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2013 Newsletter

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  Issue 1

October 2013 

Registry Logo CEL Girl FBIcon
New & Improved Registry!:
We are pleased to announce that the Palm Beach County (PBC) Early Childhood Registry system is getting a full makeover!  (more)
Cover Story: Developing Self-Reliant Learners:
In today's demanding and competitive society, being self-reliant is one of the important keys to success. Individuals need to have the ability to critically think through problems, and formulate feasible solutions. (more)
New Facebook Page!: 
Do you Facebook? If you do, you are in luck! The IEECE has launched its Facebook page and we would like you to join us. (more)

 

Important Updates & Projects from the IEECE


new

A New & Improved Registry System Coming Soon to a Computer near You!
We are pleased to announce that the Palm Beach County (PBC) Early Childhood Registry system is getting a full makeover! The new system will allow for easier access to practitioner profiles and training records. In addition, it will feature online completion of Practitioner and Trainer applications, the Registry update form, and the SEEK scholarship application. The new system includes a robust training calendar that will list all available Registry-approved trainings, along with a fully online training registration system. Center and Family Child Care Home (FCCH) leaders will have access to system features such as online staff turnover submission, staff employment verification, updates, and access to program demographic and professional development profiles. The new system will streamline Registry processes.

We are working diligently to get the system up and running. In order to ensure a smooth transition to the new system, we will be conducting hands-on trainings sessions around the county to demonstrate how to use the system. We will provide our practitioners, trainers and system partners with all the tools they need to easily navigate through the system, and use it to its full potential. Online tutorials will be available on the PBC Registry website and telephone support will be provided if needed. For your convenience, we will provide updates through email and the Registry website on upcoming training sessions and locations, and the dates related to launching of the new system.

We are excited about the coming of the new PBC Registry System, and we are confident that you will find it to be user friendly, easy to navigate, and efficient. We look forward to sharing the new system with you in the near future. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Registry at (561)868-3671 or email us at ecregistry@palmbeachstate.edu. You can also visit us at http://www.pbcregistry.org/.

The IEECE has a new Facebook Page!

facebookbanner

Do you Facebook? If you do, you are in luck! The IEECE has launched its Facebook page and we would like you to join us. The page provides up-to-date information about available courses, information sessions, SEEK facebookicon scholarship deadlines, local, regional and national news that is relevant to early childhood education, and important updates from the IEECE. To get access and take advantage of these valuable resources, visit and like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pbscIEECE. If you do not have a Facebook account, you can easily create one at www.facebook.com.   The page is continuously being updated, so visit us often to avoid missing out on important information updates. We look forward to you joining us on Facebook!

 

We Will Be Back at the Historic Building Soon!HB

After being away for nearly four (4) months, we will be back at the Historic Building this fall! We will return to a newly renovated building that is welcoming, and the renovation will allow us to serve our practitioners, trainers, and system partners more efficiently.  In the next few weeks, we will be unpacking boxes, moving furniture, and settling back into our space.  Our computers and telephones will be up and running and the building will be open (just excuse our temporary mess).

Cover Story: Developing Self-Reliant Learners 


In today's demanding and competitive society, being self-reliant is one of  the important keys to success. Individuals need to have the ability to critically think through problems, and formulate feasible solutions. Self-reliance is defined as the ability to accomplish one's assigned task in an independent, resourceful, self-sufficient manner; reliance on one's own capabilities, judgment, or resources; independence (The American Heritage, 2009). But where does one learn to be self-reliant? Does is come naturally or is it taught and fostered?

Giselle
Giselle Bruno, 3 year old preschooler at the Center for
Early Learning, Palm Beach State College.

As you may have guessed, the teaching and fostering of self-reliance begins at birth. According to research, chaperoning preschool children everywhere and in everything that they do damages their identity as they are not learning how to figure things out on their own (Valsan, 2010). Therefore, parents and teachers must allow time and space for independent work to prepare children to face the challenging world ahead, with confidence. Letting go is a very difficult task for parents, and sometimes for teachers, as well. However, letting go does not have to be abrupt. Small steps can be taken to begin the transition, such as assigning small tasks to children to complete on their own (like putting place mats on the dinner table or completing a puzzle) and stepping back when they make a mistake to allow them to determine the solution to the problem. Child experts advise that parents and teachers should be coaches and guides for children instead of instructors. They can successfully play this role while reassuring children that someone is never too far away if they need help (Valsan, 2010). To learn how to make educated decisions and problem-solve, children need choices from which to select. For example, asking them what shirt they would prefer to wear or what they would like to eat for lunch or dinner will foster the development of valuable  decision-making skills. The overarching goal is to build environments that promote self-reliance in children.

