Exploring Our Urban Wilderness

My students’ home terrain consists — at least on the surface — of houses, streets, schools, and stores. Like many urban kids, the bit of unpaved, unfenced nature my second […]

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Some Favorite Books for Young Children

In December, with the support of the Peppercorn Foundation, Rethinking Schools sponsored a writers’ retreat near Portland, Ore., for a number of early childhood educators from around the country. We […]

Framing the Family Tree

My seven-year-old daughter came home from school with a handmade calico tie for her dad for Father’s Day. The oversized tie was carefully cut from the blue and orange fabric […]

Welcoming Kalenna

When I was a child, our home was filled with the sounds of Spanish, mariachi music, and boisterous conversations. At home, my Nana cooked enchiladas, menudo, and tamales. During family celebrations we broke piñatas, danced, and […]

Strawberry Fields Forever?

When I was a child, my mother couldn’t help us with our homework. She had gone to work as a maid in a Mexican hacienda at age 11 and hadn’t learned to […]

Testing Lang

Lang was a student of mine last year, an eight-year-old with big brown eyes and a shy, quiet nature. He hated writing; putting pencil to paper was a brutal task […]

Holding Nyla

Nyla* came into our Head Start classroom wheeled by her special aassistant and surrounded by three early intervention (EI) specialists. I could barely see her for the equipment, adults, and […]

What About Play?

The ideas presented in this article are discussed at greater length in Dr. Olfman’s upcoming book Childhood Lost: How American Culture Is Failing Our Kids (Praeger Press) in which some […]

Confession

I confess: My students play with blocks. Despite the current obsession with standards and standardized testing, some of us are still letting children play in our classrooms. Those of us […]