To augment the use of the district/charter’s chosen curriculum, consider the use of the CIRCLE Activity Collection
for supplemental classroom activities and lessons. The CIRCLE Activity Collection is available for free to all Texas public schools through TSR Online; the activities are accessed through the online platform that houses TSR Online tools and resources, CLI Engage. All activities were re-aligned to the child outcomes in the newly-adopted Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (2015) before the start of the 2016-17 school year.
All school districts and charter schools following High Quality Prekindergarten Program guidelines are strongly encouraged to upload prekindergarten and kindergarten assessment data into the Early Childhood Data System (ECDS), part of the Texas Student Data System (TSDS). On CLI Engage, the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System
and Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment
were approved for the 2017-2021 Commissioner’s List of Approved Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Assessment Instruments. Review the following document document for the list of required measures for districts uploading data into the Early Childhood Data System:
The CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System and Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment were developed and validated by the Children’s Learning Institute at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Both assessments are available at no cost to all Texas public school districts and charter schools on CLI Engage.
There are many resources to support school districts and charter schools planning to implement the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System and Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment during the school year. These resources, available for free to all TSR Online participants, include:
The Children’s Learning Institute professional development model is designed to encourage teachers to review new information, reflect on what they have learned, and provide opportunities for practical application. All online courses offer CPE certificates upon completion. Specifically, the online professional development courses available on CLI Engage provide opportunities for:
- Experiential learning through reflective practice and viewing documentary style videos of real classroom teachers
- Practical application that connects classroom activities to put new foundational learning into practice and implement content strategies in the classroom
- Direct interaction using one of five professional development delivery models can guide and validate understanding (see the TSR-HB4/Rider 78 Training Alignment for more information about the delivery models)
- Automatic delivery of certificates of completion for online professional development, including automatic transfer into user’s free Texas Workforce Registry account
In addition to being certified to teach in the state of Texas (under TEC Chapter 21, Subchapter B), each teacher must also have additional training or credentials. Texas School Ready provides avenues for teachers to meet these requirements:
- (option 1) A Child Development Associate (CDA) credential™
- (option 5) Documented completion of TSR Comprehensive
- (option 6) Completed 150 hours of professional development in ECE-specific topics, with 75 of the 150 hours being in a mentoring/coaching relationship
- (option 7) Completes 30 hours of ECE-specific professional development annually, with 15 of the 30 hours being in a mentoring/coaching relationship, until 150 hours are documented
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING: Through TSR Online, administrators and specialists can support teachers at school districts and charter schools to develop and complete a customized professional development plan using online training on CLI Engage (all aligned to the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines) at no cost. CLI Engage houses all 16 eCIRCLE online courses, used in TSR classrooms for over ten years; these courses have been proven to improve teachers’ content knowledge in these important skill areas, and can be completed self-paced or through facilitated, face-to-face sessions. CLI Engage also houses a new series of online training courses for the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines (2015); through 11 courses, teachers are introduced to the guidelines, instructional strategies and child outcomes across all 10 domains with extensive videos and links to the CIRCLE Activity Collection.
Customization of CLI Engage Online Professional Development: There are two main ways courses in the library can be delivered to teachers:
- By default, all teachers enrolled in TSR Online have access to the self-instructional version of CLI Engage online courses, including eCIRCLE courses. This allows teachers to access the information on their own, when they want/need to;
- CLI Engage also offers a unique opportunity for school districts, charters, and Education Service Centers to offer these same eCIRCLE courses through a facilitated model that combines self-study with face-to-face activities and interactions with a course facilitator or master teacher. This allows the content to be delivered in a more customized manner, meeting the needs of the district and teachers.
CLI has designed detailed facilitation guides for all of the eCIRCLE and Texas PKG online courses that delve deeper into interactively exploring and processing the research and strategies. These guides are provided at no cost to approved facilitators after a brief vetting process. The facilitator uses the guides to chart a path for the cohort of participants. Learn more about the CLI Engage Online Course Facilitator process. The following delivery models are recommendations for school districts to consider when determining training plans from their teachers:
- Face-to-Face Sessions: This delivery model allows for participants to come together in a face-to-face setting and participate in the courses as a group, covering one or two sections of each course. These sessions are designed to be one-two hours in length and be held at regularly scheduled intervals, such as weekly or every other week throughout the year. Activities for participants to practice in the classroom between sessions are included.
