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Making a Difference

Making a Difference
10 Essential Steps to Building a PreK-3 System

January 2010 | 184 pages | Corwin

"It's time to build a bridge between early childhood programs and the K–3 system to ensure continued success for all children. This is the ultimate how-to manual for administrators and teachers who wish to maintain and maximize the gains children make in preschool."
—Sally Wingle, Preschool Teacher
Chelsea Community Preschool, MI

"A great guide pointing in the right direction for starting a program. With the U.S. Department of Education's emphasis on early childhood education and new monies available from the stimulus plan, this book is a valuable resource."
—Cindy Luna, Principal
Northside ISD, San Antonio, TX

A 10-step plan for linking early childhood education to the K–3 system!

The national push for improving young children's early learning experiences is no longer just about preschool. Now the focus is on strategic planning to increase achievement by reaching out to community early childhood education providers, establishing a strong PreK–3 foundation that connects early childhood education standards and goals to a K–3 system, and ensuring that young learners receive high-quality instruction before kindergarten.

Drawing on more than 20 years' success with a PreK–3 system in Washington state, the authors present a 10-step, field-tested model that demonstrates how early childhood professionals and K–12 school leaders can outline a clear implementation plan for an integrated PreK–3 system that:

  • Identifies both families' and children's needs
  • Shares developmental information about individual learning skills and social/emotional development as children transition to kindergarten
  • Aligns resources, curriculum, instruction, and assessments
  • Anticipates challenges and celebrates successes
  • Invites input from superintendents, state officials, Head Start leaders, and Title I directors

Foreword by Ruby Takanishi
About the Authors
Step 1. Establishing Need and Common Interests
Connecting to Your Preschool Community

Connecting the Early Childhood Community and K-12 Public School

Establishing the Need and Prioritizing Your Efforts PreK-3

Your First Early Childhood and K-3 Meeting

Step 2. Locate and Connect With Your Early Childhood Learning Environments
Locating Your Community Preschool Partners

Identifying and Locating Key People in Your School District

Planning for Your "Kick off" PreK-3d Meeting

Step 3. Develop a Leadership Group
Your Leadership Group

Vision Plus Action

Quality Preschool

Step 4. High Quality Professional Development
How to Provide Professional Development Aligned to Your Goals

Target Professional Development to the Needs of Your Community

Establish Your Professional Development System

Information to Refine Your Work and Strive for Excellence

Step 5. Connect and Align Quality PreK to Kindergarten
Connect Your Community Preschool and Kindergarten Programs

Develop an Assessment and Information Loop

Align Curriculum and Instructional Practices

Step 6. Maximize the Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten

National Trends

How to Design a Full-day Kindergarten

Developing a Planning and Implementation Team

Developing Goals for the Program

Using Research to Drive the Process

Core Curriculum Selection Process for Your Kindergarten (PreK-3rd Grade) System

Low-to-No-Cost Options

Developing Daily Schedule Expectations

Data Sharing

"Friendly Accountability"

Step 7. Align and Connect Full-Day Kindergarten With Grades 1-3
Connect Your FDK to Grades 1-3

Align Your K-3 Standards

Align Your Assessment and Information Loop

Align Curriculum and Instructional Practices That Support Children's Learning and Development K-3 (PreK-3rd)

Tiered Systems

Connect and Align Resources to Focus on Your Goals

Step 8. Conquer the Fade Out
Teach the Conventional Reading Skills That Are Developed Birth to Age 5

Horizontal Alignment

Vertical Alignment

Temporal Alignment

Step 9. Create a Sustainable System of Support
Broad Base Support and Financing Your Goals

Celebrate and Publicize Your Efforts

Continuous Engagement

Step 10. Review, Revise, and Extend
Next Step: Looking Ahead and Planning

Review Your Goals

Are We Making a Significant Difference?

Your Leadership Group (ECCE Group)

Looking Ahead

Resource A: Books and Web Sites
Resource B: Steps for Your First Leadership Meeting
Resource C: Leadership Guide
Resource D: Curriculum Adoption Form
Resource E: Glow and Grow Self-Reflection Form
Resource F: Look Fors in Early Childhood Programs
Resource G: Four Key Components to Sustainability Guide

“A great guide pointing in the right direction to start a program for early childhood education. With the high emphasis from the U.S. Department of Education and new monies available from the stimulus plan, this book will be a valuable resource for the changes we will be experiencing in education.”

Cindy Luna, Principal
Northside ISD, San Antonio, TX

“It’s time to build a bridge between all early childhood programs and the K-3 system to ensure continued success for all of our children. This is the ultimate how-to manual for administrators and teachers who wish to maintain and maximize the gains children make in preschool.”

Sally Wingle, Preschool Teacher
Chelsea Community Preschool, MI

"Early learning providers and school districts together can build a strong foundation and offer wonderful learning opportunities for each and every child. This book provides the tools to create enjoyable learning experiences from preschool and beyond."

Jill Brenner, Child Development Manager
Kitsap Community Resources Head Start/ECEAP Programs, Bremerton, WA

Great resource for ideas to establish routines and procedures.

Ms Jill Clayton
Ed Entreprenuer center , Southern Methodist University
June 4, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters


Introduction: Connecting Early Childhood and K-12 Programs

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