Category Archives: Early Childhood

Professional development for public preschool and visual arts teachers

The Maine Department of Education invites you to be part of a new professional development opportunity, “Fostering Artful Early Childhood Classrooms.” Early Childhood Specialist Sue Reed and Visual and Performing Arts Specialist Beth Lambert are looking for teachers who want to energize their teaching and learning through focusing on art in the public preschool classroom. Applicants must apply in teams of two: one public preschool teacher and one visual art teacher from the same district. The visual arts teacher must currently teach at the elementary level.

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First Early Childhood Education Institute planned for this month

The Maine Department of Education’s first Early Childhood Education (ECE) Institute will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on August 23-24 for over 200 invited ECE professionals.

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Young children’s learning topic of spring conference

Maine Department of Education’s Early Childhood Specialist Sue Reed moderated a panel at the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children spring conference this past Saturday.

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Senator Collins visits with school children in Aroostook County

Senator Susan Collins journeyed back to her home turf of Aroostook County recently and visited the Aroostook County Action Program Early Care and Education Center at Gouldville in Presque Isle. While there, the  Senator read a story to children in the Head Start/Child Development Services (CDS) Collaboration Classroom and played with toddlers in Early Head Start.

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Using calendars in preschool, why or why not?

Walk into a circle time in preschool in September and in June when the teacher is “doing calendar.”  It’s Wednesday. The teacher asks the children, “If yesterday was Tuesday, today is……?” The cacophony from the children includes the answers, “Saturday,” “Friday,” “Monday,” and pretty much any other day of the week.  It doesn’t change whether it is the beginning or end of the year. Why? Preschoolers are not developmentally grounded in past and future. For the most part, they still live in the now. Days of the week do not make sense-no matter how many times the activity is repeated. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are not solid concepts for three, four and five year olds.

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Maine’s public preschool programs and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The following information is provided to ensure that all Maine school districts are aware that Section 504 applies to public 4-year old programs. If districts are in partnership with Head Start programs, both entities are responsible for adhering to the requirements of this law. Section 504 is not the responsibility of Child Development Services (CDS).

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Instruction in preschool programs

“Instruction” is not a word that rises to the top in a preschool teacher’s vocabulary list. In fact, some teachers hear the word and envision “instruction” as equal to inappropriate practice.  It is a word that often connotes preschool becoming too “academic,” a “push-down curriculum from kindergarten,” or taking the fun out of young children’s curiosity about the world. And, if one mentions the term “direct instruction,” many preschool teachers will end the conversation, running out of the room.

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Maine’s Read to ME Challenge has become a ritual

Maine’s Read to ME Challenge became a household activity for the Veneziano family in Hermon this past month. The television public service announcements for the campaign that kicked off February 2, are of Jodi and her twins Donnie and Frankie reading. Aside from assisting the Maine Department of Education in producing these PSAs, this family took the challenge seriously.

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Nature based education summer institute

The University of Maine at Farmington is excited to announce registration is open for a first-of-a-kind Nature Based Education Summer Institute June 24 and 25, 2016.  The institute is designed for pre-service and experienced educators to gather and learn about the benefits and best practices of connecting children to nature.  The workshops will be interactive and held outdoors.

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Read to ME Challenge gone viral

It’s not an ice bucket challenge but some have taken it to that extreme as Maine takes on the challenge…the Read to ME Challenge. Since the February 2 launch, The Maine Department of Education’s literacy awareness campaign has gone viral which was the hope at its inception.

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