TEA requested assistance from the TXCC in revising its Pre-K program for 3- and 4-year-old migrant children. The existing curriculum, Building Bridges, was over 20 years old and is not available electronically. The TXCC and TEA enlisted the aid of university faculty, education service center staff, content center staff, and practitioners from across the state in the planning process. The revision evolved into an entirely new program that has been named Stepping Stones: A Texas Migrant Early Childhood Program for 3- and 4-Year Olds.
The home-based component consists of 100 lessons, in English and Spanish, which are aligned to the Revised Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines. They heavily emphasize language and literacy development and follow a "gradual release of responsibility" model that empowers parents to be successful teachers of their children. In addition to the lessons, a program manual will be included for home educators and Migrant Education Program (MEP) coordinators. The manual will provide guidance for the use of the program, as well as resources and teaching tips. Training materials are also being created to train migrant-program staff in the effective use of the Stepping Stones materials.
Work in 2010–2011
Fifteen lessons were developed and field-tested in April and again in September 2011. Feedback from field testers was incorporated into final versions of the lesson. Completed lessons were reviewed by TXCC and TEA staff as well as by an expert in early childhood education from the Center on Instruction. The TXCC also conducted a walkthrough of the program, and the stakeholders attending that session provided additional feedback to refine the program.
Work in 2011–2012
During the current project year, the English and Spanish home-based lessons will be finalized, along with the manual and training materials. Following completion of the training materials, TXCC staff will assist TEA in launching the program at a day-and-a-half training session for the regional education service centers (ESCs). During the training, ESC staff will receive print copies of all Stepping Stones materials for the home-based component, in addition to the associated children's books. Finally, all program materials and training materials will be made available on the TEA document-sharing site, Project Share.
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