Conferences & Workshops

Preschool & Primary Teachers Congress

An Early Start for an Early Lead

Date: 31 May 2014 (Saturday)
For: Primary, preschool, and kindergarten teachers, parents, librarians, language specialists.
Ticketing: Fees & Registration
Downloads: Programme Booklet (12.9MB PDF)
Other Downloads
Illustrated by Atanu Roy, India.

The AFCC Preschool & Primary Teachers Congress provides teachers and educators with the skills and knowledge to impart early literacy through bilingualism to their charges as a child transitions from early childhood to primary school.

Illustrated by Atanu Roy, India.

9:15 - 10:00am
L16 The Pod
Mastering the Art of Dyslexia: An Author’s Journey

Sally Gardner (Author)

Sally Gardner tells her own story - about how she became a writer, about what having dyslexia means to her and where she finds her inspiration. She suggests how dyslexia is a strength, rather than a weakness, and discusses Einstein's principle that 'imagination is more important than knowledge'.

L5 Possibility + Imagination Rooms
What Works: An Exploration of Current Practice and Leading Edge Pedagogy

Peggy McNamara (Chair, General Teacher Education Department, Bankstreet College of Education)

 “Use your words” Early Childhood Educators everywhere support young children in their attempts to make sense of the world. Learning to understand and use oral and written language is a critical task. This keynote will present early literacy research and teaching practices that address the importance of connecting linguistic, cognitive, affective, and self regulatory behaviors to early literacy development.

Session Handout: What Works: An Exploration of Current Practice and Leading Edge Practice

10:30 – 11:30am
L5 Possibility + Imagination Rooms
Teaching Strategies That Develop Children’s Creativity

John R. Gunnarson (Early Childhood Consultant)

What is creativity, and how do children become creative? This interactive session will provide concrete strategies for facilitating the creativity of young children in your classroom: brainstorming, planning, observational drawings, open-ended questions, prediction, comparison, and speculation. Examples of children’s creative work will be presented.

L16 The Pod
Walk to Talk

Peggy Zee (Early Childhood Consultant)

Come prepared to move with Peggy as she guides participants to learn about the link between movement (physical activity) to learning and increased academic performance. Participants will learn how movement development provides the framework for the brain to sequence the patterns for academic learning. Come ready to personally experience movement as you are guided through a series of movement-based learning activities. You will see how letter knowledge, word recognition and early reading can be taught using Auditory-Visual-Motor Activities. You will leave with a better understanding of how movement can make learning to read and write more effective and fun for children and adults alike.

L1 Visitors' Briefing Room
Using Digital Video to Improve Literacy

Shaireen Selamat (Early Childhood Consultant)

Teachers often use digital video in the classroom as a visual tool for content learning. However, it can also be a valuable resource to facilitate preschool literacy skills .This session aims to show how teachers can create their own digital stories using simple virtual tools. Teachers will also obtain ideas on how these videos can be used to increase interest and engagement during literacy activities.

12:00 – 1:00pm
L5 Possibility + Imagination Rooms
The Role of Children’s Books in Early Childhood Classrooms

Fatima Sharafeddine (Author)

In this session, Fatima Sharafeddine talks about the purpose of literature in the classroom, the role of teachers in the classroom literary environment, and why learning environments should commit to children’s books in early childhood schools.

L16 The Pod
Low Cost or No Cost: Teaching with Locally Available Materials

Al Santos (Book Publishing Manager, Room to Read) Amrita Goswami (Programme Coordinator, Save the Children, India)

Showcasing some good practices from Asia, the experts will discuss how to create an effective learning environment that fosters emergent literacy by using locally available, low or no cost materials. Discussions will include: types and characteristics of good materials, key strategies for effective use of these materials, and benefits of using low and no cost materials in supporting young learners' emergent literacy skills.

