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To Toot or Not to Toot? For Teachers, That Is the Question

by Rae Pica
Rae Pica
Rae Pica has been a children's physical activity specialist since 1980. A former
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on Thursday, 24 May 2012
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Studies suggest that it's important to career success to be able to speak glowingly about one's work skills and accomplishments. In fact, a recent report indicates humility in the workplace may be a liability.   Educators, of course, are known for their humility. Theirs is a broadly accepted practice of being other-directed and of being reticent to toot their own horns and tout their accomplishments. The question is: does this practice harm teachers and the education profession?   When I posed this question in an online forum, the general consensus was that it does indeed -- but that was w
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Stop Teaching to the Test, Start Teaching to the Culture

by Rae Pica
Rae Pica
Rae Pica has been a children's physical activity specialist since 1980. A former
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on Wednesday, 23 May 2012
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Our guests assert that to be more engaging and effective with students we need to connect to the various cultures of the students in our classes. They suggest that teaching to the culture increases engagement, comprehension, and student achievement. So what does this mean in practice?   Learn more at http://www.bamradionetwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=835:how-we-teacher-girls-to-have-unhealthy-self-image&catid=35:jackstreet54&Itemid=89. Then read: Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice by Geneva Gay And check out:
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In Praise of Good Mentors Everywhere and Anywhere

by Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum has been an inner-city elementary school teacher in Bedford-Stuyv
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on Tuesday, 22 May 2012
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In Praise of Good Mentors Everywhere and Anywhere All teachers need mentors. This relationship and process starts with student teaching and the neophyte’s professor, but in most cases, sadly ends there.  My positive experiences with mentors in my life come from a diverse group of teachers, coaches, and oddly enough, two parakeets.   I play tennis and practice against the wall of a racquetball court.  I hit for thirty minutes, starting out slow to find my concentration.  At sixty-six I take my time to warm up until I start hitting harder over an imaginary net while keeping my focus and te

Choosing CDA Training... It's Giving Me a Headache!

by Debra Pierce
Debra Pierce
Debra Pierce is professor of Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech Community Col
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on Thursday, 17 May 2012
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One of the first steps in the CDA process is acquiring 120 clock hours of training. Choosing where to get this training can be confusing, overwhelming, a shot in the dark,or all three. This is especially true if the candidate begins to search for online CDA training.There are literally hundreds of training agencies vying for your business, with more popping up every day. Most have catchy ad campaigns and promise quick and easy completion of CDA training hours from the comfort of home. After a while, they all start looking pretty much the same to the casual browser. So then, price becomes the n

Contemplation Writing: An Alternative to Journal Writing and Mindfulness Programs, Part 5, Themes from Student Contemplations

by Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum has been an inner-city elementary school teacher in Bedford-Stuyv
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on Monday, 30 April 2012
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Contemplation Writing: An Alternative to Journal Writing and Mindfulness Programs Part 5: Themes from Student Contemplations The themes, plots, experiences, and stories of my students cover a wide range of everyday, real events, and also, surreal happenings that impact adolescent life.  The beauty of “Contemplation” or “Music” Writing is that it gives kids the freedom of expression that leads to self-discovery, self-motivation, and ultimately, self-education.  Their inner worlds are activated by the music and trigger the desire to write about whatever they experienced inside themselves

Learning Naturally!

by Gail Multop
Gail Multop
As a teacher of young children, Gail Multop has worked in high quality programs
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on Sunday, 22 April 2012
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Learning Naturally Outdoor learning is the name of the game at my center. We have an amazing array of possibilities linking classroom to playground. Our playhouses are cobbed. We have piping all around the fences so that we can attach a hose to any outlet for making wet sand and mud. Our shed, also cobbed, has a garden growing on its roof to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and a gutter system for dripping rain into a rain barrel! Our children are encouraged to get wet and dirty, not discouraged from it.Last week we put out easels. We brought out paint, glue and wat

Contemplation Writing: An Alternative to Journal Writing and Mindfulness Programs, Part 4, Categories of Student Contemplations

by Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum has been an inner-city elementary school teacher in Bedford-Stuyv
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on Thursday, 05 April 2012
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Contemplation Writing: An Alternative to Journal Writing and Mindfulness Programs Part 4: Categories of Student Contemplations Parts 1, 2, and 3 of my previous BAM POSTS introduced the Contemplation Writing Project:   Part 1 described the Counting Technique, which showed kids “inner experience” with all its side-trips into mind, imagination, and creativity.   Part 2 presented the Music Technique, which replaced counting with music, and led students on peaceful voyages of self-discovery and self-motivation.   Part 3 described evaluation lessons called Contemplation Compr

