Early Childhood Workshops for Educators

Workshops can be personalized to meet the needs of your school.
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Let's Build! What do Children Learn through Block Play?
Do the boys in your class monopolize the block corner? Is clean up time a struggle or a teachable moment? Participants will learn about the developmental stages of building and how to set up a block corner. We will discuss techniques to integrate block building with other areas of the curriculum and provide strategies and games to make clean up a positive experience. This interactive workshop will focus on practical ways to turn your block corner into an exciting learning center that fosters independence, cognitive development, and cooperative play.
Bullies Are Created, Not Born; How To Develop a Safe and Caring Classroom Community
"We will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King

Is your child bullied, a bystander, or... a bully? Learn the dynamics of bullying and how you can help your child become an assertive and empathic member of a caring community. Since bullies are created, not born, parents and teachers have an obligation to create an environment of safety and tolerance for their children. We will explore developmental dynamics, the differences between tattling and telling, normal healthy conflict, aggression, and bullying.
Building Bridges with Parents: Successful Parent Teacher Conferences
Successful parent teacher relationships develop from a sense of mutual trust, understanding, openness, and respect. This workshop will explore the complex dynamics that parents and teachers bring with them to the relationship and provide techniques to promote successful parent-teacher conferences.
"Where do babies come from?" "Why did grandpa die?" Preparing Yourself for the Difficult Questions Children Ask
Are you at a loss for words when a child asks a probing question and catches you off guard? Children are curious and sometimes fearful. We will discuss typical childhood curiosities, fears, and worries with a focus on helping adults answer children's questions in ways that are both effective and developmentally appropriate.
They're Stepping all Over Me: Establishing Boundaries and Routines for Parents and Children
When expectations are clear and consistent, children feel more secure and parents develop a stronger alliance with teachers. This workshop will help teachers successfully collaborate with parents while developing a classroom environment that provides meaningful limits and boundaries that are respected by both parents and children.
Why is "No" Her Favorite Word? Understanding, Respecting, and Responding to Toddlers' Behaviors
Young children discover the world around them through their play. Why does a child dump his bucket of toys over and over? Why does she want to play with her food, rather than eat it? Why has he become so clingy? And why is "No" her favorite word? Come and learn about the young child's search for autonomy and independence. Respecting and understanding a toddler's unique stage of development allows adults to have appropriate expectations and makes teaching a "terrible two" a rewarding experience.
Teaching and Learning through Routines and Transitions
The daily transitions of classroom life are often the most challenging times for children and teachers alike. Far too often this important piece of the learning environment is overlooked by educators and parents. Participants will learn how to make routines and transitions developmentally appropriate (for infants through five-year-olds) and provide a wealth of hands-on activities to make the day a success.
Understanding Childhood Fears
Is your child afraid of the dark or of lurking monsters? Do you use boxes of Band-Aids for reassurance? Why are some children more fearful than others? This workshop will address the common fears of young children from a developmental perspective. Parents and teachers will learn techniques to help children overcome their frightening feelings.
Helping Children Deal with Angry Feelings
How do you reach out to an angry child? Children need to learn socially appropriate ways to express their anger and frustration. This workshop will help you to understand anger from a developmental perspective and provide you with techniques to help children learn to manage their angry feelings more effectively.
Is There Anything Positive about Super Hero Play?
Are you concerned about the amount of super hero play at home or in the classroom? Do the children re-enact play scenes from the media rather than use their imaginations? Why are powerful super heroes so appealing to young children? This workshop will explore the meaning of power both to children and adults; it will provide techniques to transform the child's desire for power into a constructive force at home and in the classroom.
Red Flags in the Preschool Years: When Should Teachers be Concerned? What Should They Do?
Are you concerned about a child's functioning? Does he need more time to develop or is professional intervention needed? How do teachers and parents recognize the difference between a typically-developing child and one who may be experiencing delays? This workshop will explore some common delays in early childhood such as speech and language lags, sensory integration problems, and difficulty with social skills. Parents and teachers will be guided through the process of deciding when to seek professional help.
Effective Ways to Communicate Difficult Information to Parents
How do parents respond when a teacher expresses a concern about their child? Do they become defensive and withdraw or do parents and teachers work as a team keeping the child's development the highest priority? This workshop will explore the many delicate issues that make it difficult for teachers to convey sensitive information to concerned parents. Participants will learn the techniques that foster constructive communication.
The Importance of Play in the Early Years
Children learn best when they are actively engaged using all of their senses to explore, discover, ask questions and make meaningful connections about their world. Come and learn how a play oriented curriculum facilitates cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development and builds the foundation for life-long learning.
Teamwork in the Classroom: How to Help Head Teachers Work Effectively with their Assistant Teachers
What are the skills needed to be an effective supervisor? How can you establish a good working relationship with your co-teacher or assistant teacher? This workshop will explore the complex dynamics of working as a team in an early childhood classroom. We will interactively discuss techniques that create the successful teamwork that both benefits the children and enhances professional satisfaction.
Developmentally Appropriate Discipline: Minimizing Power Struggles with Children
Do power struggles define the relationship between you and your child? How can adults teach children to gain self-control, respect the rights of others, accept responsibility for their own behavior, and learn from their mistakes? This workshop will explore discipline from a developmental perspective and focus on teaching and learning — rather than on punishing.
The Classroom Pet Dies: Helping Teachers Help the Children
Having a classroom pet is valuable in many ways. Children learn early science concepts, practice nurturing behavior, and gain responsibility. But what do you do and how do you react when a classroom pet dies? Children commonly ask: "What is dead? Will it happen to me? Will it happen to you?" This workshop will help teachers understand what death means to young children and will provide them with techniques to remain emotionally available to comfortably discuss these difficult feelings.
Fostering Self-Esteem: Raising Children who are Competent, Confident and Compassionate
What are the three key ingredients of self-esteem? How do boys and girls differ in building healthy self-esteem? How can adults help or hinder the process? These are some of the questions that will be explored as we examine the factors that help determine whether a child becomes confidently secure and connected in the world or tentative and insecure. Positive self-esteem can help a child navigate social pressures and is one of the major antidotes to being bullied.
Social Conflicts in the Classroom: Teaching Problem Solving Skills to Young Children
Social conflicts often are expressed by angry feelings and lead to aggressive and hurtful behavior. In this workshop teachers will learn ways to empower young children to understand the social problem, explore alternative solutions, and find socially acceptable behavior to deal with their anger and frustration.
The Meaning of Friendship in the Early Childhood Years
Why is it so hard for some children to make, and keep, friends? Why does friendship come more easily to some children than to others? The meaning of friendship in the early childhood years grows in depth and complexity as the child develops. Let's explore what being a friend — and having a friend — means to young children. This workshop will provide suggestions for helping children to develop these important social skills.
Helping Children Develop Empathy and Social Competence
How do we teach children the art of reciprocal relationships? Why do some children push peers away by being too possessive while others struggle to find ways to relate? Why do some children worry about their friend's feelings after an argument, while others seem unconcerned? This workshop will provide techniques for fostering empathy, connectedness, and social competence.
Making the Most of Your Dramatic Play Corner
The dramatic play corner is far more than a "dress up" or "housekeeping" area. It is a learning environment where children test out different roles, explore relationships, experience being powerful and nurturing, learn to take the perspective of others, and share in creating and developing a story line. Come and learn how to incorporate children's play themes into powerful teaching tools. We will also explore using hollow blocks as an exciting vehicle for your dramatic play corner with fours and fives.
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