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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL chapter 1 Implementing Curriculum through the Planning/Observation/Individualization Cycle The best curricular practices for preschool and kindergarten children revolve around knowledge of the traits of young learners. Because they are different from older children, they require teachers to use different approaches than those seen in elementary-grade classrooms. Let’s consider some of the characteristics of young children. Preschool and kindergarten children are active learners. They are not passive receptors or good listeners. Watching demonstrations or listening to lectures is not their primary mode for taking in new information. They are movers and shakers, wigglers and doers. They have energy to burn and the desire to try out things actively for themselves. They are risk takers, exploring their own capabilities and not always recognizing safety issues. They are builders and constructors. They are climbers and runners. They are scientists experimenting with new and exciting ways to use materials. They are artists and dancers, exploring their own creativity and freedom in space, figuring out how to express their unique selves. Preschool and kindergarten children are just beginning to figure out written language and the power of stories. They understand quantities through real problems that arise and must be solved: How many crackers can we have for snack, or how many children can fit around a table? Young children express their feelings more through their behaviors than their COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 13