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Early Childhood Resources

The High Quality Learning Project

The High Quality Early Learning Project conducts and communicates research about teaching that supports effective learning for young children and their families. Focusing on documentation of those who work with diverse groups of children in early childhood settings, the Project produces videos and professional development resources for teachers, teacher educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders in order to strengthen education in the early years.

Purposeful Play In Practice - Power point slides

Slides from SDE workshop on Purposeful Play.

Helping others understand academic rigor in teacher's developementally appropriate practices.

Academically rigorous, developmentally appropriate learning environments are those in which teachers provide children with multiple learning opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills needed for success in elementary school. These learning experiences take into account children’s developmental, individual, and sociocultural needs. As the school year progresses, teachers build on content of instruction and increase their performance expectations for children. At the same time, teachers ensure they provide appropriate levels of support to children through regular and consistent monitoring of children’s achievement across developmental domains. The goal is that by the end of the school year, every child has—or is on a developmental trajectory to soon attain and demonstrate on a regular basis—the knowledge and skills needed for kindergarten success.

Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) is an approach to teaching grounded in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education. Its framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development. DAP involves teachers meeting young children where they are, both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals.

Five essentials of meaningful play

When you think back on your childhood, what happy play memories come to mind? Adults today tend to think back on their childhood play memories with nostalgia and often call them the “good old days.” Memories of joyful and meaningful play experiences help bind families together emotionally, even long after children are grown. Are our children experiencing the same kind of joy, meaning, and family bonding in their play?