Elevating the Educator

This list provides insight into some of our offerings. Current training opportunities are listed on Eventbrite – Register Today.

Environments that Work: Schedules, Routines, Transitions & Rules

Professional development for teachers is the single most important decision we can make. Develop best practices for planning a balanced daily schedule, which
reflects and respects individual and group needs, while supporting choice and decision-making. Explore how to develop a flexible approach towards routines and transitions. We will learn to adapt the schedule, expectations, routines and transition to meet a child’s individual need. Child Outcomes and brain development are covered in this session in relation to preparing environments to help children develop self-regulation for school readiness.

Foundational Experiences for Emotional & Social Development: The Bedrocks & Pillars of School Readiness

The stages of emotional and social development set the groundwork for developing ongoing activities and experiences for all young children to develop positive healthy social-emotional development in the early years. Creating an emotional literacy framework, helping children develop friendship formations, assisting children in managing strong feelings, guiding young learners through problem solving and helping them resolve conflicts are presented through tons of classroom activities. Teachers can share these strategies with families to support home-school partnerships and engagement.

Group Circle: Time for Fun & Learning

Circle time should be fun for children and at the same time expose them to ideas that enrich concept development. Circle time or large group time should be an interactive experience. Session will include: circle time guidelines, tips for getting circle time started, creating a classroom circle time area, family communication, teaching techniques, circle time activities, what not to include in circle time and maintaining circle time excitement to support all approaches learning.

Seeing-Making-Doing: Art as a Learning Medium

Creative art is another language young children use to express what they experience, know, and feel. Promoting art experimentation and investigation in your classroom and center aids young children’s development and learning in many areas. Explore the changing role of the teacher as coach, facilitator and elucidator as it relates to creativity and art in early environments.

Dressing Up to Calm Down: Dramatic Play in Early Childhood Environments

After exploring the meaning and importance of dramatic play for young children let’s investigate dramatic play as a primary tool young children use to learn
about themselves, their communities and the world around them. How are we supporting young learners through this complex learning time of experiences and activities? Let’s explore our role, some sensitive issues with dramatic play and power in pretend play.

The Role of Adults in Arts Education

Making a decision to provide more than just crayons and paper can be difficult for many teachers. Learn child centered, “content” relevant planning for arts education through addressing all areas of development, providing learning materials that are concrete and related to children’s lives. Promote active involvement by providing choice/time and planning based on child observation, individual interest and developmental levels.

Promoting Pretend Play: Imaging the Fun, Imagine the Learning

Covered in this intensive training session:

  1. Connection between pretend play and language
  2. Development of children’s pretend/dramatic play
  3. Setting the stage for pretend & dramatic play
  4. Model pretend play for children who don’t pretend
  5. Facilitating socio-dramatic play
  6. Joining in and adding to socio-dramatic play
  7. Encouraging pretend play during sensory-creative activities.

So Natural, So Right, Misunderstood & Rejected: Sand & Water

Increasingly overlooked and left out of the classroom, curriculum and program. Sand, water, clay and mud are natural materials, which aid sensory exploration, investigation, discovery and manipulation while challenging children’s minds. Why are we replacing natural materials that require no introduction with worksheets, longer circle times and long periods of teacher directed work. Prepare to delve into sand/water therapeutically and ways you can incorporate them into your environments indoors and outdoors throughout the year. This is a sensory experience you won’t want to miss. This session supports challenging behaviors, school readiness and STEM.

Block Play: Building Opportunities for Learning

Blocks naturally appeal to children because they are good to touch, symmetrical, and open ended. When children construct, create and represent their experiences with blocks, they grow in areas of development. Children benefit the most from blocks when teachers help them organize and express their ideas. Let’s explore new engagement activities to assist children in fully benefiting from blocks and how blocks support STEAM.

Meaningful Connections: Young Children & Technology

Why Should I have a computer in my classroom? What are the downsides of having technology in the classroom? Where do I begin? How might we introduce the technology tools to children? Is it considered a learning area? How can technology facilitate creativity in young children? Technology already has a place in your
environment – develop it to support STEM in early childhood and technological competence.

