You are here

The Learning-Centered Kindergarten

The Learning-Centered Kindergarten
10 Keys to Success for Standards-Based Classrooms

  • Shari Y. Ehly - Assistant Principal - Gattis Elementary, Round Rock ISD

August 2008 | 200 pages | Corwin
The goals and purposes of kindergarten have been changing rapidly in recent years. Today, in addition to providing learning experiences that support the development of the whole child, kindergarten teachers are also held accountable for guiding their students towards mastery of the academic skills and content presented in their state's standards.

The Learning-Centered Kindergarten is designed to help all kindergarten teachers - preservice, novice, and experienced - align their practices with the new expectations and prepare themselves for professional success in the kindergartens of today and tomorrow. The book's focus on a 'learning-centered' kindergarten brings together the established developmental kindergarten knowledge base, the current research on standards-based best practices in elementary school settings, and the newest findings on human learning to form a principled, practical, and effective approach that will help teachers improve their classroom practices and maximize student success.

Foreword by Lisa S. Goldstein
About the Author
Introduction: The Importance of Learning-Centered Kindergarten in Today's Standards-Centered World
No Child Left Behind, Standards, and Changes in Kindergarten

The Need for Learning-Centered Kindergarten

What Is a Learning-Centered Kindergarten?

Making Your Kindergarten a Learning-Centered Classroom

Key One: Embrace Kindergarten's Multiple Purposes
The Challenges of Teaching Kindergarten Today

Learning-Centered Kindergarten: A Bridge Between Two Worlds

Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Carlos Lesson: Sensory Awareness and Vocabulary Development

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Guiding Principles and Practical Strategies

Use Your Professional Knowledge Base to Guide Your Practice

Opportunity for Professional Growth

Pulling It All Together


Key Two: Understand How Children Learn
Learning Theory and Creating a Learning-Centered Kindergarten

Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Cook Lesson: Flat Stanley Revisted

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Key Three: Recognize the Special Needs Child
Identifying Special Needs Students in Kindergarten

Identification and Modification

Behavioral and Academic Challenges

Classroom Snapshot--Ms Washington

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Key Four: Develop Behavioral Expectations and Procedures
Creating a Learning Environment

Consequences and Rewards

Common Causes of Misbehavior

Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Hunter

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Key Five: Create a Supportive and Engaging Learning Environment
Classroom Design

Think About This...

Classroom Learning Environment

Role of Curriculum and Instructional Practices

Developmentally Appropriate Practices and the Standards

Classroom Snapshot--Mr. Goodwin Lesson: Integrating Technology Into the Curriculum

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Key Six: Recognize Your Students as Members of Families, Communities, and Sociocultural Groups

Include Families and Caregivers

Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Macrone Lesson: All About Me

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Key Seven: Establish Partnerships With Students and Families
Building Relationships

Go the Extra Mile

Caregiver Education

When Nothing Helps

Classroom Snapshot--Mr. Bradley

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Key Eight: Plan Meaningful Learning Experiences to Connect Your Students to the Standards
Developmentally Appropriate Practice Can Be Rigorous Too

Designing Learning Experiences for a Learning-Centered Classroom

Know Your Students

Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Sandburg

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Key Nine: Showcase Your Students' Learning and Their Engagement With the Standards
Kindergarten Teachers: Really Teaching or "Just Playing"?

Making a Connection to the World

Classroom Snapshot--Ms. McCardo

Reflection on the Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Key Ten: Form Alliances With Colleagues and Commit to Your Own Professional Development
Learning-Centered Means Everyone, Every Day--No Exceptions

Begin With Collaboration

Professional Development

Classroom Snapshot--Ms. Lawrence and Ms. Simmon

Reflection of Classroom Snapshot

Pulling It Together


Helpful Readings to Strengthen Your Knowledge Base

“Ehly’s book is vital for any novice early childhood teacher. Her straightforward writing style helps teachers understand developmentally appropriate practices, and the book gives concrete examples on how to implement them in today’s accountability-driven educational climate.”

Melissa Dubick, ESL Prekindergarten Teacher
Austin Independent School District, TX

“The book brings home the important point that the kindergarten year, when designed appropriately and taught by effective and well-trained teachers, is the foundation for success in later years. The classroom snapshots transform theory into practice and make implementation of these outstanding guidelines like child’s play!”

Joan M. Berry, Instructor in Education
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

"Provides concrete, usable examples for today’s kindergarten teacher to reconcile the standards-based classroom with the learner-centered classroom.”

Jenna Bibb, First-Grade Teacher
Wilder-Waite Grade School, Peoria, IL

Sample Materials & Chapters


Key 1

Shari Ehly

Shari Y. Ehly is an educator with twenty-six years of experience teaching kindergarten, first, and second grade, mostly in the Killeen Independent School District in Killeen, Texas. After receiving her MA in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas, Austin, she served as a campus-based instructional specialist, supervised new and veteran teachers, provided professional development for Killeen ISD teachers, and wrote curriculum and assessments for the district. She is currently an assistant principal in the same district. More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412955478
ISBN: 9781412955461