Las Vegas, N.M. – The Highlands University School of Education dean edited a textbook that will give teachers new tools for improving early childhood mathematics and language education.
Education Dean Lora Bailey edited Implementing a Standards-Based Curriculum in the Early Childhood Classroom and also authored a chapter in the book about helping young learners build vocabulary.
The Taylor-Francis Group, a leading international higher education publisher, will release the textbook in 2017.
“The purpose of this book is to help teachers build the skills they need to support kindergarten through third grade children in their ability to become mathematicians and fluent in the English language,” Bailey said.
She said the book presents the most recent research and proven teaching practices for standards-based early childhood learning in mathematics and language development, including some discussion on the Common Core State Standards.
“In mathematics, numerical literacy is facilitated using concrete objects like blocks to help a young child understand the concept of ‘how many?’ – a pivotal question in understanding the sense of number, which is foundational to building more complex mathematical concepts like addition, subtraction and division later. For the language part of the book, the focus is building vocabulary, reading comprehension, reading fluency and writing skills,” Bailey said.
She said there’s a family engagement component in all six chapters of the textbook.
“Each chapter includes best practices for helping families understand their ability to help their own children learn more about math and language. The more engaged families are in their children’s learning, the more likely their children will complete homework, and the more likely the child’s learning in math and language increases,” Bailey said.
Bailey recruited top experts in early childhood mathematics and language education to contribute chapters for the textbook including Douglas Clements and Julie Clements, contributors to the development of Common Core State Standards in mathematics for kindergarten through third grade.
“Implementing a Standards-Based Curriculum in the Early Childhood Classroom will likely be showcased at the spring 2017 conferences for the American Association of College Teacher Education, AACTE, and the American Educational Research Association, AERA. Education faculty frequently use these conference venues to examine and purchase new textbooks,” Bailey said.
She said the goal is to incorporate the next textbook into the early childhood education curriculum at Highlands and she is working with faculty in this regard.
Bailey garnered a Title II: Every Child Succeeds New Mexico Higher Education Department grant in June that will help local school districts advance early childhood education. The $65,000 Title II grant is funded through the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
“The goal of this grant is to increase early childhood teachers’ knowledge of mathematics and standards with an additional focus on effective teaching practices. The grant also includes a family engagement component,” Bailey said.
The grant will be implemented with 30 teachers in Las Vegas City Schools, West Las Vegas School District, Pecos Independent School District and Mesa Vista School District.
Bailey earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Auburn University. Her primary research focus is early childhood education and mathematics. She is widely published in scholarly publications such as Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education and Dimensions of Early Childhood Journal.
She has also published chapters in textbooks such as Powerful Allies: Afterschool Programs, Service Learning and Community.