Thinking Studios

Thinking Studios

Think learning laboratory, real materials, interesting space, and engaging ideas. Thinking Studios are where we play with an idea, think about what we are playing with, construct new understandings and replay to dig deeper.  These micro labs  or small studios are unique to each setting. Educators who are looking to introduce new types of materials into their learning environments need time to get messy and play in order to create their own understandings. Come play and think with us.

Thinking Studios can be offered to individual programs as a way to bring the learning to you and your staff. Investments in learning fees range from $300-$450 depending on the time frame, the materials, the number of participants, and mileage costs. We always ask what your interests are and we design a learning space from that beginning point. We collaborate together to create experiences that reflect your individual needs, preferences, and vision for your program.

Here is what a few of the participants thought of the experience.

In the workshops she provides or facilitates, her belief in reflective approaches to learning helps you, the participant, experience knowledge building as an emergent process. In these workshops, Kathy provides the time, sets the tone (materials and environment are carefully organized) and commits to creating opportunities for reflection and knowledge building. As participants, we get to share our collective wisdom, reflect on our practices and build professional relationships.
In her commitment to relational pedagogy, Kathy Boelsma provides the conditions that support continuous learning by educators who, in turn, nurture it in children.

Dominique LegerInclusion Consultant, United Counties Prescott-Russell

A wonderful group of home child care providers gather here last night to take part in a workshop facilitated by Kathy Boelsma RECE from ReCognition on Authentic Environments: the wonder of places and our surroundings. It was a thought provoking, engaging and enriching evening that left everyone thinking about their own spaces and what they value.

Sandra Zito RECEChild Care Providers Resource Network of Ottawa Carleton

Offered in Fall 2022

Connecting to the Land through Trees

Are you a parent looking to get connected to nature for your own well-being? Are you an educator seeking ways to be outside with the children you work with? Both of these perspectives will be a part of this experience. Get to know the trees through artistic processes, body movement, and digital connections that amplify our relationship with the trees at Blueberry Creek.

Bring yourself and your ideas to share with the group, we will create an experience together where we will be rested, engaged, exploring new materials you might use with your own children or those you work with, along with stories of children’s learning that may inspire you to see children differently, as idea generators, as competent and sources of learning for all of us. Connecting with nature benefits our mental health, our well being, and helps us to disengage from the hurriedness of life. This is one of the great benefits of Forest School, come and join us.

Challenging Adventurous Play: Learning Good Judgement

Using Canadian resources and international tools, we will define this idea of risky, challenging, and adventurous play. We will think and converse about “What is my attitude?” , “What is my disposition towards these ideas?” “ How can I support children’s healthy sense of agency and confidence?”

We will discuss the role of the adult and eight different types of challenging play, types of risk benefit assessments and dealing with concerns. This will be a dialogue with “spicy” overtones, a great topic for engaging with different perspectives, especially with settings, rules, and expectations.

This session will enhance your ability to use your professional judgement in relation to outdoor environments with children and families as suggested by the Practice Guideline: Pedagogical Practice, College of ECE, July 2020.

Challenging Adventurous Play: Assessments for Programming

Site assessments, risk benefit assessments, dynamic risk assessment, tools you need to create safe spaces

Applying our ability to evaluate risk and hazards on site locations as well as with creating and building challenging experiences with children is important to creating spaces that are safe and are challenging at the same time. This session will be about implementing the different assessments with some guidance and then creating a collection of assessments that you can use in your program with ideas coming from among ourselves for a shared approach in the development of the resource we can use daily.

“You’re responsible for creating an environment of trust and a feeling of safety, while using professional judgment to support decisions that positively affect children and families. One way you can use your professional judgment is by considering when and how to intervene in children’s interactions. Use your professional judgment to determine when to let children work out complex ideas individually or with peers, and when to participate in their inquiries with comments or questions that can extend and challenge their thinking. The goal is to provide children with nurturing and supportive environments where they have opportunities to solve problems on their own, but not at the expense of safety. “

(Practice Guideline: Pedagogical Practice, College of ECE, July 2020)