Front Porch Series: Archive 2015

The Front Porch Series Broadcast Calls are a chance to hear national experts share current research in early childhood education. You'll also find practical applications for those findings. The recorded presentations, Q&A transcripts, and related resources are available below.

2015 Broadcasts

5/18/2015 – Why Young Children Need Structured Motor Play
Paddy Cronin Favazza, University of Massachusetts Boston

Explore recent research around motor skill development and challenges in preschool children.

Resources for Why Young Children Need Structured Motor Play

4/27/2015 – Supporting Quality Teaching and Learning: A Conversation about Professional Development
Patricia Snyder, University of Florida

This presentation provides information on recent research about how effective professional development is designed, delivered, and evaluated.

Resources for Supporting Quality Teaching and Learning: A Conversation about Professional Development

3/23/2015 – Challenges and Opportunities in Engaging Fathers
Justin Dyer, Brigham Young University

Discover the important roles fathers can play in their children’s early childhood programs. Review the challenges of engaging fathers in these programs and find guidance for overcoming them.

Resources for Challenges and Opportunities in Engaging Fathers

2/23/2015 – Understanding and Using Evidence-Based Social Emotional Curricula
Rebecca Cortes, University of Washington

This presentation explored recent research on social-emotional curricula. It offered guidance on the implementation of the curricula in preschool classrooms.

Resources for Understanding and Using Evidence-Based Social Emotional Curricula

01/26/2015 – Tiered Supports for Individual Learners
Susan R. Sandall, University of Washington

Dr. Susan Sandall talked about the idea of tiered supports, or levels of supports, to meet the learning needs of each learner. It is based on the work of the Head Start Center for Inclusion and other projects. She focused on making modifications to the curriculum and learning experiences, as well as embedded teaching within ongoing activities and routines. She also discussed research on modifications and embedded teaching.

Resources for Tiered Supports for Individual Learners

2014 Broadcasts

10/27/2014 – An Introduction to the Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report: for Head Start Classrooms
Bridget Hamre, University of Virginia

This presentation provided an overview of NCQTL's Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report. It presented information to help Head Start programs use the report to guide decisions about their classroom curricula.

Q&A for An Introduction to the Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report: for Head Start Classrooms

Resources for An Introduction to the Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report: for Head Start Classrooms

9/22/2014 – Classroom-Based and Parent-Focused Interventions for Promoting Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children
Erin Barton, Vanderbilt University

Explore an overview of 10 classroom approaches that focus on enhancing children's social-emotional competence. The video also presents eight parenting interventions. They are based on a review that used the adoption criteria introduced by Joseph and Strain (2003). It discusses the results and the implications for teachers, families, and children.

Q&A for Classroom-Based and Parent-Focused Interventions for Promoting Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children

Resources for Classroom-Based and Parent-Focused Interventions for Promoting Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children

08/25/2014 – Head Start CARES: The Implementation and Impacts of Preschool Social-Emotional Interventions at Scale
Dr. Shira Mattera, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)

The Head Start CARES study is a large-scale randomized control trial of three different social-emotional interventions in Head Start (Incredible Years Teacher Training, Preschool PATHS, and Tools of the Mind – Play). Dr. Mattera described the implementation system put in place to support the enhancements, including training, coaching, monitoring, and technical assistance, as well as how they were used in the classroom. Also she presented the impacts of each enhancement on teacher practices and child outcomes. Finally, Dr. Mattera discussed lessons learned about supporting and implementing these social-emotional enhancements at scale across the country.

Q&A for Head Start CARES: The Implementation and Impacts of Preschool Social-Emotional Interventions at Scale

Resources for Head Start CARES: The Implementation and Impacts of Preschool Social-Emotional Interventions at Scale

10/27/2014 – An Introduction to the Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report: for Head Start Classrooms
Bridget Hamre, University of Virginia

This presentation provided an overview of NCQTL's Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report. It presented information to help Head Start programs use the report to guide decisions about their classroom curricula.

