The evidence is clear – high quality early education experiences help children develop foundational readiness skills that are highly predictive of educational and workforce success.
A well-developed curriculum and teachers trained and supported in using the curriculum effectively are the centerpieces of high quality early education. Teachers educate children better using the guidance of a proven curriculum. Researchers at UVA’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, in collaboration with E3: Elevate Early Education contributed years of knowledge in developing an innovative, engaging and interaction-based curriculum model using the latest developmental and early education research. The STREAM: Integrated, Intentional, Interactions (STREAMin3) Curriculum focuses on five core skills that form the building blocks for later learning and six STREAM skills that prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond. The model includes a variety of activities and routines for children and, coaching, assessments and professional development for teachers.
The core skills in the curriculum include: RELATE with peers and adults; REGULATE their emotions, attention and behavior; THINK deeply about the world around them; COMMUNICATE with others productively; and, MOVE their bodies to achieve goals. The STREAM skills are: Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math.
The STREAM model was originally developed with funding from E3: Elevate Early Education for use at The New E3 School, a state-of-the-art demonstration school for children ages one to five. Upon entering The New E3 School, you will see the STREAM in action. Teachers at The New E3 School have been trained to use the curriculum and receive coaching and professional development regularly to ensure they are implementing it effectively to tap into a child’s natural talent, curiosity and ability and to benefit their learning. The model is designed to support intentional, meaningful interactions between teachers and children while they are engaged in active, FUN experiences that promote problem-solving, curiosity and children’s interest. Educators at The New E3 School employ the STREAM to develop children’s minds and thus shape their lives.
If you are an early educator in Virginia, this is an exciting time for you. The Virginia General Assembly, recognizing the importance of curriculum and teacher-child interactions as the primary ingredients of high quality early education, appropriated funds for 50 private- and faith-based classrooms to pilot the STREAM curriculum package including its’ coaching and professional development models. Teachers are paired with a trained coach who observes and analyzes their interactions with students in their own classrooms. They work together throughout the school year to improve their teaching practice, increase the quality of their interactions with children and consistently implement the curriculum with efficacy. Professional development sessions are interactive and include an action plan and ongoing follow-up to related to goals set throughout the process.
Early educators looking to take the level of quality in your school to the next level should consider partnering with UVA CASTL in this exciting venture. CASTL is currently accepting applicants for participation. Don’t delay expressing your interest as only 50 classrooms will be eligible for participation this fall.
Participating programs will receive:
· Complete STREAM curriculum package and materials.
· Core & STREAM Skill Activities & Routines for the Classroom.
· Professional Development provided by the experts at UVA CASTL online and in person that will increase teachers’ knowledge of child development and ability to identify and address children’s needs.
· On-site coaching to improve teaching & learning in the classroom.
· Administrator tools such as an implementation checklist designed to help. you tailor your assessments and supports for teachers.
· Assessments of classroom quality and children’s readiness skills.
· Compensation for any time teachers spend outside the typical work day.
UVA CASTL launches this opportunity first in Hampton Roads with informational recruitment events in Hampton and Norfolk this month before moving into other areas of the state.
Information for these events is as follows:
Peninsula Region: Tuesday, August 14 11:00-12:30 at The Downtown Hampton Child Development Center, 1306 Thomas St., Hampton, VA
South Hampton Roads: Friday, August 17 12:00-1:30 (lunch served) at The New E3 School, 2901 Granby St., Norfolk, VA
If you are interested in hearing more or being among the first in Virginia to gain access to this curriculum, please contact Kate Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org.