Sample Topics

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

Challenging behaviors can be important signals from children expressing needs that they can’t put into words. Teachers must know and be ready to decipher the messages in behaviors, and understand their potential causes (such as trauma, a mismatch between the environment and children’s abilities) in order to lessen these learning disruptions. Learn about executive function skills, including self-regulation, and how they impact child behavior as well as the caregiver’s own ability to cope and deal with challenging behaviors.

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.


If you're interested in learning more about these topics, email us, or click here to be directed to a page to complete an inquiry form for either a private webinar and/or seminar.