School Literacy & Culture’s
Virtual Summer Series

From June 7- August 13, 2021, a variety of courses will be available, including live and on-demand content, as well as two book studies based on the latest research in child development and best practices in early childhood learning.

Each course is 3 hours in length. Those registering for 3 or more courses will receive a 20 percent discount off of the total registration fee (Courses from Sessions I and II may be combined for the discount.). Participants will receive up to 3 professional development credit hours per course, which includes completing a pre-course reading, viewing the presentation, and completing a post-course reflection and evaluation. Please note that the Book Study fees reflect the increased hours of professional development.

Registrants will need to apply the 20% discount once courses are added to their cart by manually checking "Apply a discount", and selecting the Summer Series discount for each enrollment in the cart (these options will only display if there are 3 or more eligible sections in the cart).

Access to on-demand coursework will be as noted below regardless of registration date.

Session I - June 7-July 9, 2021

Storytime Magic: Quality Read Alouds and the Importance of Story Extensions (3 hours)

Is your storybook reading magical for your children/students? Do they beg you to read to them? Come to this session to discover ways to motivate your children to love literature while also building their oral language, vocabulary, comprehension and imagination. Join us and discover the many joys and benefits that a quality read aloud can bring to your classroom. This interactive session will provide best practices, titles and strategies for creating engaging lessons around stories that your students will love! This is a bilingual session and we will be sharing English and Spanish titles.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to Kindergarten

Take a Peek at Our Bookshelf (3 hours)

Tired of reading the same book titles over and over? Looking for something that will capture your students’ interest and spark their love of stories? Join us to discover and discuss some of the newest book publications that will become perfect additions to your classroom libraries. We will explore why they’re some of our favorites, and what makes them quality children’s literature.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to First Grade

Creating Confident Writers (3 hours)

This session will help teachers build a foundational love of writing for early childhood students. Examine how young children’s emergent writing moves from scribbles to conventional print and explore developmentally appropriate activities that move children through their own zones of proximal development. An inviting writing center, "power writing," the role of dictation, and the placement of meaningful writing opportunities throughout the classroom will be discussed. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the stages of writing as well as plenty of practical ideas for creating confident writers.

Audience: Teachers of Kindergarten to First Grade

“‘What If…’ We Let Them Play?”
Exploring the Importance of Play in Developing 21st Century Skills in Our Youngest Learners (3 hours)

Join us as we explore the types and stages of play, delve into the importance of play in processing emotional events, and dig into how play is important in developing executive functioning skills. We will consider why play is critically important to young children’s socio-emotional and cognitive development and we will ask, “What if….?” As we reflect on our classrooms and teaching practices in order to create the play environments young children thrive in. Participants will take a practical, hands-on look at everyday play activities that impact children’s development in these domains.

Audience: Teachers of Toddlers to First Grade

Sensory Play: Enlightens Minds, Engages Bodies, Empowers Emotions (3 hours)

Sensory play has long been a standard of early childhood education, but it has never been more important than now. Why? Sensory play not only provides young children with opportunities to engage in scientific exploration and dramatic play, it also promotes socio-emotional well-being as children explore soothing materials or work through emotions as they tell stories using simple props. Suggestions for quality children’s books to supplement these sensory activities will also be included.

Audience: Teachers of Toddlers to Kindergarten

Let’s Play: Open a Box and Open the Minds of Our Youngest Learners in the Dramatic Play Center (3 hours)

Explore how dramatic play can build oral language skills for your toddlers, 2s, or 3s! What types of dramatic play experiences can you provide to encourage conversations, introduce new vocabulary, and build relationships in your classroom? What are prop boxes and how can you use them to facilitate and extend dramatic play? Join us for a refresher on the importance of dramatic play for language development and learn something new too!

Audience: Teachers of Toddlers, 2’s, and 3’s

Shifting the Mindset of Recess: The Importance of Outdoor Play and Risk Taking (3 hours)

Recess literally means a break – a break from learning. This session aims to shift that mindset and see outside time as another learning opportunity in the school day. We will explore current research surrounding the importance of outdoor play on the development of young learners. We will dive into the reasons why outdoor play time is decreasing for children and examine ways to include this vital time into our busy class schedules. This session will also look closely into the research surrounding risk taking and the need for children to experience risky play while outdoors.

Audience: Teachers of Toddlers to Kindergarten

LIVE: June 18, 2021, 9-11 am

Building Classroom Community with Morning Meetings (3 hours)

Do your Morning Meetings need a little extra oomph? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to review important academic skills? Would your students love to start the day with meaningful learning and joy? Join us to learn about a Morning Meeting structure that builds classroom culture, celebrates student voice, and spirals many literacy and math skills in a 20 minute circle time! Participants will receive up to 1 hour of PD credit for pre- and post-session work to be submitted online in addition to 2 hours of PD credit for attending the live session.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to First Grade

Session II- July 12- August 13, 2021

What’s in a Name? (3 hours)

A child’s name is a wonderful developmentally appropriate tool for individualizing literacy learning. Come learn how to use children’s names as a springboard to meeting a variety of objectives including phonological awareness, letter recognition, print awareness and more!

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to Kindergarten

Bringing Books to Life with Story Baskets and Dramatization (3 hours)
Audience: Teachers of 2's to First Grade

During this interactive workshop, participants will talk about many ways to extend read alouds of great children’s literature. Participants will explore how to use books as a springboard for talking about story dramatizations, vocabulary building activities, and retellings with story baskets. You will see many examples of well-loved story baskets, and talk about how to introduce and organize them for the classroom.

