Teaching Young Individuals

If you have a degree in early childhood education, you’ve probably spent hours and hours studying theories galore of child development. Piaget, Freud, Erikson, Dewey, Gesell, Montessori, Vygotsky and on and on and on. And hey, I love those guys (well… some more than others). They each have something to teach us about how young children […]

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3 Ways to Wonder About a Sound

A toddler hearing an unfamiliar sound: Stops everything. Looks around for the source of the sound. Points excitedly to the source of the sound when she finds it. Asks the nearest adult, “What dat? What dat?” Continues asking until the adult answers: “A truck.” “The microwave beeping.” “A flute.” “My stomach growling.” Adult hearing an […]

Teach Science and Music and Have a Wild Rumpus with PLASTIC CUPS!

Don’t you love it when the materials you need for a project are available at the dollar store or, better yet, free? These science and music projects use any and all kinds of plastic cups you can round up. They might include large or small plastic or paper drinking cups, applesauce, yogurt and snack cups, […]

When to Resist the Urge to Teach

Five-year-old Hannah was looking closely at a daisy growing on the edge of the playground. When I walked over to her, she remarked, “Flower petals are like fingers.” “Well, not really,” I pointed out. “Fingers can pull and hold things, and petals can’t.”  The conversation stopped there, and I wondered later – had Hannah’s thinking […]

Welcome to the Tiger Farm

An important part of young children’s creativity is that “the young child is not bothered by inconsistencies, departures from convention, nonliteralness … which often results in unusual and appealing juxtapositions and associations (Gardner 1993, 288).” Unfortunately, we as teachers sometimes work against this, steering children right back to literalness and conventionality. A few years ago, […]

The Joy of Knots

The Joy of Knots (This piece originally appeared in my book “Teaching Creativity” (Whitmore Books, 2010). You can order it here.) What messages do we send children about problem solving? Many young children probably think something like this: “Problem solving is for grown-ups. And it’s not fun. In fact, it’s so not fun that it […]