Tagged “Early Childhood Education”

Torva Felton

A Legacy of Caring and Learning

"The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul."

—Maria Montessori

Being with Guilford County Schools since 1998, my heart and soul has been dedicated to teaching here at Washington Elementary School, now known as Washington Montessori School. I love Washington because of the dedication that we as a school have to children. I have taught at one other school and have done many observations at other schools, but when you walk into Washington, the love draws you in and stays with every student, staff member, and parent. As our school's care of students statement says, "You can't get this everywhere, you can only get this Right Here!"

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Podcast Whole Child Podcast

Glowing, Growing, and Getting Back to the Real Basics

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Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child AwardIn this era of school reform, turn around, and educational change, it is easy to overlook the basics of why we educate and what we want for our children. These aren't the typical basics—reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic. Rather, these are the "real basics" of learning: developing a sense of belonging, instilling a sense of purpose, and expanding each child's potential for what the future may hold.

How do we get back to the "real basics" of education? What are the fundamental elements and habits that bring us together and set the stage for lasting, comprehensive—sustainable—school improvement? How do we assess where we have been, where we are now, where we want to go, and what strategies are necessary to get us there?

The Whole Child Podcast is one of the many ways we share stories, insights, and discussions about what works in today's schools to achieve these goals and ensure that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. And this episode, taped in front of a live audience at the 2014 ASCD Annual Conference in Los Angeles, features very special guests from Washington Montessori School, the 2014 winner of our Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. You'll hear from

  • Shanta Buchanan, literacy impact facilitator and dedicated educator who values the process of learning. She has been an advocate for children with hearing loss and early intervention since the birth of her daughter Brooke who was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss.
  • Erin Deal, a teacher who has enjoyed working with a variety of grade levels during her 10 years in the classroom, including five years in a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade Montessori combination class. She values the Montessori methodology of teaching and embraces the inquiry-based learning techniques.
  • Gillian Hill, a veteran educator with more than 20 years of classroom experience as an elementary teacher and curriculum facilitator. She has supported the school and community and assisted in facilitating in the transition from the traditional style of teaching to the Montessori philosophy.
  • Sharon Jacobs, a public school educator with more than 20 years of experience and the founding principal of Washington Montessori School. She is passionate about the learning process and committed to service, change, social development, and above all, children.
  • Paulita Musgrave, K–5 math impact facilitator who provides support and guidance to the staff, students, and parent community. A talented community activist, she is the founder of The Legacy House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap, where she directed a federal program that had a 93 percent achievement rate.
  • Eileen Martin, a veteran educator of more than 20 years in various capacities; from bus driver where she earned Bus Driver of the Year, cafeteria cashier, teacher assistant, to now one of the most energetic classroom teachers you will find. She coined the frequently shared statement about Washington Montessori School's care of students, "You can't get this everywhere, you can only get this Right Here!"

What are the "real basics" of education?

Washington Montessori School is the fifth recipient of the Vision in Action: The ASCD Whole Child Award. Listen to previous award-winning schools as they share their stories and how they ensure that each child in their community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged:


Melanie Olmstead

ASCD Releases 2014 Legislative Agenda

ASCD's 2014 Legislative Agenda urges a shift from the overreliance on high-stakes testing in determining student achievement, educator effectiveness, and school quality to a broader, more meaningful vision of success that supports each student from early childhood through graduation. Recently released during ASCD's Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA), the agenda is developed by ASCD's Legislative Committee and establishes the association’s policy priorities.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Mayor Bill De Blasio Focuses on Community Schools in New York City

Post written by Martin J. Blank, Director and President, Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership; and Shama S. Jamal, National Policy Emerson Fellow, Coalition for Community Schools

Community schools are high on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's education agenda; an agenda that he made a commitment to during his campaign and is now taking action on.

De Blasio's recent appointment of Richard Buery as the deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives strengthens his vision and plan to implement 100 more community schools in the city. Buery's expertise and former work as chief executive officer at the Children's Aid Society will provide the foundation for a strategic expansion of community schools across the city. Children's Aid Society is a national model for implementing community schools in New York City and houses the National Center for Community Schools. It is a founding partner of the Coalition for Community Schools.

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Melanie Olmstead

Early Education Takes Center Stage

With so much attention being paid to college and career readiness, the importance of early childhood education should not be overlooked. In the new issue of Policy Priorities, ASCD explores the significance of early childhood education and details the challenges of expanding access and ensuring equitable services for all children. The brief also provides updates on how educators and policymakers are working to improve the quality of early education through standards implementation, rigorous licensing, new accountability, and greater alignment with K–12 systems, all while recognizing the importance of developmentally appropriate strategies. Read the full issue.

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Tisha Shipley

Early Childhood Education: Implementing Developmentally Appropriate Practices into Literacy Instruction

A top priority for early childhood educators is to teach children to read. Using developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) while incorporating foundational concepts into lessons help teachers differentiate instruction, engage students in the learning process, and increase achievement of all children. While students are treated as unique individuals, all practices should be appropriate to the child's age and developmental stage and build on previously taught concepts. The purpose of this article is to explore teachers' experiences as they implement DAP into their literacy instruction. It also examines obstacles they face as they implement their practices.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

2013 Best of the Blog: 20–16

In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Letter to the Editor: The Secret Ingredient to Building Resilience in Children

Resilience and Learning - ASCD Educational LeadershipDear Editor,

The following is a response to the excellent articles in a recent issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership magazine. I am a Montessori school principal living and working in Sydney, Australia, over the past 17 years. I am a long-term ASCD member and have worked as a teacher in schools with primarily non-English speaking migrant families, as a counsellor and principal in an international school where kidnapping and terrorism directly affected a number of families, and headed a highly academic school where the majority of students continued studies outside of school every day of the week. My current position has brought me to a place of understanding of education I had never been able to reach before, despite the diverse environments in which I served earlier. While no school is free of difficulties, I write this response after finding the "secret ingredient" in building resilience in children.

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Angela Eckhoff

Push Back on the Push Down

America's young children are increasingly enrolled in early care and education settings—more than 1.3 million children (28 percent) attended state-funded preschool at age 4 in 2011–121. Accordingly, the field of early childhood has become keenly aware of the importance of high-quality early childhood care and education that aims to promote children's cognitive, linguistic, creative, emotional, social, and physical development. At the same time, school readiness is a hotly debated topic with long-reaching effects on the experiences that children have in early childhood settings. The reality is that some children arrive at elementary school with the foundation to learn to read and engage in mathematics already in place, while others have yet to build a foundation for readiness. Initial readiness differences are powerful predictors for later school achievement, economic productivity, and health2.

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Klea Scharberg

Insights on Tackling Informational Text

Tackling Informational Text - ASCD Educational LeadershipNovember 2013 issue of Educational Leadership shows how to creatively make this stretch and how to help students think of nonfiction as challenging and fun.

In her "Perspectives" column, Editor-in-Chief Marge Scherer believes it starts with finding texts that present engaging style and content, rather than texts that hide "the good stuff." Kids need to be exposed to the best nonfiction and given the skills to delve deeply into it.

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