Can’f find the time to teach science? Come learn how literature can jump start your next Science Lesson!

Join Cynthia Holcomb, as we take a look at life science using engaging picture books that address the PK Guidelines and TEKS for organisms, ecosystems, and life cycles. Each story will be followed by Pk Guidelines and TEKS-aligned science activities and investigations, as well as strategies to promote literacy skills. Science is so much fun when you can find it right in your bookshelf!

Science Book Frenzy: Looking at Living Things Pk – 2nd Workshop ID: SP1940876

March 4th, 2019


Register Here:


Free Webinar | Make your classroom library a welcoming space!

Encourage a Love of Reading
Language, Literacy, Lounging, and Laughing: Rethink the Library

Monday, December 17, 2018 | 12:30 p.m. CT  – Recording will be available later

Register Here –

In an early childhood setting, an effective Library area conveys the message that exciting things can happen when children engage with literature. As the hub of literacy learning, this often-underappreciated area can become a powerful ally as help children build important literacy skills. In the final webinar in our Encouraging a Love of Reading series, you’ll gain insights into working with what you have to design a welcoming space, make the most of your materials, and most importantly, interact with children in ways that not only support vocabulary, knowledge of print, and phonological awareness, but also instill in children a lifelong passion for reading as a source of enjoyment.

Presented by: Breeyn Mack
Senior Director, Teaching Strategies

Free 3-Part Webinar: Building Safety and Connection in Foster and Adoptive Families

*From the Conscious Discipline blog –

Across our country, there are thousands of children in the foster care system who need permanent family connections to carry them into adulthood. Conscious Discipline celebrates the countless families who say YES to foster care and adoption. Equally important is acknowledging the unique challenges that often accompany this choice.

Conscious Discipline is designed to create the safety and connection that children and adults need to build healthy relationships, solve problems and thrive. Safety and connection are especially important for children who have experienced trauma, a category that applies to all children who find themselves in foster care.

That’s why we’re introducing a FREE three-part webinar series titled Building Safety and Connection in Foster and Adoptive Families with Amy Speidel.

Amy is a Conscious Discipline Master Instructor as well as a foster and adoptive mother. She is passionate about supporting families as they navigate trauma and transition. Amy has decades of experience coaching parents and educators and is eager to share what she’s learned with you.

Over three video sessions, Amy shares stories, inspiration, and specific tips and examples that will help you deepen connection and emotional health in your family. Topics covered include helping children acclimate, teaching expectations and skills in a way that feels safe, providing structure, anticipating events that may be triggering, and managing big behaviors.

We’re hopeful that this resource will help you navigate the journey Amy describes as “complicated, messy, and completely worth it.”

As always, I wish you and your family well

Encourage a Love of Reading Read It Once, Read It Twice, Read It Once Again – FREE Webinar

Only through deep, analytical book discussions can children truly benefit from the dynamic characters, rich vocabulary, and powerful social-emotional themes that present themselves in high-quality children’s literature. Join us for the first event in the Encourage a Love of Reading webinar series, as we explore how repeated, interactive read-alouds not only promote listening skills, comprehension, and critical thinking but also present opportunities to guide and support preschool and kindergarten children’s social-emotional development.

Presented by:

Breeyn Mack
Senior Director, Educational Content
Teaching Strategies

Watch the recording here –

CIRCLE Activity Collections – FREE whole and small group lessons!

Did you know that CLI Engage has FREE lessons with videos and scripts to show you how to implement them?
Three collections of activities are available in English and Spanish from the CLI Engage dashboard. Visit the activity collections to find engaging activities to support skill development in your classroom, and to share with families. Activities support language, literacy, social-emotional, mathematics, and science skills. Each activity is matched to a specific age group. Infant and toddler classroom activities are very flexible, focus on promoting the quality of language and sensitivity of the caregiver, and provide useful tips and suggestions for helping children understand new words and concepts. PreK/kindergarten activities incorporate the same goals but are structured around a standard lesson cycle, with teacher tips and extensions to enrich implementation. Scripting is included, providing example dialogue for what a teacher might say to introduce the activity, model the objective, and scaffold children’s responses. Finally, our family collection includes activities that are designed or adapted for parents and caregivers to support skill growth using everyday materials in the home environment. Many activities also include a demonstration video for teachers/caregivers to see the activity implemented with high quality.

