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  1. Environments Jennifer Kearns Fox, Mary Lu Love & Lisa Van Thiel Institute for Community Inclusion University of Massachusetts Boston

  2. Early Childhood Update

  3. Welcome • With your teaching partner(s), spend a few minutes describing your favorite summer environment and why it was special.

  4. Session Goals • Design classroom environments that are developmentally appropriate and support children’s learning. • Reflect on key classroom activities and instruction throughout the day. • Examine best practices for engaging families in their children’s education.

  5. Developmentally Appropriate Environments Model developed by Dodge & Colker, 1992

  6. Core of DAP Intentional teaching is the core of developmentally appropriate practice: • Child development to inform decisions and scaffold learning • Clear goals for all children • Individual differences, developmental levels, and ability to learn

  7. Research informs DAP: • Background knowledge and prior learning experiences impact children’s development. • Early teaching of language/literacy and mathematics in the early years is key to increasing school readiness and closing the achievement gap. • Children’s social and emotional competence has been linked to academic achievement.

  8. Practices that Impact Student Outcomes • Robust curriculum content • Relationship-based teaching • Differentiated instruction • Active, meaningful, and connected learning • Intentional teaching • Knowledge of child development & individual children

  9. Small Group Work: Expectations • Break into 5 small groups: • Identify a recorder • Identify a facilitator • Each group will take one developmental domain and list the expectations for children at the end of the year: • Physical • Cognitive • Social • Emotional • Language and literacy • Present to the whole group

  10. Emotional Development • Emotional competence • Development of conscience • Stress coping and resilience

  11. Physical Development • Physical growth and maturation • Sensation and perception • Gross motor development • Fine motor development

  12. Social Development • Social interactions, relationships with teachers and peers • Development of pro-social behaviors • Control over aggression and other challenging behaviors • Sense of self in relationship to others

  13. Cognitive Development • Executive functioning (attention, memory, mental representation) • Logic • Reasoning • Concept acquisition and classification • Magical thinking

  14. Language and Literacy Development • Oral language and communication • Vocabulary knowledge • Early literacy skills • Phonological awareness • Print awareness • Alphabetic principles • Random Automatic Naming (RAN)

  15. Small Group Work In 5 small groups: • Identify a recorder • Identify a facilitator • Each group will take one developmental domain and list the DAP expectations for children at the end of the year: • Physical • Cognitive • Social • Emotional • Language and literacy • Present to the whole group

  16. ELM Goals for All Young Children • Improve language and literacy outcomes for all preschoolers • Provide high-quality, language- and literature-rich classrooms • Increase teachers’ knowledge and skills in using SBRR practices • Support teachers’ implementation and integration of SBRR practices and knowledge through coaching • Integrate ERF services and activities with the community to build children’s language and literacy skills; enhance home support

  17. ELM Mottos

  18. Environmental Messages A B

  19. Environmental Messages • Physical Environment: Setting, equipment, materials, arrangement • Social Environment: Relationships (adult:child, child:child, adult:adult) • Temporal Environment: The use of time (schedule, transitions, units or projects, reflection across the year on children’s growth and classroom activities)

  20. Other Elements to Consider • Softness and hardness • Open and closed • Simple and complex • Intrusion and seclusion • High mobility and low mobility • Traffic flow Adapted from: Jones, Elizabeth and Prescott, Elizabeth (1984) Dimension s of the Teaching Learning Environment: A Handbook for Teachers in Elementary Schools and Day Care Centers. Pasadena, CA: Pacific Oaks College

  21. Hard and Soft

  22. Balance (Hardness and Softness)

  23. Open and Closed

  24. Simple and Complex simple complex super-complex

  25. Intrusion and Seclusion

  26. Zoning • Messy zone (sink) • Entry zone (cubbies) • Sleeping • Quiet zone (corners and protection) • Active zone: dramatic play, movement, circle

  27. Stretch Break

  28. Design and Discuss • With your teaching team partner(s), develop a draft floor plan. • After you have drafted your plan, you will work with another team for feedback.

  29. Trading Spaces: Environmental Protocol • After you have drafted your plan, work with another team to review and reflect on each other’s plans. • Please identify missing components, offer suggestions, and share ideas.

  30. Key Elements for Daily Schedule • Start of the day centers • Circle or meeting time • Let’s Find Out About It/Let’s talk About It • Introduction to Centers • Center time • Small groups • Let’s Find Out About It/Let’s talk About It • Songs, Word Play, and Letters • Story time • Routines and transitions

  31. Embedding OWL and Pre-K Math in the Daily Schedule • Both OWL and math curricula have a strong literacy focus. • Both use the same learning centers and share many educational goals. • The two curricula can be combined to work together in a half- or full-day program, and include instructional supports for age differentials and English language learners.

  32. Carousel Activity Key Activities in the Daily Schedule • Each group will have 2 minutes to list what happens during this time period. • On the signal, move to the next chart.

  33. Small Groups: Curriculum • In small groups, revisit the key activities listed on the wall chart for each section of the day. • Use the checklist in your packet to discuss the activities as a group. • Place a colored sticker next to activities that support the area of language and literacy in which your group is focused. • Then return to your table and discuss, using the template as a guide.

  34. Reflecting on Carousel Activity • Look at the carousel activity. • What does it mean? • What does it tell us?

  35. Next Steps with coaches • Apply knowledge to setting up classroom environment • Plan daily schedule to provide time for learning • Set high standards • Remember the MOTTOs we developed for ourselves and children

  36. Engaging Families Brainstorm at your table: • Positive ways to foster home/school connections • Successful strategies to engage families in their children’s education • Successful home/school literacy activities or strategies

  37. Courses North Shore Community College UMass Boston