Early Childhood Updates
Ideas For Summer
By Karen Nemeth
The great thing about the NJTESOL/NJBE conference is that it leads us right into summer with some great new ideas and resources. This year the Early Childhood Special Interest Group met on both days. We discussed what the New Jersey Bilingual Education Code http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap15.pdf
says about serving ELLs/DLLs [English Language Learners/ Dual Language Learners] in preschool. Some people still think districts are not expected to serve preschool children, but we shared that preschool is addressed in the code more than 8 times. Here is a quote from page 7 of NJ Bilingual Education Code: “All district boards of education shall also provide appropriate instructional programs to eligible preschool LEP students based on need according to the New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Expectations: Standards of Quality (2004). These standards are guidelines for good practice and are intended for districts that provide preschool programs.”
One of the most pressing concerns brought to our meetings was about supporting student transitions from preschool to kindergarten. Sandee participated in the development of the new NJDOE Kindergarten Guidelines which were just released this year with recommendations for teaching ELLs. They are available at this site along with the NJ DOE Preschool Implementation Guidelines:
Here are some additional sources for free professional development you can find over the summer:
And the Head Start ECLKC website:
And now we’d like to take this time to introduce the new Early Childhood SIG coordinator: Monica Schnee! Sandee and Karen have completed their terms. Now it’s time to move forward under Monica’s leadership. You can follow her on Twitter at @ESLMonica or email her your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandee, Monica, and Karen will be working on the NJTESOL/NJBE Fall event at Stockton College on October 22. With a focus on new strategies for using technology to teach ELLs/DLLs of all ages, this will surely be a worthwhile professional development opportunity! More information will be available soon!
Have a great summer!