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Stuff and new stuff

New teacher resources...
Teachable Transitions: 190 Activities to Move from Morning Circle to the End of the Day
Written by Rae Pica. Gryphon House, 2003. ($14.95 paperback)
Make transition times—the bane of many caregivers—into opportunities for fun and learning. Children’s movement specialist Rae Pica offers an assortment of suggestions that help preschool children move through their day. Games, songs, fingerplays, chants, and activities help close one activity and move to another without tears, tantrums, pouts, or wasted time.
Organized by time of day—arrival, cleanup, snacks and lunch, outside the classroom, nap time, and departure— each of the 190 transition activities offer problem solving, creativity, and self-expression opportunities.
One highlight of the book is the series of guided imagery exercises for nap or rest time. Who could resist relaxing while imagining floating on a cloud, soaking in a warm tub, or drifting on a breeze?

Discovering Nature with Young Children
Written by Ingrid Chalufour and Karen Worth. Redleaf Press, 2003 ($25.95 paperback)
Are you ready to do real science with children? Let this first unit in the innovative Young Scientist series point the way. guides teachers through an inquiry-based curriculum that builds on children’s natural curiosity about the living world.
Authors Worth and Chalufour have prepared a step-by-step guide that moves teachers through three stages:
getting ready—teachers prepare themselves and the classroom environment for science discovery;
open exploration—children make initial observations and record their findings; and
focused exploration—children deepen their understanding of living plants and animals through complex observation and documentation.
Throughout the book the authors focus on the teacher’s role: to deepen children’s understanding. The teacher does that by asking probing questions, encouraging children to represent their work, and creating opportunities for discussion and reflection.
This comprehensive teaching tool includes the following:
core experiences: the rationale for the exploration,
preparation: tips for gathering materials and incorporating explorations in a daily schedule, and
a teaching plan: ideas for what teachers do and say to engage children.
Sample teacher journals, photographs, charts, and ideas for extending learning complete this valuable resource.

and four books just for fun
A Perfect Name
Written by Charlene Costanzo and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Dial Books, 2003 ($15.99 hard cover)
Mama and Papa Potamus are having a tough time choosing a name for their new baby. They review and discard colorful, melodious suggestions—Stella, Mituna, Florella, Jobina, Mildred, and Zia—as Little One stretches, yawns, and gives no clue. They look for the perfect name: friendly, kind, shy, quiet; a name that will bring luck, a name that will fit.
On the day the animal friends gather for the naming ceremony, Little One reaches the Wada Wada River first. Splashing, dipping, and laughing, the water stars sparkle—and the name is given: Dorena (a gift from the heavens) Cordula (a jewel in the water). Dorena Cordula: a perfect name.

Hey, Pancakes!
Written by Tamson Weston and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Silver Whistle, 2003. ($16 hard cover)
Wake up—it’s time for pancakes! Three children and their lovable dog take over the kitchen for some not-so-tidy cooking. Lively verse and bubbling illustrations move the story…
A pancake here, a pancake there.
One in the pan and three in the air.

and guarantee to make young listeners eager for a similar adventure.

Dancing the Ring Shout!
Written by Kim L. Singelson and illustrated by Lisa Cohen. Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2003. ($15.99 hard cover)
At the Appling Farm it’s time to celebrate the end of harvest—with songs, dance, and musical instruments. In keeping with African-American ring shout tradition, young Toby is now old enough to join the celebration circle.
But he needs to bring an instrument that speaks straight from his heart. Grand has a cane—it pounds on the ground like the hooves of the plow mule. Pap has a hoop drum—it booms like the thunderclouds that bring rain.
But what instrument will Toby find to add to the celebration of thanksgiving and praise?

Big Brown Bear’s Up and Down Day
Written and illustrated by David McPhail. Harcourt Children’s Books, 2003. ($16 hard cover)
In three tidy chapters, David McPhail develops a friendship between a large, gruff, sleepy bear and a rat who needs a bed—and finds one of the bear’s blue slippers quite serviceable. The classic illustrations are tender and beckoning with soft colors and just enough detail to keep the reader’s attention.
The chapters are short and complete. But children will be eager for you to “keep reading.”