Q&A for An Introduction to the Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report: for Head Start Classrooms

Resources for An Introduction to the Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report: for Head Start Classrooms

9/22/2014 – Classroom-Based and Parent-Focused Interventions for Promoting Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children
Erin Barton, Vanderbilt University

Explore an overview of 10 classroom approaches that focus on enhancing children’s social-emotional competence. The video also presents eight parenting interventions. They are based on a review that used the adoption criteria introduced by Joseph and Strain (2003). It discusses the results and the implications for teachers, families, and children.

Q&A for Classroom-Based and Parent-Focused Interventions for Promoting Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children

Resources for Classroom-Based and Parent-Focused Interventions for Promoting Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children

08/25/2014 – Head Start CARES: The Implementation and Impacts of Preschool Social-Emotional Interventions at Scale
Dr. Shira Mattera, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC)

The Head Start CARES study is a large-scale randomized control trial of three different social-emotional interventions in Head Start (Incredible Years Teacher Training, Preschool PATHS, and Tools of the Mind – Play). Dr. Mattera described the implementation system put in place to support the enhancements, including training, coaching, monitoring, and technical assistance, as well as how they were used in the classroom. Also she presented the impacts of each enhancement on teacher practices and child outcomes. Finally, Dr. Mattera discussed lessons learned about supporting and implementing these social-emotional enhancements at scale across the country.

Q&A for Head Start CARES: The Implementation and Impacts of Preschool Social-Emotional Interventions at Scale

Resources for Head Start CARES: The Implementation and Impacts of Preschool Social-Emotional Interventions at Scale

05/19/2014 – Moving Right Along: Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior
Dr. Kathleen Artman Meeker, University of Washington
Dr. Kiersten Kinder, Susan Gray School of Peabody College

For many teachers, transitions are the hardest parts of the day. Researchers estimate that young children spend up to 30 percent of their day transitioning. This can include arrival, departure, preparing for meals, and moving between areas or activities. Children's challenging behavior may be related to how staff members plan, schedule, and implement transitions. Predictable, structured routines are critical for helping children feel secure. Find out how they also can help teachers maximize learning.

Q&A for Moving Right Along: Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior

Resources for Moving Right Along: Planning Transitions to Prevent Challenging Behavior

04/28/2014 – A Framework for Planning Professional Development in Emergent Literacy
Dr. Jeanette McCollum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Tweety Yates, NCQTL & University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. McCollum and Dr. Yates describe the tiered framework they used, over a four-year period, to plan and deliver professional development. Activities included teacher institutes, small group meetings, and coaching. On the call, they focus on how use of the framework was reflected in changes in professional development over time. They also highlight how it supported the use of individualized classroom coaching. Examples from classrooms at the lowest and highest tiers show how coaching was guided by differences in teachers’ learning.

Q&A for A Framework for Planning Professional Development in Emergent Literacy

Resources for A Framework for Planning Professional Development in Emergent Literacy

03/24/2014 – Science and Math in Preschool Curriculum: Can All Young Children Benefit?
Dr. Eva Horn, University of Kansas, Lawrence

Preschool curriculum lays the foundation for the kindergarten curriculum and later school success. Young children desire to explore math and science concepts in their everyday lives whether it is observing differences or figuring out a problem. Fostering chances to develop these skills can help children develop positive attitudes toward learning and encourage dispositions, such as inventiveness and persistence. These attitudes also can contribute to future success in school. For the preschool child science can include vocabulary, predictions, and experiments while math can be graphing, recording data, counting, shapes, and patterns. This call describes how we sequentially integrate math and science into a comprehensive preschool curriculum. It also provides specific examples of activities and activity plans. Examples include ways to plan and adapt to benefit all children, including those with special needs.

Q&A for Science and Math in Preschool Curriculum: Can All Young Children Benefit?

Resources for Science and Math in Preschool Curriculum: Can All Young Children Benefit?

02/24/2014 – An Introduction to the Project Approach: How and Why
Dr. Sallee Beneke, St. Ambrose University

The Project Approach is a set of teaching strategies that enable teachers to guide children through in-depth studies of real-world topics. Children have the chance to use their current strengths and to develop new knowledge and skills. As they participate in projects, children can feel highly motivated and actively involved. Projects provide chances for teachers to support young children's learning in ways that are developmentally appropriate.

