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Ooey Gooey, Inc. » Notes from Workshops I Attended » NAEYC Annual Conference, Orlando, 2011 (multiple topics)

NAEYC Annual Conference, Orlando, 2011 (multiple topics)

NOTES from the sessions I was able to attend at NAEYC 2011, Orlando, FL.



Vivian G Paley

“Who will save the kindergarden?”


#NaeycAC opening session


opening comments from Stephanie Fanjul, NAEYC President


50 countries represented at the conference this year.


2015 back in Orlando

(from me) I’m guessing Atlanta next year bc of the tourism booth in the hallway.

Yep, Nov 7-10, 2012, Atlanta, GA.


From Fanjul: How to make a change:


Share – talk to everyone.  Talking to everyone will be what gets us out of this hole. Tell people what we know.


Vote – we have to vote. You DON’T have something better to do on that Tuesday.  Local politics, not just presidential.


Mentor – find someone to mentor.  (from me: BEFORE you are ready to retire)


(from me) What a great red chair!


From Paley:  Feeling a wave of nostalgia… shared a keynote with Fred Rogers in chairs..


Comparing PLAY in the doll corner and PLAY on his TV program.

At the time neither one of us thought that PLAY would ever be in danger.


Who will save the kinder?

Does it need to be rescued? And if so, from what?



Something does not seem right…


Reminiscing that the 1st gr teachers told her generation of K teachers NOT to do anything other than making sure they could play with each other.  Played make believe…   “do the CAP letters if you must…”


We took it for granted.  All that play…



Didn’t take time to figure why it was so important, created a vac that was filled with workbooks and flashcards.


Sad restless children…


Who must save? How will be done?


She pretended to do away with the doll corner, but the kids knew where to find them.


But their stories need to not be “undercover”…


Teachers and the children must save it.


Change doesn’t come from manuals and the front office.

But between children and their teachers.



Changing of attitudes, behaviours depends on knowledge they build together in real time.


How do we create a community of people right here and now before we go home? Conversations, stories.


Share the stories of how YOUR room was saved today in one way for one child.



I’m wondering if the younger generation knows/realizes how important Paley is?



Keep the cape in my cubby.  She’ll tell me when I can use it. not today.



Teachers who pay attention to the meow meow and the woof woof will save the kindergarden.



PLAY and STORY are the essential tools for transformation.



From the page to the stage! ACT THEM OUT! (it only took 5 minutes)



The theatre of the classroom is local. We are the stage managers.


we must change the landscape without leaving childhood behind…


preK and K need to collaborate with the 1st gr teachers


remember that 2nd gr used to be called “catch up grade”


can Kinder once again be a rehearsal for school?

1st and 2nd will have to adjust their pace.



I was half asleep in classroom until I started listening to the language and lore of the children.



Once I started listening, I became more engaging in mine.


We must remember…




Presenter: Bethe Balmeras



TITLE:  Creating engaging environments for preschoolers


Where did you play growing up?

Natural settings not playgrounds


3 skills you learned in your favorite place:


conflict resolution

turn taking

physical feats – bikes, risking, pushing the envelope…


childhood health crisis

1st generation expected to live shorter than parents

32 hours of TV a week

sleep disturbances

attention span issues

obesity issues


mental health issues

fastest growing population put on anti-depressants PRESCHOOLERS

spend less time outdoors than any population in history

only 10% of children are going outside each day


when outside:



strong immune

active imaginations

lower stress

creative players

play creatively

have greater respect for selves and others


being in greenspaces (not playgrounds) natural green spaces, decreases symptomology of ADHD


better sleep

reduced nearsightedness

Vit D deficiency : linked to diabetes


Forest Preschools


She showed pics of some preschools in other countries, then USA. So sad! We are guilty of forgetting about our outdoor play spaces!


Stop and think: Do you put as much thought into your OUT as your IN


Most have 8-10 “centers” IN, how many OUT?


Water Wall


Plant milkweed – only host plant for monarch butterflies


Physical risk taking outside


Big sticks stumps


Mailboxes outside


Fairy houses


Alphabet garden  Astors to Zinneas…


Worms (don’t pass your fear/phobis on)

How do you pick up a worm?

“David, show me that worm!”



Compost bin


Mud Café with feed store watering troughs!!!!






Hay bales


Water at different levels


Nets to make forts shaded play areas


Childhood has gotten too neat and tidy! Embrace the mess!



Rusty Keeler’s willow huts


Create pockets of play on the yard


Boys will play kitchen OUT more than in. Make a mud kitchen



Spray chalkboard paint on exterior grade plywood


Risk benefit analysis… does the risk outweigh the benefit?


Gentleman in the back said to google “Cats and Sandboxes” for suggestions on the problem



Check with developers and park and rec and other community resources for stumps, mulch, rocks, boulders


Milk crates, sticks, leaves, tree cookies, sheets, tarps,  LOOSE PARTS!


Don’t start with the catalog! What do you want them to be able to DO when they are OUT????



Design with intent:


Mixed space

Open space

Risk taking


Sensory experiences

Wind chimes, mirrors on the fence

Natural elements


Let some of the space be OPEN!!!



for planting suggestions


Don’t think of it as a playground, think of it as your outdoor classroom, if mind shift happens, and we see it as more than just where we go to take a break… we won’t be in such a hurry to come back in and might stop worrying about clothes…




I caught last 20 minutes of this:


(Presenter) JoAnn Deak

Deak Group


(Topic) Your fantastic elastic brain


We have no research that shows that listening to language tapes/videos/cds etc. teaches/cultivates language.  It must be a real person.  No changes in the thinking and language centers.  Even videos of the mother had no bearing.


We are stretching VISUAL too far






She said, “What they avoid doing, is what they need assistance with.”

Hug the monster





TOPIC:  Where is play today?

(Panel Presentation)


Literal question? Where are they playing?

Abstract? Where are we in “play” today?


** part of the mission statement of the Play, Policy and Practice Interest Group

Def of Play:  play has 5 common characteristics:  1) intrinsically motivated 2) involves free choice 3) positive affect    4) ?    5) ?


Sandra Waite-Stupiansky (Facilitator)

Started by reading the play policy and practice interest forum’s mission/position statement


Offer an “Ask Amy” column to the newsletter. What happened to the time out chair? But you ask the q’s and answer them…


Dorothy Sluss

Pushing an advocacy message

The research is out there but we don’t see it in practice


Susan Linn, Commercial Free Childhood

Where is play? It’s in the hospital, ICU

Doctors are worried but they haven’t given hope hope. New tx being developed as we speak. Not quite dead. Yet.

Singers did a recent study id’ing that the most common activity of children around the world is TV watching

Playing and Reality (Winnicott)

Bombarded with sounds/stimulation and are reacting… not responding a “holding” environment


James Johnson, Penn State

What is interfering? What/who are the culprets of this lack of play?

Where is NOT play? In my closet, too many toys in there!

Maybe colleges should be known as PLAY schools instead of party schools…

Stressing a “balanced” play diet

We need to get better at articulating what constitutes a good teacher.

Said to learn more about the International Council on children’s play



Diane Levin, Wheelock

She acknowledges the lack of play history/experience with younger teachers

Why are kids not learning what they used to learn?

Play is disappearing

Play has changed, but play today is so influenced by media and commercialized images and when we tell teachers to let them play, they often don’t know what to do.

Need to teach teachers how to facilitate play

*imitating is not playing



we are creating the need for the screens. What did single mom’s do before there were screens??


They need screens because the children have not learned how to play…  so we give screens to entertain, then they need new screens…



using the plastic crap in most classrooms and calling it play is nothing for parents to copy.



FROM ME:  there has been much conversation about “young teachers” not knowing how to play, worried about being in too much “control”





Topic:  Making Play Work (both work for NAEYC)


Presenters:  Kyle Snow, Peter Pizzolongo


*took pics of their slides


Wants to marry the research to practice



Provide a frame for thinking about describing and using play

Summarize the play research

Describe the DAP core considerations

Illustrate how to put it into work



Snow is pushing play advocacy so that parents know when they see play it = learning


Why don’t they?  Why is there a question?


Research reasons

Ideological reasons


There is a reason to take up the charge!

Play needs a public relations campaign (Tweeted)


Snow offered that the statement “Play is in the child’s nature” is a rather passive stance…


Play and learning are self reinforcing


Play is not a lens thru which to look at learning,  It is a skill set in and of itself!


What is the nay sayers issue?


What do we mean by PLAY?


He is really reinforcing the linking of the LANGUAGE and the advocacy and being able to articulate the connections that WE see, but some do not.


Types of play are roughly developmental…

Object play (sensory/manipulative)

Rough/tumble (physical)


Pretend play (fantasy)

Games with rules



We have the same language but not the same lingo (Tweeted)

Kyle Snow



Refer to the picture of the slide:

Research cannot yet tell us the ideal mixture of these 4 quadrants!



He is hoping to show that play and instruction have the same parameters. And can be used in the same conversation.  It’s not one or the other.


(In fancier language he is saying the last 5 min of my EXP workshop)


have some of these findings in your pocket! LANGUAGE and LINKING and ADVOCACY


JOY is an acceptable outcome!  It might not make it into the head start framework, but it is.


When the literacy lessons is linked to what they did when they were outside, kids pay closer attention.  Example: play fighting outside, books about knights, pirates, battles, etc. Recess can be a powerful programming element.


Noticably missing  JOYFULNESS


EIVP = designed to teach a finite set of words


Are teachers confident that play and learning are not 2 separate things?


Sometimes we are more confident than the researchers but we don’t know where this confidence comes from!



Popular myth:  Dichotomy of play vs. direct instruction (twitter)


False dichotomy!!!


It’s frustrating that we are still trying to prove things that we already know! (twitter)



It’s not DAP just because you have some paper plates laying around (twitter)



This is the sequence… not always linear…Learning Paths.

They won’t be reading just because they are singing ABC this week.


We need to be in greater conversation with our elementary cohorts!

(From me: I don’t think he spent enough time on this, but it connects with the “Ready or Not” part too – what is our age group?!?!?!  Who do we serve??)



Remember DAP = 3, 12, 5, 10

3 core considerations

12 principles

5 guidelines

10 strategies


you can incorporate the literacy and math within the extended free play period!!!!



Those were the only sessions I was able to attend.


I tweeted through them all using #NaeycAC

You can search Twitter with that hashtag to read ALL the tweets that everyone posted during the conference!!!


These are posted for your reference and reading pleasure only.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments.


Hope to see you in Atlanta for NAEYC 2012!


Lisa Murphy


(800) 477-7977


November 6, 2011

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