MANO A MANO III FINAL PROJECT By Caroline Magnus June 28-July 4, 2010 LEARNING TO LOVE TO READ AND WRITE - A PROJECT TO PROMOTE A LOVE FOR READING AND WRITING AS WELL AS LITERACY SKILLS, IN KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS IN PANAMERICAN SCHOOL. THE MANO A MANO III JOURNEY STARTED IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC IN OCTOBER, 2009
FROM THAT MOMENT ON, WE STARTED TO WORK ON OUR PROJECTS, BUILDING THEM PIECE BY PIECE. FROM JANUARY TO APRIL, 2010 WE WORKED BY INTERNET, BUILDING ON OUR TEAMWORKING SKILLS. AND HERE WE ARE NOW IN JUNE/JULY 2010 IN ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA LONG-TERM VISION:
This project is based on the premise of the importance of building a love for reading and writing for future success and personal pleasure, not only as children, but as adults. This idea envisions young children becoming enthusiastic and capable readers and writers (following developmentally appropriate guidelines), who are able to express their ideas and creativity. LONG-TERM GOALS: The 2010 long-term goal is to create a road map to systematically increase the quality of English reading and writing skills as well as the level of interest,
participation and enjoyment in Pan-American School children from 4 to 5 year olds (Kindergarten) their families two teachers and two assistant teachers by adhering to age-appropriate guidelines. As of 2011, the project will be extended to children from 18 months to 5 years old. Taking into account the need for a strong foundation in oral language, it will also be necessary to pay attention to the building of oral English language skills, as a means of aiding comprehension and communication. This will continue to be a priority in all Pan-American School Early Childhood levels.
HOW DOES MY PROJECT TIE IN WITH WHAT I HAVE LEARNED THROUGH MANO A MANO? LEARNING THEORY Project is based on Developmentally Appropriate Practice. Takes into account: Piagets Stages of Cognitive Development, Vygotsky, and Howard Gardners Multiple Intelligences. BRAIN DEVELOPMENT Project is based on reading and writing continuums, which are based on brain development.
Professional development including analysis and discussion of research has taken place about: Brain structure, its development and implications. Gross and fine motor development acquisition. Time out or not? EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM STRUCTURE ECE teachers have begun to rate their classrooms using the ECERS-R. Changes are being implemented slowly, but continuously. The ECERS-R Plan of Action template is being used to organize improvements.
Our curriculum is comprehensive as well as based on child development. After ample analysis, for the first time a proposal for the purchase of a commercial literacy curriculum package for Kindergarten has been presented. ECE teachers are attempting to align their over-arching integrated curriculum unit planning to NAEYC Standards. Illinois Early Learning Standards and Benchmarks are being used with Kinder students on a daily and weekly basis. Kentucky Standards have begun to be implemented with 1 to 3 year olds. Daily emphasis is being made on the inclusion of oral language, reading and writing activities in the classrooms - e.g. schedule modifications, types of language building activities and materials, teaching strategies, and group setup.
There has been professional development on: The 2009 Tri-Association Conference in Dominican Republic Looking at the Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice - DVD & discussion Ten Ways to Create a More Democratic Classroom (NAEYC article) Discussion The 2009 NAEYC Conference (power point presentation) PAN-AMERICAN EARLY CHILDHOOD STAFF REALLY WANT TO BE BETTER TEACHERS! TEAM BUILDING I am working on Effective Communication (verbally & written) feelings, needs, and requests and my interpersonal & intrapersonal skills! Every two weeks, I meet with the Kindergarten teachers to
go over curriculum related aspects, etc. (30 min.) Once a week, all the ECE staff meets for professional development, specific projects, etc. (60 min.) We also take time to celebrate personal accomplishments graduations, birthdays, births, engagements, etc. We are trying to build partnerships with our students and their families e.g. Open Classroom at the beginning of the school year with children & their parents, monthly digital newsletters, daily communication (verbally/written) with families, In-Reach school projects, Grandparents or Special Friend Day, Field Trips, etc. SOME EXAMPLES:
ECE STAFF CRAZY HAIR DAY! OPEN CLASSROOM FAVORITE CHARACTER DAY GRANDPARENTS OR SPECIAL FRIEND DAY KINDERGARTEN IN-REACH PROJECT
Some changes that are being implemented: Frequent and regular meetings with ECE staff (individually and in groups) with a clearly established agenda that is communicated at least two days beforehand. Staff are also encouraged to provide input for the agendas. Efficient and organized use of my time and energy. Use of ECERS-R to rate our ECE classrooms. Its hard to argue with sound research! Regular and timely feedback on class observations, with expected accountability from the teachers. Increased communication with families e.g. digital newsletters (with lots of photos of the children), digital guidelines for some regular ECE activities.
Increased professional development on DAP with follow-up. Timely organization for projects, deadlines for paperwork, etc. With the school administration, an Action Plan has been set up to establish ECE standards and benchmarks for English Language learning. MENTORING
Written digital feedback on class observations, as well as oneon-one meetings with teachers. Teachers are also requested to give me their observations on these reports! Constant follow-up in classrooms of professional development opportunities and specific feedback to individuals. We need to walk the talk! Professional development opportunities require reflection through discussion by each teacher in light of her own personal situation. Regular feedback and follow-up on lesson planning and projects orally and/or written.
An effort to really listen to my staff and to value their personal and professional feelings and needs, especially if they dont say the request out aloud. Balance being self-oriented and other-oriented on the mentor continuum. ADAPTATIONS MADE TO THE PROJECT:
o Some things I havent been able to do yet: Apply a detailed literacy survey to ECE staff. Establish regular literacy workshops for ECE staff. Implement mini-workshops with ECE teachers for parents. Establish with ECE teachers an Individual Professional Development Action Plan based on their needs and interests. Promote the purchase of a literacy building package for use in Kindergarten. Some other things I have been able to do:
Make an Action Plan with the school administration for the establishment of standards and benchmarks for ECE English language learning. Each teacher has to implement a year-long classroom innovation. Improved means of digital communication with families. HOW I HAVE CHANGED I AM: More aware of Effective Communication and I am making an effort at it. Trying to be more tolerant, patient and supportive of my colleagues. Being more efficient and organized with my time and
energy. Planning and communicating projects and deadlines in advance. Keeping in mind my own physical and emotional wellbeing. Making an effort to be more of a team builder and effective leader. Focusing on clear goals and trying not to get sidetracked. HOW THE CHILDRENS EXPERIENCES HAVE IMPROVED: Teachers are more aware of childrens progress in reading and writing, as well as other developmental continuums
and are therefore able to scaffold learning. Enriched experiences for children, their families and teachers, because learning environments are more developmentally appropriate. Kindergarten children are proud of their literacy efforts! SOME EXAMPLES OF LITERACY IN OUR KINDERGARTEN: GOD LOGO OF A NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
WHERE WILL I GO FROM HERE? I NEED TO:
Keep on learning more about and practicing Effective Communication. Keep on supporting my teachers with mentoring and team building efforts. Continue lobbying for Early Childhood DAP projects in my school, but with more active participation and support from my ECE team. Motivate and provide my ECE team with professional development opportunities to learn more about DAP to apply in their work. Continue working towards the vertical and horizontal alignment of developmentally appropriate standards to our comprehensive
curriculum. Improve our use of recognized rating scales, such as the ECERS-R, to promote a higher quality of early childhood education. HOW DO I PLAN ON SHARING WITH OTHERS? Applying Effective Communication and getting better at it. Building social bridges with colleagues, students and their families. Ask ECE staff how I could mentor them effectively. Go into the classrooms to model developmentally appropriate practices.
Be clear in my expectations. Be loyal to and supportive of colleagues. Learn more about DAP. THANK YOU, CATHY AND ELLEN AND MANO A MANO COLLEAGUES! ITS BEEN A GREAT TRIP, TOGETHER!
Paper 177 Wednesday, the Rest Day AUDIO VERSION. 177:0.1 (1920.1) When the work of teaching the people did not press them, it was the custom of Jesus and his apostles to rest from their labors each Wednesday.
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