ABCs of ECE: The Game and the Challenge!

By: Diane Kashin, Ed.D, RECE. This spring, I shared the experience of spending two weeks in Adelaide, South Australia, with Cindy Green, my long time colleague and critical friend. The trip produced a few blog posts and many cherished memories of people we met and places we visited. Cindy wrote about touring some inspiring spaces. I wrote about reflections on the button and agate  workshops that we presented. These posts were inspired by the amazing early childhood community in the wonderful place that is Adelaide. During our time “down under” Cindy and I were moved by example to start our own documentation books for visual reflection. One afternoon we sat in our lovely apartment/hotel and shared some of our thoughts and ideas. I shared that there were words swimming in my mind as I had been thinking of Reggio-inspired practice. I wrote some of these down – agency, autonomy, affordances – being, belonging and becoming – collaboration, capacity, connection – and realized that I was on my way to creating the ABCs of ECE! Weeks have passed and I have come back to my notes to finish the alphabet.

Diane's ABCs

I decided to make a game of it! To play the game, here are the two simple steps:

  • Decide on one word connected to early childhood education for each letter of the alphabet.
  • Type the words into the comment box on this blog post. You might also be interested in creating a word cloud of your words. I used wordle for mine.

ABC Wordle

For some letters of the alphabet there is a plethora of possibilities. Part of the challenge is that you have to pick only one per letter. For some letters, coming up with just one word may be challenging. I am inviting you to accept the challenge and play! After all, challenging play is something that children love. It involves excitement and adventure. Children and adults need challenge in order to move forward in their development (Solly, 2015). If you are faced with a challenge to find a word, search the Internet for words beginning with that letter. Cindy, who created her own list of words in her documentation book, came up with the idea of asking our friends at Louise Kool and Galt to donate a prize to those who would like to play along.

Cindy plays the game

To enter the draw for an amazing prize just post a comment with your words. You can also write a blog post with letters/links/photos and include the link to the blog in a comment to this post. In keeping with the theme of ABCs, Louise Kool and Galt has generously donated a set of wooden upper case letters and a set of lower case letters valued at $169.99 CAD each! Here is an image of the upper case letters.

Upper case give away

For my list I also included links, photos or quotes. Here are my words!

A is for Agency. I heard this word a few times when we were in Adelaide. I was reminded of the importance of children and adults developing and maintaining a sense of agency. Why does agency matter? “We have a sense of ‘agency’ when we feel in control of things that happen around us; when we feel that we can influence events”. When children feel that someone is listening to their words and ideas and providing opportunities for them to make their own decisions then we are supporting the development of a sense of agency. I want this for children. I want this for early childhood educators.

B is for Belonging. In Ontario, it is the expectation of early learning programs to cultivate authentic, caring relationships and connections to create a sense of belonging among and between children, adults, and the world around them. This is how learning happens.

C is for Capacity. There are so many words that begin with C to choose from but for me the idea of capacity is vital. If we believe in the capacity of children, families and ourselves, we elevate images and possibilities.

“All people, and I mean scholars, researchers, and teachers, who, in any place have set themselves to study children seriously, have ended up by discovering not so much the limits and weaknesses of children, but rather their surprising and extraordinary strengths and capabilities, linked with an inexhaustible need for expression and realization.” ― Loris Malaguzzi

D is for Dewey. John Dewey, the great American educational theorist, died in 1952. His work and his words continue to inspire me.

E is for Emergent. My world changed when I discovered emergent curriculum. I am forever grateful to Elizabeth Jones for the work that has shaped my philosophy to teaching and learning in early childhood education.

F is for Frames. In Ontario, the Ministry of Education has just released the Kindergarten Program (2016), which has added four frames to the four foundations (Belonging, Well-Being, Expression, and Engagement) of How Does Learning Happen? (2014). The four frames align with the four foundational conditions needed for children, educators and families to grow and flourish. They are conditions that children naturally seek for themselves, and they apply regardless of age, ability, culture, language, geography, or setting.

