Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FACS Professional Development Workshops- Early Childhood Education June 24-26th

The Early Childhood Education training put on by Clayton Early Learning was very informative. I really enjoy learning about the top developments in the ECE industry. This conference had all I was looking for and more. I started out at training in the computer lab researching how we as educators can use the social site Second Life to help engage our students in the ECE classroom. The main idea of the session was that using Edu Island in Second life the students could better understand how the ECE classroom works by going through a Virtual Child Care Center. This center was not complete yet however it looks to be a promising tool for the future.

I then attend the afternoon sessions on STEM. It helped us learn how to use technology, math and engineering in the ECE classroom. Each session had actives we could experience for ourselves and then talk about how to use the national standard for each. If I had learned math the way they were teaching it would have really helped me going up. My favorite activity in the math session had students reading and following directions all while incorporating math. Also not everyone can see the importance of music when dealing with math but this session touched on this topic as well. The technology session helped us take a look at new innovations in the industry. Everything was geared to the ECE classroom. They had I pads, smart board and assessments we can use online all to play with and experience for ourselves. The best session of the day was engineering. The teacher was passionate about the topic and we had the chance to experiment with many different activities we could use in the classroom. I can’t wait to try out some of her activities with my students.

Friday’s sessions started with learning how to use the E-Portfolio. The E-portfolio will be the new wave of the future. Many community colleges and universities have already started using this awesome tool. This is something that all high school ECE educators need to be trained on. I do however think it is time consuming and will need to be well organized in order to work properly at the high school level.

The next day’s session was on social emotional competence and inclusive practices. In my ECE classroom I do many lessons to help my students learn these concepts. This session just gave me more ideas on how to incorporate the above in our everyday classroom. They can use music, role play and pretend play to help include everyone, no matter what their learning styles or what they are capable of they can participate.
Over all I feel this was a very well put together conference and I took away many ideas and activities that I can and will use with my students in the future. I strongly suggest all ECE teachers attend this in the future.

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