Preparing Children for Kindergarten
While the screenings give a snapshot view, COR Advantage Child Assessment gives ongoing information concerning a child’s learning and school readiness achievements in 8 content areas: Approaches to Learning; Social and Emotional Development: Physical Development and Health; Language, Literacy, and Communication; Mathematics, Creative Arts; Science and Technology; and Social Studies. A ninth area, English Language Learning, can also be used when appropriate. COR Advantage can be administered in English or Spanish. Teachers take anecdotal notes as children work and play throughout the day. They later score the observation notes and enter them into the COR on-line data collection system. To score an observation note, the teacher uses an objective eight-level scale ranging from 0 (lowest) to 7 (highest) that allows teachers to pinpoint the developmental changes measured by each COR item. To help observers score the COR Advantage reliably and validly, they use a reference booklet with notes for each area, item, and level, along with 2 anecdotal examples for each level.
Teachers use this information in report form to share with parents, plan learning activities, and scaffold children’s learning. At center, area, and statewide levels these aggregated reports allow us to plan for teacher training, focus on curriculum areas, and to see progress over time in
Parent reports are shared during home visits and parent conferences. Teachers provide home activities to engage parents in teaching and learning at home. The parent teacher partnership supports a child to develop age appropriate skills and follow their interests.
Dual Language Learners
Most RCMA children are learning 2 languages. We strongly support the home language and introduce English as a second language for these children. Our school readiness goal is for children build their home language with the support of culturally competent teachers, parents and community and to acquire English proficiency to …”compete in an environment stacked against them in kindergarten.” (Wendell N. Rollason)
RCMA uses the High Scope curriculum to promote the development of the whole child and support lifelong learning. This curriculum emphasizes active exploration of materials and environments. Learning environments and daily routines are arranged and equipped to support a child’s independence and sense of community. We provide interesting and challenging activities and materials for children to actively explore. Children build relationships with their teachers and each other, while developing social and emotional skills and character. Preschoolers predict and ask questions while teacher interact with them intentionally to promote problem solving and higher thinking.
Parent reports are produced which share information and provide activities to help the child develop age appropriate skills and abilities. These reports are shared at home visits and parent conferences. In the classroom, each child is provided with individualized activities to promote development in their area(s) of weakness.
Transition Practices in RCMA
In addition to health, developmental screenings and child assessment, an internally developed series of workshops, outlines RCMA’s procedures for assisting children transitioning from home to school, from classroom to classroom, from Early Head Start to Project or Migrant Head Start, or from outside agencies into RCMA, and from RCMA to other agencies and kindergarten. Transition to kindergarten involves community partnerships with schools and parents. A series of parent workshops designed to inform parents of issues surrounding transition to kindergarten are provided as the foundation for parent support groups. These workshops provide information for parents to make the change from pre-school to school smooth for their children and themselves. Two child portfolios are prepared for each parent. It contains samples of the child’s work, COR and VPK reports that show the child’s learning gains over time during the 4 year old year at RCMA.
Letters of Understanding linking RCMA and local elementary schools are signed and implemented as local efforts to support Transition to Kindergarten. These collaborative agreements provide a framework for joint teacher training, planning discussions, sharing ideas and support other activities for parents, teachers and children.