Frames and Foundations

G is for Grit. This is another word I heard in Adelaide that made me think and want to know more. It turns out that grit is one of the seven characteristics that Canadian-born journalist Paul Tough says are keys to success. The others are: curiosity, self-control, social intelligence, zest, optimism and gratitude.

H is for Holistic. Holistic education involves a head, heart and hands approach to learning. I am drawn to the work of Forest School Canada which owes much to the work of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi as an example of holistic education.

I is for Ideological as it reminds me of the importance of “bringing politics into the nursery”.

J is for Joy. That one was easy! “Nothing without Joy!” ~ Loris Malaguzzi

K is for Kindness. “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

L is for Love. Love is Love.

M is for Metacognition. Thinking about thinking is so important for children and for early childhood educators. I look to the words of Jerome Bruner, the influential psychologist, who just recently passed away at 100 years of age.

Thinking about thinking

N is for Nature. Children belong in nature; it is in their nature. Being able to play freely in and with nature is vital to children’s healthy development and supports their learning in wondrous ways. I am grateful for my work with the York Region Nature Collaborative, which affords me many opportunities to live by these words.

O is for Outdoors. Children need to be outdoors and to have ample time for unstructured play. I am excited to be working with on a research project with Okanagan College and the Canadian Child Care Federation to develop an online training program that will provide participants the opportunity to explore how children’s outdoor play is influenced by the adults and peers, space, places and materials such as loose parts.

P is for Play. Plain, and simple! Access to active play in nature and outdoors—with its risks—is essential for healthy child development. Children’s opportunities for self-directed play outdoors in all settings—at home, at school, in child care, the community and nature need to be increased.

Q is for Quiet. Listen and silent are spelled with the same letters. I have learned over time about the importance of listening not to respond but to truly hear. To do this I seek quiet.

R is for Reggio. It is the place called Reggio Emilia that has inspired me to continue on a journey of new paths and possibilities.

S is for Self-Regulation. I am learning from the work of Dr. Stuart Shanker about the importance of self-regulation and how it is different from self-control. I believe this is essential learning for all ECEs.

T is for Time. Give children the gift of time. Time to play. Large blocks of time for unstructured, freely chosen play.

“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.” ~ Kay Redfield Jamison

U is for Utopia. When I engage in utopian thinking it leads me to “an awareness that another world is possible – that early childhood education, for instance, could be thought and done differently”. It provides an opportunity to vent “longings and desires for a better way of living and being” (Moss, 2015, p. 13).

V is for Vygotsky. There is so much to learn from Vygotsky.

W is for Words. Language matters in ECE. Again and again I find myself coming to terms with terms.

X is for Xenophile . Coming up with a word for the letter X wasn’t easy. I am a person who is interested in different cultures and customs. I am especially interested in learning about how others from around the world interpret Reggio-inspired practice. If this is you too, join me for this workshop with the York Region Nature Collaborative.

global flyer for web


Y is for Young Children. Young Children with Rights.

Z is for the Zone of Proximal Development. Vygotsky saw the child as part of a social construct, actively experiencing and internalizing the environment, making meaning of it, and in turn, influencing the environment, just as the social situation influences the child. Vygotsky’s view of the way social and individual growth is intertwined gave rise to his idea of a creative area where learning happens most easily, terming it the zone of proximal development (ZPD). Through scaffolding, learners are able to cross the zone of proximal development.

Zone of Proximal Development

I hope this blog post has encouraged you to cross your own zone of proximal development. Thank you for the generous donation of the upper and lower case letter sets from Louise Kool and Galt! Thank you to Cindy for continuing to be my critical friend and editor! Thank you for reading and please play along and join the challenge of the ABCs of ECE! Good luck and I hope you win the prize! The lower case letters are featured below.

Lower case give away

Make sure to post your entry prior to the date of the draw – September 1st, 2016

50 thoughts on “ABCs of ECE: The Game and the Challenge!

