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Showing posts from 2018

2018 Art Auction

This year my home child care program and Faery Childcare collaborated to run an art auction with the little ones in our classes. The children worked so hard on their paintings and were so proud of their creations.



Together we raised $119 for KW Counselling! Even very small people can make a big difference in this world.

Collaboration is a Recipe for Success

Sometimes collaboration with colleagues looks like planning an adventure together or bouncing ideas off of one another about program plans, child development, etc.

Other times it simply looks like friends gathering together to laugh and make delicious food 😊



Though the central focus of the visit was following a recipe to create a product our time working together offered opportunities to discuss different topics, share knowledge and learn new skills. D, for example, mastered using the garlic press!


Thank you Lesley and Keith for sharing your secret recipe for vegetarian ground round with us. I know the children at Red River Early Learning Centre will love tasting this new ingredient in some of our familiar recipes.

Home Child Care High/Scope Conference

Today I had an amazing opportunity to attend the Home Child Care High/Scope Conference hosted by the Region of Waterloo Home Child Care. I was thrilled to meet some educators I had previously only interacted with online.

Beginning with the Perry Preschool Study, [High/Scope] revolutionized early childhood education with a new approach to teaching and learning. Research-based and child-focused, the HighScope Curriculum uses active participatory learning and the plan-do-review process to achieve powerful, positive outcomes. (High/Scope
Lesley and I attended the workshop Building Authentic Relationships with Children 💕 in the morning.


There was a lot of really amazing content that discussed the importance of authentic relationships in early learning and care. It was really interesting to learn some new approaches to deepen conversations with children.


This video that the presenter shared moved me so much.


After lunch we attended two workshops. The first workshop of the afternoon focuse…

The Importance of Nature Play in Early Learning

Being a published writer has always been a goal of mine and recently my partner Ryan and I had the opportunity to write about something we are equally passionate about; the importance of nature play in early learning.
Working with Ryan to write this article was a great opportunity to collaborate with a professional outside of my own field as his background is in electronics. He has a brilliant mind and a unique perspective which has brought some wonderful and fresh ideas to not only this article but to our program when he joins us to play at Red River Early Learning Centre.

Please check out our article in the Holistic Parent Magazine at the link below:
https://issuu.com/theholisticparent/docs/13_thp_-_fall_2018_digital

Community of Practice: Leadership

Yesterday I attended an excellent discussion about leadership. It was so amazing to have an opportunity to collaborate with other professionals across the various sectors of care to explore the concept of what leadership means and how we as RECEs can take on a leadership role within our community of practice.


I took some time to evaluate ways that I have demonstrated leadership as a Registered Early Childhood Educator.

I am a resource for others to bounce around ideas, ask questions, and seek support.I am an excellent collaborator and have implemented lots of amazing things with the support of colleagues and other professionals.I recognize the accomplishments of others and I am excited to learn from them.I am committed and passionate about early learning and care. The most impactful moment during the table discussion for me was when Debbie Jones addressed the word "Just". When we say we are "just" early childhood educators it diminishes the importance of the work we…

Collaboration at Red River ELC

Collaboration takes learning beyond the walls of my program; it allows me to explore new and wonderful ideas with other educators as well as people in other professions. Developing partnerships with other professionals in our community has allowed me to implement a variety of new experiences and has really opened up some amazing new opportunities for the children at Red River as well as our friends in the community.

Grandpals, for example, is an ongoing project at Red River ELC. Intergenerational programming allows children to interact with elders and brings so much joy to our senior friends. We learn so much when we interact with our friends at the seniors home;
PatienceHistory and storiesCommunication and social-emotional skillsPositive attitudes towards aging

To set up our grandpals program I reached out to Jessica, who is the Recreation Manager at the Westhill and our Music and  Movement instructor Ms. Sherri. I also invited our friend Lesley and her littles from Faery Childcare to…

Our Chicken Story - Documentation for Children

It has been a goal of mine to create documentation that the children in my class could revisit independently. The idea for this piece of documentation was sparked by their love of books and as you can see this is a very well loved story, it tells the tale of our project during the early spring hatching baby chicks.


The best part of our chicken story is that the children can see pictures of themselves in the pages and make a concrete connection to a time when they engaged with our baby chicks. The children love to read over the story, even the toddlers in the program will pick up the "Buck buck" book and point to the chicks making the chicken noises they remember.



I'm hoping that soon our shelves will be filled with stories just like this one!

Early Learning and Child Care Conference 2018

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the Early Learning and Child Care Conference at Conestoga college. It was amazing day that started with a wonderful panel discussion on the importance of STEAM learning in the early years and beyond.

