Welcome

Welcome to Trying Together Online!

Trying Together is committed to supporting and valuing early care and education professionals. Support is offered through professional growth opportunities offered in person and online, and through sharing resources and coaching/mentoring services.  We are pleased to offer the following online courses to support you and the work of early childhood. 

Feel free to browse the site and check out our latest and upcoming course offerings. For more information on how to enroll for one of our courses, please email our site admin at: moodle@tryingtogether.org.


    Skip available courses

    Available courses

    Discussions regarding early education content and pedagogy, based upon an understanding of how young children grow and learn are the focus of this course. Topics such as 'inter-culturalism and family engagement, inclusion, and the importance of play' will be highlighted. 

    Danielson Framework: 1.a; 1.b; 2.d; 2.e; 4.c

    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.5.C3

    Keystone STARS: EC 3.4.1



    "Play acts as a mechanism into courageous, creative, and rigorous thinking in adulthood." (T. Bruce, London Metro Univ., 2013) The benefits of children's pay can be life lasting, as long as the experiences are developmentally appropriate, positive, and engaging.  This course discusses children's play and the role of play in early education settings.  Participants will discuss the functions and value of play and brainstorm new strategies for encouraging play within children's earliest classrooms. 

    PA CKC: K2.14 C1

    STARS: EC.3.4.1


    Infants and toddlers are researchers who are fascinated by the properties of objects and how things work.  They explore materials with all of their senses and delight in cause-and-effect relationships.  It is important for teachers and caregivers to provide open-ended materials (loose parts) that allow infants and toddlers to be in control of their inquiries as they gather and learn information about their environment.  This session discusses the value of loose parts, the need to meet the safety, feature and functional needs of infants and toddlers and how to relate loose parts to the play-action characteristics of infants and toddlers. 

    Discussions regarding early education content and pedagogy, based upon an understanding of how young children grow and learn are the focus of this course. Topics such as 'inter-culturalism and family engagement, inclusion, and the importance of play' will be highlighted. 

    Redeemer Lutheran

    Danielson Framework: 1.a; 1.b; 2.d; 2.e; 4.c

    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.2.C1

    Keystone STARS: EC 3.4.1


    How to meet the needs of all children, in the classroom. 


    Developmentally appropriate practices require both meeting children "where they are"—which means that teachers must get to know them well—and enabling them to reach goals that are both challenging and achievable. In this course, participants will explore the structure of curriculum design, how room arrangement plays a large role in curriculum and connect the Early Learning Standards, Outcomes and Curriculum in an intentional and developmentally appropriate way. 

    Part Three of DAP Five Part Series

    PA CKC: K2.9 C2
    Keystone STARS EC.3.4.1

    Pennsylvania has a long-standing philosophy supporting the inclusion of children with disabilities as active members in early childhood education and community settings.  This course will examine the legal foundations and policy statements that impact the inclusion of children in typical early childhood settings.  Using the evidence-based inclusion practices of access, participation and support as a foundation for discussion, learners will identify ways to implement developmentally appropriate practices into their early childhood programs. 

    Pennsylvania CKC K1.2 C2

    Keystone Standards EC.3.4.9



    When teachers and providers understand the development of school-age children it helps to build the foundation for planning and implementing successful school-age programs.  When staff know and understand school-age child development, they can work with children and coworkers to design environments, plan activities, set appropriate expectations and limits for children's behavior.  

    CKC: K1.7.C2

    Discussions regarding early education content and pedagogy, based upon an understanding of how young children grow and learn are the focus of this course. Topics such as 'inter-culturalism and family engagement, inclusion, and the importance of play' will be highlighted. 

    Danielson Framework: 1.a; 1.b; 2.d; 2.e; 4.c

    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.5.C3

    Induction 2018-2019

    Often, we hear program tout that they "value play" and offer a variety of ways to support and enhance children's playful learning. However, when observed, these environments either offer open-ended play, better known as "free play" time or teacher-led activities that include elements of child play. This online session will define and discuss the variations of authentic play, playful experiences, and play-based activities that could potentially be offered within early education classrooms. Participants will engage in resourceful discussions as well as complete independent activities that focus on providing more than just "free play" or teacher-planned, play-based activities. 


