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Bringing the best practices in early childhood education to the communities we serve with our reimagined curricula and coaching

Acelero Innovations in Early Childhood Education

A leader in Early Childhood Education

Continuously Innovating & Reimagining

Acelero, Inc. has long been recognized as a leader in Early Childhood Education.  We have raised the bar for children’s learning by continuing to innovate and reimagine teaching practices, coaching techniques, and classroom and home learning curricula. 

In 2020, as part of our strategic plan, we committed ourselves to refine three of the biggest levers to realize our mission, taking each to the next level. These includes refining our classroom curriculum; Ready to Shine; our home learning curriculum, Shine on Families; and our historic teacher coaching model.

Greater impact through innovation

Our Levers of Impact

 Head Start

Our classroom curriculum, Ready to Shine, supports preschool age children, building on their natural curiosity and playfulness. To fully support our learners, teachers utilize a comprehensive set of lesson plans and activity guides in our classrooms. Our signature curriculum supports include:

  • Full week-by-week lesson guides, including alignment with school readiness goals and assessment objectives
  • In-class activities
  • Unit maps
  • Parent templates related to curriculum themes to keep families fully informed of their child’s classroom experience
  • Robust curriculum guides and supporting materials
  • Curriculum collaboration meeting tools

Display of student artwork from the author study curriculum on Lois Ehlert

Early Head Start

The Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers and Twos serves as the curriculum foundation in Acelero Learning infant/toddler Early Head Start classrooms. This approach provides guidance for teachers in important areas such as:  

  • Physical environment 
  • Routines of the day 
  • Responsive care-giving experiences
  • Teacher-child relationships 

Teacher and student read a book together as part of the Early Head Start curriculum

Building on this foundation, Acelero Learning teachers use additional proprietary tools developed to scaffold relationship-based, individualized planning that is embedded within daily routines.  With primary caregiving assignments, each teacher develops and implements a highly individualized learning plan (ILP) for each of the four children in their group based on careful observation of what children are working on and curious about, as well as information families share about their culture, goals, and priorities. Teachers leverage the Creative Curriculum®’s Intentional Teaching Cards, Mighty Minutes, book reading guides, and assessment linked HELP at Home activities as resources in this process. This highly individualized, routines-based approach to lesson-planning ensures intentional learning opportunities are embedded within each child’s routine activities throughout the day. Teachers then collaborate to develop Shared Play Plans using assessment data, daily observations, as well as the ILPs of each child. Children are grouped together for shared play activities each week based on related needs, goals, and/or interests to further support their social emotional and socialization needs while offering additional opportunities to practice and refine skill development across domains. 

Student engaging in classroom curriculum unit on Light and Shadow

We are innovating and reimagining our curricular approach. Reimagined Ready to Shine will integrate research-based and anti-bias instructional strategies that promote inclusive learning environments for our birth-to-five learners.  Reimagined Ready to Shine will allow for a joyful learning experience, where children feel they are valued and fully belong. 

Our new curriculum will prioritize the following criteria:

  • Anti-bias: Features developmentally relevant curricular activities that disrupt the formation of bias in young children and integrates equitable and inclusive practices across standards, curriculum, and teaching strategies that create a joyful and inclusive learning environment in which all young children feel they are valued and fully belong.
  • Rigorous and Playful: Extends existing learning expectations to meet or exceed the most rigorous state and national early learning standards and expands content to additional critical learning domains while maintaining environments and experiences that support and build on young children’s natural curiosity and playfulness.
  • Integrated Birth to Five: Systematically sequences developmentally-effective and aligned learning experiences to seamlessly connect and ease children’s transitions through the ages, stages, and classrooms of early childhood from infancy and toddlerhood to preschool and pre-K, and culminating in the transition to Kindergarten.
  • Modular and Adaptable: Includes curricular components that can be used selectively based on local requirements, preferences, or needs as well as identified elements designed to be adapted locally to the environment, culture, language, and context of a particular program.
  • Research-based and Field-tested: Founded on seminal and current research in early childhood learning and teaching with empirical evidence of impact built through evaluation of teaching and learning during field testing and piloting.  Co-created to ensure feasibility and enjoyment through close collaboration with stakeholders, including teachers, coaches, and families.
  • Embedded Professional Development: Curriculum designed to serve as both a lever for child learning and a guide for teachers linking actions and content to learning trajectories and standards in a concrete and focused way. Curriculum forms the foundation and provides scaffolds for teachers to expand their content knowledge, challenge long-held practices, adapt content to their classroom community, meet individual needs, and plan ahead for potential challenges in ways that elevate teaching practices and lead to better child outcomes.

Shine on Families is our research-based home learning curriculum, designed to strengthen the partnership between Acelero Learning staff and families, extending  classroom learning into the home.  Developed in collaboration with Phil Zelazo, one of the nation’s leading researchers on the development of executive function in young children, and aligned with classroom school readiness standards, Shine on Families’ PEER home learning activity cards, are designed to enhance parent and child interactions shown in the research to promote executive function and school readiness.  Its strategies are fully integrated into our centers’ full range of family engagement efforts, including monthly Family Engagement Network meetings, Family learning parties, and individualized home learning recommendations for children and families.

Like our classroom curriculum, Acelero is currently collaborating with families across our national network to redesign Shine on Families, hosting co-design workshops with families to create standard- aligned, home-learning activities that build upon families’ expertise and bring their children’s lived experiences into our classrooms.  Families and staff have also contributed to informing new formats and tools that provide greater opportunities to individualize the home learning experience to meet the needs of children and families from diverse backgrounds and distinctive family circumstances and preferences.

For over 10 years, reflective coaching has been a key component of Acelero Learning’s approach to Teacher Professional Development. We understand that coaching is an essential strategy to support  teacher effectiveness, which has proven to be a key lever to achieve child outcomes.  

Following a deep dive into coaching models that have been shown to have the greatest impact on child outcomes (practice-based coaching model/PBC and instructional coaching by Jim Knight), we have begun to reimagine our Coaching Cycle as a four-step process to provide targeted, regular, skill-based feedback to support teacher practices and accelerate child outcomes. 

As such, we have begun to pilot a teacher coaching model that includes: 

  • Planning Stage: Teachers  and coaches use data from the classroom to select an evidence-based teaching strategy together.
  • Learning Stage: Teachers deepen their understanding of what the teaching strategy looks like (e.g., through coach modeling, observe that strategy in another teacher’s classroom or  access a curated video library).
  • Observation Stage: Coaches conduct  targeted observations that are aligned with the goal and practice(s) on the teachers’ action plan.
  • Reflection Stage: Teachers and coaches have opportunities to reflect on the observation together. The coaches provide supportive and constructive feedback, again, aligned with the goal and practice(s) on the teachers’ action plan.

It is our aspiration that our new coaching model, once tested and piloted more broadly, can support our teacher and family engagement staff to execute their roles with expertise and

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