Yesterday, Barbara, Johanna, Jennifer G and I were at a conference in Albany. Organized by the Capital Area School Development Association, the conference was entitled Igniting The Development of Children’s Deep Learning: Meeting The NYS Next Generation Early Learning Standards. By participating in this event, we learned that New York State’s Next Generation Early Learning Standards pay particular attention to the nature of learning in early childhood. Its language and focus is child centered and play based. If these standards can positively influence schools around the state, they have the potential for changing many an approach to teaching and learning.
I had the honor of meeting with other principals from across New York State early in the morning and of being the Keynote Speaker. By sharing some powerful videos from BNS curriculum: (Forest School and Kindergarten Playworlds) I was able to make some of our teaching and learning visible to others.
Barbara and Johanna presented a workshop entitled Outdoor Spaces that Enrich and Extend Classroom Learning, recreating the Green Recess experience with adult educators in a college in Albany. The teachers made marble runs, figuring out how to get a marble to go down and up a ramp.
Other workshops had topics as varied as Integrating Movement Into the Curriculum, Learning With Loose Parts: Integrating STEAM in the Early Childhood Classroom, Project Based Learning, “Kid Tested” Technology in The Early Childhood Classroom and Social Emotional Learning.
It is days like this one that offer hope that the focus on teaching and learning is moving in a positive direction.
All for now,
Quote of the Week:
Kori and Jenn’s kindergarten class was having green recess. Among the activities were bubbles, mud kitchen, meadow exploration with fabrics, and building with large blocks. Claire Sidesinger remarked, “For some reason, this kind of feels like science.