Episode 7: Talking Toddlers with Susie Allison

In this episode, host Colleen Kaplan sits down with Susie Allison, creator of the popular Busy Toddler Instagram account, to talk about all things toddlers and preschool.  Susie, an early childhood education expert and advocate, focuses on bringing hands-on, play-based learning back to families and classrooms using simple activities, many with objects you can find around your home.

During the episode, Colleen and Susie cover many important topics for parents of toddlers and preschoolers, including:

  • What is “Kindergarten Readiness”?  Is it something parents should be concerned about?
  • How can an activity like sensory bins teach my child the skills they need to enter school?
  • What can I do to encourage my child to play independently?

Episode Resources

Throughout the episode, Susie and Colleen share numerous resources, blog posts, and activities you can tackle with your family. For a quick infographic (with audio timestamps) of these topics, click here.

Interested in learning more about Susie’s approach to education and parenting?  Check out her new book Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting : From Their First No to Their First Day of School – and Everything in Between available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop.org, and BookDepository.com.

More information about Susie, her work, and her books can also be found on her website.

Episode 6: Exploring “Sharenthood” with Leah Plunket

In this episode, host Colleen Kaplan sits down to discuss the intersection of parenting and social media with Leah Plunkett, law professor and author of Sharenthood: Why we should think before we talk about our kids online. Leah, a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and associate professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, breaks down the thin line parents have to walk when it comes to their use of social media and protecting their children’s data privacy. Questions tackled in this episode include:

  • What data are we giving up when we accept the terms of service on free social media apps?
  • How can we be vigilant about the data being collected about ourselves and our children?
  • Can the data, pictures, and anecdotes we post on social media now affect our children’s lives down the line?

Episode Resources

Throughout the episode, Leah and Colleen share numerous resources for additional reading and listening. Check out the list below to dig even deeper into these important topics!

For a quick infographic (with audio timestamps) of these topics, click here.

To learn more about Leah Plunkett’s work, or to buy her book, visit www.leahplunkett.com.

Episode 5: The Principles of Well-Being during Remote and Hybrid Learning

This episode is the third in a series loosely based on The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents by Rosalind Wiseman, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie. If you’re interested in learning more about the topics in this episode, you can purchase a copy here.

In this episode, host Colleen Kaplan delves into the third chapter of The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents alongside guest speaker Sara Bates, a Diagnostic and Behavior Supervisor with District #87 in northeast Illinois. Bates brings a wealth of experience as both a licensed counselor and a therapist to the table to answer these important questions:

  • What is well-being and why is it important?
  • How can I help calm and regulate my anxious child?
  • What can my family do to feel less isolated from family and friends?

Along the way, the pair highlight a variety of other well-being-related topics, including several methods for promoting mindfulness in the home – even among young children. Parents and caregivers will also walk away from this episode with a few tips for prioritizing their own well-being in the face of daily challenges.

Episode Resources

During this episode, Colleen and Sara mention a variety of resources designed to help support families during remote learning.

For a detailed list of these resources, including full descriptions, click here.

This podcast was produced by LTC SPARK, a remote learning resource program from the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. For more information about SPARK, or to view our upcoming events, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).

Episode 4: The Importance of Reading During Remote Learning

This episode is the second in a series loosely based on The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents by Rosalind Wiseman, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie. If you’re interested in learning more about the topics in this episode, you can purchase a copy here.

In this episode, host Colleen Kaplan digs into the second chapter of The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents. This chapter focuses on reading, and why it remains important for students to continue sharpening their reading skills while learning remotely

Along with special guest Holly Kelly, the pair highlights the importance of reading with your children, as well as the best ways to talk to your children about what they are reading. Holly also spotlights several free, high-quality reading resources for use at home while providing a few pointers for choosing the right books for your children.

Holly currently serves as a Regional Educational Technology Coordinator for the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. Holly brings her extensive education experience as a former library media specialist and English teacher to the SPARK Parent Podcast.

Episode Resources

During this episode, Colleen and Holly mention a variety of resources designed to help support families during remote learning.

For a quick infographic of these resources, click here.

For a detailed list of these resources, including full descriptions, click here.

This podcast was produced by LTC SPARK, a remote learning resource program from the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. For more information about SPARK, or to view our upcoming events, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).

Episode 3: “The Basics” of Remote and Hybrid Learning

This episode is the first in a series loosely based on The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents by Rosalind Wiseman, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie. If you’re interested in learning more about the topics in this episode, you can purchase a copy here.

In this episode, host Colleen Kaplan tackles the first chapter of The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents. Along the way, she endeavors to answer some of the most pressing questions for parents and caregivers today, including:

  • How can I establish successful routines for my child(ren) during remote learning?  
  • What elements of self-care are important for myself and my child(ren) to do on a daily basis?
  • Should I be listening in on my child(ren)’s Zoom calls for class?

To help answer those questions and more, Colleen also welcomes guest speaker Jillian Pettenuzzo, a guidance counselor at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, IL.  Jillian brings her extensive education experience as an English teacher, special education teacher, and counselor to the table to help parents and caregivers tackle their ongoing remote learning challenges.

Episode Resources

During this episode, Colleen and Jillian mention a variety of resources designed to help support families during remote learning.

For a quick infographic of these resources, click here.

For a detailed list of these resources, including full descriptions, click here.

This podcast was produced by LTC SPARK, a remote learning resource program from the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. For more information about SPARK, or to view our upcoming events, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).

Episode 2: Social-Emotional Learning: What is it and why is it important?

This episode’s recording was taken from a live webinar. To view the full webinar recording, click here.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) refers to a person’s ability to recognize and regulate their emotions, build relationships, and make responsible decisions. Now more than ever, a student’s SEL skills are crucial for participating in this socially and technologically changing world.

Practicing SEL skills while learning remotely can be challenging, though. That’s why we’ve welcomed back Abby Lyons, a Social Emotional Learning Coach for ROE #17 in Bloomington-Normal. In this episode, Lyons guides a discussion on the keys to SEL development, while providing parents and caregivers with the knowledge needed to model SEL skills in their home’s remote learning environment.

This event was hosted by LTC SPARK as part of an ongoing parent-focused webinar series. For more information about SPARK, or to view other upcoming events, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).

Episode 1: The Impact of COVID-19: Patterns of Stress and Brain

This episode’s recording was taken from a live webinar. To view the full webinar recording, click here.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be feeling a little different from day to day. Chances are, your brain and your student’s brain have been impacted by the stress of this ongoing experience. Recognizing and understanding those changes remains as important as ever, especially as you try to facilitate a prosperous at-home learning environment.

In this episode, guest speaker Abby Lyons introduces key social emotional learning concepts and skills, including:

  • The impact of stress on the brain and body
  • Methods for building resilience against stressful experiences
  • Best practices for supporting emotional well-being for yourself and your student during remote learning

Lyons is a Social Emotional Learning Coach for ROE #17, and is based in the Bloomington-Normal area of central Illinois. In her work with both kids and adults, Lyons relies on a mindful approach to teaching social emotional learning skills and information.

This event was hosted by LTC SPARK as part of an ongoing parent-focused webinar series. For more information about SPARK, or to view other upcoming events, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter (@ltc_SPARK).