Posts tagged #ece

Let’s Make March Matter for Children: A Letter from our President & CEO, Lisa Howard

Every fall, too many children in our region and state are struggling as they enter school. Two in five children enter kindergarten ready to fail. Children who start behind, stay behind their peers. Without early intervention, the achievement gap continues to widen.

The evidence is clear­—high quality early education can close the achievement and readiness gaps. That is why E3: Elevate Early Education created The New E3 School, an innovative mixed-income model for children ages one to five in the Park Place neighborhood of Norfolk. The school focuses on the most important elements of high quality that lead to kindergarten readiness.

Over the last two years, our four-year-old children were assessed on their readiness to enter school. Most children met or exceeded kindergarten entry benchmarks in literacy, math, social skills and self-regulation. More importantly, they are developing a curiosity and love of learning that will last a lifetime.

The curriculum model developed in the school by UVA’s Center of Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning is being piloted in 100 classrooms across the state. Our work is advancing early education and impacting many children in Hampton Roads and Virginia.

We believe, as I know you do, every child deserves a high quality education and that begins with early education. Sadly, we turn away children and families every year who need a scholarship for their child to attend our school. There are over 30 low-income children on the waiting list for a scholarship. Will you give to the Scholarship Fund?

If you have not visited The New E3 School, please contact me at lhoward@e3va.org to set up a tour and see the impact our school is having on so many young children. Thank you for your consideration and support.

With gratitude,

Lisa Howard  President & CEO  E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

Lisa Howard

President & CEO

E3: Elevate Early Education & The New E3 School

 

Make March Matter for Children: The Case for High-Quality Early Education in Virginia

 
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The Problem

Every year, many children in our region and state enter kindergarten ready to fail. It will be tough for them to catch up without intervention.

In 2018, 42% of kindergarten students in participating school divisions of the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program entered kindergarten not ready in one of the critical learning domains of literacy, math, self-regulation or social skills. 

The Solution

High quality early education can close the achievement and readiness gaps.

The New E3 School is a state-of-the-art school in the Park Place neighborhood of Norfolk for children ages one to five. Our innovative mixed-income model focuses on the ingredients of high quality that lead to kindergarten readiness. The STREAMin3 curriculum developed by UVA’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning (CASTL) includes:

·         Curriculum focused on the five core skills (relate, regulate, think, communicate, and move) and six STREAM skills (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math)

·         Professional development to support teachers’ understanding of child development

·         Coaching to improve teaching and learning in the classroom

·         Assessments of children’s skills and classroom quality

The STREAMin3 model is being piloted in 100 classrooms (private, faith-based, the Virginia Preschool Initiative and Head Start) across the state.

The New E3 School is a demonstration model that proves high quality results in kindergarten readiness. The school is advancing early education and impacting children in the region and across Virginia.

The Results

Four-year-old children from The New E3 School were assessed in 2017 and 2018 on their readiness to enter kindergarten. Most children met or exceeded the kindergarten entry benchmarks for literacy, math, and self-regulation. Some children did not meet the benchmark for social skills.

How You Can Help

Contribute to our scholarship fund! We believe every child deserves a high quality early education. Your gift will provide the opportunity for a low-income child to attend The New E3 School.

$50,000: provides a scholarship for a child to attend the school for five years.

$10,000: provides a scholarship for a child to attend the school for one year.

$2k-$5k: provides a partial scholarship for a child.

$500-$1k: provides financial assistance to a low- or middle-income family.

Mindfulness For All Ages

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Our children at The New E3 School begin their day with mindfulness. They learn basic breathing and yoga practices. Why? Mindfulness and yoga helps children to:

 ·        Reduce stress and anxiety (believe me they feel stress too)

·         Form habits of being quiet, peaceful, kind and accepting

·         Regulate feelings and control their bodies

We are so thankful to have Angela Phillips of Angela Phillips Yoga Studio train our teachers and children. They are learning basic breathing and yoga techniques. The teachers and staff had to embrace this practice and model for our children. The best way to do that was to help them see the benefits that mindfulness brings to their classroom everyday. Not only does it help children manage stress, but it helps teachers too.

 What a great way to start and end your day! Try a few breathing techniques and yoga poses before bedtime or naptime. There are some wonderful children’s books that provide illustrations of simple poses for all ages to do. Make it part of your family’s routine.

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Lisa Howard

President & CEO

Posted on February 26, 2019 .

Music & Math Activities to try at Home

Music is one of the first ways children experience math. Without thinking, our bodies react to music. When we hear music, we rock our babies, clap along, and even look toward the source of the sound. These responses are reactions to musical elements such as steady beat, rhythm, and melody, all of which reflect mathematical concepts. Even the youngest of children can respond to music and the mathematical principles behind it. Here are three musical elements that relate to math and some suggested activity ideas from the National Association for the Education of Young Children to try at home.

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Steady Beat

What it is: Steady beat is what you respond to when you hear music and start tapping your toe. The steady beat is repetitive and evenly spaced. Listen to “Old MacDonald,” “Bingo,” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and you will hear the steady beat.

How it relates to mathematics: Emphasizing the steady beat by clapping or moving to the music supports children’s development of one-to-one correspondence. One-to-one correspondence is matching up one thing with something else, such as one clap for each syllable. Clapping to the steady beat also is a way to emphasize the math concept of “more.” Through music, toddlers can show they understand what “more” means even when they do not yet understand numbers. For example, if you clap once and then ask, “Can you clap more than I clapped?” a toddler will most likely clap more than once.

