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- We are welcoming professional, creative and thought-provoking blog. Be bold, unconventional, and distinctive on the competition blog topic you chose from the 4 topics below (You could submit one blog for each topic, up to a total of 4.):
Good news! You now have until May 31st to submit your blog post for our contest. Don’t miss out on the prizes!
- With the new UPK programs launched in 2022-2023 and to be fully implemented in 2024-2025, the demand for PK teachers with both K12 credentials and knowledge of high-quality Early Learning is on a sharp rise.
- Transitional Kindergarten (California) is the first year of the two-year Kindergarten of California’s TK-12 programs. Teachers will need to address 4yr old children with a whole-child approach (8 domains of development) and focus on play-based learning. This requires teachers with K12 (elementary school) experience to quickly equip the knowledge and practical skillsets to support UPK children.
- With further requirements from CDE focusing on culturally responsive and dual language learning and inclusion classes, the learning curve and requirements for UPK/K teachers are ever-steeper.
This contest aims to empower all California UPK teachers by enabling them to share their best practices in successfully navigating the learning curves of California’s new UTK programs, launched in 2022-2023, and fully implemented in 2024-2025.
About the Organizers
Blog Competition Timeline
- Form: Blog (1,500 – 2000 words) insert of image, video, and other multi-media are encouraged.
- Blog Format: Web submission of PDF (Organizer will reformat to post as the blogs).
- Language: English.
- Font Type: Roboto, Body Font Size: 16px
- Deadline: February 28th, 2023, 11:59 p.m. (PST).
- Contestant Information: Your name, e-mail address, role, school name.
- Citation: All sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the blog.
- Individual work is encouraged. If you have other collaborators, only the lead author should be registered.
- The blog must be written exclusively for this Contest.
- The contents must be the author’s original contents. Please respect the copyrights of others.
- UPK Learning Environment Instructional Staff and Coaches E.g. UPK teachers, UPK teacher assistants/aids, Coaches, Teacher on Special Assignments
- It does not include content with practical tips in the classroom setting (it is not a literature review).
- It is less than 1500 words (not including citations and bibliography).
- It is postmarked or submitted by email after the deadline.
- It is not the contestant’s original work.
RECOGNITION AND AWARDS
- The Prize will go towards the teacher/or school they’re representing, and the winners will be recognized throughout all of our social media platforms.
- All winners will receive an additional (month/year) subscription to use Learning Genie in one of their UPK classrooms.
- The Winners will be invited as the Teacher Help Teacher (THT) Speakers hosted and featured by California Kindergarten Associations.
- The submission deadline is May 31st, 2023.
- Winners will be notified by July 10th, 2023.
- Winners will give a short speech at our Award Ceremony on July 17th, 2023.
- The winners will be posted on our website/blog etc.
- The winning blogs will be published on both CKA and Learning Genie websites, and also the E-book will be shared as a resource to all school districts, County of Educations.
- ECE and UPK experts are working diligently to support UPK teachers to make sure they reach success on every step they take to implement and expand the TK program into their classrooms.
- On July 17th, 2023, we are holding a virtual ceremony to announce the winner of the #MyUPKJourney Blog Contest. During the ceremony our creative winners will honor us with a small speech about their blog.
- We will also discuss some topics such as how to overcome the difficulties of finding the best resources to use in UPK classrooms and how to successfully plan lessons that are age appropriate and follow the Preschool Learning Foundations requirements.
- Event Date: July 17th, 2023
- Event Duration: 1 hr
- Total number of awards: 12
- Total Prize: $10,000 in Cash Prizes
TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR BLOG
- Learning and Applying Preschool Learning Foundations in Lesson Planning, Environment Setting, and Leading Small and Big Group activities.
- Authentic assessments for the whole child (evidence-based assessment including eight domains in PLF)
- Conducting Culturally responsive and dual language lessons.
- Addressing the need of special education children in the Inclusion Classrooms.
WRITING ABOUT UPK IMPLEMENTATION AND PLANNING
The whole concept of UPK Implementation and Planning is understanding the difficulties and pressures that UPK teachers and administrators are facing to implement or to expand the program into their classes.
If you are an administrator or a teacher, you can write from your own point of view about the difficult choices teachers have to make to adapt to the mind of a 4 year olds, preparing lessons that are culturally, age appropriate and at the same time being inclusive for children in the Special Education program.
How you overcome your difficulties as a UPK teacher, by describing the methods you are using to make a successful UPK class evaluation. Describe your experience with the resources used to create lessons, assessment tools and demonstrate if these methods and resources used have been successful or not in children's progress.
