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early learning

Using technology effectively at the early elementary level has the potential to improve achievement across grade levels in a district, by preparing elementary students to use the digital tools they will need later on in school, and in college and career.

Ensuring early reading literacy

A reading interventionist might be a district’s best friend.

Lake Orion Community Schools in Michigan broke new ground two years ago with its Kindergarten Reading Early Intervention Program. The unique initiative pairs full-time reading interventionists with teachers in Lake Orion’s 24 kindergarten classrooms to boost the early literacy of the district’s youngest students.

As all educators know, reading is the key to lifelong learning, but it can be a challenge outside the classroom, with competition from TV, video games, and other distractions. That’s one reason United Way-Sun Coast has partnered with myON for the “Read on myON” project since 2012.

Two kindergarten classes are speaking Spanish throughout most of their days in a successful opt-in, dual-language program in the Tigard-Tualatin (Ore.) School District.

Students who are identified early as at-risk and get support like extra reading have a better chance at graduating high school. But many students are unable to access early education opportunities and, research says, fewer than half of poor children are ready for school at age 5.

“People don’t often think about preschool as [an element of] dropout prevention,” says Marty Duckenfield, spokesperson for the National Dropout Prevention Center. “They think of the surly high school kid with behavior problems—but it goes back to other issues, and one is early childhood education.”

Teachers College President Susan Fuhrman (center, in red) helps TCCS students celebrate the opening of the school's new location in September.

The Teachers College Community School (TCCS), a university-assisted public pre-K8 school, opened the doors of its new permanent home in West Harlem, N.Y. in September. The school, which initially opened in fall of 2011 in a different location, represents a unique collaboration between the Columbia University Teachers College and the New York City Department of Education to provide a strong public education for members of the community, as well as education training for university students.

0ne in four students under the age of six comes from an immigrant family in which at least one parent does not speak English, says Maki Park, early education policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

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