Early Childhood Virtual Breakout Sessions
See a few of the possible topics for my breakout sessions
The first five years of a child’s life are a critical time for language to develop. This period provides “a window of opportunity” that will impact young children now and throughout their lives. How can you create a place where language is encouraged, conversations are supported, and books, stories, and songs are interwoven into meaningful language experiences? How can questions be posed, vocabularies expanded, and new experiences be included that will inspire language growth? A language-rich environment with responsive caregivers will inspire and expand language development.
In a small group, children can make choices, follow their interest, and collaborate with others. These groups provide a safe environment for a child to enrich small group time, express ideas, try out roles, build confidence, practice social skills, and expand language. How can you design, equip, manage, and enrich Centers in your space to support independent learning? Investigate choice time and see how these areas can enhance language development, problem solving, social competencies, and expand interest.
The classroom environment has a tremendous impact on the learning and development that occurs in young children. In a world where there is a growing need for “Thinkers and Innovators,” the environment can be designed to provide unique opportunities for learning in different ways: visually, scientifically, verbally, musically, and kinetically. Discover how an effective environment can provide many opportunities to problem solve, produce creative ideas, make plans, implement projects, and collaborate with groups. Explore how the addition of unusual and interesting materials can expand the opportunities for creative thinking. Learn ways to support young children’s ideas, provide questions that will extend thinking, and find ways to value their work.
Stories provide a strong personal connection between learning, language, form, and comprehension. Stories told strengthen relationships, build moral understanding, and provide an avenue for personal expression. A new role for storytelling is connecting to the 4C’s, which have been identified as the essential skills for the 21st century: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking. In both telling and retelling stories, there is the opportunity to enhance the development of these skills. Investigate how storytelling can work with young children, how creativity can be enhanced, and how opportunities for communication and collaboration can be included. A child’s retelling of the story affords these same important abilities but also supports thinking critically about the story content, characters, events, and their personal interpretations. Collect new, appropriate stories to tell your young children and encounter ways to encourage children to retell their stories!