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Curriculum, Instruction & Accountability

Kern County Superintendent of Schools

School Readiness

To be prepared for school, children also must be excited and curious about learning and confident that they can succeed. Knowing the ABCs is not enough. In order to succeed in school, children must be able to understand the feelings of others, control their own feelings and behaviors, and get along with their peers and teachers.

The California Preschool Instructional Network sponsored a Research Event in October 2008 featuring Dr. Ross Thompson who was a lead researcher in the development and writing of the social-emotional development domain of the California Preschool Learning Foundations published by the California Department of Education. His presentation focused upon how social, emotional, and motivational skills are central to learning in early childhood and are foundations for school readiness. He discussed how these skills are shaped by experiences in the family and with teachers and peers in early childhood settings. Using the California Preschool Learning Foundations, Dr. Thompson highlighted social and emotional skills that develop during early childhood and how they are important to a child’s experience in a preschool classroom.

To view Dr. Ross Thompson’s presentation on Social-Development click this link:



Children expand their development of language by relating what they already know to what they encounter. Play is a way for children to extend their language abilities; it is where new vocabulary can be introduced as well as new ways to use it. It also allows children opportunities to express their point of view, solve disagreements, and persuade peers to work together.

“It is only with one foot placed squarely, securely within the known, the familiar, that the child can place the other foot in the beyond” – Judith Wells Lindfors

WestEd: English Learners

Success for every learner is our goal at WestEd. A nonprofit research, development, and service agency, WestEd enhances and increases education and human development within schools, families, and communities.

Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning

This resource guide provides teachers with the knowledge and tools they seek to educate preschool English learners most effectively.  It was developed by a group of experts who collectively brought strong practical, academic, and research backgrounds to the topic of educating young English learners.  In their work the group demonstrated its steadfast commitment to assisting such children enrolled in California’s schools and their families.

To downloade the PDF version of the PEL Guide, click here: PEL Guide

The guide is available from the CDE for $15.95.  You can download the PEL Guide Order Form here.



The population of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. public schools is quickly on the rise. This section includes information about the most effective ways to teach ELL students (sometimes referred to as ESL students), methods for encouraging learning, and ways to promote family involvement.



“The word mathematics makes many adults think of rote procedures for getting correct answers, a holdover from our own school days. But mathematics is essentially the search for sense and meaning, patterns and relationships, order and predictability.” – Juanita V. Copley

“Everything around us can be better understood with mathematics. Preschool is a good time for children to become interested in counting, sorting, building shapes, measuring, and estimating.” – Douglas H. Clements

Math Activities

Math Vocabulary

Math Resources and Books


Young children develop an intuitive notion of measurement through natural everyday experiences. They explore and discover properties such as length, height, volume, and weight as they look for a longer block, measure who is taller, pour sand from a small bucket to a larger one, or try to pick up a heavy box and ask for help. They make comparisons to see which is longer, taller, heavier, larger, or smaller. – California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Vol. 1

Inchworm Ruler to measure items by inches or inchworms.

Rulers for measuring plant growth. Print, laminate, and cut out these rulers. Use double stick tape to adhere to a paint stiring stick. Place in the soil to measure plant growth over time.

Measurement Journal


Geometry is more than just shapes…

Geometry and spatial reasoning offer a way to describe, interpret, and imagine the world.

During the preschool years, children develop a growing understanding of shape and spatial relationships. They learn the names of shapes and start to recognize the attributes of two- and three-dimensional shapes. They also develop an understanding of objects in relation to space, learning to describe an object’s location (e.g., on top, under), direction (e.g., from, up, down) and distance (e.g., near, far).

“Geometry is the study of space and shape” – Douglas H. Clements

Geometry Activities

Number Sense

Number sense refers to children’s concept of numbers and their relationships. It starts early on with an infant’s ability to visually recognize the number of elements in a small set and continues with children’s verbal counting, as they further develop the sense of quantity, number relationships (e.g., less than, greater than), and the fundamental understanding of addition and subtraction. – California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Vol. 1



Children are born with creativity! Turn on any type of music for a preschooler and watch them go! From a very early age, children express themselves with song, dance, stories and visual arts. As educators and parents, it is important to encourage their self expression through music, drama, dance and visual art. The arts are excellent for building self-confidence. Academically, studies show that children, who are allowed to express themselves through the arts, excel in almost every social and academic standard of achievement.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is howto remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso



Children with special needs include children of all abilities, cultures, races, and backgrounds. Like all children, they have individual interests, likes, and dislikes. Some children with special needs have physical disabilities, speech or other developmental delays, or difficulty interacting with other children or adults. Special needs may be mild to moderate to severe in range. Whatever the range of need, children with disabilities are more like other children than they are different as they play, make friends, feel pleasure or sadness, and nurturing.

