I help educators support children's overall development by using an interaction-focused curriculum that incorporates the use of "loose parts" that do not require any instructions as part of the learning environment. Instructional strategies are determined according to a child's individual needs as determined by the use of research based assessment tools that measure their developmental progress.
Using Teachstone's Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) to observe teacher/child interactions, I work with teachers and program leaders to develop skills for introducing the concepts, processes, and lessons within any curriculum more effectively. My focus is on specific teacher behaviors research has proven to promote children's critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills.
Communication with families about the purpose and appropriate use of assessment tools can promote a greater understanding of what their child is learning, and the way instruction is being provided. I support teachers in observing each child carefully, and reflecting on their impact upon the child's experience. This helps them scaffold and individualize instruction so each child has exactly the support they need for healthy social-emotional development and academic success.
By involving both families and children in the curriculum planning cycle, early educators promote the development of shared goals that
support positive and intentional interactions as part of the routines, transitions, and activities that make up their everyday life.
It is essential to have high expectations for children regardless of ability in order to meet their potential for learning and success in school and in life.
With appropriate adult guidance, early learning experiences prepare children to begin making use of all the tools and technology of the world they are born into.
Children learn to imagine and solve problems in their mind through experiences with concrete materials. They solve new problems and develop transferable skills that provide the foundation for digital literacy and other 21st Century skills.
Interaction-Focused Teaching and Coaching
Even more than serving to provide adult learners with information, my goal is to explicitly name and model effective interactions in the process of exploring course content. My approach is to orchestrate situations for participants to practice those skills with each other, and ultimately use those skills to foster engaging learning experiences with children, families, and the wider professional community.
In addition to modeling behavioral markers from the CLASS, I introduce participants to Universal Design for Learning Guidelines they can use to support their own students by providing a choice of tools and formats for participants to explore ideas and present what they know in a variety of ways:
Multiple means of engagement (such as whole group discussions, sharing with partners, synchronous and/or asynchronous discussions to complete projects in person or using internet tools, and presentations in small groups)
Multiple means of representation (such as academic articles, class demonstrations, YouTube videos, and other Google Apps for Education that provide access to a wider community of educators)
Multiple means of expression (such as contributions to a blogs or electronic portfolios using Google Sites)