- Extended Face-to-Face Sessions: In this model, participants meet together for a full, six to eight hour day of professional development and cover multiple sections of each course. These sessions may take place during scheduled professional development days, on additional days set aside specifically for eCIRCLE classes, release days, etc. As in the shorter face-to-face sessions, activities for participants to implement in the classroom are included as part of the agenda.
- Hybrid Sessions: The hybrid session combines a face-to-face session with additional assigned, self-paced learning. The participants meet together face-to-face to cover one or two sections of the course. At the end of the session, the facilitator assigns additional course sections to be covered independently by the participants and completed by a specific deadline. The face-to-face learning sessions are one or two hours in length and spaced out sufficiently to allow participants ample time to complete the independent course work between sessions.
- Self-Paced Courses: In this delivery model, no face-to-face sessions for participants are offered. The eCIRCLE facilitator determines specific content to be covered and assigns it to participants for independent study. A discussion board can be included in this model.
Coaching to Support Professional Development: The eCIRCLE online courses were developed using CLI’s professional development model, including experiential learning, practical application, and direct interaction. Additionally, when these courses are facilitated, course facilitators have access to customized mentoring tips. These are useful for follow-up contact in classroom with teachers to both support the course material learned and promote reflective practice on their learning as synthesized into classroom practice. Other components on the platform such as the Classroom Observation Tool or the CIRCLE Activity Collection are referenced as a resource for supporting focused content with data. Below are several examples for your teachers to utilize TSR’s free trainings to meet the grant program’s requirements, but the opportunities are not limited to these proposed implementations. Click here to download sample training plans and consider how TSR’s training options might fit into your district/charter’s established early release days, waiver days, or new teacher academies.
- Sample Training Plan 1 – Teachers complete 15 hours of face-to-face training through the CIRCLE Two-Day Training, and additional hours of online, self-paced training using eCIRCLE courses to meet the minimum requirement of 30 hours.
- Sample Training Plan 2 – Teachers complete 15 hours of face-to-face, facilitated training of eCIRCLE courses, using free facilitation guides provided by TSR to your district/charter. Teachers will also complete at least 15 additional self-paced training using the eCIRCLE courses online.
CIRCLE CDA TRAINING PROGRAM: TSR offers the CIRCLE CDA Training Program to all TSR Online participants. Through the CIRCLE CDA Training Program, preschool teachers can earn all 120 training hours needed to apply for the CDA-Preschool Endorsement for free. All courses will be housed on CLI Engage, our online platform. The CIRCLE CDA Training Program utilizes eCIRCLE courses, supplemented with additional online courses to fulfill all content knowledge required to successfully achieve a Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™. Like the eCIRCLE online courses, the CIRCLE CDA Training Program could also be facilitated through face-to-face sessions using TSR-provided facilitation guides. Visit CLI Engage for more information about the CIRCLE CDA Training Program. The online courses and assignments for the CIRCLE CDA Training Program were developed using CLI’s professional development model, including experiential learning, practical application, and direct interaction. Additionally, through the CIRCLE CDA Training Program, teachers will complete at least 20 hours in preparing their detailed professional portfolio through the CIRCLE CDA professional portfolio course, similar to a capstone project. The CDA Professional Portfolio includes:
- Resource Collection Items
- Competency Statements
- Professional Philosophy Statement, and
- Family Questionnaires
COMPLETION OF TEXAS SCHOOL READY TRAINING PROGRAM (TSR COMPREHENSIVE):Teachers who previously participated in Texas School Ready may contact the Children’s Learning Institute to confirm their TSR completion. The Children’s Learning Institute is able to confirm TSR completion from 2008-present; we will provide a certificate of completion to each teacher upon their request. EACH TEACHER who previously completed at least two years in Texas School Ready must apply for a certificate to confirm their TSR completion. Staff at the Children’s Learning Institute will review the information submitted through this form. If a teacher’s completion can be confirmed, a certificate will be emailed to the teacher for their records. It will take approximately 10 days to confirm participation and award the certificate. We may contact you during that time if more information is needed. Click here to apply for a TSR completion certificate. Teachers may have completed TSR Comprehensive under a different name:
- Texas Early Education Model (TEEM)
- Prekindergarten Early Start Grant (PKES)
- Texas School Ready! (TSR)
- TSR Comprehensive
Coaching can significantly improve early childhood teachers’ instructional quality, and in turn child outcomes, when it provides sustained opportunities for individualized practice and feedback with an expert and/or mentor. Effective coaching models use systematic observation of specific language and literacy teaching practices to identify priority areas to set goals, and track progress toward reaching goals. TSR Online provides a series of tools for school districts and charter schools interested in supporting their teachers through mentoring and coaching, from beginning classroom observation to implementing a program to support your teachers.
