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Early childhood tools for investigation and discovery.

Kodo Professional Development

Kodo offers Professional Development seminars dedicated to improving the quality of experiential learning for young children. These seminars were developed as a part of our vision and commitment to supporting continuous quality improvement (CQI) in early childhood programs.

Our seminars are designed to help educators recognize, create opportunities for, and implement thoughtful facilitation of children’s learning. Our Investigation-Based Teaching Practices™ support the intentional use of open-ended materials and loose parts that provoke creative critical thinking for both adults and children. 

Our seminars transform an educator’s practice by:

  • Translating theory into practice

  • Providing hands-on interactive experiences for adult learners

  • Using multi-media resources to observe and model successful practical strategies

  • Offering opportunities for professional reflection


The pedagogical foundation infused in our trainings is Kodo’s Investigation-Based Teaching Practices™, which are aligned with and help strengthen adult-child interactions as measured on the CLASS™.

Our seminars address:

  1. Expanding the learning approach and mindset of educators

  2. Providing environmental strategies to engage children

  3. Specific strategies to deepen adult-child interactions

 

Download Professional Development Summaries PDF

 

SEMINAR SUMMARIES

SERIES: THE HEART OF STEM IN THE ECE CLASSROOM

The Heart of STEM: Integrating Investigations For Young Children

In this training session, we will explore the heart and soul of STEM as a way of thinking and lifestyle in early learning environments – beyond the ‘activity approach’. We will discuss how cross-cutting STEM skills, such as investigation, problem solving, and critical thinking, are the foundation to integrating all the STEM domains with children’s investigations. Participants will learn to extend STEM play­-based engagements through meaningful integrated investigations. We will play with and explore how using intriguing open-ended materials and loose parts can provide the basis for investigation-based projects that broaden and deepen children’s cognitive development. Participants will gain strategies for expanding STEM concepts and how to provide provocations and deepen children’s discoveries.

The “E” in STEM: Defining Engineering in Early Childhood Experiences

We will demystify engineering by clarifying what it is and identifying ways engineering is already happening every day in the classroom. Participants will learn how to broaden and deepen children’s learning and to intentionally facilitate children’s investigations to promote an engineering mindset and skills through play and investigation. Participants will play with materials and experience the power of provocations. You will examine how to create a culture where mistakes and constraints are a normal part of learning  and incorporate the design process that engineers use to solve problems. 

Children As ‘Tinker Thinkers’ & Engineers: Design Thinking In Action 

Learn how children and educators can use design thinking, like the best engineers, to solve practical problems. We’ll practice the design process through interactive hands-on experiences that foster STEM investigations with young children. Learn how the design thinking process fosters creative critical thinking and practices for both children and adults. Explore how children are natural engineers and use ‘Tinker Thinking’ in their everyday play. We will practice strategies to facilitate children’s learning using investigation-based teaching practices, loose parts, and open-ended materials.

The Physics of Ramps

Learn the typical stages of how young children explore ramps and balls and the basic elements of physics they naturally experience during ramp investigations. Participants will learn to be more mindful about introducing intriguing open-ended materials and using specific STEM vocabulary with children during open-ended play. We will explore the teacher’s role in facilitating child-initiated play and intentional teaching strategies to broaden and deepen critical thinking, problem solving, and ‘tinker thinking’ that foster the development of STEM concepts during ramp and pathway investigations. During the session, participants will play with ramps themselves to experience how children learn physics.

The “E” in STEM: Engineering In Action Using Ramps 

Come learn basic engineering and physics principles through hands-on investigation activities using ramps and loose parts! We will demystify engineering and identify ways engineering happens every day in the early childhood classroom. Learn the typical areas of investigations for children when they use ramps and how to intentionally facilitate ramp play. Learn the TMI Design Process, used by engineers, and how to apply this process as an Instructional Support strategy that fosters CLASS™ dimensions. We will also introduce Kodo’s Investigation Based Teaching Practices™ that are aligned with and strengthen Classroom Organization and Instructional Support strategies assessed in the CLASS™.

