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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET We titled this book Designs for Living and Learning because we believe it is a mistake to make artificial distinctions between how young children live, play, relate, and learn. Their bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits come to your program as a package all wrapped up in an ever-accumulating set of experiences, relationships, and connections that shape learning. You must act with intention to make your beliefs about the value of children, childhood, family, community, and the learning and teaching process vis- ible in the environments you create for children. Navigating Your Way through This Book Designs and Learning, take , In deeper into for our Living understandings and we wider early into childhood for educators our dreams children’s lives and communities. Our hope is to inspire an examination of the values you use to influence your work as a caregiver, educator, admin- istrator, or teacher educator. We want to nudge you into transforming your thinking and environments with a determination to move past barriers. We encourage you to draw on your own sense of design, comfort, and aes- thetics as you work with the principles and elements we offer. Take time to explore unusual materials to discover their potential and offer them with intention and curiosity to children. Turn this work into ongoing teacher research. We suspect you will be drawn to the beautiful photographs through- out the book before reading any of the text. As you look at the photos, be aware that they can be studied further as representations of particular ideas discussed. In the first chapter, we offer an overview of the elements we feel are important to include in early care and learning environments and lay the foundation for the chapters to come. For this reason, it is worth reading first. You will find some initial snapshots to whet your appetite for discovering how these elements might look in a program. This chapter opens with an assessment tool we have created to help you look closely at how you are currently working with these elements. If you follow the guidelines of drawing a floor plan of your particular space and then cod- ing it as directed, you will discover where you might need some fresh ideas and how you can turn to children to help you assess how your environ- ment is experienced by them. The remaining chapters each focus on one of the elements introduced in chapter 1. Each chapter opens with “Look Inside,” a short activity for self-reflection on the topic at hand. We then offer thoughts and examples of how the larger environmental features might reflect the elements under consideration. These “macro” ideas are always under the heading “Invite COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduc tion ] 13