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Getting It Right From the Start
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Getting It Right From the Start
The Principal’s Guide to Early Childhood Education



March 2009 | 344 pages | Corwin

"The day of preschool-aged children fully immersed in the public schools will be as common as kindergarten in the very near future. (And in many states, that day is here!) As principals prepare to embrace and successfully guide the addition of preschool children, families, and staff, they will need support and guidance in their new role as an early childhood/elementary principal. This book provides principals with exceptional support, guidance, and action plans to make their transition seamless."
Ginger L. Zierdt, Director, Center for School-University Partnerships
Minnesota State University, Mankato

"In one relatively small volume, the authors have organized information on just about everything a school leader needs to get a well-designed program off the ground and make sure it will get better as time goes on."
—Harriet A. Egertson, Early Childhood Consultant
Early Childhood Assessment Consortium, Council of Chief State School Officers

"This book is a tremendous resource for principals. As a former elementary principal, I wish I had this book to help me better understand and support the preschool classrooms in my building! Now as an education program evaluator and researcher, I realize how little I knew then about best practices in early childhood. This book will help principals better understand the components of learning through play, intentional design of classroom environments to foster learning, and the value of partnering with families."
—Lisa St. Clair, Nebraska PIRC Director and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Prepare our youngest students for future learning success with effective ECE programs!

To ensure that young children are ready to enter kindergarten, elementary schools are becoming increasingly involved in early childhood education (ECE), and more and more principals have to deal with ECE issues. Now this practical manual shows principals what successful ECE programs look like—and how to achieve quality results in their schools and communities.

The authors provide an inside view of the field, touching on key areas of operation and discussing ways to avoid common pitfalls. Blending research-based content with practical applications, this accessible guide helps principals and other administrators:

  • Gain a foundational understanding of how very young children learn
  • Create quality environments and practices for teaching early learners
  • Provide the kind of feedback staff need to improve
  • Work successfully with ECE agencies and providers
  • Easily implement the strategies outlined using reproducible forms, templates, and checklists

This comprehensive resource presents the information principals need to become key players in educating our nation's youngest learners!


 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
1. Early Childhood Education: An Expanding Enterprise!
Increasing Family Demand

 
Early Learning Imperatives

 
Children at Risk of School Failure

 
Reducing the Achievement Gap: Starting Early

 
Early Childhood Education: A Sound Investment

 
Principals’ Roles: Laying the Groundwork

 
 
2. Quality Makes ALL the Difference
The Corrosive Impact of Poor Quality

 
High-Quality Defined

 
Leadership and High Quality

 
Becoming an Early Childhood Leader

 
Principals’ Roles: Achieving High Quality

 
 
3. Breaking New Ground: Getting Involved in Early Childhood Education
What Exactly Is Early Childhood Education?

 
Becoming Familiar With Early Childhood Culture

 
School Principals as Culture Brokers

 
Principals’ Roles: Getting Involved in Early Childhood Education

 
 
4. Early Childhood Education: Stakeholders
Identifying the Stakeholder

 
Collaboration

 
Give Voice to Stakeholders

 
Actions and Considerations

 
Principals’ Roles: Working With Stakeholders

 
 
5. Developmentally Appropriate Practice
Fundamental Principles of DAP

 
Developmentally Inappropriate Practice (DIP)

 
Applying DAP Requires Judgment

 
The Sounds of DAP!

 
Empirical Support for DAP

 
Common Questions About DAP

 
Principals’ Roles: Supporting DAP

 
 
6. The Principal’s Guide to How Young Children Develop and Learn
The Essential Nature of Young Children

 
How Young Children Develop

 
How Young Children Learn

 
What Children Are Learning

 
Principals’ Roles: Supporting Child Development and Learning

 
 
7. Early Childhood Curriculum
What Constitutes the Early Childhood Curriculum?

 
‘Goodness of Fit’ Between Early Education and Later Schooling

 
Implementing the Early Childhood Curriculum

 
Activities to Look for in Early Childhood Classrooms

 
Principal’s Roles: Curriculum

 
 
8. Learning Centers & Classroom Routines
Typical Learning Centers for Young Children

 
Skills Teachers Need to Run Effective Centers

 
How Classroom Routines Support Curricular Goals

 
A Typical Day for Children

 
Principals’ Roles: Centers and Routines

 
 
9. Early Childhood Assessment
Key Considerations

 
Authentic Assessment

 
Strategies to Guide Learning and Improve Instruction

 
Strategies for Identifying Children’s Special Needs

 
Assessing Early Childhood Programs and Learning Contexts

 
Pros and Cons of Standardized Assessment

 
The Principals’ Roles: Promoting Authentic Assessment

 
 
