Advancing early childhood education: Opening their eyes to the excitement of learning

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States and communities across the US have made early learning a top priority in recent years. Government leaders from red and blue states alike recognize that a child’s education begins long before kindergarten. Strong investment in high quality early educational and developmental opportunities ensures each child is placed on an upward trajectory to be academically prepared for college and career.

In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, P.L. 114–95) replaced the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. ESSA covers many important early learning provisions, including a Preschool Development Grant program to be jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education.

ESSA’s provisions are also targeted at promoting early learning coordination within communities; greater alignment with the early elementary grades; and early childhood education focused capacity building among teachers, leaders, and other staff serving young children.

To leverage new opportunities afforded by ESSA, early learning educators are planning to utilize new funding streams and accountability guidelines to strengthen their early learning programs, and better align them with elementary school expectations. And, early childhood leaders are looking into strategies to help preschool children more seamlessly transition from early childhood education programs into local elementary school programs.

Reinforcing the public before-kindergarten programs with quality early childhood curricula is essential for fulfilling the school readiness required under ESSA. Incorporating evidence-based PreK instructional programs is essential for PreK students to gain required skills.

Implementing strong math and literacy programs are essential to building a foundation for elementary school success.

World of Wonders® and Building Blocks PreK® from McGraw-Hill Education each provide a robust, research-based approach to Pre-Kindergarten literacy and numeracy. Both programs were developed by nationally respected authorship teams, and are built to ensure kindergarten readiness for every child. Let’s take a deeper dive in to what each of these programs have to offer, and how pairing them together will achieve positive results.

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Building Blocks PreK helps early learners develop numeracy skills through active participation, hands-on manipulatives, and interactive digital games. The program embeds math experiences into daily activities, creating foundational knowledge that applies to later formal math concepts, mathematical thinking, and problem solving.

Building Blocks PreK:

  • Builds children’s foundational math knowledge through carefully designed, developmentally appropriate lessons.
  • Provides an extensively researched approach to teaching and learning mathematics.
  • Offers a comprehensive set of resources, including instructional materials, assessment manipulatives, and big books.
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New to the suite of Wonders programs, World of Wonders is an engaging PreK literacy program that incorporates research-based literacy instruction into math, science, music, and movement. Young students gain rich learning experiences through cross-curricular activities and a focus on social-emotional development.

World of Wonders:

  • Builds background knowledge and introduces classroom routines to prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.
  • Offers differentiated pathways to meet the needs of all PreK learners, including English learners and children with special needs.
  • Encourages teachers to integrate their favorite materials while supporting them with a program structure and classroom resources they can trust.

To achieve the highest learning outcomes, applying these programs simultaneously and with fidelity is important. Many classrooms are choosing to use both programs together to support early learning:

· Components in Building Blocks Pre-K can be used in conjunction with components in World of Wonders.

· Daily lessons in Building Blocks Pre-K are designed for 40-minute sessions. If Building Blocks Pre-K is used alongside World of Wonders, teachers can replace the afternoon math and center time/teacher table in World of Wonders with a Building Blocks Pre-K lesson. Using this pacing, students can complete both programs within a single school year.

· If time available for math instruction is extremely limited, Building Blocks Pre-K lessons can be split up and completed over multiple days. When using this pacing, teachers can extend and cover the lesson content listed under Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday over 5 days instead.

Building a successful bridge to kindergarten for all young learners is critical to meeting early learning development guidelines. Are you ready to get started with driving higher Pre-Kindergarten numeracy and literacy achievement and success? Schedule a 10 minute early learners’ consultative session today with a knowledgeable curriculum specialist.

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We apply the science of learning to create innovative educational solutions and content to improve outcomes from K-20 and beyond.

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