Resource Guide for Beginner and Experienced ECE Teachers

Find Some Great Teacher Resources at Your Fingertips Supplies, Tools, Learning Plans & Cool Ideas to Help Engage Your Students

ECE - Teacher Resources

Find Some Great Teacher Resources at Your Fingertips:
School Supplies, Tools, Learning Plans & Cool Ideas to
Help Engage Your Students

Early childhood educators play a critical role in developing the social, intellectual, and communications abilities of young learners. This Early Childhood Educator Resources guide offers some helpful ideas for teachers, parents, and child caregivers. Teaching the youngest learners requires skills, knowledge, and techniques carefully tailored to meet the needs of children under the age of nine. This guide will point to some resources that can help new or experienced ECE Preschool teachers.

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Teaching Supplies

Teaching supplies are an essential part of a well-rounded classroom approach for early childhood learners. They must experience colors, textures, and visual stimulation of various kinds. Lessons in math and science can effectively use carefully designed teaching kits that provide physical objects to define math systems and physical properties. In many jurisdictions, local budgets place limitations on supplies that have forced teachers to find alternative sources of classroom materials. The resources here include free and low-cost supplies as well as traditional suppliers. Teachers can also find useful tips and advice on maximizing the benefits of these teaching assets.

Oriental Trading

This online, telephone, and mail order business offers a wide range of educational supplies that work well with early education age groups. They offer items for special abilities children and early learners with a sortable index arranged by grade level. Teachers can search by subjects that include science, math, active play, and social studies.

Learning Resources

This site offers useful categories of teaching supplies that range from classroom decorations to classroom technology. Many items come in classroom kits that provide a full set of instructions and materials for learning and educational play activities.

Treasures 4 Teachers

This member-based resource group provides free or low costs supplies for early childhood teachers. The benefits include educational resources, supplies, materials, and training. The T4T is a donation-based organization and members can have access to free or low-cost school supplies. The supply resources can relieve teachers that in the past have expended personal resources to bring needed supplies to their classrooms.

School Specialty Select

This site offers contract pricing for eligible buyers and products that support learning, safety, and well-being. Ranging from floor mats to electronics, this site offers a comprehensive shopping experience for teachers and administrators. The early childhood section offers filters for infant, toddler, and pre-k age groups. They offer educational, play, and health supplies.

Kaplan Early Learning Company

This site offers supplies for classrooms and teaching plans that focus on infant and toddler selections, pre-K, and early elementary grades. The store offers insightful, educational supplies, like science lessons that teach the nature of germs and microbes. These lessons double as child health and safety by encouraging hand-washing and hygiene.

Lesson Plans

Teachers must create a sequence of meaningful educational experiences. The tool for establishing a course of study for early learners is lesson planning. Lesson plans place teaching goals and objectives into the framework of an action plan. The teacher designs the information in a way that presents it, reinforces it, and helps students apply it. Successful lesson plans stand the test within each unit and build to a conclusion each day. At the end of the course of study, the lesson plans should build to solid learning accomplishments for each student. Lesson plans must meet the needs and capabilities of the learners.

Teachers Network

This site offers free lesson plans, example lesson units, and classroom activities. Teachers can watch video presentations and read articles by experienced teachers on developing themes and strategies. Teachers can find valuable templates and modify them to meet the needs of their early learner groups.

Education World

This easy to use site offers printable templates, diagrams, forms, and charts to help ECE teachers develop responsive lesson plans. The template topics include lesson plans, classroom organizers, assessment templates, award templates, flyers, posters, and signs.

Better Lesson

This advanced site offers lesson plans, classroom materials, and instructional resources from high-performing teachers. The site has an ELA section with information and models provided by master teachers. Teachers can search by grade level, and ECE teachers can use the lower elementary levels for grades one, two, and three.

Early Childhood Education: Lesson Plans

This is a multiple source site. Teachers can use this research portal for links to early childhood education lesson plans such as A-Z Teacher Stuff and many other sources. Teachers can search by topic, grade range, and subject.