10. Early Childhood Education: Family Involvement
Through the Eyes of the Families

 
Looking Inside and Looking Outside

 
Suggestions for Families

 
Through the Eyes of Teachers

 
Parents Want Communication With the School

 
Family Roles

 
Principals’ Roles: Family Involvement

 
 
11. Early Childhood Teachers
Teachers Matter

 
The Critical Function of Principals

 
Characteristics of ‘Good’ Teachers

 
Formal Teacher Qualifications

 
Translating Teacher Standards Into Practice

 
Principals’ Roles: Supporting Early Childhood Teachers

 
 
12. Finding and Keeping Good Teachers
Shortage of Qualified Early Childhood Teachers

 
Looking for Teachers to Support Diverse Children and Families

 
Reducing Staff Turnover

 
Principals’ Roles: Hiring and Retaining Good Teachers

 
 
13. Physical Environments That Support Early Learning
Environmental Propositions

 
How Physical Environments Influence Child Development and Learning

 
Fundamentals of Environmental Planning

 
Physical Requirements of Activity-Based Instruction

 
Equipping Early Childhood Classrooms

 
The Great Outdoors!

 
Principals’ Roles: Creating Optimal Early Learning Environments

 
 
14. Early Childhood Education: Funding
Funding Sources

 
History of Federal Funding

 
State Funding

 
Local Funding

 
Start-Up Costs

 
Administrator Voices

 
Principals’ Roles: Funding

 
 
15. Action Summary
Tool A. Learning Center Checklist

 
Tool B. Key Instruments Used Nationally for Evaluation of Children in ECE Programs

 
Tool C. Daily Literacy Checklist P3

 
Tool D. Daily Numeracy Checklist P3

 
Tool E. Guidelines for Structuring Informative On-Site Observations

 
Tool F. Sample Interview Questions for Teacher Candidates

 
Tool G. Early Childhood Safety & Health Checklist

 
Tool H. Physical Requirements of Small Group Activity Centers

 
Tool I. ECE Classroom Equipment List

 
Tool J. Indoor Environment Checklist

 
 
References
 
Index

"In one relatively small volume, the authors have organized information on just about everything a school leader needs to get a well-designed program off the ground and to make sure it will get better as time goes on. A particular strength of the book is its effectiveness in defining the years of preschool through third grade as a cohesive unit within the school. This is especially evident in the extensive chapter on assessment. The book will have value for both current practitioners and those preparing to become elementary administrators."

Harriet A. Egertson, Early Childhood Consultant
Early Childhood Assessment Consortium, Council of Chief State School Officers

"The day of preschool-aged children fully immersed in the public schools will be as common as kindergarten in the very near future. (And in many states, that day is here!) As principals prepare to embrace and successfully guide the addition of preschool children, families, and staff, they will need support and guidance in their new role as an early childhood/elementary principal. This book provides principals with exceptional support, guidance, and action plans to make their transition seamless."

Ginger L. Zierdt, Director, Center for School-University Partnerships
Minnesota State University, Mankato

“This book is a tremendous resource for principals. As a former elementary principal, I wish I could have had this book in my hands then to help me better understand and support the preschool classrooms in my building! This book will help principals better understand the components of learning through play, intentional design of classroom environments to foster learning, and the value of partnering with families.”

Lisa St. Clair, Nebraska PIRC Director and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center

"Provides administrators with an easy-to-follow, detailed road map for a better understanding of early childhood education. For some quick information for the meeting, check out the Principal’s Role section. It is a superb resource, while the chapter provides the entire substance of developing the program."

Ramona Miller, Principal
Mahnomen Elementary School, MN

"As a former principal, I was informed one year that I would open four 4-year-old classrooms in August of the next year. I understood developmentally appropriate practices and the abiding need to hire terrific early childhood teachers and teaching assistants. What I did not have in my toolbox were the structural components, such as how to create a daily schedule; how and where to provide for students' personal needs (eating, toileting, playing, transporting, etc.); and how to assess student progress and communicate effectively with parents. This guide would have supported my own learning and eased my sense of frustration in not providing adequate leadership for my team. This book offers school leaders a foundational resource of best practices and research that can support an immediate need."

Christi Roach, Executive Director
Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals
Key features
  • Blends research-based content with practical implications for administrative practice
  • Incorporates numerous easy-to-reference charts and checklists
  • Presents a "Principal's Roles" section in each chapter with summaries of key success strategies
  • Provides an appendix with additional reproducible tools, including sample forms and rating scales

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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ISBN: 9781412949507
$41.95