RPDC: Focus on Top Issues in Early Childhood

STL RPDC 2015 Logo UpdateBlog post by Tricia Buchanan,
Special Education Improvement Consultant

Coming up for the 2015-2016 school year, we have developed a five-part series on early childhood topics that will focus on top issues in the world of students pre-K through first grade. The topics include:

Classroom Management and Family Involvement
This workshop will focus on integrating parental involvement in the world of classroom management by establishing a mutually supportive relationship to provide consistency, respect and a continuity of expectations for the student.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for Early Childhood
Experts in education, industry and national security all agree that there is a national imperative to graduate students with a thorough understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But many parents and teachers wonder, at what age is it appropriate to start teaching STEM? And how can we implement these concepts into early childhood education? The answer is: it is never too early to start STEM education. There are multiple areas, such as nature, to start teaching STEM concepts.

Language, Literacy and Vocabulary Building for Early Childhood
Words and their meanings are the building blocks of literacy development. Building children’s language, literacy and vocabulary foundations is at the core of a high-quality preschool curriculum. Young children, especially those at-risk or with special needs, require supportive learning environments that nurture these skills in order to ensure success in future reading and writing achievement. Discuss the most critical language, literacy and vocabulary skills to incorporate into classroom lesson planning as well as innovative ideas for creating developmentally appropriate learning experiences that will be enjoyable for all.

Brain Research, Developmental Delays and Transition for Early Childhood
Did you know that during the first three years of life, an infant’s brain will make an estimated 1,000 trillion synapses?  The experiences a child has in the first five years of life will either strengthen those resulting neurons or they will be discarded.  As early childhood professionals, we are in a position to observe and encourage activities that will strengthen those neurons and help them connect to needed skills. This session in the series will explore how educators can use the latest research on brain development to enhance these experiences for children. We will also explore the way developmental delays figure into these experiences and how all of this information can be used to promote successful transitions from early childhood programming to kindergarten.

Strategies for Developing Self-Determination skills for Early Childhood
Developing children’s self-regulation, problem-solving, advocacy, communication, goal setting and engagement skills are primary goals of early childhood education. These skills are fostered in both home and preschool environments and can lead to improved educational outcomes. Self-determination helps youth with disabilities achieve positive adult outcomes. The result will be a measurable increase in self-sufficiency and, perhaps even more importantly, greater sense of purpose and satisfaction in adulthood.

For more information, contact Tricia Buchanan at EducationPlus: tbuchanan@edplus.org.

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