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2014 Newsletter

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Issue 3

March 2014

Registry Logo COP thinkingcap
Top 8 Things You Need to Know:
About Career Advising Services & Professional Development!
Cover Story - STEAM Investigation: For many years, politicians, businesses, and educators have focused on enhancing education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Free Tutoring Services Available!:
The Institute of Excellence is pleased to announce the March 1st opening of the Education Success Center!

 

Important Updates & Projects from the IEECE


Top 8 Things You Need to Know About Career Advising & Professional Development By Debra Strange

 

Advising
Pictured left to right: Diana Romero, Lead Teacher at Opportunity Inc with the IE's Career Advisor, Christina Barone.

1. What is Career Advising and the Career Advisor's role?
Career Advising is a service provided by Career Advisors from the Institute of Excellence. Career Advisors are available to offer support and guidance to practitioners in Palm Beach County who are interested in advancing their professional development in early childhood education. Our Career Advisors assist the early childhood practitioner in navigating the pathways of professional development. In particular, based on practitioner goals, Career Advisors provide information, identify and access resources, help set goals and priorities, select an appropriate education pathway, and assist a practitioner in career planning that will lead to specific outcomes.

2. Who is eligible for Career Advising services?
If you are currently working with children birth to five years old as an employee of a child care program, you are eligible for Career Advising services. Career Advising services are available to members of the early childhood workforce of Palm Beach County.

3. Do I need to be a student at Palm Beach State College to meet with a Career Advisor from the Institute of Excellence? No; you must be working with children birth to five years in a child care program located in Palm Beach County, or be interested in learning more about the professional development requirements in the field of early childhood education.

4. How can I access Career Advising services? Career Advisors provide services by phone, email or as an in-person appointment at The Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education housed in the Count and Countess de Hoernle Historic Building, on the campus of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts at 812 Fern Street, West Palm Beach. You can call, e-mail, or make an appointment with a Career Advisor at (561) 868-3660 or www.palmbeachstate.edu/ieece/pd for individual Career Advisor phone numbers and e-mail.

5. What are the hours for Career Advising services? Career Advising services are offered between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at The Institute of Excellence (IE). Extended hours are also available Monday through Thursday in the evening, and on Saturdays in Belle Glade and Palm Beach Gardens, and by appointment in Boca Raton. You can click on the link for a calendar that lists dates, times and locations of extended hours for March through April. www.palmbeachstate.edu/ieece/training-dept/training-info.aspx

6. Do I need to make an appointment? It is preferable that you make an appointment to ensure you will meet with a Career Advisor in a timely manner, but we welcome walk-in visits as well.

7. What advising services do you provide? We can assist you with obtaining your GED, entry level and Staff Credential training for licensing requirements, non-credit coursework, credit courses and degree programs. We also provide information about the Palm Beach early Childhood Registry and available scholarships including SEEK, ACHIEVE, TEACH and financial aid.

8. Is Career Advising confidential? While the specific details of conversations between advisors and practitioners remain confidential, each visit occurrence is logged into a database to track the use of career advising services.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Professional Development department at (561)868-3670, or email us at stranged@palmbeachstate.edu. You can also visit us at www.palmbeachstate.edu/ieece.

 

Join the IEECE on Facebook and Pinterest!

facebookbanner

Do you Facebook? How about Pinterest? If you do, you are in luck! The IEECE has a Facebook and Pinterest 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, 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, and our Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/ieece. If you do not have a Facebook or Pinterest account, you can easily create one at www.facebook.com and www.pinterest.com. You can also access our Pinterest page with your Facebook account. These pages are continuously being updated, so visit us often to avoid missing out on important information updates. We look forward to you joining us!

 pinterest

 

  Institute of Excellence to Offer Free Tutoring Services to
Early Childhood Education Practitioners!

By Laura McCadden

 

thinkingcap

The Institute of Excellence is pleased to announce the March 1st opening of the Education Success Center! The goal of the Institute's Education Success Center (ESC) is to provide innovative tutoring supports to all Palm Beach County early childhood education (ECE) practitioners. This new opportunity will allow the Institute of Excellence staff to expand their relationship with ECE practitioners beyond professional development goal setting to identify and address ECE Practitioner academic challenges to success.

The highly trained staff of the Education Success Center know that a little extra help can make all the difference when a class becomes difficult. The ESC staff also know that college courses can be a difficult prospect if you are struggling with course content or don't know how to study effectively or manage time wisely. ESC tutors will provide a comfortable, learner-centered environment where ECE practitioners will be able to get the help they need to be successful.

