All of our Professional Learning Experiences are customized to meet your specific learning needs. We work with small to large groups, charter management organizations, early childcare providers, moms groups and more! All learning experiences are strength based, hands on and participatory. Instruction is provided by Melanie and Christine who are Louisiana Pathways Certified Instructors and well as LAPEN Certified Parent Educators and have over 40 years combined experience in education and social work.
All workshops are 2-3 hours in length but can be customized to meet your specific needs.
If you are interested in booking a professional development workshop or would like more information, please click the button below.
The Brain Architecture game helps people appreciate the impact of early childhood experiences across a lifespan. It builds understanding of the powerful role of experiences on early brain development– what promotes it, what derails it, and the consequences for society. Groups of 3-6 players work together in this hands-on experience to literally build a brain that is as tall as possible thus representing functionality, and as sturdy as possible, representing ability to withstand stresses. Will the brain be strong enough to withstand life’s experiences?
This workshop is 2-3 hours and is appropriate for any group that encounters chidlren ages birth through adult!
A Comprehensive curriculum that covers in depth the fields of “affective neuroscience” (the science of emotions and the brain), factors and experiences that harm the growing brain, and the connections between the brain, language development and sensory functioning. The curriculum is comprised of 21 hours of contents that is broken up into seven- 3 hour modules. Modules can be taught as a part of the curriculum or independently (although the greatest learning comes from exploring the modules in order). Click the title for module descriptions.
Children are naturally curious and explore their environment to learn about how things work! Research indicates that playful learning is crucial to supporting children's social and emotional development and creativity which supports later academic achievement. During this workshop, participants will learn about the concept of playful learning and the balance between free play and guided play in the early childhood classroom. We will explore ways to scaffold the play learning experience to allow for increased quality feedback and language modeling opportunities. In addition, we will explore the play environment and how to increase correlation to learning objectives. The workshop will also include ways to convey information to parents and encourage play at home.
Learning opportunities increase for children when expectations are clearly understood. Positive classroom management comes from the building of relationships and creating a place when emotions are acknowledged and nurtured. During this workshop teachers will understand the role temperament (both theirs and their students) plays in instructional, interaction and emotional tone of classroom. We will engage in a discussion to identify stressful behavior, determine triggers and learn how to positively channel the student’s behavior.
It is suggested that a child needs to hear over 1000 stories before they can learn to read. Getting children ready to read is an important goal of preschool. This workshop explores the phonological development of children from birth to age 6. Then the focus will shift to learning and practicing three different read aloud strategies: Dialogic, Participatory and Whole Book approach. The workshop will engage participants in practice pairing the story with an appropriate read aloud method.. A brief introduction of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) will also be given as a way to engage in art and pictures to enhance language development.
Children go through distinct periods of development as they move from infants to adulthood: Infancy birth - 2yrs), Early Childhood ( ages 3 to 8 yrs) Later Childhood ages 9 to 11 yrs) and Adolescence (13 to 18 yrs). During each of these stages, multiple changes in the development of the brain are taking place. As children go through their different stages of life, they approach learning in different ways. This training will help educators maximize student learning by providing an in depth understanding of how stages of development occur in the primary domains: physical, cognitive, and social-emotional. By understanding behaviors of students based on developmental stages and how to respond to those behaviors teachers will be able to create a positive environment and classroom culture that encourages and fosters learning.
Executive functions skills allow individuals to utilize their cognitive abilities to control their thoughts, emotions and actions. Such skills support success in school, contribute to healthy relationships and allow for overall social-emotional growth. It is during the preschool years that these cognitive and emotion regulation skills are introduced, learned and developed. Research has shown that a child's ability to use executive function is a strong indicator of success in both school and life
This workshop will explore what executive function skills are, discuss how these skills are crucial for learning and development, and explore ways adults can foster them in the children they teach. The essential skills of focus and self control and communication will also be explored in depth through discussion, video observations, and small group discussion. The workshop will provide strategies for nurturing theses essential skills using games, books, and fun activities and examine how students varying ability to focus, demonstrate self control, and and communicating.
