Creative Ideas: Early Childhood Educators

A transformative space where students in Early Childhood Education Programs engage in creative ideas and find tips for professional development.

Years back when I was in the Early Childhood Education Program I was so inspired by the dedication educators had for their profession, as a student I wanted to find ways to engage in more creative ways with the field and learn everything there was about childcare and teaching!

As a professor of Early Childhood Education I see the passion students have for learning and their eagerness to learn find out best practices of the field.

This page is dedicated to all those students who are seeking ways to creatively feel inspired and grow professionally as they juggle their courses and placements.

 


Use Pinterest to Revolutionize Your Teaching & Planning in Childcare

pinterest-logo

Whether your a pin addict like myself or just finding out about Pinterest now that your in the Early Childhood Education Program- or a ECE already working It’s never to early to start using Pinterest professional tool or simply figuring out a way to organize all those inspiring ideas!

Okay, so whats the deal with Pinterest?

Pinterest is the social networking site. Pinterest is a collection of ideas. Use it to store and organize your own ideas, or use it to find new ideas. The ideas are represented initially in picture form, but the pictures often link to information on a website about how to implement the idea, OMG its just  fabulous!

How does it all work?

A Pinterest user –yourself will have a collection of bulletin boards that are organized by category. The user can then “pin” any ideas they encounter on the internet to a board of their choice. Users can also browse other users’ boards and re-pin any pins that they find interesting.

So why should you use Pinterest? How will it help you?

  • It’s free (teachers love anything free).
  • Search specific topics (i.e., infant sensory activities).
  • Get hundreds of ideas!
  • Begin networking and building connections [follow] other educators (one of the biggest sources of inspiration comes from visually seeing how educators implement activities and what materials they are using in the classroom.
  • Start organizing all those ideas you’ll need once your on placement -and land your first job. (Can’t tell you how easily you’ll forget an idea, ‘pinning it’ ensures it’s there when you need it).
  • Share ideas with your placement mentor (not sure if an activity is age appropriate, having Pinterest lets you easily search the idea and run it past him or her).
  • Keep up to date with trends in childcare.
  • Create specific boards for programming ideas (I’m going to tell you exactly how to get started so you can begin pinning).
  • Professional development (what better way to show case your ‘thinking’ and ‘view of children’s engagement’ visually).
  • Save time! (as a student your juggling academics, part-time jobs, and/or children and placements, get started on your account before it’s too late).

CREATE A NEW BOARD IN PINTEREST

Once you’ve opened up an account, the next step is to naturally begin CREATING BOARDS.

Creating boards is probably the most important part of your Pinterest account –Boards are where you save and organize your Pins, you want to create varied boards that reflect the early childhood education programming for children. This will allow you to go back and find exactly what your looking for when you need it.

TIP: Create boards that reflect your programming names.

I have created boards using the titles from the Assessment for Quality Improvement or AQI since it prescribes clear expectations, service standards and guidelines for all child care providers. It also serves as a self-evaluation and planning tool for educators.

Examples of Boards to Get you Started:

  • Art Experiences

Ideas to provide independent experiences through different mediums for children. Ideas should promote self-expression and individuality. Safe art materials and equipment are always accessible to the children and are developmentally-appropriate. Materials reflecting diverse skin tones are placed in an inclusive manner.

art-experiences-1

  • Block and Construction Experiences

A collection of construction play materials, learning experiences and classroom set-up ideas. Inspirational ideas with ample selection of accessories and blocks, with which children can build, create and explore concepts. This may include, but not exclusive to, spatial awareness, manipulation of two-dimensional and three-dimensional materials and problem solving. Block play offers opportunities to work together, imagine, learn about cause and effect, patterning and sequencing.

blocks1

  • Dramatic Experiences

A collection of dramatic play themes, accessories, area set-up and learning experiences to promote imaginative play.

dra1

  • Music Experiences

By exposing children to an assortment of cultural music and musical genres, ECE’s ECA promote skills such as language development, rhythm awareness, self-regulation and self-concept. Music and lyrics are age-appropriate. Children learn, through repeated exposure, a positive appreciation of music and movement.

music1

  • Science & Nature Experiences

Materials reflecting science and nature encourage children to explore through cause and effect experimentation and observation. Continual exposure to these materials and experiences allow children to learn more about their environments.

natsc1

  • Sensory Experiences

A collection of various types of sensory play [taste, sight, touch, sound, smell]. Materials reflecting sensory exploration encourage children to explore through cause and effect experimentation and observation. Continual exposure to these materials and experiences allow children to learn more about their environments.

sensory1

  • Math Experiences

A collection of math materials, invitations to play and learning experiences for children. Math has many dimensions, including: -Number sense (e.g., the numeral “4” represents four objects, which is greater that 3 and less than 5) -Geometry (e.g., patterns and shapes, each with unique features) -Measurement (e.g., size, distance, amount) -The language of math (e.g., more than, less than, equal to) -Spatial relations (e.g., in front of or behind; near or far).

math1

  • Language and Literacy Experiences

A collection of language invitations to play, materials, language and literacy ideas for children. ECA/ECEs encourage children to use and develop their vocabulary, their questioning skills and recall abilities. Book Area: A cozy and inviting environment is created to encourage natural opportunities for language and literacy enjoyment. Children: retell stories and situations with the accessible props, linking books in a thoughtfully displayed manner in other learning areas.

lit1

  • Outdoor Experiences

Promote daily physical play learning experiences for children, encourage a healthy lifestyle and allow children to experience their natural environment in all different weather conditions. Active physical play learning experiences promote large muscle development, coordination skills, and support positive behaviours. By giving the children the opportunities to lead the experiences, they can enhance their leadership qualities and turn-taking skills.

out1

  • Fine Motor

Fine Motor development is a crucial part of early development and a precursor to self-help skills. This board presents many learning experiences and materials to support fine motor development.

fine1

Other Classroom Related Boards:

  • Circle Time Ideas
  • Documentation
  • Child Portfolio Ideas
  • Behaviour Guidance in the Classroom
  • Supporting Children with Special Rights
  • Classroom Design Inspiration

Specific Topics in Education:

  • Self-Regulation
  • Anti-bias Curriculum
  • Toilet Learning
  • Loose Parts
  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (curriculum)

Professional Related Boards:

  • Advocacy in Childcare
  • Child Development

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