Recently I attended the NAEYC conference here in California, and I wanted to share a few of the most important takeaways for an FCC provider. Please check out the video on Youtube for more information!
I attended three talks on the first day of the conference:
I will be doing another blog post on the last two a different day but today I wanted to focus on the first half.
Steam Coming Out Of My Ears was all about how to handle kids with strong emotions. While I didn’t get to stay the whole time (I was kicked out…eek! Watch my video to hear what happened) the concept of a “time-IN” vs a time out was the most intriguing. This is something I want to talk more about so comment below if you want me to do a separate blog post about how I implement that in my own classroom.
The second talk I attended was ways to integrate STEAM into your classroom. I was so inspired by this talk, especially in these four areas:
So letting children fail might seem harsh to some, but it really is about letting the children discover problem-solving techniques on their own. One project that was recommended included seeing how many things the kids could put in small boats before they sink. You could use common household things like aluminum foil “boats” and things from the backyard, which leads us to the second point, you don’t need expensive kits to introduce STEM projects to your kids.
I am a lover of these expensive kits don’t get me wrong, but we don’t need to constantly spend $20 or more to teach concepts that we can teach by reusing items from our homes. Saving jars can be a great way to start your own collection of STEM materials. If you have older kids, or your program allows, you can use coins to teach STEM and money concepts. Keep your eyes open around your home and you will see so many items that can be turned into STEM lessons for your kids!
Now the third big inspiration was the idea of hosting a STEAM night for your families. Setting up different activity stations the children can walk their parents through is a great way to get your parents involved! This will be a fun way to inform their parents about what they are learning in your classroom.
STORAGE! As providers sometimes we can be limited on space when it comes to our classrooms so where should you put all these great STEM items you are gathering? One way I thought of to adapt the concept of having individual carts for each area of STEM, was to have one cart with a rotating theme schedule. One day the cart could be filled with all things science, and the next day math. This is a great way to get the kids excited about centers too!
Live Long and Keep Teaching!