3 summer books tackling hot topics in early childhood education

Three books out this summer from Redleaf Press take on hot topics in the field of early childhood education—reflective teaching strategies and play vs. standards, and supporting children going through disruptive change.

Learning Together with Young Children, Second Edition
By Deb Curtis and Margie Carter 

Product Code: 545226; $44.95

Kristie Norwood, education coordinator, Ounce of Prevention writes:
“After working with Margie and Deb for over 10 years I have often heard the phrase, ‘structure for openness.’ While I knew this statement applied to the provocations and invitations in the classroom, I now see how this statement lives in this latest edition. Reading through this book provides a framework, a canvas if you will, you can develop your program/painting to represent the richness and complexity of your staff, children and families. This book is foundational to the rich tapestry of our work.

This book is foundational to the rich tapestry of our work.

In my work, I am always looking for the meaningfulness of mandates. I want to see the quality that emerges from and surpasses compliance. This book provides real world examples and simple truths that make balance and excellence possible. This balance helps to restore the joy of our work and return the steering wheel of our profession back to the professionals; our teachers.”

Susan Stacey, author of Emergent Curriculum in Early Childhood Settings, praises: “Important questions appear at the very beginning of this thought-provoking book: What do we believe the purpose of education to be? What is quality? Who gets to decide?  In Carter and Curtis’ usual friendly, accessible, and encouraging style, this second edition of Learning Together with Young Children then leads us from big questions to our everyday challenges, to core principles, and then on to practical and vivid examples of how teachers have learned alongside and with children to ‘live fully and teach well.’”

In Carter and Curtis’ usual friendly, accessible, and encouraging style, this second edition of Learning Together with Young Children leads us from big questions to our everyday challenges.

Isauro M. Escamilla’s, NAEYC Governing Board member, full review can be read here, says, “Drawing from the latest discoveries on brain development, holistic education, anti-bias curricula, and teacher research this book is a must-have for new or experienced early childhood educators, coaches, administrators and policy makers. It offers inspirational stories from real classrooms where school communities have transformed not only their environments, but the way they envision the educational experience for young children and their families.”

This book is a must-have for new or experienced early childhood educators, coaches, administrators and policy makers.

 

Saving Play: Addressing Standards through Play-Based Learning in Preschool and Kindergarten
By Gaye Gronlund and Thomas Rendon

Product Code: 545301; $34.95

Saving Play show how play, academics, and standards can work together with the right strategies and support from educators. It empowers teachers to join play and standards, and learn how child-led, open-ended play addresses the seven domains and Common Core Standards.

Elizabeth Jones, faculty emerita, Pacific Oaks College, author of The Play’s the Thing and Playing to Get Smart recommends the book writing, “As an advocate for children’s play, do you face required standards?  If so, here’s a timely survival guide.  This wonderfully challenging, readable book invites us to sharpen our perceptions of a whole range of state and national standards and to share responsibility for explaining them to teachers and parents and the public.  It assures us that play and standards can go together and guides us in being active learners collaborating with the children.  While keeping play authentic, child-directed and open-ended, we can  recognize the standards embedded in play and use them – as guidelines for observing children’s growth, not as lesson plans.  As a standards-resister myself, I’ve just been won over.  Read this book.

This wonderfully challenging, readable book invites us to sharpen our perceptions of a whole range of state and national standards . . . As a standards-resister myself, I’ve just been won over.  Read this book.

You can read Elizabeth’s full review here.

Walter F. Drew, EdD, founder and executive director of the Institute for Self Active Education, board member for The Association for the Study of Play, and co-author of From Play to Practice: Connecting Teachers Play to Children’s Learning calls Saving Play,  “A brilliant piece of work! Best, most inspiring new thinking that makes the connection between play, research, and early learning standards clear and compelling. Powerful insights answer the question ‘How do I as a teacher use what children do best to help them gain essential concepts and skills needed to succeed in school and life?’ Tom Rendon and Gaye Gronlund have set the foundation for putting play right at the heart of the curriculum and high quality professional development like no other book I have read!”

