The Preschool Years
Developmentally Appropriate Practice
By Carol Copple and
Sue Bredekamp, Editors
The National Institute for Early
Education Research-NIEER (5 minutes)
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or10f-YcM8Q
• NIEER's five-minute video, "Growing and
Learning in Preschool," shows the essential
features of a high-quality preschool program.
You'll see how a preschool curriculum based on
solid research builds school and life-related
skills, why well-qualified teachers are so
important, and how play is integrated into
learning.
An Overview
• 3-5 year olds
• Over half preschoolers – enrolled
• Important period not kindergarten
• Optimal learning
– positive & caring relationships
• Critical – developmentally appropriate
– Share dev. appropriate observations of sites visited?
– Reminder no site names, no children’s names
An Overview
• ALL Preschoolers – strengths & areas to improve
• Poverty
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Children vulnerable
4-year-olds, 18 months behind
43% in US low income
3.5 million affected
16%-disability
• Summary-magical thinking years
– playful, imaginative, delightful
– Observations confirming this?
Physical Development
• Preschoolers - extremely physical – moving,
jumping, running
• Goal-quarter school day - physical activity
• Viewed clumsy, spills (body changes)
– Ouch Reports
– Book- (Band-Aid Will Help)
• 3-year-olds/uncoordinated
• 4-year-olds/greater control,
not fluid
Physical Development continued
• Able to perform basic gross motor skills
• Gross motor
– lowered center of gravity-hop, balance
• Fine motor – still developing; handedness by 4
– Paper/pencil activities less useful than hands-on!
– Types of grasp (pincer, fist)
– Short pencils
• Girls-advanced fine & gross
(skipping, hopping)
– Findings surprise or confirm?
Physical Development continue
• Boys –advanced – force & power, running,
jumping
• Nutrition-5-6 meals (List)
– energy, less headaches, more focused, enjoy play
• Physical growth varies
– per year/3-4 inches, 5-6 pounds
– Prominent in trunk & legs
Physical Development continue
• Childhood obesity
– Involve pediatricians
– Scope of practice
• Sensation/perception-well developed
– sense of taste compared to adults
Social & Emotional
Development
• Great advances-still struggles.
• Positive social and emotional foundation =
cognitive competence.
Social Development
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Social interactions
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Relationships/teachers and peers
Are teachers “friends” to the teachers?
Levels of Play:
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Solitary
Onlooker
Parallel
Associative
Cooperative (4-5 years of age)
Teachers give ideas, help with rules of pretend
play, then back away
Prosocial behavior developing
Social Development
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Understanding other’s perspectives
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Aggression –physical, relational
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Sense of self in relation to others
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Looking at gender – girls? Boys?
Anticipate consequences of physical actions
Strategies: turn taking, using words, using empathy, selfregulation skills
Who are they?
– Younger-I have two fish
– Older-I’m nice to my friends
Research Study-Supports Play
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Free-choice activities, variety of equipment and materials
Findings: better cognitive (and language) abilities
Emotional Development
• Positive and negative impact development
domains
• Express and talk about their emotions
Emotional Development
Continued
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Development of emotional competence.
Development of conscience.
Stress, coping and resilience
Saying good-bye to parents
– Group activity
– Parent sneaks out
each day
– What might you say
to parent?
Investing in the Emotional and
Behavioral Development of Preschoolers
(6 minutes)
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4txcMjlzH8
• Young children who can interact well with
teachers and peers are more likely to succeed in
preschool and beyond. This six-minute video,
produced by The MacArthur Foundation, profiles
MDRCs Foundations of Learning Project, a
demonstration in Newark and Chicago that is
testing an innovative program that combines
teacher training with in-class clinical consultation
to support children's emotional and behavioral
development in preschool.
Cognitive development
• Important changes-influence all other domains
• Form representations world - future and past
tense
• Create fanciful scenes
– make-believe
• Piaget “preoperational” stage:
illogical, egocentric
Cognitive development continued
• Brain – cerebral cortex – functions regulate
attention and memory not fully developed –
limitations
• Attention – short, distractible, better over time
– Attention improves so does memory
– Practice strategies (recall events)
Cognitive development continued
• Mental representation (internal depictions)
– Mind manipulates images or mental pictures
– Later advances – objects serve both as an object or as a
symbol of something else.
– Age 3-pictures serve as symbols
• Teachers start labeling even scribbles
– “Worms wrestling” or “Me and mommy playing”
• Reminder-holistic view of learning
– When teacher talks to family what developmental domains would be
emphasized using a holistic view?
Promoting cognitive development
• Teachers can help by:
– Cues, modeling, questions (open/closed),
positive guidance, ample play time-choices,
plan/review work
• Teach math and science in preschool
Math
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Best math develops language/ vocabulary
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Promote math skills
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Page 139 – 4 bullets
Different ways to solve problems
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Sequencing concept: if wear red, get coat first
Math, social situations; share play dough on table
Question: children riding tricycles get stuck on incline. How do
teachers help connected to allowing children an opportunity to solve
problems
Terms
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Compare/contrast, more, less, tallest, numbers,
one-to-one correspondence
Science
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Science table is a start
Embedded in children’s daily work/play
Builds on prior experiences, backgrounds
Draws on children’s curiosity
Engage children in in-depth exploration of
topic over time
Reflect on experiences, document
experiences
Provides access to science experiences
Language and Literacy Development
• Language & communication
• Role oral language in all domains
– Imagine a 4-year-old
limited language abilities
friendships
– Early Intervention
• Sustained conversations
– Adult expands thoughts
– Child: A white bear.
– Adult: Yes, there’s a white
mama bear with her baby, her little cub.
Language and Literacy Development
• Predictor-reading success
• Private speech
– Connected to problem solving
• English language learners
– Importance of family’s primary language
– Under age 10 – best time to teach other
languages
• Promote by reading!!!!!
Examples to Consider Chapter 5
•Creating a caring community of learners
•Teaching to enhance development and learning
•Planning curriculum to achieve important goals
•Assessing children’s development and learning
•Establishing reciprocal relationships with families
Maria Montessori
"Never help a child with a task
at which he feels he can
succeed."
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The Kindergarten Year - Modesto Junior College