This conference was a fantastic chance to meet and network with some local independent child care providers and other educators in the early learning community. I spent the day with Lesley, Ashley, Sarah and Carly  It was so wonderful to have some time to collaborate and chat with these incredible professionals!




There was also an expo with lots of amazing STEAM inspired activities!


I attended the workshop Natural Born Investigators after the expo. It really helped me to understand how to incorporate the foundational elements of STEAM in to my program in a way that was inclusive for even my youngest learners. What a fantastic day!

Fairy Dust Teaching Winter Conference 2018: Loose Parts to Promote STEAM

Loose Parts to Promote STEAM
Loose parts are such an integral part of our program at Red River ELC because they are inclusive, engaging and supportive of all children in our program. I love to see how creative the children can be with the materials so I was really excited to listen to this webinar.
Lisa Daly (one of the professional authors featured in this webinar) discussed the fact that using loose parts can encourage symbolic thought because children are using items as many different things. They come to understand that one thing can stand for another thing and this skill can be applied to letters and numbers! What an inspiring reason to incorporate loose parts in to play.
It's so incredible to hear that incorporating loose parts in to the classroom can help with behaviors that stem from anxiety! That these pieces can inspire self-confidence, creativity and support development across the spectrum of growth.
I love that Miriam Beloglovsky (author) stated that elements of STEAM…

Documentation for the Children

I wanted to create a simple piece of documentation that was accessible to the children in my program; I decided putting together a photo album of their adventures together would be a great method to allow them to revisit their learning either independently or with guidance from me.



The album has been a great success! The children spent most of the morning cycling through the pictures talking old friends and the things we had been working on when the pictures were taken. The best part is that this is easily updated so there will always be something new to explore when they pick it up to take a look.

Sometimes the simplest things have the biggest impact! <3

Stages of Play Info Graphic

Today I made an info graphic to share the stages of play. I think it will be a great point of discussion with families when we talk about the learning that goes on in our class.
I'm also hoping that it can be shared in the learning community by other professionals.
Mildred Parten's record of the stages of play is a great and straightforward framework in which to explore children's social development through play and to communicate the complex and important skills children develop through unstructured play.

Belonging and Connectedness Article

Part of my Continuous Professional Learning journey this year has been to keep developing a sense of belonging and inclusiveness in my program. I found an article while doing some research tonight and wanted to share it as I feel it would be a beneficial read for any child care provider.

A sense of belonging isn't just important for children, but also for families as a whole; this portion of the article especially spoke to me and my goals to continue to build strong partnerships with families:

"Working together to care for children is the best way for early childhood services and families to support children’s mental health. Families and staff can help to create a bridge between home and early childhood services. When the adults responsible for children take a positive interest in what happens at their service, it helps children feel more at home when they are there. It also makes it easier to pick up any concerns early when they are easiest to resolve."

I'm really p…

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning in Preschool: Programs and Practices That Work, by Karen Bierman

Professional Learning Plan

Instructions Review your Self-Assessment Tool. Reflect on the three professional learning goals you have identified. Research and brainstorm learning activities that support you in realizing your goals. Complete the Professional Learning Plan below.  Professional Learning Goal #1 Build and strengthen relationships with other professionals and colleagues to facilitate community partnerships in order to benefit and support children and families.
Professional Learning Activities & Timeline Network with colleagues in Facebook groups to support others in their practice and learning journeys (ongoing).Continue developing NEED KW with Lesley; a directory to showcase and support high quality independent child care providers in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. (ongoing)Collaborate with our music and movement instructor to do a music and movement program at the seniors home in the spring (May, 2018?)Conduct workshops/webinars for home child care providers to support the growth of their programs…

Self-Assessment Tool - Part 3 - Professional Learning Goals

Instructions Begin Part 3 by reviewing your responses in Part 1 and 2. Complete the chart below by identifying three priorities for your professional learning over the next two years. For each priority, indicate the related standard(s). Next, develop a professional learning goal for each priority and ensure that the goal is related to the standards identified for that priority. You will work toward these three goals during this two-year portfolio cycle. Consider creating goals that are: Specific Measurable Action-oriented Realistic Timely First Professional Learning Priority Build and strengthen relationships with other professionals and colleagues to facilitate community partnerships in order to benefit and support children and families.
Related StandardsStandard I: Caring and Responsive RelationshipsStandard IV: Professionalism and Leadership Professional Learning Goals Working collaboratively with other professionals in my field and across a variety of disciplines.

Second Professi…

Strengthening Inclusive Early Childhood Programs with Music Therapy Strategies