In this course, you will learn about many areas of special education.  You will have the opportunity to learn about the purpose of special education.  You will also learn how to communicate and collaborate with parents of students with special needs.  You will also learn about the various learning disorders that children could have in a classroom.  You will learn about the characteristics, prevalence, identification, assessment, and educational approaches to support children with special needs.

This course prepares the special educator to manage learning environments and student behaviors in the special education classroom as well as the inclusive classroom setting. This includes focusing on the theoretical foundations of classroom management and providing a physical, emotional, and social environment that is safe, supportive, and conducive to learning. This course emphasizes positive behavior interventions and supports, or PBIS, is an umbrella term that refers to a wide array of individual and systemic strategies to teach and strengthen appropriate behavior and to reduce challenging behavior. Abundant research supports the effectiveness of these techniques with all types and ages of students in all types of situations. For the most part, these techniques are relatively easy to use, mesh seamlessly with instruction, can be used with minimal training, and can be expected to produce desirable outcomes when used correctly.

        Learning to read and write are major educational achievements for children in a literate society. Developing these competencies positively affects each child’s cognitive, social-emotional, and economic future. As an early childhood educator, you are in a unique position to provide key experiences to young children that will significantly enhance their literacy development. Through the design and implementation of literacy-rich curricula in your early childhood classroom, and through partnership with parents, you can create a positive environment that will foster children’s literacy development.

       Your success as a teacher of young children depends on your implementation of learning activities as well as your understanding of why specific learning activities are valuable. Also of importance is your ability to determine whether your curriculum is meeting the needs of the children in your classroom. This course and textbook have been designed to provide you with the knowledge base you will need to understand how children develop reading and writing competencies, what learning activities enhance the development of these competencies, and how to determine children’s progress in developing literacy.

       This course covers basic theoretical, research and practical knowledge associated with understanding emergent literacy throughout young childhood. Looking at children from infancy through grade school, this course explains various aspects of readiness for reading and writing, the emergence of literacy skills, the relationship between reading and writing and strategies for effective instruction and parental support of literacy development. Concepts covered will include noticing signs of reading readiness, recognizing signs of emergent reading, facilitating emergent reading in infants, toddlers, preschoolers and grade school children, and knowing strategies for helping children develop in their reading.

This course explores assessment as an ongoing and systematic process for collecting information in order to evaluate the development and make decisions to address the needs of the young child in a variety of childcare and learning environments. Students will learn how to select appropriate assessment tools and processes, given the purposes for assessment, age of child, and the context for caring for and teaching infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young school age children. Consideration will be given to appropriate practices in selecting and evaluating a variety of formal and informal assessments, as well as processes for organizing, analyzing, interpreting and sharing assessment information with appropriate individuals.

This course examines the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of effective teachers.  Course topics include characteristics of effective teachers; knowing your diverse students; instructional planning; differentiating instruction; teacher-centered and student-centered instructional strategies; strategies to promote student understanding, thinking, and engagement; managing lesson delivery; classroom management and discipline; assessing and reporting student performance; and working with colleagues and parents. 

This course covers basic theoretical, research and practical knowledge associated with understanding emergent literacy throughout young childhood. Looking at children from infancy through grade school, this course explains various aspects of readiness for reading and writing, the emergence of literacy skills, the relationship between reading and writing and strategies for effective instruction and parental support of literacy development. Concepts covered will include noticing signs of reading readiness, recognizing signs of emergent reading, facilitating emergent reading in infants, toddlers, preschoolers and grade school children, and knowing strategies for helping children develop in their reading.