Last week I had an opportunity to join other educators, including some of our own Early Childhood and Kindergarten teachers, for the Supporting Neurodiversity in Early Childhood Education conference here on campus. We welcomed educators throughout Southern and Northern California to learn more from Lindsay Astor Grant, a pediatric Occupational Therapist, who focused on classroom design and motor development. We took a closer look at how to set up a classroom environment to support various types of learners.

With a multitude of learners, and noticing the impact children experienced from COVID-19, we want to ensure we are using best practices for our students. There were many takeaways from this conference, which included how to implement flexible seating or “Zen Zones” with calming toolkits for children to visit as needed to reset and rejoin and core building activities and movements to build children’s spatial awareness.

–Ms. Jordann, Director of Early Childhood

Here’s what some of our teachers learned from attending the conference!

I learned how to implement simple, but effective, exercises tailored to strengthen children’s cores and why it is important to meet children’s physical well-being to create a more conducive learning environment.

Flexible seating, and allowing children to find alternative ways to “sit”, can provide students with greater learning outcomes.

I found the PD to be inspiring and informative. I was excited to implement sensory regulation techniques and tweak our classroom design to support success and learning. I implemented the body awareness exercises for our morning Meetings, introduced different ways to sit on the rug with open sitting, and changed the direction of the carpet to avoid distraction and provide focus.

Lindsay inspired me to think creatively about how to set up the classroom environment that set children up for success.