Early Childhood Newsletter - December 2021

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December 2021

In this issue:

Skills and Behaviors That Promote Learning Webinar Series

This fall, we heard from early childhood educators across the state handling a new set of challenges around foundational skills and behaviors that students need to achieve academic and personal success in the classroom.  In response, OSDE launched a webinar series to assist educators in supporting students with these skills and behaviors.  Below, you will find the recordings of the first two sessions hosted in November and December.  Each session is full of practical strategies that can be taken back to your classroom and implemented immediately.

Session #1 - Essential Skills and Behaviors that Promote Learning

Session #2 - Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood with Blaire Harrison

Webinar Series: Session 3, February 1st, 2022

The OSDE Early Childhood team will resume hosting the third in a series of webinars dedicated to this topic on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm.  In this session, we will have special guest, Dr. Amanda Harrist, Oklahoma State University’s Assistant Director of Education and Translation, Center for Family Resilience, share the principles of a strategy called “You Can’t Say You Can’t Play.”  Dr Harrist will give background on how she has used the strategy in her research, and how teachers can harness it to create classrooms grounded in cooperation and inclusion.  

Session #3 - "You Can't Say You Can't Play" with Dr. Amanda Harrist - Register Here

A recording of the webinar will be available to those who register.

Ready Together - How can schools boost enrollment in Pre-K programs?

In 2019-20, 42,683 students were enrolled in Pre-K in Oklahoma. In the 2020-21 school year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pre-K enrollment dropped by 4,734 students. Reversing this trend is critical; attending Pre-K provides a foundation of knowledge and skills that promotes student success well into the future.  

It is important to identify students within the community who would benefit from a school’s Pre-K program and actively work to get those students enrolled, no matter the time of year. For early learners, every day of learning counts.

Ready Together Pre-K Enrollment

Part of the Ready Together suite of resources for schools and districts, a new guidance brief has been developed to support schools working to boost enrollment in Pre-K.  You can find the document here, or by clicking on the picture above.

Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies Training Opportunity

The Oklahoma State Department of Education has officially launched our new initiative to support 10,000 K-3 educators with evidence-based practices for reading instruction. The Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies provide sustained and job-embedded professional learning on the science of reading, at no cost to educators. The Science of Reading Academies are based on the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, or LETRS, learning modules. The Science of Reading academies will be offered to four different cohorts of educators over the next three years. Cohort 1 is already underway, but Cohort 2 will begin in January 2022. 

Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was held on August 10, 2021. The recording of this webinar, along with the slides, can be viewed by clicking the picture.  

The Oklahoma Science of Reading Academies will include four cohorts. Participants may decide which cohort will work best for their schedule. Registration for Cohort 2 is now open! 

What We're Reading, Watching, and Listening To This Month

  • This month, we are thinking all about transitions back to school after breaks. Winter Break is an excellent time for self care for educators and a time for bonding for families.  Transitioning back to school can be difficult.  Changes in routine bring about the need for some strategic planning and supports to get back in the groove of everyday learning. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) shares tips for helping children readjust after winter break in the article found here.
  • In this resources, accessed as a podcast or reading, John Spencer discusses using the transition to a new calendar year as an opportunity to "reboot" your teaching practice.  He encourages teachers to take risks, try something new, and innovate, giving helpful steps and tools to help get there.  It is important to note that these moves don't have to be large in scale!  Sometimes the smallest change can make the biggest difference.
  • During those first few days back from break, it will be especially important to incorporate movement throughout the day.  Turn to this trusty Jack Hartmann Youtube brain breaks playlist for fun songs to get the wiggles out!