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Listening to Learning

Listening to Learning
Assessing and Teaching Young Children

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March 2024 | 184 pages | Corwin

Effectively assess learning in the most critical years of a child's development

Young children’s learning in preschool and childcare settings sets the foundation for the elementary school years to come. Skills in speaking, listening, reading, math, science, and the arts develop inside everyday instructional routines that teachers and childcare providers make available to children. How can educators be sure of what their children are learning and how to support their progress?

Listening to Learning provides pre-service and in-service teachers and childcare providers working with young learners with an innovative and practical way to assess children’s learning while they are engaged in daily instructional routines. This book offers:

  • Methods for observing, documenting, and analyzing what and how young children are learning
  • Strategies for monitoring children's progress across various areas, including sciences, arts, mathematics, language arts, and play
  • Approaches for making informed instructional adaptations that address the developmental needs of young learners from diverse home and community settings
  • A framework that shows how instructional routine activities can be used to bridge classroom assessment with the teaching and learning process

With years of expertise and a thorough analysis of assessment techniques, the authors effectively showcase the power of instructional routines as a tool for understanding and enhancing student learning in these most formative years of development.

About the Authors
Section I: Overview
Chapter 1: Introduction to Bridging Assessment
Chapter 2: Bridging: Assessing the Content and Process of Learning
Chapter 3: Basic Activities as the Unit of Analysis in Bridging Assessment
Chapter 4: Teacher and Childcare Provider Agency in Bridging Assessment
Chapter 5: Bridging and Effective Teaching
Section II: Bridging Assessment Activities
Chapter 6: Pretend Play
Chapter 7: Story Dictation and Dramatization
Chapter 8: Counting Collections
Chapter 9: Drawing a Self-Portrait
Chapter 10: Strong Houses for the Three Pigs
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D


Gillian Dowley McNamee

Gillian Dowley McNamee, Ph.D, is professor emeritus of child development and early childhood teacher education at Erikson Institute, Chicago, IL. She has worked with early childhood teacher candidates during their preparation for public school teaching as well as long term with teachers working with children growing up in challenging social and economic situations. Gillian has carried out professional development initiatives with teachers across the United States, Europe, Taiwan, several regions of China, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan. She speaks nationally and internationally on how teachers can listen to young children in order to become the... More About Author

Jie-Qi Chen

Jie-Qi Chen, Ph.D., holds the Barbara T. Bowman Professorship in Early Education at Erikson Institute. Beginning as a teacher in various classroom settings, from toddlers to middle school, she has devoted three decades to teacher professional development. Dr. Chen founded the Early Math Collaborative at Erikson, a groundbreaking initiative that revitalized early mathematics education and empowered teachers to emphasize foundational math concepts. Her career spans expertise in early math education, classroom assessment, the educational impact of multiple intelligence theory, and teacher development. With 17 authored and edited books,... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071889213