Episode #128 - Creating an equitable classroom environment for young children regardless of their socioeconomic background can be challenging. How can you ensure that your classroom is a safe space for every child under your care, especially if you work with families that are living in poverty? In this episode, Kenya Wolff, Director of the Willie Price Lab School at the University of Mississippi, talks to us about the common misconceptions that people have of families living in poverty, steps educators can take to create a more mindful preschool classroom and why it is important to advocate for policies that support low-income families.
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Episode #127: A multicultural classroom is becoming an increasingly common thing in this day and age. How would you create a classroom that helps families from different cultural backgrounds encourage the development of positive self-identity in young children? In this episode, Zeynep Ercan, Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education at Rowan University in New Jersey, offers some strategies to support immigrant families in matters such as the retention of their mother tongue, sharing their culture with the preschool community and building leadership in young children as ambassadors for their home culture.
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Reach Zeynep at firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode #126: Making your voice heard when advocating for young children and families can be challenging given the divisiveness of opinion in the current political climate. How would you navigate a space where “alternative facts” or “fake news” is touted in mainstream media and disseminated through social media? In this episode, Cathy Grace, Co-Director of the Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning at the University of Mississippi gives her two cents on how to engage with different levels of advocacy, staying true to the facts and why geography specific needs can have a huge impact.
Reach Cathy at email@example.com
Episode #135: We are always trying to provide our little ones with quality outdoor time, but this is usually just a small part of their day. What would it look like to take this to its most extreme and provide a preschool that is ENTIRELY outdoors? Yes, you read that right — 100% outdoors, all year long. In this episode, Tiny Trees Preschool’s Rachel Franz explains what outdoor preschool looks like, the benefits it provides, and efforts underway to create proper licensing to bring the outdoors to more families across the world.
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Episode #124: While most people would agree that they would like all children to be properly included in the classroom, it takes careful attention and practice to successfully integrate children with special needs into the preschool environment. Early childhood educators play a crucial role in this important stage of a child’s development. The way that they treat a child with special needs will influence the way that their impressionable classmates will act towards them for years to come. In this episode, Associate Professor of Special Education, Pamela Brillante, shares why it’s so important to properly include special needs children in the classroom and provides practical tips on how to do so.
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Episode #123: In this episode, Julie Travaglini, Education Program Director at Allegheny Land Trust, teaches us how to incorporate nature into early education classrooms. From risk-taking to motor skills to empathy, nature can be one of the most effective - and least expensive - teaching tools available. Plus, since we need nature to survive, it’s crucial to get the next generation excited about nature from an early age. Learn how in this week’s episode of the Preschool Podcast!
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Episode #122: In this episode, educator, author and consultant Amy Alamar joins us to show how Reflective Practice can help us become better parents and educators. While it is natural to think about what may have gone well (or not-so-well) at the end of a long day with our kids, turning these thoughts into learnings that we can put into action doesn’t always happen. Avoid making the same mistakes over and over again, and expand on what DOES work, through actionable Reflective Practice techniques in this episode of the Preschool Podcast!
Episode #121: The Impact of Preschool on Low Income Kids. Jennifer Pare, Chief Early Learning Officer at Kidango, joins us to show how much of a difference preschool can make on a child's future, particularly for those coming from low-income households. Learn more from Jennifer's first-hand experience in this episode of the Preschool Podcast.
Episode #120: What Should Montessori Look Like? Margaret Whitley, retired head of the Montessori Academy of London, joins us to discuss all things Montessori. With recent news of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos providing one billion dollars in funding for children to access Montessori who otherwise would be unable to, it's now more important than ever to understand what a successful Montessori institution should look like. Find out more about Montessori from Margaret in this episode of the Preschool Podcast.
Episode #119: What is Suzuki Early Childhood Education or SECE? Sharon Jones, one of the first Suzuki students in Ontario and the founder and director of the Thames Valley Suzuki School in Ontario delves into this approach of learning music. Research shows that early learners who participated smiled more, were easier to sooth, communicated better and showed earlier and more sophisticated responses to music. Find out more about SECE from Sharon in this episode of the Preschool Podcast.
Episode #118: In this episode, we sit down with Christina Nigrelli, the Senior Director of Programs at the ZERO TO THREE Western Office to discuss the challenges and state of early childhood education in California. ZERO TO THREE works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. California alone is home to more than 1.5 million children under 3 years old.
In this episode we sit down with Simone Davies, a Montessori teacher of nearly 15 years and a mother of 2 children. Simone is the author of The Montessori Toddler and provides free resources for parents on her website, The Montessori Notebook. She has been running a Montessori playgroup for the last 10 years in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Join us as we dive into all things Montessori!
What is Storymaking and how is it used for oral language development and learning? We sit down with Michelle Kay Compton and Robin Chappele Thompson authors of Storymaking: The Maker Movement Approach to Literacy for Early Learners to learn more about this practice.
