Big Ideas

Emergent Encounters Over Time with Susan Stacey in collaboration with Gretchen Reynolds

ReCognition collaborators are pleased to welcome you, to our series of encounters designed to help you as an educator, in early years contexts, move towards emergent curriculum and gain a deeper understanding of the pedagogies in How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years.  We are privileged to be able to facilitate an in depth series of encounters with Susan Stacey. Susan is an author, educator, college professor, presenter, and early childhood consultant. Her book Emergent Curriculum in Early Childhood Settings is a Canadian text on how to move into this journey and strengthen your practice.

There will be a series of seven encounters from November 2017 until December 2018. We hope your team can join us. the program will suit educators who work with children in Childcare, Kindergarten and EarlyOn programs. The principles of Emergent Curriculum remain the same and there will be opportunities to think together about these ideas in your own context.

We also welcome those who work in home child care, many of these ideas are so accessible with the smaller groupings of children you work with….

It is suggested you come as a team if possible, in order to fully benefit from this experience and remain successful with these approaches.

The next series of encounters offered Winter and Spring 2018 will include:

Encounter 3 (live) Saturday, February 24, 2018 and 4 (online) May 2018

What do we mean by the Cycle of Inquiry and how does this connect to Emergent Curriculum? As part of the Cycle of Inquiry, we will explore observing to capture children’s ideas and meanings.


What exactly are we looking for? And how might we respond? What are the possibilities? Practicing observation with each other, with video, and with photographs, trying to interpret to meaning behind children’s actions. Thinking about the role of time and the impact on our practice.  

Registration fee will be $60 and registration opens November 19, 2017


Online Registration Click Here

A Pop Up Big Idea Experience The Play’s the Thing with Gretchen Reynolds

An exciting idea has emerged and we are honoured to host a Pop Up Big Idea Experience with Gretchen Reynolds, author, Early Childhood Professor, and an authority on children’s play.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


The Bridge Church, Kanata

285 Roger Neilson Way

For 55 participants, registration is $21

Join us as we think about:

How young children learn by constructing knowledge through explorations and play with materials, actions, and ideas, and in relationships with others.

How skilled teachers nurture children’s competence as players. As active as children are, a teacher-as-artist promotes complex, meaningful play.

Practicing a teaching role that best suits the learning child: stage manager, mediator, player, scribe, assessor and communicator, and planner.

Questions we will explore include: – How do teachers interrupt play? – What are teachers’ uses (and abuses) of power? – Can a teacher play beside children? – Can we learn to see the learning in play?

Online registration here

Note: Participants will need a photo or a story of a child at play. Use a mobile device if you wish.

Participants: This will interest educators and teachers in: preschool and child care programs, home child care programs,kindergarten and school-age programs, EarlyOn programs, environments for children with special needs, Early Childhood Education students, and family members.

Encounter 5(live) Saturday, October 13, 2018 and 6 (online) Fall 2018 

Registration fee will be $60 and registration opens June 15, 2018

Reflecting upon authentic engagement: using and documenting children’s interests and ideas. 

Using educators own observations: practicing reflection, drawing out children’s ideas and thinking, and exploring all the ways we might document these ideas.

Our Final Encounter (Live) Winter 2018 Registration fee to be determined

Focusing on Pedagogical Documentation

Using participants own photos and notes, we will reflect and discuss, construct documentation pieces, and think about how we might use this documentation in various ways.

Our first set of encounters happened:

Encounter 1 Live -Saturday, November 18, 2017 The Bridge Church, Kanata

An emergent curriculum journey- (the beginning and onwards)

An exploration of what emergent curriculum is, and what it is not, beginning ‘where educators are’ and moving into next, sustaining steps. There will be time for discussion, sharing, and reflective questions, with links to How Does Learning Happen? Supervisors and Directors are encouraged to come with staff to work as a team with these types of changes in program approach.


