Curriculum Series

Planning curriculum should focus on being responsive to each individual students interests and needs. Workshops in this curriculum series are designed to facilitate learning using hands-on and emergent practices. Workshops are two hours unless otherwise noted.

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Supporting Scientific Thinking: Using Wonder, Play and Storytelling (2.5 hours)

Children are natural scientists, exploring the world using their senses, asking questions, and making observations. Workshop participants will develop tools to expand a child’s sense of wonder using play and literature. NC DCDEE Approved

More than Maps: Exploring Geography (2.5 hours)

Young children LOVE maps! How can this love encourage knowledge about the world around them? Participants will explore the connections that children make to the world through human geography and investigate how to make those connections around the globe. NC DCDEE Approved

The Image of the Child as an Artist: Process Art in Early Childhood (2.5 hours)

Art is a powerful tool for developing motor skills, meeting sensory needs, and expressing thoughts and emotions. Children learn to express themselves without restriction when we provide a variety of materials and allow them to explore and get messy. Workshop participants will discuss product versus process art practices and learn to create process oriented experiences for their children.

It Feels Like Home: Creating Environments for Learning (2.5 hours)

Our learning environments should be reflective of the individual students and their teacher while feeling warm and welcoming. During this workshop, learn ways to design your environment for connection and learning. NC DCDEE Approved

Supporting Literacy Development in Young Children (2.5 hours)

Young children need writing to learn about reading, they need reading to learn about writing, and they need expressive language to help learn about both. This workshop focuses on ways to support literacy development in the early childhood classroom. NC DCDEE Approved

Developing Language, Creativity & Thinking: Beyond Open and Closed Questions (2.5 hours)

How do teaching practices support language development and creative thinking? During this workshop learn the art of asking questions that support creativity and higher level thinking. NC DCDEE Approved

Emergent Learning in the Early Childhood Classroom (2.5 hours)

Workshop participants will learn how to use a philosophy of teaching and a method of curriculum planning that focuses on being responsive to children's interests to create meaningful learning experiences in any classroom setting. NC DCDEE Approved

The Outdoor Classroom: Beyond Your Four Walls (2.5 hours) N

A child's learning environments should not be contained within four walls. The outdoor classroom offers us opportunities to explore learning in new and unique settings. Learn ways to transform your playground space into an outdoor classroom rich with a variety of learning opportunities. NC DCDEE Approved

Loose Parts: To Promote STEAM Education (2.5 hours)

It is important that our students are offered a variety of open-ended materials and opportunities, to explore learning in their own way. This workshop uses a variety of materials to facilitate learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. NC DCDEE Approved

The Power of Scribbling: Supporting Emergent Writing (2.5 hours)

Learning to write starts long before a child puts a pencil to paper. Participants will embrace the power of mark making and learn to support children in the early stages of writing development. NC DCDEE Approved

Making Learning Visible: From Observation to Pedagogical Documentation

Documenting a child’s learning is the art of making learning visible. Participants will be given the tools and techniques to document and present a child’s learning to show growth and the depth of their experiences. NC DCDEE Approved

Making Math Meaningful: Using Literature, Play & Loose Parts (2.5 hours)

Young children explore math naturally through their play. This workshop offers participants hands-on techniques and ideas for meaningful math opportunities to support and foster children’s mathematical development in their learning environments. NC DCDEE Approved

Communicating Through Blocks (2.5 hours)

Blocks are a powerful, open-ended material for the exchange of ideas. Children are drawn to constructing and block building to communicate ideas that flow rapidly and unselfconsciously. As the children’s play deepens, language emerges as stories begin to form about their plans and physical structures. Workshop participants will learn how to use block play to support a child’s development of motor skills, social skills, and imaginative play.

The Reggio Inspired Classroom (2.5 hours)

The Reggio Emilia approach to education focuses on fostering relationships between children, teachers, parents, and community. Each child is a strong, capable, and active agent in their own learning. Participants will learn about the Reggio philosophy of education and will explore ways to use this philosophy for inspiration in their own classroom-learning environment. NC DCDEE Approved

Provoking Thought, Interest & Creativity: Invitations and Provocations 

Provocations can be as simple as a photo of a rock sculpture next to some pebbles or as elaborate as STEM robot invention station. Provocations are intended to be engaging and displayed beautifully to provoke exploration and inquiry. Participants will explore and create invitations and provocations to encourage discussions, creativity, and interest based learning in their classroom setting. NC DCDEE Approved

Around the World with Storytelling

Young children live through their imaginations, which makes stories so deeply nourishing for their hearts and souls. Fairy tales captivate young children because these stories mirror the developmental struggles of children transitioning through the stages of early childhood. Workshop participants will travel around the world exploring the magic of storytelling. NC DCDEE Approved

The Language of Coding Unplugged (2.5 hours)

We can help children become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow by building STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills. Coding in early childhood means hands-on, creative projects with materials, not a computer! Workshop participants will learn how to facilitate beginning coding skills using literature, loose parts, games and math.

Playing to Learn: The Importance of Play-Based Learning

A play-based approach to learning involves both child-initiated and teacher-supported learning. The teacher acts as a guide, encouraging the child’s learning through inquiry, creativity, and interactions.  Participants learn the theories of play and the key to being intentional teachers. NC DCDEE Approved

The More We Come Together: Intentional Circle Time & Morning Meeting

Circle time/morning meeting creates a space where children are valued members of the classroom community. Workshop participants will explore facilitating whole group times to model and guide the class using an intentional approach. NC DCDEE Approved

The Role of Risk in Play and Learning

Children fully access their environment when they take risks. Risk taking in play and in learning enable children to match their own skills as they perform a risk assessment. Participants will learn how to assess and support age-appropriate risk taking. NC DCDEE Approved

The Image of the Child as an Artist: Process Art in Early Childhood 

Art is a powerful tool for developing motor skills, meeting sensory needs, and expressing thoughts and emotions. Children learn to express themselves without restriction when we provide a variety of materials and allow them to explore, get messy, and experiment. Workshop participants will discuss product versus process art practices and learn to create process oriented experiences for their children. (2.5 hours) NC DCDEE Approved

Transitioning to Kindergarten

“Is my child ready?” “How can our curriculum best prepare students for kindergarten?” These are questions that we most frequently hear from parents and preschool staff. This workshop will give you the tools, strategies, and ideas needed for a successful kindergarten transition.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice for Preschoolers 

What does it mean for your school to use developmentally appropriate practices with preschoolers? This workshop will help participants develop an understanding of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP), learn how to create differentiated learning experiences, and illustrate how to scaffold children’s learning.

Makers, Creators and Inventors!

Are you looking for ways to inspire creativity and imagination? How can you facilitate opportunities for your children to make, create and invent?  From choosing materials to creating a culture of makers, this workshop is your guide to creating a makerspace that inspires the next big invention!