The High-performing Preschool: Story Acting In Head Start Classrooms

Paperback | May 4, 2015

byGillian Dowley Mcnamee

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The High-Performing Preschool takes readers into the lives of three- and four-year-old Head Start students during their first year of school and focuses on the centerpiece of their school day: story acting. In this activity, students act out stories from high-quality children’s literature as well as stories dictated by their peers. Drawing on a unique pair of thinkers—Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky and renowned American teacher and educational writer Vivian G. Paley—Gillian Dowley McNamee elucidates the ways, and reasons, this activity is so successful. She shows how story acting offers a larger blueprint for curricula that helps ensure all preschools—not just those for society’s well-to-do—are excellent.
             
McNamee outlines how story acting cultivates children’s oral and written language skills. She shows how it creates a crucial opportunity for teachers to guide children inside the interior logic and premises of an idea, and how it fosters the creation of a literary community. Starting with Vygotsky and Paley, McNamee paints a detailed portrait of high-quality preschool teaching, showing how educators can deliver on the promise of Head Start and provide a setting for all young children to become articulate, thoughtful, and literate learners.  

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The High-Performing Preschool takes readers into the lives of three- and four-year-old Head Start students during their first year of school and focuses on the centerpiece of their school day: story acting. In this activity, students act out stories from high-quality children’s literature as well as stories dictated by their peers. Dra...

Gillian Dowley McNamee is professor of child development and director of teacher education at the Erikson Institute in Chicago. She is coauthor of Early Literacy, The Fifth Dimension: An After School Program Built on Diversity and Bridging: Assessment for Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Classrooms. 

other books by Gillian Dowley Mcnamee

Early Literacy
Early Literacy

Paperback|May 25 1990

$24.02 online$24.95list price
Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:May 4, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022626095X

ISBN - 13:9780226260952

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“This is a telling book. The participatory pedagogy it offers builds on children’s enactments or dramatizations of their imagined stories and on extended discussions and interpretations of stories found in children’s literature. These activities provide the context for children to develop special ways of using words and narrative forms of discourse, central to future success in school. As McNamee demonstrates in detail, a classroom is never simply a setting: by engaging what is already there—the students’ ideas, imaginations, experiences, stories, relations, and conversations—it becomes a powerful source of development.”