Northwest AEA Preschool Newsletter

December 2022


And just like that we are in the last month of 2022. As you begin your search for 2023 calendars, take a moment to reflect on the successes of this past year. Make a list of all those things you want to keep doing. How did they make a positive difference in the lives of others? How do you feel knowing that? Think also about the challenges. What did you learn about yourself following a particular challenge? Are you now stronger, wiser, more resilient because of them?

Reflective teachers are the BEST kind of teachers. Take time to reflect & rejoice!

EnJOY! ~Joyce, Brenda & Shelley

GOLD & IGDIs checkpoint dates

Screening windows and checkpoint dates

GOLD Fall Checkpoint completed

Now what? Use your Fall Checkpoint data to make your instruction meaningful to the needs & strengths of the children you are teaching. What area do they need more support in? What children need to be challenged? How can you use Small Groups to enhance their learning?

Let the fun begin!!

*Administrators: Take Note*

Administrator Zoom #1 Completed

Thank you to those who were able to attend our first Administrator Zoom. Our focus was on Session 2 of the Preschool Desk Audit and MTSS in preschool. If you'd like to refer back to the slideshow to review or to access the resource links, click HERE. If you'd like to watch the 40 minute recording, you may click on that as well. For those who were unable to attend the Zoom, we invite you to review the resources as well.

Preschool Desk Audit- DUE Dec. 15th

This is a reminder that the Preschool Desk Universal desk audit information (Part 2 for those submitting IQPPS information) is to be submitted to the Iowa Department of Education through the Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA) from Sept. 15 through Dec. 15 of each year. The Iowa Department of Education shares the following resource to assist you.

Your preschool Best Practices Coach/Consultant (Joyce, Shelley or Brenda) is also available to answer questions and assist you as well.

*All About Literacy*

Resources from Florida Center for Reading Research

Thanks to Lisa Hofmeister, Northwest AEA Speech-Language Pathologist who shared the link from the Florida Center for Reading Research with us at Intentional Teacher! This wonderful resource has a teacher resource guide for implementing successful activity centers with a focus on early literacy. The resource guide includes visuals, materials lists, and more. The site has links to lesson plans for alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, and language & vocabulary. We invite you to check it out!

*Family Corner- Please share with them!*

Following a Bedtime Routine

Routines are important as they build a sense of security for children. Iowa Public Broadcasting System shares a family friendly video that families can watch with their children to instill a bedtime routine. It's called "Creating bedtime routines with Rosie." BONUS: there is even a teacher lesson plan about the importance of routines!

"Doing things in the right order can help achieve a goal. Rosie realizes that to take Iggy to bed she has to follow a routine, and that it is important to follow the right order to complete the routine. Let Rosie show your children how to create a bedtime routine."

Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Do you work with or know children with special or behavioral needs? If so, please share this online learning with them. Click HERE to learn more.

Family Cafe

The South Sioux City Public library is hosting a Family Cafe on Tuesday, December 13th from 5:30-6:30 p.m.. They will have a story time and activities for children, food and drink for all, and incentives for attending. Families will learn about the power of reading. Spanish interpretation will be available.

Featured Teacher- Skye Nicolls

Thank you Skye for sharing the resources featured below! Skye is a preschool teacher at River Valley in Washta.

(Click on the images for a full view)

*MTSS; It's a preschool thing too!*

Learn more about MTSS in early childhood

As the value of early education becomes more widely known, preschool staff are finding themselves becoming more included in frameworks that previously were thought to be only K-12 focused. Multi-tiered Systems of Supports, better known as MTSS is one of these frameworks that many preschool teachers have received little if any training on.

Our state, along with Northwest AEA recognizes this and offer training to support you as you explore and learn about multi-tiered systems of support in early childhood settings. See the opportunities below.

MTSS Coach Day- Dec. 15th

This course is open to anyone whose role is to support MTSS implementation in their building and/or district. The day will be filled with new learning and collaboration across content areas. Click HERE to register or here to view the flyer.

