Instructional Resources

Blended Learning

Young children learn best in the context of relationships and through play and engaging hands-on activities. In early childhood classrooms, the relationships children develop with their teaching teams and caregivers are crucial to their development and learning. Additionally, the toys, games, and other materials in their classrooms support discovery and exploration – an essential component of early learning. At home, families, caregivers, and children build on those explorations by engaging in joyful, fun play and activities that build on children’s natural curiosity. With this in mind, the focus of blended learning for children ages 0-5 is centered around building connections between in-classroom and at home experiences.

The Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) has released resources to support planning and implementation of blended learning (a combination of in-person and remote learning) for children ages 0-5. The documents below provide guidance for implementing blended learning and supporting families with the remote and blended learning processes. 

For more guidance on fall 2020 readiness planning, visit the Early Childhood Summer/Fall 2020 Readiness page. Please also reach out to your early childhood contacts for support and further questions.

Remote Learning

Young children learn best in the context of relationships and through play-based, hands-on, and engaging activities. In their early childhood classrooms, the relationships they develop with their teaching teams and caregivers are crucial to their development and learning. Additionally, the toys, games, and other materials in their classrooms support discovery and exploration – an essential component of early learning. For these reasons, remote learning for young children is centered around helping families, caregivers, and children connect and engage in joyful, fun, play-based activities that build on children’s natural curiosity. The resources on this page are intended to support leaders and teaching teams as they plan for and implement remote learning within their early childhood communities.

Remote Learning Guidance

Remote learning for young children is centered around helping families, caregivers, and children connect and engage in joyful, fun, play-based activities that build on children’s natural curiosity. This Birth-to-Five Remote Learning Implementation Guidance document provides specific examples to support families and caregivers with remote learning, as well as curriculum planning considerations and guidance using DECE-approved curricula for children birth to five years of age. The DECE recognizes that the needs of each family, program, and community are different; this guidance is intended to be a scaffold for programs as they advance play-based learning and responsive instruction (EFQ 3), and respect and value differences (EFQ1), as outlined in the Early Childhood Framework for Quality (EFQ).

Additionally, these suggestions can support leaders and teachers in reflecting upon their remote learning experiences to inform their communications and planning. 

The Spring into Learning! packet offers activity ideas, broken down by age (infant/toddler and 3-K/pre-K) and aligned to a theme. Each day also includes optional online resources for 3-K and pre-K children. Based on what teachers learn through check-ins with families, they are encouraged to support remote learning by sharing a few activities with them. The ideas can be used for any time of year as they are written, or as a starting point to create your own activities that are meaningful, age-appropriate, and responsive to families’ needs.

Let’s Play at Home offers Family Child Care Networks and affiliated providers a weekly set of hands-on, play-based activities to support families with at-home learning. Activities are designed around a particular theme each week and include some age specific suggestions for infants, toddlers and young preschoolers as well as many activities that can be done with children across age groups. The activities are designed to be flexible enough that families could use easily available materials and draw on their own cultural resources to choose songs and stories that are personally meaningful. 

Children and Family Engagement

Families are encouraged to visit the Learn at Home: Early Childhood for resources to support them in engaging their children in fun, educational experiences at home.

Online Learning Platforms

The resources below are optional online learning platforms that can be used by teaching teams.

The webinar below serves as a guide for early childhood teachers on how to navigate to this page as well as other pages with resources for families to support learning at home. Both links below can be used to access the webinar on different platforms:

Units of Study

In Pre-K for All, 3-K for All, and EarlyLearn teaching staff integrate and respond to knowledge of children, child development, and content across the domains of learning to plan and adapt instruction, aligned to the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) and the Pre-K Foundation for the Common Core (PKFCC).

While programs may use any research based, developmentally appropriate curriculum that is aligned to the ELOF (3-K) and PKFCC (Pre-K), the NYCDOE Explorations and Interdisciplinary Units of Study (Units) are free resources available to all Pre-K for All, 3-K for All, and EarlyLearn programs.

Explorations and Units follow the same scope and sequence, which is aligned to the NYCDOE Kindergarten Social Studies scope and sequence. The Scope and Sequence reflects how children learn: from concrete to abstract, from inward (self) to outward (the world).

If you are not a Pre-K for All, 3-K for All, or EarlyLearn provider, send an email to deceinstruction@schools.nyc.gov to request permission to use this curriculum or any portion thereof. Please indicate the following:

  • The name and location of your school or program;
  • Which units you would like to use; and
  • How you intend to use them.

Units of Study: Instructional Guidance for Pre-K

The Division of Early Childhood Education has developed a series of interdisciplinary Units of Study for Pre-K for All. This research based resource was created in collaboration with researchers and supports student learning in all domains using developmentally appropriate practice.

  • There are 10 Units total, each designed to last about a month.
  • This Scope and Sequence shows a progression of interdisciplinary learning throughout the year in three sections.


Additional resources to support the use of Units:

Updated Book List

The Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) has released an updated book list for Pre-K for All programs in alignment with our pre-K curriculum Units of Study. DECE conducted an audit of the previous book list and the books selected for this updated list were chosen with the goal of creating a book list that reflects our City’s diversity. Throughout the process, the DECE and its partners took into consideration the representation of authors, characters, and illustrators with diverse traits including, but not limited to race, ability, and family structure.

This book list serves as a starting place for programs and programs are encouraged to use additional books and curricular resources to reflect their community. The Units of Study will be updated later this winter to reflect the new list, and programs can begin using the books as part of the curriculum in the fall. The DECE is committed to ensuring that our curricular resources reflect our City, and will continually improve our resources to support your programs in providing culturally responsive education to the children you serve.

