Posted in Reggio Emilia

Transforming your school to become “Reggio-Inspired”

Part of what I do as an early childhood education/child development consultant is help schools recast the Reggio Emilia Approach and transform their schools to become more “Reggio Inspired.” My program is a comprehensive and intensive experience where we focus on the teachers, the classroom environments and the overall school philosophy/environment/curriculum. I also provide workshops on the different aspects of the approach and how to incorporate them into your school. Below is the framework for my personalized program:  Continue reading “Transforming your school to become “Reggio-Inspired””

Posted in Blog, Literacy, Teaching Strategies

The Value of Book Talks and Author Studies

Book Talks and Author Studies are wonderful ways to explore and learn about children’s literature. I highly recommend doing them with the children you teach. They are also excellent additions to teacher education classes. I started doing these activities with my undergraduate students for two reasons:

1. I wanted my students to discover as many children’s books as possible and learn about different authors and genres of books.

2. I had done both with children in the past and found them so enjoyable, that I thought young adults should have some fun too.

Continue reading “The Value of Book Talks and Author Studies”

Posted in Be a PhD, ESL/ELL Instruction, Letter and Word Recognition, Literacy, Preschooler, Quick Tips, Teaching Strategies

The Different Types of Alphabet Books

ABC Concept books don’t focus on one specific theme for the book, but rather focus on learning the actual letters. The children will primarily learn the alphabet.

Try: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

ABC Content books have one central theme and each letter represents something from that theme. The children will learn theme-specific vocabulary and the alphabet.

Try: Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z

Posted in Be a PhD, ESL/ELL Instruction, Letter and Word Recognition, Literacy, Oral Language, Preschooler, Teaching Strategies

ESL/ELL Instruction – It’s easier than you think!

Whether you have ESL children or not in your classroom, having a variety of word games to be played by pairs of students or small groups is ideal. Pocket charts are great for these types of games. The key is to do activities where all students can interact and move around. Continue reading “ESL/ELL Instruction – It’s easier than you think!”

Posted in Letter and Word Recognition, Literacy, Oral Language, Quick Tips, Teaching Strategies

A fun twist on the alphabet song

Looking for a fun twist to the traditional alphabet song? Try the Hip Hop Alphabet. You can play the song in the background (the video isn’t needed) and either:

1. Display the alphabet on a large screen or easel and have one child use a pointer to point to each letter as the class sings the song OR

2. Give each child a letter of the alphabet and have them hold it up high and dance as it comes up in the song

Trust me, kids will love it. My undergraduate ECE preservice teachers do too!

Posted in Be a PhD, Headlines, Letter and Word Recognition, Literacy, Preschooler, Teaching Strategies

What’s your name?

So it’s time for your Kindergarteners to learn the letters of the alphabet. I mean really learn the letters. They all can sing the ABC song, but can they really point to each letter and identify it? Probably not. (And that’s fine by the way). I suggest using the children’s names to jumpstart your exploration into letters. Continue reading “What’s your name?”

Posted in Be a PhD, Headlines, Infant, Parenting, Preschooler, Reggio Emilia, Toddler

Make-Your-Own Light Table (and add some Reggio Emilia to your life)

Before becoming a college professor and developing my Early Childhood Education program, I was privileged enough to teach infants, toddlers and preschoolers at a Reggio Emilia-inspired laboratory school at Virginia Tech. While a teacher at the school, I worked deeply with the Reggio philosophy and was able to see what can happen when teachers listen to children and follow their lead in their learning. Continue reading “Make-Your-Own Light Table (and add some Reggio Emilia to your life)”