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FirstSchool Framework for Pre-K-3rd Grade Education FPG Child Development Institute University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Michigan State University ECIC Michigan March 14, 2011
Today’s Goals Provide participants with: • An understanding about the FirstSchool initiative • Insight about effective Pre-K to 3rd grade classroom practices • Research that highlights a sound perspective for Early Childhood education
Give this some thought…. • How do children experience the changebetween Pre-K and Kindergarten? • What activity settings seem to ensure optimal participation for children in Pre-K and Kindergarten?
Early Investment is Vital Fewer than 1/3 of America’s fourth graders are at or above grade level in literacy. Studies show investing solely in Pre-K is not enough. Well-designed Pre-K improves children's social and cognitive skills - gains can fade as children advance beyond Kindergarten.
Why FirstSchool?11-state study of state funded Pre-K • Little or no alignment between PreK and elementary • Low ratings on global classroom quality • Poorest children are in the lowest quality classrooms • Superficial task demands and didactic instruction • 44% of the day is spent in transitions and routines • Minimal time is spent interacting with teachers
FirstSchool • A PreK-3rd Grade public school initiative • Unites the best of early childhood, elementary, and special education • Grounded in research, evidence, and four years of collaborative planning and multi-site piloting • Committed to school success for all with special emphasis on African American, Latino and low income students
Pre-K-3rd Grade Education • A growing body of research shows that children continue to make gains in schools that connect Pre-K to a full-day Kindergarten and primary grades with aligned standards and curricula in a coherent Pre-K to 3rd grade education program.
FirstSchool Principles • Use data from multiple sources to drive and monitor change efforts • Implement appropriate practices across the Pre-K to 3 spectrum: • Foundational Processes • Active Engagement • Intentionality • Balance
Discussion • Think back to the questions posed at the beginning regarding how children experience the change from Pre-K to Kindergarten and their classroom activity settings… • In pairs – share your thoughts
The leap between Pre-K and K Number of minutes spent in each setting
Improving School Experiences for Young Children • Arbitrary rules • Children who shut down • Vocabulary and oral language development
Discussion • Who seems to be most impacted by the issues we have just raised?
Using Research to Guide Practice On average, children growing up in low-income families have dramatically less exposure to academic oral and written language in their homes than do middle-class children. • Low-income children hear fewer words and are engaged in fewer extended conversations. Children in higher income homes will be exposed to 45 million words compared to only 13 million words for a child in a low income family (Hart & Risley, 2003). • The difference in reading materials in the home accounts for approximately 89% of the reading achievement gap between poor and non-poor students at age 14 (Fryer & Levitt, 2002).
Using Research to Guide Practice • Boy’s brains go into a rest state many times each day. You may observe them drifting off or sleeping. They also tap their pencils, fall out of their chairs and throw things. Often they are just trying to stay alert. • Boys tend to be irritable when moved from task to task and like to stay focused on something that interests them.
Implementing Appropriate Practices • Foundational Processes • Active Engagement • Intentionality • Balance
Foundational Processes • Positive Relationships • Representation of Learning • Executive Function
Active Engagement • Arrange classrooms for optimum movement and interaction for students. • Take learning outdoors, bring the natural environment into classroom. • Provide variety of learning opportunities for active exploration, address developmental and content areas.
Using Research to Guide Practice Access to outdoor play and experiences in nature have been positively linked with the development of imagination and sense of wonder. • When children play in nature they are more likely to have positive feelings about each other and their surroundings. • Early experiences with nature are linked with imagination, independence and autonomy.
Intentionality • Preparation and Planning • Knowledge of Children • Reflection and Modification • Re-think Schedules and Priorities
Balanced Experiences • How are children’s experiences balanced • Across the day? • Across the year? • Across instructional settings? • Across literacy and math? • Across teaching approaches?
Wrap Up • What did you hear today that impacted your thinking about Pre-K to 3rd grade education? • What new ideas will you take away and share with others?
FirstSchoolis a project of the FPG Child Development Institute. FPG research and outreach have shaped how the nation cares for and educates young children. www.firstschool.us www.fpg.unc.edu
FirstSchool is supported by a grant from: W.K. Kellogg Foundation University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Private donors FirstSchool.2011
FirstSchool is a project of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. FPG research and outreach have shaped how the nation cares for and educates young children. FirstSchool is being implemented by Michigan State University Outreach and Engagement. UOE believes in scholarship that cuts across teaching, research, and service and advocates a model of outreach and engagement that is mutually beneficial for the University and the public. www.outreach.msu.edu www.fpg.unc.edu