Here's what you need to know about the program:

The Education Success Center will provide free one-on-one tutoring sessions, special programs/workshops, and group-based supplemental instruction sessions to help Practitioners understand course materials and overall concepts. In addition, ESC tutors will help practitioners to develop learning strategies that increase comprehension. The end result will be increased academic success, improved learning independence, enhanced self-confidence, and a stronger ability to transfer basic skills to other content areas and to the workplace.

Free tutoring sessions will be available for the following content areas:

  • Early Education course assignments
  • English proficiency
  • Basic writing and reading skills
  • Basic math skills
  • Basic computer skills

Throughout March practitioners will receive announcements about the new center, and information about setting up appointments for tutoring will be posted on both the Institute of Excellence and the Registry websites. Practitioner qualifications and ongoing professional development continues to be a critical part of establishing quality care for children, and all of our tutors look forward to providing the academic support practitioners need to achieve their professional development goals!

For more details about this program, contact: Laura McCadden, 561-868-3998 mccaddel@palmbeachstate.edu.

 

Laura
Laura McCadden, E.L. Education Center Manager

 

Cover Story


STEAM Investigation
By Katherine Lai 

steam

"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge"
- Carl Sagan

 

MethodChartFor many years, politicians, businesses, and educators have focused on enhancing education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). This support is primarily because these fields represent the highest paying jobs and tend to spur economic development. Therefore, educating children in these fields benefits both children and society as a whole.

Unfortunately, the STEM subjects can seem dull, dry, and even frightening to some early childhood educators. These feelings can make some preschool teachers shy away from integrating STEM into their classrooms and this should not be the case; these areas of study can be filled with excitement, wonder, discovery, and fascination for young children. What could be more critical to the learning experience than a solid foundation in the thinking skills encouraged by STEM?

Fortunately, we do not need to teach children STEM the way it was taught to us: through rote memorization of facts, figures, and equations with little practical, real-life application. Consider Mr. Sagan's words, "Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge." Especially in early childhood, the most important things we can teach children are a passion for learning, an excitement for discovery, and strong thinking skills. If we put these at the center of all the learning opportunities we offer to children, they will surely learn facts. If they are curious and they have the skills necessary to seek out the answers to their own questions, they will gain factual knowledge.

Teaching STEM to young children can be fun for both the children and the teachers. STEM learning opportunities do not vennneed to be complicated, expensive, or have only one particular result. The teacher need not be a skilled scientist or know all the answers to the questions. Instead, she provides the encouragement and skills children will need to find the answers to their own questions.

Take this activity, for example. Using simple materials like water, food coloring, and eyedroppers, children can be encouraged to investigate the effects of mixing colors together. When the teacher asks questions like, "What do you think might happen when you mix those colors together?," s/he is encouraging children to begin to develop the complex thinking skills necessary to form hypotheses, and giving them the tools to test them...exactly the way a chemist would do in a laboratory. The children are building observation skills, forming and testing hypotheses, exploring, investigating, and discovering. Knowledge is important; skills to utilize that knowledge is essential.

 
 
 
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious"
- Albert Einstein

 

The importance of curiosity and creativity in the STEM fields cannot be underestimated. Certainly, scientists need to know facts and they need to know what is already known. However, without creativity, we can only learn what is already known - we cannot make new discoveries. It is curiosity that leads us to learn and creativity that drives us to invent, to innovate.

For this reason, researchers have begun to realize the value the arts play in the STEM fields. Preschool teachers can draw on children's interest in the arts to encourage them to develop curiosity and creativity and to learn about the world around them. STEM can now be referred to as STEAM, as art is invited into the world of science.   So, encourage children to make observations, notice details, wonder about what they see, become interested, and want to learn more. Help them pay close attention to the details, think about them, and talk about them. Spark children's curiosity. Notice when they are curious about something and take the time to encourage that interest. Ask them questions like, "I see you're very interested in that. I wonder what you are noticing." Ask them to think and talk about why things might be the way they are. Encourage children to ask questions and support them as they think through ways they might find the answers to their questions. Give children the skills they need to think like a scientist and create like an artist.

