Category Archive:
Teaching and learning principles

You Can’t Say You Can’t Play

Exclusion begins early in life, and it can be observed even in preschool settings. In days a class divides up into three main groups: Leaders who say who gets to play in their games, The children excluded from the games The children in the middle who live in fear of being rejected. For the kindergartner […]


A Walk in the Leaves

walk in the leaves

I can’t help it. I love to go out in the fall and gather leaves. I enjoy looking at the reds, yellows, oranges and browns of deciduous leaves against the turquoise skies of a crisp autumn day. I savor peeling the paper off a broken crayon to make leaf rubbings that accentuate the veins, shape […]


The Deep Well Of Time

deep well of time

It’s here!  To help you with storytelling, Montessori style. Michael Dorer’s new book, The Deep Well Of Time: The Transformative Power of Storytelling in the Classroom. This summer I was lucky enough to preview an advanced copy and I loved Michael’s stories. How I wish this resource had been available when I was in the classroom. […]


To Lead A Child To Learn

steps to reading

Helen Keller wrote, ”Anybody can lead a child to a classroom. It takes a teacher to lead a child to learn.” Keller is perhaps the most famous of students of the 20th century. Her teacher, Annie Sullivan, taught Helen, who became blind and deaf at the age of 19 months, how to communicate and connect […]


Characteristics of the Adolescent

adolescent characteristics

For centuries the Judeo-Christian tradition has held a coming of age ritual for thirteen-year-olds. The Jewish Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and the Christian confirmation announce an adolescent’s provisional membership in his or her religious adult communities. With changing legislation over the past 50 years young people’s official entry into the adult world occurs eight years […]


Use a Purple Pencil

use purple pencil

Harold, the hero in Crockett Johnson’s classic book Harold and the Purple Crayon, uses his imagination and crayon to create an adventure. Off Harold goes, using his waxed stick to draw a path, along with a moon to use as his navigational aid. During his escapade, Harold’s crayon creates a forest, an ocean and a […]


The Neglected Needs of Teens

neglected needs of teens

Around age 12 with the onset of puberty, the human being undergoes physical and psychological metamorphoses. The child changes into an adolescent, and life will never be the same, for parent or child. The young adolescent needs opportunities to step outside his or her familiar community of home, church and school, while still using these […]


Learning from Bumps and Bruises

learning from bumps bruises

As I visit with preschool administrators around the country a common theme emerges: the dynamics of smaller families are affecting children’s abilities to learn how to endure the bumps and bruises of everyday life. Many school principals and teachers hear from upset parents the first few days and weeks of school because children go home […]


Fears of the Young Child

Fear, sadness and anger are three of the most difficult emotions for children, and adults for that matter, to learn to manage. These emotions are interrelated in that fear can be the core emotion behind anger and sadness. Children need to be able to modulate their emotions in order to focus their attention, to concentrate, […]


Children Love Routine, But…

children love routine but

The art of a parent or a teacher is to keep a child’s environment predictable enough to feel safe, but challenging enough to be exciting. Winston Churchill wrote, ”Human beings are of three classes: those who are toiled to death, those who are worried to death and those who are bored to death.” So it […]