    PA Course Code: K1.8.C3

    This course has been developed to raise awareness and dispel myths about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Course participants will discuss the features, related behaviors, and special needs of children with an ASD diagnosis. By learning to first recognize and relate such characteristics to your programming, early childhood professionals are taking the first steps towards helping all children feel comfortable, welcome and safe within your classroom.

    Discussions regarding early education content and pedagogy, based upon an understanding of how young children grow and learn are the focus of this course. Topics such as 'inter-culturalism and family engagement, inclusion, and the importance of play' will be highlighted. 

    Danielson Framework: 1.a; 1.b; 2.d; 2.e; 4.c

    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.5.C3

    Keystone STARS: EC 3.4.1


    Rough-housing, horse-play, aggressive play, these are all descriptors commonly associated with what child developmental researchers and psychologists like to coin “rough and tumble play.” Rough and tumble play (R&T Play) refers to the vigorous types of behaviors that occur within the context of children’s play which are often mistaken for aggression, or fighting; therefore, it is typically discouraged by adults. However, as with other types of play, appropriate rough and tumble play enhances healthy child development! Participants of this session will define and discuss the benefits of rough and tumble play. Misconceptions as well as controversies around this play type will be reviewed. Working together, participants will brainstorm ways to offer appropriate venues and experiences for R&T Play within their classrooms as well as strategies for speaking with families and other stakeholders about its importance and place in early education.

    Northside Cohort


    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.8.C1

    Children usually prefer play that stimulates their curiosity and gives free rein to their imaginations and creativity. We believe that one of the best ways to enhance their natural curiosity is to introduce a wide variety of materials we call "loose parts" into their play settings. This online course offers an opportunity for participants to become familiar with "loose parts play." 

    Throughout this online course, participants will gain knowledge related to child development and develop an understanding of how to align developmental theories with the principles of 'Developmentally Appropriate Practices.' 


    Rough-housing, horse-play, aggressive play, these are all descriptors commonly associated with what child developmental researchers and psychologists like to coin “rough and tumble play.” Rough and tumble play (R&T Play) refers to the vigorous types of behaviors that occur within the context of children’s play which are often mistaken for aggression, or fighting; therefore, it is typically discouraged by adults. However, as with other types of play, appropriate rough and tumble play enhances healthy child development! Participants of this session will define and discuss the benefits of rough and tumble play. Misconceptions as well as controversies around this play type will be reviewed. Working together, participants will brainstorm ways to offer appropriate venues and experiences for R&T Play within their classrooms as well as strategies for speaking with families and other stakeholders about its importance and place in early education. 


    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.8.C1


    Rough-housing, horse-play, aggressive play, these are all descriptors commonly associated with what child developmental researchers and psychologists like to coin “rough and tumble play.” Rough and tumble play (R&T Play) refers to the vigorous types of behaviors that occur within the context of children’s play which are often mistaken for aggression, or fighting; therefore, it is typically discouraged by adults. However, as with other types of play, appropriate rough and tumble play enhances healthy child development! Participants of this session will define and discuss the benefits of rough and tumble play. Misconceptions as well as controversies around this play type will be reviewed. Working together, participants will brainstorm ways to offer appropriate venues and experiences for R&T Play within their classrooms as well as strategies for speaking with families and other stakeholders about its importance and place in early education. 


    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.8.C1

    CDA Functional Area: 4 (Physical)

    Throughout this online course, participants will gain knowledge related to child development and develop an understanding of how to align child development theories with the principles of 'Developmentally Appropriate Practices.' The course will guide participants to a better understanding of developmentally appropriate practices as it relates to child development through ideas, activities, and strategies to provide the most appropriate experience for young children. 



