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The New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines and the New Mexico Essential Indicators are the foundation for teaching and capturing important aspects of children’s learning and therefore guides instructional planning.

The preschool day focuses on learning through play. Play is a child’s work and it provides children with the opportunity to learn from their environment. Research has shown that children who engage in high quality play experiences can achieve higher levels of cognitive functioning, which positively affects their future academic achievement

In APS Pre-K classrooms we use the NM Early Learning Guidelines to plan our classroom instruction and Pearson’s Opening the World of Learning (OWL). Each child’s day includes time for independent work, group meals, outdoor play, and small group activities. Our learning centers consist of: Science, Literacy, Blocks, Art, Writing, Dramatic Play, Table Top activities, and more.

Our Whole Group Time provides opportunities during Story Time for the teacher to read stories, model what ‘good readers do’, and ask questions about the book. Literacy Cycle is to develop phonological awareness and alphabetical knowledge through group writing, chants, poems, and rhymes. We support the development of the whole child and incorporate both physical activities and social emotional development into our daily lessons.

Using New Mexico Early Learning Guidelines we design lesson plans to meet each child’s development needs. We gather information about the child through the use of portfolios and checklist to ensure the child is making progress in meeting age appropriate standards. Children’s progress is monitored three times per year using the Early Childhood Observational Tool. (ECOT) The information that is collected through observation and portfolio documentation is shared with each family at scheduled Parent Teacher Conferences.

Authentic Assessment CycleAuthentic Assessment Cycle

  • Instruction
  • Observation
  • Documentation
  • Review and interpretation
  • Planning

From: Caudle, L, Ph.D. (2016, August 4) Effective Authentic Assessment Strategies in Early Childhood and Elementary Classrooms. Retrieved from:

Every child in Albuquerque Public Schools has diverse strengths rooted in their family’s unique culture, heritage, language, beliefs, and circumstances. (State of New Mexico, Children, Youth and Families Department, 2010). Through their home language and culture, families share a sense of identity and belonging (McCabe et al, 2013). In a Pre-K environment, materials reflect the culture, language, identity, and reality of the children, families, and communities served. We ensure translators and interpreters participate during important meetings between the school and the home.

Multi-language learners are learning two or more languages and will need linguistic support. It is essential teachers have knowledge of second language acquisition to be able to support the students appropriately through the use of a print-rich labeling of home languages, use of second-language acquisition strategies, building relationships between children, and promote home languages while supporting English language development.

Social emotional development and school success are linked as seen in a growing body of child research. A child’s early years set the path for the relationships and successes they will experience for the rest of their lives, making it crucial that children’s earliest experiences truly foster—and never harm—their development. During these years, children’s brains are developing rapidly, influenced by the experiences, both positive and negative, that they share with their families, caregivers, teachers, peers, and in their communities.

In a Pre-K classroom, the teachers implement strategies to meet a child’s social emotional well-being:

  • develop their students’ self-esteem by using culturally and linguistically best practice
  • encourage independence
  • promote children’s emotional regulation and decision-making skills