Early Childhood Newsletter

Pre-K - 1st

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Engaging Students

We know that our young students often learn best through activity. Movement, talking, experimenting, wondering, creating, and singing not only engage short attention spans, but also help young brains transfer learning from short term to long term memory. Over the years, I have found a few strategies to help me avoid "the same old" rut. First, I set a timer to keep me on pace. It is easy to get involved in a topic and overtax my wiggly student's patience and attention span. Second, alternate quieter learning with physical activity or active centers. If my students are squirming, I need to change it up! Third, make every minute of every activity purposeful. What that means is that every minute is tied to at least one guideline or TEK. Fourth, ask students to read and write about everything we do! If we have students create a record of which solid figures roll and which slide and then ask them to share their findings, they will have a "real" reason to write and read. Fourth, avoid worksheets and coloring pages. Life isn't about coloring within the lines - it's about thinking outside the box.

Pre-K Progress Monitoring and Kindergarten Assessment

TEA is notifying publishers, school districts, and charter schools to submit for review English and Spanish prekindergarten progress monitoring and kindergarten assessment instruments to be included on the 2017-2021 Commissioner's List of Approved Prekindergarten Progress Monitoring and Kindergarten Assessment Instruments.

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Do we have "High Quality" programs?

In order to answer the question, Donna Holt and I will be visiting selected Region 7 districts and Pre-K classrooms to gather sample data on the instructional strategies and implementation of the guidelines. We will use the data gathered to determine how we can better support our area teachers and students. How can we tailor our workshops to meet the needs? What tools do we need to provide our teachers and administrators?

Upcoming Pre-K - 1st Sessions

Please remember that all registration closes 15 days prior to the session.
Big Math for Little Hands - email to register.

March 27: Come explore active math lessons and centers in Big Math for Little Hands To register: e-mail kmeadows@region7.net with your name and #063217

Assessment, Progress Monitoring, and TX-KEA

March 31: We'll explore strategies for assessing our young students, look at progress monitoring tools in Pre-K and look at the Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment options.

PK - 1 Thematic planning with Social Studies

April 7 Bring your curricular materials as we explore our SS standards and create, plan, and share integrated units.

Literacy for the Little Guys

Join us April 11 as we explore instructional strategies to build vocab, phonemic awareness, and reading skills for our PK - 1 learners.

Scaffolding for English Language Learners in PK - 1

Join us April 13th as we explore and discuss strategies to scaffold our content while developing our ELLs conversational and cognitive vocabulary.

Shadows and Light in Pre-K and K

Join us 4/17 as we explore Shadows and Light and then spend the afternoon creating, planning, and sharing other science based integrated units.

Phonologically Aware in Pre-K - 1

On April 19th, we will focus on instruction in Phonological Awareness using the continuum to develop grade level appropriate instruction and activities.

Nurturing Creativity in the Pre-K - 1 classroom

April 21st: Did you know that the U.S. is the only developed nation where creativity scores have declined over the last 30 years? How do we reverse the trend?

Culturally Aware Family Engagement

April 25th: We will explore the research on family engagement, cultural differences that could hinder our efforts, and successful strategies to reach out and partner with our parents. Listen as other participants share success stories.

Engaging Centers and Activities

April 27th: Come and design engaging, standard based centers! I'll share the many center ideas I've collected. Please bring and share the ones that work in your classroom!

Thematic Planning with Science, PK - 1

May 5th: We will explore teaching with content rich thematic units that incorporate multiple subject learning expectations. Bring your standards and curricular materials to collaboratively plan Science based thematic units.