    During the ages of birth through 5 years, the amount of language growth and learning that occurs within children is amazing! Foundational skills of speaking, listening, writing, as well as elementary pictorial and print concepts emerge. This online course provides an overview of the milestones commonly achieved among infant and toddler language development. Through interactive discussion forums and reflective activities, participants will become familiar with developmental concepts as well as early educational strategies and discuss ways to encourage families to support their child's language development. 

    Northside Cohort



    This online course focuses on key skills and knowledge that educators need to have in order to implement technology in effective, developmentally appropriate and intentional ways. Participants will explore what it takes to make teachers good technology implementers with the knowledge, skills, and digital literacy needed to select, use, integrate and evaluate technology tools and interactive media in classrooms with young children. 

    Cohort 1

    A quality early educational environment not only ensures the overall safety and health of children, if constructed and facilitated appropriately, it can serve as a strong catalyst towards children's learning.  This course will review the importance of the educational environment within developmentally appropriate practices as well as discuss key elements and common challenges that are often linked to the environment. 

    Part Two of DAP 5-Part Series

    PA CKC: K2.1 C2

    Keystone STARS: EC 3.4.1

    Choosing toys and activities that are suitable for infants and toddlers can challenge even the most experienced teacher. By being mindful of the basic principles of child development and the role of play, teachers can intentionally select toys to meet young children’s unique needs and interests, supporting learning. Participants of this course will review the online article, “Using Toys to Support Infant-Toddler Learning & Development,” by Gabriel Guyton and reflect upon the value and purpose of "toys" whenever caring for very young children. 


    This online course will focus on key skills and knowledge that educators need to have in order to intentionally and appropriately use technology and digital media in early childhood classrooms. Participants will more easily identify, integrate and evaluate technology tools and reflect on current practice through the use of videos of identified 'exemplars' and the "Checklist for Identifying Exemplary Uses of Technology and Interactive Media for Early Learning." 


     

    Creativity involves generating ideas and engaging curiosity, risk taking, and imagination. As an early educator, it is essential to not only set the stage that will encourage children but to also work with them to discover the wonderment of the Arts and nurture their interest and ideas so they can grow to be creative problem-solvers and confident, 21st century thinkers. This online session discusses strategies as well as reiterates the importance for the integration of the creative arts, especially "messy art" in an infant and toddler classroom. 

    CDA Cohort 7

    Through reflection, teachers think about, analyze, and evaluate their practice as part of their professional development and continuous improvement. Often teachers think about how to improve the children’s behaviors; however, a surprising number of teachers do not consider their own role in establishing a positive learning environment that would support pro-social development and teacher-child relationships. Participants of this course will review the online article, “Cultivating Positive Teacher-Child Relations through Reflective Practice,” by Fiona S. Baker and evaluate personal reflective strategies used when analyzing current relationships they have with program children and families. Discussions regarding the importance of personal and professional reflection as well as the connection between reflective thinking and quality practice will be encouraged.


    "Change your card," "Move your clip," "You're on [color]!" Sound familiar? Behavior charts have become a trendy strategy of approaching classroom behavior management within early childhood environments. However, do they really work? Why or why not? This course provides an opportunity for participants to discuss and reflect upon behavior management strategies, in particular behavior charting to enhance young children's social and emotional development. Course participants will review the article, "When Behavior Charts Don't Work, Throw Them Out!" by KM Crawford, along with a variety of other resources to engage in discussions and activities that focus on positive and appropriate behavior management strategies. 

    Being social is a learned skill. In order to be effectively "social," a child should begin to: feel comfortable around other people; understand communication norms and values; forming and maintaining relationships; and, resolve conflict. As an early educator, you play a pinnacle role in the development of young children's social and emotional skills. You do this through the activities and experiences you provide and engage in with them, how you foster their play, the ways in which you develop and build relationships with the children and their families, and your strategies for providing a responsive classroom environment. Within this online session, participants will define what a "responsive classroom environment" means and looks like for infants and toddlers and why the provision of responsive and respectful caregiving is important when working to enhance young children's social and emotional development. 

