Browse Our Child Development Books, Movement Education Curriculum, and Active Learning Tools

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Active Learning Across the Curriculum: Teaching the Way They Learn!

Active Learning Across the Curriculum: Teaching the Way They Learn provides hundreds of activities that help teach major concepts in the content areas of art, language arts, math, music, science, and social studies, taking advantage of the fact that young children don’t learn best while sitting!

Detailed lesson plans offer objectives, step-by-step instructions, suggestions for ensuring success, alternate activities, and curriculum connectors, with recommendations for children’s literature and music.

Active Learning Across the Curriculum is organized according to content areas and major concepts, making it a real time saver for teachers and early childhood professionals who understand the value of active learning and who want to teach to the “whole child.”

Teachers often look for new ways to teach concepts. Active Learning Across the Curriculum by Rae Pica is a wonderful addition to any elementary teacher’s professional library. “Movement is a young child’s preferred mode of learning,” is exactly right and an integral part of an early childhood classroom. This book has multiple ways of using developmentally appropriate practices to ensure children understand basic concepts. It also goes a step further as it addresses such issues as “personal space.” As an early childhood advocate, I would highly recommend this book for novice teachers and masters alike as they search for fresh ideas.

Becky Villareal, Retired Teacher

active learning tools

Understand the connection between how kids grow and how they learn.

In this collection, Rae Pica keeps kids front and center as she provides thought-provoking commentary and actionable insights on topics such as the Common Core, the self-esteem movement, and standardized testing. Sure to inspire discussion, this pocket-size powerhouse of educational philosophy includes

  • 29 short essays on topics critical to best practice in child development and education
  • Opinions of experts supported by research and anecdotal evidence
  • Real-life stories shared by teachers and parents
  • References to related articles and radio interviews with experts

“What a pleasure to read common sense wisdom about what young children need!”

Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education

Jump into Literacy

Jump into Literacy combines children’s love of active games with over 100 lively literacy activities. These joyful games will engage the whole child in moving and playing as a way to develop the literacy skills needed for reading and writing. Each activity is complete with a literacy objective, a materials list, instructions, and extension activities. Most of the activities include suggestions for related music and children’s books. From “The Alphabet in Action” to “Floorwriting” and “Follow That Letter,” the activities in Jump into Literacy bring active, authentic learning to the classroom!

Winner of an Earlychildhood NEWS Directors’ Choice Award, an iParenting Media Award, & a NAPPA Award from National Parenting Publications!

Jump into Science

Bring science to life by helping children learn about their bodies, animals, the seasons, weather, and much more. The activities in each chapter are organized by level of difficulty, and each incorporates fun, exciting science experiences with movement. Most activities require few or no materials and include related children’s books or music to extend the learning. The science skills index is an invaluable reference tool, giving teachers flexibility to plan around children’s interests.

Activities such as The Mirror Game, Dinosaur Stomp, and Water and Ice will actively engage children as they explore science concepts!

Jump into Math

Jump into Math is the perfect way to turn children’s love of active games into learning opportunities! The activities in each chapter are organized by level of difficulty, and each one incorporates fun, exciting math experiences with movement. Most activities require few or no materials and include related children’s books or music to extend the learning. The math skills index is an invaluable reference tool, giving teachers flexibility to plan around children’s interests.

Activities such as Light and Heavy Word, The Number Hunt, and Three-Legged Creatures will actively engage children as they explore new math concepts!

A complete movement curriculum for toddlers

Toddlers need—and love—to move! Young children are ready to use their muscles and minds as they stretch, dance, wiggle, explore, and learn. This physical education program incorporates more than 50 developmentally appropriate activities designed to help toddlers channel their energy in creative, beneficial ways as they develop habits that encourage lifelong health and fitness and success in all areas of learning.

  • Everything you need to get started is here, including:
  • An introduction to implementing physical education into your curriculum
  • An explanation of the ways creative movement supports children’s physical, social/emotional, cognitive, and creative development
  • Tips to create a positive learning environment, suggestions for adding equipment to activities, simple questions to evaluate whether or not the children are meeting the activity’s objective, and information on how the activities meet early learning standards outlined by NAEYC and AAHPERD
  • Fourteen lesson plans with four 30-minute activities per plan—plus extensions and adaptations for children with special needs
  • Curriculum Connectors that identify each activity’s correlation with content learning areas
  • A CD filled with original music to add joy and energy to the activities

Age focus: 18 months-3 years. Softbound book, 128 pgs., and CD, 23 tracks.

A complete movement curriculum for preschoolers and kindergartners

Give children opportunities to explore all kinds of movement, to find and use their own personal rhythms, and to feel good about participating in physical activity. This curriculum incorporates more than 80 developmentally appropriate movement activities designed to help preschoolers and kindergartners develop habits that encourage lifelong health and fitness and success in all areas of learning.

Everything you need to get started is here, including:

  • An introduction to implementing physical education into your curriculum
  • An explanation of the ways creative movement supports children’s physical, social/emotional, cognitive, and creative development
  • Tips to create a positive learning environment, suggestions for adding equipment to activities, simple questions to evaluate whether or not the children are meeting the activity’s objective, and information on how the activities meet early learning standards outlined by NAEYC and AAHPERD
  • Twenty lesson plans with four 45-minute activities per plan—plus extensions and adaptations for children with special needs
  • Curriculum Connectors that identify each activity’s correlation with content learning areas
    A CD filled with original music to add joy and energy to the activities

Age focus: 3-5. Softbound book, 160 pgs., and CD, 27 tracks.

