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Transition to Kindergarten Form

Early Educators do your Part!

Download this form for your children who will be heading off to Milpitas Unified School District Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Traditional Kindergarten (K) this fall.

Read the full cover letter here to understand the rationale and the submittal process.

Opening lines of communication between early care and elementary school is good for us all! 

Your Surroundings Matter!

How can you tell if your environment is good, better or best?  Listed below are some environmental rating scales that can help you critically evaluate your early childhood or school age program to find out what is going well and what you could work on improving…

Environment Rating Scales are offered by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  They have developed four different environment rating scales, each designed for a unique segment of the early childhood field.  The scales help you to identify different attributes of your program and evaluate them against best practice considerations, including: Physical Environment; Basic Care; Curriculum; Interaction; Schedule and Program Structure; and Parent and Staff Education.  The scales are applicable to inclusive and culturally diverse programs and have proven reliability and validity.

Here are the four different scales and intended types of programs:

(ECERS-R) The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised is designed to assess group programs for preschool-kindergarten aged children, from 2 through 5 years of age. Total scale consists of 43 items. (Also available in Spanish).

(ITERS-R) The Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised is designed to assess group programs for children from birth to 2 ½ years of age. Total scale consists of 39 items. (Also available in Spanish).

(FCCERS-RThe Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale-Revised is designed to assess family child care programs conducted in a provider’s home. Total scale consists of 38 items. (Also available in Spanish).

(SACERS) The School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale is designed to assess before and after school group care programs for school-age children, 5 to 12 years of age. The total scale consists of 49 items, including 6 supplementary items for programs enrolling children with disabilities.

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Healthy Environments Promote Healthy Kids & Staff!

Clean, well lit, inviting classrooms and common areas contribute to the optimal health, happiness and well-being of the children and staff in your program.

Go Green Rating Scale for Early Childhood Setting is designed for use in a variety of early childhood programs, including licensed family child care, center care, preschools, and Head Start programs.  The Go Green Rating Scale defines and measures issues related to environmental health and care of the Earth, such as:

  • air quality
  • cleaning products
  • pests and pesticides
  • lead and other contaminants, such as plastics, formaldehyde, and fire retardants
  • stewardship and green living, including recycling and waste reduction

The beauty of the Go Green Rating Scale is that you can use it in addition to other environmental rating scales (such as those listed above) and be on the road to a healthier future.  

Contact Information

Early Learning Transition Model Team

Ms. Kathleen Lincoln

Child Development Centers

Program Director, Retired

 

Ms. Toby S. Librande

Early Learning Transition Model

Grant Coordinator

408.635.2686 x5571

 

Ms. Linda Lambert

Milpitas Family Literacy Project

Program Coordinator, 2008-2016

 

Rose CDC

250A Roswell Drive

Milpitas, CA 95035

 

Sunnyhills CDC

356 Dixon Road

Milpitas, CA 95035

Please Note: The information on this website is presented as a public service. MUSD does not guarantee the accuracy of information provided by referenced sites or organizations and does not endorse their products or services.

Pre-Kindergarten

Quality Early Education - Explore Your World

Quality Early Education - Explore Your World

New Trends in Education

21st Century Learning – The Future is Now

The world is changing at an ever increasing pace – are you ready?  Watch this four minute video from New Brunswick Public Education to get psyched for tomorrow… today!  Want to learn more about how MUSD is breaking down the 21st Century Learning Experience? Click here to view the 4Cs of a 21st Century Learning Experience – Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Creativity.  Is your classroom up to the challenge?

Blended Learning - What is it?!

An emerging trend in education is “blended learning”.  At the most basic level, this new approach to education combines traditional methods of instruction together with online learning.  The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation (previously the Innosight Institute) presents the following definition: blended learning is “a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace and at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home.”

What does this model look like?  Is it simply adding technology to the classroom?  No!  An integral component of blended learning is the student driven self-pacing of online content delivery.  Take a look at the Institute’s diagram to see four different iterations of the model:

blended learning models.jpg

Want to learn more about each type of these blended learning environments?  Click here to read the program definitions.  Click here to learn more.

Digital Learning – Keeping It Real!

So how can we keep digital learning approachable, relevant and applicable to the students of today?  How can we make online learning become an enhancement of the traditional curriculum?  Digital Learning Now! suggests the following Ten Elements of High Quality Digital Learning - click on each element for additional information.

