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ECTA Group Office Bearers

Chair: Lynne Ireland
Secretary: Dianne Davy
Treasurer: Leslie McClelland


ECTA Cairns Regional Group
Dianne Davy


Contact Dianne at email address above for more information or to join the group.


Self-Regulation Workshops 25th May 2019 ECTA Cairns Regional Group

On Saturday 25th May, 75 Cairns early childhood professionals mobilised early to hear local occupational therapist, Barb Powell, talk about self-regulation. Barb delivered two workshops during the morning, divided by a vital morning tea and networking break.
The first session, Self-Regulation - What is it and how can we use it to improve behaviour and learning outcomes in young children?, discussed sensory regulation, emotional regulation and executive functioning. After learning about high and low threshold behaviours for each sense (auditory, visual, tactile, proprioception and vestibular) we engaged in hands-on "brain breaks". These brain breaks not only allowed us to focus and share a laugh but were practical things we could bring to our classrooms (e.g. engage the vestibular sense by moving our head in different ways when we heard different instruments).
During the morning tea break it was great to see representatives from Family Day Care, Long Day Care, Kindergarten, schools and therapy services deep in conversation. We also used this time for a photo opportunity out front of our host venue, TAFE Qld.
The second session, Self-Regulation - Strategies and tools we can use to help children make better behaviour choices and achieve improved learning, gave practical ideas from programs like Zones of Regulation, We Thinkers and The Alert Program. Barb guided us in how to teach self-regulation to children by: giving insight, modelling, teaching perspective taking, exploring tools, teaching how and when to use self-regulation tools, identifying triggers and making plans. During this session we also spent time planning how we could incorporate movement, or proprioceptive activities, into different times of the day. Barb also displayed a range of sensory "tools" (not toys), visuals, timers and books to explore theory of mind concepts with children and link to the zones of regulation.
The ECTA Cairns Regional Group have reflected on how well attended and received this professional development event was. Anecdotal feedback indicates the topic, timing and affordability all contributed to its success. The hard work of ECTA Group Members was rewarded through their successful partnership with a local professional who generously shared her wealth of knowledge built over a 26-year career. Sincere thanks to Barb Powell and the Cairns early childhood community.