A brilliant piece of work!

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD, University of Delaware and author of Becoming brilliant: What science tells us about raising successful children agrees, writing, “Saving Play is a delightful book – using research and written by an administrator and a practitioner – a great combination. Who says play is antithetical to learning?  Even learning based on standards. Rendon and Gronlund show us how play is integral to helping children learn, and not just an extra that gets thrown in for 10 minutes between ‘learning activities.’ Playful learning is essential to helping children think, learn, and remember. Bravo for bringing these important ideas to life!”

Bravo for bringing these important ideas to life!

A Fighting Chance: Supporting Young Children Experiencing Disruptive Change
By Jane Humphries and Kari Rains

Product Code: 545066; $29.95

Every day, many children have to cope with complicated and disruptive situations, and your classroom can become the most stable environment in their young lives. Learn how to address disruptive changes with an extensive toolbox of activities, ideas, and resources to help you find the best practical approach for each child.

Founder, McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership, National Louis University, Paula Jorde Bloom, PhD, says, “A Fighting Chance should be required reading for every early childhood educator! The book provides a clear description of the different types of disruptive change that children experience along with concrete strategies and resources that classroom teachers, administrators, and support staff can use to nurture resiliency and healthy child development. Humphries and Rains draw on their repertoire of real-life stories gleaned from years of experience working with children experiencing trauma and toxic stress. Their book provides a wealth of ideas and practical advice that will help early childhood professionals address the challenges young children face.”

Should be required reading for every early childhood educator! 

Stacy Dykstra, PhD, writes, “Through snapshots of disruptive change, and its detrimental effects on our children, we’re reminded of the critical role early childhood teachers play. A Fighting Chance provides effective early care and education tools for professionals to integrate into their interactions, creating a safe, consistent place for children to learn and grow. This valuable resource will resonate with policymakers, early childhood professionals, and parents.”

This valuable resource will resonate with policymakers, early childhood professionals, and parents.

Deb Flis, Program Specialist, Connecticut Office of Early Childhood reflects on the authors personal experience working with children and a community struggling with trauma, “From the Introduction, the authors’ first-person account of their experience of the Oklahoma City bombing reveals their passion for guiding educators to help children and families deal with trauma and disruptive change.  Infused with the basic tenets of high quality early education, their strategies guide the reader to apply the principles of best practice, current research, and social-emotional support.   The case scenarios concretely illustrate the challenges for children and families brought on by disruptive change and the strategies adults can use in the classroom.”

Infused with the basic tenets of high quality early education, their strategies guide the reader to apply the principles of best practice, current research, and social-emotional support. 

Dianne Juhnke, MS Child Development, Director of CDSA Child Care Resource and Referral, praises their inclusion of practical strategies, “Dr. Jane Humphries and Kari Rains provided an excellent theoretical framework for working with children experiencing disruptive change.  Their concrete and practical strategies for helping children to build essential life skills can be applied to many child care situations.  As a child care trainer and technical assistance specialist, I know that I will frequently refer to this book for ideas and resources.”

I know that I will frequently refer to this book for ideas and resources.

LaDonna Atkins, EdD, professor of child development, University of Central Oklahoma, calls A Fighting Chance, “a great addition to the trauma focused resources available for early childhood educators. By explaining the impact of trauma and stress, as well as providing practical ideas to support children in the classroom, this book provides guidance teachers need to restore function and build resiliency in children who suffer from challenging life experiences.”

A great addition to the trauma focused resources available for early childhood educators.

Leslie E. Katch, PhD, Professor of Early Childhood Education, National Louis University, calls A Fighting Chance,

A must-have for all ECE professionals!

“Using a mix of concrete examples and theoretical underpinnings, this book explores the real-life struggle of childhood and all the stress, trauma and change that comes along with it. The practical strategies offered are what early childhood teachers and administrators need when confronting difficult situations with children and their families. It’s refreshing to see a book that tackles the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of the messy, beautiful and complex world of early childhood care and education. A must-have for all ECE professionals!”

Visit www.RedleafPress.org for more information on all of these titles.

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