HotChalk Lesson Plans

A free resource for ECE teachers. These plans can provide an excellent reference and starting place to refine and tailor an approach. Lesson plans should reflect the needs and objectives of the class participants, and HotChalk plans can reduce the time needed to develop excellent plans.

Classroom Management

The learning environment for early learners is a critical factor in their success. Young learners need a place in which they can feel secure and supported. Early learners can be active, easily distracted, and very energetic. Successful ECE teachers must develop methods and techniques for maintaining control while permitting the children the freedom to interact and experience the lessons.

The Teacher’s Corner

Classroom management is an essential part of creating a positive learning environment. Early learners have an abundance of energy and curiosity. Teachers must channel that energy and interest into positive applications that work for the individual and the group. This site has a classroom management section that offers advice, tips, and ideas for creating a safe and responsive learning environment.

Classcraft

This site offers teachers and schools and school systems access to educational games. In various formats, these games can help free teachers for administrative tasks, organize student engagement, and help manage the flow of lessons in the lesson plan. Gaming is an excellent way to engage children at all levels of learning. These simple and powerful tools help keep children connected to the group purposes and stimulate learning.

10 expert tricks for managing your preschool classroom

Organizing a room and using devices like a puppet friend are among the many tips and devices that can help a pre-school teacher maintain control over a class of early learners. Teachers can anticipate periods such as transitions between activities and use fun games and activities to engage young learners. Tips can offer insight that teachers can adapt to their styles, objectives, and circumstances.

Staying in Control of Your Classroom

This site offers twelve expert tips and analysis of classroom situations. It covers wandering attention, using a tight schedule, and managing disruptive behavior. In addition, there are books, essays, and articles about many aspects of teaching pre-school learners. Tips include identifying situations in which extra help or expert consultation can be the bests option.

New Teachers

A new ECE preschool teacher is much like the students; they must learn each day and try to get better. All teachers must show patience and understanding, and recognize that each child is a unique individual with circumstances that the teacher must also understand. Many experts recommend that young teachers should be themselves, keep a sense of humor, and be willing to try new and different things. New teachers have to find a way to manage classrooms, organize materials, and conduct educational activities. The resources listed below can help with the technical aspects of class organization, planning, and conduct.

Resources Toolkit for New Teachers

New teachers can take advantage of convenient articles, videos, and instructional advice and tips. This information toolkit is aimed at teachers in the earliest stages of their careers. Teachers can gain new ideas and greater confidence in their approaches to classroom activities, management, and lesson planning.

Teach Preschool

This site offers experienced-based ideas, techniques, and support for teachers at all levels of experience. New teachers can take advantage of creative ideas, illustrative videos, and projects in action to make their classrooms interesting and stimulating.

5 Mistakes Pre-K Teachers Make the First Week of School

This site offers free resources for Pre-K teachers with some articles dedicated to the new teacher such as the most common mistakes. New teachers can search by subject area, classroom ideas, and the latest technology for ECE teaching. The site has printable and downloadable content that can help with lessons and lesson planning.

Childhood 101

This helpful site focuses on play and learning activities. Play is an excellent way to help children learn, socialize, and achieve. The enjoyment of play makes learning more accessible and enjoyable. New teachers can use these techniques to stimulate learning and customize their lesson plans.

Preschool Inspirations

The preschool classroom can be a busy place where young learners play and study equally. This site offers insights from experienced teachers that help fill the class day with engaging beneficial activities. The approach includes advice and equipment that can help keep students calm and interested in their challenges.

Teaching Tools

Today there are many types of teaching tools that ECE educators can use to create and carry out lesson plans that will engage and stimulate early learners. The range of teaching tools extends to the reaches of teacher creativity and imagination. Teachers can enrich classroom content with artistic creations, visual images, and audio elements. Today, software technology makes video available on a wide range of platforms and devices. Early learners engage with lessons about music, science, math, and the characteristics of the natural world. Lesson plans, teaching kits, and other modules can enrich the classroom experience and engage learners at every stage of their early childhood development.