Broadcast call participants learned to: identify key components of the Project Approach; incorporate its use with a comprehensive curricula; and see examples of the Project Approach in action.

Q&A for An Introduction to the Project Approach: How and Why

Resources for An Introduction to the Project Approach: How and Why

2013 Broadcasts

10/28/2013 – Improving Head Start Children's Understanding of Numbers
Dr. Robert S. Siegler

In this presentation, Dr. Siegler presented the results of his research with Head Start children using a board game that can improve their math knowledge and skills through a brief and enjoyable interaction.

Q&A for Improving Head Start Children's Understanding of Numbers

Resources for Improving Head Start Children's Understanding of Numbers

9/23/2013 – Facilitating Children's Friendships: The Adult's Role in Supporting Peer Relationships
Dr. Michaelene Ostrosky and Lori Meyer

In this presentation Dr. Michaelene Ostrosky and Lori Meyer shared evidence-based strategies for supporting young children's friendship development. Establishing friendships is an important developmental goal of early childhood. Friendships established during the preschool years create valuable contexts to learn and practice skills essential to children's development across domains.

Q&A for Facilitating Children's Friendships

Resources for Facilitating Children's Friendships

5/20/2013 – Building Executive Function Skills in Children and Adults
Dr. Juliet Morrison

Research about early childhood adverse experiences and early brain development have highlighted the importance of promoting key executive functioning skills—such as memory and attention—to improve children's outcomes. In this presentation, Dr. Morrison described definitions and development of executive function, as well as how adults can support children within early learning environments.

Q&A for Building Executive Function Skills in Children and Adults

3/25/2013 – Supporting Young Writers in Preschool: A Framework for Understanding Early Writing Development
Dr. Sonia Cabell, University of Virginia

Dr. Sonia Cabell described a framework for teachers to evaluate and understand the writing that young children produce. In addition, she shared research-based guidance on how to individualize instruction in preschool to capitalize on each child's strengths.

Q&A for Supporting Young Writers in Preschool: A Framework for Understanding Early Writing Development

2/25/2013 – The Importance of Peer Interaction and Social Pretend Play
Dr. Carollee Howes, University of California at Los Angeles

Dr. Howes described the development of social pretend play in toddler and preschool age children. She provided examples of the beginning social play of infants and toddlers and discussed how these early play forms transform into more developed social pretend. Dr. Howes also discussed theories of how both home and school cultural communities influence the development of social pretend play and how Early Head Start Programs as well as Head Start Programs can encourage social play.

Q&A for The Importance of Peer Interaction and Social Pretend Play

01/28/2013 Science in the Preschool Classroom: Why and How This Can Be a Teacher's Best Friend
Dr. Daryl B. Greenfield, University of Miami

Science is a Head Start mandated readiness domain. So why is science rarely present in Head Start classrooms? When surveyed, teachers report two key barriers: Feeling unprepared to teach science and a lack of time to devote to it, given all the readiness areas that need to be covered. Dr. Greenfield discussed why these barriers are false and how science can help teachers increase scores on the CLASS™ "instructional support" domain, and cover and improve multiple areas of school readiness for children.

Q&A for Science in the Preschool Classroom: Why and How This Can Be a Teacher's Best Friend

2012 Broadcasts

11/26/2012 Early Math for School Readiness Kids Play Math: An Overview
Dr. Jeff Farmer, University of Denver & and Jenny Lerner, M. Ed., Lerner Consulting Services

Dr. Jeff Farmer and Jenny Lerner, M. Ed., presented information on the Kids Play Math computer games project, teacher training and support system, that was developed with an Office of Head Start Innovation and Improvement grant to support early math for school readiness. They shared results of how Kids Play Math is implemented in classrooms and how it impacts student and teacher mathematics learning.

Q&A for Early Math for School Readiness Kids Play Math: An Overview

10/22/2012 The Characteristics of Intentional, Mature, Make-Believe Play: How Play Influences Development
Dr. Deborah J. Leong, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Dr. Leong described the characteristics of the kind of play that helps children learn social-emotional skills, cognitive skills, and self-regulation, from the Vygotskian perspective. She discussed the leading developmental play activity for preschool and kindergarten, and how teachers can support it.

Q&A for The Characteristics of Intentional, Mature, Make-Believe Play: How Play Influences Development

8/27/2012 Science for Preschoolers? Yes and No
Professor Rochel Gelman, Rutgers-New Brunswick University

Professor Rochel Gelman delivered evidence supporting the idea that it is possible to develop learning opportunities for young "scientists-in-waiting," who are members of all cultural, socio-economic, and linguistic groups. The vast majority of these children enjoy learning about the what, the how, and the language of science.

Q&A for Science for Preschoolers? Yes and No

7/23/2012 Caregiver Interventions to Enrich Early Language Environments for Children in Poverty
Dr. Dana Suskind, University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital

Dr. Suskind and her colleague, Kristin Leffel, discussed the development of the Thirty Million Words Project. This parent-directed behavioral intervention was designed to address disparities in the early language environments of low-income children. The project involved typically developing children below the age of three and combined an educational curriculum of video and animation with a "quantitative linguistic feedback" strategy utilizing LENA technology. The presenters also presented early results from families on Chicago's South Side involved in the Thirty Million Words Project.

Q&A for Caregiver Interventions to Enrich Early Language Environments for Children in Poverty

6/25/2012 Assessment and Progress Monitoring in Early Childhood
Dr. Scott McConnell, University of Minnesota

In this presentation, Dr. Scott McConnell described ways that programs and classroom staff can monitor individual children and classrooms or programs to ensure that children are making adequate progress toward school readiness. He also presented the benefits and liabilities of two different types of approaches to monitoring progress: observational curriculum approaches and direct general outcomes approaches.

Q&A for Assessment and Progress Monitoring in Early Childhood

5/21/2012 Teaching New Words: Embedding Vocabulary Instruction in Storybooks
Dr. Elizabeth Spencer and Dr. Howard Goldstein, Ohio State University

Dr. Elizabeth Spencer and Dr. Howard Goldstein provided recommendations to guide practitioners in the selection of useful and teachable vocabulary targets. They presented a framework for the design of explicit instruction and provided suggestions for differentiating instruction for individual children.

Q&A for Embedding Vocabulary Instruction in Storybooks

5/21/2012 Enseñanza de palabras nuevas: Integrar la enseñanza de vocabulario a los libros de cuentos
Dra. Elizabeth Spencer y Dr. Howard Goldstein, Universidad Estatal de Ohio

La Dra. Elizabeth Spencer y el Dr. Howard Goldstein formulan recomendaciones, con el fin de orientar a los profesionales en la selección de objetivos de vocabulario útil y enseñable. Presentan un marco para el diseño de la enseñanza explícita y brindan sugerencias para la enseñanza diferenciada e individual para cada niño.

Preguntas y respuestas sobre integrar la enseñanza de vocabulario a los libros de cuentos

4/23/2012 Foundations for Social, Emotional and Academic Competence: Poverty and the Development of Effortful Control.
Dr. Liliana Lengua, University of Washington

Dr. Liliana Lengua presented information on effortful control, a core aspect of self-regulation, which has been shown to predict academic, social, and emotional success in both typical and at-risk children.

Q&A for Poverty and the Development of Effortful Control

3/26/2012 - The Power of Partnerships: How to Create Meaningful Connections with Parents
Dr. Susan Sheridan, University of Nebraska

Dr. Susan Sheridan presented information on establishing effective partnerships with parents to support young children's learning and development.

Q&A for How to Create Meaningful Connections with Parents

2/27/2012 - Promoting Creativity in Early Childhood Classrooms
Dr. Nancy Hertzog, University of Washington

Dr. Nancy Hertzog presented an overview of nurturing and promoting creativity through intentional classroom design and engagement.

References and Q&A for Promoting Creativity in Early Childhood Classrooms

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Last Reviewed: July 2016

Last Updated: February 17, 2017