Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

I am so pleased to share with you this video interview that I recently had with Natural Curiosity.

Thank you to Nikki Fletcher and Andrea Cousineau for this incredible opportunity to reflect about my inquiry-based learning practices.

This video was featured on the Natural Curiosity website of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study University of Toronto: www.naturalcuriosity.ca. I strongly encourage you to visit their site for more resources about environmental inquiry!

Happy Earth Day from our classroom to yours! 

I wanted to end off with this quote from my friend Jean Sena's Instagram post:

In the end we will conserve only what we love.  We will love only what we understand.  And we will understand only what we were taught. -Baba Dioum Senegal

Let's teach our children to love this Earth and let's allow them to teach us how to slow down and wonder about its beauty...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

dream BIG

We keep moving forward, 
opening new doors, 
and doing new things, 
because we are curious, 
and curiosity keeps leading down new paths. 
                                                                             -Walt Disney

A few years ago I purchased a journal at Indigo Books entitled, "The Next Big Thing."  There was something about it that instantly captured my attention.  I was especially drawn to the blank white pages, which appealed to my artsy side and would allow me to visually represent some of my ideas.  I also appreciated that every page included an inspiring quote.  

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. 
                                                                                                                     -Joyce A. Myers

This journal has been sitting on my desk, however, as I have been waiting to fill it with something important: "My Next Big Thing." I knew that it needed to be something BIG, something worthy of this journal…  A dream of sorts that had the possibility of becoming something real or attainable.  

Creativity is inventing,
taking risks,
breaking rules,
making mistakes,
and having fun.
                                                                                       -Mary Lou Cook

So I took a risk, and applied to continue my studies at the doctoral level, with the hope that it might allow me to further my knowledge and scholarly research.  

Teaching, collaborating, mentoring, researching, blogging, and presenting at conferences have strengthened my passion for education, leadership, innovation and commitment to lifelong learning.  It is my goal to remain an advocate for Early Learning and inspire as many educators as possible.  My professional and academic experiences over the past eight years have been transformative.  Educational practices and research are always changing, and I want to stay current and stimulated.  My journey has just begun, as I feel that I have merely scratched the surface of my academic goals.  I am eager to continue to transform educational practices in Early Childhood and I have great hope that that spreading these powerful messages about Early Learning will have an impact on a greater number of students in Kindergarten and beyond.  I have many unanswered questions and it is my distinct privilege to continue to study at York University, a leading provider in academic research, learning technologies, and excellence in educating young children.

My dream came true with my recent offer of admission to York University's Graduate Program in Education, where I will be beginning my PhD in the Fall. 

I wanted to share this new milestone in my academic career with my loyal blog followers and thank you all.  If it weren't for your support, I would not have an audience to share my new discoveries with.  Your comments, emails, and face-to-face interactions have motivated me to continue this important work about Early Childhood Education. THANK YOU!

On the inside of my new journal it writes, "Da Vince, Einstein, Edison, Newton, Galileo-- so many great thinkers, innovators, and artists were doodlers.  The simple act of doodling random, free-flowing shapes, squiggles, and words jump starts the right side of your brain, sparking creativity, and unlocking the door to new possibilities.  Rethink inspiration.  What's your next big thing?

DREAM BIG!  Anything is possible…

Go forward
and make
your dreams come true.
                                                -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Photo captured by Annawithlove when we interviewed a real photographer for our wedding project.

Don't hold back
on the size and scope 
of your dreams.
Whatever you dream
you can do.



Dream as far
as your heart
can see.
                                         -Carlton Cards

Special thank you to my fiancĂ©, family, friends, colleagues, students, and three references: My supervising professor Dr. Isabel Killoran, my Principal Kim Smith, and the Dean of the Faculty of Education at York University Dr. Ron Owston.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Full Inclusion: How Inquiry-Based Learning Levels the Playing Field for ALL Children in FDK

This is a presentation from the "ETFO ...and still we rise" conference on Thursday, March 27th, 2014 that was inspired by my learning from the Librarianship Part 2 course. I learned to collaborate with team members on their varying stages of their inquiry journeys and created this video as a resource to help them understand the layers of inquiry with an example of an inquiry from our class. It is meant to be a conversation starter, for educators to reflect upon, rather than a formula to be copied.

I strongly believe that inquiry-based learning levels the playing field for ALL children.  I am looking forward to researching this further!