Your blog should be a focused analysis of the TK program as a whole. Your blog should demonstrate that you have a deep understanding of UPK implementation, expansion, and planning based on age appropriateness.
Outline the obstacles, limitations, pressures UPK teachers are encountering or have encountered. Offer exposition and evidence to develop your argument by using relevant examples and authoritative quotes.
Analysis of the implication/significance/impact of the evidence finished off with a critical conclusion you have drawn from the evidence.
The best way to deepen your understanding of TK implementation is to read the Transitional Kindergarten Implementation Guide https://cpin.us/sites/default/files/TK/tkguide.pdf. To learn more about the resources available for TK Implementation See the the TK Resource Library https://tkcalifornia.org/resources/
Select your blog subject carefully. We recommend that you choose case scenarios that are less well known, a case story that has not yet been presented. Consider researching within your school administrators, board members, etc. Identify the obstacles, dangers, and pressures that teachers have encountered in addressing a particular issue and why you feel his/her course of action best serves the larger educational interest. Avoid writing about any of the common blog subjects.
What will make your blog stand out to the judges is the case story you tell and how you tell it. It's all in your style of writing. Your blog must be written in a clear and coherent manner and be free of grammar and spelling mistakes. Please proofread your blog several times before submitting it. We recommend that you nominate someone to carefully review your blog and give you suggestions for improvement.
Your arguments and opinions about the topic you are writing about must also be well supported by evidence from a variety of sources. You are encouraged to read TK implementation is to read the Transitional Kindergarten Implementation Guide https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/em/documents/tkguide.pdf and to consult several sources in researching your topic, such as personal interviews with the subject of the blog (if s/he is available), books, etc.
We strongly encourage you to choose sources carefully, checking for reliability and accuracy. Any sources consulted or used must be cited throughout and listed in a bibliography at the end of your blog. See Guidelines for Citations and Bibliographies.
The Blog Contest encourages you to use a wide variety of sources in writing your blog with five being the required minimum. We expect you to carefully select all sources for reliability and accuracy. We strongly encourage you to draw on primary documents for your source material.
You are also required to reference your sources throughout your blog using parenthetical citations. We can not accept citations in footnote form. You need to include a bibliography with full citations of your sources at the end of your blog. This is very important. Failing to do this will automatically disqualify you from the contest. But aside from this, maintaining your academic integrity is also another important reason why you need to know how to properly credit the sources you use to get the information for your blog, whether it be from a book, newspaper or magazine article, web site, personal interview, film, etc. Not to do so is to plagiarize, to intentionally or unintentionally appropriate the ideas, language, key terms, or work of another without sufficient acknowledgement that such material is not one's own.
Generally, if you quote someone directly, make sure to use quotation marks to indicate that a particular statement or text is being quoted directly and reference the source immediately after. When you paraphrase someone else's ideas, or put someone else's ideas into your own words, you do not need quotation marks. However, you still need to reference the source of the particular fact or idea immediately following. Usually, the citation goes at the end of a few sentences or at the end of a paragraph. In the following sections, we offer detailed guidelines which have been modified from the Duke University Libraries and the University Writing Program to help you cite the sources you used in your blog and to understand the nature of plagiarism and how to avoid it.
There are two main issues you have to be concerned with: 1) Citing your sources within the text of your blog; and 2) Constructing a list of works or bibliography to attach to your blog. There are several accepted formats, including: the APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Turabian (Kate A. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Terms Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.) This section will focus on the APA style for citation, but you are free to use whichever accepted format is most comfortable for you. The Purdue Online Writing Lab has extensive resources on APA and MLA citation styles. The University of Chicago Press has a quick guide to Turabian citation style.
CRITERIA FOR JUDGING
- Demonstrate an understanding of UPK implementation, expansion, and planning based on age appropriateness.
- Outline the obstacles, limitations, pressures UPK teachers are encountering or have encountered.
- Offer exposition and evidence to develop your argument by using relevant examples and authoritative quotes.
- Analysis of the implication/significance/impact of the evidence finished off with a critical conclusion you have drawn from the evidence.
- You can present a case that is not widely known, or a well-known case is portrayed in a unique way.
- Check for plagiarism.
- Convincing arguments supported with specific examples
- Critical analysis of age appropriate activities that have demonstrated to be successfully implemented in UPK classrooms.
- Bibliography of five or more varied sources
- Includes primary source material
- Thoughtfully selected, reliable
- Quality of writing (20)
- Style, clarity, flow, vocabulary
- Organization (10)
- Structure, paragraphing, introduction and conclusion
- Conventions (10)
- Syntax, grammar, spelling, and punctuation