Articulation and Alignment Resources for Elementary Administrators
By the Santa Clara County Early Learning Master Plan, Articulation & Alignment Working Committee
Recently available on the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s website is the definitive guide to local articulation and alignment between Pre-K through third grade. This guide addresses a number of topical questions:
What are the achievement gap trends in Santa Clara County?
How do you build a ready school?
In addition, the guide hosts a user-friendly self-assessment guide so you can take a closer look at your own school and a robust listing of additional resources for more study.
“This document is designed to support schools and districts in their collaborative efforts with early learning and afterschool programs. It includes information on why high-quality early learning is critical for children from birth through third grade, as well as for their long-term student achievement. The document will also serve as a tool to facilitate conversations with partners, and help to identify an action plan for goals in ongoing work and implementation. Discussions can engage school and district leadership, teachers, grade level representatives, early childhood education and afterschool providers, the school site council, parents and parent organizations.”
School Readiness Research
Are you looking for an interesting read? Want to learn more about the current state of School Readiness research in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties? For nearly a decade, Applied Survey Research (ASR) together with the Santa Clara County Partnership for School Readiness and other regional organizations has been looking at the readiness level of children entering Kindergarten and asking probing research questions to better understand the components of school readiness - from child, family, school and community perspectives. Clickhereto access ASR's School Readiness Assessments Projects Database.
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.
Thanks for All You Do!
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? Clickhereto 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 theInnosight 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:
Want to learn more about each type of these blended learning environments? Click hereto read the program definitions. Click hereto 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.
Funding- Funding creates incentives for performance, options and innovation.
Delivery- Infrastructure supports digital learning.
Digital Learning = Deeper Learning
Getting Smartrecently 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 Educationhosts 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.comhas the parent angle covered – check out “A Parent's Guide to the Common Core Standards” and share it with your parents!
Edutopiakeeps 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.”
Scholasticmakes 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 Associationcan help you understand and share teaching ideas around the Common Core State Standards – especially for our Transitional and Traditional Kindergarten teachers.
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?
Early Learning Transition Model ~ Generously funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation 2012-2013
MUSD started this school year, 2012/2013 with two brand new! Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classrooms in the district: one at Rose (led by the accomplished Ms. Lundeen) and one at Spangler (guided by the talented Ms. Ellis). TK is the newest grade to come to the California educational system, created by legislation (The Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010) that moves the Kindergarten cutoff date up by a month per year until in 2014, when all children will need to turn 5 years old by September 1 to be Kindergarten eligible. But what about the children with fall birthdays? They are eligible to attend TK! Confused? Just refer to this handy chartto see the impact of this legislation. So, what does this mean for MUSD? Well, in the coming years, as the Kindergarten cutoff date moves up, more of our local elementary schools will be hosting this new grade. Are you ready? TK is here to stay! But don’t fear – help is available!
TK Planning Guide
The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) has produced an invaluable Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Planning Guide. Here is what CCSESA says about the guide, it “will assist California school districts in planning and implementing a two-year kindergarten program in response to recent California legislation, The Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010. The Guide discusses the following areas: Program Structure and Design, Effective Instruction, Curriculum, and Assessment. The seven Appendices provide supporting information for the Guides content.” VisitCCESAtoday to get a jump start on planning for your own TK!
Online TK Library
Another great resource for administrators, teachers and parents is theTK Californiasite, a project of Preschool California. This up-to-the-minute online resource hosts an abundant library of TK content from around the state. Don’t miss out, check it out!
Want to find out what other districts in our county are up to? The Santa Clara County Office of Education, Early Learning Services Department, has been leading the charge of TK implementation state-wide and currently offers TK material on their websitehere. Visit today to view the latest local developments and access some unique presentations and planning documents.
Still have questions?
When in doubt, check out information from the source! The California Department of Education’s website hosts a handyTransitional Kindergarten FAQpage. Go there for answers to your most urgent questions.
TK – Setting the Stage and Prepping the Classroom!
Are you looking for some ideas about how to set up your TK classroom? Needing some guidance with respect to what is age appropriate for young fives? Want to learn more about hands-on materials and equipment? Lakeshore® Learning can help! Read on to see what Lakeshore® has to say about their unique catalog and click on the title below to see the catalog right away…
Lakeshore® Learning - Materials for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) ProgramsTo help school districts across California develop successful Transitional Kindergarten programs, we have filled this catalog with materials targeting the specific developmental needs of “young fives.” Using the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Planning Guide, California Preschool Learning Foundations, and California’s Common Core Standards for kindergarten as our guidelines, we have selected products that foster essential skills related to:
Physical Education and
Visual and Performing Arts.
The use of these materials will help to provide younger children with an enriching environment that supports academic, physical and social growth in a manner that reflects their current stage of development. Combined with a modified kindergarten curriculum, these materials will promote greater school readiness for kindergarten and beyond!
Want more information about Lakeshore® Learning and TK? Visit their websiteand read all about it!