What I Need with Infants & Toddlers

Design activities with brain development in mind for infants & toddlers. All children learn by doing. Establish safe activities around: seeing, touching, hearing, talking, moving and feeling. Through these experiences young children will learn to play actively, quietly, alone or with others while the caregivers engages instead of ‘stimulating’ each child. Caregivers with active children and high ratios will not want to miss this one.

Floor Time: Strategies to Support Approaches to Learning

Floor Time, a technique developed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, involves engaging children in partnerships; tuning in to their individual rhythms, moods, and needs; listening to them carefully; and observing their behaviors and unspoken messages-all to enhance healthy emotional development. Discover how to make your Floor Time interactions meaningful for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Sensory Integration: What Every Early Childhood Educator Needs to Know

All children have many needs. However, when a child’s sensory deficits impacts function in everyday life, they have a form of Sensory Integration Dysfunction. This session will address the difficulty in the way the brain takes in, organizes and uses sensory information, causing a child to have problems interacting effectively in their everyday world. Tools will be shared to help understand the role we can play in supporting children in adjusting to their world, sense of need, coping with behaviors and the environment.

Curriculum in Early Childhood Settings

Curriculum in early childhood education has evolved, changed, challenged, and confused early childhood educators, advocates, administrators and parents for
years. The questions always come up, “What should I teach?”, “What should my child learn during the school day?”. Eager To Learn, a US funded research program
evaluated widely used preschool curricular and discovered that no one approach is key. It found out a balance between child-initiated and teacher-framed classroom
experiences are beneficial to all children’s learning and development regardless of social-economical family background. We will explore strengths and challenges of
each model. This interactive and resource filled session focuses on in-depth investigation of widely used curriculum methods and new cutting-edge methods.

Autism: Teaching Young Children on the Autism Spectrum in your Preschool Classroom

What is autism? What is autism not? How can I help a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Autism is a complex biological disorder that affects one out of every 150 children. Generally referred to as a “spectrum disorder” because a child can be affected in a variety of ways, children with autism may display behaviors ranging from very mild to quite severe. This full-day workshop will help preschool teachers learn more about the basic characteristics of autism and meeting the unique learning needs of children with autism. Teachers will also learn about designing an environment that meets the sensory needs of children with autism and explore strategies to address the challenges associated with stereotypical behaviors, communication, play with others, and developing self-help skills.

Sexual Development in Early Childhood

Many early childhood professionals receive no formal training about children’s sexuality development. While sexual curiosity is a natural part of a child’s development, attitudes (mostly fear) about this process differ among educators and families. When it comes to children’s sexual curiosity we must respond in developmentally appropriate ways. It’s necessary for educators and parents to support each other and children in discovery of themselves and others. Reporting laws are included in this session. This training session will assist early childhood educators, parent educators and staff from child & family service agencies to acquire accurate and current information on sexuality development for young children. Attending the training you will understand how to communicate effectively and comfortably with young children about issues related to sexuality development.

Welcoming Diverse Families in Early Learning Settings: LGBT Headed Households in Perspective

Each year more children are welcomed into LGBT headed households. Programs and teachers must design and embrace practices that welcome all families. Many
practices are simple; others take time and effort through ongoing program development. We will explore the state of LGBT headed households participating in early
childhood and elementary programs and what we can do to support young children and their families when they enter our programs.

Busy, Curious & Capable: Meeting the Unique Needs of Boys in Early Learning Settings

Boys, particularly African American students are having increased conflicts with their teachers in early childhood and elementary settings. Research has demonstrated increased conflicts progress throughout the school year regardless of the teacher’s ethnicity. Teachers struggle with children of all genders who are less self-regulated, less attentive and more hostile in their reactions. Currently boys experience a relationship disadvantage in the early childhood years. The attunement and attachment required for belonging and learning are often mixed or missed. Boys learn differently than conventional education provides in most settings. To support the interest, needs and development of boys adjusting and modifying our teaching behaviors, attitudes and beliefs about boys can support them on
their educational experience.

