Phoenix Institute Student Achievement Toolkit Pre-Kindergarten: Overall Guidance Welcome to Phoenix Institute and congratulations on receiving an Early Childhood placement! This document serves as an overall guide for your institute experience, documents/resources at your disposal, and some important tips about working with 3/4/5 year olds. Remember to reach out to your CMAs and FAs for support and further guidance. Structure of ECE at Institute: During Institute, you will be in a 3- or 4-person collaborative. There will be two members of your collaborative in the classroom at all times; one person will be functioning as the lead teacher, and the other will be the support teacher. This set-up mimics your likely experience of having an assistant teacher to work with when you get back to your region. When you review the ECE schedule document, take note of how the lead and support teachers rotate roles and classroom time throughout the day. One of the biggest differences between ECE and lower elementary classrooms at Institute is that in ECE classrooms there are more, smaller subject areas taught in smaller chunks of time. In fact, the amount of time you spend in direct, whole-group instruction should be very limited. This is directly related to the developmental level of the 3/4/5-year-olds and their limited attention spans. Following this ISAT will lead to the best achievement outcomes for your students in a short amount of time, and will likely mimic what your day will look like in your region (keeping in mind that all regions and ECE sites have different expectations, structures, and guidelines). Each day, you will teach the following things: Major Emphasis Components Opening Circle Academic Intervention Hour Classroom Newsletter Centers/Small Group Instruction Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Literacy Block I – Working With Words Word Study Writing Music and Movement Literacy Block II – Reading Comprehension Shared Read Aloud Literacy Workstations Calendar and Weather Math Block Whole-group Mini Lesson Math Centers/Small Group Instruction Science Science Block Closing Circle Read Aloud Additionally, during Institute you will receive more specific ECE professional development at Institute Learning Teams. Overview of Documents and Resources: There are many documents and resources for you in the Institute Student Achievement Toolkit. The following is a list of the document titles, overall content, and uses for the documents: Document Title Overall Content When to Use? Pre-K Overall Guidance Overview of ECE at Institute, Before you do anything else documents & resources, and important things to know about working with young children. Pre-K Daily Schedule Daily schedule breakdown for 3- and Daily 4-person collaboratives Pre-K Objective Calendar The objectives to be taught each Planning week for every subject area Pre-K Assessments Overview, Instructions, Materials, Diagnostic Assessment Scoring sheets for Reading Comp, Summative Assessment Math, Writing, and Word Study. OSAT Pre-K Cent.WorkStation.SmGroup Guidance for planning and Planning for Academic Guidance implementing centers, workstations, Intervention Hour and small group experiences in the Planning for Literacy Block II classroom Planning for Math Block Pre-K Music Movement & Social Guidance for planning Planning for Academic Emotional opening/closing circle and music & Intervention Hour movement, with a focus on Planning for Literacy Block 2 social/emotional elements. Planning for Science Block Pre-K Math Math Guidance and Unit Plan Planning for Math Block Pre-K PPA Phonological and Phonemic Planning for Literacy Block 1 Awareness Guidance and Unit Plan Pre-K Word Study Word Study Unit Plan Planning for Literacy Block 1 Pre-K Writing Writing Unit Plan Planning for Literacy Block 1 Pre-K Shared Read Aloud Guidance Shared Read Aloud Guidance and Planning for Literacy Block 2 and Reading Comprehension Unit Unit Plan for Reading Plan Comprehension Pre-K Science Science Guidance and Unit Plan Planning for Science Block Pre-K LP Templates Lesson plan templates for each block Lesson Planning (Intervention Hour, Lit Block I, Lit Block II, Math, Science) Pre-K LP Samples Examples lesson plans for each Lesson Planning subject We understand that this is a lengthy set of documents to read and internalize, and although we believe it is important to read every single thing, we know that your time at Institute is limited. You should read everything at some point, but here is a recommended order in which to tackle the information: 1. Pre-K Overall Guidance 2. Pre-K Daily Schedule 3. Pre-K Objective Calendar 4. Pre-K Assessment Documents 5. Centers/Small Groups/Workstations Guidance 6. Music & Movement and Social Emotional Guidance 7. The guidance document, unit plan, and sample lessons for the subject block you are teaching* *Make sure to read the entire guidance document and unit plan BEFORE you begin planning for a new block. Important Tips for Working with Young Children: Throughout Institute you will learn many things about working with and teaching young children. In this section of the overall guidance, you will find some tips about development, behavior, emotions, meals & snacks, transitions, messiness, and tone of voice. This is by no means a comprehensive document with everything you will need to know! Your CS sessions and Institute staff will be sharing more information with you throughout the summer, however this is a great place to start. Working with young children is incredibly rewarding, but having some key information up front will help you walk into your classroom on a path toward success. Keep in mind that for many kids, this may be their first experience with formal schooling of any sort. You are setting the tone for their understanding and expectations of “school”. Be patient and make