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2017 Early Learning Institute Session Offerings by ELC Educators

Infant and Toddler Sessions

Relationship as a Leading Activity: The role of rich materials and interactions in the construction of an infant classroom community

Samantha Deal and Bethany Parker

This session will focus on the importance of infants building relationships within their community. Offering infants rich sensory experiences was one way the teachers fostered a relationship between the infants and the natural environment and this session will focus on the rich work the infants engaged in with intentional offerings of natural materials

Risky Places, Competent Toddlers:  Using the outdoor environment as a catalyst for exploring the development of young toddlers’ risk assessment

Jessie Barber, Ria Langford, and Kathy Kidd

In one classroom, teachers have been engaged in a two-year inquiry about the affects of extended outdoor time with the youngest children.  In this presentation, teachers will examine one path of development in how children begin to analyze their own risks in the outdoor environment and what the teacher’s role is in this process.

Living in the Triangle: Understanding the relationship among teachers, children and materials through the work of David Hawkins

Lizzie Kelly, Sharee Curley, and Elizabeth DeMartino Newton

The Hickory children and teachers explore the interconnectedness of teacher and child relationships through their work with natural materials. As Sharee and Lizzie’s curriculum work compliments the children’s interests and intersects, David Hawkin’s essay I, Thou, It lends insight into the children’s motivations and illuminates their curriculum planning path.

The Wonders of Construction:  Children and teachers discovering together

Becca Jenkins and Kylie Branson

Taking a deeper look into our children’s work, our teaching team has developed an increased understanding of the multiple languages children use to demonstrate their knowledge.  While the children make sense of their experiences in a variety of ways, we have come to believe that one is no more important or appropriate than the other.  Come join us as we take you beneath the surface of our toddler’s yearlong connection to construction.

Preschool and Kindergarten Sessions

The Abandoned Egg

Tracy Lee

It all began with the discovery of a tiny abandoned egg in a nest and a desire to find its family. Hear the story of how a class of preschoolers and their teachers came to know and develop a love for the endearing mourning dove. From its distinct feather patterns to its unique coo, join us on a journey of discovery as we explore opportunities for authentic, imaginative learning with young children.

From Messing About to The Wire Museum: A project driven by children

Katie Denton-Walls and Emily Harlow

Sometimes all it takes to spark in-depth project work is for one child to share an idea.  Join us as we follow one small group of children through their journey of creating a sacred space in our classroom.  We will focus on the children’s process, as well as how we as teachers had to work to ensure that we were listening to the children and following their lead.

Making Learning Visible: Children’s experiences, voices, and ideas shape the curriculum

Kathryn Humber, Dilyn Hauck, and Robyn Brookshire

A look at how the Floorbook Approach keeps children’s voices present and central in classroom projects. In the context of a long-term project, we will explore how children shaped the curriculum via “messing about” with ramp building materials, theory building and testing throughout the project, and consistently revisiting their work. Through this experience, the classroom teachers discovered how to utilize Floorbooks in their classroom alongside the children and were reminded of the value of long-term project work.

Mapping Meaning: “The map is where we go, the book is what we meant.”

Hannah Louderback and Travis Burnett

The ELC Kindergarten class recently began exploring maps. During walking trips taken to explore and map our surrounding community, the teachers realized what actually stands out to the children is their personal connections to places. The kindergarteners began constructing a “meaning map” and documenting their experiences and stories through a floor book. What began as a map study turned in to much more than that; the kindergarten teachers realized the power of children’s personal community connections and how that empowers them as involved young citizens of their community.