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Workshops are presented at our school and open to the community.  Please contact Fort Hill if you are interested in one of these workshops being presented at your school.

The Principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach and Educational Neuroscience

by Martha Lees

Participants will explore the fundamental principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach and how they align with principles of the interdisciplinary field of educational neuroscience. The workshop will focus on connecting theory, research, and practice. The session includes descriptions of research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience relevant to the Reggio Emilia approach, as well as ways that science has been misinterpreted and misapplied.

Introduction to Educational Neuroscience

by Martha Lees
The emerging field of educational neuroscience, also referred to as mind, brain, and education, brings together concepts from psychology, neuroscience and education to inform educational practice and policy. Participants will learn basic neuroanatomy, explore recent research connecting child development, psychology, neuroscience and education. Discussion will focus on individual differences, reading and math, and challenging behaviors.

Creating a Virtual and Physical Learning Community: Technology in Early Childhood Programs

by Martha Lees
Communication, collaboration, and relationships form the basis of an intentional learning community. In this workshop, participants will explore how technology can support research and sharing of ideas with colleagues, families, and children. The session will include descriptions of electronic documentation, blogging, and PowerPoint presentations as techniques to build community, collaboration, and intellectual work in early childhood education.

Exploring the Power of Clay with Young Children

by Cathy Topal
Clay is part of the earth. Since the beginning of time people in cultures throughout the world have used this versatile natural material to build homes, to shape vessels for holding water and grain, and to create important forms and images. In this hands-on/minds-on session Cathy will help participants develop an appreciation for clay and its potential as a language for exploration, construction and communication that they can use with children of any age.

The Restaurant Project: Emergent Curriculum in the Preschool

by Lauren Lantz-Helm
What is progettazione? Here is one example, in narrative form, of children, teachers, and parents as they develop a classroom restaurant. The presentation will highlight communication between teachers and children, initiation of parent-teacher collaboration, and the relationship between children and documentation.

The Spiral of Inquiry: A Study of Sound

by Peggy Martalock
This presentation is a result of collaboration among eighteen children and three teachers, lasting for five months, beginning with the question, "What is sound?" The emphasis is on the cycle, (or spiral), of inquiry-based on the three elements of provocation, documentation, and reflection. Our story includes the genesis of the study, what was successful and what was not, how we integrated interests and learning opportunities, and how we brought the study to a satisfying conclusion.

A Cloud Study: Recognizing, Documenting, and Following Opportunities

by Leah Rescia
Follow an emergent curriculum in a three-year-old classroom as they explore and investigate clouds. Teachers observe children, document their conversations and experiences, reflect on what they hear and see, and use these opportunities to develop and extend curriculum. Children ask questions, seek answers, listen and learn from each other, and utilize different languages to express their ideas and knowledge.

Documentation: A Reflection and a Journey

by Kaitlin Northey
By observing, we learn about the child, but by reflecting we learn from the child. See why documentation is an integral part of teaching and how it can be used to build community, guide curriculum, and lead to deeper understanding among adults and children.

Papermaking with Young Children: Supporting Relationships Through Responsive Curriculum

by Jen Godlesky
Papermaking is an ancient craft combining creative form with function. This hands-on/minds-on workshop will examine how the rich, interactive art form serves a multitude of purposes and actively supports the development of a diverse array of relationships in the early childhood classroom. Specifically, we will explore the child's relationship with: the wider world and environment, immediate classroom environment, materials, and other people. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in papermaking from start to finish, in order to familiarize themselves with the process and to experience its rewards first hand.

Their Hearts' Own Songs: Investigating Music as a Language

by Christopher Stetson
"Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together." Recent research has shown a demonstrable neurological and cognitive basis for this fortune cookie aphorism. For the past several years the educators at Fort Hill have worked to make a music program based on Reggio principles of exploration, respect, and connection. In this session, Fort Hill Music Coordinator Chris Stetson will review the history of the program, the thinking that went into it, and its successes and challenges. We'll also listen to some of the children's musical products, and have time for questions and discussion.


Parent and Educator Evenings


Tours & Observations

Professional Development

Ross W. Greene,

Italian Innovations Conference 2009


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