Preschoolers study wildlife

Children enrolled in the Elkland 2 classroom of Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. read the book “The Box Turtle” and worked on a project to make turtle shells. Holding their finished box turtle shells are (front row, from left) Zeake, Saryoa, Gabriel; (middle row) Paisley, Piper; (back row) Bentley, Joevin, Brooklyn; and on the Promethean Panel screen is Sandy Button, practice-based coaching coach.

Practice-based coaching is a process used by Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. to support their teaching staff and help them develop effective teaching practices.

This one-on-one process brings new tools that the teacher, teacher aides and other education staff will use to enhance a child’s learning experience and lead to positive outcomes for children and families. Some of the components that the coach and staff work on include planning goals, action steps, engaging in focused observations, reflecting on and sharing feedback.

Each year BTHS’s Practice Based Coach Sandy Button sends each classroom an activity that pertains to the teaching practice that is being highlighted. This year’s highlight is emergent literacy. This includes thing such as phonics awareness, print and alphabet knowledge, comprehension, and text structure and writing skills.

For this year’s activity, Button sent each classroom a literacy activity for the children to complete, including all the materials and the instructions on how to complete the activity.

She delivered the book “The Box Turtle” for students to read together. The story is about a turtle who was born without a shell so, he went searching to find the perfect one and, along the way, discovered his own confidence.

Along with the story, Button provided examples of open-ended questions that would both check for comprehension of the story and help expand the children’s thought process. The children decorate a box as their “turtle shell.”

“They loved the activity and the chance to make box shells of their very own,” said Elkland 2 Teacher Kristen Rider. “We even had a few parents inquire about the activity as children were talking about it at home.”

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. offers programs for pregnant mothers, families and their children, newborn up to the age of 5. For more information call 570-638-1400, visit or find it on Facebook.

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