As this practice continues and the children grow up, the foundation of self-reliance that they now possess from their early years will prepare them in completing more complex tasks such as preparing simple meals, doing laundry, packing their own lunch boxes, answering the telephone, buying groceries, etc. Self-reliance results in self-confidence; therefore, parents and teachers must ensure that opportunities are created to encourage and grow such important life skills (Prabhu, 2009).

Although academics are important, and greater emphasis is placed on them in the education system, their traditional processes do not always support the learning of life skills needed to effectively function in society. Therefore, a balance in instruction must exist in preschools, and all schools, in order to support both academics and independent learning and exploration. Such a balance will promote the acquisition of valuable academic knowledge and independent life skills that students will use for the rest of their lives (Prabhu, 2009). As they grow up, children gather experiences that support the skills needed to overcome obstacles that they might face in adulthood. Hence, it would be doing a disservice to the children, if schools do not embrace the concept of self-reliance and independence by incorporating it into their daily instruction.

Self-reliance is crucial in the development of individuals from childhood to adulthood. It allows for the acquisition of important life skills that will permit them to effectively function in society, and make educated decisions. To support our children, schools, parents and teachers should make a conscious effort to provide them with opportunities that will promote the development and encouragement of self-reliance.

The American Heritage Dictionary (2013). The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Houghton Miffin Harcout Publishing, Boston, MA.

Prabhu, S. (2009, Dec 16). Equip children with life skills and make them self reliant. DNA : Daily News & Analysis.
Retrieved from http://ezproxy.fau.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/241841012?accountid=10902

Valsan, V. (2010, Feb 14). Dear mom and dad, please let go. DNA.Sunday.
Retrieved from http://ezproxy.fau.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/241859016?accountid=10902

 

Politics in Early Childhood Education


National News: President Obama's Supports Early Childhood Education

Capitol Hill at Night

According to the White House Records, President Obama plans to improve early childhood education across the country. He believes that our country needs to do much more to provide all children with an education that will allow them to succeed in a global economy based on knowledge and innovation. The President is proposing a new federal and state partnership to provide all four (4) year old children from low to moderate income families with high quality early childhood education. The proposal includes expanding access to high quality early childhood education to middle class families. To accomplish this, the United States (U.S.) Department of Education would provide dollars to states based on the percentage of four (4) year olds from low to moderate income families who reside in their states. Then, funds will be dispersed to local school districts and partner providers to implement and administer the program. Below are the proposed requirements states will have to fulfill in order to be eligible for the program:

1. Have existing state level standards for early education

2. Have qualified teachers for all preschool classrooms

3. Have a plan to implement comprehensive data and assessment systems

If this proposal is approved and implemented, the early childhood education community can expect to experience the following benefits:

1. Well trained early childhood education teachers

2. Comparable salary to K-12 staff

3. Small class sizes & low teacher to child ratios

4. A rigorous curriculum

5. Comprehensive health & related services

6. Effective evaluation & review of programs

The proposal is set to be drafted by the White House and sent to members of Congress for approval. We will keep you posted on the latest developments. Read more about President's plan for early education.

Reference:: White House Office of the Press Secretary (2013).
Facts Sheet President Obama's Plan for Early Childhood Education for all Americans.
Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/13/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-plan-early-education-all-americans.

State News: 2013 Florida Senate Early Childhood Legislative Updates

The Florida Senate's Committee on Education drafted a bill that will affect how early childhood education is administered in the State of Florida.

The bill changes the governance structure of the Office of Early Learning by including the Office of Early Learning as a part of the Department of Education's Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice. The Office of Early Learning will continue to have an executive director, but instead of reporting directly to the governor, the executive director will report to the Commissioner of Education. The bill strives to increase accountability and transparency in the administration of early learning programs in many ways. Some of the highlights are listed below:

1. Requiring the Office of Early Learning to:

  • Adopt a list of approved curricula and a process for reviewing and approving provider's curriculum that meets the performance standards.
  • Identify a pre-assessment and post-assessment for school readiness program participants.
  • Adopt a statewide, standardized contract to be used by coalitions with each school readiness program provider.
  • Coordinate with other agencies to perform data matches on individuals or families participating in the School Readiness program.

2. Revising the eligibility criteria for the enrollment of children in the School Readiness program.

The bill has passed the Florida Senate and is now on the desk of the Governor and was signed by the Governor on June 28th, 2013, the bill went into effect July 1st, 2013. Learn more about the Early Learning bill.

Reference: The Florida Senate (2013). CS/HB 5101: Education Funding.
Retrieved from http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/7165

 

Reinventing Classroom Learning!


Fun activities that enhance learning!

Featured Preschooler Language Development Activity:

Old MacDonald Had a Sound

1. Familiarize the children with the song, "Old MacDonald Had a Farm."

2. Change the song to say, "Old MacDonald had a Sound." Have the children sing the sound instead of the animal noise. For example sing:

"Old MacDonald had a farm,

E-I-E-I-O.

