK–third grades into an ECE PK–3 unit. Schools committed to achievement and best practices find a cohesive approach to education for their youngest learners most effective.
8. Don't Dismiss Early Education as Just Cute; It's Critical, Lisa Guernsey, USA Today, April 28, 2010
Early Childhood educators know the importance of what they do and how quality early childhood experiences can make a significant difference in the life of a child and his or her family. Now the challenge is to help others realize that as well. Efforts at school reform, programs to close the achievement gap, and efforts to guarantee a better prepared workforce often miss starting the reform process with preschool children. Just as the roots of a tree can affect the other parts, the foundation for future learning needs support early in the life of the child.
9. Are We Paving Paradise?, Elizabeth Graue, Educational Leadership, April 2011, vol. 68, no. 7
The benefits of a play-based child-centered kindergarten is the focus of Graue's article. Teachers must remind themselves of their knowledge base of child development and stay strong when asked to implement teaching practices not in the best interest of ever-changing five-year-old children. She builds a strong case for a play-based program. This is a must-share article with administrators and families pushing for more academics.
10. The Power of Birth Order, Linda Diproperzio, Parents, October 2010
We have heard for years that one's birth order in a family can predict many outcomes. In this interesting examination into the world of family order and siblings, the reader may see glimpses of themselves or brothers and sisters.
11. Teachers Connecting with Families—In the Best Interest of Children, Katharine C. Kersey and Marie L. Masterson, Young Children, September 2009, vol. 64, no. 5
Establishing positive relationships with the families and young children with whom teachers work is paramount to engaging the child in meaningful experiences. This article included many strategies for before and during the year, all with the purpose of developing connections and collaboration between the families and the school setting.
12. The Impact of Teachers and Families on Young Children's Eating Behaviors, Erin K. Eliassen, Young Children, March 2011, vol. 66, no. 2
The ongoing focus on childhood obesity has forced school personnel and families to work together to find solutions. The author shares strategies for encouraging children to develop healthy eating behaviors during the early childhood years that will serve them well throughout their lifetime.
13. Class Matters—In and Out of School, Jayne Boyd-Zaharias and Helen Pate-Bain, Phi Delta Kappan, September 2008
The effects of poverty on school achievement can be abated by collaboration between school administrators and community leaders. Quality instruction starting in the preschool years and lower class sizes are effective practices.
14. Creating a Welcoming Classroom for Homeless Students, Jennifer J. Salopek, Education Update, Association for Staff and Curriculum Development, June 2010, vol. 52, no. 6
With a close to 50 percent increase in the population of homeless children since 2008, educators must alter the ways they interact with homeless children in school settings. Academic achievement for homeless children, many who are at-risk for academic success, first hinges on their ability to form a trusting relationship with their teachers, deal with stress, and feel safe in the learning environment. Communicating with families in creative ways is the responsibility of the teacher.
15. Making Long-Term Separations Easier for Children and Families, Amy M. Kim and Julia Yeary, Young Children, September 2008
The numbers of children separated from family members by military deployment are staggering. Long deployments, injuries, and death of a family member have an impact on the social, emotional, and cognitive development of children. Teachers can work with the family to help alleviate the stress children are experiencing.
16. Keys to Quality Infant Care: Nurturing Every Baby's Life Journey, Alice Sterling Honig, Young Children, September 2010, vol. 65, no. 5
When Dr. Honig speaks or writes about infants, we listen. She asks caregivers who work with infants to spend time exploring the different temperament and individual skills and interests babies bring to a group care setting. Developing nurturing relationships with infants and their families hinges on the caregiver using a variety of techniques, which Honig presents. Excellent strategies for caregivers are included.
17. Gaga for Gadgets, Margery D. Rosen, Parents, February 2011
Watching a DVD on the way to the grocery store, playing with mom's smartphone and downloading an app to the family iPad are all daily encounters for many young children, including infants and toddlers. The escalation of technology into our lives means adults must be vigilant in introducing appropriate technology to children.
18. The Wonder Years, Annie Papero, American School Board Journal, August 2011, vol. 198, no 8
When Papero speaks of the wonder years, she is referring to those most important years prior to public school entry age when the foundation for future learning is often set. Poverty, family instability and low quality child care all contribute to many children not maximizing learning experiences during those early childhood years. When school districts start to recognize assisting diverse learners starts long before they enter school, progress will be made in closing the achievement gap.
19. Class Division, Peg Tyre, Family Circle, September 2009
When we discuss the achievement gap issues, we often don't think of the gap that exists between males and females, but it's there. Teachers know there are learning styles for the different genders, and with some differentiation strategies in hand; teachers and parents can meet the individual learning needs of each child.
20. Learning in an Inclusive Community, Mara Sapon-Shevin, Educational Leadership, September 2008
Moving to develop an inclusive learning community that meets the needs of all students is the focus of this article. Included are ten suggestions for teachers to consider when designing classrooms that support the diversity of the children.
21. Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Strategies That Work, Clarissa Willis, Young Children, January 2009
Willis describes some of the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder, which is diagnosed in one in every 150 babies. Teachers have many questions related to behavior, needs, and specific strategies that will best reach these children in an inclusive setting. Suggestions for classroom routines are included.
22. Individualizing Instruction in Preschool Classrooms, Mary B. Boat, Laurie A. Dinnebeil, and Youlmi Bae, Dimensions of Early Childhood, Winter 2010, vol. 38, no. 1
Interest in differentiating or individualizing learning experiences to meet the needs of all children is high among teachers. Teachers first need to know how to differentiate and how to best support each child in his or her learning. Strategies for scaffolding are included.
23. The Why behind RTI, Austin Buffum, Mike Mattos, and Chris Weber, Educational Leadership, October 2010, vol. 68, no. 2
Teachers of all levels of children must be familiar with Response to Intervention tiers and the strategies implemented to prevent future failure. When educators look for ways to differentiate the learning so every child can learn success will happen.
24. Take Charge of Your Personal and Professional Development, Carla B. Goble and Diane M. Horm, Young Children, November 2010, vol. 65, no. 6
Unlike the other articles in this edition, which all focus on the care and education of young children; this article is included for the professional educator reading this book. Teachers and caregivers are responsible for keeping up to date on best practices and must develop a plan for ongoing professional development. The children in your care deserve the very best.
25. Helping Children Play and Learn Together, Michaelene M. Ostrosky and Hedda Meadan, Young Children, January 2010, vol. 35, no. 1
Helping preschool children learn how to play and cooperate with their peers is a critical part of an early childhood educator's job. Young children today have fewer opportunities to engage in freely chosen play where they make the decisions. Through engagement in cooperative experiences, children develop social and emotional competence and enhance their learning opportunities.
26. Rough Play: One of the Most Challenging Behaviors, Frances M. Carlson, Young Children, July 2011, vol. 66, no. 4
Every teacher and parent deals with the dilemma of how to best handle rough-and-tumble or rough play. Young children need clear expectations for behavior along with ample opportunities to use large muscles as they practice physical skills through play.
27. Play and Social Interaction in Middle Childhood, Doris Bergen and Doris Pronin Fromberg, Phi Delta Kappan, February 2009
At a time when recess and free play are disappearing from early childhood programs, Bergen and Fromberg discuss the importance of play during the middle childhood years. Social, emotional, physical, cognitive and creative development are enhanced through play.
28. Is Tattling a Bad Word? How to Help Children Navigate the Playground, Katharine C. Kersey and Marie L. Masterson, Childhood Education, Summer 2010, vol. 86, no. 4
All teachers deal with tattling but often are unsure of their approach to handling this common childhood practice. Teachers wonder if validating the tattler will only lead to more and are not certain if they should just ignore the behavior hoping it will go away. Kersey and Masterson provide suggested comments adults can use with children when helping them develop appropriate social skills.
29. Keeping Children Active: What You Can Do to Fight Childhood Obesity, Rae Pica, Exchange, May/June 2009
Instilling a love for leading a healthy active lifestyle starts when children are young. Pica provides strategies for adults to incorporate physical activity and recess into each day that will help prevent obesity as children age.
30. Enhancing Development and Learning through Teacher-Child Relationships, Kathleen Cranley Gallagher and Kelley Mayer, Young Children, November 2008
When teachers take the time to develop warm and nurturing relationships with each child, they take the first step toward the total education of all children in their classroom. A secure attachment is important for infants and toddlers and continues throughout the early childhood years. Research on best practices to foster social and emotional development is outlined in this article.
31. Promoting Emotional Competence in the Preschool Classroom, Hannah Nissen and Carol J. Hawkins, Childhood Education, Summer 2010, vol. 86, no. 4
There is strong research indicating positive social interactions between young children and the important people in their lives, including family, friends, and adults, leads to the development of emotionally competent individuals. Teachers help young children build relationships by coaching, serving as a role model, and creating healthy environments.
32. Helping Young Boys Be Successful Learners in Today's Early Childhood Classrooms, Nancy Gropper et al. Young Children, January 2011, vol. 66, no. 1
Gender differences in the development and learning styles of children have stymied teachers throughout the years. New research on learning styles, especially of young boys, and the role of the adult in fostering an optimal kindergarten environment are shared by the authors.
33. Developmentally Appropriate Child Guidance: Helping Children Gain Self-Control, Will Mosier, Texas Child Care Quarterly, Spring 2009
Our ultimate goal for guiding children's behavior is to have children express their emotions in socially acceptable ways as they learn to develop internal control. Teachers who employ natural consequences for inappropriate behavior help children develop the skills they will need throughout their lives.
