Today I offered a workshop for my clients who hired me as their educational consultant titled, "Learning through Play" by Jessica Orpin. Jessica is an expert in early childhood education and has spent nearly a decade in a PreK classroom. Her workshop is so good that an educational service unit asked her to present it to a group of administrators withing the state of Nebraska. I was so excited that she agreed to share her expertise.
I remember how workshops and conferences rejuvenated me as a teacher and that is the primary reason for offering them to my clients every month. Today's workshop was no exception! I learned so much! I hope that teachers and homeschool parents are inspired, encouraged, and on fire for education! Like I said, I am after today, which is why I want to offer some Mrs. Orpin tips for play in early literacy (I've added some of my own to the mix that I think she'd also approve of).
Objective: Identify letters/sounds or words automatically.
Build letters and words with Lego's, pipe cleaners, playdoh, sticks, or blocks.
Create an ABC book using pictures and stickers.
Letter or word hopscotch.
Retell a story using puppets, stuffed animals, dolls, etc.
Create letter or word targets. Read a word and they must shoot at it with a dart gun.
At the end of the presentation, I asked her about curriculum for early childhood education (because that is a popular question I receive from homeschool parents) and she cringed. I couldn't agree more! When it comes to your early learner, play! Count, craft, build, take risks, go outside, observe, play, read books, play, read books, play, read books. You do not need a curriculum for that and the research backs it up. There is a big correlation between play and academic success later in life.
Let your kids be kids because the academic rigor will come later in life. For students up to the 3rd grade, the research shows that playing is learning. Don't gyp them of that time. I can share with you how we accomplished that in our home and in my tutoring relationships. If you're interested in this presentation and hearing more about how I incorporate play in reading instruction, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, tomorrow's workshop is titled, "Strategies to Engage the Advanced Learner" by Chere Beavers who has a Masters of Education degree in Gifted Education and has THIRTY-ONE years of classroom experience. I believe that we should learn from each other in order to grow as teachers, homeschool moms and parents. Technology offers great opportunities to accomplish this and I do not want to miss out on this opportunity to tap into her expertise! If you are priviledge enough to call yourself a teacher, this workshop will inspire you! If this interests you, find the tickets by clicking on her picture below (linked to the Eventbrite page):
I hope to see you there!