Politics in Early Childhood Education


National News: Early Childhood News in Washington
By Edwiygh Franck

 

White House

According to Education Week magazine, early education continues to be a hot topic across the nation and 2014 has been a far better year for early care and education than ever before. Governors and legislators from California, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and other states are pressing on with early education policies that, if passed, will benefit the early care and education field on national and state levels. Through their proposed budgets, they are requesting additional funding for early care and education to expand the programs across their states. The Education Commission of the States reported in January 2014 that over thirty (30) states and the District of Columbia have increased appropriations of state-funded preschools for the 2014 fiscal year, making this the second year that additional investments have been made in the early care and education field.

The federal government continues to push its agenda in supporting early care and education. Last year, President Obama requested that Congress allocate $75 million to expand preschool services across the country. This request was presented again this year, with President Obama clarifying that if Congress does not move on this request he will move forward, as other states are already taking matter into their own hands because they understand the need. Meanwhile, the 2014 fiscal year budget allocated $250 million for another Race to the Top competition for early learning, which will allow more states to participate in the expansion and improvement of early care programs. As research continues to prove the importance of quality care and education in a young child's life, additional states will get on board to ensure that every young child gets a fair opportunity to grow and develop. To read more about the progress that is being made in the early care and education field across the nation, please click here.

Reference: Education Week (2014), Volume 33, Issue 20, Page 18                                                                                                                                                                                                             Retrieved from: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/02/05/20prek.h33.html

 

Reinventing Classroom Learning!


Featured Math Activity: The Art of Thinking in Math!
By Katherine Lai

mathActivate several areas of the children's brains at the same time with this fun, engaging, thought provoking learning opportunity. In a small group, encourage children to roll two dice. Support the children as they count the total number of dots. Encourage them to jump the number of dots that they rolled, as their friends count. Encourage the children to work as a team to find the matching number on a piece of artwork you have covered with post-it notes with dots and numbers (figure 1). As the post-it notes come off, ask the children questions like, "What do you see?" Encourage them to describe as best they can the details of the images they see. Ask children, "What do you wonder about what we might find in this picture?" Be sure children know that they cannot make a bad or wrong guess. Be encouraging about all of their answers. Ask children to further their thinking by asking, "What makes you say that?" Be sure to model thinking by making your own guesses and explaining why you think that way. For example, "I see a brown section and a small green shape. That makes me think of the tree in my backyard."

This activity is more than a math game. It is an opportunity for children to develop their critical thinking skills, to work together as a team, and to develop a basic understanding of quantity. It can also be really fun when facilitated by a skilled teacher.

Always stimulate children to notice and think more! In this case, you might ask the children to think about questions like, "What do you think this child is thinking about?" or "How do you think she got on that branch?" or "What do you think those little white dots and lines around the tree are?"

 art

 

  

Featured Science Activities: Thinking with STEAM - Chemistry
By Katherine Lai

 

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." – Mark Van Doren
 

paintSTEAM learning opportunities that encourage children to think and discover do not need to be complicated or expensive. They need only be facilitated by skilled teachers who ask questions that stimulate thinking.

Offer children safe, non-toxic materials like corn syrup, vegetable oil, water, and liquid watercolor along with dishes and eyedroppers. Then, allow them to investigate, develop their own experiments, and make their own discoveries. Be sure to ask children questions like:

"What are you noticing about what happens when you mix those together?"

"What do you think will happen if you add some red?"

"What are some things that are the same about the corn syrup and the oil? What are some things that are different?"

"How could you find out more about that?"

Remember that children who are deeply engaged and interested in what they are doing may or may not respond to these questions. It is still worth asking them as they will think about them, even if they do not respond.

Learning opportunities like this one are open-ended. The teacher does not expect the children to learn only one thing, or to do something in a particular way. Instead, these experiences allow children to become interested in many different things and to investigate what makes them curious. Children develop the important scientific skill of developing experiments to find the answers to their questions. They learn to think and discover. Most importantly, they learn to love STEAM and to believe in their skills as learners.

Department Updates


 

SEEK Scholarship

ACHIEVE Awards are Available

The ACHIEVE Salary Supplement Program is now available for practitioners working in Quality Counts sites. ACHIEVE awards encourage practitioners' ongoing professional development and longevity at their current site by providing monetary awards for completion of specific college coursework and training.  Awards range from $150 - $3,000!  Please view the ACHIEVE Introduction video or visit the Registry or PBSC IEECE website for additional information and to obtain the necessary application forms.