Special Education Links:

Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA)

Early Start Home Page

Families whose infants or toddlers have or are at risk for developmental delay or disability can receive an “Early Start” in the State of California. This website provides links to resources and references for these families.

Supporting Early Education Delivery Systems (SEEDS) website

The SEEDS project offers training and technical assistance to administrators, staff, and families involved in early childhood special education programs serving children ages birth to five in LEAs throughout California

Special Education Early Childhood Administrators Project (SEECAP) website‐education‐early‐childhoodadministrators‐

SEECAP professional development opportunities address the unique issues of providing leadership to early childhood and early childhood special education programs from general education, special education, state and private preschool, Head Start, Early Head Start and early care and education.

California Services for Technical Assistance and Training (Cal STAT)

Cal STAT supports and develops partnerships with schools and families by providing training, technical assistance and resources to both special education and general education.

WestEd Special Education

WestEd works with education and human service agencies to build state and local capacity to improve developmental and academic outcomes for children with disabilities spanning birth to 21

Council for Exceptional Children

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides continual professional development, advocates for newly and historically underserved individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.

The Division for Early Childhood (DEC)

The Division for Early Childhood is a division of the Council for Exceptional Children which promotes policies and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities.




The Alignment of the California Preschool Learning Foundations with Key Early Education Resources

  • This online publication presents the developmental continuum of learning for children from birth through kindergarten.
  • To download the PDF version click here: CDE Alignment Document

California Preschool Learning Foundations, Volumes 1, 2 & 3

  • Volume 1 focuses on the domains of language and literacy, mathematics, social-emotional development, and English language development
  • Volume 2 focuses on the domains of visual and performing arts, physical development, and health
  • Volume 3 focuses on the domains of history-social science and science

California Preschool Curriculum Framework, Volumes 1, 2 & 3

  • Volume 1 focuses on the domains of language and literacy, mathematics, social-emotional development, and Englishlanguage development
  • Volume 2 focuses on the domains of visual and performing arts, physical development, and health
  • Volume 3 focuses on the domains of history-social science and science

Preschool English Learners (PEL) Guide

  • Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning
  • To download the PDF version click here: PEL Guide

Inclusion Works!

  • Guidance and resources on specific ways to include young children with disabilities or special needs

Prekindergarten Learning and Developmental Guidelines

Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations

  • Describes competencies infants and toddlers typically attain during the birth-to-three-year period in four areas.

Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Guidelines

  • Provides information about how to attain high-quality early care and education.
  • To download the PDF version click here: Infant/Toddler Foundations

Desired Results Developmental Profile

  • This accountability system is compatible with the CDE/CDD’s K-12 system of standards, assessment, and accountability.

Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale

  • Designed to assess group programs for children of preschool through kindergarten age, 2 1/2 through5.

Infant/Toddler Environmental Rating Scale

  • Designed to assess group programs for children birth to 2 1/2 years of age.



The development of fundamental movement skills provides a basis for an active way of life. Attaining proficiency in fundamental balance, locomotor, and manipulative skills equips children for active participation in physical activities for a lifetime. Through research, we have also learned that physical activities enhance young children’s brain development.

Encouraging children to go outside, get moving, and connect with the natural world are important to reverse obesity rates of our children. But, the benefits don’t stop there. Kids who are active outside and inside are happier, healthier, and stronger!



Healthy behavior patterns established in early childhood often lead to lifelong benefits and decreased probability of serious disease later in life.

Preschool safety education helps children develop safety awareness and the realization that they can control some aspects of their safety through certain actions.

Young children’s experiences with their health and ways to improve it, both at home and in the early childhood setting, enhance their desire and ability to make healthy decisions throughout their lives.



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