In the field of early childhood education, it is of vital importance for professionals to strive to continually learn about the latest studies and information available to benefit your students. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has brought together nearly 60,000 early childhood educators to conduct ongoing research and share information. Our goal should be to continually educate ourselves to provide the best learning opportunities we can for every student. We have compiled a list of the top five books for early childhood education professionals recommended by the NAEYC to help look for new and innovative ways to build upon your teaching methods.
1. Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Focus on Kindergartners, by:Carol Copple, Sue Bredekamp, Derry Koralek, and Kathy Charner, eds.
This first book is written specifically for Kindergarten teachers and focuses on understanding the development students experience during Kindergarten. By understanding this, educators can incorporate developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) in their classroom. This bestseller gives examples of key DAP practices to assist you in creating activities and lesson plans that appeal to the individual needs of students at their current stage of development. In contrast, examples of common practices that are not effective are explored to gain and understanding of where these methods fall short. Eight articles are included from Young Children that provide real world examples of applying developmentally appropriate practice in the kindergarten classroom.
2. What You Need to Lead an Early Childhood Program: Emotional Intelligence in Practice, by: Holly Elissa Bruno
An early childhood program is only as successful as the administration and staff who run it. This book is written for the program directors to help foster excellent relationships with students, families, and staff. By creating welcoming relationships with staff, you can work in tandem to provide the best educational experience possible for your students, and by building a trust with the families of students, you can be sure you are working with them to address any individual needs of their child. Traditional administration topics such as financial management and marketing are covered, as well as exploring the critical role that emotional intelligence plays in effective leadership.
3. Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children From Birth Through Age 8 (3rd ed.), by: Carol Copple and Sue Bredekamp, eds.
This is the 3rd edition of this resource that has been a best seller among early childhood professionals since the first edition released in 1987. Copple and Bredekamp provide updated methods and techniques for developmentally appropriate practices designed for children from birth through age 8. Highly effective practices have been compiled from the latest research and experiences among early childhood professionals into this essential resource for early childhood educators. This edition focuses on the yearly development of children from birth to age eight and provides a detailed description of the changes that take place with examples of appropriate practices for each level. Key topics and video examples are provided on the included supplementary CD.
4. Powerful Interactions: How to Connect With Children to Extend Their Learning, by: Amy Laura Dombro, Judy Jablon, and Charlotte Stetson
This book acts as a reflective guide to help you create more intentional and purposeful interactions with your students. As educators, you spend an abundance of time with your students each day. This guide provides a step by step guide to connecting with your students with each interaction and using that connection to extend learning. By becoming consciously aware of how you are feeling and purposefully letting the child know that you see him and are interesting in their thoughts and feelings, you create a connection that will lead to a more meaningful learning experience. When a child feels confident and safe, they become more open to learning; learn how to foster this relationship within your early childhood setting with this best seller.
5. Ethics and the Early Childhood Educator: Using the NAEYC Code (2nd ed.), by: Stephanie Feeney and Nancy K. Freeman, With Peter J. Pizzolongo
When working in the field of early childhood education, there are often tough decisions that must be confronted that impact the children and families you serve. It is important to realize the complex dynamic involved, as the feelings and values of each family are different. This book is based on the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct and acts as a guide in navigating difficult decisions. Well-chosen examples and questions are used to offer key points regarding the ethical conduct and decision-making involved in various common issues that arise. With this guide, you will be encouraged to reflect on critical issues you may be facing or may have in the past and learn healthy and ethical ways to work through them.
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As you continue your education as an early childhood education professional, it is highly beneficial to share experiences and learn from the experiences of others. These five great books have one thing in common; they are written by professionals for professionals. By learning from the experiences of others, we constantly improve upon our own methods and provide an even better learning environment for the children and families we serve.