Transforming  Pedagogical  Practices:   Making  Connections  across  Ontario  Classrooms  
November  10,  2012            Charles  Sturt  University  

          Keynote  Speaker  -­  Jim  Grieve                  

  Bio  
Jim  Grieve  was  appointed  Assistant  Deputy  Minister  of  the  Early  Learning  Division  for   the  Ontario  Ministry  of  Education  in  November  of  2009  to  lead  the  provincial   implementation  of  full  day  learning  for  4  and  5  year  old  children  in  all  Ontario  schools.   Jim  recognizes  this  initiative  as  one  of  the  most  significant  investments  in  the  future  of   our  children  and  the  province.  Jim  is  a  passionate  advocate  for  early  child   development  and  has  always  been  deeply  involved  in  developing  the  strongest   possible  supports  for  children  and  their  families.  He  is  deeply  honoured  to  have  been   given  the  opportunity  to  lead  the  implementation  of  full  day  learning  for  4  and  5  year   olds  in  Ontario.   Jim  developed  a  strong  advocacy  for  the  early  years  through  his  direct  work  as  a   founding  member  of  the  Council  for  Early  Child  Development.  Over  the  last  15  years,   along  with  Dr.  Fraser  Mustard,  Dr.  Dan  Offord,  Dr.  Magdelena  Janus  and  countless   talented  leaders  in  the  field  of  early  child  development,  he  has  worked  to  develop   strong  multi-­‐sectorial  initiatives  designed  to  help  young  children  and  families  in   Canada  thrive.  He  contributed  to  the  development  of  two  highly  recognized  ‘Success   By  6’  organizations  in  Ottawa  and  in  the  Region  of  Peel.   Following  an  exemplary  career  as  a  teacher,  school  administrator  and  superintendent   in  the  North  York  Board,  Jim  served  as  Director  of  Education  in  Ottawa  Carleton  for   four  years  and  in  October  2009  completed  seven  years  as  Director  of  Education  in  the   Peel  District  School  Board,  Canada's  second  largest  school  board.   Jim  holds  a  Masters  Degree  from  OISE/University  of  Toronto  along  with   undergraduate  degrees  from  York  University  and  Victoria  College  of  the  University  of   Toronto.  
 

 

Session  A  –  9:45  –  11:45  a.m.  
A1)    Castles…Documentation  and  Reflections  from  a  Long  Term  Project   Presenters:  Cara  Murtha,  Laura  Howell,  Lorrie  Baird  
Like  a  castle,  a  child  is  unique;  protected  by  a  beautiful  strong  exterior  but  it  is  not  until  we  carefully   observe  the  details  that  a  story  unfolds  and  true  character  is  revealed.     Join  us  as  we  unfold  the  details  from  this  long-­‐term  study  of  castles  that  spanned  over  a  year.  The   educators  from  the  classroom  will  share  their  documentation  and  reflections  from  their  experiences   and  how  they  used  careful  observations  as  they  moved  through  the  cycle  of  inquiry.    They  will  share   how  this  project  that  began  with  a  book  has  brought  new  life  to  learning  for  both  the  educators  and   children  of  this  Best  Start  classroom.      

A2)  Images  of  Learning   Presenter:  Aaron  Senitt  
In  this  workshop  Aaron  will  describe  how  he  has  used  multiple  photographs  taken  in  his   Kindergarten  class  to  create  authentic  anchor  charts  and  transform  an  ongoing  classroom  newspaper   into  a  successful  form  of  pedagogical  documentation.  He  will  show  how  images  reflecting  classroom   experiences  have  been  re-­‐circulated  and  transformed  by  students  for  math  problem  solving,  making   charts  and  bringing  language  to  ongoing  constructive  play.  He  will  present  a  practical  overview  of  his   use  of  photography  in  the  classroom,  describing  how  it  is  selected  and  organized  into  digital  files.   Participants  will  discuss  basic  technologies  such  as  the  digital  camera,  iPod,  and  desktop  computer;   and  be  shown  a  process  that  can  be  applied  in  their  own  classroom  practice.    Bringing  priorities   rooted  in  contemporary  art  education  and  conceptual  art  to  the  classroom,  Aaron  will  describe  how   his  use  of  photography  has  shifted  from  “snapshots”  of  children  at  work  to  a  more  involved  and   nuanced  portrayal  of  the  processes  involved  with  learning.    