- The TSR Advancing Remote Coaching project provides 5 sessions of individualized, data-driven, coaching for a teacher; the coaching is tightly connected with professional development content and is delivered by a specially-trained TSR coach. The goal of this coaching support is to help teachers improve their practice using targeted tools and methods to meet each teacher’s specific needs in the classroom. In our remote model, coaches communicate with teachers via Skype, web postings, and by phone, providing guidance on the teacher’s own recorded instruction. Offered at no cost, participating teachers will receive a certificate for coaching hours, in compliance with Rider 78, at the conclusion of their coaching support. Learn more and apply!
- The “Effective Mentoring Strategies” eCIRCLE course, found in the online course library on CLI Engage, is designed to introduce the key components of mentoring and effective strategies to help mentors support early childhood teachers in their work with children. Through a series of video examples and practice activities including tools and strategies that will help mentors guide teachers of varying levels of experience, the course highlights mentors supporting early childhood teachers’ efforts to promote social-emotional development, early literacy, and math and science skills.
- The Classroom Observation Tool (COT) and the Classroom Environment Checklist (CEC), both available under the Assessment tab on CLI Engage, are two formative assessment tools used to identify instructional supports needed, provide feedback, and set goals for teacher ongoing continuous improvement. The COT catalogs the different teacher behaviors observed and implemented, and the CEC rates the quality of the opportunities provided by the arrangement of the classroom. Also, view exemplar CEC classroom images and COT teacher behavior videos.
- CLI Engage offers numerous webinars to support understanding of the resources and ways to further embed the resources into your district/charter’s initiatives, including several sessions on using classroom observation tools.
Comprehensive resources for parents are available on the CLI Engage platform at no cost to schools or parents. Visit the CLI Engage Family Engagement Resources page
for more information. The new CIRCLE Activity Collection for Families
includes fun, easy activity ideas that families can do together to help support important school readiness skills for children ages 0-6 in English and Spanish. The collection is available to teachers and parents for free!
There are several how-to guides for school staff to support sharing these resources with families in the Training and Support section, including:
- Adding parent/guardian email addresses to CLI Engage to share home activities
- Emailing home activities to parents and guardians directly through CLI Engage
- Sharing progress monitoring results with parents through printed reports and online access to CLI Engage
If your district/charter is considering partnerships with child care programs, we encourage you to review the following resources:
- Community-Based School Readiness Integration Partnerships: Promoting Sustainable Collaborations toolkit that may serve as a guide and provides information on collaboration and partnership models for early childhood programs in Texas, from initial assessment and set-up to sustainability
- Public-Private Partnerships resources and information on CLI Engage
The following four partnership models are the most common in Texas communities. Please refer to the partnership toolkit for more detailed information about these partnership models, and how to set-up and sustain a partnership in your community.
- Stacked or Flip/Flop Model – The “stacked” or “stacking” model, also known as the “flip-flop” model, describes two programs offered sequentially in order to piece together a full day of early care and education.
- Concurrent Model – The “concurrent” model is used when more than one program is offered simultaneously and each program provides different services to a group of children in order to enhance and expand services.
- Wraparound Model – The “wraparound” integrated model involves more than one program working together to provide both core and either before – or – after-school services or both.
- Subcontracting Model – In the subcontracting model, one program subcontracts with another to provide services to children. The design of the subcontracting model determines how much integration occurs among the programs. Subcontracting can involve one agency designating another as a surrogate agency to provide services. In this model, there may be little to no joint planning or involvement regarding service delivery.