developmentally appropriate practice

Where Is Differentiation? Schools Are Still Forcing Square Pegs Into Round Holes

When I was still Director of Cherry Preschool, a parent whose child was a total delight in preschool shared a very sad story with me. When her child started kindergarten in public school, he was tested and found to be lacking the skills that would make him a reader by the end of kindergarten, a […]

5 Ways to Make Your Read-alouds Work!

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Reading aloud to kids is an experience that almost everyone who has spent time with children has in common. Whether you’re a veteran teacher or a teenage babysitter, you’ve probably touched the magic that we create when we take the time to read with kids. I’ve had some amazing experiences as a parent and a […]

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? […]

What If Early Childhood Professionals Pushed Back?

Recently I wrote about the uphill battle of advocating for children – especially around the topic of play. But, as you know, our battles these days concern not just play, but also developmentally appropriate practice in general! Sad but true. This hit home recently, when I was conducting my third professional development training for a […]

Trouble-Free Transitions: They’re Possible If We Understand Child Development

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If there were a list of things that young children aren’t suited (developmentally ready) to do, at the top of that list would bebeing stillandbeing quiet. Yet those are the exact two requirements we try to impose on young children during most transitions. We ask them to form an orderly line (something else they’re not […]

“It’s Always Been Done This Way”

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One of my least favorite sentences in the entire universe is some version of “It’s always been done this way.” Just by typing it I can feel my blood pressure rise! Why, I wonder, would anyone find that to be a suitable response to any question? In my opinion, it’s not a reasonable explanation for […]

Starting 3-Year-Olds in Organized Sports? Let’s Get Real

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Generally speaking, most parents can’t wait to get their young children into activities. They want to do something that’s out of the house or outdoors. They’re anxious to find out what their child’s talents might be and signing them up for a team seems like a good first step in that direction. But, there are […]

Why Are Logical Consequences Such a Foreign Concept?

Recently I had the unique experience of being interviewed by a middle school student. Jacob had found me on the Internet because he was researching recess and wanted to ask some questions for his project. Of course, recess is one of my favorite topics so I agreed to give him some time. What I didn’t […]

4 Things I’m NOT Saying When I Speak About Developmentally Appropriate Practice

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When I get the chance to speak to groups about DAP I cover a lot of ground. I talk about things like: The importance of respecting childhood, the developmental process, and individual learners. The critical nature of appropriate, foundational early learning experiences. The danger of shifting perceptions and expectations for children in early childhood, in […]

The Fastest Way to Failure for Kids

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I once had a reading specialist tell me that the only way for children to learn to read is for them to read. I never have figured out how one learns to do something she can’t yet do by doing it! But I sometimes feel as though I’m in the minority here, as this attitude […]

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