Ten Projects Awarded for Implementation of the Hawaii Early Learning and Development Standards (HELDS)

Posted on May 24, 2013 in Featured, News & Updates, P20 and P3 Hawaii

In collaboration with the Executive Office on Early Learning, Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education awarded ten projects with funding to develop materials that will help support the successful implementation of the Hawaii Early Learning and Development Standards (HELDS) across Hawai‘i’s diverse early learning settings.

The HELDS is a set of research-based standards that identify the expectations of knowledge and behavior for children from birth up through kindergarten entry. The standards support early childhood professionals in the development of their programs and provide guidance on how to integrate strategies to educate young children. HELDS also helps to inform and reassure parents about the development of their child, and supports communication between teachers, caregivers and families.

“Hawai‘i’s early childhood providers work with a diverse population of children and families. The experiences and knowledge gained from this work will be used to supplement the HELDS and will be shared across our State for the benefit of all early learning communities. We are pleased to have received such an informed and innovative set of responses from the professionals and providers in the early childhood sector,” said Karen Lee, Executive Director of Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education.

The supplemental materials of the ten projects range from web-based resources, curriculum guides, developmentally appropriate activities, communication tools, training framework and guides, and visual displays for early childhood administrators, practitioners and families.

The following lists the title and brief description of the ten projects:

1.  Continuum of Learning (Birth to Kindergarten)

The Hawai‘i Association for Education of Young Children (HAEYC) is developing a set of useful reference materials, and hands-on curriculum development and Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) planning activities to demonstrate the use of HELDS from birth to kindergarten entry. These resources will be introduced at various professional training venues for early childhood practitioners across the State.

2.  Head Start Alignment Matrix

The Head Start Association of Hawai‘i (HSAH) in partnership with the State Head Start Collaboration Office and Training & Technical Assistance Offices are aligning both the Head Start Child Development Early Learning Framework (HSCDELF) and the Early Head Start (EHS) Program Performance Measures to the HELDS, and to the current curricula and assessment tools used in each of the six Hawai‘i EHS/HS Programs. The HSAH is developing the alignment matrix and a training framework to assist EHS/HS program staff in understanding the role of Head Start in supporting school readiness.

3.  HELDS Infant and Toddler Guides

The UH Center on the Family (COF) is developing three HELDS-related Guides, one for each of the following age groups: Infant (ages birth to 8 months), Explorer (pre-toddler, ages 8 to 18 months), and Toddler (ages18 to 24 months). Each guide will focus on the unique developmental needs and characteristics of children in each of these periods of development, in the context of the five HELDS domains, and will discuss the following:

  • What behaviors in the age group typically look like
  • How adults can support children’s development during this time, and
  • How this support is linked to children’s future school readiness.

4.  Including Down Syndrome

The Including Down Syndrome project is designing (1) a developmental log or progress chart to show a child’s ongoing progress within HELDS, and to visually identify standards that are anticipated next and those areas not to be forgotten; and (2) an informational sheet to promote an understanding of anticipated developmental needs and a slower or uneven rate of growth of young children born with Down syndrome who may have similar learning styles.

5.  Ka Paalana Homeless Family Education Program – FCIL Curriculum

The Ka Pa’alana Homeless Family Education Program is creating three thematic unit overviews: Plants, Community Helpers, and Ocean that will demonstrate how the HELDS can be used as a curriculum framework. Each unit will include three sample lesson plans that will give practitioners instructions on how to integrate the standards into their theme, ideas on how to implement STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into the curriculum, and ways to strengthen the parent-child interactive component in a meaningful and culturally relevant way.

6.  Language Milestone Checklists and Language Arts Parent/Caregiver Activity Sheets Through a collaborative partnership, Language Milestone Checklist and Language Arts Parent/Caregiver Activity Sheets project is developing a language milestone checklist from birth to sixty months and a series of sequenced activity sheets that are research-based and directly related to the Language Strand of the HELDS.

7.  Montessori Curriculum with the HELDS

The Hawai‘i Montessori Schools is creating a cross-walk matrix between the Montessori Curriculum and the HELDS that align activities in the Montessori Primary with the five domains of the HELDS to increase the adoption of HELDS in Montessori programs statewide.

8.  ‘Ohana Math: Resources for Families to Extend Children’s Mathematics and Numeracy Learning

Through a collaborative project, ‘Ohana Math, family math backpacks and activity guides are being developed to provide opportunities to promote family involvement and children’s early mathematical learning by bringing the HELDS mathematics and numeracy standards into communities and classrooms. ‘Ohana Math aims to provide Hawai‘i’s families with guided opportunities to facilitate their children’s purposeful play as a tool to scaffold their learning based upon the foundation of children’s informal mathematical abilities and their natural joy in exploring mathematical ideas.

9.  Using HELDS to Build Teachers’ Understanding of Children’s Development Through Blocks

Using HELDS to Build Teachers’ Understanding of Children’s Development Through Blocks project is developing a professional learning module to support early childhood educators in a variety of settings in developing the knowledge and skills to observe and support block play in young children in a way that fosters development along multiple dimensions of the

HELDS continuums. This module focuses on introducing the theory of block play and developing skill in observing and analyzing children’s block play across different standards of the HELDS.

10. Visual Guides

The Visual Guides project is developing visual aides to display and promote the new HELDS guidelines. These visual aides will consist of a poster size display to be placed on doors or walls of offices or caregiver facilities. In addition, a brochure will be designed similar to the poster to be easily accessible for parents and caregivers.

Two additional HELDS projects are being formulated: (1) an alignment resource guide titled, “Hawaii Preschool Content Standards and HELDS: Working Together” and (2) a long-format video production to highlight the five domains of HELDS in early learning settings.

For more information on the HELDS, visit http://p3hawaii.org/HELDS/standards.