Full List of Workshops 2020


Presentation Title Name School Presentation Description Theme: Places and Spaces for play: cultivating curiosity in the early years
The Wonder of Story: How a Good Story Can Transform Learning Sally Haughey In this session learn how storytelling can engage children so deeply – you see it in their play!  I will share exactly how to tell a story so that it profoundly moves the children you teach.  I call this process “teaching to the bones.”  A good story goes so deeply into the children – I say it is in their bones.  Learn how to recognize the patterns inside stories that engage children at this level.  I will show you how to set up invitations and provocations around the stories you tell.
Planning for student agency with the environment in mind Rachael Symes Australian international School The very nature of a teachers life involves a vast amount of planning: schedules, materials, calendars, meetings and above all else, planning for learning. The word planning itself denotes that this is done in preparation of and for learning. This raises some questions when we consider emergent/negotiated curriculum and the concept of agency – How do we plan for learning that is responsive to and respectful of young children? What role does context play?

In this session, we will explore the concept of collaborative planning as an integral and continuous part of learning and teaching. It will explore the dimensions of planning as dynamic exchanges around learning, as a response to the child and as a form of research taking into account unique contexts.

This session will encourage you to challenge your thinking around planning for inquiry, specifically in light of how the concept of agency challenges the traditional notion of “planning” where the endpoint is formulated in advance. It will draw on the overlap between Reggio philosophy of teacher and student researchers and examining good practice in early childhood education and stimulus for reflection in your own school setting.

