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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Preface I was a stay-at-home dad in 1979 when I was hired as a classroom teacher at a local Head Start program, even though my only qual- ifications were that I liked kids and needed a job. Despite my lack of formal training, or perhaps because of it, I did a pretty good job and had a great time. My approach was simply to expose the children to as many different real-life experiences and real objects as I could muster. We planted things, built things, cooked things, climbed things, painted things, cleaned things, imagined things, and took care of living things, including each other. We played games and musical instruments, read a ton of books, and listened to all kinds of music, much of which I brought from home. We explored our neighborhood every day and our community when- ever I could hijack a bus. Moreover, I engaged children throughout the day in authentic conversation. (That is to say, I talked to each child like a real person.) I created a climate in which all the chil- dren felt like the classroom belonged to them. They could change the schedule to accommodate a particular project, or rearrange the room to support an extended bout of imaginary play. No one was ever forced to participate. Children who preferred solitude could be by themselves. ix COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL