Registration is now open for the 2016 MaineAEYC Fall Conference!
*NEW this conference* You can register online and pay with PayPal.
Descriptions for Breakout Sessions
Bedtime Math: Crazy 8s, Catherine Miller
Have you heard about Bedtime Math’s Crazy 8s? It’s the new after-school club designed to get kids fired up about math. Every week kids get to build stuff, run and jump, make music, make a mess…and make friendships at the same time. Crazy 8s makes math a blast for any kid, and the club kit is free. Join us to see Crazy 8s in action! https://crazy8s.bedtimemath.org
Blurring the Lines: Empowering Young Children’s Creativity & Critical Thinking Skills Through Art & Science, Jana Doherty
This session will provide early childhood educators with a suite of activities for teaching age-appropriate science concepts through art-based mediums. Activities will feature both step-by-step experiments as well as more open-ended sensory experiences. These activities are designed to foster creativity and critical thinking while engaging children in science content and science process skills (observing, classifying, hypothesizing, testing, and using tools). Role-playing as scientists helps children engage their imagination and background knowledge in order to learn in hands-on, minds-on ways. These techniques are vetted in early childhood museum environments and can be used in classroom settings to enhance science learning. Early childhood professionals will walk away with ideas for implementing STEAM activities in their classrooms and fresh ideas for how to encourage scientific thinking during play.
Cross Cutting Concepts in Early Learning Settings, Laina Clugston & Anne Adams, supported by Alison Miller
There are seven crosscutting concepts of STEM learning described in the Framework for K-12 Science Education. This session will look at four of the concepts most evident in early learning settings: patterns, cause and effect, systems and system models, and stability and change. There will be research-based content on each of the crosscutting concepts and participants will gain a greater understanding of how these concepts can be taught across the age span. There will be staff from the Bowdoin College Children’s Center offering their work with these concepts including developing a curriculum to include these concepts, observing the learning taking place and scaffolding children’s learning when they are engaged in these activities. The idea being that these crosscutting concepts are being taught across domains. For example, cause and effect can be taught while out on the play yard building or while listening to a puppet story before nap. Participants will learn the importance of these concepts and how to integrate them into their day with children, thus better preparing them for school ahead.
Earthquakes! Gary Lewis
Sometimes we are faced full on with a natural disaster – hurricane, flood, blizzard, ice storm – which affects our families and communities. Very occasionally we get to feel an earthquake, which can provide us a wonderful teaching moment in many directions including mathematics, science, technology and engineering. However, as earthquakes are unpredictable and rare in Maine, we can have our students experience one right in our classrooms using the simplest of equipment allow us to create our own teachable moment. This session will show you how to do exactly that, and take the experience into one of deep learning and discovery.
Flying Beyond the Book: Extending Your Read Alouds with STEAM, Cathryn Falwell
Cathryn Falwell is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books. She is enthusiastic about encouraging creativity and getting kids out in nature. Her most recent book, The Nesting Quilt, is the story of a young girl and her grandmother helping prepare for the arrival of a new baby. Maya and Nana share a love of birds and their nests.
In this session, using simple materials, easy activities, and library resources, we will discover ways to incorporate science, math, art, and even a little engineering. Ideas will include bird learning activities, bird nesting materials and construction, making twig-book journals to take on a nature walk, easy quilt-making activities, and building nests of our own. Participants will be encouraged to share their own ideas and experiences as well. Following the presentation and conversation, participants will be invited to create take-away projects at several stations set up around the room.
Gardening, Margaret Cushing
Gardening is a comprehensive learning tool for young children, incorporating all the elements of STEAM. Whether you have an outdoor garden in the summer or do indoor gardening with your children during the long cold Maine winters, you can teach science, technology, engineering, art and math with every plant your children grow. We’ll share ideas and activities to bring gardening to life for even the most timid gardener.
PreK STEAM Stories & Family Partnerships, Bonnie Blagojevic & Vickie Grotton
In this session, we will share stories of STEAM activities from Maine early childhood programs from simpler to more involved inquiry science explorations,and different ways families got involved. There will be time to explore at activity stations and favorite resources will be shared.
Science Across the Spectrum: Applying the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Across the Early Childhood Years, Patty Williams & Carol Lee
This session will introduce teachers to the Next Generation Science Standards NGSS, their major principles, and how they align with the Maine Infant Toddler Guidelines and the Maine Early Learning and Development Standards (MELDS). Participants will explore science curriculum activities appropriate for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and young school-aged children which meet educational standards and allow for developmentally appropriate, playful learning opportunities in the classroom. They will also view and analyze video footage of children engaging in science curriculum activities based on the standards. The overarching goal of the session is to enrich participants’ understanding of the NGSS and show how it can be incorporated into their work with children ages 0-8.
Science Practices in Play – Infants/Toddlers, Beth Amaral, Heather Stephenson & Jessica McCurdy, supported by Alison Miller
This session will maintain focus on play-based curriculum while discussing STEM learning that takes place during this play. Designed to look at infant and toddler play, this session will help those working with our youngest learners to observe STEM learning in play, find language to articulate the learning that is taking place and document how infants and toddlers are meeting STEM standards. There will be research-based content offered on what STEM standards are (as described in the Next Generation Science Standards) and what STEM learning looks like; there will also be observations, slides, videos and documentation of the STEM play that has been occurring at the Bowdoin College Children’s Center. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss with other participants and BCCC educators about strategies used to continue play-based curriculum and still meet science & math standards.
Science Practices in Play – Preschool, Kelly Averill & Kaylee Trefethen, supported by Alison Miller
This session will maintain focus on play-based curriculum while discussing STEM learning that takes place during this play. Designed to look at preschool play, this session will help those working with our preschool age children to observe STEM learning in play, find language to articulate the learning that is taking place and document how these children are meeting STEM standards. There will be research-based content offered on what STEM standards are (as described in the Next Generation Science Standards) and what STEM learning looks like; there will also be observations, slides, videos and documentation of the STEM play that has been occurring at the Bowdoin College Children’s Center. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss with other participants and BCCC educators about strategies used to continue play-based curriculum and still meet science & math standards.
This event is sponsored through a collaboration between Maine Roads to Quality at the University of Southern Maine, the Maine DHHS Office of Child and Family Services, and the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children.
* Cancellation Policy: Refunds for paid registrations will be honored ONLY if cancellation notice is received by MaineAEYC at least one full week before the date of the event.