--- Invite to Participate in Online Workshop with Dr Jo Fahey in collaboration with Professional Learning International ---
Are you an advocate for children's right to learn playfully?


Join Early Childhood teacher, author, and presenter, Dr Jo Fahey for her upcoming online workshop 
Playful Literacies: Honoring Children’s Agency

From the Desk of Dr. Jo Fahey
Adelaide, Australia
Dear Fellow Educator,

My name is Jo Fahey, I am a passionate early childhood teacher and strong advocate for children’s right to learn playfully

Instead of writing another book, for the last two years I have been developing an inspiring, interactive online workshop, 'Playful Literacies: Honoring Children’s Agency.

This workshop is packed with practical ideas and strategies to enhance playful literacies and children’s agency  for educators of children from 3-6 years of age.

You can take part by yourself, in small groups, or with your early childhood team. I have designed this as an opportunity for you to reflect, review, share and take action.

Which specific aspects of literacy will this workshop focus on?

Between the ages of 3 and 6, children embark on a remarkable journey; a transition from interacting primarily verbally with those around them to entering the world of communication through texts. 

The whole basis of academic learning rests on how well they make this crucial transition.

So, in this workshop you will learn ways that we can guide them on this journey.

• We help children build belief in themselves as readers and writers. They routinely show us in their play that they are ready for this. They have watched their significant adults engaging with texts.

• The portal to children’s belief in themselves, of course, is through us as educators. We believe them capable and competent of making this transition.

• We build this belief through our practice. Stimulated by rich experiences, children start to find their voice as readers and writers by being readers and writers. Choice is essential in developing their voice. We value and honour children’s intentions and approximations.

All this needs to be done playfully so that children are immersed and engaged in the process.

Along the way you will see all sorts of playful ways that children from around the world inquire into literacy in the broadest sense. For example, children as authors and illustrators, composers and singers, map-makers and tour-guides, dramatic players and artists.

I have drawn on the work of Kathy Short, Carla Rinaldi, Loris Malaguzzi, Peter Moss and Gunilla Dahlberg, as well as Matt Glover, Katy Wood Ray and Kathy Collins, among others.

I am excited to share this Playful Literacies Online Workshop with you ...

If you are committed to your own professional learning, and are looking for something that is both practical and inspiring...

Then this engaging online workshop is for you! 

This Online Workshop begins on July 6, 2020.

But before I tell you more about it, this workshop is NOT for you if …

❌ Your programmes for 3 to 6 years olds are very structured most of the time and you like it this way
❌ You are constrained by policies and practices that are not play-based and you must adhere to these
❌ You are not open to innovative ways of teaching and learning with the young children in your settings

We have designed this workshop for educators who want to promote children's playful engagement in multi-literacies, and who believe in and honour children's capacity to show agency. 

If this is something that you identify with, read on. 

It’s time to dig deeper...
Exactly what you’ll experience during the Online Workshop
Are you tired of participating in online workshops that are filled with lists of readings and follow-up activities that feel like ‘busy work’?

Have you ever started an online workshop and felt it was such a waste of time that you never finished it? 

Do you feel stressed about missing time in the classroom to complete lengthy professional development courses that may not actually benefit the children you teach?

This Online Workshop will be very different from other online learning experiences…

Why?

Over a four-week period, beginning on July 6, 2020, you will have the opportunity to...

Journey through four unique online modules that will provide you with a strong foundational understanding of Playful Literacies,

AND

Deepen your understanding of children's agency.

During this workshop you will…

✅ See Playful Literacies in action through videos and photographs

✅ Learn to foster young children’s reader and writer identities

✅ Understand the importance of mother tongue and translanguaging in the development of self-expression

✅ Explore how to set up learning environments and routines that promote children’s agency

✅ Discover innovative ways to use texts both to support curriculum and build on children’s own interests

✅ See examples of how to guide young children’s inquiries into conventional reading and writing

✅ Examine a wealth of types of texts, from songbooks to maps, from environmental print to electronic texts

✅ See educators managing multi-faceted learning environments where the children don’t all have to be doing the same thing at the same time

✅ Connect with like-minded, professionals and share your ideas, opinions and experiences online.

PLUS 

You will observe how children can engage in multi-literacies including authoring books, the visual arts, socio-dramatic play, singing and composing, writing and reading authentic signs and messages, and more...
Sounds interesting, right?
 This is powerful stuff...
One of the children you will meet during your module studies is Fletcher.

You will first meet him when he was four, and then again when he was 8. 

Fletcher initially found certain sounds hard to articulate and subsequently, he found learning to read very challenging. 

I documented the rich, playful experiences that we provided for him in an Early Years setting when he was four. These experiences helped to provide him with a strong basis for self-belief as an author, illustrator, reader and writer. 

I originally recorded Fletcher when he was 4, reading a book that he had made. 

Recently, I asked him, now he is 8, if I could again record him reading...

Afterwards I showed him and his family the recording from 4 years ago, and he said...

“Can you come back and film me reading when I’m 12? I bet I’ll be an even better reader then!” 

After my visit to his home, I taught at his school. Fletcher ran up to me in the playground and threw his arms around me saying, “I love reading!”