  1. A: is for advocate
    B:: is for believer
    C: is for construction
    D: is for development
    E: is for educate
    F: is for figurines
    G: is for goodness
    H: is for happiness
    I: is for included
    J: is for justice
    K: is for kingdom
    L: is for love
    M: is for meals
    N: is for new
    O: is for observations
    P: is for personality
    Q: is for questioning
    R: is for real
    S: is for socializing
    T: is for talking
    U: is for unsual
    V: is for visiting
    W: is for will
    X: is for xylophone
    Y: is for young
    Z: is for zoo

    Liked by 1 person

      • Okay. I hope you don’t mind that it is in the comment box!
        The ECE Alphabet
        X-xanthic (it means yellow or yellowish and I like to use this colour-sparingly- in my classroom, because it’s cheerful)


  2. A: Awe
    B: Boundless
    C: Co-active
    D: Diane Kashin (a little awe here too) Determination
    E: Effort
    F: Fulminate
    G: Google (teachers have to keep learning)
    H: Holistic (been a favorite for years)
    I: Individual
    J: Joking
    K: kavannah (Hebrew for intention)
    L: Laughter
    M: Messages
    N: Nuance
    O: Occupational therapy
    P: Pause
    Q: Quest
    R: Risk-taking
    S: Self regulation
    T: Together
    U: Uplifting
    V: Vocal
    W: Wish
    X: X marks a spot
    Y: YES
    Z: Zest

    Liked by 2 people

      • Here is what I came up with
        Authenting learning
        Beautiful children’s minds
        Celebrating differences
        Emergent curriculum
        Growing together
        Helping hands
        Knowing your students
        Loose parts
        Meaningful learning opportunities
        Ontario curriculum
        Planning together
        Seven grandfathers teaching
        Thaughtful teaching
        We are in this together
        Yes, we did it
        Zoom for new ideas


  3. LOVE your words…here are mine:

    A: for authentic
    B: for balance
    C: for connect
    D: for discovery
    E: for exposure
    F: for facilitate
    G: for gather
    H: for heart
    I: for imagine
    J: for journey
    K: for kindness
    L: for linguistic
    M: for memories
    N: for natural
    O: for opportunity
    P: pedagogy
    Q: quintessential
    R: for response
    S: for silence
    T: for tenderness
    U: unique
    V: vitality
    W: wonder
    X: x-rays
    Y: youth
    Z: zest

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A:authenticity
    C: culmination
    E: evidence
    F: fortitude
    G: gratitude
    H: help
    I: imagination
    J: jagged
    K: knead
    M: masterpiece
    N: nurture
    O: opalescent
    Q: quiet
    R: resourceful
    S: soothing
    T: tumultuous
    U: understanding
    V: vivacious
    W: why
    X: X-cellence
    Y: yo yo
    Z: in the ‘zone’

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A is for Authentic and Appreciation
    B is for Belonging and Behaviour
    C is for College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE), Connections, Comfort and Care
    D is for Domains, Developmentally appropriate and Diversity
    E is for Emergent Curriculum, Early Learning for Every Child (ELECT), Empathy and Engaging
    F is for the Four Foundations of How Does Learning Happen
    G is for Goals (for children and ourselves)
    H is for Healthy (meals and activities)
    I is for Inquiry and Inclusive practices
    J is for Journey and Juggling
    K is for Knowledge, Kitchen play and kaleidoscope
    L is for Language, Literacy, Listening and Loose parts
    M is for Magical Moments and Milestones
    N is for Naturalistic Observation Research Methods – easier would be all the EN words (enrichment, engaging, environment, entertaining)
    O is for Opportunities for Optimal Learning and Outdoor learning
    P is for Professional (recognition and development), Principles and Pedagogy
    Q is for Questions (without answers) and Quality
    R is for Responsive, Respectful Relationships, Research and Reflective practice
    S is for Skills, Supportive, Special needs, Solving problems and Sharing
    T is for Thinking, Think, Feel, Act and the Third Teacher (indoor/outdoor environments
    U is for Understanding (children, families and educators) and Utilizing
    V is for Vision and Value
    W is for Well-Being
    X is for Xylotypographic (printing with wooden blocks) – easier would be all the EX words (experience, examine, expression, expectation, exploration, exposure, exceptional)
    Y is for Yellow and Young minds
    Z is for Zones of self-regulation or Zones of proximal development

