Full-Day Kindergarten Professional Development Modules
OSPI, in collaboration with Eva Phillips (author of Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: An Introduction for Teachers of Kindergartners) and Janet Collier, formerly of Capital Region ESD, have created three professional development modules designed to be used in trainings with kindergarten teachers.
The trainings are being offered at Educational Service Districts and school districts. For more information, contact the WaKIDS Coordinator in your ESD.
Module 1: Child Development
As kindergarten teachers across the nation struggle to strike the balance between learning standards and accountability expectations and developmentally appropriate and effective practices for supporting development and learning in young children, it is important to bring the needs of children to the forefront of the their decision making. Understanding the typical patterns of growth and development in young children is essential to planning effective, appropriate and engaging learning environments and experiences for all young children. The information found within this professional development module serves as foundational knowledge for all those working with or on behalf of kindergarten age children.
Module 2: Learning Environments
Successful teachers use their knowledge and judgment to make decisions about the classroom learning environment that are likely to be most effective for kindergarten age children in general, as well as for each individual child. In this module, teachers will learn important tips and strategies for creating inviting, engaging and appropriate learning environments for all children. The major components of effective learning environments will be explored, including the physical space, materials, furniture and equipment, as well as the daily schedule, routines and the interpersonal relationships and interactions between and among teachers, children and families. Strategies will also be discussed for meeting the needs of children with developmental delays, English Language Learners, children who are highly capable and those with physical and other special needs. Teachers will assess their own classroom environments to identify areas of strength and those that may need improvement. Based on this self- reflection, teachers will begin planning their next steps in creating and strengthening their learning environments for each and every child.
Module 3: Learning Centers
The learning center professional development module helps teachers to understand the importance of creating an engaging physical classroom environment that is structured around the incorporation of learning centers as a key to a high quality instruction in kindergarten. This module will focus on how active learning through play and well-designed learning centers can help children develop self-regulation skills, language and literacy skills, and mathematics concepts as well as the integration of skills in all other content areas and developmental domains. In effective kindergarten classrooms, learning centers offer students a range of options for engagement through carefully selected materials and experiences from which to choose. Detailed information on how to set up and use specific learning centers that are integrated and interdisciplinary will be an outcome of the module as well as learning about the characteristics of an effective and appealing learning center. Research behind the importance of play as a means of learning for young children will be incorporated throughout the module.