Planning for student agency with the environment in mind.
The Learning Celebration Carolyn Curtis and Rhonda Griffin International School of Kuala Lumpur This presentation highlights the collaborative process followed by the EC teachers and students at ISKL in making “learning visible”. We will share the path that we walk with our students throughout the year; from listening to their interests, provoking their curiosity, engaging them in inquiry based projects, documenting their progress, and finally celebrating their learning in an art exhibition. Making the learning visible and celebrating the journey
EAL Provocations and Invitations Ricki Millevolte SSIS How can we best support our EAL learners in Reggio and inquiry-based programs? In this session, we will analyze the differences between academic and social language, explore how to scaffold language learning during provocations, and encourage curiosity and joy while intentionally teaching language. The rate at which students learn an additional language is, in part, dependent on their curiosity, motivation, and affective filter. As educators, we can use the classroom environment, provocations, and developmentally appropriate teaching strategies to increase a sense of excitement, curiosity, and motivation around language learning.
A Blank Canvas: Creating an Environment with Endless Opportunities for Expression Trillian Clifford American School of Bombay Trillian will share their work in creating an open-ended atelier with a focus on student expression. They will discuss the questions proposed by both the educators and children in their design and implementation of this space, as well as documentation of the students’ learning and engagement. The focus of the presentation will be on student agency in their own learning and environments, as well as how to create learning spaces that do not limit children’s expression of creativity and understanding. The workshop is a presentation of a successful and engaging learning space created to inspire children and allow them to interact with materials without limiting their creative expression.
Oral storytelling as a tool to support challenging behaviors Merril Miceli International School of Beijing In this session we will look at the power of oral storytelling. Participants will have the opportunity to craft a story to address a challenging issue or behavior in the classroom by using a thinking framework. All participants will leave with inspiration, your own story to meet the needs of your students, and a lot of confidence! This presentation focuses on creating a safe and positive classroom culture. An important aspect of an early years space is what we can’t see, the heart of the space. Through storytelling we can support community issues, problems that arise, and challenges in a way that connects with the heart and mind of children.
 How to create spaces in the classroom to spark curiosity for learning: discovery center, a world of opportunities.  Gabriela Encalada  American Community School of Abu Dhabi As teachers, we all dreamed of having the perfect classroom where we will create amazing opportunities for our children. Using the discovery center and other spaces around the classroom, we can spark curiosity; once we have that moment of wonder, we need to listen and observe the child to continue creating the opportunities within the direction he/she wants. During this presentation we will talk about creativity, the teacher’s role, materials we can use to create provocations and more. Children learn best by doing and exploring. By setting up different displays in the discovery center or around the classroom, we expose the child to observe, touch and work with things first hand. Sometimes these things are tied to a specific topic, but most of the time they will let the child’s imagination run free. This is where the connection lays: once we sparked curiosity the possibilities are enormous.
The Power of an Outdoor Learning Environment Laura Wilmes Canadian International School (Singapore) In this workshop, Laura will share a case study of the development of a purpose-built Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE). In 2016, the Canadian International School (CIS) launched their Outdoor Discovery Center (ODC). This ODC has been recognised by Finland’s HundrED organization as one of 100 “inspiring innovations in education” globally. Laura will guide you through the process from concept to implementation, and share with you the ways in which the ODC changed practice at CIS, and how OLEs support the development of 21st Century Learner Competencies in young children. We will be sharing an innovative outdoor learning space, and how it cultivated curiosity in the early years.
Literacy Activities for Young Learners  Lucinda Ritter  Saigon South International School This session will focus on activities to promote language, phonemic awareness, and storytelling skills in an early years setting.  Games and activities will be presented as well as a context for the learning spaces that are conducive for them.
Your Image of the Child Jennie Mossman Nagoya International School The concept of the ‘Image of the Child’ is one of the founding principles of the Reggio Emilia approach. It refers to what people believe about children, childhood and education. When working with children of any age it is important to think about and understand your own personal beliefs and how these impact all aspects of your teaching, from the way you interact with children to the way you design your classroom environment. In this session we will look briefly at the origins of the concept within the Reggio Emilia approach before spending time considering and discussing our own beliefs and the various way these are visible in our teaching. The focus of the session is to encourage personal reflection on ones own beliefs and teaching practice. As Malaguzzi said “your image of the child is where teaching begins”, if we are to be truly reflective teachers we need to understand our own views, biases and beliefs about children, childhood and education and how these impact the way we interact with children, the way we plan and the way we organise our environment.
