Reflective Practice

Reflective Practice

This is a story about reflective practice and how engaging in this activity can help educators open possibilities into their work with children. Reflective practice supports the educator in processing the numerous experiences that occur during a typical day, providing insight to our wonderings.

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How Are We Listening?

How Are We Listening?

Certain quotes or phrases can become a talisman for our work, such as “Listening is the premise of every learning relationship” – Carlina Rinaldi (2006). I was reminded of this phrase again a few days ago, when a colleague shared with me that she didn’t have much time for the important work that was happening in her classroom because of other pressing concerns on her time,

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Play and the Brain

Play and the Brain

The importance of free unstructured play is a popular topic right now. There is a call from parents, and professionals to create more opportunities for children to have free unstructured play. Free play was a staple of my childhood. All of the children in my neighborhood were encouraged, not really, told to stay outside and play with friends instead of watching TV.

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Children's Images of Children

Children's Images of Children

How do we define capable? While we have moved a long way from the concept about children as a ‘tabula rasa’ or blank slate, societally we still have work to do in embracing young children’s capabilities.  During the recent professional development days, early childhood educators at the university told a story of “The Child’s Image of the Child.” In this presentation, the educators shared their stories of mixed age experiences between two classrooms, one of toddlers and one of preschoolers. 

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It's Okay to Play

It's Okay to Play

Growing up I was in elementary school for six hours per day. During my time there I would learn different subjects, play group games with my classmates and teachers, eat some lunch, and have recess. We had two recess periods during the day. The first was in the morning or the afternoon depending on your grade, and the other was part of a long lunch break. During recess we could play sports, hang out with friends, run in the sun, roll in the grass, get dirty, and climb trees.

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The Camp Model

The Camp Model

“The Camp Model” has been around for years and is the cornerstone of many camps and afterschool programs, hence the name. It grew out of the recreation movement of the last century. It was a way for organizations and cities to provide leisure services for workers and families during the industrial revolution and beyond.

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A Teacher Mindset

A Teacher Mindset

How we learn matters. How the children learn when in our care matters. As I began thinking about the process of learning and what matters, I started looking at the messages we give to children about learning. More specifically how our curriculum or the method we use to deliver our program affects the learning mindset of the child.

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The Brain and Reading

The Brain and Reading

I receive many questions about school readiness, especially when it comes to reading. The most common question, “When should young children learn to read?”  In the most educationally advanced countries, Finland, New Zealand, and Australia, children learn to read starting at age seven. In the United States, we start earlier. Rather than give a definitive answer, I want to explore the role of nature and nurture in learning to read.

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