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Active
    Zone of proximal development

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Diane thank you for this challenge. My ABC’s of ECE are qualities I strive to possess as an educator

    A: advocacy
    B: balance
    C: creativity
    D: dedication
    E: enthusiasm, engagement
    F: future (thinking about)
    G: goals
    H: honour (my honour to be an Early Childhood Educator and to work with children)
    I: introspection
    J: journeys
    K: Kindergarten (our role in preparing children for the next step)
    L: leadership
    M: meaning (through reflective practice)
    N: nurturing
    O: openness
    P: playfulness (a BIG one for ME!)
    Q: quest for knowledge through collaboration
    R: resilience
    S: stewardship
    T: travel (for personal growth and professional development)
    U: understanding
    V: vulnerability (hugely important for building relationships, especially with families)
    W: wonder
    X: xylophone (just one of the instruments we can explore with children- enriching their lives with music is so important)
    Y: YOU- Diane, for always inspiring me! Thank you!
    Z: zest for life!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A: Authenticity – be your authentic self to develop strong relationships with kids
    and families
    B: Belonging – everyone wants to feel that they belong
    C: Contributing – students feel invested when their ideas contribute to the
    D: Differentiated learning is easier than you may think to offer children
    E: Excited to come to school everyday
    F: Fun! Learning should be fun!
    G: Grateful – teach kids to be grateful
    H: Home – relationships bettween home and school are valued
    I: Interpersonal skils – need to be taught
    J: Junk – one man’s junk is another’s treasure! Think loose parts.
    K: Kindness – ask children “what would be the kind thing to do?”
    L: Life long learning is a good thing.
    M: Music is loved by children
    N: Notice and name the learning
    O: Observation guides us as teachers
    P: Patience and passion
    Q: Quiet – adults can practise being quiet so we can be good listeners
    R: Relationships are so important with each and every child
    S: Stewards – teach kids to be good land stewrds
    T: Team player – be one.
    U: Understand that children learn differently
    V: Voracious learners
    W: Wait – don’t intervene right away. Believe in the students that they can manage
    the conflict
    X: Xray vision – use yours to see what makes a child engage in learning or what’s t
    troubling a child.
    Y: Young children deserve to be heard, respected and cherished
    Z: Zest – model a zest for learning!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A – Authentic
    B – Belonging
    C – Caring
    D – Daring – risky play, taking risks with programming
    E – Engagement
    F – Families
    G – Go outdoors!
    H – How Does Learning Happen?
    I – Intelligent Materials
    J – Joyful!
    K – Kindness
    L – Love of learning
    M – Messy
    N – Nature
    O – Open-ended environments
    P – Provocations
    Q – Questioning
    R – Reflective
    S – Supportive relationships and environments
    T – Together
    U – Unique perspectives and contributions
    V – Vibrant
    W – Wondering
    X – Xenodochial?
    Y – Young learners
    Z – Zone, when you are totally engaged in an interaction or inquiry

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A-Authentic
    B-Beautiful Oops! Embrace mistakes
    D-Developmentally Appropriate
    E-Environment at a Third Teacher
    K-Kool & Galt;)
    L-Loose Parts
    O-One hundred languages of children
    P-Play based learning
    Q-Quality art materials
    R-Reggio Influence
    U-“Uncovering” curriculum
    V-Visible-making learning visible through documentation
    Y-Young Children are competent and capable
    Z-Zones of Proximal Development