SERIES: ENVIRONMENTS THAT FOSTER INVESTIGATION

Play, Stay, Think Here! – Environments That Foster Investigation

In this session we will explore how to set up and use the environment as a third teacher to foster investigations that broaden and deepen children’s critical and design thinking skills. We will explore 3 focus areas:

  • Why PLAY here? Examine environmental messages related to safety, attachment, competence, how to create sensory-rich environments, and how to intentionally use the environment as the ‘3rd teacher’. 

  • Why STAY here? Explore how to engage children’s interest with intriguing open-ended materials and loose parts. Leverage both age and individually appropriate needs and interests of children to expand meaningful investigations with a focus on process, not just outcomes. 

  • Why THINK here? Support children to broaden and deepen their investigations through formal and systematic inquiry and examination. Examine how documentation and reflection foster critical and design thinking.

Environment As The 3rd Teacher 

We will examine the power of environmental messages and how to intentionally use the environment to instruct, provoke, and engage children’s learning. Learn strategies to set up the environment and present materials and loose parts that foster explorations and investigations beyond the activity approach.  Learn how to intentionally incorporate themes of investigations both indoors and outdoors to foster cognition, decision making, and initiative in young children. 

SERIES: DEEPENING INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Investigation-Based Teaching Practices™ To Support Continuous Quality Improvement in ECE 

Come play with intriguing open-ended materials that engage young children. Learn Kodo’s Investigation Based Teaching Practices™ that are aligned with and strengthen Classroom Organization and Instructional Support strategies addressed in the CLASS™. These practical strategies support the thoughtful facilitation of children’s learning through investigative open-ended play. Goals of this session are to strengthen and broaden instructional support strategies, foster concept development, and strengthen analysis and reasoning in young children. Participants will practice intentional and responsive teaching strategies, including observation-based facilitation, non-verbal and verbal facilitation strategies, and environmental provocations. 

Investigation-Based Teaching Practices™ To Foster STEM

Come play with intriguing materials and learn Kodo’s Investigation-Based Teaching Practices™  to deepen STEM learning while children use open-ended materials. Learn to strengthen and broaden intentional instructional support strategies, during open-ended play-based situations, to foster integrated STEM experiences and cognitive development in young children.  Participants will practice intentional and responsive teaching strategies, including observation-based facilitation, non-verbal and verbal facilitation strategies, and environmental provocations. They will explore how their own attitudes of mistakes, failure, challenges, and constraints impact their teaching habits, interactions, and ability to support creative critical thinking.

Responsive Teaching Practices™ To Facilitate Infants & Toddler

Come play with intriguing open-ended materials that naturally engage infants and toddlers children and provide sensory experiences that foster open-ended learning through play. Learn Kodo’s Investigation-Based Teaching Practices™ to recognize and establish habits of thoughtful responsive facilitation of infants and toddlers. They will explore how their own attitudes of mistakes, failure, challenges and constraints impact their teaching habits, interactions and ability to support creative critical thinking.  Participants will also practice intentional and responsive teaching strategies, including observation-based facilitation, non-verbal and verbal facilitation strategies, and environmental provocations.

Investigation Based Coaching Strategies

Coaches and mentors will learn a continuum of intentional process-based facilitation and coaching strategies that support continuous quality improvement efforts in early childhood programs and classrooms. We will focus on practical strategies to support teachers in three specific areas of Investigation-Based Teaching Practices™:

  • Expanding the learning approach and mindset of educators

  • Providing environmental strategies to engage children

  • Practicing strategies to deepen adult-child interactions

Participants will learn to coach and mentor teachers by modeling a respectful learning mindset while using investigation-based facilitation strategies. These strategies will help you guide teachers to successfully foster creative critical thinking, planning, and prototyping skills in their young learners.

 

PRICING

  • 1 - 2.5 hour format for $500*

  • Half day format for $1000*

  • Full day format for $2000*

  • Kodo Professional Development Seminars are available in series format, please call for quotes.

*Plus travel expenses

 

CALL TO BOOK YOUR KODO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR TODAY

Trainers travel to your location; pricing includes up to 50 participants. For further information contact your local sales rep or Constant Hine, Director of Professional Development, at [email protected], or call 720-305-5249