Category Archives: Curricula

Links Relating to Storybook Selection and Purchase

Caldecott Winners   (Hosted by Association for Library Service to Children) 
Parents’ Choice
The Kindergarten Canon, by Fordham
Redeemed Reader
Some Christian mothers review books:
Advance Publishing, owned by Author and Activist for Character Education, Carl Sommer (fyi aimed at elementary age, but still many books may be good for the 4s and the 5s) 
These were the resource additions to a handout for a session on how to better read/tell stories at a conference for church related preschools.

Character Development Arising

I got a report at a conference yesterday that more public schools are adopting character development into their curricula. As you know I have been a supporter of this move for a few years. When I started there were at most only 4 other initiatives. Not only do teachers realize this is better for classroom management but also administrators may be finally realizing that studies show that charcter development results in better academic statistics.  Thank goodness for those who have taken some leadership  recently! Today there is a rating for public schools based on how much character development they offer. YAY!
I am continuing to suggest to CDCs that they have me in for teacher training on lesson plans for character development. I am now representing a publishing house for elementary level books in this category.  Please contact me for 1) speaking engagements anywhere 2) consulting for center/school culture in Texas or 3)  for vending character books in Austin, Houston, Dallas or Lubbock.  Please let me know if I can be of help in anyway. 512-249-7629.

Peter Yarrow's Anti-Bullying Campaign is Gentle, Playful, and Useful

Many of my clients are directors of preschools. They will immediately see the usefulness of this anti-Bullying campaign. Other managers or trainers might find the music of Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mayr) pleasant enough to add to their programs, too.
Here is a report on Yarrow’s anti-bullying campaign (and curriculum)
Here are the lyrics:
Here is how to get in touch with Mr. Yarrow.
I don’t think I have to report the sad news of the day to see that we need lots of help in this area. This is a really good beginning with children — and even adults. I have seen the whole anti-bullying idea used by institutional bullies against good employees, whistle-blowers, and activists, so I have been rather careful about getting on this bandwagon. Yet, Yarrow gentle reminder has stood the test of time. Don’t laugh at others because they are different. We need to all have a common feel for the fact we are all human.
We still offer diversity training and conflict reduction seminars.

Great Find for Educators!

Most of my clients are managers of preschools. Most such have little business and managerial background, so to fill that need, and the usual interest of most managers, I have been posting current management topics. However, most preschool educators care most about education and young children. So today, with all due respect to the typical manager, I am going to fill a need for those educators.
Teachers and grandmothers alike have been telling me they just can’t find good books to buy for their children. One said she made a concerted search. Nothing at Scholastic Books, nothing in any of the bookstores in town, nothing anywhere was satisfactory.Then, when I joined Christian Educators Association, I was given a book, entitled, Character under attack. It told of one teacher/author’s frustration that stories with moral or didactic intent were disallowed. I know this is true. It has been true since the early 70s since I’ve tried to write. Well, this fellow just opened his own publishing house. He has written series of children stories, and young adult stories, and some curricula too. Check it out:
And sneak preview: type in “Great” as a promo code and get a 35% discount! You will have new, well bound, fun and useful books for your classroom, school library, — or even your grandchildren.
Best on your new school year.

Lower SES Students do Better in Private Schools

“Students in the lowest SES quartile who attended a private school in 8th grade were nearly four times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than students from the same quartile who attended a public school.” — Council for American Private Education
This is a significant statement. Students in private school outperform public school — and NOT merely because their parents have higher incomes. It is true that parents’ income correlates with higher grades, but that is not the primary predictive factor. Something else about private school is predictive. Coleman 88 pointed to the expectations of the parents and educators. When one looks further, one sees that religious schools outperform — a counter-intuitive finding. Researchers think this is because all religious schools, regardless of class or mission, all aim at character formation. When adults care about students, expect them to do well, and train them in good character habits, then students excel.
Everyone one of us can implement this in our school. What are your plans this year to include character formation in your curricula or school culture?

