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Archive for the ‘Developmentally appropriate practice’ Category

“ ‘I noticed the kids who did not understand English were just sitting off to the side, but the moment the assistant would come and speak their language, they blossomed, their eyes opened up,’ Ponce said.

“Ponce, now a coach for other Head Start teachers, is one of hundreds of preschool teachers and supervisors across California who are getting training this year on how to support children whose families speak a language other than English at home. These students account for 60 percent of children under 5 years old in the state and are often referred to as ‘dual-language learners’ because they are learning two languages as they grow — their home language and English.”

“ ‘These are very exciting times,’ said Patricia Lozano, executive director of Early Edge California, a nonprofit organization that advocates for young children and is helping the California Department of Education implement the grant. ‘We’ve come so far in recognizing the benefits of speaking more than one language. All kids benefit from learning two languages. Hopefully California will be a leader in implementing this everywhere.’ ”

 

“New training for California preschool teachers to help bilingual children prepare for kindergarten,” by Zaidee Stavely, EdSource, March 19, 2019

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Carla Duran Capellan. Photo source: Chad d’Entremont’s Twitter page

 

“…one voice that’s usually missing in discussions about how best to support student outcomes is the one that arguably matters the most: students themselves.”

– Condition of Education in the Commonwealth Report
“Student Voice: How Young People Can Shape the Future of Education”
The Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy
January 24, 2019

 

Adding more students’ voices to educational policy debates was the theme of the Rennie Center’s annual Condition of Education event, which was held last week in Boston. At the event Rennie released an accompanying report, “Student Voice: How Young People Can Shape the Future of Education.”

Building on this theme, Rennie’s event featured older students who reflected on their past academic experiences. This year’s Condition of Education report also looks at how Worcester has incorporated the voices of preschool aged children.

“Believe in your students,” Carla Duran Capellan said at the event. “Trust that they have the ability to make change and let them lead.” As a high school student, Capellan participated in Generation Citizen, a program that lifts students’ voices. (more…)

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh meets with a young learner. Source: City of Boston Mayor’s Office’s Flickr page.

 

Boston has a long history of preschool progress. Starting under the administration of former Mayor Thomas Menino and continuing with Mayor Marty Walsh’s team, city officials have invested in quality, access, and innovation. Now, this work is featured in a new report — “A Focus on Teaching and Learning in Pre-K through 2nd Grade: Lessons from Boston” — from the think tank New America.

New America praises Boston for having a clear and lasting vision for expanding preschool, rather than “a series of priorities that shift every few years based on changes in district leadership.”

Thanks to a dynamic, public-private partnership, funding for this work came from the city and from funders like the Barr Foundation. (more…)

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

Massachusetts is working hard to meet the needs of preschool age children who have special education needs. The goal is inclusion: preparing all children for success in school no matter what challenges or disabilities they have. Ongoing efforts in this area and an upcoming conference are fueling real progress for children.

For parents, trying to find the right services and programs for children with special needs can be daunting. Some help came in 2015, when the federal government issued guidelines about how high-quality programs can be more inclusive.

“States, school districts, local organizations, communities and families must work together so that children with disabilities have access to programs that offer individualized and appropriate help in meeting high expectations,” former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said at the time. (more…)

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This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Lesley Byrne, and I work as a pre-K teacher in the Lowell Public Schools. I had worked in early childhood education for seven years when, in 1993, the Lowell initiated the first pre-K programs in its schools. I knew this was where I wanted to be, as I have always believed that providing a positive, first-school experience for families can lead to future school success. I was excited to work toward offering these experiences for children and families. 

For a few years, I was involved in The Family Literacy Program, a collaboration between the Lowell Adult Education program and the Early Childhood Education program. Imagine you’re a parent who is new to this country. You don’t understand English or American culture. Now imagine sending your child to a “foreign” school! The Family Literacy Program aimed to support these families. The program offered classes in English as a Second Language to parents of pre-K children. As one of the pre-K teachers at this time, I got to use my skills not only to educate and support the children in my class, but also to work with parents on how to support their child’s learning at home. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my teaching career.  (more…)

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Screenshot of “Ideas and Innovations in Early Childhood Education” website

 

There’s a new early education organization in town called, “Ideas and Innovations In Early Childhood Education.”

Founded by early educator Theodore Kokoros, it’s a local think tank that’s funneling the voices of early educators and parents of young children into the public debate.

“While early childhood education and care is getting more attention from politicians and the media,” the organization’s website explains, “too often those shaping policy and discussions related to early childhood education and care are not the people who are more directly involved with the work. This think tank’s goal is to share the research and perspectives of people who work directly with young children.”

The think tank’s website features articles on a range of topics, including teaching practices, proposed legislation, research trends, literature reviews, brain science, and other early education-related news. (more…)

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Mary Frances Kroyak and her sons.

 

This is one of a series of blogs featuring first-person accounts from early educators across Massachusetts.

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My name is Mary Frances Kroyak. The children call me Miss Fran. I work for Cape Cod Child Development in West Yarmouth, Mass. I have been teaching for three years.

As a teacher, I know that children’s brains develop at the fastest rate from birth to age five. Because of this, children not only need to learn ABC’s and 1-2-3’s, but also what their feelings are and how to deal with them. Children need to learn how to socialize and react when working and playing with their peers in a group. Learning these lessons early will help them throughout their lives.

Professionally, I am most proud of the relationships I develop with the children. I love when they come up to me and tell me about their day or something they found amazing that they have learned. One of my favorite things to do is sit at circle time and ask them what they learned this week. For instance, I was doing a unit on crabs. This one little boy drew a blue crab. I told him it looked like an Atlantic blue crab. I showed him pictures of them online. I also asked him if he knew where the Atlantic Ocean is. He said “No.” I asked hm if he knew where the beach he went to with mommy was (we live on Cape Cod). He told me, Yes, he remembered. I told him that was the Atlantic Ocean. He smiled with an expression of surprise and exclaimed “No Way! I swam with the blue crabs? Cool!!” (more…)

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