it positive! Development Some of you may not have had much interaction or experience with 3/4/5 year olds – there is a lot to learn! Visit http://ohioline.osu.edu/asc-fact/ for documents that outline typical developmental milestones for young children. Having an idea of what kids in your class should be able to do will help you set realistic expectations for behavior and plan developmentally appropriate activities. It is important to remember that children develop at different rates in different areas – you might have a child in your class that has incredible math skills but struggles with fine motor skills and barely presses hard enough on paper to color a picture. Or you might have a child in your class that plays well with others, organizes play, shares, solves problems, and is fun to be around but has not developed one-to-one correspondence when counting objects. Knowing your students and their developmental levels in all areas is incredibly important. Also, keep in mind that although a child might be bigger/taller than his/her peers does not necessarily mean that he/she is also developmentally advanced. This can be tricky in early childhood! Behavior The 3/4/5 year olds in your class will not necessarily know how to “behave”. Don’t assume they do! They must be explicitly taught and reminded of expectations constantly. Many find it helpful to think of misbehavior as “mistaken behavior”. If children knew how to get their needs met in socially appropriate ways, they would do it. So, when a child hits/kicks/bites another student, throws materials in frustration, runs away when being redirected, etc., remember that if they knew how to get their needs met in other ways, they would. It is your job to teach them those other ways! All children learn in the context of relationships – it will be extremely important for you to begin building positive relationships with your students on the first day of school. Positive Guidance is a series of strategies that are very effective in working with children who are not meeting behavior expectations. The following are Positive Guidance strategies from Creative Curriculum: Strategy Description Example You notice two children fighting over the Conflict Resolution teaches children arch blocks in the construction area. how to express their wants and needs, to Instead of solving the problem for the balance their wants with the wants of children or chasing the children away Teach children how to resolve conflicts others, and to work together for win-win because they aren’t sharing, you work solutions to problems. Learning how to through the conflict resolution process resolve social problems is one of the with them so that they solve their own biggest social lessons in the early years. problems. Choices support a young child’s need to be independent, capable, and in charge. They give children control over what is “Do you want to put away the long blocks happening. Limit choices to two. Make first or the square blocks?” Offer two acceptable choices sure that both choices are acceptable to you and the child. Don’t offer an Would you like to walk inside like a unrealistic or unacceptable choice (“You monkey or crawl inside like a dog?” may come with me now or you may live on the playground forever.”). Active Listening sends a message to children that you understand what they When you don’t choose Gena to be the are trying to say…either with their words reading helper, she lies down in the Use active listening or their behaviors. Often, once a child middle of the circle and hides her head in feels heard, he will regain self-control and her arms. You say, “You really wanted to integrate himself back into the activity or be the page turner today, didn’t you?” situation. She looks up and nods, and comes to sit by you when you motion to her. You notice Meri standing outside the Having a friend and being a friend are Dramatic Play Area watching the other important tasks for young children. Model, children play without joining in. You enter Help children make friends coach, and teach friendship skills and the the play yourself and invite her in to make language needed for turn taking, entering some lunch for you and help integrate her play, sharing, and solving problems. into the play. Transition from lunch to rest time has Predictable rituals and routines help been full of minor incidents of physical anxious children relax and feel in control aggression. You decide to establish a of what is going to happen next. clearly defined routine – potty, wash, get Establish regular rituals and routines Unpredictability is one of the most a book, and go on your cot. After a few common triggers for inappropriate days of learning the new routine, you behavior of children. notice the after lunch transition is much more peaceful. Reflecting feelings before guiding or redirecting behavior helps children “I hear you. You really want to stay develop impulse control by clearly outside now. But it’s time to go in for Reflect feelings before guiding behavior separating feelings and behavior. The lunch and we’ll come out again later. message is that all feelings are okay, but Would you like to carry the clipboard for that behaviors have guidelines and me?” limitations. The Big Rule-Little Rule strategy for rules and limits uses one of your three or “We need to take care of our things. Let’s State the big rule and the little rule four main classroom rules and pairs it get some towels to clean up the water with the very specific behavior you want you splashed out of the water table.” the child to engage in (the little rule). Reflective statements show children that you are paying attention to what they are You approach a child in the Block Area doing. These statements simply say who has built a structure, and you say, exactly what you see happening. Letting Say, “I see…” “Jonisha, I see you have used all of the children know that you notice them can square blocks. You have stacked them sometimes be enough to prevent problem very high.” behaviors from happening if the child is acting out to get attention. Be specific when you see children behaving appropriately. Rather than “You are giving Michael some crackers. simply saying, “Good job,” explain to That makes him happy because he is children exactly what they are doing and hungry too.” Be specific why it is appropriate. It is at least as important to teach children what is “You put the cars away so that we can acceptable behavior as it is to teach find them later. That was helpful.” children what is unacceptable behavior. If a child is throwing rocks on the Redirection provides children with an playground, you might redirect her to acceptable alternative to the throwing balls instead. “Rocks need to Provide an alternative unacceptable behavior they are engaged stay on the ground. If you would like to in. throw something you can throw these balls.” “When you put on your shoes, then you When…then…statements explain to may go outside.” children the natural sequence of Say, “When…then…” behaviors. It lets them know what the “When you spill milk, then you clean it appropriate next step is. up.” For more information about positive guidance, consider visiting these websites: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/GH6119 http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/famsci/fs468w.htm http://www.education.com/reference/article/positive-guidance-discipline-strategies/ Many teachers have found success with teaching children the meaning of the words “mandatory” and “optional” and using them in their classroom. For example, “It is mandatory that you come to circle time, but it is optional to participate in singing the songs.” Or, “Today it is mandatory for all kids to visit Ms. Smith at the writing center, but it is optional to spend time in the dramatic play area.” This can be a very effective tool for managing your classroom and ensuring that children are exposed to all the objectives you desire to teach in a day. It also gives kids some power in the classroom as they get to choose whether or not they want to do an optional activity. Remember that having realistically high expectations for child behavior is important. But also remember that these kids are 3/4/5 years old! They are still developing self-regulation and impulse control, so wiggling, calling out, issues with sharing, and loud behaviors are just part of an early childhood classroom. Be patient, respond consistently, and be prepared to repeat yourself over and over (and over). When working with your collaborative members to create your class rules, remember to focus on telling children what TO do instead of what NOT to do. In fact, whenever a child is doing something that is “not okay”, take advantage of the opportunity to teach him/her what to do instead. For the rules you will post and talk about with students, try the alternatives below: Instead of: Try: Don’t run Use walking feet No hitting Take care of each other with gentle hands No yelling Use quiet (or indoor) voices Some preschool teachers have found that using scripts for consistency is very helpful, especially when multiple teachers work in the same classroom. For example, if every single time Michael climbs on the table, the adult near him says the exact same thing (“Michael, that’s not safe. Your feet need to stay on the floor”), Michael is more likely to stop climbing on the table than if the rule is enforced inconsistently or with lots of different verbal cues. Consider talking with your collaborative members about using certain scripts to reinforce behavior expectations – you’ll be glad you did! When children have a hard time following your rules or meeting expectations, using natural consequences is often the best way to teach children cause and effect and help them learn that their actions have results (both positive and negative). Many traditional classroom management behavior systems (i.e. having a child move his/her “clip” on a behavior chart, turn a card from green to yellow, sit in time-out) may stop undesirable behavior in the moment but rarely teach a child what to do instead of the choice they made. Remember, it is our job to TEACH children how to behave appropriately and get their needs met in socially appropriate ways. See below for some situations and possible natural consequences: Situation Possible Natural Consequence Miguel is at the center throwing blocks up in the air “Miguel, I reminded you about how to use the and then hitting them across the room. The teacher blocks and you chose to throw them again. That’s approaches Miguel to redirect him, “Miguel, these not safe. Now you need to leave the block center. are blocks and they are for building. If you continue Which center would you like to go to instead?” to throw them, you will not be able to play at this center anymore. When the teacher walks away, *natural consequence = not getting to play in the Miguel throws another block. block center It is time for snack and Samantha stands in the When snack time is over, if Samantha hasn’t corner with her arms crossed and refuses to wash washed her hands, she does not get to eat. The her hands. The teacher approaches and reminds teacher reminds Samantha later in the day and/or Samantha that snack time has started, and if she the next day about what happened. “Remember doesn’t wash her hands, she won’t be able to join how this morning you didn’t want to wash your her friends at the table to eat. Samantha screams, hands and had to miss snack? I hope that “Go away!” and refuses to go to the sink. tomorrow you’ll choose to wash your hands with the class so you can join us at the table to eat.” *natural consequence = not