Polaris Career Center Course Syllabus

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1 Polaris Career Center Course Syllabus Early Childhood/CDA Adult Course Information Instructor(s): Phyllis O'Connell Phone: Fax: Room: 306 Meeting Time: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Availability: Flexible hours; please call for an appointment. Course Description The Early Child Care/CDA course prepares students to complete requirements for the Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential which will enable them to work with young children in a variety of settings such as nursery schools, preschools, and other early child care settings. It is the only portable, reciprocal, competency based, national credential recognized in all 50 states, territories, the District of Columbia, community colleges, and the United States military. The CDA is often called the 'Best First Step' on the early childhood professional career path. To enroll in this financial aid eligible class, students must have a high school diploma or GED and obtain a clear BCI/FBI background check. Prior to beginning the field experience portion of the course, the class meets from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday through Friday for the first 18 weeks (450 hours). For the next 480 hours, students gain practical experience in a licensed child care setting, completing a supervised field experience (student teaching) an infant/toddler or preschool population. During the first part of the course, students learn how children grow and develop, how to provide a safe, healthy learning environment, how to provide learning through play activities such as art, music and movement, science, math, and storytelling, and the best way to set up a child care environment through appropriate toy selection, bulletin boards, and room arrangements. Other situations in which students engage include role playing, working with parents and other staff members, handling challenging children's behaviors with positive guidance, and observing and assessing classroom experiences. Students also get certified or take a refresher course in First Aid, Infant/Child CPR, Communicable Disease, and Recognition and Prevention of Child Abuse. Major Course Goals The major goals of the Adult Early Childhood/CDA program/course will ask students to: 1. To establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment. 2. To advance children's physical and intellectual competence. 3. To support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance. 4. To establish positive and productive relationships with families. 5. To contribute to a well-run and purposeful program that is responsive to participant needs. 6. To maintain a commitment to professionalism. Instructional Philosophy During the first half of the course, student's classroom study is theory based through use of text book, accompanying study guide, power points, and supplemental materials. Students begin by learning about children, specifically, how they grow, develop, and learn, from birth, including brain development, until they are ready for kindergarten. Students learn child development theories and become familiar with theorists and how they influence our work with children today. They plan and evaluate developmentally appropriate toy inventories and plan how to efficiently organize both classroom space and materials. Students will also work in teams throughout the first half creating bulletin boards appropriate for parents, toddler, and preschool classrooms. After the first half of the text book is covered in class, students apply what they've learned by planning varieties of experiences appropriate for learning through play and presenting them to classmates who take on the roles of toddlers and preschoolers. Activities may include science experiments, stories told through puppets and flannel boards, puzzles and memory games (student made), songs, music, movement, healthy preparation of snacks, and making play dough. All activities are age-appropriate and can be completed by individual students and/or students working in small groups. This portion of the course is very 'hands-on'. This is where the majority of homework is required as lesson plans are developed, written, and implemented for each activity that is presented.

2 Course Units of Study The Children & You Types of Early Childhood Programs Observing Children: A Tool for Assessment Child Development Theories/Theorists Understanding Children and Development of Children from Birth to Age 3 (including Brain Development) Programs for Infants and Toddlers Understanding Children and Development of Four and Five Year Olds Guiding Children with Special Needs and Working with their Families Creating a Safe & Healthy Environment Preparing the Environment Care of the Environment First Aid, Infant/Child CPR, Communicable Disease, Child Abuse Trainings Selecting Toys, Equipment, & Educational Materials Guiding Children Developing Guidance Skills Guidance Challenges Establishing Classroom Limits Handling Daily Routines Learning Experiences for Children Curriculum, Themes, Lesson Plans Providing Guided Play Experience: Art, Block building, Sensory, Storytelling, Play & Puppetry, Math, Science, Social, Music, Movement Additional Topics Involving Parents and Families A Career for You in Early Childhood Nutritious and Healthy Snacks (My Plate) Planning Field Trip Experiences Primary Curriculum Materials Working with Young Children 2012: ISBN: Working with Young Children Student Workbook 2012, ISBN: Working with Young Children Teacher Edition 2012, ISBN: Working with Young Children Teacher Resource Guide 2012, ISBN: Working with Young Children Teacher Presentation Power Point 2012: ISBN: Theories of Childhood 2000, ISBN: Teaching NAEYC Code of Ethics Activity Sourcebook 2008, ISBN: Ethics & the Early Childhood Educator Using NAEYC Code 2012, ISBN: Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program and CDA Competency Standards Infant/Toddler Edition, ISBN: Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program and CDA Competency Standards Preschool Edition, ISBN: Essentials 2012, ISBN: (supplemental text from council)

3 Business and Industry Credentials, Certifications, Licenses and College Students may be eligible to receive: Child Development Associate (CDA) - Council for Professional Recognition, Washington, D.C. Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services - First Aid, Infant/Child CPR, Communicable, Disease, Recognition & Prevention of Child Abuse Ohio Career Pathways Registry - All students register and become part of this early childhood professional on line registry, learning how to update their registry as their career, education, and experience progresses. Not later than June 30, 2014, the Chancellor of the Board of Regents will establish a One-Year Option credit articulation system in which graduates of Ohio Technical Centers who complete a 900-hour program of study and obtain an industry-recognized credential approved by the Chancellor and will receive 30 college technical credit hours toward a technical degree upon enrollment in an institution of higher education. Course Projects While still in the first part of the course, students visit various child care centers to observe and seek differences and similarities in the child care centers. The child care centers may include Head Start programs, faith-based, for profit, notfor-profit, and small private centers while others are part of umbrella agencies. The centers may include Step Up to Quality, one, two, three, four, and five star centers. Students are asked to discuss and analyze the level attributed to the center. Students learn the importance of confidentiality. Speakers come to the classroom to talk about areas of interest to the class, such as starting your own center or the Step Up to Quality system. Also, Advisory Council members speak about topics such as technology in the classroom and advocacy. In the spring, students participate in the annual Week of the Young Child by doing a special project with child care center(s) or in community resources such as the Cleveland Children's Museum. Students practice their observation skills on all these visits. For one of the larger projects, the students plan a theoretical field trip in the Greater Cleveland area to which they would take a class of preschoolers. The plan includes all the steps from requesting permission from their fictional director, financial planning, safety issues, lesson plans and objectives, on-line research, permission slips including handling a child without a permission slip, follow up activities, and thank you notes. The second half of the course (480 hours - approximately 19 weeks) provides students with the opportunity to apply all that they learned during their time in the classroom. They student teach in a supervised child care setting with the age group of their choice - either infant/toddlers (birth -3 years) or preschoolers (3, 4, and 5 year olds). While this is the main activity for this time, students are also meeting with the instructor to complete the necessary requirements in preparation for applying for the CDA, completion of professional portfolio and preparation for the verification visit. During the supervised student teaching period, students complete their Professional Portfolio, a collection of materials consisting of resource topics based on the six competency areas that will be used by the candidate in their future work with young children and families. It is compiled for two purposes. First, it provides a picture of what information candidates find value]able in their works and second, it provides candidates an important experience in organizing resources including resources, using them in their work, and evaluating their effectiveness in early childhood programs. Examples of these resources include agency names and phone numbers for parental referrals, suggested book lists include topics for young children and parents, activities which include accommodations for children with special needs and more. The Professional Portfolio will be very useful for the student as they start their career. During the student teaching experience, the students also write Six Competency Goals contained within the Portfolio. These are no more than 500 words in length and address the areas of competence on which the CDA is based. The candidate describes how they are competent with children and families, demonstrating abilities to meet needs of both, writes about and evaluates current practices in their work. Students also distribute Family Questionnaires to the families of the children of the families in the classroom in which they teach. Finally the students write a Personal Philosophy Statement and prepare for application and final assessment and Verification Visit. Course Policies: Code of Conduct: The published Code of Conduct for Polaris Career Center found in the Student Handbook will be enforced at all times. Students should refer to the Handbook for discussions of due process and safety violations. As stated in the handbook, cell phone use, including texting and bluetooth use, is prohibited in the classroom during instructional times. Students may be reached during an emergency at the classroom office number at any time during class.

4 Dress and Grooming Guidelines: While in the classroom at Polaris, students are to dress as they would if in an early childhood classroom. Students need to wear clothing that is clean, comfortable and washable. Students need to follow the clothing policies in Student Handbook. When completing the field experience, students are to check with the director of the center to see if there is a dress code policy to which to adhere. In some cases, they are given one or two shirts from the center to wear. Hall Passes: Not Applicable Attendance/Tardiness: The class meets Monday through Friday, and begins promptly at 8:00 AM. There is a 20 minute break at approximately 10:30 daily when students may purchase and eat a snack in the deli located on the first floor. There is no eating in the classroom. Class will end promptly at 1:00. Students must adhere to a 90% attendance requirement for the entire 930 hours of the course. Students will sign in and out when arriving and leaving class. Tardiness time counts toward absence. When at their field experience, the students need to fax a director/lead teacher signed attendance sheet to the instructor at Polaris each Friday. Field experience hours may vary depending on center needs but will always be 25 hours per week. Make-up Work: Make-up work is decided on a case by case basis depending on the length and the reason for the absence. During the field experience, make-up hours are more difficult to obtain as the 480 hours are required work experience hours meets the CDA requirement. Arrangements must be made both with Polaris instructor and with the partnering center. Computer Usage: Access to technology is designated for the completion of class assignments only. Students must sign the Technology Acceptable Use Policy of Polaris in order to be given use of computers, software, and Internet access. The use of technology is a privilege, not a right. Any student who violates the Policy may lose their access to these items. Polaris Career Center reserves the right to monitor computer and Internet access. Online Grades and Attendance: Not Applicable Syllabus Changes: The instructor/polaris Career Center Administration reserves the right to make changes to this syllabus throughout the year, as needed to meet course requirements. Course Assessment Plan Grades will be determined by a Total Points method using the following: Tests/Chapter Tests, Mid-Term & Final Exams Classroom Participation Attendance Resource File Competency Goals Field Experience Reviews

5 Grades for the course will be based on the following levels of performance: Grade A (90-100%) B (80-89%) C (70-79%) D (60-69%) F (0-59%) Description Work is correct with only minor flaws (not having to do with the main idea of the problem). The concepts presented in class were understood and were appropriately applied to realworld examples. All assignments were completed on-time and were of a work quality. Work was done with a few flaws. The concepts presented in class were applied with help. Almost all tasks and assignments were completed on-time and demonstrated with sufficient skills Some difficulty was had understanding class concepts or applying concepts to real-world situations. Some assignments were late. Only some of the work was completed for class. Work completed was frequently late or was of low quality with errors and omissions. Did not complete a significant amount of work for the class. Work had major errors and did not meet standards.

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