Debra Pierce

Want the Best Trauma-Informed Care? Watch the Prequel

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I continue to be, at once, intensely interested and wholly distressed by the manifestation of early childhood stress, anxiety, and trauma. The signs and symptoms surround the caregivers in child care programs, but can either be misinterpreted, misunderstood, or ignored. I recently spoke at a national conference to a packed room of Head Start teachers, […]

Hammers, Nails, Saws, and Hand Drills in Preschool. Wait… What?

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When we think of typical activities for preschoolers that help support their development across multiple domains, what first comes to mind are manipulating playdough, cutting, gluing, climbing, running, and puzzles. But let’s walk that back some and consider, instead, having children engage in authentic activities. How about working with hammers, nails, saws, and hand drills? […]

The Terrible Twos: Truth or Consequences

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Yesterday, in my child development class, one of the students was curious about why people use the term, “terrible twos.” Instead of the automatic response I could have given, I decided maybe this was a good opportunity to clear the air about the second twelve months of a little child’s life. It seems that age […]

Personalizing Play: Integrating the Learning Styles Model and the Multiple Intelligences Theory in the Early Childhood Setting

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Every child has his own best way of learning. If our goal is to support that, we can apply two models that address different aspects of learning, to meet each child where he is. But can they be used together? I believe they can and in so doing, will benefit a wide variety of preferences, […]

4 Things a Worried Child Should Never Hear

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When children are little, they worry, but may not understand why. There may be no logical evidence to support it, but it is real to them, nonetheless. It is real enough to provoke a real nervous system response. Worry is anxiety. It sometimes surfaces with a barrage of questions that seem to come out of […]

Kindergartner + Stress = A Personal Day?

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A nearby community has a wonderful, play-based preschool cooperative. Several of the teachers are my former students and I was invited to attend their monthly meetings whenever I could… joining in conversations with staff and families about child development, preschool, parenting… life. I’ve been to 4 of these sessions and so far, it’s been interesting […]

I Think I Can! I Think I Can! Nurturing Children’s Self-Esteem

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Probably one of the best predictors of a child’s success in life is strong self-confidence and self-esteem. They will set high goals for themselves and believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to. This is an outcome we all want for our children, but for some, it may not come so easy. High […]

Never Too Old: Advice Educators Should Take from Mr. Rogers

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Most of us watched Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood at one time or another- along with our children or as children ourselves. So, we felt his impact and influence, either directly or indirectly. After watching the recent documentary about Fred Rogers, I was reminded of what genuinely matters and how the lessons he so sensitively taught children […]

My Grocery Trip Was Cause for Pause…

I typically do most of my shopping at a discount grocery chain downtown and then stop at my neighborhood store for the few items they don’t carry. This practice is rewarding for two reasons. First, I usually save quite a bit on groceries and second, I’ve found it interesting to observe the food choices made […]

I Hope You Dance: What Will Children Remember About You?

I remember listening to my mother or one of my aunts talk about things I did when I was little. But, for the most part, I could never remember doing any of those things. However, there were certain other things I can distinctly remember in great detail about my childhood… like my dad and me […]

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