Thirteen local pre-K teachers and administrators volunteered recently at Ohio University Eastern Campus for the first of a three-session workshop that will help them tie together their chosen curriculum, assessments, and Ohio's Early Learning Content Standards. The Standards outlines what children should know and be able to do at the end of their preschool years.
The teachers and administrators of preschools that receive state funding spent their morning connecting with eight other sites across the state via interactive television to review curricula, standards, assessments of young children, and how all of the components match-up. Then they started "going deeper into elements that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has mandated them to have in their curricula," said Tosha Bethel, early language and literacy specialist at Ohio University Eastern Campus.
"This training is voluntary. The teachers and administrators participated because they value meeting the needs of our young children."
In the afternoon, the group at Ohio University Eastern Campus broke up into smaller groups for activities led by Bethel. The groups looked at five different sample curricula and used a check sheet listing to make sure every element that was supposed to be in the curriculum was actually there. This led to conversations about the curricula they are currently using and what could be added to better meet the needs of children.
The groups were then given different examples of activities that may happen in a classroom. The participants had to identify all the skills and concepts that the children doing the activities should be able to learn through the activity. These skills and concepts are called "indicators" by the ODE the skills "indicate" or show what the child is learning through their preschool experiences.
The teachers and administrators will now meet two more times as they move through the process of matching their curriculum and assessments to the state's standards. The next session of the workshop will cover assessment or measuring the children's learning. The third session will cover alignment and implementation.