Reviewed by Laurie Goodman
As a parent and a teacher, I find resources useful and worth
buying if they are topical, informative, creative and organized. The three books under
discussion all get four stars, as each one addresses different aspects of the early
Pam Schiller and Kay Hastings guide, The Complete Resource Book: An Early Childhood
Curriculum, is primarily a teacher resource, as it covers how to set up your class
with learning centres and breaks down your days for the whole school year. However, a
parent would certainly benefit from over 2,000 activities and ideas for young children as
The Complete Resource Book: An
Early Childhood Curriculum
Pam Schiller and Kay Hastings
Hastings and Schiller have written a book that is extensive yet easy to follow. Each
theme unit is set up with a title, philosophy, and overview of the unit and the unit
itself. The units are relevant and appropriate for the different stages of development of
children aged three to five. Some of the interesting themes are The Forest Comes To Us,
Creepy Crawlies, and Wheels and Wings.
Each day plan includes a list of materials needed, circle time discussion topics, a
suggestion for a story to read and an appropriate song or musical game. This is followed
by an easy- to-read chart of six learning centre activities. The appendix at the back of
the book has supplementary materials that support the day plans appropriate songs,
chants, finger plays, games, recipes, drawings and more. The layout of the book makes it
very easy to integrate into your current plan, or focus on specific themes that your
students or children have interests in. This is a well-rounded, all-in-one resource book
that you could get much use out of both at school and at home.
If you are someone who does not know where to begin about teaching young children music
and lack confidence in your singing abilities, Jackie Silberg may have the answer for you.
Silberg is an authority on child development and the author of six earlier books, as well
as the owner of the Miss Jackie Music Company.
The title, The I Cant Sing Book for Grownups Who Cant Carry A Tune in a
But Want to Do Music with Young Children, says it all. This book is
appropriate for children aged one to five. It is also appropriate for anyone who likes the
idea of using commonly known songs and poetic verse to teach musical concepts to young
|Silberg believes that everyone can be successful in music and
her books content and organization make that belief a reality for her readers. The
reader does not have to worry about notes and difficult musical terms. Instead, she puts
together easy rhythm patterns, poetic wording and high and low sounds to create an easy
way to teach and learn about music. Silbergs activities allow adults and children to
learn how music is rhythm, sound, movement, language, singing, instruments, classical,
fun, and for everyone.
The I Cant Sing Book for
Grownups Who Cant Carry a Tune in a Paper Bag
But Want to Do Music with Young
Each activity contains a title, an age group, an objective and easy-to-follow steps.
I really appreciated how Silberg encouraged adult-child interaction and always left
room for creativity. Her ideas are simple, inspiring and fun to do. I learned a lot!
Teachers and parents have a lot to organize at school and at home. Lists are a tool
that many of us use to keep everything on track. Judy Fujawa, an early childhood educator
for over 20 years, has compiled a book of lists that enhances the home-school connection
by promoting a positive learning experience for young children.
|(Almost) Everything You Need
to Know About Early Childhood Education is for both parents and teachers. The author
has many ideas about how and where her book can be used. Fujawa suggests using the lists
as a daily reflection, reading one list per day, like Creative Gift Ideas, Supplies or
Materials That Encourage Children to Be Creative, and Warm and Wonderful Ways to Build
Memories With Children.
You Need to Know About Early Childhood Education
I found the book to be informative, insightful and funny. Fujawas thoughts, ideas
and philosophies get to the heart of young childrens true needs, wants and desires.
These three books are ones that I am happy to have in my library. Each one will help to
contribute in a unique way to my professional and personal development as a teacher and a
mom. The activities and ideas are relevant to the early learner. The books are easy to use
and understand. And most importantly, the authors find a way to help the adult reader see
into the world of young children so that we can better guide them to be successful in
Laurie Goodman is an occasional teacher with the York Region District School
Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood
New York; Random House, 1998
Reviewed by Michael Reist
In Real Boys, Harvard psychologist William Pollack
attempts to do for boys what Mary Pipher did for girls in Reviving Ophelia
give a hearing to the voices of the "real boys" behind the masks they wear.
Beneath the cool facade boys put on in public seethe intense emotions love,
fear, anger, excitement, passion emotions that girls are permitted to express, but
that boys feel they must suppress precisely because they have come to be associated with
that which is feminine.
As any teacher or parent of a boy knows, the greatest putdown a boy can dish out or
receive is being called gay a code word for having let the armour slip and letting
the feminine tendencies show.
While women have come to be permitted a broader range of behaviour than in the past,
Pollack shows how boys (and men) continue to suffer within a very confining
Pollack blames what he calls the "shame-based hardening process" that begins
with boys from birth. The young boy is prompted to toughen up, to cut the apron strings.
There is little tolerance for feelings of fear or insecurity in boys. This adjustment
usually occurs, says Pollack, at the expense of the boys expressive life.
Pollack exposes many of the unconscious assumptions we have about the innate
characteristics of boys many of which are not only false, but destructive. He
talks, for example, about the myth of the "toxic boy" the notion that
boys are naturally loud, aggressive, rambunctious and destructive of institutional
decorum. Boys somehow need to be reigned in, tamed or civilized.
Pollack devotes a whole chapter to the implications of this attitude for schools. He
cites the astronomical rise in the use of Ritalin among boys and the huge disproportion in
the number of boys in special education and behavioural classes. Do these
"diagnoses" tell us about boys or do they tell us more about our attitudes
toward boys? Is the school environment hospitable to the needs of boys? Do our prophecies
about anti-social male behaviour become self-fulfilling?
"From elementary grades through high school, boys receive lower grades than girls.
Eighth-grade boys are held back 50 per cent more often than girls. By high school, boys
account for two-thirds of the students in special education classes. Fewer boys than girls
now attend and graduate from college." Dedication to aggressive sports is valued;
dedication to academics or any kind of interior pursuits is mocked within the peer group
a blatant violation of the boy code.
Pollack exposes the inner life of our boys. What is revealed is much suffering, but
also much beauty and sensitivity. This book is essential reading for all teachers and the
parents of boys. It contains many practical suggestions about how to break through the
armour or prevent it from being put on in the first place. If our boys are to achieve
their full potential, they must be rescued from the myths of boyhood found in contemporary
culture myths that keep them locked in a cool suit of armour.
Michael Reist is the head of English at Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School in