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Becoming Young Thinkers

Deep Project Work in the Classroom

Judy Harris Helm Lilian G. Katz

144 pages
Teachers College Press

Continuing the exploration of project work in the author’s bestselling book, Young Investigators, Second Edition, this book is designed for preschool through primary grade teachers who know how to do project work but are ready to move to the next level. Focusing on how children become young thinkers, the book begins with mind, brain, and education science and instructional guidelines for all learning experiences, and then connects these to the rich foundation of the project approach. Helm provides specific strategies for deepening project work, including how to select meaningful topics, plan for projects, integrate standards (including the Common Core), support children's questioning, create provocations to promote engagement, and help children represent their ideas. This practical resource will extend practitioners’ knowledge about project-based learning so they can move beyond the basics to create project work that is more engaging, meaningful, and productive.

Book Features:

  • Vivid examples of deep project work from real classrooms (pre-K through 2nd grade).
  • An analysis worksheet for applications of Dewey's vision of child-centered learning.
  • Charts for integrating CCSS for English Language Arts and Mathematics in kindergarten projects.
  • A teacher reflection form for evaluating the depth of project work.
Author Bio

Judy Harris Helm heads her own educational consulting and training company, Best Practices, Inc., in Brimfield, Illinois. Her books include Becoming Young Thinkers: Deep Project Work in the Classroom; The Power of Projects: Meeting Contemporary Challenges in Early Childhood Classrooms—Strategies and Solutions; and Windows on Learning: Documenting Young Children's Work, Second Edition.