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Center Staff Appear on Cable TV Show

Center staff recently appeared on Charter 14's "On the Homefront" show to discuss their efforts to support parents in utilizing dialogic reading strategies.  Program Coordinator Julia DeLapp and Continuing Education Associate Dean Carol Williams discuss the Center's grant from the Windham Area Women and Girls Fund, and give strategies that families can use to promote more oral language during book reading.

See the show here: http://ctv14.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=b51dc46580f1cb3f422cbc8c6a65d2a0.  Scroll to the mid-point to see segment 2. 

Center Releases Two New Videos on Early Childhood Math

Girls with tape.jpgThe Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University is pleased to announce the release of two new videos related to supporting math learning in early childhood settings.  The videos were developed based on a study conducted by Center faculty and students with the support of the Spencer Foundation.  The study looked at the relationship between children's mathematics achievement and teacher-child interactions during play.  Preschool children were videotaped over the course of the year during free play periods, and their interactions with teachers were coded and analyzed.  These findings were compared with gains that children made in mathematics ability from fall to spring according to a standard measurement tool.  The findings indicate that how teachers interact with and communicate with children while they play has powerful impacts on children's mathematical learning.


The Center has produced two videos related to the study:


1.     The first video kicks off our new Research Clips video series. The video describes the methodology of the study and outlines the major findings and study implications.  You can view the video at: http://www.easternct.edu/cece/math_play_study_video.html.


2.     The second video is part of our e-clips series.  Designed with current and future teachers in mind, the video illustrates how teachers can use math talk to support children's math learning.  (One of the major study findings was around the importance of engaging children in "math talk" throughout the day.)  The video is available at: http://www.easternct.edu/cece/e-clips_math_talk.html.


Center Wins 4th Telly for Inspiring Lessons

Copy of telly_newlogosmall.jpgThe Center for Early Childhood Education has been awarded a 2013 Telly Award for Inspiring Lessons: What We Learned from the Community Partners for Early Literacy Project. The 30-minute video describes the lessons learned during a three-year effort to improve the language and early literacy skills of over 500 children in Windham, Connecticut. With support from a U.S. Department of Education Early Reading First grant, the Center for Early Childhood Education provided professional development and literacy coaching to 50 teachers and paraprofessionals and supported families to engage in literacy activities at home. Inspiring Lessons includes interviews with teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, literacy coaches, and faculty experts Dr. Ann Anderberg and Dr. Maureen Ruby about what works in supporting children's literacy development.

The Telly Awards honor television, video, and film productions and programs, as well as work created for the Internet. Each year, the Telly Awards receive thousands of entries from throughout the United States and abroad. Inspiring Lessons received a bronze award in the category of Government Relations. The Center also received a Telly Award this year for Investigating Balls in the category of Internet/Online Video: Education. 

The Center for Early Childhood Education congratulates the following faculty, staff, and students involved in the development of Inspiring Lessons: Dr. Denise Matthews, Producer/Director and Co-Author; Julia DeLapp, Executive Producer and Co-Author; Karl Gray, Editor; William Black, Production Coordinator; Ken Measimer, Finish Editor and Videographer; Sean Leser (Eastern student), Finish Editor; Greg Hartzell, Videographer; Kerin Jaros-Dressler (Eastern student), Videographer; Ross Page (Eastern student), Music Composer; and Nick Napoletano, Animator.

The Center also thanks the teaching staff at the Windham Early Childhood Center and the Child and Family Development Resource Center for appearing in the video, participating in the initiative, and working to support young children's growth and learning. 

To view the video, visit http://www.easternct.edu/cece/inspiring_lessons.html.

The Center for Early Childhood Education is pleased to announce that three research briefs on the importance of physical and outdoor play are now available on the Head Start Body Start website. The Center received a contract from Head Start Body Start in 2010 to conduct research on the developmental benefits of outdoor and physical play for children from birth to age five. The Center reviewed over 100 studies in an annotated bibliography, and summarized the findings in a comprehensive literature review. Using these findings, the Center created five video clips and developed five research-into-practice briefs to help early childhood providers implement practices that research indicates promote physical and outdoor play. The following three briefs are now available from Head Start Body Start:

  • Learning to Move and Moving to Learn: Integrating Movement Into the Everyday Curriculum to Promote Learning
  • Moving with Feeling: Nurturing Preschool Children's Emotional Health Through Active Play
  • Lullabies, Leaping, and Learning: Supporting Thinking in Infants and Toddlers Through Active Music and Play Experiences

To read the briefs, watch the videos, or learn more about the project, visit http://www.easternct.edu/cece/physical_play_abstract.html 

Student Researchers Featured in Hartford Magazine

The work of six Eastern students assisting in Center research was featured in a Hartford Magazine article entitled "Through the eys of a child: ECSU students study how play affects learning." The July 2011 article describes the work students did to support research by Dr. Sudha Swaminathan and Dr. Jeffrey Trawick-Smith on how teacher-child interactions during play influence children's mathematical abilities. The study was funded by the Spencer Foundation. The students involved in the research were Christina Cammisa, Claire Fryer, Tasia Supino, Eliza Welling, Jennifer Wolff, and Kelly Zimmermann.  Read the article Hartford Magazine article.pdf.

Center Awarded Prestigious Spencer Foundation Research Grant

Three faculty in the Center for Early Childhood Education have been awarded a research grant from the Spencer Foundation for the proposal: "The relationship of teacher-child interactions in preschool play to young children's mathematical ability."  Dr. Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Dr. Sudha Swaminathan, and Dr. Xing Liu will use the Center's video technology to identify classroom interventions in play that are associated with math achievement in preschoolers. 

The research study will investigate two questions:

  1. Which math-focused teacher interactions in preschool children's play are associated with math achievement?
  2. Is there a stronger association between such interactions and math ability if the level of teacher guidance--direct, indirect, or no interaction--matches the child's current level of play need?

The study will be conducted from August 2010 through August 2011.

Center Awarded Head Start Body Start Grant

The Center for Early Childhood Education has been awarded a competitive contract from Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play for their proposal "The Effects of Physical and Outdoor Play on Young Children's Development."  Under the contract, the Center will conduct research on the benefits of physical and outdoor play for children from birth to age five. In addition to developing an annotated bibliography and comprehensive literature review, the Center will develop research-into-practice briefs on a variety of topics aimed at Head Start providers and other teachers of young children. The briefs will feature field-tested applications for use in early childhood classrooms as well as links to illustrative video clips demonstrating implementation of practices that promote physical and outdoor play.

The project will be a collaborative effort of four Center faculty/staff: Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Phyllis Waite Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education, will serve as writer and content expert in the area of play and development; Darren Robert, Associate Professor of Health and Physical Education, will serve as content expert in the area of outdoor play and motor development; Ann Gruenberg, Professor of Early Childhood Education, will serve as content expert in the area of children with disabilities; and Julia DeLapp, Center Coordinator, will serve as project director and writer.

The project will be conducted from April through September 2010.