Sample topics include:
Foundations of Child Development
Fundamental knowledge about the ages and stages of child growth and development give all those who work with young children the ability to see children where they are in all domains. By exploring how each child has a unique developmental profile, expectations can be customized for optimal learning outcomes. This seminar will give participants specific information about each developmental stage as children grow, comprehensive developmental theory, and how stages of growth impact certain behaviors and processes.
Building Brains Playfully
What does neuroscience and current brain research tell us about child development and learning, and what is the role of play of all types in this process? We will apply this knowledge to understand how young children learn best, and consider that all types of play are valuable, but differ in their influence on the growing brain during early childhood. Importantly, we will emphasize executive function skills enriched by socio-dramatic play experiences.
When to Play, and When to Get Out of the Way
Not all play is created equal. While unfettered exploration is essential to allowing children to grow important skills, so is adult-directed guidance and scaffolding. Research suggests four categories defining the intersect of adult directed or initiated play and child directed or initiated play:
1) Free Play
2) Guided Play
3) Co-opted Play
4) Direct Instruction
In this workshop we unpack the difference in play depending on the level and kind of adult involvement. Importantly, we will consider when adult initiated play is helpful to learning, and when it’s time for adults to step back.
Preventing Challenging Behaviors: Building Relationships and Creating Supportive Environments
The Kindergarten Conversation
To accompany our Kindergarten Conversation booklet, this training will consider what it means to be “Ready for Kindergarten” in the context of Ready Kids, Ready Families, Ready Schools, and Ready Communities. This paradigm reveals different and important key points when making decisions regarding the transition from preschool to kindergarten.
The Brain in Early Childhood
Neither scientists nor educators are ready to prescribe MRI informed practices for improving learning in individual children. However, new research does demand that we take seriously how this new knowledge of the developing brain can better inform and influence practice, and ultimately the development and learning of all children; especially those facing adversity. This training will review the latest and best research on brain development, and consider how new findings are bringing us back to old school methods.
Trauma-Informed Practices That Can Benefit All Children
When children experience trauma during the early years, it can change the trajectory of development, impact normative behaviors, and present an additional layer of complexity to individualizing practices and methods. In this workshop we will unpack how trauma impacts brain development to help us understand the meaning behind behaviors and develop strategies and practices that grow resiliency and mitigate the impact of toxic stress. Specifically, strategies such as building protective factors, strong relationships, social and emotional skills, and implementing whole school supports will be reviewed as a way to help children with a trauma history best learn and grow, as well as to support the healthy development of all children.