Earning a CDA in High School… Can It Work?

by Debra Pierce
Debra Pierce
Debra Pierce is professor of Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech Community Col
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on Thursday, 05 April 2012
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Not surprisingly, workforce development is a key issue now in education. More and more students are looking to their high schools for the skills they need to find meaningful employment when they graduate and school districts are responding with programs to meet the needs of their students and the community. Recently, the Council for Professional Recognition introduced a new opportunity for high school students to earn a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) while still in high school, rather than having to wait until they are 18 and have graduated. This is exciting news, meaning that s

Investing in Innovation: More about the 2011 Early Learning Winners

by Laura Bornfreund
Laura Bornfreund
Laura Bornfreund is a policy analyst for New America’s Early Education Initiativ
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on Thursday, 29 March 2012
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Last November, we wrote briefly about the second round winners of the Investing in Innovation (i3) competition. Our review of the winning applications and peer reviewers’ comments found that five of the 23 overall winners applied under the early learning competitive priority, but only four were awarded the extra point by peer reviewers. In this post, we will take a much closer look at thewinning proposals awarded the early learning competitive priority point.   To receive the early learning competitive priority point, applicants were asked to focus on:   Improving young children’s school

"I Heard That... And It Hurt!"

by Debra Pierce
Debra Pierce
Debra Pierce is professor of Early Childhood Education at Ivy Tech Community Col
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on Thursday, 22 March 2012
Early Childhood 6 Comments
A common occurrence in early childhood programs can often fly under the radar for you, the administrator, but can drive a rift between your teachers that threatens the peace in your program. Let’s take an inside look… One of your teachers is working on a CDA. This may be her own initiative or perhaps at your request. Whichever the case, some of her co-workers have begun behaving badly, talking behind her back, ridiculing her efforts, or avoiding her. At a time when your employee should feel encouraged and pumped about her professional development efforts, she may feel isolated, rejected, thr

Waking up to Whole Brain Learning

by Gail Multop
Gail Multop
As a teacher of young children, Gail Multop has worked in high quality programs
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on Sunday, 18 March 2012
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  Sue and I did a three-day brain gym training ("Brain Gym 101"). We are interested in whole brain learning, as our field has long espoused teaching "The Whole Child". As far back as 2004, when Educational Leadership devoted a whole issue to this special subject, I have tried to teach children as whole individuals. In the Early Childhood field we teach that a child learns through play, and that play involves all aspects of the brain and body. Play is the serious work of childhood. I maintain that play can also be the serious work of adulthood, if by play you mean being alive and creative.

ECE Professionals: At the Table or on the Menu

by Rae Pica
Rae Pica
Rae Pica has been a children's physical activity specialist since 1980. A former
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on Thursday, 08 March 2012
Education Policy 0 Comments
In the past, early childhood professionals didn’t have to worry about legislation and policy. They quietly and diligently went about their work, preparing young children to read and write, to “use their words,” and to take turns. They knew their work mattered; they saw it on the attentive faces, and heard it in the inquiring voices and increasing vocabularies, of the children with whom they shared their days. The policymakers, and even the rest of the education profession, ignored them, considering them little more than “babysitters.”   Today, they’re still too often considered babysitters –

Mix-it-Up at Work-Learning to Connect

by Dr. Regina Lamourelle
Dr. Regina Lamourelle
Dr. Regina Lamourelle Regina notes that we are influencers of and influenced by
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on Sunday, 04 March 2012
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We want to encourage children to try something new or to meet a new friend. How often do adults hold back and do not get to know people who are different?  Our teens and tweens are reluctant to embrace new people and cultures because that is what we show them as adults. Mix-It –Up days at school where students have lunch or sit with students who are different than they are can be a good start to help teens and tweens develop skills and decrease the anxiety about relating to someone new. Adults could benefit from modeling this too! Adults could find ways to mix-it-up at work, school, or church.
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Contemplation Writing: An Alternative to Journal Writing and Mindfulness Programs, Part 2, The Music Technique

by Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum has been an inner-city elementary school teacher in Bedford-Stuyv
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on Thursday, 01 March 2012
Teens and Tweens 0 Comments
Contemplation Writing: An Alternative to Journal Writing and Mindfulness Programs Part 2: The Music Technique   In Part 1 of the Contemplation Writing Project students practice the “Counting Technique” for a two-week period so they can begin to understand and appreciate “inner experience.”  Now, instead of counting, I use music to trigger mind-pictures/images, feelings, thoughts, ideas, and experiences.  Contemplation periods are conducted every other day (two or three times a week) for thirty minutes: ten minutes for listening, ten for writing, and ten for discussion of responses.  T

