Submitted by Oswego County BOCES
Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) teachers in the Fulton City School District’s four elementary school buildings participate in quarterly joint collaboration meetings with the District’s Director of Literacy and UPK, Carri Waloven.
The team collectively discuss progress through the curriculum, content objectives and instructional strategies that they have found to be successful.
The most recent collaboration session focused on preparing for the full integration of the common core curriculum in the pre-kindergarten classrooms beginning September 2014.
Teaching staff worked with Lynnette DePoint, the district’s kindergarten through grade eight math coach, to discuss techniques teachers at the higher grade levels have found to be successful that UPK teachers could adopt in their classrooms.
One such technique they discussed is something called the “snap response.” Quite simply, “snap response” requires a teacher to ask a question – For example: What number comes after six?
The teacher asks the class to think about the answer, put the answer in their hand (figuratively speaking), and raise their hand when they have they answer. The teacher counts to three, snaps his/her fingers and the students say the answer out loud. This technique practices the students’ fluency skills as well as helps teachers gauge each student’s ability to process through a question. In addition, the technique appeals to students who have a tendency to be reluctant to call out an answer – “students feel safe to say what they want,” DePoint said.
Waloven spoke about the importance of mirroring successful techniques and instructional strategies from the higher elementary school grade levels to help pre-kindergarten students transition to kindergarten and through higher elementary grade levels more seamlessly.
The Fulton School District offers UPK programs at Fairgrieve, Granby, Lanigan, and Volney Elementary Schools in conjunction with partnerships with the YMCA, Pinnacle Preschool, Oswego County Opportunities and First Step Universal Preschool.
For more information about the UPK program, including how to register a child for the program for the 2014-15 school year, visit www.Fulton.cnyric.org.