Encounter 2  – January 2018 Online

Continuing the “threads of thinking” with invitations and responses to your questions in an online format created by Susan just for our group.

Susan has set up some invitations of things to work on in between sessions, so that educators don’t lose the ‘thread’ of their thinking. Questions will be gathered from educators and given to Susan to respond to the identified needs of the group. You were sent a survey to gather our collective questions, and you will have access to the online component at your convenience.

The registration fee includes both live and online encounters for $60

Our live encounter will include, coffee and tea, a mid morning healthy snack, and digital supports for the online encounter. Please bring a water bottle, notebook and pen.

*Online Encounters: participants will be emailed links to access the online encounter and will need a computer with sound.

We look forward to having an encounter with you…

ReCognition is excited to host a unique learning opportunity – presenting the Emergent Curriculum Certificate Overview

Join us for an overview of the Six Session Emergent Curriculum Certificate Program offered by the Ontario Reggio Association

“How do teachers and early childhood educators in full-day kindergarten and early learning settings offer rich, high quality, experiential learning environments that support children’s meaning-making and learning through play, inquiry, and arts-based processes yet also honour curriculum expectations?” Carol Anne Wien

For more information about the certificate:

This will be a day for early years educators in kindergarten, child care programs, as well as family support programs to see what this Certificate Program is all about and to be able to ask questions in order to see if this is something they would like to engage in.

“Last summer I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the first group of learners taking the Introduction to Emergent Curriculum in FDK and Early Learning Settings Session offered in Toronto. Currently I am on my third session and I felt compelled to seek out a partnership with the instructors to see if we could bring this to Ottawa. Things just sometimes work out. Places, people and ideas just come together when they are supposed to.”

Kathy BoelsmaLead Collaborator

Date: May 6, 2017

Time: 9:30am-3:30pm

Location: The Bridge Church Kanata, 285 Roger Neilson Way, Kanata, ON

Cost: $50

A Big Idea Experience came and went November 19, 2016

The Project Approach: Learning with Children

The Project Approach-Learning with Children Poster

This hands on workshop provided educators with an opportunity to: learn about real projects in a Kindergarten classroom, reflect on the process and planning of project work, and discuss how to capture and embrace the true interests of children.

About the Collaborators

Tracy Sims and Cheryl Emrich are a Kindergarten Early Learning Team. They work at Howard Robertson Public School in Kitchener, Ontario for the Waterloo Region District School Board. Tracy and Cheryl have been working in partnership together for 5 years. They have taught in both the Extended Day and the Core Day program.

Together, they offer a program that focuses on emergent, inquiry based learning. They draw inspiration from many different approaches to teaching such as the Reggio Emilia philosophy and Project Based Learning.

Tracy and Cheryl enjoy collaborating and connecting with others through social media, book clubs, conferences and workshops. They draw inspiration from co-constructing knowledge and learning alongside other educators. Tracy and Cheryl have presented to many different groups of educators across Ontario sharing their passion and belief that children are competent, capable, and curious learners.

Tracy and Cheryl approach workshops with practical, real classroom examples and stories while relating to current research or philosophies. They believe in honestly sharing how their teaching practice has transformed throughout their experiences in Full Day Kindergarten. See their Blog:

Our Ebook of our day is posted here to reflect back on our experience.

Big Idea Experience The Project Approach Ebook

We hope you enjoyed your time with us. Here are some things you had to say…

It was enriching, relaxing and just lovely! It was helpful and engaging. The beautiful atmosphere, relaxation period and food/drinks made PL feel like a treat!

Everything about the experience was intentional – felt welcomed and appreciated as a co-learner.

Amazing! Thought provoking, stimulating and engaging. I will always sign up for any ReCognition workshop/conference as they are always well worth the time.

An excellent opportunity to network and collaborate around other like minded professionals

I am looking forward to seeing they types of information which will be included in the ‘Book’ which will be emailed to us. I really appreciate this ‘extra’! Thanks for the great location and Scott’s wonderful music!

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