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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 2 Introduction among the children.) The simplest nonlocomotor skills (movements performed while remaining in one place) of bending and stretching are also found in early lessons, along with the simplest movement elements of space and shape. I believe very much in the importance of beginning at the beginning and progressing in a logical, developmental manner. Not only can we expect greater success from children who are encouraged to build upon their earlier successes as stepping stones, but we can expect greater response from them as well. Early in my own teaching experiences, I was guilty of asking children to respond to challenges with which they could not possibly be comfortable; they hadn’t pro- gressed through the stages necessary to make them comfortable. The result was intimidation and a lot of blank stares—and no wonder. It was similar to asking a fledgling ballet student to perform a perfectly executed tour en l’air (turn in the air) without first acquainting her or him with the basic balletic skills! The idea is to make the children feel good about experiencing movement by starting slowly and providing them with frequent opportunities to experience success. Because children need opportunities to explore movement on its own, to find and use their own personal rhythms, not all of the activities in this book are accompanied by music. (Activities using music have been marked with a musical note: .) However, children do love music—and it does contrib- ute much to movement experiences—so I have included it wherever it could make a contribution to the learning experience. The songs that are part of this program are almost entirely original, having been written specifically for the activities they accompany. They make it possible for teachers to add the joy and energy of music to movement experiences without the effort of having to first locate appropriate music, and they make it possible for the children to better understand such abstract concepts as slow and fast, light and heavy, and bound and free. The songs expose the children to both electronic and acoustic instru- ments and to as many musical elements as I could manage to include. I believe in variety, and variety is what this curriculum offers the children, and you! Finally, every activity in Toddlers includes some simple questions to help you evaluate whether or not the children are meeting the activity’s objectives and Curriculum Connectors, pointing out ways in which the activity correlates, or can be made to correlate, with other content areas. Also, while it is my COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL