Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Very EC Smart New Year!

May everyone have a wonderful holiday season, no matter how or what it is you and your family and friends celebrate.

EC Smart also wishes that the new year brings prosperity in all forms - knowledge, joy and peace to all.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Early Childhood RtI: Interventions

Does anyone have some RtI interventions that are research based that they would be willing to share?

Follow Up: Using Teaching Strategies Gold

In an earlier conversation about using the Teaching Strategies Gold, I asked about benefits and challenges. Here is a list of these compiled:

- authentic assessment that relies on power of observation
- widely held expectations for children birth to kindergarten so can be more inclusive for a wide range of children's skills in all domains of development
- research based and aligned to state and national head start standards and common core for kindergarten
- provides tools to create portfolio of children's work
- provides a plethora of ways to report individual child's progress and growth and family friendly ways to share this
- provides teachers with ways to analyze and track student progress and plan intentionally using this information and gives activity ideas
- provides administrators with ways to analyze school wide progress and universal needs; additionally, reports can help determine what students require tier one, two or three support where response to intervention (RtI) is used.

- can be overwhelming for teachers to collect documentation on all objectives and indicators; professional development is necessary to support teachers understanding of how to decide how much to collect
- interrater reliability support is provided by Teaching Strategies but this is a long process and time consuming; ongoing professional support with ongoing discussion and review of objectives/indicators and different skill levels is necessary
- family child development report is long and generic in tone; can be individually customized, but this is time consuming

Thoughts? How do you use this tool? What do you use instead?
Assessment: To use or not use the Teaching Strategies Gold?

Tragedies Like Those in CT Spare No Victim

Tragedies such as today's Connecticut school shooting are frightening and incomprehensible. My thoughts go out to not only the direct victims of such a crime, but also to all of the indirect victims.

My heart goes out to every parent who will now undeniably think about "what if" on Monday as they send their child to school.

My heart goes out to every teacher. Each of you are already superheroes, but now you must save lives and take on criminals. This is one responsibility that of course you will willingly take on, but did not study in college.

Finally my heart goes out to every young child who happened to be enjoying their morning at home only to be bombarded with multiple scenes if not only children crying, but also children covered in blood describing events that no young child should ever be witness to. I am horrified by the coverage on several news outlets where reporters interviewed young children victim to this tragedy.

Am I the only one? What does everyone think about the ethical choices made today during the media coverage of the CT tragedy?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Change is Coming-What does this mean for Head Start?

New Brief: Reforming Head Start |

Assessment: To use or not use the Teaching Strategies Gold?

Today I was given the opportunity to be a part of a focused discussion regarding local EC programs' assessment use. This was because many local programs have been reevaluating their use of the Teaching Strategies Gold tool. Our team was invited to share our use of the Teaching Strategies Gold as an authentic assessment tool and its online tool's capability to provide reports which we use to generate data that identifies students needing  tier one, two and three RtI support and interventions.

I'd like to hear if what anyone who is using the Teaching Strategies Gold tool finds beneficial and/or challenging?

And if you are wondering, our program does use the whole Teaching Strategies Gold assessment - meaning we take observations on all the objectives and indicators. However, we have chosen to keep our portfolios offline.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Back and So Much to Talk About!

Thanks to everyone for their patience as I have needed a brief break from writing. Supervising and administration in EC has become yet another aspect of the field which we will be touching on, as I have been blessed to add such experience to my resume. It has been an inspiring experience and I look forward to sharing this with you.

What are some topics you'd like to discuss? I am very I interested in hearing everyone's thoughts about Common Core and its impact on EC, how assessment and RTI are being used in your classrooms, and how Head Start's use of CLASS is helping teachers reflect on their practice.

Lastly, I've recently become a first time auntie and that along side with my work with families has prompted me to make more of a commitment to sharing a few posts about child development and play in general.

Well, I can't think of a better New Years resolution-looking forward to an EC Smart 2013!