More than 100 movement activities for early elementary children

Physical education is a critical part of every early childhood curriculum. Children need to move to channel their energies in creative, beneficial ways and to learn habits for lifelong health and fitness. Early Elementary Children Moving & Learning provides more than 100 developmentally appropriate activities that contribute to a well-rounded curriculum in any classroom or program.

The book contains

  • An updated introduction reflecting new research and trends in early childhood health and fitness and information on how movement benefits children’s learning and development
  • More than 100 activities that fall under five categories: openers and closers, basic movement, cooperative activities, educational gymnastics, and rhythm and dance
  • Extension ideas and adaptations to use with children who have special needs
    Curriculum connections for each activity and explanations about how activities are aligned with and meet early learning standards from NAEYC and AAHPERD
    Original music to add joy and energy to the activities

Age focus: 6-8. Softbound book, 232 pgs., and CD, 28 tracks.

Experiences in Movement

Reviews for the 5th edition of this textbook:

“It is well-written, easy to read, and supplies enough information that my students are able to grasp the basics of music and movement with young children. It does not continually repeat topics throughout the text as some textbooks do. Each chapter has its own defined characteristics and personality, yet they all support the main topic of music and movement education.”

“This is the most relevant textbook out there for an early childhood music and movement course! It includes all the important components for the class and students seem to enjoy reading the book.”

“As a fifth edition, [the] author stands on her own shoulders, in addition to those of many other great names in the history of music and movement methodology, in providing a rich resource for long-term application across the full spectrum of early childhood and elementary movement activity. Research is so richly interwoven into the narrative that it could serve as a review of literature on many different related subjects. I will use this as a text book for my methods classes and as a resource for my own teaching for many years to come, I am sure.”

Physical Education for Young Children

Rae is constantly asked by elementary physical education teachers, “What am I supposed to do with the little ones?” Physical Education for Young Children places the focus squarely where it needs to be: on the fundamentals.

The book provides teachers with the following tools:

  • A logical progression of movement skills, including the ABCs of movement, body-part identification, and nonlocomotor, locomotor, and manipulative skills
  • An understanding of the developmental differences between younger students and their older counterparts
  • Guidance in understanding the unique needs of 4- to 8-year-olds and writing developmentally appropriate lesson plans to meet those needs while making connections across the curriculum
  • Many activities that develop motor skills, manipulative skills, fitness, and the understanding of the elements of movement

Great Games for Young Children

Get ready for fun! These new and classic games, each with a noncompetitive twist, are sure to get children moving, laughing, and learning. You’ll find everything you need to know to play over 100 great games. Every game provides benefits for the whole child by supporting cognitive, social/emotional, and physical development. Perfect for rainy days, sunny days, and every day, the games in this book offer heart-rate-raising, team-building, friend-filled fun!

“For those of us who believe that ‘play is the right of every child,’ this collection of non-competitive, non-embarrassing, non-eliminating, and yet fun and instructional games for young children, is highly welcomed in the early childhood community! I love the way Rae describes why each game is important in terms of cognitive, social/emotional, and physical benefits thus helping teachers articulate to parents and administrators that play is an ‘essential part’ of any curriculum for young children.”
Marcy Guddemi, Executive Director
Gesell Institute for Human Development

Wiggle, Giggle & Shake

Enhance your classroom with 200 movement-inspiring activities for children ages four to eight. Wiggle, Giggle, & Shake encourages children to think and solve problems, to recognize and explore their feelings, and to participate physically in their own learning. Explore 38 popular classroom themes, such as transportation, seasons, holidays and celebrations, animals, and occupations, with these simple, fun movement activities. Wiggle, Giggle, & Shake is a creative resource for engaging young children’s imaginations, as well as their bodies!

Teachable Transitions

Thanks to transitions that are both fun and educational, the minutes between planned activities become moments that children actually look forward to. Filled with movement activities, games, fingerplays, chants, and songs, Teachable Transitions offers a variety of ways for your preschoolers to move through their day. Organized by categories such as “Arrival,” “Outside,” “Snacks & Lunch,” and “Cleanup,” each transition is presented in an easy-to-follow “Ready, Set, Go” format!

“Useful ideas, songs, and movements to keep kids alert and engaged between activities. Excellent!”
“Teacher Rave,” Instructor Magazine

A Running Start

Written for the parents of children birth to age five, A Running Start offers techniques for raising a child with the right balance of free play and structured activity. Pica shares:

  • What’s most intellectually stimulating to a child
  • How to get your child moving — and why
  • What’s most important to look for in school curriculums
  • When and how best to get your child involved in sports
  • The secrets of building character, curiosity, and self-esteem

“In this highly readable book, it’s obvious that Rae Pica understands the dilemmas and needs of parents today. With her warm and reassuring style, she offers a clear picture of the research and theory behind what’s essential in childhood – along with sound advice and practical suggestions.”
Hedda Sharapan, Director
Early Childhood Initiatives, Family Communications, Inc.
producers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

“I absolutely LOVED your book–this message is so very important. There have been a couple of other books on the subject, but yours was better researched and covered the topic more fully and clearly!”
Shelley Butler
Field Guide to Parenting

“Your book reassured me that it is OK for me to let [my daughter] be a kid and not give into the super kid’s mentality many parents have. THANK YOU!!!!”
Melissa Warner

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