Link to ACHIEVE Introduction Video- http://media.palmbeachstate.edu/podcasts/parentc/ACHIEVEPromoVideo.mp4

PBSC IEECE Website- www.palmbeachstate.edu/ieece/pd/seek-scholarship/awards

SCHOLARSHIP REMINDERS

SEEK Application Deadline for PBSC Summer Credit Courses: Monday, April 21, 2014 by 5:00 p.m.

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

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

Contact Us:

SEEK Coordinator: Zachary Scuderi                                                                                                         561-868-3828                                                                                                       scuderiz@palmbeachstate.edu

 

SEEK Records Representative: Cynthia Parent                                                                                       561-868-3695                                                                                                         parentc@palmbeachstate.edu

 

Director of SEEK Operations: Kathy Stepanek                                                                                         561-868-3653                                                                                                  Stepanek@palmbeachstate.edu

 

Training & Development 

Have You Heard the News?

To support staff development, we have created three new Center Trainer Manuals which include a script, slide presentation, learning materials, and an observation tool. Our latest manuals have been created to enhance trainings that support our County's newest initiatives: CLASS and Communities of Practice.

Here are the requirements to check them out:

Introduction to CLASS (4 hrs)

This training is designed to provide practitioners an overview of the CLASS observation tool. The practitioners will learn how the CLASS tool assists in improving the quality of effective classroom interactions.

  • Must hold a valid Staff Credential
  • Must be employed as a center director, assistant director, or curriculum specialist
  • Must have completed HEO0202: Foundations of Outcomes Driven Training
  • Must be a Registry-Approved Center Trainer or Registry-approved ODT Trainer
  • Must have successfully completed HEO0226: Making the Most of Classroom Interactions: CLASS ™

Introduction to Classroom Organization (6 hrs)

This training is designed to provide practitioners with an understanding of the classroom processes using the three CLASS dimensions of Behavior Management, Productivity, and Instructional Learning Formats. Each of these dimensions captures an aspect of the classroom organization domain, which has demonstrated the importance in the success of children's learning.

  • Must hold a valid Staff Credential
  • Must be employed as a center director, assistant director, or curriculum specialist
  • Must have completed HEO0202: Foundations of Outcomes Driven Training
  • Must be a Registry-Approved Center Trainer or Registry-approved ODT Trainer
  • Must have successfully completed HEO0226: Making the Most of Classroom Interactions: CLASS ™

Creating CoP in the Workplace   (4 hrs)

This training introduces practitioners to the concept, benefits and processes of Communities of practice (CoP)/critical friends groups to support reflective practice, collaboration and improved learning outcomes for children.

  • Must hold a valid Staff Credential
  • Must be employed as a center director, assistant director, or curriculum specialist
  • Must have completed HEO0202: Foundations of Outcomes Driven Training
  • Must be a Registry-Approved Center Trainer or Registry-approved ODT Trainer
  • Must have successfully completed HEO0236: Introduction to Communities of Practice (CoP) for Center Leaders or NSRF: Communities of Practice Using Critical Friends Group Training (32 hrs)

 

 Registry

The New PBC Registry System is Coming Soon!!!

We are pleased to announce that the Palm Beach County Early Childhood Registry system has gotten a full makeover! The new system:

- Allows for easier access to practitioner profiles and training records.

- Features online completion of the Practitioner and Trainer applications, the Registry update form, and the SEEK scholarship application.

- Includes a robust training calendar which lists all available Registry-approved trainings.

- Includes a fully-online training registration system.

- Access for Center and Family Child Care Home (FCCH) leaders to system features such as online staff turnover submission, staff employment verification, updates, and program demographic and professional development profiles.

Supports will be available through:

- Face-to-face, hands-on trainings will be conducted around the county to demonstrate how to use the system. Training dates and locations will be coming soon! Also, we will provide updated information on future training sessions and locations by email and through the Registry website. So, please keep an eye out for them!

- Online tutorials will be available on the Registry website for extra support on how to use the system. We will email the links of the online tutorials to all Registry members.

- Registry staff will provide telephone support to all current and potential Registry members, as needed.

Have you updated your Registry record lately?                                                                                    If not, please complete a practitioner update form and send any new professional development updates or changes to the Registry. We will update your records and the changes will be reflected on your Practitioner Registry Report. Please be sure to visit the Registry 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 become inactive! Please send the Registry your professional development updates (at least 10 clock hours of continuing education related to the field) as soon as possible. We will update your record and the changes will appear on your Trainer Registry Report.

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.

