A few weeks ago, I spent my Saturday at a workshop where we studied the developmental stages of writing in early childhood. David Matteson was our presenter. I have enjoyed reading his books, watching his videos and studying his work for the past year or so, and I was thrilled to actually be learning from him. When you wake up on a Saturday morning and you’re REALLY excited to spend the day working, instead of lounging with your family, you know it’s going to be worth the time. David didn’t disappoint.
It was a full day of learning, so I won’t be able to sum up the entire day in one single blog post. I’ll have to settle with sharing a few of my take-aways from the day.
As a teacher, I’m constantly reading about how to improve the quality of education I provide in my classroom. I enjoy reading “teacher books” and spend more time than I’d like to admit with these books. My favorite authors include Katie Wood Ray, Reggie Routman, Matt Glover, and now I’ll add David Matteson to the list. One of the things I keep coming back to in my reading is my renewed focus in how children learn. Over the past few years there has been a big push in our district, and in education in general, to increase student learning, streamline our practices, provide rigorous classroom environments, increase communication with parents, and have a deeper understanding of what kids need to learn and know in their grade levels. The area that is always on the forefront of my mind in our professional development and personal learning is, “How does this relate to what we know about how kids learn best?”
David did a great job of bringing our professional development back down to this basic question. We also focused our learning on what it means to be teaching to a child’s development and how we systematically move kids through developmental stages. This area is HUGE, even for one child, so you can image how overwhelming it feels when you have 25 kids in a classroom!
1. It all comes back to how kids learn. Ex: I become a better teacher when I know how a child’s visual perception relates to their writing development.
2. We are helping kids move through developmental stages. They might not meet the same milestones at the same time, and that’s ok. My job, as a teacher, is to always be aware of where they are and where they are going.
3. I really love early childhood literacy.