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Pre-K Practices


A 4-K Program for All Children – 2016

Oconto Falls Elementary School
Oconto Falls Elementary School NBRS 2016

Oconto Falls Elementary School (Oconto Falls, WI). The Oconto Falls School District was one of the first in Wisconsin to develop a 4K program for all children. The OFES Early Childhood (EC) and 4K program curriculum is tightly aligned to the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS) and provides children with a play and sensory-based learning environment. In recent years, as the academic rigor of K-12 education has increased, the EC, 4K, and 5K teachers have collaborated to ensure that CCSS-based learning targets inform the WMELS-based instruction at the EC and 4K level so that children are well prepared for subsequent grade-levels. The positive impact of our EC and 4K programs is most apparent as children are transitioning to 5K with higher level skills and readiness to continue learning. In relation to basic reading skills, 1st through 5th grade teachers devote approximately 20-30 minutes per day to word study instruction. Pre-kindergarten (4K) and kindergarten (5K) devote approximately 20-30 minutes daily to explicit phonological awareness instruction/activities, using the Literacy Link Program. This instruction is reinforced by specialists during interventions to target areas of phonological need.


“Tools of the Mind” for Preschoolers – 2016

Green Valley Elementary School
Green Valley Elementary School NBRS 2016

Green Valley Elementary School (Roanoke, VA). Our school currently enrolls 18 students aged 2 to 5, mostly from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and students with disabilities, in our preschool program. “Tools of the Mind”, the preschool curriculum, is an instructional program that encourages students to strengthen their social-emotional and cognitive abilities while learning at their capacity. Students are engaged throughout the day in theme-based learning centers where they learn skills through play and discussion. This program allows for daily differentiation for each child with conferencing time set aside with an adult each day. Children learn to plan and work together as a team.


Strong Prep for Kindergarten – 2016

Tool Elementary School
Tool Elementary School NBRS 2016

Tool Elementary School (Tool, TX ). TES offers a Pre-K class for four year olds. The curriculum is aligned with the Kindergarten TEKS and includes academic, listening, social interaction, and communication skills. This curriculum gives each student the tools to be ready academically, physically, and mentally for kindergarten. The students learn by exploring and manipulating activities with a focus on motor skills. The beginning stages of stations are set up for technology, hands-on, and group interaction. Breakfast and lunch times provide a family setting so the teacher can provide guidance on nutrition and fine motor skills. In 2013, the Pre-K program received the Texas Pre-K Center of Excellence award.


Co-Teaching Pre-K (in Spanish) – 2016

Glendale Elementary School
Glendale Elementary School NBRS 2016

Glendale Elementary School (Nashville, TN). At Glendale Spanish Immersion Elementary, we have two preschool classrooms; each has students with special needs. In the inclusion class, all students have Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and in the blended class, half of the students have IEPs. The preschool follows the Creative Curriculum, which is a comprehensive curriculum that uses best practices in developmentally appropriate ways. Much of the work done in the preschool classrooms is determined by the goals of each child’s IEP. Before children enter Kindergarten, Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) are assessed to help measure children’s school readiness and progress toward minimizing the achievement gap for students with disabilities. 


20 Years of Pre-K Programs – 2016

P.S. 39 The Henry Bristow School
P.S. 39 The Henry Bristow School NBRS 2016

P.S. 39 The Henry Bristow School (Brooklyn, NY). Prekindergarten (PK) has played an important role at PS 39 for more than two decades. From its inception our PK program has consisted of two full-day programs and follows the universal PK model where each class has a maximum of eighteen students and is led by one classroom teacher and one paraprofessional. Our PK curriculum is social/emotion learning and inquiry based. Teachers integrate Blocks/Construction, Science/Discovery, Art, and Dramatic Play activities throughout the day to provide authentic opportunities for children to gain literacy and math skills, explore new concepts, express themselves, and make connections to their lives in meaningful ways.


“Play” at the Heart of Learning – 2016

McCook ES
McCook Elementary School NBRS 2016

McCook Elementary School (McCook, NE). Little Bison Preschool uses the High-Scope curriculum to develop children’s intellectual, academic, physical, social, and emotional development, which vertically aligns with Kindergarten entry skills. This process occurs continuously through “play” because students apply the skills they learn. Four principles guide our children’s growth and learning: 1) children are active learners, 2) children learn in unique ways, 3) learning is more meaningful when it is integrated across all areas of development, and 4) learning is continuous.