 

 Professional Development

Career Advising Extended Hours Available at a Location Near You!

 

CALLING ALL PRACTITIONERS IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD WORKFORCE:

 If you have questions about your Professional Development, we are available to support and advise you.

 

  • Beginning February 10, 2014 through April 30, 2014, Career Advisors from the Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education will be available Monday-Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.

 

  • Appointments are preferred, walk-ins are welcome.

 

Follow the link below for the upcoming advising calendar:

www.pbcregistry.org/index.php/practitioners/career-advising

 

For more information and to make an appointment contact:

Debra Strange at 561-868-3670 or stranged@palmbeachstate.edu

 

Welcome Stacey Garnett!

Stacey

The IEECE welcomes Stacey Garnett to the team as our new Fiscal Specialist.

Stacey began her fiscal career with the Board of Trustees of Higher Education Connecticut Community Colleges as a Grants Manager assigned to CT Charts A Course, the state of Connecticut's Career Development System in Early Care and Program Improvement. She became the fiscal agent for the Office of Early Childhood Education until her relocation to the Palm Beach area in September 2013. Stacey recently joined the Institute of Excellence as the new Fiscal Specialist and brings with her 21 years of experience in higher education administration focusing on early childhood education professional development systems, along with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Boston University. In her spare time, she stays busy with her teenage daughter's afterschool theater activities and enjoys the beautiful South Florida beaches and warm weather with her family.

The Institute is excited to have Stacy on board and we welcome her with warm greetings.

Upcoming Registry Approved Trainings


 

Please be sure to access the training calendar at www.pbcregistry.org/index.php/pbsc/calendar, to view the latest trainings.

  Issue 4

June 2014

achievenewsletter GRC2

Gibbs' Reflective Cycle
computers3
Top 5 Things You Need to Know:
About ACHIEVE!  (more)
Cover Story - Reflective Practice: What does reflective practice look like? Research shows that best practices in instructional support for children include asking "why" and "how" questions on which to reflect, analyze and evaluate their learning and play and deepen their understanding. (more) Get Ready to Grow!:  
We are excited to announce a new training being offered this summer, Integrating Internet Resources into Early Childhood Education
(HEO0241)! (more)

 

Important Updates & Projects from the IEECE


Top 5 Things You Need to Know About ACHIEVE

 

achievevideonewsletter
Click "PLAY" on the image to view the ACHIEVE Introduction video.

 

1. Who qualifies for ACHIEVE?
ACHIEVE awards are for practitioners employed at Quality Counts (QC) Early Childhood programs.  Practitioners must have worked at the same site for at least one consecutive year (12 months) prior to applying for an award.

2. How much money will I receive if I apply?
Awards range in amount from $150- $3,000, depending on educational achievements.

3. What are the requirements that I must meet?
Requirements include: be an active member of the Palm Beach County Early Childhood Registry, be in good standing with SEEK Scholarship (not on suspension), and earn $17 or less per hour as an early childhood professional.

4. How often can I apply for ACHIEVE?
You are eligible for an ACHIEVE award every year if you continue to satisfactorily complete the required number of Registry approved trainings/courses. Continuous professional development enhances your best practices and leads to better outcomes for children. The more you know, the more children grow.

5. Who can I call if I have questions?
Staff is always available to guide in the application process.  Contact Cynthia Parent (561-868-3695; parentc@palmbeachstate.edu) or your Career Advisor (561-868-3662) for assistance.

  

Join the IEECE on Facebook and Pinterest!

facebookbanner

Do you Facebook? How about Pinterest? If you do, you are in luck! The IEECE has a Facebook and Pinterest 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, 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, and our Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/IEECE. If you do not have a Facebook or Pinterest account, you can easily create one at www.facebook.com and www.pinterest.com. You can also access our Pinterest page with your Facebook account. These pages are continuously being updated, so visit us often to avoid missing out on important information updates. We look forward to you joining us!

 pinterest

 

Get Ready to Grow!

computers3

 

We are excited to announce a new training being offered this summer that will help you grow your technology skills! The new course, Integrating Internet Resources into Early Childhood Education (HEO0241), will take place on Wednesday evenings this July (7/09, 7/16, 7/23, and 7/30), from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., on the Lake Worth Campus of Palm Beach State College.

Participants will learn ways to use the Internet to locate online early childhood resources, social media to connect with early childhood professional resources, and develop cloud-based word processing skills.

