(April 4, 2007) A Classroom of Excellence is a place where all young children thrive and are ready for school. IDRA has developed this model for creating early childhood classrooms of excellence and has been implementing it in several centers in San Antonio. Research is showing dramatic results among participating children. José L. Rodríguez, M.A., an IDRA education associate, and Josie Cortez, M.A., an IDRA senior education associate, share highlights of the model and transformations that have occurred in classrooms for children, teachers and families. José and Josie are interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity
Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Early Childhood Educators Institute This institute for teachers, administrators and parents offers a valuable series of information-packed professional development concurrent sessions that are customized to value and capitalize on the linguistic and cultural assets brought forth by a diverse student population.
03:51 José gives an overview of IDRA's READ project and "classrooms of excellence" model, which is geared to prepare Head Start children to enter kindergarten ready to read.
06:19 José explains why children are now being taught to read at an earlier age.
08:27 José explains the different areas of the classroom of excellence, including a teaching table, work table, library, house corner, blocks area and music area.
10:18 José offers some parent feedback on the classroom of excellence model.
11:06 Josie says that the READ project values children's culture and language in preparing them to read in school.
12:13 Josie says that early data on IDRA's centers of excellence show that they are are having "profound, profound results." They are leading to transformations of their teachers, who "now feel they have the tools... to change the way their classrooms are organized, to change the instructional methods that they are using, and to change the relationships they may have had with families, particularly with parents and some of the siblings." Parents are also actively engaged as "real partners" with teachers. The children, meanwhile, are "not only ready, but eager to enter kindergarten and succeed."
14:40 Josie says that early qualitative and anecdotal data is encouraging, and indicates that project READ kids are standing out among their peers as they enter kindergarten.
16:11 José talks about the coaching and mentoring professional development component for the READ project teachers.
17:30 Bradley asks whether the READ project works better for English language learners or for children in general.
19:55 José describes the READ project’s family field trips.
22:25 Bradley once again encourages listeners to send feedback through IDRA's online form, or by e-mail, to
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