Reflections from Early Childhood Institute Attendees – Podcast Episode 12 | Podcast Episode 12

Classnotes Podcast (May 18, 2007) The Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Early Childhood Educators Institute. It is the only institute in the country that focuses on early childhood education of English language learners. In this episode, IDRA’s Christie Goodman, APR, interviews three participants from the institute: Toni Rodríguez from Texas, Michel Cristina from Louisiana, and Pam Logan from Michigan. They talk about their experience there, what is happening at their schools and what they learned at the institute that will help them.

Show length: 21:26

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IDRA Annual La Semana del Niño Early Childhood Educators Institute™
The nation’s only gathering place for teachers and parents concerned with early childhood education of English language learners.

IDRA Early Childhood Classrooms of Excellence Model
Seamlessly-integrated instructional program that supports diverse young children’s pre-literacy development to be ready to read in kindergarten.

Focusing on Language and Academic Instructional Renewal (FLAIR)
Professional development model that capitalizes on the campus leaders mobilizing the principal, teachers, librarians and support staff as a force to tailor-make a reading program that is research-based and that results in better achievement for all students.

Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY)
A home-based early intervention program that looks to help parents enhance their preschooler’s development.

Texas IDRA Parent Information and Resource Center – a comprehensive, multicultural and multilingual parent leadership support program for strengthening partnerships between parents and schools for student success, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

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Show Notes

  • 01:40 Christie introduces the topic of the show -- reflections from the Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Early Childhood Educators Institute.

  • 02:49 The show's three guests – Toni Rodríguez from Texas, Michel Cristina from Louisiana, and Pam Logan from Michigan – introduce themselves.

  • 06:25 Toni has attended the institute three times now, but this was her first year coming as a consultant and not as a teacher. She enjoyed the HIPPY presentation and visiting several nearby schools during the week.

  • 07:54 Michel also attended the conference for the third time. This year she led a session on incorporating technology into the classroom using strategies from the FLAIR model. She also sat in on sessions about the Spanish language, learning how its vowel sounds impact Spanish-speaking children's pronunciation as they start to learn English. Michel also talks about the low percentage of Hispanics in many science professions.

  • 09:23 Pam was a newcomer to the institute. She talks about the difficulty she's had in teaching Spanish-speaking children and how attending the conference opened her eyes to new teaching tactics.

  • 10:40 Michel talks about a visit she made to a bilingual class during the conference and how impressed she was with the children's writing skills for difficult words. She contrasts this with her observations from the English-only classroom, where children were struggling to write much simpler words.

  • 11:26 Toni speaks about her “amazing" visit to the computer lab of a pre-K class, where children were typing Spanish words for colors.

  • 12:08 Christie notes the experience of her own daughter, whose pre-K classmates began to recognize letters much more quickly after spending time with a computer.

  • 12:41 Michel talks about the tremendous impact that the combined use of an up-to-date computer lab and FLAIR strategies has had on the students in her home school in Louisiana.

  • 14:11 Pam talks about how her Michigan school is serving the increasing number of Spanish-speaking students.

  • 15:30 Michel talks about the tolerance the students in her multicultural school show for each other.

  • 16:11 Toni, Pam and Michel talk about the changing demographics across the United States and the need to develop and implement educational programs that work for all children.

  • 17:35 Christie asks her guests what that each of them will share about the conference with their colleagues when they return home. Toni will talk about lessons on language and literacy and the HIPPY program. Michel will speak about the READ project, the differences between hands-on and inquiry-based learning, and the student-parent compact in the No Child Left Behind Act. Pam will talk about the session she attended on how children learn to read and write.