This blog is dedicated to the idea that young children are first and foremost knowledge seekers – an idea first brought to my attention by Dr. Susan Neuman in her book, Nurturing Knowledge. Neuman’s assertion that meaning motivates a child to learn, not the mastery of discrete skills, totally revolutionized the way I program for young children. I realized I had tunnel vision, focusing on the six skills espoused in Every Child Ready to Read instead of opening up the world of knowledge in a developmentally appropriate way. As any good preschool teacher will tell you, the skills develop authentically, out of necessity, while the child is pursuing their interests.
For this blog, I plan to document my process for Preschool Science and Math and other programs I present. My programs are largely based on preschool learning standards. While this may sound rigid and scary, we get messy, laugh, have fun, and often surprise the grown-ups with just how much preschoolers know! Professionally, this approach to programming is way more interesting to me than recycling the same old themes and searching for (ack!) cute crafts.
My name is Christina Jones. I am a Children’s Services Librarian at the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana. At the library, I specialize in the implementation of Every Child Ready to Read. To that end, I provide training to library staff, present workshops to parents and early childhood educators, produce print and web content related to early literacy and recommended books, and develop programming for ages 0-6. I also free-lance as a professional trainer, visiting libraries to help them launch their own array of early childhood services.
Along with my library gig, I am an adjunct professor at the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science. At SLIS I am lucky enough to teach my two favorite aspects of children’s librarianship: storytelling and early literacy. And if that weren’t enough, I also enjoy telling stories to children of all ages through my work with the Bloomington Storytellers Guild.