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Age appropriate
    Balance yourself first
    Create a rich environment
    Diversity teaches more than you will ever know
    Fairness at individual level
    Go forward to become more
    Hush Not everything needs a reply to watch a let be is often enough.
    Integrity , own this
    Junk , create with this
    Keep the excitement
    Learn continuously
    Marvel at the little things
    Nudge gently the reluctant
    Openness to new ideas
    Process over product
    Question the it’s always been this way
    Relax, enjoy the ride
    Share ideas
    Trust in the capabilities of the children
    Understand that challenges teach us
    Veracity , don’t leave yours to be questioned
    Wonder and reflect
    xenodochial is the start of meaningful friendship , try it
    Yes let’s try it should be said frequently
    Zealousness, capture this and share it

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A. Appreciation
    B. Belonging
    C. Community
    D. Development
    E. Empathy
    F. Family
    G. Giving
    H. Head/heart/hands
    I. Inquiry
    J. Joy
    K. Kindness
    L. Love
    M. Moderation
    N. Nature
    O. Ordinary moments
    P. Play
    Q. Questioning
    R. Real objects
    S. Self-regulate
    T. Time
    U. Understanding
    V. Virtues
    W. Wonder
    X. Xeriscaping
    Y. Years. (Formative years)
    Z. Zippers (as a symbol of growing independence)

    This was a really fun game! I think you have inspired me for some future blog posts… Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. A is for Advocacy
    B is for Brains
    C is for Collaboration
    D is for Diversity
    E is for Emotional Literacy
    F is for Foundation
    G is for Growth Mindset
    H is for Handy
    I is for Innovative
    J is for Journeys
    K is for Kindness
    L is for Lively
    M is for Mentor
    N is for Noticing
    O is for Outdoor-Ed
    P is for Pedagogy & Principles
    Q is for Quip
    R is for Rethinking
    S is for Supporting
    T is for Thoughtful
    U is for United
    V is for Vision
    W is for Wise
    X is for Xenophile
    Y is for Youthful
    Z is for Zen

    I’ve had a wordle on my Professional portfolio for a few years but this is the first time I considered the alphabetical component. Fun!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. A- Advocacy
    B – Belonging
    C – Capiable
    D – Dreamers
    E – Environment
    F – Friendships
    G – Genuine
    H – Happy
    I – Inclusion
    J – Journey
    K- Knowledge
    L – Learners
    M – Memories
    N – Nature
    O – Opprotunities
    P – Play
    Q – Quality
    R – Relationships
    S – Sharing
    T – Teachable
    U – Understanding
    V – Valuable
    W – Wonderous
    X – Xanthous
    Y – Yearning
    Z – Zestful

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Autonomy, belonging, caring, development, exploration, fascinating, growth, healthy, individual, journal, kindness, loving, memories, natural, observe, play, quiet, reflection, safe, tolerance, unforgettable, verbal, wonder, x-ray, youth, zigzag

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Acceptance

    Liked by 2 people

  17. A- Adventures
    B – Belonging
    C – Charisma
    D – Diversity
    E – Equality
    F – Friendships
    G – Giving and Grateful
    H – Happiness
    I – Inclusion
    J – Joy
    K- Knowledge
    L – Love of Learning
    M – Music
    N – Nature
    O – Observations
    P – Play and Patience
    Q – Quality
    R – Relationships
    S – Singing and Sharing
    T – Thinking
    U – Understanding
    V – Valuing each other
    W – Wondering and Welcoming
    X – Xanth
    Y – Youthful
    Z – Zest for Learning!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. inspired by our recently launched forest nature program!

    Ant adventures
    Bee and Butterfly
    Caterpillar and the Very Hungry Caterpillar
    Extra energy
    Forest nature programs
    G – ‘The Grove’
    Hammock – a ‘forest couch’
    Inquiry and investigation
    John the Snail
    Learning Journals
    Medicine Garden
    Opichi is robin and the morning messenger in Ojibway
    Places of natural discovery
    Quiet spaces
    Reflection using story stones
    Stick as in Talking Stick
    Tools for tree cookies – bow saws and drills
    Under a leafy forest canopy
    Variety every day!
    Where play and learning are natural
    X marks the spot with sticks
    Yes to more forest program in the fall!
    Zooming freely outdoors

