Articles & Resources

Making the Case for PreK-3

Published by the National Institute for Early Education Research - provides a good overview of what preschool looks like across the U.S., while drawing attention to some continuing concerns.

Gurnsey & Mead (2010) present the case for focusing on PreK-3 as part of the Education Policy Program/Early Childhood Initiative and Next Social Contact Initiative.

Resource from the AFT focused on the transition from PreK into elementary school.

Part of a series of working papers on PK-3 from the Foundation for Child Development.  Includes promising models of early childhood education.

The case for investing in early education from Grantmakers for Education. Outlines how focusing on PreK-3 can help close the achievement gap.

Kauerz (2006) addresses how alignment across PK-3 learning experiences can extend the positive effects of early childhood education.

Part of a series of PreK-3rd Policy to Action Briefs from the Foundation for Child Development.  Highlights how vital instructional leadership can be on the PreK-3 level.

FirstSchool Director Sharon Ritchie created this resource for our PreK-3 partner educators.  We hope that this resource helps support and drive your teaching as you consider the research base that drives FirstSchool initiatives.  This quick “cheat sheet” summarizes the major points of key research articles that address oral language/vocabulary, collaboration, self-regulation, culturally relevant teaching, teaching approaches, expectations, use of classroom observation data, and children's trajectories.  A full list of citations is provided at the end.

Article published for NAESP members (as part of edition of Principal magazine) by Sharon Ritchie & Sam Oertwig.  Discusses tools for providing a seamless education for PreK-3 learners.

Bringing AALLI Children to the Forefront

This report examined how teachers developed "advice networks" to support the academic success of minority boys at an elementary school involved in the PAS project.

Practical resource from the National Institute for Urban School Improvement on how teachers can build their awareness of their own culture, values, and beliefs, and then foster inclusiveness as they build and present culture within the classroom. 

West Wind Education Policy examines how to use achievement gap data to drive change without reinforcing deficit models of thinking about minority students.

Hill/West Wind Education Policy (2008) discusses the importance of shifting the conversation from "fixing the kids" to "fixing the system".

Summarizes problematic trends across state data about the quality of education provided to black males, and identifies areas for advocacy and change.

Berliner (2009) reports on how out-of-school factors related to poverty can affect low-income students for the Education & the Public Interest Center.

Pacific Education Group (2008) presents to CHCCS on a foundation for deinstitutionalizing racism and eliminating racial achievement disparities.

A Culture of Collaborative Inquiry

Education Week rounds up resources for effective use of data in instructional decision-making.

Tool from the Smart Start National Technical Assistance Center to help practitioners assess their current leadership, strategic planning, resources, decision-making and systems management, public engagement/advocacy, effective practices, and assistance available to staff.

This FirstSchool brief by Ritchie & Crawford (2009) outlines the importance of increasing the amount of time PreK-3 teachers spend on planning, meeting with colleagues, meaningfully interacting with individual students, and engaging with families.

The Promise of Curricula

Compelling case for the value of integrating play into early elementary curricula.

Report initated by the Nebraska Department of Education to highlight the importance of integrating the natural world into curriculum, particularly for young learners.

Improving Instruction

The NASSP provides guidelines for enhancing Common Core standards to provide better instruction to ELL's.

Resource complied by the Public Schools of North Carolina/DPI to showcase how thoughtfully planned early learning environments can faciliate better instruction and learning.

Reinvigorating Professionalism

Discusses the best ways to support the ongoing professional development of teachers who work with young children.

Education Week summarizes best practices and provides practical advice for forming meaningful professional learning communities.

Report from the New America Foundation on using observation tools to promote effective teaching in the early years and early grades. FirstSchool is featured as one promising practice.