A Day in the Life is a blog by Sarah Puglisi, a first grade teacher who writes vividly about her classroom and life experiences. Sarah shows pictures of her students artwork and shares their ups and downs. To truly understand some of the difficult, if not heart wrenching, struggles facing students, check out Sarah’s site. She passionately reflects on her role as a mother and teacher, and she speaks to teachers across the country who struggle to maintain a sense of professionalism with the new school reforms. The site includes Mrs. Puglisi’s 100 National Standards which are what teaching should be all about. Sarah personifies the true American teacher, and this site is sure to help teachers and parents feel good about their vitally important roles.
The Alliance for Childhood “promotes policies and practices that support children’s healthy development, love of learning, and joy in living. Our public education campaigns bring to light both the promise and the vulnerability of childhood. We act for the sake of the children themselves and for a more just, democratic, and ecologically responsible future.” Along with advocating for the best in child development, this organization presents publications relevant to early childhood education. Anyone concerned with children and childhood (endangered) should follow and support this group of proven early childhood professionals.
Broader, BOLDER Approach to Education (BBA) is described as “a national campaign that acknowledges the impact of social and economic disadvantage on schools and students and proposes evidence-based policies to improve schools and remedy conditions that limit many children’s readiness to learn.”
The BBA provides an extensive bibliography of research related to students and schools, and they promote and share principles in regards to Early Childhood Education, Comprehensive Strategies, and School Improvement. Every state is represented. It is easy to learn about the programs affecting your state.
Cartoon Network in 2006, along with the P.T.A., advocated recess and P.E. be brought back to public schools. They proclaimed a National Recess Week and posted You Tube messages and articles about this subject on the web. Their Get Animated program listed participating schools. Let’s encourage the Cartoon Network and others to promote recess and bring back this program in an organized fashion.
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) is a national resource center funded by the Office of Head Start and Child Care Bureau for disseminating research and evidence-based practices to early childhood programs across the country. Resources: Family Tools is a subsection to the website. Practical strategies for caregivers along with information on state planning and current research are provided. Information on mental health and early child care are also provided.
Childalert: First for Child Safety is a British website with child safety advice galore and topics of interest for parents. They also have a safety shop.
Clear Corps: Protecting the Potential of Children (CC) is connected to AmeriCorps. Executive Director Sue Gunderson tells me the CLEAR Corps website is being redesigned but the current site is still informative. CC is the national leader on lead poisoning and they are in the process of putting together a collaborative group of professionals from the education, health, and lead poisoning prevention field to strategize about how to get the information to the schools. They are concerned with protecting children in other ways too and discuss topics related to not only to lead awareness, but asthma pets, mold, the arts and animals. They provide additional links to sites that discuss lead hazards. Additional links are provided concerning lead hazards.
Defending the Early Years (DEY) “seeks to rally educators to take action on policies that affect the education of young children.” Run by Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, founder of Empowered by Play, Senior Advisors include Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Professor Emeritus at Lesley University, and Diane Levin, Professor of Early Childhood Education at Wheelock College. The website provides many resources specific to early learning.
Empowered by Play is a blog all about early childhood education with some good names here—people who understand how little minds and bodies work—and it is connected to Defending the Early Years. But this website has additional links about the importance of play and early childhood and issues that get in the way of real learning.
The Gesell Institute of Child Development has been around since 1950 with the mission to promote child development that allows children to “enjoy childhood and have the time and opportunity to grow and to learn at their own pace and in their own way.”
International Play Association (IPA and IPA/USA) is an organization which endorses, and works towards, the United Nations’ Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), especially the following statement: “The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavor to promote the enjoyment of this right;” Article 7, paragraph 3 IPA/USA is the American Association for the child’s right to play and is affiliated with the international organization. The website includes an eJournal, links of interest, newsletters and projects, like How to Plan, Organize & Implement a Play Day. But IPA/USA especially emphasizes the importance of recess and has a number of important links to address this issue including showing you how to become a recess advocate for your state.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) “is the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.”
National Head Start Association (NHSA) offers a wide variety of services involving the Head Start and Early Childhood Education. They assist in finding Head Start Programs and provide current research and description of Head Start Programs across the country. They have a NHSA blog and radio program with informative programs for administrators, teachers and parents.
Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) involves projects to bring children closer to the environment through outdoor activities like gardening and play. “The goal is to improve children’s healthy development through built environment, nutrition, and physical activity intervention.” Even though this program is through North Carolina State University other communities can learn from it.