ClassDojo

ClassDojo is a software system that uses digital formats to record and present voice, visual, and other information and shares it in networks of teachers, students, and parents. The software can connect everyone involved in a successful educational experience in a single format with convenient controls on a wide range of devices. ClassDojo works with smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Resources for Early Learning, Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

Resources for Early Learning offers easy access for educators to age-appropriate educational materials for birth through age eight. They include basic skills for infants, math, science, writing, drawing, language and speaking. The site also offers career enrichment resources for educators to further their professional development. For learners age three to five, the site has the Massachusetts early learning curriculum with important learning themes like family, music, and buildings and structures.

Teachers Pay Teachers

This site is an open marketplace for educators where teachers buy, sell, and share original teaching resources. TPT is a place to get free and paid resources and teaching tools. The section on Elementary School Resources includes searchable categories for subjects and grade. Teachers can search for fee-paid and free resources.

Pinterest

This is an online research platform that has useful categories for ECE educators. Whether searching for visuals to demonstrate themes or artistic creations, ECE educators can use Pinterest boards. Teachers can create boards or use the existing early childhood resources on Pinterest for Teaching Preschool and Early Childhood Education.

Education.com

This site offers resources for early learners such as games and activities that stimulate learning and help organize classroom activities. The site uses the expertise of its core of award-winning teachers to provide advice, tips, and strategies for effective learning at all stages of age three through fifth grade.

Professional Associations

Professional Early Childhood Education Associations offer opportunities to enhance professional knowledge, gain access to educational resources, and network with other practitioners and leaders in the field. Many Early Childhood Education Associations reflect the history of the field as one that has struggled for recognition of its importance. Pioneers in the field have fought for greater awareness and investment of resources. Many professional associations engage in policy advocacy at the national, state, and local levels. These efforts have produced favorable policies that have increased the availability of early childhood education. Professional early childhood education associations are a worthwhile investment of time and effort for teachers, researchers, parents, and caregivers.

National Association for the education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The National Association for the Education of Young Children is an organization dedicated to improving the lives and ensuring the well-being of children aged birth through age eight. The NAEYC has played a key role in advancing early childhood education and standards for quality education and care. NAEYC administers an accreditation program directly for many types of childcare and child education facilities, and they have rich resources for professional training and development. NAEYC membership provides participation in both national and local services.

National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)

This national association focuses on the challenges of early childhood education with special emphasis on Black culture and African American communities. The association hosts annual events and provides professional development resources. The NBCDI is an advocacy and educational resource organization that supports educators, parents, and families. The local chapters provide direct services in many US communities.

National Head Start Association (NHSA)

This large national organization is the advocacy arm for the Head Start Community. It promotes policies that strengthen Head Start and amplify the importance of its mission. The Head Start community consists of professionals and institutions that provide early education to financially challenged families and others across the US. Teachers both within and affected by the Head Start programs would benefit from the networking and association benefits of the NHSA.

Zero to Three

This organization advocates for stronger efforts and greater resources for infant and toddler education programs. Their goal is to ensure that every child has an opportunity to take advantage of the earliest learning opportunities, which are critical to overall development. Membership in this group offers benefits for professional development networking and advocacy.

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)

The NAFCC is an advocacy and policy group that recognizes the role of family-based early childhood education. They seek to gain access to public resources for early childhood education from family caregivers. The association seeks greater resources for family childcare and early education. These efforts can include increased resources for the use of family caregivers that seek to exercise parent choice for early childhood education.

A resources guide cannot answer all the questions or solve all the needs of a preschool teacher. Some of the resources here may raise more questions and cause farther inquiry. This is a good thing, as teachers must also strive to learn—they must also be good students. The challenge of working with the youngest groups of learners is steep. The potential for growth in the early childhood learners is impressive, and their energy and curiosity make them eager to soak in facts, knowledge, and all sorts of information. The challenge of the ECE teacher is to get each child moving in a direction that can fulfill their promise. ECE teachers must be good observers and patient listeners. They have an enormous opportunity to make a positive contribution to a lifetime of learning.