A3)    Using  Documentation  of  our  Learning  Environment  for  Further  Reflection  and   Transformation  of  our  Kindergarten  Space   Presenter:    Joanne  Marie  Babalis  
How  can  a  traditional  kindergarten  room  that  is  brightly  coloured  be  transformed  into  a  space  that   stimulates  learning  and  exploration  while  also  welcomes  beauty  and  awe?    Participants  will  be   introduced  to  photo  documentation  from  the  last  two  years  of  how  a  full-­‐day  early  learning-­‐ kindergarten  team  changed  their  learning  environment,  and  continue  to  take  steps  to  transform  it.     This  presentation  will  be  interactive,  and  will  provide  time  to  study  photo  documentation  of  our   kindergarten  environment  and  consider  what  they  would  repeat,  rethink,  and  remove.    As  we   continue  to  transform  and  reflect  upon  our  documentation,  we  blog  about  it  online,  and  will  be  happy   to  share  this  with  all  who  attend!  

  A4)  Whose  Voice  Counts:    Uncovering  Shared  Learning  Through  Documentation     Presenters:  Alison  Stanhope  and  Sherry  Brennan  
Pedagogical  documentation  is  an  intriguing  process  for  elementary  teachers.    Documentation  may   appear  as  a  record  of  classroom  experiences  but  it  is  so  much  more.    When  educators  dig  deep  into   practice,  questions  begin  to  emerge.     What  are  the  key  characteristics  of  pedagogical  documentation  and  how  is  it  unique?     What  is  the  relationship  between  pedagogical  documentation  and  classroom  assessment?     How  can  I  create  impactful  documentation  (i.e.  strategies  and  tools)?   Join  us  in  our  attempt  to  look  at  assessment  and  documentation  with  a  new  lens  and  how  our   discoveries  impact  learning  for  both  educators  and  students.  

  A5)  Using  Teacher  research  to  transform  curriculum  in  an  Infant  and  Toddler   classroom     Presenters:  Andrea  Rourke,  Deb  Taylor  &  Shelley  Brandon  
Hear  how  Educators  at  London  Bridge  Child  Care  Services  used  their  own  inquires  to  embark  on  year   long  research  projects  that  ultimately  ended  up  having  significant  impact  on  their  relationships  with   families  and  their  approach  to  curriculum.  Andrea  and  Deb  will  share  how  they  moved  from   informing  families  about  their  child’s  experiences  to  collaborating  with  them  to  develop  curriculum   and  understand  development  in  an  Infant  room.    Shelley  will  share  how  her  strong  desire  to  offer   young  children  meaningful  outdoor  experiences  motived  her  to  study  how  toddlers  engage  in  an   outdoor  space  that  housed  nothing  but  grass,  stones,  logs,  leaves  and  other  items  that  would  naturally   be  found  there.  

A6)  Video  Documentation  of  math  exploration  with  young  children   Presenters:    Nadine  Roberts,  Anna  Papageorgiou   Dr.  Cathy  Bruce,  Tara  Flynn    
In  this  session,  the  presenters  will  focus  on  the  use  of  video  tape  as  a  tool  to  deeply  listen  to  students   thinking,  particularly  in  the  area  of  mathematics.    The  session  will  acquaint  participants  with  different   uses  of  video,  including  clinical  interviews,  "virtual"  classroom  observations  (when  actually  getting   into  each  other's  classrooms  is  logistically  difficult),  as  well  as  video-­‐mediated  reflective  practice,   where  viewing  (and  re-­‐viewing)  of  student/classroom  video  causes  us  to   deeply  reflect  on  practice.  There  will  be  a  hands-­‐on  component  to  this  session.  

 

  SESSION  B  –  1:00  –  2:30  
 

B1)    A  Practical  Session  for  teachers  considering  the  Reggio  Approach   Presenters:  Kate  Daniel  &  Jane  Buckley-­Black  
Through  PowerPoint  presentations,  photographs,  examples  of  documentation,  authentic  experiences   with  our  children,  and  round  table  discussions,  etc.,  we  will  endeavor  to  enlighten  you  with  our   journey,  the  ‘highs  and  lows’  of  our  transformation.  We  will  share  our  ‘toolbox’,  that  we  have  found   most  useful,  practical  and  meaningful.    