The Philadelphia Declaration of Play “is an ongoing collaborative project created by local advocates, mental health professionals, educators, and physicians in defense of play in the lives of children. Despite a century of research on the developmental needs of children, the physical, psychological, educational, and social well being of our children is declining. Children and adolescents are experiencing unprecedented rates of depression, anxiety, aggression, obesity, inattention and hyperactivity. One of the major symptoms of this cultural crisis is the disappearance of free play. Play is essential to every dimension of healthy childhood development. The development of the brain, body, mind, soul, and their interconnections, along with the ability to relate to others, all happen through free play. Learning. creativity, pleasure, hopefulness, mastery, and the regulation of stress rely on the healing and natural resource of play. It is urgent that we join forces and forge alliances to promote a healthier quality of childhood for now and for the future.”
Pre-K Pages: Inspiration for Early Childhood Education has many ideas for creating a good preschool environment from an early childhood teacher. The ideas seem simple and easy to do.
Pre-K Smarties makes me cringe a little, just by the title alone. But if you look beyond the pushiness on the site, you will find interesting information especially for New York City parents and also for everyone else. Browse around and keep looking. There are a lot of links to other sites. It really is an interesting webpage.
Smedley’s Smorgasboard of Kindergarten has some creative ideas for this age group and there are plenty of pictures to make the directions easy to follow.
Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) is a support group for young children with challenging behavior. It provides research-based information to parents, providers, administrators, and policy makers, and it “takes the research that shows which practices improve the social-emotional outcomes for young children with, or at risk for, delays or disabilities and creates FREE products and resources to help decision-makers, caregivers, and service providers apply these best practices in the work they do every day.” Most of the free products are available on the website for immediate viewing.
Tinker Lab has numerous links to creative art ideas! “Rachelle Doorley is an arts educator and author who works with families and educators to foster creativity through hands-on making. TinkerLab supports process-based art, experiments, curiosity-driven projects, and the intersection of art and science.”
The World of Sesame Street has online activities for children with the favorite Sesame Street characters. There are also ideas for parents, and games, stories, art and music for children.
Empowered by Play
The American Journal of Play
“AAA Considers Recess a Necessary Break From the Demands of School.” American Academy of Pediatrics. Dec. 31, 2012
“Daily School Recess Leads to Better Classroom Behavior.” American Academy of Pediatrics. February 1, 2009
Yatvin, Joanne. “Warning: The Common Core Standards May Be Harmful to Children.” Phi Delta Kappan. 94 (6): 42-44. March 2013.
Children at Play: An American History by Howard P. Chudacoff
Child Care Today: Getting it Right for Everyone by Penelope Leach
Children First: What Society Must Do—And is Not Doing—For Children Today by Penelope Leach
Elementary School Recess: Selected Readings, Games and Activities for Teachers and Parents by Rhonda L. Clements
The Hurried Child: Growing Up too Fast too Soon by David Elkind
Investigating Play in the 21st Century: Play & Culture Studies by Dorothy Justus Sluss, Olga S. Jarrett, Joe L. Frost and Peggy O’Neil-Wagner
Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown, M.D., with Christopher Vaughan
Playing for Keeps: Life and Learning on a Public School Playground by Deborah Meier, Barbara S. Engel, and Beth Taylor
The Psychology of the Child by Jean Piaget and Bärbel Inhelder
Recess: Its Role in Education and Development by Anthony D. Pelligrini
Rethinking Early Childhood Education Edited by Ann Pelo
More Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r-s: Activities to Expand Children’s Favorite Books by Shirley C. Raines and Robert J. Canady
Stretchers: Activities to Expand Children’s Favorite Books by Shirley C. Raines and Robert J. Canady
Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r-s® for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos: Experiences, Activities, and Games for Popular Children’s Books by Shirley Raines, Karen Miller, Leah Curry-Rood and Kathy Dobbs
Standardized Childhood: The Political and Cultural Struggle Over Early Education by Bruce Fuller
Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids by Nancy Carlsson-Paige
Touchpoints-Birth to Three by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. and Joshua D. Sparrow M.D.
Touchpoints 3 to 6 by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. and Joshua D. Sparrow M.D.
What Happened to Recess and Why are our Children Struggling in Kindergarten? by Susan Ohanian