Math’s Many Paths: Start with the Concrete and Count towards the Abstract

We may think that math is about right and wrong answers even in early childhood. Many of us learned there is only one way to solve math problems and that we need to have someone teach us what that way is. Some think math is about memorized facts and that the only way to get good at it is by repetitious drill from teacher to child in preschool environments. Math is about thinking and problem solving. Stop introducing arithmetic and make way for the natural way our children whose minds are mathematical acquire new knowledge. Search your environment for pre-math and math experiences, engaging in mathematical interactions and conversations and more individualized math for children are investigated in this interactive session.

Chop, Cut and Mix: Preparing Children for School Readiness with Cooking Experiences

Cooking is a natural laboratory for assisting young children to develop and learn. When children participate in cooking activities they learn how food is prepared and how it contributes to their overall health and well-being. Cooking can connect disconnected children to the environment and aid them in becoming part of the learning community. Many families eat out or in the drive-thru at least three times a week. Help your children learn internal order, coordination and concentration through developmentally appropriate cooking experiences they can do with little help from adults.

Science: Anytime, Anyplace

Help children learn the most important aspects of science – exploring (with the help of skilled teachers). Bring out the inner scientist in children and yourself with a wide range of easy-to-do scientific experiments and activities using familiar, easily obtainable materials and simple, hands-on experiences that demonstrate scientific principles. Learn to make science both accessible and intriguing to children of any age.

Some areas covered include:

  • using your senses as scientific tools
  • experiencing art/cooking as science
  • studying living things
  • adventures in chemistry, physics, electricity, and magnets

Science activities: A thru Z

Tons of intentional hands-on activities for you to explore and learn how to set up for the children to learn deeper concepts. Most materials are found in your kitchen or laundry room. This session has three types of results—immediate (right away), short-term (one or two days) and long-term (one week) for children to observe and investigate. It is an excellent start for students and early childhood educators; who are not enthusiastic about science exploration, discovery, and experimentation in their early childhood classroom. Each activity enables children to practice predicting and developing communication skills. Link these engaging experiences to STEM goals, DRDP observations and connected learning.

Math in the Preschool Years: STEM

Strategies for incorporating the six areas of math into the learning environment are presented. The stages of math development, teacher’s roles, what-to-do checklist, and informal and formal math activities are covered in this session in this STEM session.

Parents Who Challenge: Program, Teachers, Policies & Procedures

There is hope and help. Discover what you can do when values and beliefs are different. Handling upset and frustrated parents and responding to” you work for me” parents. There are ways to handle these parents and become partners in their child’s development.

Outdoors Play: Physical Development Goals, Roles & Curriculum Planning

Physical development is just as important as language/thinking skills and is a vital part of EC. Physical development can be broken down into three areas: Gross Motor, Fine Motor & Sensory Development. A playground with space and equipment and a classroom with appropriate materials provide the setting for children to
develop physically. Let’s explore activities that help children master their bodies through movement and the manipulation of materials.

Whole Body Movement Embedded in the Early Childhood Curriculum

Children love to move! This participatory session demonstrates engaging strategies that can integrate movement “children’s natural language” into the early childhood curriculum in schools and other settings. Using scarves, songs, music, and children’s literature, we will explore how kinesthetic teaching techniques provide a springboard for the development of body and group awareness, spatial and numerical concepts, language and pre-reading skills. Creative movement activities can ease transitions and classroom management issues as they heighten self-esteem, nurture creativity, and build community in the classroom.

I Can’t Believe It: The Relaxing Power of Physical Play

Developing concentration, self-esteem, relaxation, cooperation and imagination through physical play is easy for young children with skilled adult assistance. Meeting the varied needs of classroom children has become increasingly complex for educators. Through physical activities build the cognitive, social and emotional development of children. Exactly the kind of readiness they require for optimal growth and development.

Weaving Music into Young Minds

Early childhood educators receive no formal training in music education as it applies to children under age 6. Teachers are often surprised to find out how many ways they can introduce and encourage music in young children. Weaving music aims to expose teachers to musical ideas for the untrained educator. Weaving music answers the “why?” behind music in early environments. We’ll explore setting up the music/movement area for daily experiences, including disabled children, and music/movement instruments.

