Summer 2020 Free Webinars




    Conversations about Choice Time and How to Support Play When Teaching Virtually

    This workshop will explore the meaning of inquiry and inquiry-based Choice Time for early childhood education. Through viewing classroom videos from Pre-K and K, participants will assess the importance of time, space and teaching strategies for creating an exciting environment for exploration and play. What’s more, the session will explore the issue of how to support exploration and play through virtual teaching. Participants will see how different teachers have come up with successful solutions, including strategies for helping parents understand how to support children as they play.

    Presenter: Renee Dinnerstein is the author of Choice Time: How to Deepend Learning Through Inquiry and Play. She has over 50 years experience as an early childhood educator and consults with schools in New York, across the U.S. and internationally.

    Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2020
    Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.



    Developing a school-wide approach for supporting Emergent Multilingual Learners (EMLLs)

    Developing a school-wide approach for honoring and supporting multilingual learners is an essential component for ensuring equitable and strength-based practices in classrooms. This presentation will invite participants to reflect on their school-wide mission and identify ways in which their program can adopt a multilingual approach for educating EMLLs.  Participants will also have the opportunity to discover effective strategies for supporting language acquisition and will learn why translanguaging is important.  Time for Q&A will be included.

    Presenter: Cristina Medellin-Paz is a developmental psychologist who is a Career Development Coordinator at the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at CUNY, where she is the administrator for the Long Island Leadership Initiative. She is also a research affiliate at playLabNYU and an adjunct professor at NYU and SUNY Farmingdale. 

    Date: July 8, 2020
    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.



    Engaging Pre-K Learners from a Distance

    How do you capture the attention of a Pre-K learner virtually—and then keep their attention? In this webinar we will share our journey through distance learning. Our students are engaged in a weekly schedule of carefully planned activities, stories and experiences to effectively continue their learning at home.

    Presenters: Chrissie O’Grady and Lisa Morrison are teachers at the Hampton Street School, Mineola UFSD. O’Grady has been teaching for 24 years, mostly in early childhood. Morrison has been teaching for 23 years, and has experience in every grade, but primarily in early childhood.

    Date: Thursday, July 9, 2020
    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.



    Teaching Purposeful Play Through Distance Learning

    Distance learning at a young age doesn’t have to be difficult. Participants will learn how to virtually implement purposeful and intentional play strategies, and will work together to create hands-on engaging learning experiences for young children through distance learning. Examples of calendars, activities and instructional videos will be shared.

    Presenter: Tricia Almonaitis,  Site Supervior, St. Joseph’s Universal Pre-K program at Lawrence School District. Almonaitis has taught early childhood for over 10 years and has been a site supervisor for two.

    Date: Thursday, July 16, 2020
    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.



    What We’ve Learned About Distance Learning: Turning Challenges into Opportunities – Pre-K

    This presentation will cover the evolution of distance learning, including struggles as well as success. Topics covered will include where to begin, social/emotional support of young learners, developing a structure and embracing parents as partners. The importance of working with colleagues and incorporating multi-media resources will be emphasized. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and explore resources.

    Presenters: Patricia Pearsall and Eileen Sokol are Pre-K teachers at Meadow Drive School in the Mineola School District. 

    Date: Thursday, July 23, 2020
    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10 a.m.



    Effectively Navigating Pre-K Practices Online

    This presentation will give an overview of practices that have worked best in our Pre-K program. Topics will include setting realistic online expectations for our youngest learners and their families. The presentation will also cover online platforms that work best for young learners as well as screen-free activities that can be implemented by all families regardless of their accessibility to materials. Examples and outcomes of lessons and schedules for busy families will be shared. Participants will learn how to effectively develop a home-school online learning community that mimics our schools’ play-based learning environments.

    Presenter: Natalie Skelly is Site Supervisor/Co-Teacher, St. Joseph’s Universal PreKindergarten Program at Wyandanch School District.

    Date: Thursday, July 30, 2020
    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.



    Kindergarten Distance Learning Best Practices: What Worked For Us

    During the past few months, we’ve all experienced the moment where we’ve said, “This isn’t what I imagined Kindergarten would be like.” Did you ever think you’d have to ask a 5-year-old to please stop log-rolling with the iPad during your live sessions? Or say, “Please mute yourself when you’re chewing.?” During these unprecedented times, teachers will discuss what it has been like to adapt curriculum and teaching strategies while maintaining interpersonal connections and developmentally appropriate practice.

    Presenters: Alexandra Bauer is an early elementary educator at Meadow Drive School in Mineola. She has been teaching for eight years and specializes in  bilingual education for our youngest learners. Jennifer Levi is a 27-year veteran teacher at Hampton Street School in Mineola. She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Adelphi University and taught in-service classes for Nassau BOCES.

    Date: Thursday, August 6, 2020
    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10 a.m.



    The Process: Developing and Cultivating an Early Childhood Growth Mindset Culture 

    Our mindsets are formed by our environments and the feedback and messages that we receive.  Studies show that as students progress through formal education their natural tendency towards having a growth mindset tends to shift as they find themselves and their progress being compared to others. How do we combat this shift? How do we teach them that struggle is not only valuable, but necessary, and that effort is the true path to success? With intentional shifts in language and culture, we as leaders will set the foundation for our earliest learners to develop self-efficacy, agency and resilience. This presentation will guide participants through the deliberate implementation process of creating a growth mindset culture in the classroom, building and/or district level.

    Presenters: Dr. Michael Nagler is Superintendent of the Mineola Public Schools and is 2020 New York State Superintendent of the Year. Jennifer Maichin is a learning specialist for the Mineola Public Schools. After 23 years in the classroom, she has now taken on a new role as District Coordinator of Mineola’s Growth Mindset Initiative.

    Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2020
    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.



    Growth Mindset: Building the Foundation in Our Earliest Learners 

    Constructing a growth mindset culture in early childhood classrooms can be powerful. The presenters are teachers who will share professional and personal experiences, which reveal why structuring their classrooms with a growth mindset framework has transformed their pedagogy and elevated learner experiences.  They’ll provide a “how to” for developing growth mindset procedures that target and build three key values in learners: self-efficacy, agency and resilience. And they’ll offer specific language, strategies, routines and materials—all of which they have executed successfully.

    Presenters: Christina Skidmore is a Pre-K teacher at Meadow Drive School in Mineola. She has experience with ages ranging from birth through grade 1, and has been teaching early elementary in Mineola for 7 years.  Nikole Hazel became an early childhood educator six years ago, following a 10-year career in business and entertainment.  She’s also a Pre-K teacher at Meadow Drive School.  Jennifer Maichin has 24 years experience in the classroom and is currently District Coordinator of Mineola’s Growth Mindset Initiative.

    Date: Thursday, August 20, 2020
    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.