And on his farm he had an /s/,

E-I-E-I-O.

With a /s/ /s/ here and a /s/ /s/ there,

E-I-E-I-O.

3. This activity will give the children an opportunity to practice saying sounds of our speech.

 CAUTION: For preschool children it is not necessary to involve the letters of the alphabet in this activity. The focus should be on articulating the sound that has been chosen not on attaching it to a letter.

 

Featured Preschooler Arts & Crafts Activity:

Spider Small Group Art Activitysupplies

  1. Provide books about spiders...using books with real pictures of spider will give children more realistic visualizations of spiders...start the activity by reading a story about spiders and conclude with "Today at small group time, we are going to make spiders."
  2. Provide each child with their own set of materials.
  3. Children experiment with the materials, using them in ways that make sense to them (which may or not be what the teacher originally had in mind.)
  4. Children choose what to do with the materials offered, based on their personal interests and ability levels to create their very own spider.

 

Department Updates


 

SEEK Scholarship

Professional Development/Career Advising

Palm Beach State College Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education is pleased to announce an exciting new salary supplement award program for Quality Counts practitioners. ACHIEVE will support ongoing professional development by providing monetary awards for completion of specific college credit coursework, as well as non-college credit coursework/training. The current WAGE$® program will be transitioned to ACHIEVE, offering more awards to more practitioners. Detailed information regarding the ACHIEVE program will be available in the upcoming months.

The SEEK Scholarship will be releasing the updated SEEK Handbook which will be posted on our website soon.

REMINDER: It is very important to be aware of the SEEK deadlines that always are posted on the web. When applying for a SEEK Scholarship, making sure you are in good standing with the Registry is always the first step.

Calling All Practitioners!

Our extended career advising sessions are here again! Career Advisors will be available on campus for advising during the week of October 14, 2013 to October 18, 2013, at the PBSC Lake Worth campus in CJB 101, to help you with any issues that you may have regarding trainings, college-credit classes, SEEK, and more!  Walk-ins and appointments are welcome during our extended day.  Evening hours are available by appointment only.  We look forward to meeting with you and helping you with your coursework and scholarship needs.

If you need help with course selection and registering, Career Advisors also will be available on each PBSC campus in November during the key registration dates of November 5, 2013 and November 19, 2013.  Our exact locations soon will be emailed to all of our Registry members.

Don't wait! Call your Career Advisor or contact Christina Barone at 561-868-3674 today for an appointment and be sure to check your e-mail for more details. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Training/Quality Assurance

Registry

New Courses for Spring 2014!

Be a member of Community of Practice to pursue continuous improvement in teaching and learning especially around the county's new initiatives – Quality Counts, GOLD and CLASS. The Institute is offering two courses:(1)HEO0236: Introduction to Communities of Practice (For Center Leaders) and (2) a Center Trainer module: Community of Practice in the Workplace. Both trainings support reflective practices and teacher collaboration to improve learning outcomes for children.

Want an opportunity for e-learning? The Institute is offering three hybrid courses, 4 hours on line and 6 hours face to face. The courses are:      (1)HEO0236: Introduction to Community of Practice (For Center Leaders), (2)HEO0184: VPK Language & Literacy: Phonological Awareness; and (3) HEO0208 Assessing to Lesson Planning to Support GOLD

Improve your teacher-child interaction using the CLASS lens! Enroll now in (1) HEO0232: Overview of CLASS, (2)HEO0226: Pre-k Making the Most of Classroom Interactions; and (3) HEO0237 CLASS 2: Classroom Organization; or (4) check out Center Trainer Modules: Introduction to CLASS and Introduction to Classroom Organization.

Using child assessment to support children ready to learn and thrive in the classroom! Check out these courses: (1) HEO0185: Gold Assessment; (2)  Gold & Math; (3)HEO0208: Assessing to Lesson planning using the GOLD.

For more information contact Darcy Russo at 561-868-3663 or russod@palmbeachstate.edu.

Have you updated your record lately?

Practitioners
Please complete a practitioner update form and send any new professional development updates or changes that you may have to the Registry. We will gladly update your records and the changes will reflect on your Practitioner Registry report.

Trainers
Remember Trainers, as we have announced in the past months, effective October 1st, 2013, the Registry Trainer Annual Renewal policy goes into full effect! Don't let your account go inactive! Please send your professional development updates (at least 10 clock hours of continuing education related to the field) as soon as possible to the Registry. We will update your record and the changes will appear on your Trainer Registry report.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at:

(561) 868-3671 (Phone)

(561)868-7042 (Fax) or

email us at ecregistry@palmbeachstate.edu.

You can also visit us at http://www.pbcregistry.org/.

