RAEYC Conference

Yesterday I attended the RAEYC conference held at Monroe Community College. The keynote speaker was Rafe Martin, and let me tell you, I was entranced. He is an author and storyteller. One of the many points he made was that we have basically lost the art of storytelling and replaced it with TV. TV, the thing that puts images in our head so we don’t need to use our imagination. Storytelling is all about imagination, and each person you tell a particular story to will have completely different images in their brain as you tell your story. And if you open up a person’s head, you won’t see any of these images, just brains and blood. Which took me back to when my Dad was dying. I was thinking about all of his stories and images just disappearing from us in a flash when he died, and I think that’s one of the big things I miss about my Dad.

Anyways, back to Rafe.  Another point he made is if children don’t hear stories and read books but instead just watch TV, they won’t know right from wrong and the consequences of wrongdoing, and will go out and cause trouble because they haven’t learned about consequences.  Storytelling is becoming lost, and we are the last link to our past, so we need to tell our stories now!

Okay, I’ll let that sink in, start thinking about your stories and telling your family your stories, or writing them down at least.  I need to start doing this.

Next we had a choice of workshops, and I chose the one about bringing Digital Photography into the classroom.  First, the idea is to have the children take the photos with something like a Fischer Price Kid Tough Digital Camera.  There are several ideas of what they can do, from creating books of any type, to taking each other’s photos to help them to get to know each other,

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to documenting a process on a storyboard (like Making Apple Prints)

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to documenting what they do on a field trip.

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We ate a boxed lunch, then the next workshop I chose had to do with ideas for getting kids out in nature.  I learned quite a bit, but since my boss isn’t a nature lover like me, I’m sure I won’t be able to sell her on anything.  But the digital photography, I just might be able to.