Purchasing Unit Book Collections

The Unit foundational and supporting texts can be purchased from the following vendor. Note that the vendor may not be able to source specific titles, so review the titles included in each collection before ordering. 

Lectorum Publications, Inc.

  • District Schools and Pre-K Centers: to order these books through FAMIS, visit shopdoe.com and enter these codes.
  • NYCEECs: to order these books directly from Lectorum Publications, Inc., email the following contacts:
    • ffebus@lectorum.com
    • hviskovic@lectorum.com
    • llopez@lectorum.com 

Explorations: Instructional Guidance for 3-K

Grounded in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework, Explorations provide instructional opportunities for 3-K for All teaching staff, children, and families to connect, explore materials, and learn together. Explorations invite engagement in comprehensive, in-depth, play-based learning across domains. Topics and activities in Explorations begin with routines and the classroom community then progress to more abstract ideas throughout the year.

Explorations are grounded in research on developmental expectations as described in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five (ELOF), which outlines the skills, behaviors and concepts programs foster as they engage with our youngest learners. By using the three Explorations as written, programs will support all of the preschool goals included in the framework.

The three Explorations are designed to be implemented in 3-K for All classrooms over the course of the ten-month program year.

Additional Resources to Support the Use of Explorations

Printable schedule cards are available here. A variety of options are available including:

Printable templates:

Explorations Materials List (coming soon)

  • Exploration One
  • Exploration Two
  • Exploration Three

Explorations Book Collection

Updated Book List

The Division of Early Childhood Education (DECE) has released an updated book list for 3-K for All programs in alignment with our 3-K curriculum, Explorations. DECE conducted an audit of the previous book list and the books selected for this updated list were chosen with the goal of creating a book list that reflects our City’s diversity. Throughout the process, the DECE and its partners took into consideration the representation of authors, characters, and illustrators with diverse traits including, but not limited to race, ability, and family structure.

This book list serves as a starting place for programs and programs are encouraged to use additional books and curricular resources to reflect their community. Explorations will be updated throughout this year, and programs can begin using the new titles this fall. The DECE is committed to ensuring that our curricular resources reflect our City, and will continually improve our resources to support your programs in providing culturally responsive education to the children you serve.

Purchasing Explorations Book Collections

The Explorations texts can be purchased from the following vendor. Note that the vendor may not be able to source specific titles, so review the titles included in each collection before ordering. 

Lectorum Publications, Inc.

  • District Schools and Pre-K Centers: to order these books through FAMIS, visit shopdoe.com and enter this code: 9781632459091.
  • NYCEECs: to order these books directly from Lectorum Publications, Inc., email the following contacts:
    • ffebus@lectorum.com
    • hviskovic@lectorum.com
    • llopez@lectorum.com 

Connections: Infant & Toddler Curriculum for Responsive Care

Explore

Sites participating in Explore implement the Building Blocks math curriculum in conjunction with the NYC Interdisciplinary Units of Study for their 4s curricula. 3s classrooms participating in Explore Cohort 5 implement the research-based Explorations and Building Blocks Learning Trajectories as their curricula. Sites receive the necessary curricular resources as well as two years of targeted coaching support.

There are specific Units for programs participating in Explore:

There are specific Explorations for 3-K for All programs participating in Explore. Two of the three Explorations are available below. The other Exploration will be available shortly. 

Explore Materials Inquiries

Explore Cohort 4 and Cohort 5 sites (programs that will be attending Explore training during the 2019-2020 school year): Please contact explore@schools.nyc.gov with any inquiries regarding materials, or speak directly with your Explore coach.

Explore sites in Cohort 1, 2, or 3 (Previously participated in the 2-year NYC Pre-K Explore instructional track):

Summer Learning Fun

Letter to Families

Math at Home

Please reach out to explore@schools.nyc.gov for any further clarification or general guidance.

Additional resources to support the use of Explore Units:

Supporting Emergent Multilingual Learners 

The Emergent Multilingual Learners Language Profile Protocol (EMLLPP) supports early childhood teaching teams in advancing positive outcomes for Emergent Multilingual Learner (EMLLs) children and families. The EMLLPP was developed by the New York State Education Department’s Office of Early Learning, and utilizes a comprehensive home language survey, includes a family interview, and supports teaching teams in planning instruction for EMLLs. Using the EMLLPP will support teaching teams in gaining valuable information about Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLLs), promote strong instructional and family engagement practices, and strengthen the language and literacy development of children in their home language and in English. Note that using the EMLLPP is optional, but encouraged.

Refer to the detailed Guidance for Implementing the Emergent Multilingual Learners Language Profile Protocol (EMLLPP), and find access to the 3-K and pre-K surveys and infant/toddler surveys below. Note that all surveys are fillable, and available in the 9 DOE translations on this site. The New York State Education Department’s Office of Early Learning has additional translations for the 3-K and Pre-K survey available on their site.

The Core Principles for Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLLs) highlight key principles and instructional practices in early childhood for supporting children whose home language is a language other than English. As the number of linguistically diverse families in New York City increases, it is critical for programs to provide language supports for instruction and programming in response to the needs of the communities they serve. Program staff are encouraged to review the "Core Principles for Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLLs)," which outline the beliefs and practices that support high-quality instruction for EMLLs. The Core Principles are research-based, support instructional best practices; promote the development of children's home language in the classroom, program, and home environment; and support positive outcomes for children. 

Dual Language programs received an email with Blended Learning Guidance for Dual Language Pre-K for All Programs, which outlines programmatic guidance to support Dual Language classrooms with implementing a blended learning model. Dual Language programs can access the Blended Learning Guidance for Dual Language Pre-K for All Programs, as well as updated Units of Study translations, on our new Pre-K Dual Language website. Resources will be posted to the site as they are created or updated. 

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