 

Upcoming Registry Approved Trainings


Training Date Title Core Area Hours Location Cost SEEK Award SEEK Deadline
10/26/2013 9:00 AM Miller Early Childhood Educator and Follow Up ECE Practitioner - Building Family and Community Relationships 10 West Palm Beach $0 $0  
11/05/2013
06:00 PM
HEO0228 - Learning About the Social World ECE Practitioner -Curriculum 12 Lake Worth $60 $60 10/23/2013
11/06/2013
10:00 AM
Classroom Behavior Modification ECE Practitioner -Teaching and Learning  6 West Palm Beach $70 $60  
11/07/2013 12:30 PM HEO0236 - Introduction to Communities of Practice ECE Practitioner -Professionalism and Leadership 10 West Palm Beach $50 $50 11/04/2013
11/09/2013 10:00 AM Classroom Behavior Modification ECE Practitioner -Teaching and Learning  6 West Palm Beach $70 $60  
11/18/2013 6:00 PM HEO0237-Pre-K: Classroom Organization ECE Practitioner -Teaching and Learning 10 Lake Worth $50 $50 11/04/2013
11/20/2013 6:00 PM HEO0185-Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment-Birth 5 ECE Practitioner -Observing Documenting and Assessing 12 West Palm Beach $60 $60 11/05/2013

 

Visit the Registry's website for more information on upcoming trainings:
www.pbcregistry.org/index.php/practitioners/seek-scholarship

  Issue 2

December 2013

Registry Logo COP esolclass1
Top 10 Things You Need to Know:
Helpful tips on how to become and remain an active member of the Palm Beach County Early Childhood Registry!  (more)
Cover Story: Communities of Practice - What's all the BUZZ about?
It seems everywhere we go, "Communities of Practice" is the new buzz phrase across the country and right here in Palm Beach County. We hear about it in trainings and in community meetings, and now we are hearing about it in the workplace.(more)
ESOL for Childcare Initiative: 
The Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education is offering two (2) ESOL courses (HEO0145 & HEO0146) that are customized specifically for early childhood professionals who are non-native English speakers. (more)

 

Important Updates & Projects from the IEECE


new

Top 10 Things You Need to Know About the Registry

1. How do I become an active Registry member?
In order to become an active Registry member, you must fully complete the Registry Practitioner Application, have current employment in an early childhood setting, and submit the application to the Registry along with your education/training documentation and DCF transcript. Applications are available at www.pbcregistry.org under Forms.

2. How long does it take to receive my Registry Membership Welcome Packet?
If everything is in order with your application and documentation, you should receive your welcome packet via email within 5 business days from the date your complete application is submitted. If you need your Registry ID number prior to receiving your welcome packet, please contact us.

3. Why is it important to update my Registry record on a regular basis?
Updating your continuing education/training, credential and employment information in the Registry allows you to have the most accurate and complete Registry Report while also ensuring your membership stays active.

Please note: Failure to update your Registry professional development record at least once every 12 months, or lack of current employment in an early childhood setting, will result in your Registry membership becoming inactive.

4. How do I update my Registry record?
As you complete professional development training, college courses, and/or when you update or receive new credentials (Staff Credential, Director Credential), send your certificates and transcripts to the Registry. Have a change in employer, legal name, address, phone number, or email address since you joined the Registry? Fill out an Update Form noting your new information and send it in. The form is on our website, ww.pbcregistry.org.

5. What education/training documentation does the Registry accept?
The Registry accepts professional development training certificates from events that were at least 2 hours in length and were taken within the last two years. This includes any training for which you were awarded contact hours and/or Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The Registry also accepts copies of college and DCF transcripts as well as high school diplomas, GEDs and Professional Educator Certificates.

Please Note: The Registry does not accept individual DCF certificates; please send only your DCF transcript.

6. What should I expect to see on my Registry report?
Your name, employment information, active/inactive status, phone number, email address, credentials and degrees, trainings and college courses completed in the past 2 years, total college credits, early childhood (EC) credits benchmarks/requirements met, and professional contributions.

7. How long does it take for my updates to appear on my Registry report?
Updates will appear on your Registry report within 5 business days from the date received.

8. How can I access my Registry Report online?
Once you are an active member of the Registry, go to the Registry's website at www.pbcregistry.org and under Member Login, click Practitioner Login. Follow the steps to set up your online account, receive a password and view/print your report. Need assistance with setting up access to view/print your Registry Report? There is a Login tutorial available under our Forms tab.

9. How can I find Registry-approved training?
You can access information about Registry-approved training by going to the Registry's website at www.pbcregistry.org and clicking on Training Calendar, Search. Attendance at Registry-approved training events is automatically recorded in your Registry record without the need to send us your certificate. Please allow 2-3 weeks from the end date of the event for posting to your Registry Report.

