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Welcome & Introductions: Introduce presenters

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1 Foundations Level I: An Introduction to North Carolina’s Early Learning Standards
Welcome & Introductions: Introduce presenters Mention site logistics (restroom locations, turn cell phones to vibrate, lunch arrangements, etc.) Find out who participates are (e.g., Ups & Downs activity) Review answers to Foundations Scavenger Hunt if completed while waiting for session to begin

2 Workshop participants will…
Hear an overview of Foundations Discover how early learning standards are uncovered in early childhood settings Explore ways to incorporate Foundations into the planning process Learn how Foundations supports developmentally appropriate practices Review goals of workshop.

3 Early Learning Standards are…
“Statements that describe expectations for the learning and development of young children across the domains….” Council of Chief State School Officers Define early learning standards: Expectations of what 3, 4, & PreK 5 year old children should begin to know and be able to do Core set of expectations Differ from program standards

4 NC Standards Development Process included…
Convening task force Review of research, literature, position statements, and other state standards Review of North Carolina documents Consensus building Review by practitioners, state & national experts Wide endorsement Describe the development process: Task force of early childhood professionals representing various early childhood organizations & agencies 2-year process completed in 2004 Explain the review process: 1st draft reviewed by early educators & administrators at 8 focus group sessions across the state 2nd draft reviewed by early childhood leaders in NC (full document review) 3rd draft reviewed by national early childhood leaders (domain-specific review) Refer to Acknowledgements on pages ii-iv in Foundations (pg. iii-iv in PDF) Endorsed by State Board of Education, More at Four, Division of Child Development, Smart Start

5 NC Standards Align With…
Creative Curriculum Head Start Child Outcomes Framework High Scope Key Experiences Kindergarten Standard Course of Study NC Infant and Toddler Standards Foundations is not a curriculum; designed to be used as companion to various curricula & resources Describe effort to align the early learning standards with other early childhood resources: Compared to curriculum objectives to ensure essential elements covered Gaps identified and revisions made Compared to objectives in Kindergarten Standard Course of Study to ensure alignment, not duplication; forms foundation for kindergarten Refer to “Frequently Asked Questions” about kindergarten and the chart on page 9 in Foundations (pg 7 in PDF) to further explain relationship between Foundations and Standard Course of Study

6 NC Standards were developed to…
Define a common set of expectations Promote shared responsibility Facilitate communication with families Guide instructional planning Explain purposes of NC’s early learning standards: Developed in a collaborative manner in hopes of strengthening relationships among early childhood programs and promoting common ground Emphasizes importance of everyone working together Strategies for both early educators and families emphasize shared responsibility for the growth and development of young children Early educators might share info from Foundations with families to help families understand appropriate expectations for preschoolers Family strategies offer suggestions for things families can do at home to support development; emphasize everyday routines as important learning opportunities Foundations should be used a a resource in planning; “a lens through which to view curriculum, the learning environment, and everyday experiences” Foundations is not a curriculum but can be used in conjunction with a variety of early childhood curricula and can inform curricular decisions

7 Foundations = Guide Book
Discuss how Foundations can help teachers in the work they do in their classrooms: Think of planning for the classroom as similar to planning for a big vacation; might start by looking at a guide book for that location; one that describes places to go or things to do Foundations serves the same purpose; it provides info about a variety of developmental skills teachers might want to promote in their classrooms (places they might want to go), as well as ideas for ways to do that (what you might like to do) Foundations helps answer the questions “Where are we going?” and “What might it look like?” and “What might we do?”

8 Curriculum = Map After deciding where to go and what to do, a map of the area is needed so that you know how to get from one place to another The curriculum serves this purpose; it provides more specific ideas of how to proceed, what order makes sense, how long it might take, etc.

9 IEPS, Goals, Objectives, Plans = Street Map & Specific Directions
Street maps provide much more detailed plans for moving from place to place Individual plans serve this purpose; provide more specific goals, objectives, and strategies; progress is monitored regularly and adjustments are made as needed to ensure progress for all

10 The journey is children’s development…
Use Foundations as a travel guide to help you know where you and your children are going, what you might see, and what you might do; Use your curriculum as the road map to help you know how to get there; Use your IEP and other goals to ensure that each and every child reaches their destination!

11 NC Early Learning Standards SHOULD be used to…
Promote development of whole child Provide core set of expectations, while recognizing individual differences Emphasize importance of play Support safe, caring learning environments Encourage and value family involvement Support appropriate teaching practices Promote shared responsibility for children’s care and education Refer to chart on page 5 of Foundations (pg 4 in PDF) and discuss appropriate uses for Foundations Should guide use of early learning standards Note that every set of widely held expectations starts with “Children begin to….”; one example of efforts to recognize and accommodate the diversity among NC’s children Play is the work of the child and the context in which early learning standards will be developed Foundations incorporates developmentally appropriate practices throughout document (guiding principles, widely held expectations, strategies, etc)

12 NC Early Learning Standards SHOULD NOT be used to…
Stand in isolation from what we know about children Serve as an assessment checklist or evaluation Limit experiences or exclude children Set up conflicting expectations & requirements Single out or blame anyone Decide any child has “failed” in any way Emphasize child outcomes above program requirements Discuss inappropriate uses for Foundations Foundations cannot stand alone; it is another resources Not to be used to determine “readiness” for kindergarten