B2)  The  Lizard  Story:  Making  Identity  Visible     Presenter:    Mary  Murray  
Through  an  emergent  literacy  project  we  examine  strategies  to  promote  authentic  literacy   experiences  considering  the  elements  of  a  successful  bookmaking  project  in  the  Kindergarten   classroom.  In  this  project  children  acquired  skills  through  meaningful  encounters  with  literacy.    

  B3)    Integrating  Yoga  into  Everyday  ECE  &  Kindergarten  Programs   Presenter:  Terry  Kelly  

Research  shows  that  yoga  can  help  children  in  all  the  learning  domains;  particularly  self-­‐regulation,   motor  skills,  emotional  maturity,  and  healthy  relationships.    Participants  will  leave  with  the  ability  to   lead  some  simple,  effective,  yoga-­‐related  practices  that  can  enhance  the  development  of  all  children.   They  will  explore  the  importance  of  positive  touch,  the  development  of  proprioception,  controlling   one’s  emotions,  breathing,  social  skills,  and  being  comfortable  in  one’s  own  body  through  discussion   and  experience.  Participants  will  also  discuss  in  which  parts  of  their  schedule  they  could  incorporate   the  activities  and  how  to  use  them  effectively  in  their  classrooms.  Participants  should  wear   comfortable  clothing.    They  may  bring  their  own  mats  but  it’s  not  necessary.    

 

B4)  Implementing  a  Reggio  inspired  atelier  in  an  elementary  school  setting   Presenters:    Natalie  Kauffman  
In  this  session  the  presenter  will  discuss  the  connections  between  the  atelier/atelierista  and  holistic   and  embodied  methods  of  learning,  as  well  her  methodology,  that  being  a/r/tography.  A/r/tography   is  a  form  of  inquiry  that  acknowledges  the  artist,  researcher  and  teacher  roles  that  are  integral  and   interconnected  parts  of  the  research  process.  This  methodology  was  chosen  specifically  for  how  it   relates  beautifully  to  the  Reggio  philosophy  of  the  interconnectedness  of  subject  matter  and  the  ways   in  which  we,  as  students  and  teachers  come  to  knowledge  through  art  making.  This  presentation  will   consist  of  the  presenters  review  on  current  literature  related  to  the  Reggio  atelierista  model,   embodied  and  holistic  learning  theories,  autobiographical  writings  and  her  own  art  work.  

  B5)    ‘Quality  Early  Learning:  Reggio,  FDK  and  ELF   Presenters:  Dianne  Riehl  &  Lynne  Besner  
Over  the  past  50  years,  the  Reggio  approach  has  emerged  as  a  distinctive  philosophy  and  innovative   pedagogical  approach  to  early  years  education  that  has  been  recognized  internationally  by  educators,   psychologists,  and  researchers  as  an  exceptional  example  of  quality  early  education.  More  recently,   the  Province  of  Ontario  has  introduced  a  new  approach  to  early  learning  which  has  many  similarities   to  Reggio.  It  includes  an  Early  Learning  Framework,  a  Full-­‐Day  Early  Learning  Kindergarten  Program   document  and  an  Extended  Day  program  document  to  support  implementation  of  quality  early   learning  programs  across  the  province.   This  workshop  will  engage  participants  in  exploring  the  connections  between  the  Reggio  and  Ontario   approaches  to  early  learning  –  starting  with  recognition  in  both  regions  that  quality  early  learning  is   not  a  "model”  or  program  that  can  be  quickly  or  easily  replicated-­‐  rather  it  is  a  complex  process  that   fully  engages  educators,  children,  family  and  community  in  early  learning  and  child  development.  

