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parent and family engagement. Patterns of
participation in educational programs by
family members, including mothers, fathers,
grandparents, and siblings. (32)
parent cooperatives. Preschools, usually serving
children from 3 to 5 years old, that are
typically formed and run by parents. (2)
parquetry blocks. Geometric pieces that vary in
color and shape that are used to teach shape
concepts. (23)
participation chart. Can be developed to gain
information on specifi c aspects of children’s
behavior. (3)
passive voice. Sentence structure in which the
object of the sentence is placed before the
subject. (7)
passivity. Term for describing the level of
involvement with a child’s surroundings,
such as withdrawing from a new person or
event. (5)
perceptions. Ideas formed about a relationship
or object as a result of what a child learns
through the senses. (25)
personifi cation. Giving human traits to nonliving
objects, such as dolls or puppets. (21)
persuading. Encouraging children to act or
behave in a certain way by appealing to their
basic wants and needs. (14)
petit mal seizure. An epileptic condition in which
the person may have a few muscles twitch
briefl y or may become confused with the
surroundings. These seizures are milder than
grand mal seizures. (13)
philosophy of education. A set of beliefs on how
children develop and learn. (4)
phrase method. Method of teaching songs using
short sections of a long song, having children
repeat these sections. These sections are
increased until the children know the entire
song. (27)
phrase/whole combination method. Method of
teaching a song stressing key phrases with
rhythmic movement or visual props. (27)
physical age. An age determined by a birth date.
Also known as chronological age. (10)
physical development. Physical body changes
in a growing individual, such as changes
in bone thickness, size, weight, vision, and
coordination. (4)
pica. A craving for nonfood items. (17)
picture books. Books with single words or simple
sentences and simple plots. (20)
placement service. A service that fi nds positions
for graduates. (33)
plasticity. The ability of an infant’s brain to
change according to stimulation. (4)
pitch. The lowness or highness of a speaking
voice. (31)
policy. A course of action that controls future
decisions. (13)
portable kitchen. A kitchen created in the
classrooms by placing the ingredients, tools,
and other equipment on a low table so all
children can watch. Also, portable appliances
such as an electric skillet or a hot plate are
used rather than a stove. (26)
portfolio. A purposeful collection of materials
that documents a child’s abilities,
accomplishments, and progress over
time. Portfolios are a valuable tool for
communicating with families and validating
the quality of instruction. (3)
positive reinforcement. Molding children’s
behavior by rewarding positive behavior. (14)
practical life experiences. Experiences in
the Montessori curriculum that stress
independence for children. (2)
prekindergarten (pre-K). The full range of
early childhood programs including school-
based programs for three- to fi ve-year-olds;
sometimes referred to as preschool or junior
kindergarten. The goal is to enable every child
with skills needed to succeed in school. (1)
preoperational stage. Period between ages two
and seven during which children learn to
classify groups and use symbols and internal
images. (4)
preschooler. Term referring to children ages three
to six years. (4)
preverbal gestures. Intentional signals a baby
uses to infl uence other people in their
environment. (5)
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