13 NC Early Learning Standards were developed primarily for…
Early Childhood Classrooms Title I Exceptional Children Even Start Head Start More at Four Developmental Day Smart Start Local Preschool Programs Private Child Care Primary audience for Foundations = early educators in various early childhood programs

14 Early Learning Standards will also be useful to…
Families Administrators Child Care Resource & Referral College, University, and Community College Faculty & Students Licensing Consultants Kindergarten Teachers Local Community Members Discuss others who might find Foundations useful

15 Guiding Principles Each child is unique
Development occurs in predictable patterns with variability in “how” and “when” Many factors influence a child’s development Refer participants to pages 4-6 in Foundations (pg. 3-4 in PDF) and briefly discuss each guiding principle Expect children to be different. Foundations includes “standards” for what children should be learning. However the way in which each develops will vary greatly. Development generally unfolds in predictable patterns, but the rate varies greatly from child to child, especially for children with disabilities. Widely held expectations are deliberately broad in an effort to accommodate these differences. Growth and development are influenced by a variety of factors, such as the physical environment, relationships with caregivers, and the community and culture in which children live.

16 Guiding Principles Preschool-age children are active learners
Children with disabilities learn best in inclusive settings Diversity in language and cultures is a valuable asset It takes everyone working together Young children need hands-on learning experiences. They learn by doing and experiencing. Plan accordingly. Research has demonstrated the benefit of inclusive environments which include children with and without disabilities. Early educators must consider the needs of individual children when planning to meet the needs of all. North Carolina’s changing population is evident in early childhood programs. This diversity makes for richer experiences for all. The responsibility for early learning must be shared. Families play a role in this process. Program administrators and community members contribute as well.

17 Foundations is organized by…
Describe the organization of the document: Foundations is organized around 5 domains These same domains are identified in the work of the National Goals Panel and used in North Carolina’s definition for school readiness Domains are broken out in the document, but children do not learn this way, nor do early educators teach this way Domains are interdependent; learning is integrated; teachers must consider the whole child and take all domains into consideration when planning

18 Each domain includes… Description & Importance Vignette Subdomains
Widely Held Expectations Strategies Early Educators & Families Introduce the content of each domain: Introductory page provides description of domain, explains its importance, and lists subcategories included in that domain A vignette illustrates how characteristics of that domain might be evidenced in the life of a child Widely-held expectations exist for each of the subcategories Strategies offer ideas for families and early educators to support development in each area

19 Approaches to Learning
Pondering, Processing, and Applying Experiences Curiosity, Information Seeking, and Eagerness Risk Taking, Problem Solving, and Flexibility Persistence, Attentiveness, and Responsibility Imagination, Creativity, & Invention Aesthetic Sensibility Refer participants to pages in their book (pg in PDF) and briefly explain what is included in Approaches to Learning: Includes children’s attitudes toward and interest in learning Characteristics and dispositions that each brings to learning experiences Manifested in all areas of development

20 Emotional and Social Development
Developing a Sense of Self Developing a Sense of Self with Others Refer participants to pages in their book (pg in PDF) and briefly explain what is included in Emotional & Social Development: Involves children’s feelings about themselves and their relationships with others Note the order in this domain…Emotional-Social. More common to hear Social-Emotional; committee made deliberate decision to order these as seen because first we must attend to a child’s emotional development; then child will be ready for developing relationships with those around him or her

21 Health and Physical Development
Self Care Safety Awareness Motor Skills Physical Health and Growth Refer participants to pages in their book (pg in PDF) and briefly explain what is included in Health & Physical Development: Focuses on various aspects of physical development

22 Language Development and Communication
Receptive Language Expressive Language Foundations for Reading Foundations for Writing Refer participants to pages in their book (pg in PDF) and briefly explain what is included in Language Development & Communication: Looks at children’s ability to use language as a tool to communicate personal wants and needs, interact socially, and explain thoughts and feelings Note attention given to both verbal and non-verbal language (signs, gestures, picture symbols), as well as the needs of children for whom English is a second language

23 Cognitive Development
Mathematical Thinking & Expression Scientific Thinking & Invention Social Connections Creative Expression Refer participants to pages in their book (pg in PDF) and briefly explain what is included in Cognitive Development: Focuses on children’s natural curiosity and ability to acquire, organize, and use information

24 Applications in the Real World…
Introduce activities that will help participants become more familiar with content of Foundations

25 Planning For Quality Introduce 2nd Activity:
Purpose = help participants uncover ways in which early learning standards can be incorporated into planning process Refer participants to Activity 2 Handout and review content Directions = While watching video clip used in Activity 1 again, observe children and note interests; jot down observations of what you see and hear in appropriate center/domain Work through one center together; discuss observations and how they might inform plans for materials and/or experiences offered in that center Have participants work together in small groups to fill in other centers and then share with full group

26 Early Educators might use Foundations to…
Create posters that explain goals being addressed in learning centers through play Identify strategies for use in meeting IEP goals Share examples during family visits Share examples with supervisors and administrators Highlight work samples in the portfolios of children Support self-assessment Identify personal professional development needs Review other possible uses for Foundations

27 Resources to Support Quality
Copies can be purchased at PDF available on website Click on Educator Resources; click on Foundations; click on downloads. Foundations Toolbox Office of School Readiness website Foundations can be purchased from Department of Public Instruction for $8.50 plus shipping and handling A condensed version is available as a PDF on the website (same content, different format) A family booklet is being developed and will include a condensed version of expectations and ideas for families to support development

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