Coming to NISOD to talk about interactive activities in college classroom.

Memorial Day, Monday May 26th, at 10:15. at the Convention Center, (in Room 13B probably), I will be hosting a discussion on using interactive activities in the college classroom to encourage student engagement.
“Ways to Engage Students: Pros, Cons, and Science.”
We are moving away from the typical “read a book/go to lecture/write a paper/take a test.” Is this good? Is it bad? Since we must, how might we do it better? I have promised to come with at lest 14 ideas for teachers to use immediately and to host a discussion that airs concerns. Handout with bibliography will be available. Questions are posted here, since this is where I have the capability to host a discussion. Look for Handout on
What interactive activities have been very useful in your community college level classes?
What resources do you recommend?
What concerns do you have about using interactive activities in your classroom?
In what ways would activities borrowed from corporate training be effective or ineffective in the college classroom?
In what ways could we avoid regurgitating the text by use of activities? In what ways could we drive students to read and mentally process their reading through activities?
In what ways might we ensure a raising of academic ability or work place abilities through activities?

Government Moves on Early Childhood

Just now someone on Washington Week said, “There is now actual research that shows that minority children get fewer words [delivered to them] than white children.” Actually, I just read that research: Experience and the Development of Intelligence in Young Children at Home and in Day Care by Jean V Carew *1980*. This is not news. However, the real indicator is not race but class. Middle class mothers and more educated teachers speak more to children. This makes a difference. Most poor people in this country, btw, are not minorities. And most minorities are not poor.
It was also reported that the senate will be moving on early childhood education this week. My guess is that in that discussion will be another sociological mistake. Most people assume that children in CDCs have higher IQs. This is not what the research shows. Today research is not looking into that question; it is not politically correct to do so. The research will show that if you take the poorest child from the worst situation and put them in the best childcare center then you can raise IQ. There is no evidence that if you put a middle class child into a typical childcare center that you will raise IQ, academic achievement, health, social adjustment or anything else.
Notice, also, that if there is an expansion of government into daycare, similar to what we see in HeadStart or kindergarten, then we will see 1) similar results and 2) the closing of many businesses and 3) pressure on the very best preschools that are church run.
Watch this, engage politically, and be willing to risk your comfort for the good of children.

NCLB coming to early childhood?
Please let me know what you think of this.
Did you hear President Obama say in his State of the  Union address that we should work on early childhood education?  Don’t you imagine Hillary Clinton will have early childhood on her agenda if she is president. What do you think?

Curricula for Christian Centers

In answer to questions regarding Christian curricula, I have begun gathering recommendations. Here is what I have so far:
1. Alpha Omega – available both in retail stores and online (see 2 posts below for a discount coupon), full scope and sequence, covers most areas, rather than just Bible Stories
2.Baptist Weekday Educators Association puts out a curriculum. This is in binders, (with some reproducibles and no scope and sequence I think.) Originally developed for Southern Baptist MDO. Please fill us in if you have more information.
3. Gospel Publishing has curricula. Recommended by First Fruits, Marble Falls.
4. Fun Shine Express, along with Concordia Press, was recommended by a Missouri Synod Lutheran center.
5. Alelu, recommended by St. Paul’s Roman Catholic, published by Our Sunday Visitor (RC). Reported to have a lot of RC symbolism. They use the Baptist WDE curricula too, so it seems possible to me that at least the more liturgical churches might find material they can adapt. As in all cases, check to see if you need is filled.
6. I noticed that Group, although it is publishing for Sunday School, has a lot of very flexible material.
A general need was expressed to have curricula that had Christian values infused throughout the entire curricula, rather than only a series of Bible stories that were not integrated with language arts, art, numeracy, etc.
I will observe also, that some of the more favored centers have college educated teachers who regularly create their own curricula, while others purchase from the small selection. This seems to me to be a business opportunity: PUBLISH YOUR CURRICULA in a way that others can benefit.
Please contribute your good ideas below. Thanks.