Storytelling, Puppets & Finger-Plays as Ingredient in your Language & Literacy Program

Learn to effectively and appropriately use storytelling, puppets and finger-plays as necessary ingredients in your classroom and find out what they promote in young children through hands-on experiences. Many teachers rely on books to encourage and support language and literacy in early childhood but storytelling, puppets and finger-plays add richness and depth to any classroom and support children social-emotionally, physically and cognitively.

Why Pay $3,500 for a Literacy Curriculum? Learn the “Big 5” Emergent Literacy Skill Areas

Explore how to incorporate book and print rules, vocabulary and background knowledge, phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge and communication and problem solving into your classroom experiences. This training will leave you wanting more as you create activities you can use the next day in your classroom. The literacy environment, instructional strategies, literacy Foundation and Framework Standards are investigated.

Writing in Preschool: Facilitating Print & Meaning with Young Children

We will:

  1. Survey existing practices that support early writing development.
  2. Find out how to value and encourage various forms of writing.
  3. The writing environment and how to set it up.
  4. The Word Wall reinvented for teachers who utilize this literacy experience.
  5. The Teachers Role in Supporting Young Writers.
  6. Writing experiences for the soon-to-be kindergartner.
  7. The 9 types of handwriting strokes are covered in this exciting session, which aims to refresh the preschool teachers writing environment, experience and

Taking Turns: Helping Children Become Conversation Partners

Identify the six types of communication and language development ALL young children go through and finally make time for one-to-one conversations while helping children develop and understand the rules of conversation. Explore all of this research-based information through video, groups, examples and presentations. A great session for teachers who want to encourage conversations with children, improve language-modeling practices and delve deeper into quality of feedback strategies that lead to positive child outcomes.

Helping Children Solve Their Own Problems

If we want children to be strong, independent, and able to stand up for themselves, they must be able to solve their own problems. Learn how to teach children to communicate assertively, understand another person’s point of view, evaluate their own behavior, think of alternative solutions, and make realistic plans. Problem solving still requires a skilled adult, come obtain the skills to help children solve their problems.

Physically Violent: When Children Turn to Hitting & Punching

Young children are much more likely to communicate their needs and feelings through behavior than through language. A huge challenge for teachers is understanding the language of behavior and responding in helpful ways. Teachers will examine physically violent behaviors and decide when to offer suggestions, support and new strategies for young children who communicate through physically violent behavior.

Guiding Young Children: Teaching Social- Emotional Skills -Yes, It Can Be Done!

Explore, investigate, and discover why social-emotional skill development is a primer for academic skill development. Then take it all back and help children. Features include misbehavior and mistaken behavior, discipline vs. guidance, classroom strategies and interventions.

Conflict Resolution: How Children Resolve Conflict in Peaceful Ways

Among the many tasks of early childhood, two stand out: to communicate needs in a respectful way to other children and to listen with respect to the ideas of others – perspective taking. These areas of learning are important to all young children, but especially to those who participate in group settings away from home—preschool and child care programs, playgroups, or summer camps. With the support of knowledgeable adults, children are able to learn the skills necessary for effective communication within peer groups. Teachers will explore resolving conflict in peaceful ways, planning for conflict and responding to conflict.

Responding Vs. Reacting: How Teacher’s Response Can Determine a Child’s Reaction

Dynamic and successful teaching is reliant on the art of responding; yet few of us do it mindfully, consistently and with ease. This workshop will uncover how the
skill of responding can dramatically improve your teaching practice and greatly enhance relationships while teaching children essential coping tools that help them to interact more positively and become more socially skilled. Come explore how to shift your teaching practice from struggling or surviving, to thriving.

The Flip It Approach: Flip the Inappropriate Into the Appropriate

In 4 steps help children practice identifying feelings and initiating appropriate behaviors. This 4-step process for transforming behavior will help teachers learn to use better language when responding to behavior challenges in your program. FLIP-IT can be used by any adult with children ages 3-8 who demonstrate challenging behavior. FLIP-IT is flexible and applicable anywhere, anytime in any challenging situation. FLIP-IT has a huge emphasis on emotional awareness and emotional control. The researched universal intervention supports emotional growth of all children.

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