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malnutrition. A lack of proper nutrients in
the diet that happens when a nutrient is
absent or lacking from the diet; caused by
an unbalanced diet, poor food choices, or
the body’s inability to use certain nutrients
properly. (12)
mandated reporter. People required by law to
report any known or suspected cases of child
abuse or neglect. (11)
manipulative stage of play. First stage of material
use; stage at which children will begin to
handle props. (21)
manuscript writing. A simple form of calligraphy
not requiring the sustained muscle control
that cursive writing does. This writing
involves unconnected letters made of simple,
separate strokes. (22)
matching. A form of classifi cation that involves
putting like objects together. (23)
maturation. The sequence of biological changes
in children giving the child new abilities,
which is based on their genetics. (4)
mesh. Fit well. (26)
middle childhood. The span of years between
ages 6 and 12. (4)
mitigate. Lessen. (26)
modeling Verbal and nonverbal actions by one
person, setting an example for others. (14)
molestation. Sexual contact made by someone
outside the family with a child. (11)
mono painting. Art activity in which a piece of
paper is placed over a fi nger painting. The
two papers are patted together, then pulled
apart. (19)
Montessori approach. Based on self-education in
multi-age groups. Schools provide children
freedom within limits by a rather structured
approach, and a fi xed method in which
materials are presented. (2)
moral development. The process of acquiring the
standards of behavior considered acceptable
by a society. (8)
morality. Understanding and using accepted
rules of conduct when interacting with
others. (8)
morning meetings. Class meetings that
promote a caring community at toddler,
preschool, kindergarten, and school-age
levels by creating and modeling a democratic
environment. Sometimes referred to as class
meetings or gathering times. (25)
motivation. In a lesson plan, method of gaining
the children’s attention. (18)
motor sequence. Order in which a child is able
to perform new movements. Motor sequence
depends on the development of the brain and
nerves. (5)
multicultural. Representing a variety of cultural
and ethnic groups. (10)
multiple intelligences. Theory developed by
Howard Gardner that emphasizes different
kinds of intelligences used by the human
brain. Each intelligence functions separately,
but all are closely linked. According to
Gardner, a potential intelligence will not
develop unless it is nurtured. (4)
myelin. A white, fatty substance that coats and
protects the nerve fi bers, and increases the
speed at which impulses are transmitted from
cell to cell. (4)
MyPlate. The USDA-developed food guidance
system with a set of online tools to help
people plan nutritious diets to fi t their
individual needs. (12)
nanny. A child care worker who usually provides
care in the child’s home and may receive food
and housing in addition to wages. (1)
National Association for the Education of
Young Children (NAEYC). One of the most
respected professional organizations for
people who work with young children. (1)
natural consequences. Experiences that follow
naturally as a result of a behavior. (14)
nearsighted. Able to see close objects more
clearly than those at a distance. (8)
neglect. Form of child abuse in which children
are not given the basic needs of life, such as
proper diet, medical care, shelter, and/or
clothing. (11)
neophobia. The fear of something new. (12)
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