Before I go to far on the workshop, I wanted to share just a little about the Region of Waterloo, Home Childcare. Website I am very excited to be working towards my license with the Region of Waterloo. There are a lot of paperwork steps in this process, which is okay. It is just a new learning curve, which those who know me, know I love it. I am glad to be walking this journey with my peer and friend Natasha Kocher, RECE.
"Region of Waterloo Home Child Care Program & Philosophy Statement. The Region of Waterloo Home Child Care program views children as competent, capable of complex thinking, curious and rich in potential. We strive to ensure all children receive quality child care which promotes healthy, social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. We do this by:..." PDF LINK
This conference was all focusing on HighScope; but what is HighScope you might ask? According to the HighScope website, "HighScope's educational approach emphasizes “active participatory learning.” Active learning means students have direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children’s interests and choices are at the heart of HighScope programs. They construct their own knowledge through interactions with the world and the people around them. Children take the first step in the learning process by making choices and following through on their plans and decisions. Teachers, caregivers, and parents offer physical, emotional, and intellectual support. In active learning settings, adults expand children’s thinking with diverse materials and nurturing interactions. Through scaffolding, adults help children gain knowledge and develop creative problem-solving skills."
My day at the conference was split into three workshops: Building Authentic Relationships, by Erica Hill, Early Childhood Specialist, HighScope, Outdoor Play, Meredith and Kathy, The Heart of Building Relationships with Parents, by Ruth and we had lunch and snacks in between.
The building Authentic Relationships workshop was a full morning time span. We explored the concepts: "natural opportunities for conversations, join the children at their level, responding to the children's conversations, conversing as a partner with the children and ask responsible questions." from the handout.
We also looked at expanding questions from just open-ended to the acknowledgements and contributions spectrum. Remembering to never as a question that you already know the answer to; such as what colour is that crayon.
My lunch was GREAT! Lunch will be provided by The Rich Uncle Tavern. I had a Wood-fired Vegetables/ Seed & Grain Bread sandwich and salad of Baby Arugula/Pear/ Aged Sheep's Cheese, and a granola bar that was incredible.
HighScope, Outdoor Play, Meredith and Kathy, was on safe risky play. This has been a theme of training for me at this moment, I am pulled towards outdoor classrooms, risky play and positive relationships with families right now. I believe it is because, these are the topics that are deep in my core belief system on being a professional educator.
"Learning by doing creates more neural networks in the brain and throughout the body, making the entire body a tool for learning. " Johnson J Christie, Wardie.F 2010, the Importance of Outdoor Play for Children.
We dived into the topic of Executive Function: working memory, international language... connecting the past with present, reflecting, organization, paying attention to details, self-regulation, delayed gratification, persisting, planning, prioritizing, negotiating, compromising, and problem solving.
Personally, I found it shocking to realize that some two and three year olds watch 30 to 35 hours of television in a week. We expanded it to creating a game with a peer in the room, preferably someone you did not know to create a game or activity using your own creativity. "play is executive function". We left the workshop with the knowledge statement that "You are not teachers, you are brain builders."
The last workshop was on The Heart of Building Relationships with Parents. Sadly, I got mixed up and I missed part of this workshop. I went to the wrong room, before I figured out I was in the wrong one. When I got to the right room, I loved it.
Thanks Region of Waterloo, Home Childcare for a AWESOME day!