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Strategies for Promoting Language and Literacy in Diverse Populations

Strategies for Promoting Language and Literacy in Diverse Populations

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Strategies for Promoting Language and Literacy in Diverse Populations

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  1. Strategies for Promoting Language and Literacy in Diverse Populations Presented by: Jean C. Brown, M. Jeanne Wilcox, Dawn Cosgrove-Greer, Shereen Thomas, Miriam Garlant

  2. Sycamore Daycare and Preschool A low income community early care and education program.

  3. Philosophy: A place dedicated to children, where they can learn and grow in safe, comfortable, nurturing surroundings At the Sycamore School, the emphasis is on education, responsibility, respect for each other and lots of good old fashioned fun.

  4. Population • 5 Administrators • 9 Lead Teachers • 7 Assistant Teachers • 2 Other (Van Drivers) • Ethnicity: 11 Caucasian, 12 Hispanic • Age Range: Under 20 to 60 years • Staff: • Children: • 85% DES, (State funded, Dept of Economic Security) • 15% Private Pay • Ethnicity: Approx. 36% Caucasian, 34% Hispanic, 18% African American, 9% American Indian,

  5. Challenges at Sycamore • Teacher turn over • Teacher experience/interest • Teacher lack of education • Child turnover • Facility limitations • “Referee” Mentality • Curriculum

  6. Teachers • Turn over • New teacher in the first two weeks • Target teacher left after 7 months • Next teacher stayed 3 weeks • Experience/interest • Not a profession,a paycheck • Minimal experience, target b/c took a college course • Lead teachers had a minimum high school degree or GED. Admin. Masters degree

  7. Child Turnover • New children daily for a variety of reasons • Too many in a class • No teacher • Admin moved children due to age • Children moved due to behavior • Child left the area or lost funding

  8. Curriculum • Facility had “curriculum specialist” • Room full of options of Xerox papers accumulated by specialist • No set or formal curriculum • Minimal guidance • Intermittent accountability

  9. Facility Limitations • Proprietary family owned business • Lack of funding • Large numbers of employees (relatives) • Lack of materials/toys/supplies

  10. Sycamore Strengths • Caring Administrator • Diverse Population • Willingness to make changes • Safe Environment

  11. Purchases with Stipend • Stipend was larger due to need • Teacher chose items • Items ordered were essentials • Items made a big difference in classroom function and management

  12. Implementation • Weekly site visits • Monthly meetings with CAT forms • Re-cap discussion of what teacher was already doing, suggestions within the classroom occurrences to expand ideas • Enhancement materials for curriculum • Classroom modeling of goals. • Purchasing of classroom essentials.

  13. What worked at Sycamore • Friendly non-authoritarian approach • Review of what was going well • Language enhancement sheets • Classroom modeling • Goals devised in partnership

  14. Sycamore

  15. SycamoreEnvironment Print Awareness

  16. Impressions following the one year study • Teacher was more self-assured • Teacher had circle time activities • Less “referee” style • Teacher played with children more • Children had items to play and learn from • Children had more cooperative play chances • Many more literacy activities within the classroom environ.

  17. Recommendations • Continue but require all preschool teachers at the site to attend the monthly meeting • Use video tape of participant as training tool • Encourage investment of published curriculum • Facilitate carry over as originally planned, a second person to participate who is less transient.

  18. K i d z ! SOUTH MOUNTAIN FAMILY YMCA Early Childhood Development Center

  19. SITE DESCRIPTION • State-licensed child care facility • 6:30 am - 6 pm; M-F • Ages 18 months - 5 years; 50% funded through Department of Economic Security

  20. SITE DESCRIPTION • 4 day care & 2 Head Start classrooms • On-site director • Office administrator/receptionist • Six Lead Teachers, six teaching assistants • Janitorial staff • Currently preparing for NAEYC accreditation

  21. STAFF DEMOGRAPHICS • 13 women, one man • Age range: 25-60 years • Ethnic breakdown: • 1 Caucasian • 3 African American • 10 Hispanic • Director – graduate degree • 2 Lead Teachers - Associate’s Degrees • All other staff - high school diplomas

  22. PHILOSOPHY • Four character development values: • Caring • Respect • Honesty • Responsibility • Creative Curriculum

  23. PROJECT SET-UP • Biweekly team meeting • to discuss project’s language and literacy goals • to brainstorm lesson plans for the month • Biweekly classroom observation • ASU coach used the CAT to provide teachers with feedback

  24. Environmental Changes - Literacy

  25. Changes in Program Goals

  26. FIRST IMPRESSIONS : TEACHER-CHILD INTERACTIONS • Very open, casual, comfortable relationship between teachers and children • Nurturing and respectful • Emphasis on “traditional” values • Many adult-child conversations • Sharing of personal anecdotes and stories with children

  27. FINAL IMPRESSIONS : TEACHER-CHILD INTERACTIONS • more open-ended problem solving • more modeling of appropriate behavior and structured role-plays • continued rich conversations with the children – increase focus on pre-academic concepts, using definitions and examples, direct teaching of vocabulary, etc.