10. What is the difference between the SEEK Scholarship and the Registry?
The SEEK Scholarship is available to early childhood practitioners who are currently employed in child care centers/family child care homes that have an active service agreement with Family Central or are federally funded, and meet certain eligibility requirements. Being an active member of the Registry is one of the eligibility requirements for the scholarship; however, you can be a member of the Registry without applying for the SEEK scholarship. For questions about the SEEK scholarship, please call (561) 868-3828.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Registry at (561) 868-3671, or email us at ecregistry@palmbeachstate.edu. You can also visit us at www.pbcregistry.org.


Join the IEECE on Facebook!

facebookbanner

Do you Facebook? If you do, you are in luck! The IEECE has a Facebook page and we would like you to join us. The page provides up-to-date information about available courses, information sessions, SEEK Scholarship facebookicondeadlines, local, regional and national news that is relevant to early childhood education, and important updates from the IEECE. To get access and take advantage of these valuable resources, visit and like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pbscieece. If you do not have a Facebook account, you can easily create one at www.facebook.com.   The page is continuously being updated, so visit us often to avoid missing out on important information updates. We look forward to you joining us on Facebook!

 

The Institute's Childcare Initiative: Infusing Childcare Content in ESOL!  Is English your second language? Are you ready to improve your English skills?

esolclass2

The Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education is offering two (2) ESOL courses (HEO0145 & HEO0146) that are customized specifically for early childhood professionals who are non-native English speakers. These courses will aid practitioners in pursuing a college degree and/or improve their teaching practices in the classroom. These courses will build confidence in English speaking, writing, reading and listening skills.

SEEK Scholarship Eligibility Requirements for HEO0145 and HEO0146:
  • Employed in a program site that has a service agreement with Family Central or is federally funded.
  • Works directly with children ages birth-5 years.
  • Is an active member of the PBC Registry (www.pbcregistry.org).
  • Has a high school diploma (or equivalent) and has submitted a college application to Palm Beach State College (www.palmbeachstate.edu/admissions).
  • Has a Program Objective Code (POC): 3408.
  • Has taken the Compass Test.

 

Cover Story


Communities of Practice - What's all the BUZZ about? 

COP

Pictured left to right: Ali Eger, Opportunity, Inc.; Shannon Vasquez, Palm Beach Preschool; Nancy Tirado, Kiddie Haven; Catherine Stefano, Center for Early Learning; Mary Sibley, Palm Beach State College.

It seems everywhere we go, "Communities of Practice" is the new buzz phrase across the country and right here in Palm Beach County. We hear about it in trainings and in community meetings, and now we are hearing about it in the workplace. So, what is a "community of practice"? It is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic, and who come together for discussion, in search of resolution, or perhaps just to share best practices (Kaplan & Suter, 2005). You might say it is an energized learning movement that is making its mark on the early childhood community in Palm Beach County. New knowledge is being generated, new conclusions reached, new resources shared, new opportunities offered as like-minded professionals connect their experiences by communicating through a network of colleagues focused on creating quality learning environments for young children that will lead them to success in the primary grades.

As we all know, Palm Beach County's early childhood community is recognized for staying on the cutting edge of professional development supports. Currently, the County is placing great emphasis on two tools that will lead to stronger outcomes for children. The first is the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), an observational tool measuring teacher-child interactions in the classroom. The second is the GOLD, an authentic assessment measure designed to assess the ongoing development and learning of children from birth through kindergarten, including English-language learners and children with disabilities. These initiatives require that practitioners attend trainings and receive technical assistance in order to effectively implement. To support the implementation and results of these tools, communities of practice are being formed that can provide a platform through which practitioners can share different approaches to similar issues, gather new ideas from one another to ease frustrations and dilemmas, and collaborate on implementation strategies. In other words, the community is becoming a valuable support group of professionals who share the same work and, ultimately, the same goal: children ready to learn.

Kathleen
Kathleen Wininger, Appleseed Preschool

Because of the tremendous momentum around communities of practice, various meeting venues are being organized. In addition to face-to-face communities, participants are meeting through conference calls, video conferencing, webinars and online seminars. They are meeting in training centers, workplace settings, and community facilities. They are intentionally sharing, thoughtfully reflecting, and collaboratively solving problems, and they are bringing back what they have learned in their community to their workplace and improving practices there. (Noble, 2007)

The Institute would like to recognize a group of Palm Beach County early childhood center leaders who have embraced the community of practice ideals and proven strategies, and are moving in sync with a paradigm shift toward collaborative learning and cooperative problem solving. As members within the community, they address multiple aspects of their working world. Says Kathleen Wininger from Appleseed Preschool, a member of the community, "Today, I am so excited to be a part of the Palm Beach County Center Leader's Critical Friends group, one of the first for center directors here. This wonderful group of leaders has been invaluable to me as an administrator. We meet together monthly and tackle some of the biggest challenges that we face as directors and as advocates for the field of education. It has been a great source of strength that I can call upon. And, it has helped me share my passion and vision with my own staff."

