Let’s Talk: Professional Development Modules

The highest rate of vocabulary development (and corresponding acquisition of background knowledge) occurs during the preschool years. This makes preschool a crucial time for effective, content-rich instruction. Accordingly, the Institute has developed a series of Common Core State Standards (CCSS)-aligned modules, which are designed to strengthen the ability of early childhood teachers to impart rich, academic content in fun, developmentally appropriate ways. The modules cover the following four academic domains:

Let’s Talk Foundations: Oral Language Development I

Oral language—listening and talking—is the primary means by which young children learn about and interact with the world. This training offers simple but powerful ideas to support young children build the skills, knowledge, vocabulary, and attitudes that can help prepare them for future academic learning across the content areas. Specifically, this program, which can be delivered as an intensive two-day seminar or split into separate workshops, offers an overview of the research on oral language development and addresses: activities to enhance circle time; ideas for more effective read alouds; ways to develop language through content-related activities; and ways to enhance children’s dramatic play and language development during free choice time. Information is also given on language diversity and bilingualism, effective classroom and activity area arrangements, and organizing successful oral language instruction.

Free for download are materials for a workshop on supporting English Language Learners(ELLs).

Let’s Talk: Oral Language Development II

This unit starts with a brief review of the process and mechanics of language development in early childhood, then delves more deeply into several instruction-related aspects. These include: designing a vocabulary-rich classroom; why words are important; building children's vocabulary; selecting target words; using text sets; and assessments to inform instruction. The module can be delivered as an intensive one-day seminar or split into separate workshops.

Excerpt coming soon.

Let’s Talk: Early Literacy Development

This module presents an overview of research on the foundations for literacy and how they may be enhanced in early childhood, including applied information to help guide instructional improvement. The materials are designed to be presented as an intensive one-day seminar or can be broken into four separate workshops covering the areas of print and book awareness, phonological awareness, letter knowledge and early word recognition, and written expression and curriculum integration.

Free for download are materials for a workshop on teaching phonological awareness.

Let’s Talk: Early Mathematics Development

This module provides an overview of the research and standards on age-appropriate mathematics development, including practical takeaway materials to help assist in instructional. The most important early childhood mathematical foundations are addressed, including numerical sense and problem solving, building math vocabulary, using math manipulatives, and curriculum integration. The materials may be presented as a very intensive one-day session or broken into separate workshops.

Free for download are materials for a workshop on curriculum integration.

Let’s Talk: Early Science Development

This module provides research-based information on early science development in the three key areas of physical science, life science, and earth science, along with applied information for improving instruction in each area. The materials are designed so that they can either be implemented as an intensive, day-long professional development seminar, or broken up into separate workshops, covering the areas of: scientific inquiry, building science vocabulary, developing a science area, and curriculum integration.

Free for download are materials for a workshop on teaching life science.