   

B6)    Playing  with  the  Numberline:  ordinality,  cardinality,  partitioning  and     exploring  zero     Presenters:  Amanda  Humphreys,  Susan  Hislop     Dr.  Cathy  Bruce,  Tara  Flynn      
In  this  session,  the  presenters  will  focus  on  the  use  of  the  numberline  as  a  tool  for  mathematical   thinking  with  young  children.  The  presenters  were  part  of  a  research  project  that  spanned  several   schools,  using  a  "lesson  study"  approach  to  better  understand  concepts  such  as  ordinality,  cardinality,   partitioning  and  zero  with  young  children.  Special  attention  was  paid  to  student's  intuitive  use  of  this   tool.  The  session  will  acquaint  participants  with  the  knowledge  and  tips  that  the  presenters   discovered  through  their  research  as  well  as  giving  participants  hands-­‐on  experience  with  specific   materials.  

  SESSION  C  –  2:45  –  4:15    

C1)    Authentic  Science:    Using  the  Big  Ideas  to  Light  the  Spark     Presenters:    Karampal  Bath  and  Lianne  Fraser  
Learn  what  it  means  to  create  an  authentic  science  program  that  is  embedded  in  your  play-­‐based   Kindergarten  classroom.    We  will  focus  on  using  student  interests  to  light  the  “spark”  and  how  this   can  lead  to  successful  inquires,  while  honouring  the  children’s  real  life  context.    You  will  get  the   chance  to  walk  through  real  inquires  that  our  children  have  been  part  of  and  learn  how   documentation  panels  can  be  put  together  to  demonstrate  learning.    Components  of  this  presentation   will  be  hands  on.  

  C2)    How  can  teacher  research  deepen  an  educator’s  understanding  of  young  children  ?  

 

Presenters:    Sharon  Speir  &  Jeffrey  Wood   In  the  Rainbow  District  School  Board,  we  have  chosen  to  implement  the  new  Ontario  Early  Learning   program  for  4  and  5  year  olds  using  the  Reggio  Emilia  philosophy  as  our  inspiration.  Jeffrey  Wood,   Laurentian  University  Researcher,  and  Sharon  Speir,  Superintendent  of  Schools,  have  collaborated  on   research  related  to  the  implementation  of  Early  Learning  in  Rainbow  Schools.    Over  the  past  year  we   put  a  greater  emphasis  on  the  teacher  as  researcher  and  on  using  pedagogical  documentation  (Wein,   2012)  to  better  understand  how  young  children  learn  and  to  deepen  pedagogical  practice  in  Early   Learning  classrooms.   In  this  presentation,  Jeffrey  and  Sharon  will  provide  the  context  for  this  research.  We  will  explore  how   the  use  of  teacher  as  researcher  and  pedagogical  documentation  facilitated  deeper  listening,  enhanced   understandings,  and  meaningful  learning.  As  a  part  of  this  presentation  we  will  present  a  series  of   posters  representing  classroom  research  projects  conducted  by  teachers  and  educators  that  highlight   the  unique  questions  they  are  exploring,  and  their  discoveries  to  date.      

 
C3)    “Magic  Happens”     Presenters:  Angela  Boers,  Vivian  Nickerson,  Sylvie  Walsh,  Joan  Urquhart  
  Through  the  process  of  learning  how  to  teach  in  a  play  based  classroom,  presenters  were  guided   along  the  way  by  the  experts  in  their  community  who  joined  them  as  partners  in  their  classroom  and   helped  them  learn  to  see  how  art  and  artistic  expression  can  be  an  important  part  of  their  program.        When  they  put  together  all  of  the  partners  of  the  Full  Day  Kindergarten-­‐-­‐  Parents,  Teachers,  Early   Childhood  Educators,  Community  Members  and  Students,    they  discovered  that  “magic  happens”!     Presenters  will  share  their  journey  of  how  building  partnerships  around  art  has  led  them  to  richer   and  deeper  ways  of  exploring,  inquiring,  playing  and  learning  in  the  FDK  classroom."    

