On Tilt is a term of art, originally from the game of poker, that refers to a state of emotional or mental arousal that results in questionable decision making and adoption of less-than-optimal strategy. The term adapts nicely to the world of early learning and can be adopted in reference to both caregivers and children who are emotionally or mentally aroused to the point of making ineffective decisions.
The phrase Environmental Print refers to the print that children stumble upon and bump into in the course of their day. It refers to the signs, labels, logos, and other print kids interact with in their community. Things like the sign outside the pizza place the family frequents, the letters and images on their favorite brand of breakfast cereal, the colorful wrapper of their favorite candy, and tens of thousands of words and logos that reach out to them every time they enter a grocery store.
An Educrat is a bureaucrat or administrator working in the field of education. The term is a portmanteau combining the words educator and bureaucrat. The term, usually used as a pejorative, was coined in 1968 by Claude R. Kirk Jr., governor of Florida. Examples: "We'd have more funding for classroom teachers if there weren't layers … Continue reading Educrat
Lizard Brain is a lighthearted way to refer to the brain's limbic cortex--the seat of emotion, addiction, mood, and lots of other mental and emotional processes. This system is much more powerful than we think. In early learning settings, the lizard brain plays a big part in the behavior of both children and adults. Here's … Continue reading Lizard Brain
Plangry is a term of art describing play anger. In Plangry play, players pretend to express anger and related strong emotions. This play attempts masking Play Face with I Want To Eat You Face. Such play may seem very real to an observer since much of the activity revolves around recreating the body language, facial expressions, language, and tone of real anger.
Plop refers to the practice of introducing new materials into an early learning environment by simply placing them in the space for children to discover. This practice is based on the understanding that children are natural explorers drawn to novelty in their environments.
Glirpies refers to the never-to-be-fully-cleaned up mess left behind after young children use glitter. Usage Examples: "Tiffany did a project with the toddlers three days ago and some of the kids still have glirpies!" "Gene is going to have a fit when he sees the carpet has glirpies! It's going to be impossible to clean … Continue reading Glirpies
Piniculum is a sarcastic term used to describe early learning curriculum comprised of stuff a teacher saw on Pinterest and thought was cute. A piniculum fails to take the interests of the children into account and tends to focus more on finished products than process. Piniculum activities often have very little relevance to the children … Continue reading Piniculum
Craptivity is a descriptive term, used by some in the early learning profession, to describe activities, (often craft projects) that: Focus more on the appearance of the finished product than on the activity’s processAre more teacher-focused than child-focused,Are of questionable developmental appropriatenessFail to meet Gray's Conditions of Play Craptivities often involve a lot of teacher … Continue reading Craptivity
Play Face is a term used to describe an often-seen expression on the faces of humans and other mammals engaged in play. Children exhibiting Play Face tend to have wide open and alert eyes, a friendly and inviting expression, and the glimmer of a smile. Play Face signals an openness to continued engagement and comfort … Continue reading Play Face