Career Path Options

When you are planning on becoming an early childhood teacher, there are many different career paths and options for you to choose from. Below are some of the most popular choices and there are specialization in each of these careers:

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Methodology for Program Rankings in Early Childhood Education

When ranking early childhood education programs, Discover Early Childhood EDU used the very best data available. In fact, most of our rankings are based on government sources, which provide us with unbiased and objective information. However, we also recognize that no ranking system will ever be perfect.

Each student brings their own unique set of needs and expectations to the process of searching for their college of choice. After all, education is inherently a subjective process that depends as much on quantifiable factors as it does on subjective experiences. Some students may attend the very top-ranked early childhood education programs and yet still find that they have missed something. That lack could be due to the fact that they weren’t able to take certain courses or that they had a difficult time learning from certain professors.

Regardless, we have devised a system that will help students make the very best choices for their educational experience. Each program has received the same treatment and we have done our best to eliminate any sort of bias in our system. Students can confidently use our information to help make their decisions, which should then be informed by campus visits and admissions interviews.

Data Collection

Our data collection efforts rely on outside, but reliable, sources. In particular, our results are based heavily on government data sources. We try to account for any lag in updates to information, however, most of these numbers don’t vary very much from year to year, so updates from sources are done as often as necessary.

Below is a list of just some of the sources used to collect data for this ranking:

  • https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/:
    This is a comprehensive repository of educational information brought to you by the National Center for Education Statistics. It lists data related to enrollment, costs, majors/minors, accreditation, and more for each college and university.
  • https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/:
    This site is packed with great information from the US Department of Education. The interface is user-friendly and covers many of the same data points covered by the NCES.
  • https://www.bls.gov/:
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics is our go-to source of information for all things related to jobs and salaries. There you can find information related to projected job growth as well as state-by-state numbers related to employment.
  • https://www.payscale.com/:
    This is the only private source we use. Payscale collects data for various job types from across the US and offers a view on employment and salaries from the private sector.

Ranking Factors We Use

  • Retention Rate:
    this data point reflects the number of first-year students who return to a school for their second year. When students return, that shows how much they and their parents think of the education they’ve received thus far. Essentially this is a tally of the confidence students place in their school.
  • Graduation Rate (4 Year, 6 Year):
    This number indicates how well students are able to stay on track and graduate within a reasonable time frame. Since six years is now considered closer to the norm, if a school reflects a four-year timeline then it may be considered exceptional.
  • Admission Rate:
    This number indicates how difficult it is to gain admittance to a school. Lower admission rates tend to bode well for things like graduation rate and even future salaries.
  • Cost of Tuition:
    Financial concerns are always important to consider. Every student and their family needs to weigh the potential long-term debt as well as short-term expenditures for an education.
  • Graduating Salary (ROI):
    After you finance an education, it’s vital to know how quickly you will be able to recoup those expenditures. Though every student’s graduating salary is subject to wide variance, this number can provide a good target figure.
  • # of Programs Offered:
    Though you might embark on your educational journey with a clear idea of what you wish to major in, keep in mind that many students change course after their first year or two. For that reason, it’s important to pick a school with a larger number of programs. When you find a school with a program that interests you, you might want to research to find if they have others that might serve as a suitable back-up.
  • Online Programs Offered:
    Online options are increasingly important in higher education. Though you might not prefer online classes, they might become necessary. For instance, if an emergency arises, online classes can fill in until things return to normal.
  • Loan Default Rate:
    This number can be tied to graduating salary: if students are generally well-paid upon graduation, they will be less likely to default on their debts.
  • Diplomas Awarded:
    The exact type of diploma you receive can make a difference later in your career, so take note of what sorts of degrees you can receive from a school. You certainly need to determine whether the school supports a bachelor’s degree or only an associate degree in your field.
  • % of Students Receiving Financial Aid:
    This number might not seem so important, but it can indicate a lot about the background of your fellow students. For instance, if the school is a private college but only 25% percent of the students receive assistance to attend, you might expect a certain sort of social dynamic.