About 80 of us gathered together for a day of inspiration and sharing at the PSA Conference on Saturday, October 26th. There was representation from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and North Carolina – with people coming from different backgrounds (students, parents, teachers and administrators in various settings).
Throughout the day, we considered children’s approaches to learning, as well as the ways in which support children’s learning through the arts. A few of our wonderful co-teachers and specialists presented their long-term projects on two panel sessions:
- Sound Exploration (toddlers), presented by Caroline Troia
- The Fire Race: Observation and Exploration of a Story (2 year-old children) and Story as a Language (3 year-old children), presented by Kelly Blondin
- The Magical Bird Carpet (2 year-old children), presented by Abby Delong & Lizzie Primozic
- Story Acting (4 year-old children), presented by Emily Maryniak & Ann McDermott
- The Process of Collaboration, presented by Beth Ford
These stories brought to life how a project might unfold through the course of a year (or more), and the importance of honoring our children’s ideas and interests.
We also enjoyed three hands-on materials workshops. These workshops gave opportunities for adults not only to engage in hands-on experiences, but to gather tools and concrete applications for working with children:
- Clay & Natural Materials, presented by Danya Lanphear & Maggy Rhein
- Sound Exploration through Loose Materials, presented by Ann McDermott
- Observational Drawings, presented by Kristin Sobol
All staff members were available for conversations during self-guided school tours and lunch discussions, which we heard wonderful feedback on (thank you!). All in all, it was a culminating day of joy, pride and accomplishment for our staff, as well as a day of inspiration and learning for our visitors. We continue reflect on this big undertaking and consider how we want to go forward from here.
“Thank you for opening up your school and sharing every aspect of what you do. Overall, one of the best and most beneficial of these I’ve ever attended.” ~Conference participant
If you are interested in learning more about our school and our work, please contact Sojin Chi at firstname.lastname@example.org.