Recent Events – Follow-up Resources

Appreciation 2017

The annual appreciation event was well attended again this year. Music was provided by Unity, a group of Indigenous women. The guest speaker was Brian Nichols, past coordinator of the ECE program at Fleming and now a psychotherapist and play therapist with a local practice. Brian spoke eloquently about the many and varied parts of his life and connecting them with early childhood education. It was another successful celebration of the important work we do in the early learning and care sector.



Let It Grow!

As part of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, educators were offered the opportunity to learn about the benefits of incorporating natural play spaces in programs while also hearing tips and tricks for gardening with children. This was part of “Choosing to Boost Veggies and Fruit”. Over the summer, many programs were able to get support and resources to build outdoor gardens in collaboration with Nourish.


Inspiring Early Learning Conference 2017

The annual spring conference took place on April 22 and celebrated 25 years. Martin Liberio was the keynote speaker and shared a presentation full of humour while also speaking about the importance of creating warm, respectful and engaging environments for the children in our care.


Hands-On Documentation

A deeper look into pedagogical documentation with Ellen Brown, PhD. student, continuing the work of Dr. Carol Anne Wien. Participants explored a deeper approach to documentation looking at children’s meaning making. The concept of ‘Look, Wonder, Think‘ was introduced as a way to study documentation with others to see learning which is occurring.


Let’s Talk about Gun and Weapon Play

A mixed group of educators came together to discuss the challenges with this type of play and to think about why this play occurs. This was not an evening of strategies but a chance to engage in reflective practice. Multiple perspectives were shared and different ideas explored. There will be an opportunity later in the spring to come back and discuss how the discussions and questions may have influenced practice in individuals and programs.

Nature Play

We welcomed back Adam and Jill Bienenstock to town. Adam gave a keynote evening speech and Jill organized a morning of outdoor activities to connect children to nature and the outdoors. After the keynote there were several spontaneous conversations in the auditorium as people talked about the ideas presented.

Saturday was the hottest day of the year so far but we had some good shade and a great morning. Participants from child care and early learning programs, home child care and FDK programs rotated through 6 activities and left inspired to take it forward to their practice.

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Early Learning and Care Conference

The 5th annual spring conference took place with Susan Stacey as the keynote speaker. There was lots of buzz about her talk and the variety of workshops available was appreciated by all. Two workshops took advantage of the beautiful weather and were held outside: Forest Schools and The Seven Grandfather Teachings. We were all so busy that we didn’t have time to take any pictures!


Outdoor Learning: Nature Play

We  had a wonderful day on October 3 with Adam and Jill Bienenstock, advocates for all of the benefits of getting children more connected with nature and getting outside more. Many exciting ideas were introduced and lots of important pieces of information were shared. All 4 foundations from How Does Learning Happen?  were touched on in relation to the research behind this important message.

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Understanding Materials as Invitations to Learning

This 3 part series recently wrapped up listening to some wonderful stories of educators taking the ideas and information and putting it into action in their programs. Here are some photos of invitations offered to the children:

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College of ECE elections

Celebrating the recent election of IIQ staff Susan Scoffin to the College of ECE. Congratulations! Susan will be representing the Central East Region.

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Annual ELCC Conference    April 18, 2015

For the fourth year in a row the annual early learning and care conference was held at Fleming College. The keynote speaker this year was Karyn Callaghan speaking about “If We Believe in Children’s Intelligence, It Changes Us”. As one participant wrote, ‘She challenged me to think about how to apply my beliefs to my daily practice.’ With over 170 participants and 14 workshops, the day was an opportunity for those in our community and outside it to connect and think about the work that we do.


An Evening with the College of ECE 

On March 31, Melanie Dixon, RECE, Director of Professional Practice with the College of ECE spoke to 55 educators about the College. Participants learned more about the role of the College in regulating the profession, the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, the Council, resources, and the model of Continuous Professional Learning. There are currently over 52,000 RECEs making the profession one of Ontario’s largest regulated professions.

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 For more information: 

How Does Learning Happen? 3 Part series Spring 2015 

Earlier this spring 30 educators participated in a 3 part series on How Does Learning Happen? In the series participants worked in groups exploring and discussing such topics as the importance of brain development, the image of the child, values, observation and reflective practice. The time between sessions provided an opportunity to make connections to practice. Many participants shared stories of increased awareness of learning environments and the complexity of children’s play. The series will be offered again in the fall 2015.


Appreciation and Recognition Event

On Wednesday, November 12, the early learning and care community came together to celebrate the work that we do every day. Along with recognizing programs and individuals, we enjoyed some participatory music with Evan Sheffield from Nursery Two on the guitar and then an inspiring talk from Maryam Monsef, recent mayoral candidate.

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Pedagogical Documentation (October 25, 2014)

Carol Anne Wien, one of the contributors to ‘Think, Feel, Act’  took over 80 participants through the process of thinking about what documentation is, why we do it and some ways to think about it. At tables with mixed seating, educators from child care programs, licenced home child care, FDK programs and OEYCs  from as far as Brockville to Waterloo had the opportunity to share ideas and questions together.

Something that I liked….

“I got a better understanding of documentation vs. just documenting.”

“The opinions of other educators. Some I learned from, some I ……..  disagreed with, but it is useful to find out what other people think.”

Learning to Document in Reggio-inspired Education   Wien, Guyevsky and Berdoussis

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S.T.E.M. Workshop

In August, Farhana Dulmage presented a workshop on gardening and the principles of S.T.E.M.   

Science: about asking questions and looking for answers      Engineering: about design and materials.  

Technology: refers to ways of making things easier to do.     Mathematics: about sequences (counting) patterns,

                                                                                                     measurement and shape.  

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How Does Learning Happen?

In the spring, the Ministry of Education brought out the long awaited document, ‘How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years’. On Saturday, May 24, we had a day to explore it and to begin looking at how it can connect to our practice.

“The small group activities get you thinking and reflecting on yourself. It helps you realize who you are or can be as an educator…”     

 “Love the round table discussions.”

“Opportunities for new theories and ideas.”

How Does Learning Happen?

Loose Parts Workshop

On March 27, 19 educators came together for an evening learning about the background of loose parts play, some ideas for bringing it to a program and what it/they can offer.

 ” let the children use more open ended materials and let them discover their own uses.”         

 “there is far more learning from open ended play”