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Big Questions for Young Minds


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Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Using Questions in Classroom Interest Areas Chapter 1: Dramatic Play Area Chapter 2 : Block Area Chapter 3: Mathematics/Manipulatives Area. Chapter 4: A Makerspace in the Science Area Chapter 5: Writing Area Chapter 6: Art Area Part 2: Using Questions During Other Parts of the Daily Routine Chapter 7: Class Meetings Chapter 8: Read-Alouds Chapter 9: Exploring and Making Music Chapter 10: Large Motor Activities Chapter 11: Outdoors Chapter 12: Mealtimes Part 3: More Learning Opportunities with Questions Chapter 13: Supporting Emotional Development During the First Months of School Chapter 14: Kickstarting the School Year: Exploring Change Through Long-Term Studies Chapter 15: Using Featured Materials Chapter 16: Multiday Explorations Chapter 17: Supporting Children's Understanding About Diversity Chapter 18: Making the Most of Classroom Displays Chapter 19: Documenting Children's Learning Part 4: Resources References Acknowledgments About the Authors About the Contributors

About the Author

Janis Strasser, EdD, is a teacher educatorand coordinator of the MEd in Curriculum and Learning Early Childhood concentration at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. She has worked in the field of early childhood for more than 40 years. Lisa Mufson Bresson, MEd, is a technical assistance supervisor for Grow NJ Kids, New Jersey's statewide Quality Rating Improvement System for early childhood programs. She previously taught in urban public preschool settings for 13 years.


For anyone eager to become more adept at engaging children in meaningful conversations, Big Questions for Young Minds provides a clear and relevant guide to the craft of asking high-level questions to support development of critical thinking skills. Teachers, coaches, mentors, directors, providers of professional development, and families will find this book an invaluable resource. -Polly Smith, Early Childhood Consultant and Mentor of Directors Finally, a resource to help teachers develop and ask questions that encourage children to think, imagine, and generate ideas! Strasser and Bresson show how to build on what children know by asking questions that support rather than derail their play and exploration. This gem of a book should be in every classroom. -Beth Graue, Sorenson Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison Listening, questioning, and learning are essential ingredients to good decision making. This contribution by Strasser and Bresson will help ensure that educators won't wait until children are in high school before asking them high-level, thought-provoking questions. -Vincent J. Costanza, Superintendent in Residence, Teaching Strategies, LLC As a teacher with more than 15 years of experience in early childhood education, I found this book to be practical, inclusive, and culturally relevant. I highly recommend Big Questions to educators who are looking for a resource that bridges the gap between theory and practice. -Dawn M. Durham, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Passaic, NJ

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