November is National Family Literacy Month
If you didn’t know, November is National Family Literacy Month. To celebrate and support the occasion, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) will release “30 Days of Families Learning Together,” a month’s worth of family literacy activities and practices designed to work for families where and how they live in today’s world. It will feature popular content from Wonderopolis, Family Time Machine, and other NCFL resources to inspire and engage families in learning together.
The content will be available as a click-through gallery and also as a downloadable PDF. Gallery scrolls are exceedingly popular right now, so the format makes it ripe for online sharing. Using a title “30 Days of Families Learning Together” gives a “go-to” resource for family engagement general awareness at any time during the year. Parents and providers can click here to sign up for “30 Days”. Feel free to share this information with your networks and families.
Happy Family Literacy Month!
Long Beach looking to extend its push for college to preschools
Believing it’s never too early to think about college, Long Beach public officials and educators plan to take their message to the earliest learners — preschoolers.
Their efforts to recruit the children sooner rather than later is part of a broader effort to provide preschool for every child. Among its champions is the new mayor of Long Beach, Robert Garcia, elected in July as the first Latino and gay mayor for the city. Read More
Excellent Early Childhood Educators Unite in L.A. County
Nearly 100 miles separate Lancaster and Long Beach, California, but in the realm of early childhood education, there is no distance between excellent teaching and fruitful outcomes.
In particular, two early learning centers, La Petite Academy in Lancaster and the Long Beach City College Child (LBCC) Development Center and Learning Lab are united in their approach to early learning because they have employed seasoned, well-educated teachers who impart confidence and a sense of creative spontaneity (grounded by highly organized classrooms) to their young students and co-teachers.Read More
Unequal at the Start: Early childhood programs pay dividends for life
No child wants to hear that they will receive a smaller share of pie. Yet, over the next decade, the share of government funding for children’s programs and tax credits will shrink by about a quarter, from 10.2 percent to 7.8 percent, according to a recent report by the Urban Institute. Cutting back on investments during a child’s youngest years can have serious long-term ripple effects well into adulthood; research finds that children’s early language development, understanding of math concepts, and social-emotional stability at age five not only predict how well they will do in school but also largely determine their adult earnings. Read More
Pacific Oaks College Cohort
Complete your bachelor’s degree or pursue your master’s in Early Childhood Education through a Pacific Oaks College cohort in your area. More Info
Why Talking Math Matters (from TOO SMALL TO FAIL)
Counting steps to the mailbox. Pointing out how much bigger a tree is compared to a sapling. Identifying the shapes of houses, road signs or other objects around you. These are all ways that parents introduce math concepts into the learning of very young children. Early math can be fun and easy, and both parents and children benefit from the shared experience of talking about the math that surrounds us.
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States has difficulty understanding middle-school math. Unfortunately, this difficulty with math translates into difficulty managing many important tasks—like following recipes and calculating change. Familiarity with early mathematical concepts paves the way for more complicated mathematical and logical thinking in adulthood, which can be helpful in jobs and in other areas of adult life.
Studies have found that the more early math concepts children are familiar with by the time they enter school, the more likely they are to do well in math and other subjects later on. Much like vocabulary and early language skills, early math skills develop from infancy through simple interactions with loved ones. Early math is much more than just counting, however. Parents and caregivers can help their children develop an appreciation of math by using opportunities throughout the day to talk about math concepts like numbers, size order and shapes.
Parents can help their children learn to love math by incorporating math talk into every day activities and by encouraging their children to talk math back. No matter your comfort with middle-school math, working early math language into your day with your children is easy to do and will help them in the long run.
Resources for Sharing:
- These tips from NAEYC help parents of infants and toddlers incorporate math talk and math activities into every day routines.
- This article in the Seattle Times points out how children’s math problems begin before kindergarten—and how caregivers can help.
- LOTS of different tips and resources from Math at Play for parents on how to incorporate math into everyday learning.
A Little Routine for Life-long Health (from TOO SMALL TO FAIL)
All humans are supposed to be creatures of habit, but children really thrive on habit and routine—even when it appears otherwise! Children deeply benefit from routines that establish healthy habits like regular sleep, nutritious meals eaten around the dinner table, and an organized home. This is because daily and family routines help children develop the cognitive, emotional and social skills they will need to succeed in school and beyond.
Researchers encourage establishing routines with children from infancy for various reasons. Routines help children learn that they can trust and depend on adults—a valuable asset for emotional stability in relationships and an important way to establish parent-child bonds. Meaningful routines—like the ones we practice as rituals during Thanksgiving and other holidays—help children feel like they belong to a community, and improve their social skills. Some research even suggests that children living in families with regular routines suffer from fewer illnesses, like respiratory infections.
Parents and caregivers can help children establish healthy routines that have direct and life-long benefits. For example, parents can read books with their babies and young children at bedtime to help them sleep better. Parents can also establish regular times of conversation, like around the dinner table, to improve bonding and stimulate language. Finally, parents and caregivers can use holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving to instill a sense of tradition and history in the family.
Resources for Sharing:
- This article from the AAP explains how various routines throughout a child’s day can improve moods and benefit development.
- This article from Raising Children Network offers tips for how parents can incorporate routines and ritual into family life.
- A reminder that quality time can happen in short intervals—even for busy families!
UCLA Extension Early Childhood Education Facebook Page
The Early Childhood Education program at UCLA Extension has a new Facebook page! The page is designed as “A space for Los Angeles-based early childhood educators to share events, job postings, research, course offerings & professional development opportunities.”
Click here to like the page is https://www.facebook.com/
November 22, Creativity Counts: Using the Early Childhood Classroom as a Canvas
Creativity focuses on the process of forming original ideas through discovery and exploration. It is about thinking, discovering, exploring, and imagining. Come find out how to nurture creativity in children (and yourself!) in many domains, not only in the obvious — art and music — but also in science, math, storytelling, etc. More Info
A portion of this workshop will be hands-on, allowing you to practice the process of documentation.Please bring a laptop computer or foam poster board to create a documentation piece. Include 5-10 photos of a current classroom experience or project that you would like to focus on more in depth. If you would like to open up any of your photos for group discussion, please email them to mramirez@
Join educators, policymakers, business leaders and other community stakeholders for the 4th Annual ECSTEM Conference. Participate in a teaching laboratory where you will learn new ideas about STEM instruction and how to integrate STEM‐related activities into your indoor and outdoor classroom space. Visit the ECSTEM Hall of Inquiry with various vendors related to Early Childhood curriculum, materials and tools needed to grow confident learners! More Info
2015 ECSTEM Student Rate Flyer
2015 ECSTEM Advanced Registration Rate Flyer
March 23– 24, 2015: The Water Cooler Conference
The Water Cooler improves and expands early care and education (ECE) for California’s children by bringing together diverse stakeholders to build consensus for policy solutions that support the needs of children from birth to five. Through quarterly meetings and an annual conference that draws more than 500 education advocates, the Water Cooler elevates the needs of California’s youngest children to the forefront of policy decisions. More Info