Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Teaching Numeracy, Language, and Literacy With Blocks: A Book Review

About The Book:
Use block play to meet learning standards, develop core skills, and have fun! 

By enhancing the block play in your classroom, you can help children acquire the emerging skills they need -- with numbers, vocabulary, and reading -- for kindergarten readiness. Newburger and Vaughan provide a theoretical foundation describing why and how to use blocks, and give guidance on selecting blocks and block safety. 

With chapters on the seven developmental stages of block building in young children, Teaching Numeracy, Language, and Literacy with Blocks illuminates the learning potential in the common uses of block play, including: 

• constructing doorways and bridges 
• building fences and walls 
• creating patterns with blocks 
• using blocks in make-believe games 
• making known things 

Each chapter includes suggestions on watching and listening; what to say and do; and charts matching behaviors, content, and concepts to academic standards. 

This is a real how-to book you don't need to read from beginning to end. Simply find the chapter that suits your setting or curriculum and tailor it for a perfect fit! Age Focus: 3-6. Softbound, 152 pgs
You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format.

Check out the Table of Contents here, in PDF format.

About The Authors:

Abigail Newburger has worked with Head Start for the past twenty-seven years as a teacher, home visitor, peer reviewer, and education consultant. She holds two masters degrees in education and has held officer positions in various National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) affiliates, including the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children and the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for the Education of Young Children.
Elizabeth Vaughan has worked in the early childhood field for over thirty years. She has taught preschool special education in the public schools and has worked with children ages three to six years in child care and university laboratory school settings. She received her PhD from the University of South Florida and currently chairs the teacher education department at Shippensburg University. She is the coauthor of Learning Centers for Child-Centered Classrooms, published by the National Education Association. She is the president of the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children and serves on the NAEYC Affiliate Council.
My Review:
In all the years I have worked with young children, block play has been a perpetual favorite activity. Block play provides hours of entertainment, while teaching children about sharing, turn taking, math, physics, role playing and more. So when a resource comes around that allows me to incorporate children's favorite activities with new ideas I will jump at the chance to use it.

Teaching Numeracy, Language, and Literacy with Blocks is one resource that all Early Childhood Educators must have in their professional library! It is very well organized and includes a TON of activities to engage young children in fun and educational activities.

One of the things that I love about this book is that it takes you through the various developmental stages of block play (discovery, towers and roads, doorways and bridges, fences and walls, patterns, pretending, and making things known). Individual chapters are dedicated to exploring each period and give the caregiver a lot of ways to observe and enhance not only children's play, but learning, during each stage. You will be given things to look for, and ways to engage conversation with a child in each stage. The book also includes a chapter on safety in block play and suggestions for the amount and type of blocks to have in your child care program to have ideal learning taking place, including a fantastic chart to reference on page 130.

If you are looking for ways to enhance block play by including numeracy, language and literacy I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is truly a fantastic resource that I will use for many years to come.

I give Teaching Numeracy, Language, and Literacy With Blocks a HUGE thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Teaching Numeracy, Language and Literacy with Blocks online through Redleaf Press.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Redleaf Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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