Note: In addition to all of the great learning & connecting opportunities, there will be an early childhood breakout session titled, "MTSS & The Path to Intervention in EC Classrooms."

MTSS in Early Childhood Settings Course in the works

Beginning in February of 2023, Northwest AEA will be offering a 1 credit MTSS in Early Childhood Settings course. Resources we'll be using include the Multi-tiered Systems of Support for Young Children book and the Position Statement on Multitiered System of Support Framework from the Division of Early Childhood, better known as DEC.

The course will be open from February through May and will be offered for both graduate and license renewal credit. Participants will work at their own pace as they do the required work. More to come!

*Fun & Informational Links*

The Able Fables

Have you heard about The Able Fables? Through sales of inclusive books and t-shirts, The Able Fables goal is to provide financial support towards building inclusive playgrounds. In addition, they provide opportunities for early childhood teachers to receive books donated by visitors to their website. Would you like to sign up to have books about people with differing abilities sent to you? If so, sign up HERE for an opportunity to be chosen to receive disability inclusive books to your classroom, donated by people who wish to to donate. Click HERE to donate $10 so someone else can receive a free book!

Public Broadcasting System (PBS)

PBS has a "Teachers Lounge" with tips & resources for using their website to enhance learning for your students. We received an email called 10 Hacks for Making the Most Out of PBS LearningMedia and thought it was worth sharing. In Section 4, there is a tutorial on how to change languages & video length on videos that are included on their site. For those of you that have students with primary languages other than English, this might be for you!

Upcoming Northwest AEA Early Childhood Professional Development Opportunities

Centering on Centers 2023

Registration has opened for our 28th Annual Centering on Centers Conference! It will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center. This year features Cari Ebert, a nationally known speech & language pathologist. It is filling up quickly so you will want to register as soon as possible!

Topics include:

  • Building Executive Function Skills Through Play- Based Learning
  • The Power of Play in a High Tech World
  • The Digital Dilemma: How Screen Time Affects Early Childhood Development
  • Making Sense of Sensory

Click on HERE or on the flyer for details. You will want to register early as there is a $10 late registration fee.

NEW!! PD Roadmap for LEA Staff in Statewide Voluntary Preschool Programs

Northwest AEA knows that Local Education Agency (LEA) preschool staff are recommended to have 15 hours of professional development in topics relating to early childhood. We strive to keep topics fresh and relevant while continuing to offer courses that are foundational and necessary for implementing quality programs. We invite you to look at the PD map designed for staff in Statewide Voluntary Preschool Programs. Note what courses you've taken, and what steps might be missing for you as you travel along your personal PD path. We have many learning opportunities available for you in the second semester of the 2022-23 school year.

Click on the images below to access the flyers. All courses are available for participant only. "Grad." means it is offered for graduate credit; "LR" means it is offered for license renewal.

Northwest AEA Early Childhood PD Plan 2022-23

Here you have access to professional development designed specifically for early childhood staff for the 2022-23 school year.

*Training that includes early childhood*

Early Childhood State Coordinating Team Notes

The Iowa Department of Education has regular meetings with early childhood representatives from across the state as a way of sharing information from the DE, listening to our voices and concerns, and collaborating with each other to create solutions.

*Additional Info*

Hot Topics

Sometimes questions are asked to us that we can't find answers to, so we ask. This is our current "hot topics" list. You'll find a Q&A on IGDIs, Panorama, potty chairs in preschool, family-style meals, and exiting a child from OSEP.
Want more preschool newsletters?

Visit our Northwest AEA website where you'll find not only previous EC Newsletters, but a wealth of other resources as well!

Northwest AEA Early Childhood Consultants

We hope to be your first contact for timely and ongoing early childhood support. We want to assist you in improving the performance outcomes and well-being of your young learners.

Joyce, Brenda & Shelley