Floorbooks Create Curiosity Timika Mathews Canadian International School Singapore I would like to present on the concept of ‘Floorbooks’, they are a creative, child driven method of documentation. The Floorbook helps to record children’s learning, ideas and thoughts, which can be then utilised for assessment and/or to inform planning. The presentation would link to the theme because the ‘Floorbook’ provides a space for children or educators to document their ideas, thoughts and learning in a collaborative way, which cultivates curiosity.
Reflecting your philosophy into your environment Sharon Beitz ISHCMC In this workshop you will work on articulating your play-based teaching philosophy into a few strong beliefs and transfering them into your environment. You will have the opportunity to plan and design/redesign your learning spaces focusing on symbolic play spaces, furniture, color, texture, lighting and visual documentation (especially seesaw). Bring along photos of your current class environment if you would like to share. Do the spaces and places in your enviroment reflect your philosophy?
Curiosity + Kindergarten= Scientists Abeer Dajani American community school of Abu Dhabi Science is taught through inquiry based and experiential based exploration.The use of play-based learning will be used to teach different science and math concepts. By creating stimulating environments both indoor and outdoor to nurture children’s learning and development.
Natural Play Ainsley Cameron and Melissa Meadows International School of Ho Chi Minh City I will be presenting with Melissa Meadows. We will focus on how play is crucial to child development beyond the early years and how teachers can integrate play into their timetables. Our goal is to move beyond the stigma that children are “just playing” when playing IS learning. We aim for an interactive workshop.
I will be presenting with Ainsley Cameron. We will focus on how play is crucial to child development beyond the yearly years and how teachers can integrate play into their timetables. Our goal is to move beyond the stigma that children are “just playing” when playing IS learning. We aim for an interactive workshop.
Creating a space for play in students’ daily school life beyond the early years.
Early Literacy: It’s A Good Idea Nancy Snyder ISHCMC Every learner, no matter the age, is a learner of literacy and language. This workshop is designed to reflect on your students’ learning and provide new and interesting language development opportunities in daily routines, centers and play. From overgeneralized rules for speaking, to singing along, to invented spelling, to exposure to print, to active listening how we provide opportunities during their day? How are we providing opportunities for young learners to see themselves as capable with language and to take the next steps? looking at knowing students and providing opportunities for exploration to meet their levels and next steps and needs
Taming Small Terrors: Self Control in the Early Years Jacob Humes SSIS Self control has repeatedly been shown to play an important role in predicting success in children by allowing them to delay short-term gratification for long-term benefits. This presentation aims to take a deeper look at strategies and programs that are effective, as well as a discussion of the benefits (and perhaps costs) of these ideas. Self control is a precursor to mature play and exploration.
Play for All Dave Allen and Vigneshwari Nallasamy American International School Chennai The focus of this session is to share with participants how to use open-ended materials and environmental arrangements to promote play in children with a range of needs. Participants will also gain a better understanding on the use of specific strategies to further the curiosity of children with disabilities in their play. Resources will be shared regarding peer involvement, adapting materials, and developmentally appropriate practices. The environment as the third teacher is a critical element not only for an emergent curriculum, but also how children with disabilities are supported in their play. This session explores how the intentional arrangement of the learning spaces and adaptation of materials can advance the curiosity of children with disabilities in their play.
Strategies for Increasing Overall Workplace Positivity Through Personal Choice Lafe Conger and Lovely Coloma The American School Lovely and Lafe believe the level of personal happiness in an educational workplace is a direct indicator of it’s production and efficiency. During their presentation they will lead fellow educators on a journey to discover how to increase the overall happiness in themselves, and, very important, in those around them. This presentation is not created for any particular grade or educational field so it will be useful for all involved and require little or no adaptation. The simple fact is if you’re not happy, you’re children won’t be. If you’re not happy, your workplace will suffer because of it. If your co-workers aren’t happy, they have the same effect on those things as well. Happiness is the key to unlocking comfort, and comfort is the key to children being OK and ready to be curious and inquire about their environment. It is the point on which the entire wheel turns. Also, quite frankly, it’s a new and different topic than normally seen at P.D.s and one of the reasons we are submitting this is because so often many of the P.D.s blend together into one similar mass of powerpoints and lectures. We will not be doing that, at all.
How can you support dynamic learning environments? Cultivate & empower your teaching assistants! Stacey Poncia Shanghai Community International School Pudong Teaching Assistants are an essential part of a successful early childhood education classroom. When schools recognize the value of this support system, they ensure they are empowered and cultivated. The result is a community of educators who share a common vision and mission toward best practice.