What does it mean to inquire? Grownups would say it means to question, to search for information, or to finding out about a topic of interest. For children in an early childhood classroom, the definition is no different. From the time of their birth, children want to know how the world works and actively seek out information. Inquiry-Based Early Learning Environments takes an in-depth look at children’s inquiry. What does inquiry look like in early childhood settings? How does the environment affect children’s inquiries and teachers’ thought processes?
Julia Yeary, ACSW, LCSW, IMH-E, is the Director of Training and Resources for Military Family Projects at ZERO TO THREE and is an expert on the needs of military and veteran families. Julia speaks to how child care and preschool programs can support children whose parents are deployed and/or being reunified after a deployment, and how family separation can impact young children, and be mitigated by early educators.
Maria is an expert in mindfulness and project lead on ZTT’s mindfulness work, www.zerotothree.org/mindfulness. She joins The Preschool Podcast to speak beautifully to the use of mindfulness by early educators and the benefits it offers in terms of provided supportive care to children; a model of emotional regulation; and a calm, nurturing environment.
As many as 17,000 preschoolers were expelled nationwide from private and public preschools in 2016 and 50,000 suspended at least once last year. Scott Moore joins The Preschool Podcast to explain how expulsion happens from as young an age as preschool, and what California is doing about it.
Scott brings over 20 years of education policy and management experience to Kidango. As Chief Policy Advisor for Early Edge California, he helped lead the expansion of preschool access to over 170,000 children each year through the establishment of the new Transitional Kindergarten grade and the consolidation of existing preschool programs into the new California State Preschool Program.
Every time you reread your child's favorite book you're throwing a pebble in a pond...building foundational reading skills. Reading sets the stage for learning. Maureen Grier is an educational consultant and literacy expert with a proven track record of helping students achieve. Ron and Maureen discuss the connection between listening skills and learning to read, and how parents can support children in learning to read. "Fire it until you wire it!"
Dr. Robin Alter is chair of the Kids Have Stress Too!® committee and a Trustee at The Psychology Foundation of Canada. Dr. Alter co-led the development of this ground-breaking program targeted to parents raising awareness that children do experience stress, and providing parents and caregivers with the tools to help their children identify and manage stress. Dr. Alter is a registered clinical psychologist in practice since 1979. Her current practice includes both the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults. She has been senior consultant to the Hincks-Dellcrest Children's Centre and Blue Hills Child and Family Centre since 1980. In her consulting capacity, she also consults to the native community regarding fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and conducts FAS assessments. She has authored two books: Anxiety and the Gift of Imagination and The Anxiety Workbook for Kids.
Rusty Keeler is a play space designer who has worked over the past 20 years with hundreds of community, school, parks, university, and child care leaders to dream, design, and construct beautiful outdoor environments for children. He has worked in more than 30 states and throughout Canada, Europe, China, Australia, and New Zealand. He is one of the pioneers in the movement to reconnect children to nature, and his designs reflect his sincere desire to create a more beautiful world in which to grow and explore.
"We need to embrace the experience of parents, who bring unique strengths and unique challenges." Rebecca Parlakian is ZERO TO THREE's Senior Director of Programs and develops resources for parents, alongside training of parents and early childhood professionals. In this episode, Rebecca describes the age-appropriate STEM activities and the connection to observation and exploration. If you are the parent of a young child aged zero to three, don't panic if you haven't spent time thinking about how to develop your child's STEM skills - this episode will set you up with the right train of thought, and give you the tools to consider as you learn together with your child.
Loose Parts is all about inspiring creativity and inviting learning variables. Miriam Beloglovsky is a professor of early childhood education in Sacramento, California, where she has taught as full-time faculty since 2000. She has been advising, guiding and supporting college students for the past 25 years. She is a keynote speaker, and presents numerous workshops on child development, loose parts, play, play equity and social justice, and early learning.
No Small Matter is a feature-length documentary film and national engagement campaign that brings public attention to this vital question by sharing powerful stories and stunning truths about the human capacity for early intelligence and the potential for quality early care and education to benefit America’s social and economic future. Rachel Giannini & Rachel Pikelny join Ron to discuss why, when the importance of quality early care and education is so widely accepted, do we continue to fail so many?
How can early childhood educators lay a foundation in STEM education? Jean Barbre, EdD, holds a master's degree in child and family studies from California State University Long Beach, a master's degree in counseling from California State University Fullerton, and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Pepperdine University. She joins us to discuss the 'baby steps to STEM" and why it's important for caregivers, parents, and educators to identify and label STEM learning, to normalize learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Conor P. Williams is a senior researcher in New America's Education Policy Program. His work addresses policies and practices related to educational equity, dual language learners, immigration, and school choice. Williams founded New America's Dual Language Learners National Work Group in 2014. Before joining New America, Williams taught first grade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Connor recently wrote in an article: "Which raises an unwelcome possibility: absent a shift in early access to the outdoors, the country will be able to add nature deficits to the many inequities already plaguing American childhood, things like resource inequities and academic achievement gaps. Somehow, someway, time exploring outside — the freest possible resource — will become a marker of privilege."