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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 2 Introduction Why I Wrote This Book I am exaggerating, of course, but the thing about teaching is that just when you think you know what you are doing, you realize there is more to learn. I knew children need to move, but I didn’t always recognize it. The truth is, a few years ago I would have told Greg and the other boys to calm down when they started roughhousing, the very thing that got them moving (and for Greg, the only thing). Planning movement activities is not enough. Getting children outside for long periods of time is not enough. Even having a mat set aside for boisterous, rough-and-tumble play is not enough. Children need a sense of power, a chance to take risks, and a choice in how they move their bodies throughout the day. Greg and many others like him do need to move their bodies, but they might not do it when the teacher plans it. We can’t address a child’s physical development for fifteen minutes and then the child’s literacy skills the next fifteen minutes. We need to be aware of the whole child the whole day. How My Teaching Changed I started teaching young children twenty-three years ago. I learned from some great teachers. I observed and tried to get to know each child as an individual. I learned to give kids hands-on experiences and use open-ended conversations. Things went well for more than fifteen years until one year when I had a class- room with eight boys and two girls (with just me as the teacher). The eight boys were active and fairly typical boys. This is when I discovered how the techniques I learned from classes and from mentors were geared toward behaviors more typical of girls. It was a very stressful year, and it was the first time I honestly considered leaving the classroom. Meanwhile I was training other teachers about gunplay and warplay. I wanted others to see how children can learn from this type of play. Participants at my workshops often asked about rough-and-tumble play, and I was quite lim- ited in my knowledge. I decided to do some research. I went to a workshop by Michelle Tannock, an expert on rough-and-tumble play. As she spoke, I couldn’t help thinking about my own childhood. Somehow I had put behind much of what I did as a child when I learned about expectations for group care. I often wrestled with my older brother and sister. I often jumped on the couch, rolled on the cushions, and ran into walls just for the sheer joy of it. Why didn’t I allow the children in my care to do the same? I started my research to create a workshop for other teachers. Little did I know how much my own teaching would change. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL