#LovelandLearning at LECC
Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2016
In this special series, we talked academics with each building principal to really understand what #LovelandLearning is all about.
Loveland City School District (LCSD): At LECC, what is your team doing really well to promote academic achievement for students?
Kyle Bush (KB): The core focus for the Early Childhood Center is literacy and mathematics. Students enter our school at the very beginning of their academic careers. However, they come to us with myriad learning experiences prior to the start of formal schooling. Our work with students is designed to take a disparate group of students with a wide variety of experiences and exposure and allow them opportunities to learn and practice in ways that are meaningful to them. It is our responsibility to assure that students can do more than just “surface level” reading, writing, and math, which means sometimes we are going over areas that are familiar to some of our students, but introducing a new depth of understanding and multiple chances to practice. We hope to build students’ confidence, so one of the key measures we use in assessing student progress is fluency. Whether with basic math computations, oral reading fluency, or writing fluency, the goal is the same: Get students to a level of comfort and success so that they can proceed with confidence. Particularly in the area of math, we also give students practice every day with being able to articulate the reasons why numbers do what they do. We strive to build those “math muscles” early so that students understand and are able to express to others how they reach the answers they come up with. Many of these activities enhance the overall classroom and school community, as they are done in partners or small groups, which helps everyone to not only work out their own productive struggle with the material, but also to benefit from the thought processes and ways of thinking by their peers as well.
LCSD: What do you hope to work on?
KB: We are very fortunate to have a new set of tools available for our teaching and learning this year. We have been experimenting and innovating with our centers-based activities, as well as with individual learning and practice opportunities, through the use of a set of tablet devices now available in each classroom. As is always the case with technology, the possibilities of what can be done are practically endless so we are sharing best practices and effective methods to maximize the use of these engaging tools in a way that doesn’t just capture students’ interest but which helps to reach the goals of each lesson.
LCSD: What academic accomplishment are you most proud of at LECC?
KB: We are proud that we take a group of incoming kindergarten students with diverse experiences and skills, and help 80 percent to achieve reading fluency goals by the end of first grade. We also have a robust early intervention program which allows us to support students who need additional instruction and practice in certain areas along the way.
LECC is excited about what the future will bring for this school and the students we serve. The district’s vision called “Destination Loveland” includes an increased emphasis on and investment in early childhood educational opportunities. We know that the return on such an investment vastly outweighs the cost over time, and with more program opportunities soon to come we will be able to meet the needs of the community and students we serve even better.
Here is a look at the academic programs offered at Loveland Early Childhood Center:
Our math program is called Investigations and is characterized by daily opportunities for students to get hands-on practice using dice, blocks, markers, counters, cards, recording sheets and other materials.
Our literacy program is called Literacy by Design and is one of the ways we assure that our full literacy curriculum is provided. There is engaging daily practice with reading and writing opportunities, as well as work with comprehension and higher levels of thinking embedded in each lesson. We augment this program with guided reading groups, which help teachers to differentiate reading instruction to match exactly what each student needs instruction on or practice with. We also use a handwriting program that helps us to have great results, which is called Handwriting Without Tears.
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