Data-Driven Family Engagement Tools for Head Start and State Preschools

Learning Genie is an app for ECE educators and family service workers for Distant Learning and Family Engagement including tracking in-kind. During the COVID-19 crisis, Learning Genie offers free tools till the end of 2020 under a grant (or in-kind) to support all ECE agencies for Distance Learning and track school readiness outcomes.


Learning Genie also provides a useful application for portfolio-building. The portfolio tracking and tagging systems could be readily applied to DRDP 2015, Florida VPK, Head Start (HS), Early Head Start (EHS), Montessori, and other state or private-backed assessment tools.




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 To learn more about the resources available for TK Implementation See the  the TK Resource Library 

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 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.