As I have followed Fletcher’s progress over four years, I believe that it is not only his belief in himself that has contributed to his success...

But it is also inextricably linked with the beliefs of his family, the Early Years educators, and the speech therapists who have worked with him.

I am determined to share the power of a playful approach in developing learner agency with as many Early Years educators as possible...

Because as you will see, it truly has the potential to change the lives of young people and their families. 

Why agency is so important...

Agency isn’t something that we bestow upon children from an all-powerful stance...  

Agency is something that we facilitate and nurture.
 
Within children there lies a well-spring of playfulness, creativity, knowledge and understanding. 

In this workshop you will see how educators co-create environments that are conducive to discovering and fostering this well-spring

You will learn how educators nurture children’s belief in themselves as independent, capable and competent learners.
 
It’s about Personal Enablement, which is defined by Kalantizis and Cope as "the ability to lead a life with full capacities for self-expression and access to available cultural resources.”
 
In line with empowering children to build agency...

You will also see educators guiding children so that they learn in their own way and in their own time.
 
This online workshop demonstrates this fine balance.

My goal...

This online workshop is about helping educators to learn more about how children can engage playfully with multi-literacies.

I want more children to have their early experiences of literacy learning guided in playful and creative ways...

So that they will engage with the joy in this key foundational area of their education.

I have thought long and hard about the format of this workshop and how to best facilitate your learning. 

I finally settled on a series of engaging components which are designed to work together seamlessly, providing you with the inspiration and confidence to try out some of these ideas and strategies and create your own.  

The workshop is structured into four modules. 

These modules are structured into four lessons each, plus a bonus lesson available at the end of the workshop. 

All modules include videos, photographs, practical tips and ideas, texts, and professional learning engagements for you to take part in, as well as reflection questions. 

The modules are peppered with insightful interviews and discussions between Rachel French, Director of Professional Learning International, Jayne de la Haye and myself.
Jayne is currently Junior School Principal of Kristin School in Auckland, New Zealand. She has had extensive experience as an early childhood teacher and leader in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

PLUS!

As a dedicated and experienced educator, with many years of experience in facilitating professional development for Early Years educators, I will personally be there to provide you with support in our weekly one-hour group discussions via Zoom. 

These Zoom calls are optional, but will provide you with the opportunity to clarify understandings, get feedback on your learning, ask questions, share ideas, and collaborate with other participants. 

You will also have ongoing access to a Facebook group which includes all members from this online workshop, so you can continue to foster long-term professional relationships, share ideas and support each other in your professional learning journey. 
Let's break down these four modules
This online workshop was created specifically for teachers, curriculum coordinators, and school leaders who are ready to deepen their understanding of Playful Literacies and agency.

 AND 

 …are prepared to reflect and act on their new insights in order to improve their practice

Is that you?

Module One: Beliefs
Children establishing strong reader and writer identities.
This first module explores young children’s belief in themselves, as authors and illustrators, as play-makers, readers, writers, composers of lyrics and singers. 

It focuses on practical ideas for building young children’s reader and writer identities through playful learning experiences.

In this module you will see young children engaged in  book-making

I also show how the visual arts and socio-dramatic play can provide children with the impetus to express their stories through their books.

How is it that these young children view themselves as authors and illustrators, every bit as much as older children do?

You will be invited to reflect on what helps children to build these beliefs. What is our role in assisting young language learners to enter the arena of authors and illustrators, composers and singers, and to feel included and valued?
Module Two: Read-Alouds and Responses
Children developing agency and independence in a community of literacy learners
In this second module you will see how texts that educators read aloud to their class can be a powerful stimulus for children’s own story-telling

One of the best ways that we can show children that we value their ideas is by enabling them to publish and showcase their own books.

Organization is essential. I will show you a range of practical ways that we can make the texts we have read to children, other texts for browsing and reading, as well as the ones the children have published, accessible. This develops greater agency and independence.

What sort of texts do we fill our class libraries with, anyway? Who gets to choose the texts? What is the role of commercial reading books?
Module Three: Transition to Conventional Reading
Authentic, meaningful and playful learning experiences
In Module 3 we focus on strategies for supporting young children’s transition to conventional reading with an emphasis on the essential role of meaning. Relevance to the children’s personal and social worlds is paramount.

I show young children engaging playfully with familiar and predictable texts as well as with environmental print. They are developing phonological awareness and an understanding of letter-sound relationships in natural and authentic ways

You will reflect on the type of texts that you read, browse and make available to children.

I explain that one way that older children can learn to read conventionally is by reading the texts that they and others create during, for example, Writer’s Workshop.

Do we fully appreciate the value of visual texts in young children’s transition to reading conventionally? Are visual texts even accepted as reading? 

You will see children reading images and symbols, globes and maps, as well as creating diagrams to map the themes, relationships and problems encountered in texts and events in their lives.
Module Four: Transition to conventional writing
Play and being playful as authentic contexts for writing
Module 4 is about playful ways that young children transition to conventional writing.

Here you have access to examples of children’s early writing to help you reflect on your working definition of what writing is.