We’ll explore the the role and responsibility of the lead teacher as a mentor teacher, advocacy for assistants at the administrative level, designing powerful professional development, providing equity of voice and empowering assistants to be ambassadors of play within our school and host country community.

Positive, innovative and creative learning environments are dependent upon dynamic and collaborative relationships between all teachers, including the teaching assistants. Too often teachers, administrators and boards forget the invaluable resource this support staff are for the success of our school communities. We’ll address the important of cultivating, empowering and advocating for the assistant teacher community.
Music in Motion Nicky Sandmann SSIS In this workshop participants will learn a series of creative music and movement pieces for young children that have great appeal for specialist and classroom teachers. We will look at the aesthetics of simple dances enhanced by Orff instrumentation and colourful props that can be easily taught to stimulate the imagination and delight in moving rhythmically. The exploration of movement with objects : a cup, scarf, hoop, paper plate or a drum, can generate creative movement ideas that discover and reveal the notion that movement in music class is not merely an outlet for children to release their abundant energy. Its purpose is to shape the body as an instrument of self expression and endless creativity.
Playful Leaders Tania Maree Mansfield International School of Ho Chi Minh City How can we as leaders bring playfulness and play to our faculty? As our educators advocate for play and embrace the need for space and time for our learners to play – how are we as leaders supporting those beliefs? How can we, as leaders, support the concept play and model beliefs in education whilst developing a culture of joy, funability and play throughout our schools and our faculty? Leaders supporting faculty as they advocate and embrace the concept of play. Building playful faculty environments to model classroom beliefs and values.
What Can You Do with an Empty Bike Parking Lot? Susan Freeman, Anna Murray, Kristin Partridge and Penny Snedden United Nations International School Hanoi Play Based Learning is so important for our students today. In this workshop, you will learn how to create a play based learning space out of nothing. How to get your teaching team, fellow colleagues, administration, the parents and even the facility managers to support a learning space for your students (with very little financial support). You will get practical tips and we will brainstorm how we can make it happen in your schools. This workshop directly relates to Places and Spaces. We created a Play Based Learning Environment from an empty bike parking lot. If we can do it in Hanoi, anyone can transform an underutilized space into a rich and active space for students to explore, create, discuss and take risks.
To Flow or Not to Flow? That is the question! Ciara Fitzpatrick ISHCMC In this presentation we will be inquiring into freeflow classrooms- the benefits and challenges of sharing classrooms (and students). How do we foster independence, student agency and inquiry while adhering to a curriculum? What do the classrooms look like? Documenting learning in a freeflow environment- who is responsible and how does it work? If you are curious about freeflow and would like to know more, or if you’d like to share your experience, come along and join in the discussion. Freeflow involves teachers sharing places and spaces for play. This presentation addresses how curiosity is cultivated in such an environment.
THE THIRD TEACHER, Creating indoor and outdoor learning spaces Debra Strate and Charlotte Lillywhite American School of Dubai The environment is the context in which learning takes place. Our beliefs and values about children and learning should be clearly represented in their classroom environment. This presentation will allow participants to engage in discussions and leave with startup ideas about creating environments that encourage curiosity and wonder. Children thrive in environments that are suited to their interests and developmental stages. The layout of the environment promotes relationships, communication, collaboration, and exploration through play. Materials are thoughtfully added to the environment to promote creativity, thinking and problem-solving skills, questions, experimentation, and open-ended play.


The range of visual arts experiences typically delivered in early childhood education settings vary significantly in method, purpose and quality. Additionally, there is little guidance to support early childhood educators to evaluate the visual arts experiences they include in the curriculum or to evaluate their own role in supporting children’s visual arts learning. The research literature proposes that pre-school educators lack confidence to make and teach art and that their visual arts subject knowledge is limited. This presentation offers findings and provocations from research that examined the visual arts beliefs and pedagogy of early childhood educators, and supports conference delegates to reflect upon the educational merit of different types of visual arts and crafts experiences offered to children. Qualitative case study research conducted with twelve Australian early childhood teachers and childcare educators found that low visual arts self-efficacy beliefs, fixed beliefs about children’s visual arts learning and development and limited pedagogical content knowledge directly affect the visual arts experiences offered to children. Additionally, the study revealed that pre-service coursework had done little to instil visuals art pedagogical content knowledge, nor disrupted the low visual art self-efficacy beliefs and fixed mindset of the research participants, resulting in largely ambiguous visual art pedagogy and unclear beliefs about how to engage children in meaningful mark making.  The conceptual framework developed to inform the research synthesised John Dewey’s philosophies of democracy, education and art with the philosophy and pedagogical values of the Reggio Emilia educational approach, commonly regarded as a world leader in early childhood and visual art pedagogy. This philosophical synthesis offers a context for deep reflection about early childhood visual arts choices and potentials. In particular, Dewey’s philosophy of consummatory experience and growth alongside Eisner’s discussions about visual art myths and null curricula provokes reflection about the types of visual art experiences offered in early childhood contexts. A continuum of visual art experiences, ranging from mis-educative to educative, will support conference delegates to consider which early childhood visual arts experiences best foster consummatory  and educative growth and which experiences may be considered potentially stagnant and mis-educative.