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Amy Sampson

Practicum 1
Outside Meeting Report
I attended the 2014 Wisconsin Early Childhood Association
Annual Conference in Middleton on Saturday, November 15th. My day
consisted of four separate workshops, which included: Many Kinds of
Smart!, Making Time for Books, Play-Based Learning, and Garden
Curriculum. Lisa Murphy was the Keynote speaker and I absolutely
loved her. She has so much energy and excitement that she could keep
my attention for hours. Her first workshop, Many Kinds of Smart!,
discussed eight intelligences and how to identify and teach these
different types of intelligences. Lisa Murphys second workshop I
attended, Making Time for Books, was mainly about what makes an
effective book. I also took away from this workshop that it is not
required to do circle time everyday, at the same exact time, sitting in
the same exact spot. I have never really thought about this concept,
but Lisa Murphy made a good point; if something powerful, special,
important, etc. is happening in the class, there is no reason to stop
everything just to fit circle time in. As long as the children are learning
from what took place of circle time, it is acceptable to skip once and
awhile. She also provided us with a long list of her favorite books and
authors. The third workshop I attended was called Play-Based
Learning. Personally, I did not enjoy this workshop as much as I
enjoyed the first two workshops. During this workshop we watched

multiple videos on how to bring play into the classroom. One essential
piece that I did take away is from a worksheet she passed out: Who
Said But All Children Do Is Play?. This worksheet outlines what
children learn as they play with different materials. I can picture
placing this on my future classroom bulletin board for parents to read.
The last workshop I attended was Garden Curriculum. Again, this
workshop was not as enjoyable as the first two, but I did learn a variety
of ways to bring nature and gardening into lesson planning. Garden
curriculum ranges from reading stories about gardens, flowers, and
nature to planting flowers to making seed bombs with the children.
The WECA workshops allowed me to connect what the speakers
were discussing to previous course content I have learned. Lisa Murphy
spoke about how to read books to gain the attention of children. She
stated that you must be playful, silly, and you should use the childrens
names while reading the books. These suggestions Lisa shared
connected my prior knowledge from my Art, Music, and Language Arts
course. Another point that reminded me of prior course material was
that as a teacher you must gear your teachings to the specific children
that are presently in your classroom. I have learned that just because
one lesson plan was extremely effective for one class does not mean
that it will be effective for your next class. All children learn differently,
which is why lessons need to be tailored to who you are currently
teaching.

While in Practicum, I have learned many invaluable tips for my


future career of teaching. The WECA Annual Conference also did a
wonderful job adding to my invaluable knowledge I have gained over
this semester. One specific quote I will hold onto is: Child-initiated
play lays a foundation for learning and academic success. Through
play, children learn to interact with others, develop language skills,
recognize and solve problems, and discover their human potential. In
short, play helps children make sense of and find their place in the
world. This quote is essential to me because it really verifies how
important it is to let kids be kids and encourage them to learn by
having fun. Overall, I would recommend all WCTC Early Childhood
Education students to attend the next WECA Annual Conference.