·    PreK/K Classroom Activity Collection for Teachers

·    Infant/Toddler Classroom Activity Collection for Teachers

·    Birth to Six Home Activity Collection for Families


FEATURED EVENT – Engaging Young Writers PK-1st with Matt Glover – Feb 5th

Increasing Energy and Engagement for All Writers

Young children are capable of incredible thinking, which can be seen in their writing when they see themselves as writers and when adults honor children’s approximations of writing.  Using video clips and writing samples, participants will examine key beliefs about young writers.  This session will provide participants with practical, developmentally appropriate intervention strategies that support young children as writers.  In addition, participants will learn how these beliefs about young writers translate into instructional practices in early childhood classrooms, both in terms of a daily writing workshop and planning units of study across a year.

A copy of Matt Glover’s book – Engaging Young Writers will be provided with registration cost.

USE CODE EARLY15 to save $15 until January 5th!

9:00am 4:00pm
Register Here

Family Engagement Resources from CLI

“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I’ll understand.”

Family Engagement with Engage

Through shared information, teachers can gain critical insights from parents on their child’s interests, skills, and abilities as well as unique behaviors and dispositions. Teachers can in turn share valuable learning experiences with parents for continued and partnered support of their child’s learning.

Research suggests that family involvement in education can boost young children’s academic success (Evangelou, M. & Sylva, K., 2003). Involvement may also lead to better schools, contribute to higher standards, and provide lasting opportunities for students (Machen, S. M., Wilson, J. D., & Notar, C. E., 2005).

In practice, family involvement may be demonstrated through participation in a hierarchy of activities such as:

  • Volunteering at school
  • Helping children with their homework
  • Attending school functions
  • Visiting the child’s classroom
  • Sharing expertise or experience with the class through guest speaking
  • Taking on leadership roles in the school and participating in the decision-making process

These practices get parents involved in their student’s school, but what creates change or lasting effect? Engagement does!

Families become engaged in positive relationships that prepare children for success in school and in life when parents:

  • Share their knowledge about their child and family
  • Spend time in the classroom to play and learn with their child
  • Share experiences from the home

Both parents and teachers have an important role to play. Their roles do not replace but rather complement and reinforce the other’s role, thus providing the student with a consistent message about reading and learning. Thinking of parents and teachers as “partners” refers to this mutual effort toward a shared goal. It also implies shared responsibility of parents and teachers for supporting students as learners (Christenson & Sheridan, 2001).

When family members take the lead and make decisions about their children’s learning, they are truly engaged. Positive goal-directed relationships between families and program staff are key to engagement and children’s school readiness.

Family Activities

The CLI Engage platform was designed to benefit a multitude of users including families! Through the platform parents have access to activities that support their child’s learning in the classroom. Activities are freely available to the public on the CLI Engage website under the Family CIRCLE Activity Collection.

Below is an example of what parents may see when they open an activity. Available in English or Spanish, parents can access a large array of completely scripted activities. Many include a short documentary video with real parents demonstrating the activity with their own child. These serve as a model for parents who want to know more about how to support their child’s learning at home.

Teachers can partner with parents to promote practice of specific activities tied to the child’s classroom instruction. Teachers using the prekindergarten CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System or the Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment can share student scores with families by printing reports for parents or by providing a personalized identification number (PIN) for families to view results online. These parent reports include suggested activities for parents based on results from the progress monitoring tools. Additionally, teachers will find paired activities in the small grouping tool that can be sent directly to parents with email addresses. Teachers can select activities to be used at home involving parents in supporting their child’s learning.

Family Feedback Forms

Families are valuable sources of information on children’s skill development. Observable feedback forms are available to share with parents to obtain valuable contributing information on their child’s growth and development in key school readiness areas. Feedback forms can be downloaded in English or Spanish from CLI Engage. These forms align with the learning domains of the CIRCLE Progress Monitoring System and the Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment and can be used in children’s portfolios and at parent-teacher conferences to provide a full picture of children’s development.