*This workshop is 3 hours in legnth
Wouldn’t it be easier if everyone could read each other’s minds? Then we would know what people were thinking, what they needed and could respond accordingly. Being able to see things from another's point of view, perspective taking, is an important life skill. Perspective taking is a hard skill for young children to learn and develop but can be practiced through daily interactions and the behavior we model as adults.
Making connections is just another way to describe how things are related or work together. Young children are continually making connections to help them understand and navigate our world. We continue to make these connections all the way through adulthood and it is these connection that allow us to be successful in the world we live.
This workshop will continue the discussion on executive function skills that began in Executive Functioning 1 and expand on ways to foster these skills with the children in our care. The skills of Perspective taking and Making connections will be explored in depth through video, small group discussion and personal reflection. The workshop will provide strategies for nurturing theses essential skills using games, books, and fun activities.
*This is a 3 hour workshop and follows Executive Functioning 1
Every interaction with children should be seen as an opportunity to promote collective problem solving skills. Creating an environment in which children are encouraged to plan, execute and evaluate is essential to strengthening concept development. During this workshop teachers will explore opportunities to promote problem solving skills and learn specific strategies to help their students engage in the process.
Developing language skills is of absolute importance for young children's success. Language is the foundation for all social interactions. During this workshop, participants will explore the stages of language development from birth to the preschool level. Through video observation, group and individual activities, we will expand our understanding of parallel and self-talk and the use of open-ended questioning strategies to strengthen language development of young children.
Children have urges, it is part of being a child! Have you ever wondered why they do things like climb, hide in small spaces, and throw things? Schematic play is when children repeatedly practice different ideas or concepts. During this workshop, teachers will explore the seven most common types of schematic play: transporting, enveloping, enclosure, rotational, trajectory, transformation, and orientation and positioning. Strategies to identify schematic play in action, encourage its development, and create lesson objectives that capitalize on children's innate need for schematic play will be explored. The workshop will include ways to convey this information to parents and encourage play at home.
Just as each child develops at their own pace, they also absorb information through their own style of learning. Early Childhood educators must not only understand the diversity of learning styles in their classroom but also train their eyes and ears to observe and detect these styles to improve communication and meaningful engagement. During this workshop, participants will work through exercises to determine their own learning styles and learn strategies to identify preferred learning styles in children. Participants will explore the characteristics of the visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners while developing ways to “speak to” multiple learning styles so that all children have a chance to succeed.
It is estimated that one half to two thirds of children experience trauma. By understanding and responding to trauma, teachers, and staff can help reduce its negative impact, support critical learning, and create a more positive school environment. This training was developed to help educators understand the impact of trauma on student learning and to identify strategies to work more effectively with all students in their classroom.
We use basic math and science language all the time without realizing it in our adult world. At the same time, infants and toddlers are using math and science concepts to make sense of their world. By being intentional with our “math and science talk” and by creating opportunities for young children to manipulate, test, and explore we are providing infants and toddlers with the experiences to build positive attitudes towards math, science and learning! During this workshops we will explore the basis of how young children learn and how educators can enhance children's natural inclinations and deepen their use of math and science in everyday situations.
Participants will explore different settings and identify opportunities to develop math and science concepts through everyday interactions.
A child's development is shaped by healthy attachment relationships that occur during the first three years of life. Attachment refers to the positive, trusting and long lasting relationship that children form with one or more adults. Positive attachments help children feel secure and safe allowing them to grow and develop. This workshop will examine both secure and insecure attachments and discuss the implications for each. We will explore strategies for enhancing staff and parent’s ability to interact with very young children in ways that nurture and promote secure attachment. This workshop is designed to provide participants is a clear understanding of why attachment matters and its impact on the child’s development.