If you would like to learn more about this course, click HERE to watch a 1 minute video. You may also contact Jillian Powers at powersj@palmbeachstate.edu or 561-868-3995.

 

Course Facts
Instructors: Jillian Powers & Marilys Hernandez
Hours: 12 (1.2 CEUs)
Campus: Lake Worth, BA 311 Computer Lab

 

 

Cover Story


Reflective Practice - 'Instructional Support' for Early Childhood Professionals 
By Monique Wilkinson 

GibbsReflectiveCycle
Gibbs' Reflective Cycle¹

Conventional wisdom tells us "experience is the best teacher." However, consider this quote from American educational reformer John Dewey: "We don't learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience." Reflection is a natural part of daily life and, chances are, you reflect on your experiences in some way every day – as you drive home from work, as you are falling asleep at night, or catching up with a friend in an email, phone call or on social media. However, does this kind of reflection produce any learning or lasting differences? How could more reflection that is purposeful influence your daily work with children and families?

Research tells us that educators who regularly reflect on what they do, why they do it, and how this new knowledge can be used to improve their practice achieve the best outcomes for children and families (MacNaughton, 2005; Sylva et al, 2004; Siraj‐Blatchford et al, 2008; Raban et al, 2007). It is also correlated with higher job satisfaction, with educators experiencing "strong feelings of personal security and self-efficacy; better interpersonal relationships with pupils and colleagues than other teachers . . . [and] are less likely to experience burnout" (Korthagen and Wubbels 1995; Korthagen et al. 2001).

What does reflective practice look like? Research shows that best practices in instructional support for children include asking "why" and "how" questions on which to reflect, analyze and evaluate their learning and play and deepen their understanding. Consider sports teams that watch a tape of the previous night's game. They're able to identify mistakes and correct them at practice (www.edunators.com), as well as identify what worked well. Reflective practice can be likened to instructional support for early childhood practitioners. It involves "replaying the game tape" about experiences with children, families and co-workers, and asking questions and generating information and solutions in order to improve teaching practices and, ultimately, child outcomes.

For example, consider this scenario: a teacher has carefully planned a small-group activity that she is sure the children will love. It is developmentally appropriate, there are adequate materials, and she enthusiastically introduces it to the children, only to have it fall flat because the children are disinterested, fight over materials, and everyone leaves the table frustrated. If this has ever happened to you, you likely replayed the event in your head many times, wondering "Why didn't they like it?" Purposeful questioning and feedback strategies can help that teacher make sense of what happened and draw conclusions about how to improve the activity for next time.

The Institute of Excellence in Early Care and Education currently offers opportunities for center leaders and practitioners to become involved in reflective practice to support professional development, integrate new initiatives such as CLASS and GOLD, and improve teaching practices, with more on the way:

HEO 0236 – Introduction to Communities of Practice (CoP) (offered each semester for center leaders)

Creating Communities of Practice (CoP) in the Workplace Center Trainer Manual (available to Registry-approved Center Trainers)

HEO0243 – Improved Teaching Practices through Reflection (offered beginning Fall 2014)

HEO0TBA – Observation & Feedback Strategies

HEO0TBA – Leadership Labs; Transfer to Knowledge to the Workplace

In addition, the Institute of Excellence provides support for center leaders developing Communities of Practice at their sites.

For more information about courses in CoP and reflective practice, contact Monique Wilkinson, (561) 868-3829 or wilkinsm@palmbeachstate.edu.

For more information about Communities of Practice, contact Mary Sibley, (561) 868-3956 or sibleym@palmbeachstate.edu.

¹Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods. Oxford: Further Educational Unit, Oxford Polytechnic.

 

Monique
Monique Wilkinson, Instructional Designer

 

Reinventing Classroom Learning!


Featured Math Activity: Ice

Ice can be used in many different ways in the classroom.  In fact a number of ways you can use ice in the classroom is only limited by your imagination. Some ideas are:

Ice Painting: Freeze water with tempera paints or food coloring in icecoloringice cube trays with a craft stick handle. Paint with the cubes on heavy paper.

Ice Sculptures: Freeze a large bowl of water and place in a dishpan. Put a small amount of rock salt in the bowl. Have spoons, colored water (red, yellow and blue), and eye droppers nearby.  Let your children take turns spooning the rock salt on the ice.  Watch the patterns of holes appear in the ice.  Using the droppers, drop the colored water on the ice to highlight the patterns and create new colors in the ice.