  28. Changes in Program Goals

  29. SUCCESSES • Interim director’s interest was a boost to the team • Regular team meetings were beneficial • Positive response to CAT observations • Lead teacher was very responsive • Immediate growth in environmental changes was motivating • These children were a cohesive, independent group with good language skills.

  30. CHALLENGES • Change of director midyear • Limitations placed on teachers due to Y policies and budgets • Lack of communication between teachers and administration • Problems with scheduling • Child enrollment fluctuated throughout the year • Changes in teaching style may take more than one year

  31. RECOMMENDATIONS • Obtain support of site director • Build rapport with teaching team • Be flexible but consistent with scheduling • Follow teachers’ lead for focus areas –easier to start with environmental changes • Emphasize the positive in using the CAT • Plan for a minimum of 2 years • Train a “master teacher” to transfer knowledge

  32. Strategies for Promoting Language and Literacy Native American Populations Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Scottsdale, Arizona

  33. Tribe Composition • The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is comprised of two Native American tribes: • Pima: “river people” • Maricopa: “people who live toward the water” • Their relationship was formed in the 1800’s to protect themselves against the Yuman and Apache tribes • Pima believe that they are descendents of the “Hohokam” (those who have gone, 300 BC)

  34. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community • Created on June 14, 1879 by President Rutherford B. Hayes. • Located in Maricopa County, AZ bounded by: • Mesa • Tempe • Scottsdale • Fountain Hills • Metropolitan Phoenix •  Governed by: • President • Vice President • Seven Council Members

  35. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community • The Community consists of: • 53,600 acres • 19,000 acres as a natural preserve • Approximately 12,000 acres are under cultivation in a variety of crops including: • Cotton, melons, potatoes, onions, broccoli and carrots. • Commercial development is reserved along the Community's western boundary.

  36. “The Man In the Maze” The legend of the "Man in the Maze" helps children understand the meaning of life. The maze depicts experiences and choices we make in our journey through life. It illustrates the search for balance - physical, social, mental and spiritual. In the middle of the maze are found a person's dreams and goals. Legend says when we reach the center, the Sun God is there to greet us, bless us and pass us into the next world.

  37. Mission Statement of Early Childcare Center “Our mission is to provide an educational environment that will undergo continuous refinement and reflection to support the success of the individual life-long learner. This success will be achieved by developing partnerships, setting high standards, and emphasizing responsibility and accountability at all levels.”

  38. Program Goals • To create a regular system and method of two-way communication • To promote responsibility and accountability at all levels • To provide opportunities for everyone to succeed • To create a healthy Community through the elimination of social ills • To create successful partnership models to promote a healthy community • To create a system that will develop, nurture, and promote the O’odham and Piipaash languages and cultural values

  39. Program Description • Site: Urban Native American Reservation • Curriculum: High Reach • Enrollment: 3-5years old • Hours: 7a.m. to 6p.m. • Language: English • Funding Source: • Tribal funding • Block grant • Tuition

  40. SRPMIC Early Childhood Education Center Staff Demographics • Gender • 98% Female • 2% Male Ethnicity • Age • 17% 22- 39 Yrs • 37% 30-39 Yrs • 37% 40-49 Yrs • 3% 50- 59 Yrs • 2% 60+ Yrs • 37% SRPMIC • 17% Navajo • 12% Anglo • 7% Pasua-Yaqi • 7% Hispanic • 5% Hopi • 2% Cheyenne • 2% Crow • 2% Filipino • 2% Dutch • 2 Japanese • 2% Mixed • (Of these, 73% are American Indian) • Child Care • 63% Child Care • 54% Head Start • Of these 17% (7) had both • Position • 41% Lead Teacher • 24% Administration • 17% Assistant Teacher • 12% Teachers Aid • 5% (2) Therapist • Education • 56% High School Diploma • 15% Associates Degree • 15% Bachelors Degree • 11% GED • 5% Graduate

  41. Ethnic Background of Children • N= 15 • 53% Pima • 27% Biracial • 13% Hispanic • 7% Navajo

  42. The Bear Den’s Teacher • Caucasian female • 42 years old; preschool 3- year-olds • Child care teacher • 10 years of experience • 3 months in current position • 8 months in Head Start • Bachelor’s degree in psychology • Working on CDA

  43. What We Worked On • Environmental arrangement • Improving interactional style with the children • Fostering peer interaction • Normal speech and language development • Use of sound and symbols • Embedding sounds into center activities

  44. The Bear Den’s Teacher Aide • 25 years old • 2 months in current position • She reluctantly agreed to participate in November • High school graduate • Very creative • Ran errands • She enjoyed music and songs

  45. What We Worked On • Becoming a co-teacher • Following the children’s lead • Book reading • Leading circle time

  46. The Eagle Nest’s Teacher • Navajo female • 27 years old • Child care teacher preschool 4-5 • 6 years experience • 5 years at SRPMIC • High school diploma • CDA • Workshops and trainings • Joined the project in December • Excellent teacher

  47. What We Worked On • Room arrangement • Peer interaction • Sound and symbol • Incorporating sounds into the center • Interpersonal relationships/communication

  48. SRPMIC

  49. Challenges • Securing the support of key stakeholders • Embracing the mission and goal of the school • Responding positively to the mission through accountability and individual work ethic • Involving the home in the school process