Developmental Resources for Families

There are many tools available on CLI Engage to help parents actively learn about their child’s growth and development, as well as resources for parents who have developmental concerns about their child. Learning about developmental milestones helps parents understand what young children typically know and are able to do at different ages. While every child is an individual, milestones checklists allow parents to see how their child’s skills compare to typical growth and development, and become aware of possible delays. Check out our Understanding Developmental Screening and Early Intervention video series to learn about developmental milestones, developmental screening tools, and Early Childhood Intervention services for families and their children (birth to 5) with developmental concerns, delays or disabilities.

teaching tips

Add and update email addresses for parents in CLI Engage. By doing this you can quickly share interesting and helpful student information with parents, getting them more engaged in their child’s learning. Simply review the Add and Update Parent Email Addresses instructions to learn how.

Introduce parents to the free library of family activities available on CLI Engage and encourage their exploration and use. It is easy for parents and guardians to create their own accounts. Just provide them with the How to Access the Family CIRCLE Activity Collection link, which briefly explains the benefit to families and allows recipients the opportunity to create a parent account.

Share student results with parents to educate them on their child’s development. CLI Engage has two parent reports features that make sharing results easy and create opportunities for parents to further support skill development at home. To learn more about these features refer to Printing Parent Reports for sending information home and Printing Parent PIN Pages for online viewing.

NEW Resources from TEA for your Dramatic Play Center

TEA has created two new resources to support your Dramatic Play Center:

Dramatic Play Support Documents – Resources include vocabulary cards, recipes, and appointment sheets that can be used with each new theme or set up for your dramatic play center. Vocabulary cards are available in English and Spanish. Click here

Dramatic Play Activity Sheets  – provides ideas on things to add to your dramatic play center such as a laundry machine made of cardboard, sorting clothing visuals, sock matching, etc. Click here – Right hand column under Resources

Effective Consequences

This is Part One of a three-part series on Conscious Discipline consequences.

Conscious Discipline offers solutions for social-emotional learning, discipline and self-regulation. The goal is to help parents and schools reach and teach every child. Once instilled, these essential skills will last a lifetime and positively impact generations to come.

A common misconception about Conscious Discipline is that there are no consequences. The reality is that Conscious Discipline has effective consequences instead of traditional consequences. The first six powers and skills of Conscious Discipline build a foundation that makes effective consequences possible.

Building that foundation takes time, but the payoff is huge! Effective consequences motivate children to make permanent positive changes in their behavior. This is something that quick fixes like time-outs, spankings, and even reward systems can never achieve.

Why Punishments (Traditional Consequences) Don’t Work

Before we can discuss why, we first must face the truth: Punishments don’t work. Because our belief in punishment has been deeply ingrained for generations, this truth isn’t easy to accept.

But if punishment works, why have all of us been punished at some point, only to repeat the behavior? Why are the same students punished over and over? Why are prison recidivism rates so high?

Punishment doesn’t work, and here’s why:

  • Punishments are all about us and our judgment of the behavior, rather than about the child’s actions and how they have impacted others.
  • Punishments don’t ask children to reflect on their actions or take personal responsibility.
  • They don’t ask children to recognize or manage their emotions.
  • They don’t teach missing skills.
  • They don’t intrinsically motivate children to change their behavior.

Instead, punishments intimidate children into compliance (or into lying and manipulating). Do we want children to behave because they’re scared of punishment and want to please us, or do we want them to behave because they’ve truly learned a better way?

Punishment also teaches children to rely on the judgment of others to dictate their behavior. This may work out while they’re young and the “other” is an adult. But what about when they grow into teenagers and the “others” become their peers?

The truth is this: Punishments don’t work. This isn’t just feel-good fluff; it’s brain science.

Punishments vs. Consequences

The good news is that consequences—effective ones—do work! We often use the terms “punishment” and “consequence” interchangeably, but they are not the same. The table below illustrates a few key differences:

Punishments Consequences
Make children suffer for having a problem Teach children how to solve problems
Cause children to fear making mistakes Show children that mistakes are opportunities to learn
Rely on judgement Rely on reflection and personal responsibility
Provide extrinsic motivation to please others and avoid physical/emotional pain Provide intrinsic motivation to use or learn new skills
Focus on what not to do Focus on what to do instead

Read the rest of this post

Download a Printable copy from