Ali Eger

Ali Eger, Opportunity Inc.

And another member in the community, Ali Eger from Opportunity Inc. Preschool, shows her enthusiasm by saying "... I am excited to see the improvements for children that I know are on the way. I believe those changes will be child outcomes and teacher team building within my school. I feel prepared to facilitate while also looking forward to gaining more experience as a facilitator." No doubt, communities of practice are making positive differences in the lives of center leaders and their staff. It is helping them connect "what they know" with "what they do" (Buysse, Sparkman, & Wesley, 2003). They are experiencing the benefits of collaboration, sharing ideas, networking and much more! And from this shared experience, the young children in their care will have greater opportunities to grow and flourish.

To learn more about the communities of practice program that is being offered at the Institute of Excellence, please contact Mary Sibley at sibleym@palmbeachstate.edu.

References:

Kaplan, S., Suter, V. (2005). Communities of practice design guide: A step-by-step guide for designing & cultivating communities of practice in higher education. Darren Cambridge, p.1-8. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/nli0531.pdf

Teachstone (2013). The CLASS™ tool. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.teachstone.com/about-the-class/

Teaching Strategies (2002). Assessment overview. Retrieved November 21, 2013, from http://www.teachingstrategies.com/page/assessment-early-childhood-overview.cfm

Noble, K. (2007). Communities of Practice: Innovation in early childhood education and care teacher and practitioner preparation. The International Journal of Learning 14(9), p. 1-9. Retrieved November 21, 2013 from http://eprints.usq.edu.au/4980/2/Noble_IJL_v14n9_2007_PV.pdf

Palm Beach State College (2013). Communities of practice. Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education.

Buysse, V., Sparkman, K.L., Wesley, P.W. (2003). Communities of Practice: Connecting what we know with what we do. Council of Exceptional Children, 69 (3), p. 263-277. Retrieved November 21, 2013 from http://ici-bostonready-pd-2009-2010.wikispaces.umb.edu/file/view/Communities+of+Practice+Connecting+What+We+Know+With+What+We+Do.pdf


Politics in Early Childhood Education


National News: The White House & Early Childhood Education

White House at Holidays

The current administration recognizes the need that exists to boost the quality of child care that American children, especially children with low socio-economic status, are receiving in our country. In order to address this need, President Obama and his Cabinet, through the Affordable Care Act (known as "Obamacare"), have invested over $2 million in the Childcare and Development Fund which will provide states with additional funding to support low-income families in gaining access to high quality care for their children. In addition, the extra funding is intended to be used for providing and supporting professional development pathways for the early care and education workforce through additional trainings and supports.

The Obama administration understands that family support is one of the most influential aspects in the development of children. In support of this concept, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program has been created as part of the Affordable Care Act. This program provides $1.5 billion in funding, over a 5 year period, which will enable states to expand their current home visiting programs. As a result, more home visitors will be available to serve families and connect them with services such as health care, early care and education providers, early intervention programs, and much more. The White House strongly hopes that this program will assist in ensuring that children are healthy, and are prepared for learning in school and life. For more information about this program, please click here.

Reference: The White House (2013). Early Learning.
Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/early-childhood.

 

State News: The State of Florida & Early Care and Education

According to the Office of Early Learning of Florida, Governor Rick Scott and his Cabinet have been paying close attention to the importance of quality early care and education in the lives of children in Florida. Lately, a lot more research has been conducted about the impact that early learning has on children and their development, placing weight on learning that occurs during the first 5 years of a child's life. Therefore, through all of the budget cuts that have been occurring at the state level, Governor Rick Scott has decided to retain the current level of funding that is allocated for the School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) programs in the State of Florida.

This decision still has to go through the legislative process and be voted on during the 2014 legislative sessions. If the House and Senate vote in favor of the decision, the early learning coalitions will continue to be able to support the number of children that they currently serve through the School Readiness and Prekindergarten programs. The Governor and his Cabinet feel that it makes great economic sense for Florida if children can continue to learn while their parents have the opportunity to work as a result of assistance provided through these programs. Get information about Governor Rick Scott's agenda for the 2014 legislative session.

Reference: Early Learning Update(2013). Great opportunities for early learning. Office of Early Learning. Retrieved from http://www.floridaearlylearning.com/Documents/All-Updates/OELMonthlyReport.pdf.


Reinventing Classroom Learning!


Fun activities that enhance learning!

Featured Language & Literacy Development Activities:

  1. Experience chart/poll (preschoolers): On chart or butcher paper, list children's names. Ask children which holiday(s) they celebrate at this time of year; write each child's response next to their names, or allow children to write their own names and their holiday(s) on the chart if they are able.


