Comienza en Casa | “It Starts at Home”
COMIENZA EN CASA | IT STARTS AT HOME integrates technology use (iPads) into a curriculum that provides parents of migrant preschool and Kindergarten children with activities and information to promote their child’s school readiness at home. Four families were involved with the first pilot project (February-June 2012) which had an early literacy focus and the second pilot project (September-December 2012) which involved exploring some early math concepts. Six families with preschool aged children are enrolled in the program this spring (February-June 2013) exploring early science concepts in the various Science Investigators! Modules.
Parents help their children learn by offering them a variety of early learning activities in their home language (Spanish) that might take place inside or outdoors, as well as activities on the IPad using carefully selected apps (in English and/or Spanish). Learning modules include the following components:
- READ- ebook apps to learn more about a topic and/or experience a good story.
- PLAY & EXPLORE*- use educational game apps, providing another way for children to interact with featured concepts.
- CREATE- use creativity apps to create a story or project connected to the topic and/or of interest to the child.
- OFFSCREEN- participate in traditional early learning activities.
- FAMILY FOCUS- provide and discuss research–based information (e.g. articles, tipsheets) on different areas of early literacy and learning with parents.
*“Free Play Apps” provided additional apps for children to use related to learning goals of the month and/or to the planned activities.
Ana Blagojevic, Migrant Education Coordinator, in partnership with early childhood education consultant Bonnie Blagojevic, created the learning modules. Project participants get together once a month to discuss learning goals and activities for the month, participate in hands-on learning activities, to share stories and projects they have created. Suzen Polk-Hoffses, Kindergarten teacher at Milbridge Elementary School, attends the meetings which are currently held at the school, sharing information and perspectives with parents about early learning topics.
Ana visits homes after two weeks to get feedback from parents about the activities, what their child learned and to set revised learning goals based on the parents assessment of priorities for their own child’s learning. Parents share feedback about the final two weeks activities, many using video reporting, available on the iPad.
Families are using the iPad with children to document activities, create new publications as well as learn using the various apps and resources provided. Feedback from families guides the development of the project. Click here to read what parents say about Comienza en Casa.
Check the Comienza en Casa | It Starts at Home page periodically for updates! Click here to go directly to the Comienza en Casa | It Starts at Home Resources page. This project is funded by and part of the Maine Migrant Education Program.
COMIENZA EN CASA | IT STARTS AT HOME
NEWS AND VIEWS
As part of our third module in Spring 2012, “Growing Things”, we all went on a field trip to a local farm (every child in the project milked a cow!) A list of the children’s questions about farms were gathered and consulted during the trip. After visiting the farm, children created stories about the trip and what they learned. One child was inspired by feeding sheep—watch the video below:
Before taking a break for the summer, each family worked with Ana to develop a personalized learning module for their child. Parents identified a learning goal and a high interest topic for their child, and used this information and the READ, PLAY, CREATE framework to plan activities they would do together. The final module didn’t introduce any new material on the iPad, making it easier to transition into the summer when iPads would not be available or were being used for other Mano en Mano programming.
To learn more about the Spring Pilot project, DOWNLOAD:
- Comienza en Casa | It Starts at Home: Program Components Image Map
- Comienza en Casa| It Starts at Home: Activities (and Apps) Overview
- Comienza en Casa | It Starts at Home: Activity Sheet Sample (Growing Things 2)
- Finding, Selecting, and Purchasing Apps on a Limited Budget (includes App List from Spring and Fall 2012)