Soften yours eyes. When your eyes soften, your pupils dilate. In the animal kingdom, this means: I'm not going to eat you!So last Friday I attended the IAEYC Early Childhood Conference (2013). It's the first ever early childhood conference I have attended. Other than trainings hosted by my work and CPR/First Aid training, this is my first ever workshop/training session. I live a little over 3 hours away from Indianapolis. My husband and I had intended to drive down Friday morning and stay the weekend as a late celebration for our 3 year wedding anniversary that was on the 31st of March.
Well, with his new gigs doing DJ and karaoke, we ended up cancelling our hotel reservations for the weekend. Me, the hubby, and my little brother were up at 3AM on Friday...out of the house by 4:30AM. I rode backseat all the way there with a comforter and pillow. Well, except for when we stopped at McDonald's and I stuffed my face full of a bacon, egg, and cheese McGriddle.
Speaking of McGriddles, why don't they have more syrup? Just a touch. Not, like, drowning in it. I feel like it's just a little too little. Can you make McGriddles at home? If so, somebody please share a recipe with me. I will be eating breakfast 24/7.
Then I think I woke up about three times when we had to pull over on I-69 across who knows how many lanes because we were just doing 80MPH (and getting passed) and my hood latch decided to f*ck up and my hood kept popping up. Each time I sat straight up, terrified that we were being pulled over for who knows what, because I was sleeping so I had no idea.
Anyway, I'm glad I slept all but the last thirty minutes of the drive because the drive home made me realize how nervous the hub's mad driving skills and road rage make me. His confidence is scary. Where I'd be all careful and end up trapped in the wrong lane and have to turn around umpteen billion times, he just manages to find a crack big enough in a line of traffic and zooms right in.
Poopyface is not an intentional teacher. Poopyface is the keeper of the keys to the cupboard.
The conference was amazing! I rolled in just shy of 8:30AM and found myself smack in front of Lisa Murphy (aka the Ooey Gooey Lady)'s workshop, who happened to have been recommended to me by a coworker. So, of course, I stood lounging in the doorway until some seat Nazis come and ordered us to find a seat, which I did, because Lisa was cracking me up and I wanted to stick around. I ended up going to her afternoon session Let's Go Outside, too, and was extremely inspired by my experiences!
Also, I saw keynote speaker Dr. Becky Bailey, did a workshop on the MindUP curriculum, and sweat my butt off with Don Monopoli. So, I want to share with you (finally) what I have scribbled in my little note pad and what I found moving and most important about my experiences at my first ever early childhood conference.
Lisa Murphy: Child Centered Classrooms
The secret to good teaching is controlling the environment.
- Tell children what you want them to do, not what not to do.
- One rule: People are not for hurting.
- Routinely ask: Who needs something?
- Engage all senses.
When it comes to learning, ask yourself: Can we bring it to them or them to it?
- Needs to be there.
- No abstract.
- Ask why. Why do we do it? What is this for? Who is this really for?
- Don't do it/buy it just because it's cute.
Play = Learning. Make a binder with proof for the nay-sayers. Must read articles first!
Dr. Becky Bailey
A 1300% higher expulsion rate in preschools than primary schools.
- Preschool can and often does hinder social-emotional development.
- Preschool increases language and cognitive development.
- Accept how it is and solve the problem.
My job is to keep you safe!
- Empathy is impossible without safety and composure.
- STAR: Smile, Take a deep breath, And Relax.
- Know that the child is calling for help and not trying to make you miserable.
- Downloading = Mirror Neurons = Children learning from us.
Switch from seeking control to making connections.
- Connect outside = Connect inside.
- Must have: eye contact, touch, playfulness, and both people present.
- More face to face.
- Give them empathy when they're upset.
Lisa Murphy: Let's Go Outside
35% of our country's elementary schools have eliminated recess.
- Ball + paint + slide
- Blocks outside.
- Chalk + blocks outside.
- Straw bales - books outside
- Tires (drill holes in top & side and paint inside with white, acrylic, waterproof paint to keep nay-sayers at bay)
Outside time is NOT wasted time.
- Dress up outside.
- Do not lift to equipment. False sense of mastery.
Ask: What's your plan? DO NOT SHUT IT DOWN!
- Is it life threatening?
- Weaving on a chain link fence
- Use chain link fence as drying rack
- Paper on/taped to walls or fence
- Squirt painting
- Fly swatter painting
- Foot print painting
- Swing/upside down painting
Not everybody needs to do. We need watchers, too.
- Spaghetti paint/throwing
- Bike painting
- Sand in balloons. Same color and one for each hand.
- Hand washing bucket (for more 'neat' or picky children).
- All you really need is water, dirt, and a couple good books.
- Water painting.
- Sensory walk... Walk right through it.
- Ramps and pathways
- Sheets and tarps
- Watercolor on snow