  2. Creating holiday cards (older toddlers-preschoolers): Provide children with construction paper or card stock, writing utensils, and materials to decorate the cards. Children write their greetings and sign the card, and then decorate. If envelopes are available, children can practice addressing envelopes for their cards.

  

Brennan and Kiley

Brennan Sargent and Kiley Loder,      preschoolers at the Center for Early Learning, Palm Beach State College

 

Featured Preschooler Arts & Crafts Activity:

  1. Painting with holiday colors: Provide children with the theme colors for the holidays celebrated by children in the classroom in November and December (Thanksgiving- fall colors; Hanukkah – blue and white; Christmas – red and green; Kwanzaa – black, red and green).


  2. All 3 of the holidays also have candles in common. Teachers or older preschoolers can cut strips of construction paper into "candles" to glue onto a larger piece of paper and use yellow tissue paper for flames.

To support language and concept development, teachers should always engage children in conversation
about the activity and why it is meaningful to them.

 

 Happy Holidays

 

 

Department Updates


 

SEEK Scholarship

Professional Development

The SEEK Handbook and Application have been updated for 2013-2014.  The Handbook provides information about the variety of ways a SEEK Scholarship can assist you in reaching your professional development goals.  You can find the latest Handbook and Application on the SEEK page of the IEECE website, or on the PBC Registry website (www.pbcregistry.org).

The new ACHIEVE Salary Supplement Program will be available to QC practitioners beginning in January 2014.  ACHIEVE awards are intended to encourage practitioners' ongoing professional development and longevity at their current center by providing monetary awards for completion of specific college coursework/training.  QC practitioners will be invited to attend ACHIEVE informational sessions scheduled throughout the month of December.

SEEK Suggestion #1: Before applying for a SEEK Scholarship, check in with the Registry to ensure all of your information is current.

SEEK Suggestion #2: Check the website for important SEEK deadlines to ensure your application arrives in time.

SEEK staff are always available to assist, so feel free to call us at 561-868-3828 or visit our webpage.

The Institute of Excellence in Early Care & Education's Career Advising services are available to serve the needs of all Palm Beach County practitioners. We have expanded our services and developed new ways to communicate to advise and support your needs.

 

The following Career Advising supports are available to you and your staff:

 

  • Telephone  
  • Email
  • Information sessions at the 4 PBSC campuses
  • Flexible & extended weekday/Saturday hours
  • Webinars & on-line tutorials
  • Group advising

 

Call 561-868-3662 for more information and to connect with our services.

 

Requests for on-site visits can be submitted to Debra Strange at 561-868-3670 or stranged@palmbeachstate.edu.

 

Training & Development

Registry

Need help with your on-line learning experience?

Now all practitioners can gain access to supports! The Training department has updated its webpage. Visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/ieece for easy web navigation and locate tutorials, Learning Objects, the yearly Training Wheel, and course syllabi.

A few of the tutorials you will find on the website:

Tutorials

  • How to become a student at Palm Beach State College Corporate and Continuing Education
  • How to locate and register for early childhood trainings provided by the Institute
  • Are online or hybrid courses right for you?
  • How to navigate the Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education hybrid courses
  • How to participate in a Blackboard Collaborate webinar
  • How to participate in a discussion on Blackboard
  • How to submit assignments on Blackboard

Videos

Also available on the website are short instructional videos for practitioners called Learning Objects.  Learning Objects reinforce practitioners' teaching skills, which support child development and learning. Topics include:

  • Spontaneous Word Play
  • Overview of Syllables, Compound Words and Segmentation
  • Overview of Rhyme and Alliteration.

Training Offerings

Finally, the yearly Training Wheel and course syllabi have been added to support practitioners' decisions regarding training/CEU course opportunities.  For additional information contact Darcy Russo at russod@palmbeachstate.edu or 561-868-3663.

 

Have you updated your Registry record lately?

 

For Practitioners

If not, please complete a practitioner update form and send any new professional development updates or changes that you may have to the Registry. We will gladly update your records and the changes will reflect on your Practitioner Registry Report. Please be sure to visit the Registry's website at www.pbcregistry.org to get access to the latest forms and information.

 

For Trainers

Remember trainers, stay active! As we have announced in the past months, effective October 1st, 2013, the Registry Trainer Annual Renewal policy goes into full effect! Don't let your account go inactive! Please send your professional development updates (at least 10 clock hours of continuing education related to the field) as soon as possible to the Registry. We will update your record and the changes will appear on your Trainer Registry Report.

 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (561)868-3671 (Phone)/ (561)868-7042 (Fax), or email us at ecregistry@palmbeachstate.edu. You can also visit us at www.pbcregistry.org.