Frozen Sculptures: Freeze small toys in ice.  Have the children guess iceracewhat is frozen in the ice.  Put the ice sculptures in the sensory tubs so children are able
to watch them melt.

Ice Cube Races: Set out a slanted board, have children let go of their ice cubes at the top of the board and see whose ice cube gets to the bottom faster, or which cube goes the furthest when it gets to the bottom.

 

 

Featured Science Activities: Making and Shaking Maracas

Materials to Create the Maracas

Paper plates, plastics cups, pie tins, paper towel rolls, tape, stapler, and empty water bottles.

Materials to Pour Inside the Maracas

Rice, sand, pennies, small jingle bells, marbles, beans, and so on.

For music, use a CD player and CDs with familiar songs.

maracas materials

Supporting Play
Children can place their chosen materials between two paper plates or pie tins, then staple them together. Or they can fill empty water bottles, then put tape over the openings. Children can listen carefully and try to identify the materials in others' maracas. A children's marching band can play the maracas to accompany a familiar recorded song.

maracas

Copyright © 2004 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children

Department Updates


 

SEEK Scholarship

Did you know....?
SEEK Scholarship is available to ALL early childhood practitioners in Palm Beach County, not just those in Quality Count sites. If your program receives some type of public funding (such as funds for subsidy, school readiness, VPK, Head Start), SEEK may be available to cover your tuition and book costs, and training fees.

Review the SEEK Handbook available on the IEECE and Registry websites to learn about all the ways SEEK can help pay for your education and training!

SEEK Webpage

Registry Website


ACHIEVE Awards are Available for Practitioners in QC Sites
If you completed a course this past spring semester, you may have reached one of the ACHIEVE Award levels! The ACHIEVE Salary Supplement Program provides practitioners working in Quality Counts sites awards from $150-$3,000 once they reach specific educational achievements. Please view the ACHIEVE Introduction video or visit the Registry or PBSC IEECE website for additional information and to obtain the necessary application forms.


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

#2: Check the IEECE website for important SEEK deadlines to ensure your application arrives in time.
#3: Since all SEEK communications (award/denial letters, deadline reminders) are sent via email, be sure to check your Palm Beach State College email address frequently for updates.

Contact Us
SEEK Coordinator: Zachary Scuderi 561-868-3828 scuderiz@palmbeachstate.edu
SEEK Records Representative: Cynthia Parent 561-868-3695 parentc@palmbeachstate.edu
Director of SEEK Operations: Kathy Stepanek 561-868-3653 stepanek@palmbeachstate.edu

 

Training & Development

Be on the look out! The Fall Training Schedule will be coming soon!

 

Registry

The New PBC Registry System is Coming Soon!!!

We are pleased to announce that the Palm Beach County Early Childhood Registry system has gotten a full makeover! The new system:

- Allows for easier access to practitioner profiles and training records.

- Features online completion of the Practitioner and Trainer applications, the Registry Update form, and the SEEK Scholarship application.

- Includes a robust training calendar which lists all available Registry-approved trainings.

- Includes a fully-online training registration system.

- Access for Center and Family Child Care Home (FCCH) leaders to system features such as online staff turnover submission, staff employment verification, updates, and program demographic and professional development profiles.

Supports:

- Face-to-face hands-on trainings were conducted around the county to demonstrate how to use the system.

- User manuals and tutorials will be posted on the Registry website for extra support on how to use the system. Online user manual and tutorial links will be emailed to all Registry members once they are posted online. So please keep an eye out for them!

- Telephone support will be provided by Registry staff to all current and potential Registry members, if needed.

Have you updated your Registry record lately?
If not, please complete a practitioner update form and send any new professional development updates or changes to the Registry. We will update your records and the changes will be reflected on your Practitioner Registry Report. Please be sure to visit the Registry 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 become inactive! Please send the Registry your professional development updates (at least 10 clock hours of continuing education related to the field) as soon as possible. We will update your record and the changes will appear on your Trainer Registry Report.

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.

 

 Professional Development

The Education Success Center at the Institute of Excellence is open to provide tutoring services to the Early Childhood workforce of Palm Beach County. If you need support to successfully complete your assignments or need assistance with an upcoming test, we are available to help you. Please call Laura McCadden at 561-868-3998 for more information and to make an appointment.

Upcoming Registry Approved Trainings
 

Please be sure to access the training calendar at
www.pbcregistry.org/index.php/pbsc/calendar, to view the latest trainings.


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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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