Getting Schooled- How Do We Teach Tolerance?

by Dr. Regina Lamourelle
Dr. Regina Lamourelle
Dr. Regina Lamourelle Regina notes that we are influencers of and influenced by
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on Tuesday, 14 February 2012
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It may be a cliché, but we are not born to hate. The trouble is too many times we witness hateful acts and prejudice and we fail to act or react. Some listen to insensitive remarks or jokes and laugh along or do nothing.  I have to believe and hope that most people want to and will do the right thing if given the tools for action.  Schools provide the opportunity for children raised in hateful environments a chance to change and get more prosocial values. However, like individuals, schools often fail to act or react.  Schools teach children about history which highlights the costs of prejudice
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The Finishing Touch

by Nancy Striniste
Nancy Striniste
Nancy Striniste, MLD is the founder and principal designer at Earlyspace, LLC, a
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on Monday, 13 February 2012
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This Montessori natural playspace, (designed by Earlyspace!!) opened in September 2011. The 1/3 acre lush landscape offers children a wide range of opportunities to move, explore, play and learn in a setting that is whimsical and beautiful and quite different from a traditional playground.  One of the first of its type in the DC area, the space  features slides built into fragrant herb-planted hills Hillside slide with fragrant herbs In the shady woods children can build with planks and stumps, climb fallen trees and follow meandering woodland paths. Tree cookie path through the woods
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Project Learning: The Play's the Thing!

by Gail Multop
Gail Multop
As a teacher of young children, Gail Multop has worked in high quality programs
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on Saturday, 11 February 2012
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Thank goodness I work in a center that values children's inherent passion for and interest in learning through the arts! Where would I be if I didn't? I would be creating lessons to make seasonal crafts each month, Jack-O-Lanterns in October, Turkeys in November, Christmas trees and Menorahs in December.  Instead we watched the opera Hansel and Gretel in December, and began a unit on music and sound exploration after Christmas that is still going strong.   We began with exploration of sounds, including jars of varying amounts of water that the children tapped to hear similarities and differe

A Novel EI Reading Experience for Adolescents: JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Richard Bach

by Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum
Jeffrey Pflaum has been an inner-city elementary school teacher in Bedford-Stuyv
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on Sunday, 05 February 2012
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A Novel EI Reading Experience for Adolescents: JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Richard Bach This is a story about Emotional Intelligence, character formation, values clarification, and conflict resolution. Jonathan Livingston Seagull (JLS) can be described as an experimenter, thinker, searcher, observer, non-conformist, even a renaissance bird.  The book is all about character, identity, learning, knowledge, searching, self-discovery, self-motivation, and self-education.  It describes a self-aware seagull not afraid to look at himself, to feel his feelings, to be courageous, to

Fine Motor Skills: What Are They & Why Are They Too Important to Ignore?

by Rae Pica
Rae Pica
Rae Pica has been a children's physical activity specialist since 1980. A former
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on Monday, 30 January 2012
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The development of fine motor skills are often a casualty of the rush to get young children up to academic speed. In this segment our guests explain why fine motor skills are a critical building block for higher learning and should never, never, be overlooked.   To Read:   Mighty Fine Motor Fun: Fine Motor Activities for Young Children by Christy Isbell: http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Fine-Motor-Fun-Activities/dp/0876590792/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327954621&sr=1-3 "Getting Hands-On with Fine Motor Skills" by Allison Sampish: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2011/1
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Tell Me Again, Why Are We Arguing About Professionalism?

by Rae Pica
Rae Pica
Rae Pica has been a children's physical activity specialist since 1980. A former
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on Friday, 13 January 2012
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Why is professionalism such a controversial subject among educators? Why is there a raging debate about whether some sectors of the education community qualify as professionals? What does professionalism really mean in the education field and, in practical terms, what does all of this mean to you on the front lines?   To Read:     Professionalism in Early Childhood Education: Doing Our Best for Young Children by Stephanie Feeney: http://www.amazon.com/Professionalism-Early-Childhood-Education-Children/dp/0137064705/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326473148&sr=1-1 Professi

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