34. Kindergarten Dilemma: Hold Kids Back to Get Ahead? Stephanie Pappas, msnbc.com September 6, 2010
The national trend for many middle- and upper-middle-class parents to delay kindergarten entry for their children has hidden costs many economists state. Delayed kindergarten or ''redshirted'' children lose any gains they achieve by being older, often by the third grade. There is a slight academic advantage early in their academic career.
35. Want to Get Your Kids into College? Let Them Play, Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis, CNN.com
This article is a powerful statement on the importance of allowing ample opportunities during early childhood for children to hone those lifelong skills through play. Cooperation, inquisitiveness, motivation, creating, and sharing are just a few of the behaviors learned through play that help with achievement in all areas of development.
36. Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Age of Testing, David McKay Wilson, Harvard Education Letter, May/June 2009, vol. 25, no. 3
Wilson's message to all teachers is to hold strong to the principle of child development and provide an environment that is developmentally appropriate for all young children to learn. Pressure to use scripted curriculum and deny children the opportunity for inquiry-based learning is forcing many teachers to not follow what they know to be best practice. Four key foundations of development are described.
37. Acknowledging Learning through Play in the Primary Grades, Jeanetta G. Riley and Rose B. Jones, Childhood Education, Spring 2010, vol. 86, no. 3
In the rush to meet all of the elementary standards, primary teachers are forfeiting opportunities for their children to learn through play-based experiences. There are many ways teachers can provide for hands-on investigative play opportunities that meet learning standards in literacy, math, and science as well as social skills.
38. Repeating Views on Grade Retention, Pamela Jane Powell, Childhood Education, Winter 2010, vol. 87, no.2
Powell provides a historical look at the research on grade retention going back over 100 years. She provides a summary of the research on this ineffective practice and includes alternatives to holding children back a grade. Differentiating the learning environment and including practices that are developmentally appropriate are key.
39. The Power of Documentation in the Early Childhood Classroom, Hilary Seitz, Young Children, March 2008
Documentation takes many forms and should be collected throughout the year. It allows others to gain an understanding of the many learning opportunities in a classroom and shows specific ways in which children benefited from participation in various learning experiences.
40. When School Lunch Doesn't Make the Grade, Elizabeth Foy Larsen, Parents, September 2010
The battle to combat childhood obesity can start in the school cafeteria. Eating behaviors developed after consuming meals high in salt, sugar, and fat can last a lifetime. Parents and teachers can take charge and work for change in the food served to schoolchildren.
41. Give Me a Break: The Argument for Recess, Barbie Norvell, Nancy Ratcliff, and Gilbert Hunt, Childhood Education, Winter 2009/2010, vol. 86, no. 2
Without supporting research, school administrators across the country are eliminating recess. Healthy physical development, as well as the development of social skills, is being affected by the elimination of recess.
42. 5 Hallmarks of Good Homework, Cathy Vatterott, Educational Leadership, September 2010, vol. 68, no 1
With pressure for academic achievement starting early, homework is viewed as a way to extend the learning into the home setting. Effective homework is purposeful, among other things, and not randomly assigned for all children to do the same work. Families of young children play a key role in the homework discussion with family support and supplies available, two factors that may affect its successful completion.
43. Preschool Curricula: Finding One That Fits, Vivian Baxter and Karen Petty, Texas Child Care Quarterly, Fall 2008
There are many different curriculum approaches used in preschool programs. Some are models or packages adopted or purchased, and others are an eclectic approach incorporating practices from a number of approaches or theories. This article describes six popular curriculum models and presents the role of the child and teacher for each approach.
44. Beyond The Lorax?: The Greening of the American Curriculum, Clare Lowell, Phi Delta Kappan, November 2008
Young children are spending fewer hours playing outside enjoying nature and spending more time inside using technology. The long-term consequences of this nature deprivation will be a generation of children not familiar and invested with their natural surroundings and everything living outside. The author discusses a number of key issues addressed in this edition, including ADHD and obesity, as well as physical and creative development.
45. Constructive Play: A Value-Added Strategy for Meeting Early Learning Standards, Walter F. Drew et al., Young Children, July 2008
Constructive play is play in which children work to make an original creation or show an understanding of a concept. Creativity, imagination, and inquiry are all parts of constructive play. Teachers have found that early learning standards can be achieved by fostering constructive play in their classrooms.
46. Calendar Time for Young Children: Good Intentions Gone Awry, Sallee J. Beneke, Michaelene M. Ostrosky, and Lilian G . Katz, Young Children, May 2008
When teachers develop more experience and an understanding of young children's development, they begin to examine traditional classroom practices. The authors explore calendar time and provide suggestions for making the experience more developmentally appropriate and authentic for young children.
47. Why We Should Not Cut P. E., Stewart G. Trost and Hans Van Der Mars, Educational Leadership, December 2009/January 2010, vol. 67, no. 4
Eliminating physical education and recess so children can have more classroom learning time is happening all across the country. Trost and van der Mars provide research which shows academic performance did not change when physical education was decreased. They discuss the link between academic achievement and physical fitness and obesity.