  1. Student Eligibility - All students are digital learners.
  2. Student Access - All students have access to high quality digital learning.
  3. Personalized Learning - All students can use digital learning to customize their education.
  4. Advancement - All students progress based on demonstrated competency.
  5. Quality Content - Digital content and courses are high quality.
  6. Quality Instruction - Digital instruction is high quality.
  7. Quality Choices - All students have access to multiple high quality digital providers.
  8. Assessment and Accountability - Student learning is the metric for evaluating the quality of content and instruction.
  9. Funding - Funding creates incentives for performance, options and innovation.
  10. Delivery - Infrastructure supports digital learning.

Digital Learning = Deeper Learning

Getting Smart recently published a white paper and infographic exploring the connections between digital learning and deeper learning.  Check out this informative graphic complete with embedded links to real life examples in schools around the nation…  Digital Learning Deeper Learning Infographic.

Making Sense of the Common Core State Standards

Change is coming!  Are you ready?  The adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is shaking up the classroom experience as we know it - things may never be the same!  But that’s OK – learning new things is good for kids and adults alike – and there are a lot of web based resources ready to help you grow into the CCSS!

First off, take a look at this fourteen minute video from the Teaching Channel which does a good job providing a basic overview of how the Common Core State Standards are different from what came before.  Take a look at how two early adopter elementary schools implemented the CCSS, how this change affected teachers and students and why at the end of the day, the teachers liked the new approach. 

A Few CCSS Resources to Get You Started

The California Department of Education hosts a wealth of CCSS resources including implementation plans, downloadable standards, grade level curriculum, a CCSS communications toolkit, a parent handbook, information for school boards and so much more!

Education.com has the parent angle covered – check out “A Parent's Guide to the Common Core Standards” and share it with your parents!

Edutopia keeps track of lots and lots of educator CCSS resources.  Check out their “Resources for Understanding the Common Core State Standards - An educator's guide to websites, organizations, articles, and other resources looking at the new system of standards and how they will be assessed.”

Scholastic makes teaching the CCSS simple in the article “Common Core: Victory Is Yours - Stop Worrying and Love the Common Core with Our Tool Kit of Activities.”

The California Kindergarten Association can help you understand and share teaching ideas around the Common Core State Standards – especially for our Transitional and Traditional Kindergarten teachers.

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Bonanza! CDE Resources for the ECE Professional!

The California Department of Education is a prolific and busy group.  They have a wealth of resources published for the early education professional – but how to find what you are looking for?!  Listed below are some of the newest and most frequently utilized of the resources, with a handy quick definition, longer description and embedded links.  Click on the title to go to the website or document.  Enjoy!

For All Early Education Teachers

Caring for all children = Inclusion Works! Creating Child Care Programs That Promote Belonging for Children with Special Needs

“This handbook for providers of child care programs gives guidance and resources on specific ways to include young children who have disabilities or special needs. Suggestions for ways to adapt the environment are provided, along with examples of inclusive strategies. A glossary and appendixes make this handbook a practical tool for care providers.”

How are my children doing? = Desired Results Development Profile© - DRDP©

“The DRDP is a child assessment (by age group including Infant/Toddler, Preschool and School-Age) that preschool teachers complete twice a year to measure children’s progress towards the Desired Results for Children. Results are summarized and shared with parents. Preschool teachers also use the results to plan for instruction—just as elementary teachers do when they assess children. Preschool teachers analyze the results, plan for individuals and group instruction and continually monitor progress.”

What to do in family child care homes = Guidelines for Early Learning in Child Care Home Settings

“Recognizing the importance of home-based child care settings in today’s society, this publication offers guidance to help home-based child care providers offer high-quality early care and learning experiences to the children and families they serve. The book covers topics such as the roles and relationships involved in home-based child care; how to create safe, inclusive environments that foster early learning and development; ideas for implementing appropriate curriculum; professional development for home-based providers; and things to consider when infants and toddlers receive care in mixed-age group setting.”

For Infant/Toddler Teachers

Designing a quality infant/toddler program = Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Program Guidelines

“Taking a family-oriented approach, this guide defines the components of high-quality care that foster optimal development for all infants and toddlers. It presents research-based guidelines on early care and education that help prepare young children for success in their school years. This resource complements the document Prekindergarten Learning and Development Guidelines.”

How to teach infants and toddlers = Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework

“Supports early childhood educators working in programs serving children birth to five years of age in implementing high-quality curriculum practices that lead to acquisition of the knowledge and skills described in the Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations.”

