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Block Play Paperback – May 1, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I was amazed to discover that Block Play teaches all the skills and concepts necessary for children to be successful learners. As a librarian I appreciate the bibliography of related books." - Carolyn Olson, Willmar Public Library

"Block Play is titled 'The Complete Guide to Learning and Playing with Blocks'! And so it is! Information about the benefits and values of block play, the stages of block play and the role of the teacher in block play is written in a simple, easy-to-understand style. The author uses the example of one child to illustrate how all kinds of learning can take place within the confines of the block area. The second half of the book features specific activities to enhance block play at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels." - Laverne Nelson, Research Associate University of Arkansas

"I have not seen a book on teaching with blocks since the NAEYC book that is about 20 or more years old. This book is terrific. The sections I especially like and find useful for my classroom instruction and workshops are the chapter on Assessment especially the section on stages of development and the chapters on Activities for various levels. I talk and demonstrate about blocks and their uses in my environment class and my method class. This book will be a great asset for the students to have after they have completed the classes and they are in their first job having to justify why they want to spend several hundred dollars on a set of unit blocks or having to explain to parents on how and what children have learned with the blocks in the classroom." - Janie H. Humphries, Ed.D., Professor and Coordinator of Early Childhood Education, Louisiana Tech University

About the Author

Sharon MacDonald, M.Ed., has been training teachers throughout the United States for more than fifteen years. Her training workshops and presentations focus on a variety of early childhood topics based on years of classroom experience. With a master's degree in education, Sharon has taught ages ranging from three-year-olds to adults and an inclusion program for children with disabilities. She is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at early childhood education conferences and has written many magazine articles.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gryphon House; 1 edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876592531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876592533
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By ChristineMM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 3, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written by a teacher and geared for preschool and Kindergarten teachers on the use of blocks and block play in the classroom. I read this as a mother and a homeschooler looking for information on how we can best use our "block center". I found this book would be most helpful for teachers (as it is intended).
The author has composed long lists of skills that children can learn through block play, itemized under the categories of math, science, art, literacy, physical development, social studies and social-emotional. These long lists would be helpful for teachers who need to prove to someone that playing with blocks is a worthwhile activity where learning thrives.
Ideas for setting up a block center in a classroom are detailed and are great for the classroom but don't translate completely to the home setting. There is a very brief section on choosing blocks, too brief, I believe. I was interested to hear about how many blocks one child would use and of which shapes are most played with so I can choose the best sets or a la carte blocks for our home. This information was not provided as the author states such information has been provided in other publications. Well, I was looking for that information in this book! Blocks are recommended to be stored in a sturdy shelf unit which I think is great but is quite costly for parents (the hardwood unit blocks are a large investment)! I also would have liked an appendix with sources for blocks, the best suppliers and best prices. Despite Internet access I am having problems finding these hardwood unit blocks. There are also ideas for making homemade blocks out of recycled products for younger children, such as large blocks made out of paper bags stuffed with newspaper and covered in contact paper.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book. This book tells why the block center is necessary in the curriculum and what skills the children will use and learn. It provides charts and the concepts; math concepts, science, art, literacy, language arts, physical development , social studies and social and emotional growth that block play provides. The block play book discusses how to set up the block center and how to make it simple to clean up. Sharon MacDonald, the author, provides insight on what the teachers role is and the best type of blocks to buy for each age group. She includes ideas for assessment in the block area and examples of how to write up these observations according to their ages and stages of play. Accessories to the block area are include as well as making blocks and people for the area.
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