Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Reimagining School Readiness

This past month, I fortunately attended a training on Reimagining School Readiness that focused on Growth Mindset. 

The Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) and Center for Childhood Creativity developed a position paper after performing a comprehensive review of current psychology literature.  The purpose?  To draw out how research can be used by educators and families to give children the skills and the learning experiences that matter most for later success in school and in life. 

Luckily for librarians, the BADM then partnered with the California State Library and the Pacific Library Partnership, with the support of the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, to create a toolkit surrounding Reimagining School Readiness and a Promising Practice Guide for Librarians.

So, what was discovered and recommended?  I cannot improve upon your reading the official findings above, but I’m happy to summarize:

  1. Talk and Play support linguistic development and social-emotional skills.  Use complex words with children in context and explain them.  Ask them open-ended questions and give them time to formulate answers.  Prompt children to participate in collaborative play and help them recognize emotions in themselves and others.
  2. Science and Math practices support foundational mindsets for these subjects that often are ignored in early childhood.  Point out and celebrate mistakes as a chance to learn something (boy—no one ever did that for me!).  Show how sorting and counting can occur in everyday life.  Encourage small ones to count on their fingers.  Instill in them wonder at how the world works and ask them to make predictions about what they think will happen next. 
  3. Body and Brain refers to the importance of meeting physical needs and eliminating stress in the development of executive function.  Create a welcoming and inclusive environment in your library.  Make your behavioral expectations very clear and acknowledge the needs of children even when you might not get to them right away.  Try to let children choose their own activities in the library and in programming and give them the opportunity to move and stretch!

The above was the crux of the findings, but the training drilled down to hands-on activities that supported the literature and could be used in programming.  Ohio, where I live, is part of the second wave of states and Canadian provinces involved in this research and why I was able to get training.  You can find insightful and free webinars on the project here.  You can also find an Activity Database that supports the toolkit.  Happy programming!

This post addresses the core competencies of III. Programming Skills and VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.

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