C4)    The  Stained  Glass  Project:  a  collaborative  journey,       Presenters:    Anna  Papageorgiou  and  Nadine  Roberts  

During  this  session,  presenters  will  share  the  story  of  a  project  inspired  by  a  keen  interest  in  the   chapel  services  held  at  Bishop  Strachan  School  as  well  as  the  teachers  observation  of  the  challenges   the  class  was  facing  with  collaboration.  The  large  installation  of  a  stained  glass  collaborative  piece   was  a  result  of  months  of  dialogue  with  the  girls  as  they  expressed  their  interest  in  stained  glass  and   the  meaning  of  the  images.  Initially,  the  girls  worked  on  individual  pieces  and  as  the  journey   progressed  they  merged  their  images  and  created  a  final  piece  that  exemplified  their  journey  from   individual  to  the  collective  ownership.    The  girl’s  reflections  on  the  value  of  collaboration  were   sophisticated  beyond  their  years.  We  feel  this  story  is  important  to  share  to  other  educators  who  feel   discouraged  with  challenging  social  dynamics  that  can  sometimes  hinder  collaboration.  It  was  also  an   important  journey  of  collaboration  for  the  educators  involved.    

 

C5)  Theory  and  Rationale:  What  is  the  theory  and  practice  of  documentation?    
  Presenter:    Rose  Walton   Let’s  explore  the  purpose  of  documentation  as  a  piece  of  the  ‘making  thinking  visible’  process  of   young  children.  Educators  engage  in  the  process  of  'documenting'  children's  learning  through   collaborative  practices  that  foster  dialogue  and  co-­‐construction  of  knowledge  with  the  child,  family   and  inter-­‐professionals.  Through  careful  and  intentional  observations  of  children  in  a  supportive   environment,  experiences  are  planned  and  investigated  by  the  children  and  educators.  Reflections  on   the  Early  Primary  Collaborative  Inquiry  Project,  supported  by  the  Thames  Valley  District  School   Board,  Ashley  Oaks  Child  Care  and  the  Ministry  of  Education,  will  high  light  current  understandings   and  on-­‐going  investigations  of  the  positive  influence  of  documentation  on  oral  language  of  young   children.  

  Presenter  Bios:  
Cara  Murtha  and  Laura  Howell  registered  early  childhood  educators  have  been  working  in  the  field   for  over  10  years.    They  now  work  together  at  Kawartha  Child  Care  Services  in  Lindsay  Ontario  in  an   early  learning  Best  Start  classroom.    Inspired  by  the  educators  in  Reggio  Emilia,  they  explore  together   the  principles  of  Emergent  Curriculum  and  how  reflective  practice  influences  their  work  with   children.   Lorrie  Baird,  Associate  Executive  Director  of  Kawartha  Child  Care  Services  and  Harvest  Resource   Associate,  has  been  working  in  the  field  of  early  education  for  over  25  years.    Lorrie  has  spent  much  of   her  professional  career  researching  and  exploring  the  principles  of  Reggio  Emilia  and  Emergent   Curriculum.     Aaron  Senitt  works  as  a  Full  Day  Kindergarten  teacher  in  Guelph.  He  has  taught  in  Nova  Scotia,   Saskatchewan,  Quebec  and  Ontario.  His  perspective  on  Early  Childhood  Education  is  informed  by  his   studies  in  Fine  Art  and  Art  Education  and  he  firmly  believes  that  no  classroom  is  complete  without   hacksaws,  lots  of  tape  and  large  blocks  of  open  time.     Joanne  Marie  Babalis  is  a  full-­‐day  early  learning-­‐kindergarten  teacher  for  the  York  Region  District   School  Board,  as  well  as  a  part-­‐time  graduate  student  at  York  University.    She  is  interested  in  how  to   transform  a  traditional  classroom  environment  into  a  space  that  welcomes  beauty  and  awe.         Alison  Stanhope  and  Sherry  Brennan  work  together  as  part  of  the  Learning  Resource  Teacher  tea   with  the  Halton  District  School  Board.    They  are  both  passionate  about  student  engagement  and  the   their  work  on  teams  that  explore  best  practices  for  student  learning.       Andrea  Rourke  and  Deb  Taylor  are  Infant  Educators  at  Rowntree  Park  Early  Learning  Centre  with   London  Bridge  Child  Care  Services.  Their  strong  desire  to  include  families  in  their  classroom  has   motivated  them  to  create  innovative  approaches  that  has  transformed  their  practices  and  brought   them  into  a  whole  new  level  of  family  engagement.     Shelley  Brandon  is  a  Toddler  Educator  at  Maitland  Early  Learning  Centre  with  London  Bridge  Child   Care  Services.    Her  strong  commitment  and  passion  for  supporting  children’s  relationship  with  the   earth  has  motivated  her  to  create  a  toddler  curriculum  that  is  primarily  focused  on  the  outdoors.       Kate  Daniel  is  the  Reggio  Lead  teacher  and  has  a  mentoring  role  within  our  school.  Kate  teaches  in   SK.   Jane  Buckley-­Black  is  the  Primary  School  Director  and  oversees  PK  to  Grade  2.  She  teaches  in  the  JK   classroom.   Mary  Murray  has  been  teaching  kindergarten  at  the  Bishop  Strachan  School  for  the  past   14  years.      Mary  is  always  interested  in  the  intersection  of  the  curiosity  and  motivation   of  children  and  the  expectations  for  skill  and  concept  development  mandated  by  our     Ministry  guidelines.     Terry  Kelly  is  a  RECE  and  Certified  Yoga  Instructor  who  has  over  thirty  years  experience  in  Early   Learning  &  Care.    She  currently  teaches  ECE  at  Seneca  College,  and  works  in  municipal  government  in   Community  Programs.  She  also  teaches  yoga  to  young  children,  and  promotes  the  use  of  yoga  with   children  and  families,  in  schools,  child  cares,  and  parenting  centres.    

