Blocks and beyond : strengthening early math and science skills through spatial learning

| December 7, 2010

Title: Blocks and beyond : strengthening early math and science skills through spatial learning
Author: Mary Jo Pollman
Publisher: Baltimore : Paul H. Brookes Pub. Co., c2010.
Check it out: QA11.2 .P596 2010

From the Publisher: Spatial development should be part of every young child’s education—it’s linked with higher achievement not just in math and science, but across all academic areas. Now early childhood educators have a guidebook to help them seamlessly integrate spatial learning into their everyday curriculum.

Focusing on areas key to academic success—math, science, art and literature, and social studies—early childhood expert Mary Jo Pollman gives teachers research-based insights and ready-to-use activities for promoting children’s spatial development throughout the school day. Developed for use with children in preschool through third grade, this innovative teacher training resource

  • Aligns with key focal points specified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Math Panel Report, and the National Science Education Standards
  • Helps children progress in specific areas where U.S. students are falling behind—particularly geometry and geography
  • Improves teacher quality—helps them plan a successful, well-rounded curriculum with creative, age-appropriate activities
  • Strengthens the home–school learning connection with suggestions for games that parents and children can do together
  • Uses easy-to-find materials—shows how to improve spatial skills with everyday items like blocks, play dough, puzzles, globes, and objects found in nature
  • Is fully supported by the latest research and highly respected educational theories, clearly explained throughout the book so teachers know the why behind the how
  • Provides a foundation for later success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields

A great inservice professional development resource and an essential text for preservice teachers, this book is key to creating a curriculum that actively promotes spatial development and sets the stage for strong math, science, and other academic skills.

About the author: Mary Jo Pollman, Ph.D., is a professor of early childhood education at Metropolitan State College of Denver. A former lab school teacher at Florida State University as well as a kindergarten, first, and third grade teacher, Dr. Pollman has continued her study of early childhood education in Australia, Italy (Reggio Emilia), Japan (fellowship), Germany, and Canada. Her fascination with the work of Friedrich Froebel, a trained mathematician and architect and the father of kindergarten, led her to walk in the footsteps of Froebel in Germany in 2007.

At the national level, Dr. Pollman is Vice President in charge of membership of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) and a member of the Professional Development Panel of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

A frequent presenter at NAEYC, NAECTE, and ACEI, Dr. Pollman has written many articles and position statements dealing with issues in the field of early childhood.

On the Web:

“A wonderful resource for teachers and parents of young children to encourage the love of learning—especially in math—and weave spatial development throughout all curriculum areas.”—Linda Adams, Executive Director, Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

“Very timely … provides the conceptual underpinnings for the current interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at the early childhood and elementary levels. A valualbe resource for teachers.”—Rosalind Charlesworth, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Weber State University, Ogden, UT