    Liked by 2 people

  19. A -allegory
    B -brilliant
    C -creativity
    D -discovery
    E -environment / emergent
    F -friend
    G -giving
    H -hope
    I -incomparable
    J -justice
    K -kindness
    L -love
    M -music
    N -nurture
    O -octaves
    P -partnership
    Q -quality
    R -respect
    S -silly
    T -ticklish
    U -understanding
    V -validation
    W -welcoming
    X -xeriscape
    Y -youth
    Z -zesty

    Liked by 1 person

  20. A: Authentic
    B: Beginnings
    C: Calm
    D: Documentation
    E: Environment
    F: Friends
    G: Growth
    H: Holistic
    I : Imagination
    J: Joyous
    K: Kindergarten
    L: Loving
    M: Montessori
    N: Nature
    O: Outdoors
    P: Professional
    Q: Query
    R: Reflective
    S: Sharing
    T: Theories
    U: Understanding
    V: Visionary
    W: Wonder
    X: X-rays
    Y: Yearning
    Z: Zest

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Adventure belonging competent dream evolve feelings gifted hands-on inspired jump kindness liberating managing now outdoor play-based quiet reggio sing thoughtful understanding vocal wondering xylophone yes zippity-do-dah

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Assumptions
    Growth Mindset
    Xenial (hospitality between hosts and guests)

    Liked by 2 people

  23. ABC’s of ECE

    A – Advocate
    B – Blending
    C – CECE (College of Early Childhood Educators)
    D – Documentation
    E – ELF (Early Learning Framework)
    F – Formative
    G – GMI (Gardiner’s Multiple Intelligences)
    H – Holistic
    I – Insightful
    J – Journey
    K – Kinesthetic
    L – 100 Languages of Children
    M –Mentor
    N – Nurture
    O – Open-ended
    P – Philosophy,
    Q – Quality
    R – Respect
    S – Scaffolding
    T – Tenacious
    U – Understanding
    V – Vision
    W – Waldorf
    X – X-rays
    Y – Yourself
    Z – ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development)

    Liked by 2 people

  24. ABCs of the CHILD

    A authentic, ambitious, adventurer artist,
    adaptable, amazed
    B brave, boisterous, brilliant, adventurous
    C capable, creative, curious, colorful,
    complex, communicator, constructive, competent, collaborative, challenging, conscientious, conscious, courageous, clever
    D dynamic, determined, daring, decent
    E experimenter, enthusiastic, energetic, explorer, excited, emotional, empowering, engineer, expressive, empathetic, energetic, endless
    F friendly, flexible, flawless, funny, forgiving, fearless
    G giggly, genuine
    H happy, humorous
    I individual, imaginative, inquiry, independent, intelligent, innocent, inventive, inquisitive, inspirational, insightful, intuitive, illuminating, investigator, impressionable, insatiable
    J joyful, joyous
    K keen, kinesthetic –learner, kind 
    L learner, love-seeking, lit-from-within, limitless, leader
    M magical, motivated, musical
    N natural, nature-lover
    O optimistic, open-minded, observant, open-hearted, original
    P pure, precious, powerful, playful, passionate, proactive
    Q question master
    R reflective, researcher, risk-taker, resilient, real, remarkable, rich
    S skillful, scientist, spirited, sponge-like, sympathetic, sensorial, spontaneous
    T talented, theorist, thinker, thoughtful, trusting, tactile
    U unique
    V vocal
    W wondering
    X xylophonic
    Y young
    Z zealous

    Liked by 1 person

  25. My Abecedarium of Early Learning

    A is for awestruck
    B is is belonging
    C is for curiosity
    D is for daring
    E is for eunoia (beautiful thinking)
    F is for fondness
    G is for gentleness
    H is for Hawkins-inspired
    I is for inquisitive
    J is for jubilant
    K is for kindly
    L is for listening
    M is for mindful
    N is for nuance
    O is for openness
    P is for phenology (natural cycles in nature)
    Q is for questioning
    R is for reflection
    S is for serendipity
    T is for transformative
    U is for unwavering
    V is for visible thinking
    W is for Wabi Sabi
    X is for, well, “the letter x was made to vex” (thank you Edward Gorey)
    Y is for yes!
    Z is for zenith (that imaginary beyond, keeping us looking onward)