Natalie  Kauffman  has  worked  as  an  artist  educator  in  both  the  public  and  private  school  domains,  as   well  as  in  community  arts  organizations  over  the  past  ten  years.  She  has  taught  at  the  high  school   level  in  media  arts,  drama  and  photography.       Dianne  Riehl:    Educator  Officer,  Early  Learning  Division,  Ministry  of  Education     Lynne  Besner:    Program  Policy  Analyst,  Early  Learning  Division,  Ministry  of  Education     Karampal  Bath  and  Lianne  Fraser  are  dynamic,  energetic  and  passionate  Kindergarten  teachers   that  relish  in  the  ability  share  the  vision  of  early  learning  with  others.    They  have  been  teaching  at   Marvin  Heights  PS  since  the  first  year  of  the  implementation  of  the  Full  Day  program,  and  have  been   part  of  numerous  training  opportunities  to  learn  how  to  incorporate  best  practices.     Dr.  Jeffrey  Wood  is  an  assistant  professor  in  the  School  of  Education  at  Laurentian  University.  A   former  kindergarten  teacher,  Jeffrey  was  a  teacher  researcher  for  many  years  and  continues  to   support  and  encourage  teachers  to  research  their  own  practice  and  classrooms.       Dr.  Sharon  Speir  is  a  superintendent,  responsible  for  Early  Learning  and  Child  Care  in  the  Rainbow   District  School  Board.  Throughout  her  career,  Sharon  has  worked  to  sustain  professional  learning   communities  as  ‘communities  engaged  in  continuous  inquiry’.  She  is  a  former  kindergarten  teacher,   early  learning  consultant  and  child  care  supervisor.     Angela  Boers  is  an  OTC,  teacher  in  the  FDK  classroom,  entering  year  3,  at  Tom  Thomson  Public   School,  Burlington     Vivian  Nickerson  is  an  ECE,  entering  year  3  in  FDK  at  Tom  Thomson  Public  school  Burlington     Sylvie  Walsh  is  a  parent  volunteer  in  Angela  and  Vivian’s  FDK  classroom.    Sylvie  was  completing  her   fine  arts  degree  in  2010-­‐2011  and  brought  her  interest  in  the  Reggio  approach  to  early  learning  and   her  expertise  in  art  to  our  classroom     Joan  Urquhart  is  a  community  member,  artist  with  Artists  at  the  Centre,  Hamilton  as  well  as  at  the   Burlington  Art  Centre.       Anna  Papageorgiou  has  been  a  teacher  at  The  Bishop  Strachan  School  for  more  than  10  years  and   currently  teaches  JK     Nadine  Roberts  taught  Kindergarten  at  The  Bishop  Strachan  School  for  3  years  an  currently  teaches   Grade  Three     Rose  Walton  is  a  former  kindergarten  teacher  and  Full-­‐day  Kindergarten  Learning  Coordinator  with   the  Thames  Valley  District  School  Board      

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