Come Learn With: Renee Dinnerstein
The Classroom Speaks: Transforming the Classroom into an Exciting Laboratory for Learning
In this workshop, we will discuss how to transform a classroom into a place where children build things, conduct experiments, create innovative projects, read fascinating books, write original stories, use technology and texts to research for information, and feel free to try out possibilities. We will think carefully about how to create a space where children grow big ideas, make new friends, and dig deeply into exciting investigations.
The workshop will address:
Arranging the furniture and materials to make the best use of classroom space
Considering the different centers that children will use at the beginning of the school year and creating dedicated areas that will be permanent throughout the year, as well as how to make trade-offs when space is limited
Looking at what materials will be necessary at the start of the school year and how this will change over the course of the year
Creating a daily schedule that satisfies the demands of the administration yet doesn't rush children through the day, like a train keeping to a timetable
How kindergarten and first-grade children can use their Choice Time journals to reflect on what they did at Choice Time and what might have challenged them
We will have opportunities to work on Choice Time planning templates and also work together on interpreting Choice Time observations and using these interpretations to plan next steps. There will be time for questions and answers.
Renée Dinnerstein, who has over 50 years' experience as an early childhood educator, has taught both in Italy and the US. She spent 18 years as an early childhood teacher at PS 321, one of New York City's leading elementary schools, was teacher-director of the Children's School Early Childhood Inclusion Annex, and also worked as an early childhood staff developer in the New York City Department of Education, Division of Instructional Support, where she wrote curriculum, led study groups and summer institutes, and helped write the New York City Prekindergarten Standards. A past member of the Teachers' College Reading and Writing Project Early Childhood Reading "think tank," she taught in the project's summer institutes and presented calendar days for kindergarten and first-grade teachers. She received the Bank Street Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award in 1999. Her book, Choice Time, How to Deepen Learning Through Inquiry and Play (Prekindergarten–Second Grade) was published by Heinemann in August 2016. You can find her blog, Investigating Choice Time: Inquiry, Exploration and Play, at www.investigatingchoicetime.com.