Ohio Voices for Learning: A Reggio-Inspired Forum
A dynamic network that values, respects, and honors the diversity and integrity of all young children, their families, and the professionals who support them.
We strive to inspire quality early learning and care for young children and their families in Ohio.
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Contact us for more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution.  Access us by phone or use our convenient email form to send us a detailed message.

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Locate a Study Group

Groups are how members of Ohio Voices for Learning share and become inspired through monthly meetings and discussions. You can find a group in your area to join or you can start one of your own.

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2017 Inspired Teachers Institute

2017 Inspired Teachers Institute

A Lens on the World: Science and Math in the Reggio-inspired Classroom

October 21, 2017

8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

The Works

55 South 1st Street

Newark, OH

Featured Speakers:  Teddy Chao, Ph.D., OSU and

Mandy McCormick Smith, Ph.D, Capital University

How do the concepts of part and whole emerge from the idea of fairness? In a play-based environment, how can we follow children’s natural inquiry into the world of science?

Science and math are part of children’s everyday experience – from the questions they ask, to the problems they solve, to the injustices they bump up against.  Join us in an exploration of intentional strategies that will foster real world science and math connections for young children.


8:30-9:00         Registration/Hospitality

Raffle Ticket and Book Sales

9:00-9:15         Welcome/Introductions  – Michele Sanderson & Deb Zurmehly, OVL Co-Chairs

9:15-10:45       Keynote Address #1Critical Issues in Early Childhood STEM Education: Connecting with young learners, Dr. Teddy Chao and Dr. Mandy Smith, The Ohio State University

10:45-11:00     Break/Move to breakout session

11:00-12:15     Breakout Sessions

12:15-1:30       Lunch/Exploration of The Works

1:30-3:00         Keynote Address #2: Addressing Critical Issues in STEM Education through Child-centered, Teaching-based Research.  Dr. Teddy Chao and Dr. Mandy Smith, The Ohio State University

3:00-3:45         Reflections, Presenters’ Panel, Deb Zurmehly & Michele Sanderson, Facilitators

3:45-4:00         Evaluations/Adjourn


B R E A K O U T   S E S S I O N S

#1.  Learning Through Your Senses, Amy Kurz

Looking at and experiencing life through the senses with young children birth – five.


#2.  The Language of Math and Science, Beth Poronsky and Laura Daehnke

This session will delve into the topic of how children explore mathematical and scientific concepts through play.  We will see examples of how math and science are embedded in everyday experiences, and how we can help build scientific and mathematical literacy in young children.  We will investigate stories of scientific discovery and mathematical awareness, including how a group of Kindergarten children discovered facets of the world of math through playing with Legos.  This included numerous opportunities for counting, portraying numeracy through multiple methods, learning about fractions, and considering the myriad ways that objects can be classified and grouped.   This investigation was not confined to the areas of math and science, however; the story of the Lego project dives into ideas of social justice, sharing, democracy, creativity, rights, and how to build a fair and cohesive classroom community.  The stories presented in this session will serve to show how math and science are useful in their own right, and are also a language to explore our views on and interactions with each other and the world.


#3.  A Gift of the Early Childhood Community of Reggio Emilia: Knowing that Reggio inspired practice has invaded your classroom. An introduction to the principles informing Reggio-inspired practice.  Britta Krell
#4.  Learning Spatial Awareness through Mapping in Preschool, Jennifer Li and Jamie Schiff, PhD

A young child’s understanding of the world begins through direct experience and exploration. This presentation shares the process of how a class of young children navigated the concept of spatial awareness through a year-long project study on mapping. Our goal was to foster further inquiry and investigation in mapping, which ultimately supported a wide range of learning across curricular areas.

The growth of spatial relations is not merely a matter of accumulation or direct teaching about maps or mapping concepts.  Children collect a lot of information about their surroundings through journeys and by exploring their environment.  (Geist, 2016)

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