L1 Visitors' Briefing Room
Critiquing a Picture Book

Leonard Marcus (Historian, Writer, Book Critic, Exhibition Curator) James Mayhew (Illustrator)

Join critic Leonard Marcus and illustrator James Mayhew as they lead this session on evaluating literature for classroom use. What is appropriate for children of different ages and how to get the most out of them?

2:30 – 3:30pm
L5 Possibility Room
Using Books with Children with Special Needs: The CSI Way

Norman K N Kee (Lecturer, Early Childhood & Special Education, National Institute of Education) Dr Noel K H Chia (Assistant Professor, Early Childhood and Special Education, National Institute of Education)

In this presentation, Dr Noel Chia will share how books can be used with children with special needs (including those with autism, dyslexia and hyperlexia) using what he called the CSI way, where the C stands for Content, S stands for Strengths and I stands for Interest.

L5 Imagination Room
Nurturing Language and Literacy Through Music

Christina Lai (Educator)

The talk on “Nurturing Language and Literacy through Musical Activities” is about empowering caregivers of young children with a developmental approach to acquiring language through musical experiences in a manner that is in harmony with their intellectual, physical, psychological and musical potentials. Participants will join the presenter in various musical activities to experience firsthand and decide for themselves what suit them best.

B1 Multi-purpose Room
Strategies for Supporting Preschoolers’ Early Literacy Skills

John R. Gunnarson (Early Childhood Consultant)

Learn specific strategies for facilitating your children’s early literacy skills in this interactive session. Instead of rote learning, children can develop their reading skills through CROWD and word bank cards, their writing skills through modeled writing, journals, and daily sign-in, and their language skills through pair-share and question-of-the-day. Concrete examples and strategies will be presented.

L1 Visitors' Briefing Room
Introducing Singapore Stories in Preschool and Primary Schools

John McKenzie (Educator)

Teachers need to employ the idea of scaffolding as a noun as much as a verb when it comes to negotiating the meaning of a text. This seminar will examine five Singaporean award-winning picture books and demonstrate the value and possibilities of negotiating deeper layers of meaning across the curriculum using structural analysis templates. 


4:00 – 5:00/5:30pm
L5 Possibility Room
Challenges in Language Learning

Cheng Chen-chen (Early Childhood Consultant) Denise Lai (Managing Director, Wee Care Group Singapore) Dr Noel K H Chia (Assistant Professor, Early Childhood and Special Education, National Institute of Education)

In the acquisition of language, children go through key milestones in language development that encompass auditory and information processing skills, and the abilities to integrate and translate them into written or spoken communication. Some children face challenges which can be manifested as difficulty in encoding appropriate information, identifying and processing words in reading, and integrating information to form words or express thoughts in writing. The panel will discuss how the increasing awareness of such challenges has led to a range of support services and resources developed to assist these children.

L5 Imagination Room
Perspectives on Literacy for Young Children

Jacqueline Chung (Senior Principal & Academic Director, St James Kindergarten) Tan Beng Luan (Principal, Creative O Preschoolers’ Bay) Edmund Lim (Director (Special Projects), Educare)

The panel will discuss how various persectives on literacy have resulted from advances in research, changes in educational practices and public policy, as well as the current practices in literacy for young children. Learning language by active engagement, development of literacy before formal instruction, and whether writing or reading comes first, are some of the areas that will be covered.

B1 Multi-purpose Room
Music, Drama, Art are Integral to the Development of Literacy

Danny Loong (Timbre Music Academy) Elaine Ng (Associate Professor, Wheelock College) Wong Seet Fun (Educator, Founder of Art Loft)

As literacy is dependent on more than reading alone, learn from these experts in the panel discussion on how art, drama, and music can all play hugely important roles in developing a child's literacy.

L1 Visitors' Briefing Room
Authors and Illustrators in the Classroom

Ho Lee Ling (Author) David Liew (Illustrator)

Join author Ho Lee Ling and illustrator David Liew as they give you some insight into what goes behind the scenes of creating a book. Do authors and illustrators consider elements that make their work suitable for the classroom? What elements of their books do they design with a mind to creating for a classroom environment?