Are you hungry for some nutrition resources for the children in your class? Want some help teaching about healthy habits and quality food choices? The UCCE (University of California Cooperative Extension – Santa Clara County) can help! Visit their website hereand learn more about their programs for teachers just like you! Their classroom support for teachers covers grades Pre-K through twelfth and includes: “research-based, fun, easy-to-use nutrition, gardening, and physical activity curriculum, nutrition lessons linked to Content Standards for California Public Schools, teacher training, and UCCE staff to assist in delivery of lessons in the classroom.”
Contributing to Optimal Development
Project Cornerstoneand Developmental Assets – build up our youth! Research has shown that the more developmental assets each child possesses, the better off their future looks! Developmental assets are the positive values, relationships, skills and experiences that help children and teens thrive. Do you want some specific ideas about how your community can contribute? Check out their site today!
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.
Early Care Providers
Getting Off to the Right Start
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-R) The 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.
Get Outside and Learn!
Are you interested in enriching your curriculum in an effective, fun, and low-cost way? Do you want to see your children become healthier, more relaxed, more focused and ready for deeper learning? The answer is simple! Get your kids outside for some natural learning in the natural world. The Children and Nature Networkcan help! Check out this site for lots of great ideas, research, strategies and activities to incorporate more nature into your day. Click here to take a look at the Natural Teacher Network’s (NTN) eGuide – a handy resource for educators Pre-K through High School - including 10 Reasons To Take Your Students Outside and much, much more!
The Outdoor Classroom Projectis another essential resource for providers who want to bring the learning outside. This excellent website has a lot of pictures, ideas and resources to help early educators combine indoor and outdoor curriculum. Want to learn more? Watch this seven minute video (below) and see what the outdoor classroom concept is all about!
Welcome to the Outdoor Classroom Project
First Lady Michelle Obama’s signature program Let's Move! invites all of us to work together to combat the childhood obesity epidemic. We all have a part to play – community leaders, child care operators, after school programs, faith based programs, municipalities, public, private and charter schools, museums, gardens, Native American tribes and organizations, health care professionals, and of course, parents and family members! Go to www.letsmove.gov to see how you can sign on to help bring positive change to your community. There are a lot of great resources on this site, including:
Download this form for your children who will be heading off to Milpitas Unified School District Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten this fall. Read the full cover letter here to understand the rationale and the submittal process. Opening lines of communication is good for us all!
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:
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.
Labeling for a Print Rich Environment
Inquiring minds want to know - what is a Print Rich Environment?! According to the Macmillan/McGraw-Hill California Treasures Reading Program, Glossary of Common Terms, the definition of a print rich environment is“an environment in which students are provided many opportunities to interact with print and an abundance and variety of printed materials are available and accessible. Students have many opportunities to read and be read to. In such an environment reading and writing are modeled by the teacher and used for a wide variety of authentic everyday purposes.”
One time-consuming, but important component of a print rich environment is tagging the common, everyday classroom items with written labels indicating the name of the object. The more the children in the class can see the written word being associated with the concrete object, the more reinforced the connection becomes between print and the real world. In addition to which, if the cubbies and cabinets are labeled with the word and the picture of the item which belongs there – it makes clean up a snap! A place for everything, everything in its place…
But, this takes precious teacher time to label the whole room - and the labels frequently need to be replaced! Don’t fear, there is a free(!) website that can help. Visit Environments, Inc. and click on the Resources tab from the top menu. You will find the “Just for Me” Label Maker as well as the Environments Resource Library. The Label Maker resource hosts a variety of label and sign templates with a broad range of classroom materials photos and is fully customizable – plus there is a prepared document ready to print with common everyday classroom labels in English and Spanish. Just print out the pages, cut and affix to the objects in your room. Voila! Print rich environment!
Want to learn more about classroom labeling? Environments, Inc. also offers a handy Staff Training Aid. Click here(select Staff Training Aids then scroll to the last article) to take a peek at the whys and wherefores of labeling – and how different kinds of labels will make your classroom environment speak for itself!