For Your Binder

What are schema and why should you care?

Schema are pattens of repeatable behavior often seen in young children!  How are we facilitating them?  #schema #play #movement

New research finds “Magic 8” preschool classroom practices

This was one of the articles that emerged after the 2015 release of the preliminary results of the (now) oft quoted Vanderbilt Study. #teaching #learning #play #DAP #Tennessee #Vanderbilt

To Food?! Or Not to Food?!?!

Whether PRO or CON - what is the intention behind your choice? Originally penned in 2006 but revised before posting here on the new website, you will find this to be a handy resource when considering the age old debate of using food in the classroom!  #play #teaching 

The Defining Characteristics of Play

Most of this essay is about defining the characteristics of play, but before listing them, author Peter Gray offers three general points that are worth keeping in mind.  #play #teaching #learning 

Why CUTE is still a four letter word (a summary)

Why cute is still a four-letter word:

1) cute activities insult children's intellects

2) cute activities mistake doing with learning

3) cute activities often miseducate

4) cute activities undermine professionalism

5) cute activities frequently undermine educational equity


1) pose real questions

2) ally with children: believe in them, strive to understand, identify with them

3) share responsibility: wonder together, set high expectations, help children in their choice making

A summary of the Editorial: On Behalf of Children, by Mary Renck Jalongo, from Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol  24, No. 2, 1996, page 67.

You can also watch this more recent video of the same title! 

#art #creativity #DAP #teaching #learning

Play as a Social Justice Issue in Early Childhood Education

This link will bring you to a Master's Thesis from a Bank Street student. In it she explores (the lack of) play as a social justice issue. "Helping low income kids" often gets translated into "eliminating play" and we know this flies smack in the face of what the research (which she does a fantastic job reviewing!) tells us should be happening for all children regardless of socio-economic status. The paper is informative; her references are invaluable.  #DAP #play #equity #teaching #learning

This is Play

Playing is a paradoxical form of communication: the dog approaches you; he puts his teeth on your arm but he is also wagging his tail. You let him do this because you know the dog is playing.  How do you know this?  #play 

A Good Beginning

Imagine that!  Social and emotional competence is JUST AS important as the ABCs and 123s!  #play #DAP #teaching #learning


2? 4? 6? Grouping Children to Promote Social and Emotional Development

See you at the steps!  #DAP #teaching #learning 

Does Your Child's Preschool Shun the the Latest Research in Early Learning?

Many preschools in the United States are actually doing the polar opposite of what the research recommends. Couple this article (from 2018) with the recent findings from the Vanderbilt Study and there is simply no reason for play to be pushed aside any longer!   #play #DAP #teaching #learning

School of Hard Knocks

Present company excluded, it is often a surprise that characteristics such as persistence, self control and curiosity are more important than sheer brainpower when it comes to being "successful"  #play #resilience #DAP #teaching #learning 

Disclosure, depending on how often you access articles from the NYT, you might need to sign up for a subscription.

Red Paint in the Hair

An oldie but a goodie about messy play and art! #art #play #DAP #creativity #teaching #learning #parenting