 

 

Upcoming Registry Approved Trainings


Training Date Title Core Area Hours Location Cost SEEK Award SEEK Deadline
 01/07/2014 HEO0226 - Making the Most of Classroom Interactions ECE Practitioner - Teaching and Learning 25 Lake Worth $125 $125.00  12/16/2013
 01/09/2014 HEO0226 - Making the Most of Classroom Interactions ECE Practitioner -Teaching and Learning 25 Boca Raton $125 $125.00 12/16/2013
 01/09/2014 HEO0226 - Making the Most of Classroom Interactions ECE Practitioner -Teaching and Learning 25 Palm Beach Gardens $125 $125.00 12/16/2013 
 01/11/2014 Classroom Behavior Modification ECE Practitioner -Teaching and Learning 6 West Palm Beach $70 $60.00 12/16/2013
 01/13/2014 HEO0226 - SPANISH - Making the Most of Classroom Interactions ECE Practitioner -Teaching and Learning  25 Lake Worth $125 $125.00 01/06/2014 
 01/13/2014 HEO0146 - Series II - English for Childcare Language Skills ECE Practitioner -Professionalism and Leadership 37.5 Lake Worth $187.50 $187.50 01/06/2014
 01/14/2014 HEO0146 - Series II - English for Childcare Language Skills ECE Practitioner -Professionalism and Leadership 37.5 Lake Worth $187.50 $187.50 01/07/2014
 01/14/2014 HEO0184 - HYBRID VPK Language & Literacy: Phonological Awareness   ECE Practitioner - Curriculum 10 North Palm Beach  $57.00 $57.00  01/07/2014 
 01/15/2014 HEO0226 - Making the Most of Classroom Interactions  ECE Practitioner - Teaching and Learning  25 Belle Glade  $125.00  $125.00  01/08/2014 
 01/22/2014 HEO0185 - Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment - Birth-5 ECE Practitioner - Observing Documenting and Assessing  12  Lake Worth  $60  $60.00  01/09/2014 
 01/25/2014 HEO0232 - Overview of CLASS  ECE Practitioner - Teaching and Learning  North Palm Beach  $30   $30.00 01/13/2014 
 01/25/2014 HEO0236 - HYRBID - Introduction to Communities of Practice  ECE Practitioner - Professionalism and Leadership  10 North Palm Beach   $57.00 $57.00  01/07/2014 
 02/03/2014 HEO0202 - ONLINE - Foundation of Outcomes Driven Training    ECE Practitioner - Professionalism and Leadership 12  West Palm Beach  $64.80  $64.80   01/21/2014
 02/03/2014 HEO0203 - ONLINE - Outcomes Driven Training  ECE Practitioner - Professionalism and Leadership  18  West Palm Beach   $97.20  $0  01/21/2014
 02/05/2014 HEO0231 - Introduction to Computers in Early Childhood Practitioners  ECE Practitioner - Professionalism and Leadership  16 Lake Worth  $80.00  $80.00  01/21/2014 
 02/06/2014 HEO0185 - Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment - Birth-5 ECE Practitioner - Observing Documenting and Assessing  12 Boca Raton  $60.00   $60.00 01/21/2014 
 03/13/2014 HEO0185 - Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment - Birth-5 ECE Practitioner - Observing Documenting and Assessing 12 Belle Glade  $60.00  $60.00  02/26/2014 
 04/03/2014 HEO0240 - Understanding Math through GOLD  ECE Practitioner - Teaching and Learning  15  Lake Worth  $75.00  $75.00  03/19/2014 
 04/05/2014 HEO0186 - VPK Language & Literacy 2: Oral Language and Vocabulary  ECE Practitioner - Curriculum  10 Belle Glade $50.00 $50.00  03/24/2014 
 04/07/2014 HEO0231 -  Introduction to Computers in Early Childhood Practitioners ECE Practitioner - Professionalism and Leadership 16 Lake Worth $80.00  $80.00  03/24/2014 
 04/08/2014  HEO0232 - Overview of CLASS  ECE Practitioner - Teaching and Learning  West Palm Beach   $30.00  $30.00  03/24/2014
 04/09/2014 HEO0185 - SPANISH - Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment - Birth-5 ECE Practitioner - Observing Documenting and Assessing   12 Lake Worth  $60.00  $60.00  03/25/2014 
 04/10/2014 HEO0237 - Pre-K Classroom Organization  ECE Practitioner - Teaching and Learning   10 West Palm Beach   $50.00 $50.00  03/26/2014 
 04/24/2014 HEO0232 - SPANISH - Overview of CLASS  ECE Practitioner - Teaching and Learning      6 Lake Worth  $30.00  $30.00  04/09/2014 

 

Please be sure to access the training calendar at www.pbcregistry.org/index.php/pbsc/calendar, to view the latest trainings as some may have recently changed.


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The Early Childhood Communicator is produced by the Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education.
Submit your news to francke@palmbeachstate.edu!

 

Director: Dr. Grace Kolbe
Editor: Edwiygh Franck
Designer: Janell Wildgoose-Carroll

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