In need of new strategies? We may have something for you!

Download our new 2017 Spring/Summer Training Flyer.

Interested in coming to a training that includes an updated copy of the Conscious Discipline Book, a color bound copy of the 2015 TX PK Guidelines OR a Make ‘n’ Take?

Looking for ways to reach the most difficult children?

Want to know more about how to take and use letter-wall activities beyond the wall?

Or perhaps, you are ready to tackle teaching measurement in the Prekindergarten classroom?

Space is limited!

Sign up now!




Looking for ways to Support Families of Children with Disabilities?

Check out this Bilingual Resource – Center for Parent Information and Resources

Families can learn more about how to support their young children’s education and engage with the systems that serve them by visiting the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) website. While CPIR specifically focuses on supporting families of children with disabilities, it provides a wealth of resources and links to support all families. Families can find information about their state’s parent training and information centers that can help them navigate early intervention and special education, even if they only suspect that their child may have developmental delays or disabilities. In addition, families of children receiving early intervention services and providers in early intervention systems can find specific information that supports family engagement in early intervention.

Elementary Extravaganza – “All Systems Go!”

Register prior to March 31st and save $25.00!

Mark your calendar for the 4th annual Elementary Extravaganza. “All Systems are Go” for June 6, 2017! Join us for this special one day conference dedicated to elementary teachers PK – grade 5. You will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of one hour sessions to create a personalized schedule of your very own.

Spend the day with other elementary educators experiencing practical topics and connections, generating ideas, and gaining insight into the multiple areas you are responsible for. Come ready to learn and have some fun in an environment that respects and honors the hard work and dedication required to be an elementary teacher!

Click the link below to REGISTER TODAY!

Elementary Extravaganza

Discount Code: EE2017

*Don’t forget to enter the discount code when prompted for “promotional code” during the checkout process. Discounts will not be applied to already processed registrations.


Read Aloud Tips

Reading aloud to young children is important because it helps them acquire the information and skills they need to succeed in school and in life. As teachers, we need to:

• Make reading books an enjoyable experience
• Read to children frequently
• Help children learn as they read
• Encourage children to talk about the book
• Ask children questions as you read

Comprehension Questioning Activities

Many read aloud programs train teachers and parents to ask purposeful questions about books to increase children’s language skills and give students a purpose for listening (Wasik, Bond, & Hindman, 2006; Whitehurst, et al., 1988). One effective way to do this is to ask a guiding question before reading and then discuss that one, important question in detail after reading (Denton, Solari, Ciancio, Hecht, & Swank, 2010; Solari and Gerber, 2008).

Guiding Questions:

• Set a purpose for listening and generate interest
• Require responses that are open-ended and can be extended
• Improve comprehension and encourage higher-level thinking
• Consider the whole book
• Gradually become more challenging across repeated readings

Guiding questions are usually a rich, open-ended questions that can have several answers, allowing children to respond in different ways.


Denton, C. A., Solari, E. J., Ciancio, D. J., Hecht, S. A., & Swank, P. R. (2010). A pilot study of akindergarten summer school reading program in high-poverty urban schools. The Elementary School Journal, 110, 423-439.

Early Childhood Head Start Task Force at the US Department of Education (2007). Teaching our youngest: A guide for preschool teachers and child care and family providers. Retrieved from

Solari, E. J., & Gerber, M. M. (2008). Early comprehension instruction for Spanish‐speaking English language learners: Teaching text‐level reading skills while maintaining effects on word‐level skills. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 23, 155-168.

Wasik, B. A., Bond, M. A., & Hindman, A. (2006). The effects of a language and literacy intervention on Head Start children and teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 63.

Whitehurst, G. J., Falco, F. L., Lonigan, C. J., Fischel, J. E., DeBaryshe, B. D., Valdez-Menchaca, M. C., & Caulfield, M. (1988). Accelerating language development through picture book reading. Developmental Psychology, 24, 552.

Looking for Parent Resources?

Looking for resources to share with parents and families?

Visit the Texas Child Care Solutions website, recently launched by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The website has links to lots of Texas resources for parents, including information about:

  • child development,
  • developmental screening,
  • choosing quality child care, and
  • assistance to pay for child care

We’ve Joined Twitter @R13EarlyChild

Region 13 Early Childhood team is now on Twitter!

Follow us @R13EarlyChild


Free Lunch and Learn Session: Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment


Join us for a FREE luncheon and introduction to the Texas Kindergarten Entry Assessment! Hear from TX-KEA developers at UTHealth and see the assessment in action while enjoying lunch compliments of the Children’s Learning Institute!

Participants will also have the opportunity to begin the enrollment process for free access to TX-KEA in fall 2017.

What is TX-KEA?

TX-KEA is a comprehensive, time-efficient kindergarten screener developed by child development and assessment experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center’s Children’s Learning Institute. TX-KEA’s purpose is to determine whether students have met specified developmental benchmarks and academic competencies upon kindergarten entry as outlined by state guidelines. Sophisticated reporting features allow educators to use TX-KEA’s data to drive instructional planning.

Learn more at!

Because TX-KEA was developed with federal and state funds, districts can access the screener and its reporting features at no cost.

Register for free at the address BELOW if you’d like to join us in person or through livestream. All administrators, specialists, and teachers are welcome to attend!

 TX-KEA Launch

See you soon!


Additional Educator Certification from TEA, Pre-K thru 3rd



The State Board for Educator Certification does not currently issue a standalone certification or endorsement for individuals to teach in early childhood education settings in public schools. A newly certified individual who wishes to teach prekindergarten thru 3rd grade must earn the Core Subjects: Early Childhood-Grade 6 certificate. An experienced educator who already holds an elementary certificate to teach Grades 1-6 or Grades 1-8, must also take and pass the entire Core Subjects: Early Childhood-Grade 6 exam for issuance of that certificate and eligibility to then teach in prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms.

TEA asked SBEC to consider an additional educator certification in for 3 primary reasons:

  1. Need to increase student achievement and outcomes in early grades
  2. Development of a comprehensive approach to improving student outcomes
  3. Ensure increased depth of educator prep within core competencies needed to teach in preK-3rd classroom

The Commissioner of Education, Mike Morath, has set a goal of ensuring that our youngest students are capable of reading and doing mathematics at grade level by third grade because a strong foundation sets students on a path to academic success and helps prevent expensive tax-payer funded remediation later in life. With 3rd Grade STAAR Reading passing rates at approximately 70% and recommended rates at approximately 40%, addressing teacher qualification and certification opportunities is one strategic step towards improving outcomes across the state.


Stakeholder Input:

TEA is currently gathering input from stakeholders from across the education community including college students, current educators, superintendents, administrators, alternative certification programs, higher education and advocacy associations. Stakeholders wanting input can attend sessions hosted by their organizations, give input through a survey developed by TEA or testify at the March 3rd State Board of Educator Certification meeting.

To obtain information about meetings or sign up to testify, go to the SBEC page at


December 9,2016 SBEC discussed Item 9, the EC-3 Certification and moves forward with the opportunity
January 2017 Voluntary Statewide Survey to Stakeholders
January and February 2017 Stakeholder Meetings with Teachers, School Administrators, Human Resources, Boards, Educator Preparation Programs, Institutions of Higher Education, Alternative Certification and Business Organizations
March 3, 2017 SBEC presented with the findings of the survey and stakeholder meetings
Spring/Summer 2017 Development of Standards (if SBEC would like to pursue a preK-3rd Educator Certificate)


Four FREE Resources for Communities and Families with Young Children

Promoting Social and Emotional Development



By Kara Dukakis, Libby Doggett, and Shantel E. Meek

 All children are born with the need and desire to connect with those around them. Neuroscience tells us that brain development unfolds rapidly in the first three years of life, and that social and emotional development begins in the earliest days of life. When children feel secure in their relationships and have their needs met in responsive and consistent ways, they begin forming a strong social and emotional foundation. They begin to learn to pay attention, regulate their emotions and behavior, express feelings, and overcome challenges successfully. All of these skills contribute to healthy social and emotional development.

The way in which children experience and manage their feelings and emotions depends a great deal on the relationship with their primary caregiver(s) and other important adults in their lives. The environments where children spend their time – whether at home or in an early learning setting – also affect children’s social and emotional development. Social and emotional development involves several inter-related areas, including social interaction, emotional awareness, and self-regulation.[1]

Social and emotional and cognitive development are interwoven from birth and unfold together. Unsurprisingly, social and emotional development is also closely intertwined with academic success. Learning- especially in the earliest years of life- is inherently a social process. Children learn through and with the adults in their lives. A large body of research shows that children with a strong social and emotional foundation demonstrate stronger academic achievement, are more likely to graduate high school, go to college, and fare better on overall wellness and other positive long-term outcomes.[2] Positive social and emotional development carries important benefits for all children, including young children with developmental delays or disabilities.

Many parents and caregivers, as well as teachers and early learning providers, are eager for information and resources on how to connect with babies and toddlers, manage young children’s behavior,[3] and help children develop relationships, regulate their behavior and emotions, and talk about their feelings. When the adults in children’s lives have appropriate expectations of children’s development at different ages, they have greater success – and much less frustration – with young children.

Building on prior successful partnerships to promote early brain and language development and early STEM education, today, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services are joining with Too Small to Fail to release a Fostering Healthy Social and Emotional Development in Young Children Toolkit on social and emotional development. All of the resources feature examples of simple actions to take, some of which caregivers might be doing already, such as maintaining consistent routines for young children.

This set of resources on healthy social and emotional development includes:

Every day, families and educators have opportunities to nurture children’s social and emotional, development through everyday interactions and easy-to-implement activities, such as those provided in the Toolkit. If we all provide supports for our children early in life, they will have the foundation needed to benefit for a lifetime.

Kara Dukakis is Director of Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and The Opportunity Institute

 Libby Doggett is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education

 Shantel E. Meek is Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood Development, Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

[1] Social interaction focuses on the relationships we share with others, including relationships with adults and peers; emotional awareness includes the ability to recognize and understand our own feelings and actions and those of other people, and how our own feelings and actions affect ourselves and others; and self-regulation is the ability to express thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in socially appropriate ways.

[2] Jones, Damon E., Mark Greenberg, and Max Crowley. (2015). Early social-emotional functioning and public health: The relationship between kindergarten social competence and future wellness. American Journal Public Health, 105(11), 2283–2290.

[3] Zero to Three, “Tuning In National Parent Survey” (2016).

Looking for Different Ways to Increase Family Engagement?

AVANCE was founded by a Gloria Rodriguez, a schoolteacher in San Antonio, in 1973.  Concerned by the school dropout rates and low educational attainment of Latino children, Gloria went knocking door to door in Mirabel, one of the city’s most impoverished Section 8 housing complexes, asking parents, “Do you love your children?” The response was overwhelming.  These parents were the first participants in the Parent-Child Education Program, and with them she started AVANCE.


Interested in learning more about Avance?

Come hear Marie Felan, Executive Director from Avance, speak at our next Early Childhood Leader’s Network Meeting on how AVANCE provides dual-generational services to low income families with a focus on enhancing parenting skills, promoting long-term educational success for children, and breaking the family’s trans-generational cycle of poverty.

Early Childhood Leaders Network – Jan. 26th, 2017 (SP1734473)  FREE

 The above training’s support the Family Engagement Plan under House Bill 4.