• Every GSRP classroom should have a high-quality alphabet chart. Dr. Nell Duke, a member of the MAISA Early Literacy Task Force and distinguished expert on literacy development, elaborated on this during a recent seminar indicating that the alphabet chart should be posted at children’s eye level and be an actively used element of the classroom learning environment. Each letter should be represented by carefully selected pictures and words that are known to children and have a beginning sound that accurately represents the sound the letter makes. For more information vie the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy document on the MAISA website.

  • That the Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten Program Standards limit the amount of time children are seated in a teacher-directed activity to no more than 15 minutes at a time (LE 8.c) and allow children to choose not to participate in group activities (LE 8.i)? How are you meeting these standards? Have you been thoughtful about what is included in your circle time and what children are actually learning from it? This podcast by Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, Ph.D. and preschool teacher, Jen Davis, explores some options for updating circle time to make it a positive, community-building activity for the whole class. 

  • (ECLKC), funded by the Office of Head Start, features a wonderful array of free resources useful for ALL early care and education programs?  Webinars, interactive tools, modules and engagement activities developed by national training and technical assistance experts assist staff in acquiring the knowledge they need to best serve children and families. Additionally, anyone can sign up for content-specific newsletters, such as the "Brush Up on Oral Health" or "Mental Health Services" newsletters.  To get you started, we recommend visiting the Early Childhood Health and Wellness page, which offers materials on a wide-array of topics, from emergency preparedness to engaging families around health.

  • Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten

Young children’s development and learning are highly dependent upon their relationships and environments.  The Michigan Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten (ECSQ-PK) is meant to provide guidance to all early care and education programs providing all three- and four-year-old children with opportunities to reach essential development and educational goals.  Carefully developed early learning expectations linked to K-12 expectations can contribute to a more cohesive, unified approach to young children’s education.  The Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten includes both Quality Program Standards for Prekindergarten Programs and Early Learning Expectations for Three- and Four-Year-Old Children.  Clear research-based expectations for the content and desired results of early learning experiences can help focus curriculum and instruction.  By defining the content and outcomes of young children’s early education, the early learning expectations will lead to greater opportunities for preschoolers’ positive development. 

  • Technology in the GSRP Classroom

“Technology should never be used for technology’s sake. Instead, it should only be used for learning and meet­ing developmental objectives, which can include being used as a tool during play.” This statement comes from the Early Learning and Technology Education Policy Brief released in October 2016 by the US Dept. of Education and US Dept. of Health and Human Services. Explore the brief for more on the importance of play, DAP technology, how to distinguish between passive and interactive technology, e-books vs. physical books, considerations for total screen time between school and home, and the absolutely critical role of adults in monitoring and engaging in the technology use of young children.

 

  • The Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten and many of the tenants of the GSRP model for high quality preschool are based on the Developmentally Appropriate Practices defined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Focus on Preschoolers was updated in 2013 to include new research and best practices. In the book, you will find alignment with nearly all of GSRP’s requirements, i.e., for 60 minutes or more of choice time, for opportunities for children to reflect on their work, for assessment that is ongoing and takes place during daily activities, etc.

For only $30 ($24 for members) this is a must-have resource for teachers and administrators making decisions about children’s programs.  With sections on To Be An Excellent Teacher and a compilation of NAEYC Young Children articles, the book would be very useful as a resource for local Professional Learning Communities or for an ongoing book study.