Children have different trajectories as they transition to conventional writing, depending on many factors, including their perception of authentic purpose, their motivation and energy, and the tools that we provide or that they invent. 

Further key factors are their classmates' initiatives and abilities and appropriate scaffolding from adults. Again, as with learning to read, the relevance to the childrens' personal and social worlds is paramount.

Similar to the theme in Module 2 of availability and accessibility of texts, careful organization of the writing/drawing tools and materials, both indoors and outdoors, enables children to develop agency and independence.

This module culminates in thinking more deeply about the connection between one universal aspect of learning which is central to children’s lives, and that is play and children’s playful, natural transition to conventional writing (and therefore reading!).
Bonus Lesson!
This bonus lesson shows video clips of some of the children you met in the previous modules when they were four years old. Only now they are eight. 

These videos show us development over time in the key area of literacy learning; reading. 

It is a heart-warming reminder that the work and play we do in early childhood education, and the playful literacies that we foster, are a foundation for children to find joy and satisfaction in becoming literate.

Even though for some the journey may be a challenging one, it is rewarding, fulfilling, and life changing for all involved.
Your learning outcomes...
This workshop has been created to assist you to reflect on, review and share your practice with the aim of increasing children's playful engagement through multi-literacies.

By the end of this online workshop, you will:

✅ Learn effective strategies for ensuring that multi-literacy learning is playful and creative

✅ Develop a fresh eye for noticing and honouring children’s initiatives

✅ Be ready to reorganize and make more accessible the texts, materials and tools in your learning spaces

✅ Gain more strategies to enhance the playful involvement of children with English as an additional language

✅ Critically reflect on ideas and learning designs presented in the workshop and contribute ideas of your own 

✅ Have reflected deeply about your beliefs about children and how you honour their agency

So, how much is this all going to cost?

I have a limited number of places available for this online workshop so that I can provide you with individualised support. 

I know that price is an important factor, so I really want to make sure that all workshop participants get true value for money. 

With that in mind, the cost of this exceptional online workshop is only €450 per participant.

To encourage group collaboration, we are offering a special group discount of €375 per participant for four or more people who register together.  

I am excited to offer you this unique opportunity to take part in such a high quality, professionally produced workshop that represents excellent value for money.
My guarantee for you...
But, if all of this does not end up working for you, you will be protected by our 7-Day 100% Money Back Guarantee

If you have completed Module 1 and do not love this course by the end of your first week, we will offer you a full refund - no questions asked. 

Though I know that if you have read this far, you are going to feel inspired to sign up now!

See you online from July 6!

Warm Regards, 
Jo Fahey

Your Questions Answered...
By Rachel French Director of Professional Learning International 
 What is the start date?
- Our first intake will begin on July 6, 2020
 Will this workshop be relevant to the International Baccalaureate Enhanced PYP? 
 Yes, very relevant. This workshop is all about fostering children's voice, choice and ownership. 

Examples of children’s agency are embedded in every lesson as it is part of the philosophy of the educators involved to nurture and facilitate this.  

Throughout the workshop you will view a range of ways to support  multiliteracies and promote translanguaging.

Jo has taught in international schools and continues to work extensively with IB schools.
 Can you tell me more about Dr Jo Fahey? 
 Jo has the lived experience of teaching and learning with young children for many years in both national and international settings .
 
For over 30 years Jo has alternated between teaching in schools and kindergartens, working in the university sector and leading professional learning for educators—particularly early years educators—in Australia, New Zealand, The Solomon Islands, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
 
While teaching in international schools, Jo became a curriculum developer for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, with special emphasis on the early years. Jo has facilitated numerous IB workshops in both Europe and the Asia-Pacific.  
 
On returning to Australia she conducted extensive research leading to a doctoral dissertation. This, in turn, led to the publication of a book, Ways to Learn Through Inquiry: Guiding Children to Deeper Understanding, published in 2012 by the International Baccalaureate. 
 
Jo’s thirst for inquiring into how young children learn keeps her up-to-date with international and national developments in early childhood education. 
 What is included in the online course? 
- Four online video based modules, with four lessons in each.
- Optional weekly one hour group discussions via Zoom where you can ask questions and get feedback on your learning process
- Access to a private Facebook group so you can share ideas, ask questions and receive feedback from your peers
 What do I need to participate?
- Internet access to stream videos and access the course content
- Joining our Facebook group is recommended but not required
 How much time will this course take each week?
- Everyone works at a different pace, but we imagine it will take about 2-3 hours per week 
 What if I cannot make the weekly Zoom calls at the scheduled time?
-Jo will release the recorded session within 48 hours so you can still make the most of this learning opportunity
 Will I have lifetime access to the course content? 
- No, we have found when people have lifetime access they never get around to completing the course. The course is designed to be completed within four weeks. You will have access to the course for a total of five weeks. At the end of this time the portal will be closed, you will however maintain access to the Facebook group. 
 Will I get a certificate of participation recognizing my Professional Learning?
Yes, when you complete all of the modules you will recieve a certificate of participation recognizing 15 hours of professional learning.
 What if I can't make the dates above?
- We will offer this course again later in the year! Click here to subscribe for updates.
Professional Learning International ©  2020