En español: Canciones, rimas y poesías (3 hours)

Las canciones, rimas y poesías pueden ser usadas para introducir nuevos temas, crear un ambiente de comunidad y como transiciones. Los participantes tendrán la oportunidad de explorar varias formas en las cuales pueden usar canciones, rimas y poesías durante su día escolar. Aprenderán maneras en las cuales pueden ayudar a que sus estudiantes se enamoren de la lectura y escritura mientras les ayudan a desarrollar su lenguaje oral y otras habilidades de lectura y matemáticas . Vengan a divertirse con nosotros y a compartir sus canciones, rimas y poesías clásicas en español con nosotros.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to Kindergarten

When Children Become Authors: Making Class Books in the Preschool and Kindergarten Classrooms (3 hours)

Find out how books can come alive in your own preschool classroom with a little bit of creativity and planning. During this workshop, you will see ideas for many different types of class books to make with young children and be able to make a big book to take back into your own classroom.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to Kindergarten

Building Foundations through Block Play (3 hours)

Block play may be the most powerful activity in the early childhood classroom! This session will focus on blocks and whole child development, with special emphasis on early literacy. Teachers will become familiar with the stages of block play, learn ways to organize and manage a block center, and explore ways to keep block play interesting throughout the school year.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to Kindergarten

Empowering Creative Minds Through Loose Parts (3 hours)

Join us as we explore different ways to use loose parts to inspire creative thinking, play, and learning in young children. We will share ideas on how to incorporate writing provocations with loose parts through literacy and art engagements.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to Kindergarten

It’s Okay to Not be Okay: Socio-Emotional Learning in the Classroom for Toddlers, 2s, and 3s (3 hours)

Some of your toddlers, 2s, and 3s have spent a good portion of their lives in a world going through a global pandemic- stay-home orders, quarantines, social-distancing, and masked faces. How has this affected their social-emotional development and how can you help? We will explore the importance of teacher-child interactions in the classroom and how you can facilitate social-emotional learning. We will also look at some examples of quality, developmentally-appropriate books that can help develop children’s emotional IQ.

Audience: Teachers of Toddlers, 2’s and 3’s

Beyond Mirrors and Windows: Creating Safe Spaces for Children and Families in a Culturally Responsive Early Childhood Classroom (3 hours)

It has been more than 30 years since Rudine Sims Bishop first introduced the concept of mirrors and windows to describe how children should see both themselves and others in the books they read. Today’s classrooms are more diverse than ever, yet many children still may not see themselves, and the question of whose story gets told and by whom remains. This session will explore the role of culturally diverse literature in helping children recognize the beauty and brilliance in themselves and others. Recently published titles in English and Spanish featuring underrepresented groups will be shared, along with practical extension activities that can be used with children and families both at home and in the classroom.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to First Grade

Writing Workstations: Supporting a Roomful of Writers

This course includes stages of writing development in young children, a scaffolded approach to supporting writing development in young children, and an introduction to creating inviting writing workstations and learning centers. Participants will gather practical suggestions for supporting children's socio-emotional development and building their confidence as emerging writers.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to First Grade

En español: La magia de un cuento (3 hours)

Acompáñanos y descubre las muchas alegrías y beneficios que una lectura de calidad en voz alta puede traer a tu salón de clases. Las lecturas en voz alta desarrollan el lenguaje oral y pueden mejorar cualquier lección que estés enseñando. Incluiremos lecciones basadas en el arte y piezas sueltas. ¡Esta sesión proporcionará las mejores prácticas, títulos y estrategias para crear lecciones interactivas usando historias que les encantarán a tus estudiantes!

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to First Grade

LIVE: July 7, 2021- 2-4 pm

Little Yogi: Yoga and Mindfulness for Our Youngest Learners (3 hours)

Join us for an introduction to yoga for young children (and teachers!). Get ready to learn some fun yoga poses in this hands-on workshop. Participants will explore different ways to incorporate yoga into the early childhood classroom, and see how yoga can teach children strategies to manage stress, build compassion, concentration, self-confidence, and mindfulness. Participants will receive up to 1 hour of PD credit for pre- and post-session work to be submitted online in addition to 2 hours of PD credit for attending the live session.

Audience: Teachers of 3’s to First Grade

Summer Book Studies

Coffee + Conversation: Why Einstein Never Used Flashcards and How to Focus on What Really Matters (9 hours)

Join us for a great read based on decades of child development research, deep thinking, and rich conversation over a cup of java all from the comfort of your own home as we discuss Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn -- And Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less. During our time together we will explore what acclaimed child psychologists Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D. and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., with Diane Eyer, Ph.D., have to say about the growing trend towards accelerated learning, and reflect on how to focus on giving children a life full of imaginative play and love of learning. We will discuss the implications of this in your current role, whether it be an educator or a parent.

Participants may earn up to 9 professional development credit hours for the completion of all course components. We will cap off our time together on July 21, 2021 with a live book study from 9-11 am.

Course Components

  • Purchase and read text in its entirety
  • Complete group discussion board posts

Post 1- due during June 30-July 9

Post 2- due during July 12-July 20

  • Complete Q&A due July 16
  • Attend and participate in live book study on July 21 from 9-11 am

Registration closes on June 16

Cost: $85

Audience: Parents, teachers and school leaders of toddlers to First Grade

Doing Independent Reading Better: A Book Study of No More Independent Reading Without Support (4 hours)

What’s wrong with independent reading? Are your students not reading? Is there not enough time in the day? Using the Miller and Moss text, No More Independent Reading Without Support, teachers will read and discuss instructional practices that will continue to engage and instruct students during the often-wasted independent reading block of many reading workshop models. Participants will leave this interactive session equipped with strategies to improve existing reading programs.

Course Components

  • Purchase and read book in its entirety
  • Attend and participate in live book study on August 4 from 2-4 pm
  • Complete post-course reflection due August 6

Registration closes on July 14

Cost: $55

Audience: Teachers of 2nd Grade to 6th Grade

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