The Building Blocks of Preschool Success  book cover
1st Edition

The Building Blocks of Preschool Success

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ISBN 9781606236932
Published July 16, 2010 by Guilford Press
198 Pages


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Book Description

Written expressly for preschool teachers, this engaging book explains the whats, whys, and how-tos of implementing best practices for instruction in the preschool classroom. The authors show how to target key areas of language and literacy development across the entire school day, including whole-group and small-group activities, center time, transitions, and outdoor play. Detailed examples in every chapter illustrate what effective instruction and assessment look like in three distinct settings: a school-based pre-kindergarten, a Head Start center with many English language learners, and a private suburban preschool. Helpful book lists, charts, and planning tools are featured, including reproducible materials.

Table of Contents

1. The Realities of Preschool

2. A Focus on Oral Language and Vocabulary Development

3. Comprehension

4. Phonological Awareness

5. Print and Alphabet Awareness

6. Emergent Writing

7. Tracking Children's Progress: The Role of Assessment in Preschool Classrooms

8. Making It Work for Adults and Children

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Katherine A. Beauchat, EdD, is Assistant Professor at York College of Pennsylvania, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in literacy education. Her research interests include professional development for preschool educators in the area of literacy and language instruction and effective techniques and strategies to bolster oral language and vocabulary development for at-risk preschool children.

Katrin L. Blamey, PhD, is an early childhood literacy coach at the Delaware Center for Teacher Education in Newark, Delaware, and also coaches preschool teachers at a Head Start center. Her research interests include finding effective, practical ways to implement professional development in the preschool setting and developing instructional techniques for building the language and literacy skills of preschool-age English language learners.
Sharon Walpole, PhD, is Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. She has extensive school-based experience designing and implementing tiered instructional programs. Dr. Walpole has also been involved in federally funded and other schoolwide reform projects. Her current work involves the design and effects of schoolwide reforms. She has coauthored or coedited several books, including How to Plan Differentiated Reading Instruction, Second Edition: Resources for Grades K-3; The Literacy Coach’s Handbook, Second Edition; and Organizing the Early Literacy Classroom. Dr. Walpole is also Series Editor, with Michael C. McKenna, of The Essential Library of PreK-2 Literacy. She is a recipient of the Early Career Award for Significant Contributions to Literacy Research and Education from the Literacy Research Association and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Delaware.


This book presents practical ideas for teaching the essential components of a high-quality early childhood program: oral language and vocabulary, phonological awareness, emergent writing, and print and alphabet awareness. It also addresses assessment and the challenges of meeting individual needs. The vignettes from authentic classrooms are especially useful and engaging. The beauty of the book is that the content is relevant across different early childhood contexts; preschool teachers in either public or private settings will find it of great value. It would be an excellent choice for professional development study groups.--Michelle Picard, EdD, early childhood supervisor, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia
Readers will find a blueprint for infusing preschool classrooms with literacy awareness, intentional instruction, and language play. The book systematically describes the building blocks of preschool literacy and provides valuable, classroom-based examples of what each component looks like. The writing style is extremely teacher friendly, making this the perfect text for preservice teachers as well as those already working in a variety of early childhood contexts. A 'must have' for preschool educators.--April Whatley Bedford, PhD, Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of New Orleans
The authors do an excellent job of integrating literacy throughout the preschool curriculum. They invite teachers to peer into the windows of diverse classrooms to view the way the techniques and strategies are implemented. I am a seasoned mentor teacher who has been in the field of child development for more than 20 years, and this book will become part of my personal resource library. I also recommend it for new preschool teachers who are setting up and planning their first classrooms.--Darla L. Pulliam, early childhood teacher, Culver City Unified School District, California