getting to eat snack It is math block and the teacher has informed the The teacher does not allow Elijah to go to the children that it is mandatory to attend small group puzzle center until he comes to small group. When before selecting a center. Elijah wants to go to the small group is over and Elijah is still crying, his puzzle center but does not want to come to small friends get to go select a center and Elijah does group. The teacher reminds him, “Elijah, it is not. The teacher offers to do small group with Elijah mandatory to come to small group before you but he continues to tantrum for the entire math select a center. When you finish this pattern activity block. The next day, Ms. Smith pulls Elijah aside with me you will be able to go to the puzzle center.” and reminds him, “Elijah, I remember that Elijah drops to the floor and throws a tantrum. yesterday you chose not to come to small group and that meant that you didn’t get to go to the puzzle center. Today it is mandatory that everyone come to small groups before they pick a center. Are you going to join me at small group so you can do puzzles later?” *natural consequence = not getting to pick a center Emotions Kids in you class are going to cry. They might cry at drop off when their parent leaves, when they get hurt, if another child takes their materials, if they’re tired, etc. Be prepared for tears! Rather than dismissing a child and saying, “Stop crying, you’re okay,” take advantage of these opportunities to model empathy and talk about feelings. This is a natural way to develop your students’ emotional literacy! Reminding kids that their parents will come back to pick them up, showing compassion when they get injured, helping them solve issues/problems of sharing materials, etc. will help kids develop trust in you as a caring adult and will teach them appropriate ways to respond when others are upset. Encourage kids to check on one another if they are hurt and work to create a caring classroom community where taking care of each other is the norm. Forcing kids to apologize doesn’t do much in the way of developing empathy, but taking care of a friend they hurt definitely does! Meals and Snacks Meals and snacks are an incredible opportunity to build relationships with your students. Take advantage of this time to have conversations with your students (model turn taking, appropriate grammar, new vocabulary, etc.) and model good eating habits. Encourage them to try new foods and talk about how things taste. Try not to be tempted to get other things done while the children are all occupied and engaged at the tables with their food. It’s a great learning opportunity! Kids are going to spill. Period. Teach children where to place their cup on the table and how to drink (use two hands, etc.), but know that accidents happen (usually daily) and whatever liquid is in their cup will likely end up on the table/floor/chair. Be prepared with paper towels nearby and adopt an “Oops! Let’s clean it up!” attitude. There’s no use getting upset or frustrated because it was an accident (and it’s probably going to happen again ) Transitions Transitions are often the hardest times of day for kids. And there are a lot of transitions in your daily schedule this summer! Some tips about transitions: Whenever possible, give kids a warning that a transition is coming. For example, “In five minutes we’re going to clean up for lunch.” If you notice that certain kids struggle with transitions more than others, consider giving them individual warnings (approach them, get on their level, get their attention, and give the warning) or more warnings (15, 10, 5, 2 minute warnings). Plan for transitions so they are as fast and smooth as possible. Have materials for the next activity or lesson ready to go so kids are not idle and waiting for too long. Consider using music to cue your kids for transitions (i.e. a clean up song). When waiting is necessary (and sometimes it is – for example, if lunch is running late or you go to the bathroom as a class), have a plan for some fun songs and fingerplays (e.g., “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”) to keep kids engaged and occupied. Boredom almost always leads to behavior issues. Messiness Early childhood classrooms are a messy place! Not only because of the materials you’ll use like paint, glue, playdough, sand/water, etc., but also because little kids are messy! They spill, have toilet accidents, don’t cover their nose/mouth when they sneeze, have trouble drinking out of water fountains, fall and scrape their knees, etc. Know this and embrace it. You can’t fight it! Dress appropriately in clothes that are comfortable and can get a little messy (for women, keep in mind that you’ll be spending the majority of the day on the floor – skirts/dresses can be tough!). You’ll enjoy teaching much more if you can interact with your students without worrying about getting dirty. Tone of Voice Your tone of voice in ECE classrooms is incredibly important – when you’re excited, kids are excited to learn! While it might feel a little awkward or fake to you in the beginning, it will get you great results. Also – don’t forget about whispering. When you get quiet, kids get quiet. It is also important to develop an assertive tone to use when redirecting kids. Being assertive is different from yelling, but kids need to know when you mean business. Whenever you are engaging in conversation with a child – whether for redirection/guidance purposes or just talking about something, get on their level. A good ECE teacher is often bent down, on his/her knees, or on the floor because he/she is engaging with kids on their level. Remember to reach out to your CMAs and FAs for more support throughout the summer. And have fun – 3/4/5 year olds are the best!
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