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Explorers' Classrooms: Good Practice for Kindergarten and the Primary Grades.

Using selected classroom observations, as well as numerous interviews and literature reviews, the author helps the reader to understand how developmentally appropriate practice can be implemented in kindergarten through 3rd-grade classrooms. The text compares traditional and developmentally appropriate classroom environments, focusing upon ways to enhance a child's style of learning. The author discusses possibilities for multiage groups and examines the ways classroom structure, materials and scheduling can be implemented in developmentally appropriate classrooms.

Numerous examples of classroom teaching help illustrate ways that children learn. The reader will find abundant methods for motivating children to want to learn and techniques for guiding children as explorers in learning. Shores describes teachers and parents as scouts, mentors and guides. In these roles, parents and teachers can provide resources to attract children's interest and help them discover answers to their questions. The author emphasizes that whole language, the extensive use of manipulatives in math, integrated curriculum and the project approach are excellent techniques for classroom teachers fulfilling this role.

The final chapter discusses ways that teachers can facilitate learning: directing, modeling, coaching, scaffolding, articulation and exploration. The author offers suggestions for recording children's progress, continuing professional development and addressing the need of basal readers in the classroom.

This book can serve as an important resource to parents, teachers and administrators who are exploring the concept of developmentally appropriate classrooms for children. The abundant examples offer concrete models that have proven successful in kindergarten through 3rd-grade classrooms in recent years. In summary, the approach described in Explorers' Classrooms can be exciting as well as challenging when teachers begin moving from structured classroom settings to child-centered learning experiences in developmentally appropriate classrooms.

Reviewed by Arlene M. Fulton, Assistant Professor, Family Relations and Child Development, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
COPYRIGHT 1993 Association for Childhood Education International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Fulton, Arlene M.
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 22, 1993
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