  26. Michelle Staley….

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Abundance, amazing, awe-inspiring, alive
    Brimming with ideas, bold, beautiful
    Community, challenge, co-create, choice
    Dancing, dream, diversity
    Enlightening, exuberance, energy, excitement
    Fun, fearless, focus, feisty
    Guiding, growth, giggling
    Helping, happy, heartfelt
    Inquisitive, inspirational, imaginative
    Jack-of-all-trades, joyful, jokes
    Kindness, knowledge
    Love, learners, light, lol
    Music, mindset, motivate
    Nonsense, nature, nourish
    Outdoors, optimistic
    Purposeful, provocations, positive, passion
    Quirky, quick on their feet
    Reggio-inspired, responsive, rejuvenate
    Singing, smiles, spontaneous
    Take risks, trust, transformative
    Uplifting, unique, understanding
    Vitality, vim and vigor, variety
    Welcome, wonder, willingness, water
    Yes, young at heart, yummy (as in the cookies we bake! lol)
    Zealous, zany, zest

    This was so much fun! What a perfect summer activity: reflective and restorative. Thank you, Diane!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Authentic

    Liked by 1 person

  29. A=assets. Let us focus on all the children know and can do-their strengths not just their challenges.
    B=breadth. Our field is both wide and deep, including many types of professionals who work with young children and their families.
    C=Canadian. We have our own unique ECE ethos in Canada. Let’s embrace it!
    D=developmentally appropriate. It means knowing about child development, individual development and culturally appropriate practice.
    E=Elders. The respected keepers of knowledge and traditions to whom First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities look for advice and wisdom. We can all learn from the Elders.
    F=families. Families share their children with us and our work supports healthy families.
    G=good. As we commit to the profession remember the old saying, Good Better Best/Never let it rest/Until the good is better/And the better, best.
    H=holistic. We focus on all the domains of growing and teach in an integrated holistic way.
    I= inclusion. A way of thinking and acting that allows every individual to feel accepted, valued, and safe.
    J=just enough. We provide the optimal level of scaffolding, understanding that “just enough” will be different for each child.
    K=knowledge. Children have so many ways to show us all that they know.
    L=learning invitation. The purposeful attention we give to children’s environments to attract and build upon their interests and introduce new materials and ideas.
    M=metacognition. The ability to think about our own thinking and the ways through which we learn.
    N=nature. We recognize how critically important time spent in nature is to children’s development.
    O=observation. All that we do is grounded in our observations of the children we work with.
    P=play. We are champions for play and its relationship to child development.
    Q=quiet. Sometimes, we sit quietly with children, keeping them company, and showing that we value what they are doing without the need to intervene.
    R=rich. We create rich learning environments.
    S=school. We build partnerships with our colleagues in the school system.
    T=teachable moments. We grab hold of those unplanned opportunities that arise in the classroom when we have an ideal chance to offer insight to children.
    U=universal design. When we plan using universal design principles, we can include everyone without the need for significant modifications.
    V=vision. We all need a personal and professional vision. Why are YOU in ECE?
    W=wonder. Children wonder about so many things and we support their inquiries.
    X=X’s and O’s. We are not afraid to share physical comfort with children.
    Y=yes. We say yes much more often than no.
    Z=zone of proximal development. We pay attention to the cusp of a child’s emerging skills and take a constructivist approach in our work as ECEs.

