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Making a Difference
10 Essential Steps to Building a PreK-3 System



January 2010 | 184 pages | Corwin
The national push for early learning is no longer about preschool alone, but rather about strategic planning to increase achievement by working with communities to establish a strong Key Stages 1 and 2 foundation. This book provides the essential steps for carrying out this important work, including how to reach out to community early childhood education providers to establish quality instruction and build bridges to Key Stages 1 and 2.

Drawing on their success in building a PreK–3 system in the Bremerton, WA school district and their work with schools across the USA, the authors provide education professionals with a field-tested, step-by-step road map that can be adapted for your own community and school district. Essential topics include:

- Identifying the needs of families and children

- Aligning resources, curriculum, instruction, and assessment

- Establishing key players

- Training staff

- Developing a plan for implementation

- Instituting professional learning communities

- Anticipating potential challenges

- Celebrating successes

This book shows head teachers and early childhood professionals, as well as county officials, Education Officers, Head Start programmes, and Title I directors, how to provide all children with access to high-quality educational experiences in and before Reception and link early childhood standards and goals to the Key Stages 1 and 2 systems.

 
Foreword by Ruby Takanishi
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
 
Step 1. Establishing Need and Common Interests
Connecting to Your Preschool Community

 
Connecting the Early Childhood Community and K-12 Public School

 
Establishing the Need and Prioritizing Your Efforts PreK-3

 
Your First Early Childhood and K-3 Meeting

 
 
Step 2. Locate and Connect With Your Early Childhood Learning Environments
Locating Your Community Preschool Partners

 
Identifying and Locating Key People in Your School District

 
Planning for Your "Kick off" PreK-3d Meeting

 
 
Step 3. Develop a Leadership Group
Your Leadership Group

 
Vision Plus Action

 
Quality Preschool

 
 
Step 4. High Quality Professional Development
How to Provide Professional Development Aligned to Your Goals

 
Target Professional Development to the Needs of Your Community

 
Establish Your Professional Development System

 
Information to Refine Your Work and Strive for Excellence

 
 
Step 5. Connect and Align Quality PreK to Kindergarten
Connect Your Community Preschool and Kindergarten Programs

 
Develop an Assessment and Information Loop

 
Align Curriculum and Instructional Practices

 
 
Step 6. Maximize the Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten
Advantages

 
National Trends

 
How to Design a Full-day Kindergarten

 
Developing a Planning and Implementation Team

 
Developing Goals for the Program

 
Using Research to Drive the Process

 
Core Curriculum Selection Process for Your Kindergarten (PreK-3rd Grade) System

 
Low-to-No-Cost Options

 
Developing Daily Schedule Expectations

 
Data Sharing

 
"Friendly Accountability"

 
 
Step 7. Align and Connect Full-Day Kindergarten With Grades 1-3
Connect Your FDK to Grades 1-3

 
Align Your K-3 Standards

 
Align Your Assessment and Information Loop

 
Align Curriculum and Instructional Practices That Support Children's Learning and Development K-3 (PreK-3rd)

 
Tiered Systems

 
Connect and Align Resources to Focus on Your Goals

 
 
Step 8. Conquer the Fade Out
Teach the Conventional Reading Skills That Are Developed Birth to Age 5

 
Horizontal Alignment

 
Vertical Alignment

 
Temporal Alignment

 
 
Step 9. Create a Sustainable System of Support
Broad Base Support and Financing Your Goals

 
Celebrate and Publicize Your Efforts

 
Continuous Engagement

 
 
Step 10. Review, Revise, and Extend
Next Step: Looking Ahead and Planning

 
Review Your Goals

 
Are We Making a Significant Difference?

 
Your Leadership Group (ECCE Group)

 
Looking Ahead

 
 
References
 
Resource A: Books and Web Sites
 
Resource B: Steps for Your First Leadership Meeting
 
Resource C: Leadership Guide
 
Resource D: Curriculum Adoption Form
 
Resource E: Glow and Grow Self-Reflection Form
 
Resource F: Look Fors in Early Childhood Programs
 
Resource G: Four Key Components to Sustainability Guide
 
Index

“A great guide pointing in the right direction to start a program for early childhood education. With the high emphasis from the U.S. Department of Education and new monies available from the stimulus plan, this book will be a valuable resource for the changes we will be experiencing in education.”

Cindy Luna, Principal
Northside ISD, San Antonio, TX

“It’s time to build a bridge between all early childhood programs and the K-3 system to ensure continued success for all of our children. This is the ultimate how-to manual for administrators and teachers who wish to maintain and maximize the gains children make in preschool.”

Sally Wingle, Preschool Teacher
Chelsea Community Preschool, MI

"Early learning providers and school districts together can build a strong foundation and offer wonderful learning opportunities for each and every child. This book provides the tools to create enjoyable learning experiences from preschool and beyond."

Jill Brenner, Child Development Manager
Kitsap Community Resources Head Start/ECEAP Programs, Bremerton, WA

Great resource for ideas to establish routines and procedures.

Ms Jill Clayton
Ed Entreprenuer center , Southern Methodist University
June 4, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword

Introduction: Connecting Early Childhood and K-12 Programs


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