Inside PreK Classrooms

Inside PreK Classrooms A School Leader’s Guide to Effective Instruction

Judith A. Schickedanz and Catherine Marchant
paper, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: February 2018
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-127-3
Price: $32.00

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Inside PreK Classrooms provides school leaders with much-needed guidance and knowledge to ensure quality instruction for their youngest students. Based on their extensive experience working with children and educators, the authors bring readers inside real classrooms, where teachers are grappling with the “big ideas” that lie at the core of quality preK instruction.


This book captures how school leaders can effectively impact the teaching and learning in PreK classrooms. The book connects theory to practice in a memorable way for principals, district level administrators, superintendents, and school board members. The authors successfully show how twenty-first-century skills fit in PreK classrooms. — Edgardo “Gary” Castro, principal, Roosevelt Elementary School, New Mexico, and founder, Lead N Inspire Consulting

Inside PreK Classrooms provides a fresh format for demonstrating how using research, having a deep understanding of child development, knowing effective curriculum and classroom practices, and planning carefully aligned professional development are all critical elements to consider in effective instructional leadership. The authors present a focused narrative that includes proven strategies to help instructional leaders work with teachers to create sustained and highly effective PreK programs. — Lisa Llorente, early childhood educator, Boston

Schickedanz and Marchant [lead] readers through authentic scenarios that illustrate how instructional leaders can ask the right questions to move teachers’ practices forward, how they can hone in on the most influential elements of busy preK classrooms, and how to achieve common understanding between teachers and principals. — Lillie Moffett and Christina Weiland, Teachers College Record

Inside PreK Classrooms provides specific guidance on how instructional leaders can support teaching and learning with grounded examples for various practitioners seeking to produce more effective early learning practices for pre-kindergarten students. — Education Review

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About the Authors

Judith A. Schickedanz, a professor emerita at Boston University, is a leading expert in early childhood education and early literacy. At BU, she founded the laboratory preschool (and served as director for eighteen years), served as BU’s early childhood consultant to the Boston University and the Chelsea Public Schools collaborative, and taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in child development, early education, and early literacy. She has extensive experience in creating preschool curriculum and working with teachers and school leaders in Chelsea (1990–1993); Boston (1976–1981, funding from a Right-to-Read Grant, US DOE); and many Early Reading First projects across the country (2003–2012, funding from No Child Left Behind to create “centers of excellence” in preschool education).

Schickedanz served on the committee to update accreditation standards for NAEYC and as president of the Literacy Development in Young Children SIG within IRA (now ILA). She has published many articles, book chapters, and books. Her books include Strategies for Teaching Young Children (1977, 1983, 1990, with M. York, I. Stewart, and D. White); So Much More than the ABCs (2013, with M. Collins; earlier editions authored solely, 1986 and 1999); Curriculum in Early Childhood: A Resource Guide for Kindergarten and Preschool Teachers (1997, with M. Pergantis, J. Kanosky, and J. Ottinger); Writing in Preschool: Orchestrating Meaning and Marks (2004; 2009, with R. Casbergue); Increasing the Power of Instruction; Integration of Language, Literacy, and Math across the Preschool Day (2008); and Adam’s Righting Revolutions (1990). She is the senior author of a preschool curriculum, Opening the World of Learning (2005, with D. Dickinson). She was also the senior author of four editions of Understanding Children and Adolescents, a child development text.

Catherine Marchant, EdD, has been a classroom teacher, a teacher educator, an instructional coach and an administrator (e.g., early childhood liaison, evaluation team leader, and early childhood specialist). She began her career as early childhood special educator in the Boston Public Schools. At Wheelock College (1982–1994), she taught courses in children’s development and curriculum and instruction and also supervised student teachers. Later, she served as a literacy coach in Boston’s early education centers, and then as an instructional coach for the Boston Early Reading First initiative, in collaboration with Judy Schickedanz, the curriculum consultant. Catherine has also served as an early childhood coach and professional development provider for BPS Department of Early Childhood.

Currently, Catherine consults with individual schools and districts helping them develop curriculum based on the principles and examples provided in Opening the World of Learning (OWL, 2005) and providing professional development in which she shares both hands-on experiences obtained in work with a wide range of children and teachers, and relevant research and theory. Catherine holds three degrees in education: a bachelor’s from Boston College, a master’s from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Table of Contents


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