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  30. A – authentic adventure
    B – belonging and big body play
    C – creativity and child directed
    D – documentation and delightful
    E – emergent and experience
    F – fun, families
    G – genuine
    H – hands on
    I – invitation, imagination
    J – joy
    K – kindness
    L – loose parts
    M – montessori, music
    N – nature (indoor and out)
    O – observations
    P – play based, provocations, possibility
    Q – quality, question
    R – Reggio, real, rough amd tumble
    S – sensory, self regulation, safe
    T – third teacher
    U – understanding
    V – vision
    W – whole child, wonder, why
    X – Xs and Is (hugs and snuggles aplenty)
    Y – yes
    Z – Zone of proximal development


  31. A: Agency of each individual child, Attachment
    B: Belonging, Being and Becoming oh and a real Belief
    C: Children – Capable, Creative, Connected, Communicative, Commitment, Contextually relevant, Co-constructed and Critical thinking enabled
    D: Developmentally Appropriate, documentation that shows strengths
    E: Engaging, empowering, emotionally able
    F: Families as first most important teachers, children are the future, facilitate
    G: Grow at their own pace
    H: Holistic and healthy
    I: Investigate, Imagine, Inquire, Intrest
    J: Journey for life
    K: Keep it Simple Sweetie (KISS)
    L: Life long learners
    M: Meaningful, multiple ways of learning
    N: Networking, nature and nurture
    O: Ongoing Opportunities (for the above and the below letters) 🙂
    P: Play based, problem solving, peer support and professional practice
    Q: Quite times and be the quality don’t try and buy it
    R: Relationships – real reciprocal, Reflection and Regulation of self (child and adults)
    S: Shared decision making, strong social context with peers and others
    T: Temporal essence
    U: Unique understandings
    V: Vast possibilities, visible and visionary
    W: Well-being, welcoming
    X: X marks the spot
    Y: Yearning for learning
    Z: Zebra’s don’t always have stripes 🙂


  32. A: Agency
    B: Beauty
    C: Collaboration
    D: Democratic space
    E: Experience
    F: Fun
    G: Grow
    H: Honouring children’s voice
    I: Inquiry
    J: Justice
    K: Knowledge
    L: Love of life-long learning
    M: Musical
    N: Nature
    O: Opportunity
    P: Play
    Q: quiet
    R: Reflection
    S: SImple
    T: Total
    U: Unique
    V: Voice
    W: Whole
    X: X-amine
    Y: Yes
    Z: Zen


  33. Pingback: The ABCs of ECE | Building Connections in Early Learning

  34. Advocate
    Learning groups


  35. Pingback: The ReWord Challenge: Reflecting on the Principles and Philosophy of the Reggio Emilia Educational Project | Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research

  36. A- advocating for children’s rights- especially their right to play and to be heard
    B- beg, borrow and steal ideas
    C- calmness in the educator and in the learning environment
    D- documentation
    E- engagement
    F- free play
    G-garden. Early childhood is, and should always be, the “children’s garden”
    H- heuristic play
    I- imagination
    J- joyful learning
    K- kindness.
    L-love. Above all, it’s our love and regard for children that should drive our practise
    M-motor development. Oft forgotten but essential. Both fine and gross motor skills are the foundation for skills children need later in life- for self-care, to be successful writers and artists, to participate in sport and outdoor adventures
    N- ature
    O- observation should drive our planning. What are the children interested in? What can they do? What do they need more support with?
    P- parental involvement
    Q- questions children and educators ask
    R- rhythm and flow of the day
    S-sensory play
    T- time. Children develop at their own pace. Often we find ourselves rushing and pushing, but we should step back and look things from their perspective
    U-understanding of how children learn and of ages and stages
    V- oyage into discovery
    W- wondering and inquiring
    X- x marks the spot! Chidren develop storytelling (and writing) skills by being exposed to the common language patterns they hear and see in our storybooks (and in popular tv culture).
    Y- yellow and other colours.
    Z- Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz. Children should have the everyday experience of being read stories and reading stories themselves. They should get immersed in different storytelling worlds and be introduced to classic stories and authors (just like Dr. Seuss!).


  37. Pingback: Loose Parts: These are a Few of my Favourite Things! | Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research

  38. Pingback: Lines in the Sand in ECE: Where do you Draw the Line? | Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research

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