What babies learn and how they develop =  Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Foundations

“Twenty-eight foundations in four domains describe the competencies that infants and toddlers typically attain in the first three years of life. The descriptions of competencies are accompanied by examples of typical behaviors leading up to attainment of those competencies, at each age level, in each of the four domains. This publication is a counterpart to the California Preschool Learning Foundations and is a companion to the Infant/Toddler Learning & Development Program Guideline.”

For Preschool Teachers

Designing a quality pre-Kindergarten program = Prekindergarten Learning & Development Guidelines

“What happens early in a child’s life is key to the child’s future success, but what kind of education is appropriate during those early years? This guide describes how to plan and maintain high-quality programs that work closely with family members and nurture children’s learning. Guidelines are presented for program foundations, appreciation of cultural diversity, assessment, staff development, curriculum planning, children’s developmental stages, and mathematics and language skills.”

How to help your preschoolers who are learning English = Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning (2nd Edition)

“This resource guide offers a user-friendly review of current research on how to support the language development of English learners during the preschool years (ages three to five). The second edition features the addition of an appendix containing an excerpt from the California Preschool Learning Foundations (Volume 1).”

How to teach preschoolers = California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks

“Created as companion documents to the California Preschool Learning Foundations, these frameworks focus on eight learning domains. Each framework takes an integrated approach to early learning and describes how curriculum planning considers the connections between different domains. Strategies are described for planning the curriculum, the preschool environment, and teacher interactions with children so that learning is maximized.”

What preschool children learn = California Preschool Learning Foundations

“Children who attend high-quality preschools are better prepared for kindergarten, both emotionally and academically. This book helps teachers and administrators plan and recognize effective strategies for preschoolers. Developed to ensure school readiness for all children, including children with disabilities and children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, the foundations encompass eight domains in three volumes. Each volume includes a glossary, extensive references, and a summary list of the foundations.”

What preschool teachers need to know = California Early Childhood Educator Competencies

“The California Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Competencies describe the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that early childhood educators need in order to provide high-quality care and education to young children and their families. The ECE Competencies are aligned with the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations to guide professional development and related quality improvement activities.”

Early Learning Transition Model ~ Generously funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation 2012-2013

Google Translate!

Techy Tools in the Classroom

★ iPads ★ Hatch Tablets 

 ★ Smart Phones ★ Laptops 

What is a self-respecting teacher to think about the wave of new technology invading the classroom?  How should you balance screen time with hands-on activities and person-to-person interaction?  What will best prepare your students for the unknowable technological future?  Don’t stress!  You can integrate technology into your classroom at all grade levels and here are a few organizations and resources that can help…

★ NAEYC- first off, let’s consider some key messages from the excellent joint position statement issued by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at Saint Vincent College: Technology and Young Children - Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8.

  • When used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are effective tools to support learning and development.
  • Intentional use requires early childhood teachers and administrators to have information and resources regarding the nature of these tools and the implications of their use with children.
  • Limitations on the use of technology and media are important.
  • Special considerations must be given to the use of technology with infants and toddlers.
  • Attention to digital citizenship and equitable access is essential.
  • Ongoing research and professional development are needed.

Click here to read more about these Key Messages and their implications for your classroom.  For more practical advice, see these links for NAEYC’s Examples of Effective Practice:

★ Common Sense Media – and last, but not least, let’s review some technology curriculum resources for your classroom and actual rating scores for media products such as games, movies and apps.  Common Sense Media is “dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.”  But how do they do that?  By providing parents and educators advice and reviews, free educator programs and policy and advocacy activities:

  • Advice & reviews: Common Sense Media rates media based on age appropriateness and learning potential.   A great tool for parents and professionals!
  • Educator programs:  Digital Literacy and Citizenship Programs are comprehensive, research-based, free curricula for K-12 educators.  Growing ethical technology users!
  • Advocacy & policy: working to give families a voice – and opportunities to encourage policymakers, media companies, and others to improve the media environment for all kids.

How Deep is Your Knowledge?

Need more food for thought? Depth of Knowledge ring a bell? Take a look at this diagram and ponder your classroom lessons – are they hitting the mark?

Starting School Book List

The start of school is a busy, stressful, exciting and wonderful time of year for you and your new class.  Help everyone feel better and ease anxieties by reading a book about starting school!  Click here to access a long list of books written about the first days of school.  The list is divided into age sections beginning with 1 year old through 6 years old.  Spanish titles are in red and SCCL beside the title indicates that it is available through the Santa Clara County Library System.  To find out more about their holdings, visit their website by clicking here.  Other titles may be available from online booksellers or other library systems.

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