Activities to try: While singing a song, emphasize the words that fall on the beat by stomping or clapping on each beat. You can even have children stomp or clap harder on the downbeat (the most accented note in each measure). There is no wrong way to do this, so feel free to experiment.

To work on one-to-one correspondence, try having your child repeat a basic clapping sequence. Ask, “Can you clap as many times as I do?” As your child gets better at this, you can add rhythm to your clapping. You could also play a drum or even sing instead of clapping.

Songs that build on themselves, such as “There Once Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”) help children grasp the idea of “more.” After each verse or every few verses you can ask, “What’s next?” or “Should we sing more?” Songs that invite children to join in with each verse also promote this concept.

Rhythm

What it is: Rhythm is similar to but different from the steady beat. A song’s rhythm varies, while the steady beat is constant.

How it relates to mathematics: Rhythm helps children learn to recognize one-to-one correspondence and to identify and predict distinct patterns. Being able to recognize and anticipate rhythmic patterns helps children remember or predict the words to a song or a rhythmic story.

Activities to try:  Even newborns can learn about rhythm as their parents sing lullabies to them. Rock with your child while you sing, and pat gently on your child’s back so that he can simultaneously hear and feel the patterns in the music. If the words themselves make a pattern, your child can also see a pattern in your mouth movements. Here is one example of a song you could sing:

(Sung to “Hush, Little Baby”)

Verse 1:   Little baby, don’t you cry. Little baby, don’t you cry.

Pattern:           A               B                     A              B

Verse 2:  Mama loves you don’t you cry. Mama loves you don’t you cry.

Pattern:           C                     B                      C                     B

Invite toddlers and preschoolers to repeat, predict, and/or extend rhythmic patterns. For example, sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” with your toddler. Stop after “With a moo moo here,” and wait for your child to repeat the phrase or extend the pattern of the song by adding “and a moo moo there.’”  

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Melody

What it is: The movement from one note to another is the melody of the song, or in other words, the tune. Consider the familiar song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” focusing on the repetitive pattern “E-I-E-I-O.” You may notice that the first E and I are repeated on a higher note, the next E and I are repeated on a lower note, and the O is sung on an even a lower note. This is the song’s melody.

How it relates to mathematics: Children can use melodies to recognize patterns, such as how notes are repeated within a song.

Activities to try: Offer instruments like a xylophone (or piano, if you have one in your home), shaker, drum, or even a pot and a wooden spoon to play a song. Ask your child to play her instrument at a specific note of a simple song (such as on “star” of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”) as you play the rest.


Dr. Eugene Geist is an associate professor in The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and Human Services at Ohio University.  Dr. Geist teaches in the Early Childhood Education program, the Curriculum and Instruction graduate program and the Teacher Education Honors Program. His areas of expertise include child development, constructivism, and the development of mathematical knowledge in young children. 

1Bonny, J.W., & S.F. Lourenco. 2013. “The Approximate Number System and Its Relation to Early Math Achievement: Evidence From the Preschool Years.” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 114 (3): 375–88.

Posted on September 12, 2018 .

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play

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1. Children learn through their play.
Don’t underestimate the value of play. Children learn and develop:

Cognitive skills – like math and problem solving in a pretend grocery store

Physical abilities – like balancing blocks and running on the playground

New vocabulary – like the words they need to play with toy dinosaurs

Social skills – like playing together in a pretend car wash

Literacy skills – like creating a menu for a pretend restaurant

2. Play is healthy.
Play helps children grow strong and healthy. It also counteracts obesity issues facing many children today.

3. Play reduces stress.
Play helps your children grow emotionally. It is joyful and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.

4. Play is more than meets the eye.
Play is simple and complex. There are many types of play: symbolic, sociodramatic, functional, and games with rules-–to name just a few. Researchers study play’s many aspects: how children learn through play, how outdoor play impacts children’s health, the effects of screen time on play, to the need for recess in the school day.

5. Make time for play.
As parents, you are the biggest supporters of your children’s learning. You can make sure they have as much time to play as possible during the day to promote cognitive, language, physical, social, and emotional development.

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6. Play and learning go hand-in-hand.
They are not separate activities. They are intertwined. Think about them as a science lecture with a lab. Play is the child’s lab.

7. Play outside.
Remember your own outdoor experiences of building forts, playing on the beach, sledding in the winter, or playing with other children in the neighborhood. Make sure your children create outdoor memories too.

8. There’s a lot to learn about play.
There’s a lot written on children and play. Here are some NAEYC articles and books about play. David Elkind’s The Power of Play (Da Capo, 2007 reprint) is also a great resource.

9. Trust your own playful instincts.
Remember as a child how play just came naturally? Give your children time for play and see all that they are capable of when given the opportunity.

10. Play is a child’s context for learning.
Children practice and reinforce their learning in multiple areas during play. It gives them a place and a time for learning that cannot be achieved through completing a worksheet. For example, in playing restaurant, children write and draw menus, set prices, take orders, and make out checks. Play provides rich learning opportunities and leads to children’s success and self-esteem.

Read more from The National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Posted on August 21, 2018 .

Calling All Early Educators in Hampton Roads!

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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.

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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. 

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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 klt8z@virginia.edu