Category Archives: Early Childhood

RPDC: Focus on Top Issues in Early Childhood

STL RPDC 2015 Logo UpdateBlog post by Tricia Buchanan,
Special Education Improvement Consultant

Coming up for the 2015-2016 school year, we have developed a five-part series on early childhood topics that will focus on top issues in the world of students pre-K through first grade. The topics include:

Classroom Management and Family Involvement
This workshop will focus on integrating parental involvement in the world of classroom management by establishing a mutually supportive relationship to provide consistency, respect and a continuity of expectations for the student.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for Early Childhood
Experts in education, industry and national security all agree that there is a national imperative to graduate students with a thorough understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But many parents and teachers wonder, at what age is it appropriate to start teaching STEM? And how can we implement these concepts into early childhood education? The answer is: it is never too early to start STEM education. There are multiple areas, such as nature, to start teaching STEM concepts.

Language, Literacy and Vocabulary Building for Early Childhood
Words and their meanings are the building blocks of literacy development. Building children’s language, literacy and vocabulary foundations is at the core of a high-quality preschool curriculum. Young children, especially those at-risk or with special needs, require supportive learning environments that nurture these skills in order to ensure success in future reading and writing achievement. Discuss the most critical language, literacy and vocabulary skills to incorporate into classroom lesson planning as well as innovative ideas for creating developmentally appropriate learning experiences that will be enjoyable for all.

Brain Research, Developmental Delays and Transition for Early Childhood
Did you know that during the first three years of life, an infant’s brain will make an estimated 1,000 trillion synapses?  The experiences a child has in the first five years of life will either strengthen those resulting neurons or they will be discarded.  As early childhood professionals, we are in a position to observe and encourage activities that will strengthen those neurons and help them connect to needed skills. This session in the series will explore how educators can use the latest research on brain development to enhance these experiences for children. We will also explore the way developmental delays figure into these experiences and how all of this information can be used to promote successful transitions from early childhood programming to kindergarten.

Strategies for Developing Self-Determination skills for Early Childhood
Developing children’s self-regulation, problem-solving, advocacy, communication, goal setting and engagement skills are primary goals of early childhood education. These skills are fostered in both home and preschool environments and can lead to improved educational outcomes. Self-determination helps youth with disabilities achieve positive adult outcomes. The result will be a measurable increase in self-sufficiency and, perhaps even more importantly, greater sense of purpose and satisfaction in adulthood.

For more information, contact Tricia Buchanan at EducationPlus: tbuchanan@edplus.org.

Make a Splash, Start a Ripple

The CharacterPlus National Conference takes place June 16-17. In previous posts, we’ve shared about the pre-conference workshops options open to educators. Here, we’d like to focus a bit more on our two keynote speakers.

kafeleTuesday keynote Principal Baruti Kafele, an award-winning educator and best-selling author, is a leading authority on professional development strategies for creating a positive school climate and culture, transforming the attitudes of at-risk student populations, motivating males to excel in the classroom and school leadership development. His messages include attitude, goal setting, planning, purpose, vision, determination, self-esteem, self-image, decision-making, school behavior, bullying, distractions, temptations and so much more in an effort to motivate, educate and empower students for success. Learn more about Principal Kafele, see his books and videos at PrincipalKafele.com. Follow @PrincipalKafele on Twitter.

avrith

Wednesday keynote Tanya Avrith is an innovation specialist, helping lead change by working with educators, parents, K-12 and college students. While she was the lead educational technology and digital citizenship teacher at the Lester B. Pearson School Board in Montreal, Canada, Tanya was instrumental in the vision and execution of the district-wide Digital Citizenship Program. Tanya presents to educators, students and parents all over North America. She has also been invited to Facebook headquarters to discuss digital citizenship education. Tanya spent the last two years guiding students how to harness the power of social media and will be incorporating this message into her keynote. She is a Google Certified Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator as well as the co-host of EduSlam.me. Follow @TanyaAvrith on Twitter.

Both keynotes will also present breakout sessions. Conference registration is now open. CharacterPlus is a resource of EducationPlus.

CharacterPlus National Conference Pre-cons Include Service Learning and Student Self-Motivation

modified Franklin Library PhotoThe CharacterPlus National Conference is offering six pre-conference workshops this year. Each pre-con is a half-day workshop, taking place from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. If a participant is taking part in a morning and an afternoon pre-con, lunch will be provided. Here are two of the pre-cons being offered, we will share out more in future blog posts!

Dramatic Play: Giving Meaning to Service Learning
Topic: Service Learning & Community Partners
Audience Grade Level: Early Childhood | Experience Level: All
Presenter: Andrea Walton, ARCHS

Yes! Young children can participate in Service Learning Projects. This session will explain what service learning is and how teachers can incorporate age-appropriate projects into their program through Dramatic Play.

Fostering Student Self-Motivation
Topic: Intrinsic Motivation
Audience Grade Level: Early Childhood-12 |  Experience Level: All
Presenter: Vivian Delia, FICP

Learn best practices and strategies to foster student self-motivation. The ABCs of intrinsic motivation is used to describe the importance of autonomy, belonging and competence to create a healthy school climate and instruction for optimal learning. Participants will read and discuss latest articles along with assessing where they are and where they want to be in this movement.

CharacterPlus is a resource of EducationPlus. Registration for the conference is open. To read our previous post on CharacterPlus National Conference pre-con workshops, click here.

Edited image credit: Flickr Creative Commons

CharacterPlus National Conference Keynote Addresses Digital Citizenship

Make-A-SplashTanya Avrith‘s passion stems from a strong desire to effect change and inspire others to explore how they can use the technology to help differentiate individual students’ needs, provide a vehicle for collaboration and allow for deeper purpose and voice in student learning. Her CharacterPlus National Conference keynote addresses digital citizenship:

Rebranding digital citizenship is not an option. It is an imperative. It is our professional and moral responsibility as educators. We need to rebrand digital citizenship so that it becomes part of our daily practice. The technology itself, and our guidance on its use, needs to have a regular place in the classroom and in our students’ lives at school. We need to empower our students to have a voice and learn as citizens of a connected world.

At the conference, she will also present on the following topics:

  • Harnessing the Power of Social Media & the Web
  • Building Your Early Footprint
  • Helping Parents Embrace their Children’s Digital Life

Tanya holds a M.A. in Educational Technology and a B.A. in Communication Studies from Concordia University in Montreal as well as a B.Ed from the University of Ottawa. Tanya is a connected educator with strong ties to her PLN. She also is a Google Certified Teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. Learn more about Tanya and her work at tanyaavrith.com.

Register for the CharacterPlus National Conference today; it takes place June 15-17 in St. Charles, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. CharacterPlus is a resource of EducationPlus.

February 2015 Top Reads

gj keynoteThe Connected Classroom is the EducationPlus LearningLab blog. February’s favorite blog posts featured the Midwest Education Technology Community Conference and student work! Here are the top five most visited posts for the past month– did you contribute to the clicks?

1)  METC 2015 Virtual Conference Available Online Now READ HERE
2)  Midwest Education Technology Community Meet Up READ HERE
3)  Here’s the Debut of the 2014 Show-Me a Movie Winners! READ HERE
4)  STL Student Summit on Race 2015 READ HERE
5)  Andrew Wall: Making IT Happen READ HERE