4/27/17 Boston- Children from the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter school take part in "Patty Cake, Patty Cake" during the Boston Public Schools Flash Rhyme Mob at the Dudley Square branch of the Boston Public Library on April 27th,  2017.  Herald Photo Joseph Prezioso

Kindergarten Conference

Observing and Documenting Children to Inform your Instructional Focus (2018, Day 1)

Building on last year's conference, extending conversations about documentation and observation to inform your instructional focus through interactive, teacher-driven activities.

Improving Child and Classroom Outcomes (2018, Day 2)

Robust curriculum, implemented with quality practice, is a key lever to early childhood success - success. We presented four powerful instructional practices that have been identified as effective, engaging, and correlated with positive child outcomes for BPS’ youngest learners based on the findings of our K-3rd grade longitudinal study:

  • Extending/Building children's learning through framing tasks and posing questions that elicit strategic thinking to make sense of the tasks;

  • Scaffolding/Differentiation of instruction to ensure that every child is able to access and actively engage in learning through multiple entry points;

  • Making Connections that facilitate learning experiences that require support children's growth in multiple domains and disciplines; and

  • Vocabulary that is rich and complex from the curriculum, as well as academic discourse.

Wondering how this links to our Essentials? See here in this summary.

Observing and Measuring Children's Learning (2017)

Observing in the classroom to inform teaching and learning through the lens of the K1 and K2 progress reports, and using these observations for lesson planning and CPTs.

Powerful Practice for an Engaged Citizenry (2016)

Looking at the long-term impact of powerful early learning experiences for children, achieving this through focused group work, inspiring stories from classrooms teachers, and engaging discussions around culturally sustaining teaching practice. As a result, they will deepen their knowledge of mathematics, science, and social studies standards to support curriculum and instructional best practices. They will also improve their instructional focus regarding culturally sustaining practice. 

Loose Parts Play (2014)

At the 2014 Kindergarten Conference BPS early childhood teachers and paraprofessionals had the opportunity to experience playing, creating, building, and exploring with loose parts materials, with the goal of reflecting on how these kinds of materials, and how opportunities for open-ended play with these sorts of materials, might positively impact teaching and learning in the classroom.

What are loose parts, and why do they matter?

Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, taken apart, and put back together in multiple ways. They are open-ended materials that encourage concrete experiences, problem solving, imagination and creativity in children. There is no specific set of directions regarding how to use loose parts materials- it is up to the child how the materials are used.  

Loose parts can be found in the natural world: sticks, water, sand, pine cones, feathers, leaves, rocks, flowers, etc.  

Loose parts can be found in the classroom: cardboard boxes, fabric, bottle caps, paper tubes, buttons, beads, string, etc.

When children play with loose parts they develop their skills in symbolic play, which has been shown to lead to positive outcomes in children’s later reading and writing  abilities. Additionally, loose parts provide concrete, child-directed opportunities for learning age-appropriate mathematics skills such as cardinality, ordinal numbers, one-to-one correspondence, and patterning.  

Finally, when children play with loose parts they improve their social emotional skills as well, negotiating and communicating with their friends, and they develop increasing skills in self-regulation, which is important for continued academic success as children grow older.  

(The definition in the first paragraph is taken from the article “Loose Parts: What Does This Mean”, from Penn State Extension)

For More Information


Stories in Action (2012)

For our 2012 Kindergarten Conference, Early Childhood hosted prolific writer and nationally acclaimed inspirational early childhood teacher and author, Vivian Gussin Paley. Ms. Paley, author of 13 books and winner of the prestige MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, presented and demonstrated storytelling in the classroom and how it benefits student growth with regards to academic success and emotional development.