Observation and Assessment
Program: All programs
Effective teachers must conduct observations and assess development in order to individualize learning and guide development. Finding time to observe, document, and assess can seem overwhelming. In this session, we review the fundamentals of observation and discuss practical solutions to getting it done in a busy classroom. We will also examine assessment tools, including teacher-made measures, when and how to do them and then how to discuss assessments with parents.
Classroom Documentation: Making learning visible
Program: All programs
A day in your classroom is full of engaging and fun learning activities. But what do parents actually see? They see the most stressful and chaotic parts of the day – pick up and drop off. Tell the story of the day with informative and interesting documentation boards and visuals. What we display helps parents understand what parts of the day are most important to their child’s learning, educating parents on what we do and building partnerships. Replace the googly-eyed owls from art with meaningful documentation that informs parents and celebrates your classroom.
The Fundamentals of Emergent Curriculum
Program: Infants-School Age
Truly emergent curriculum is driven by the interests and developing skills of the children. Although it is typically well understood in concept, it can be challenging to implement – particularly due to dependency on theme based lesson plans. This workshop will discuss the importance of emergent curriculum, why it works so well and best practices for implementation.
Process Art: Creating and Connecting
This session will address the long-standing debate of process art vs. product art. We will investigate the benefits of artistic expression and how we can support healthy art learning in the classroom. The developmental stages of scribble and design are found in open-choice art play. Practical suggestions will be provided for creating an art space, communicating with parents about art, and overcoming the challenges to art in the younger classrooms.
Learning through Play
What happened to play? We know children need to play, but we are often challenged to balance that need with academic readiness demands. In the session, we will discuss why play is important, how to support extended and meaningful play, and how to communicate with parents about play. We will identify the threats to play and create best practices for overcoming those challenges.
Creating Engaging Spaces for Infants and Toddlers
Program: Infants and Toddlers
Infants need a space to explore and learn about the world around them. This session will give the participants best practices, ideas, and examples of great spaces for babies. We will focus on quality caregiver/child interactions and caregiver/parent communication, as well as practical solutions for environments.