2020 Early Learning Virtual Fall Institute

Beth Van Meeteren (Director) and Sherri Peterson (Program Coordinator), both from Iowa Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education, will be presenting at the 2020 Early Learning Virtual Fall Institute, Pre-Institute Workshops on September 28, September 30 and October 1, 2020.


How Did That Shadow Get There?
Building Upon Children’s Interest in Light and Shadow

Infants and Toddlers: Young children are confronted by light and shadow from birth. They sense from the beginning that shadow is a significant presence and are curious about what they notice when light changes or shadows appear. Teachers can provoke Infants and toddlers to explore light and shadow phenomenon that occurs naturally or that is altered by the teacher with natural and human-made light sources. In this session participants will investigate how light, objects, and the environment can inspire curiosity and exploration, develop cognitive skills, and the foundation for STEM habits of mind. Photos and video from classrooms where light and shadow were introduced to young children aged 8 weeks to 30 months will be shared with participants and they will have the opportunity to investigate familiar classroom materials in order to better understand the phenomenon that will inspire infants and toddlers to investigate.

PK-2: Light and Shadow is designed to nurture engineering habits of mind and spatial thinking as children manipulate light sources, screens, and other materials to produce a specific effect. Participants will explore the critical reasoning behind developing S.T.E.M. concepts within their children, directly connecting to how the development of these concepts also serve to develop executive functioning skills. In addition, exploration of observational drawing, the process of developing documentation boards, and the designing, building, and engineering of puppets will be infused throughout the workshop day. Participants will enjoy time engaging directly with light and shadow materials to better understand how to intentionally utilize light and shadow concepts with children birth through age 5.

To register for this pre-institute workshop, please click here.

To view the Pre-Institute Workshops flyer, please click here.