Think of an activity you offer regularly in your classroom (drawing, reading, writing, blocks, painting). How could you move it outside? What help would you need? In this workshop we will explore the endless possibilities of encouraging learning and exploration outside the classroom. We will delve into the roadblocks that keep you from doing more outside while also exploring questions you have about how to maximize the time spent outside. While spending some of the workshop outside ourselves, we will explore and articulate specific ways to take learning outdoors.
In this lunch and learn session, participants will share and explore ways that early childhood educators design intentional instruction and deliberate opportunities for children to learn and practice empathy, gratitude, and kindness. Beyond ‘random acts’, the goals of this dialogue are to deepen our awareness of children’s capacities for engaged social emotional learning and actions, and for participants to develop specific strategies for designing and implementing intentional curriculum around kindness and inclusive community membership.
Holding a strong image of the child, we choose to embrace the toddler’s natural inclination for adventure and risk. We challenge the assumptions of what experiences we can offer to toddlers, how we can allow them to fully explore their environment and the ways in which we can introduce a variety of materials. Learn how we have designed both the indoor and outdoor classroom to nurture these experiences. Explore what this looks like in our group setting of toddlers and young preschoolers and share how you too can embrace these experiences in your program.
An almost universal truth is that young beings love to play; this includes humans as well as other animals! In fact, play is a crucial part of appropriate development in children. The natural world offers abundant opportunities for play. Why is outdoor play important, and how can we, as educators and parents, give children ample and appropriate opportunities to play outside?
This workshop will take a look at our program's journey of evaluating our child-led focus within the classroom. Learn about what our community decided makes The Lupine School special, and how we make sure that the various components allow the children to take the lead supported by current research. This workshop will give participants an opportunity to evaluate their own programs for new opportunities to implement child-led learning, include families in the process, and make a plan to take action!
Donna is passionate about storytelling and the practice is an integral part of her daily practice at Children First. Join Donna at The Image of the Child Conference in October to learn why you too should implement this practice into your program and how to make storytelling a core element of everyday curriculum. Donna will illustrate many of the ways fluency in this important expressive language contributes to children’s social, emotional and intellectual development while informing and supporting children’s work on long-term investigations.
The birthday child would get a crown and be sworn in as King or Queen for the day. I never thought too much about the titles chosen. That was until one of my students shared that they didn’t feel like they wanted to be either of those choices. They felt like they would like to be a royal dragon for the day.
This was an eye-opening event in my teaching career. If I really wanted to develop a classroom where everyone felt like they had a voice I needed to be more flexible in my thinking.
He’s so bad. She’s shy. He’s going to be a doctor. She’s a troublemaker. He’s chubby. She’s an artist. Have you ever heard someone say something like this? Have you ever said anything like this? Labels (positive and negative) are powerful and can follow a child and impact how others see them and how they perceive themselves.
As parents and educators we need to create connections based on empathy and grace. We need to understand that a child’s struggle does not define them. We need to find the root of the problem. We should be proactive guides armed with the tools and strategies that will help them move past this bump in the road.
It starts young. When children observe the people they care about picking up trash on a walk, helping a neighbor mow their yard, or donating food to a food bank being kind and giving back becomes just part of their world. In your school, you can imbed opportunities for helping others in the classroom (as discussed in the previous post) and in your local community.
The basis for building successful friendships begins early in life. During these early years, children are learning how to navigate the tricky friendship waters. They are learning how to be patient when it doesn't seem possible, how to be kind even when unkind things are happening, how to be flexible, how to really listen, how to comfort, how to share, how to be empathetic and how to formulate a meaningful apology.
Over the last few years I have been thinking a lot about what I want for my kids (honestly from society in general!). As I read about gun violence on a college campus, a child taking their own life, and the hate permeating much of society I now have a better answer to what I want for my children’s future.
Do you ever get to the door of the classroom and realize that you’ve carried a backpack, lunchbox and jacket while your child has skipped into the classroom empty handed? It sometimes seems easier to be the one in charge of carrying everything but in the long run it actually becomes a burden. In order to facilitate independence in young children it is our job to ensure they are responsible for their belongings.
As I write this my body is flooded with adrenaline. My mind is racing. My heart is pounding. A little while ago I received a text from my middle schooler. It is the text that every parent fears. “Something has happened at [school]. We heard a loud explosion and the windows shook.” While I frantically texted (trying to appear calm to my son) to get more information, my husband took to social media to find out what was going on. We quickly learned there was an explosion on the block next to his school. A building collapsed and was on fire.
Let me tell you, I am incredibly nervous and my anxiety is in overdrive! For the first time in my adult life I will be standing face-to-face with a legislator stating the reasons why we need to do better for our youngest children. It is an issue that I am well versed in but I am afraid I will stumble over my words or forget the major points I want to make.
My oldest child tested what I thought I knew about early childhood development. From the time we brought him home, it seemed that he was fussier and needed more than I knew was possible. I had been a nanny of a newborn, spent time with lots of new mothers, and did my Master’s partially focused on children under the age of three. I was a teacher, special educator, and worked with parents regularly giving advice on child rearing.
When I facilitate in person workshops I always start by telling a little bit about myself. I talk about how long I’ve worked with children/families, what ages I’ve taught and why I decided to leave the classroom to work with teachers. I also share that I am an introvert with a generalized anxiety disorder.