    'Differentiated Instruction' has become a jargon term within the field of early education. Professionals are constantly using the term in conversations around effective classroom practice, but very rarely does anyone discuss the true definition of the approach as well as the overall importance of it. This course is designated to stimulate thought and provide opportunity for shared reflection among early education professionals regarding 'differentiated instruction.' Professionals will work together to obtain a more concrete and personal understanding of differentiated instruction as well as to set personal goals for implementation and professional growth. 

    This online session provides an overview of the physical growth and development of infants and toddlers, including brain development and the development of the five senses. In particular, course participants will review information and engage in independent and group activities regarding children's fine and gross motor development.


    Through active participation and successful completion of this professional article review, course participants will gain an understanding of play-based learning through the use of art materials. Participants will explore several ways to engage children with a focus on art. 

    This online session provides an overview of the physical growth and development of infants and toddlers, including brain development and the development of the five senses. In particular, course participants will review information and engage in independent and group activities regarding children's fine and gross motor development.



    This session will review the article Music and Movement: Instrumental in Language Development by Maryann Harman, M.A., from Early Childhood NEWS. We will discuss how we can help children build a foundation for literacy by using music and movement. Did you know that keeping a steady beat is important to later reading success and that less than 50% of adults can actually keep a steady beat? There are many fascinating facts to be shared by participating in this interesting article review. 

    This session will review the article Reading Your Way to a Culturally Responsive Classroom, by Shannon B. Wanless and Patricia A. Crawford, from Young Children, May 2016. We will investigate and discuss the approach to using Race Related Teaching Practices (RRTP) in a preschool classroom. The focus will be on reading, reflecting, and sharing your ideas with others about this important topic. 

    STEAM is an acronym: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. As a way to comprehensively expand young children’s curiosity around the physical world, activities involving STEAM concepts should be offered both inside and outside of the classroom, on a daily basis. This course actively brainstorms and discusses ways to provide outside STEAM experiences. Course participants will define what STEAM means for their classroom cohorts as well as strategize ways to plan and provide simple yet, engaging and fun activities that expand children’s wonderment with the world around them.

    Pennsylvania CKC: K2.15.C1


    Within this online course, participants will explore project-based summer learning and how it is beneficial for children in after school, out-of-school time, and summer camp programs. Through active participation and thoughtful discussion, participations will explore project-based learning and how it impacts youth outcomes and will discover why project-based learning works well in out-of-school time and summer programs. 


    Course Objectives: 

    • Participants will understand project-based learning and how it supports learning and youth development outcomes. 
    • Participants will explore why project-based learning works well in out-of-school time.
    • Participants will explore strategies for how to successfully implement project-based learning activities in summer programming. 

    This online course contains a discussion on why it is important to continue including basic language and reading activities in the daily lives of our school-age children. Questioning techniques and strategies will be reviewed so adults can check to see if children understand content. Additionally, course participants will create reading and writing activities, using everyday materials. School-age booklists will be discussed and provided.


    How Can We Create and Use Games that Engage Children? 

    This online course will allow participants to explore ways to use literacy games that are engaging and educational with school-age children. 

    This online course focuses on key skills and knowledge that educators need to have in order to implement technology in effective, developmentally appropriate and intentional ways. Participants will explore what it takes to make teachers good technology implementers with the knowledge, skills, and digital literacy needed to select, use, integrate and evaluate technology tools and interactive media in classrooms with young children. 


    CDA Cohort 7

    This online course will focus on how to intentionally and appropriately use digital media and technology in the classroom through the use of videos of identified 'exemplars.' In addition, participants will be able to more easily identify and reflect on current practice through the use of the 'Checklist for Identifying Exemplary Uses of Technology and Interactive Media for Early Learning.'

    Online, participants will analyze and discuss preschool classroom management procedures. Topics such as classroom programing, environmental planning, and behavior monitoring will be highlighted. 

    This online course incorporates an active discussion around a variety of technology tools that can be used within an early education environment. With a focus on the NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media in Early Childhood Programs, course participants will also become familiar with resources that provide support to help make developmentally appropriate decisions with technology tools and digital media. 

    This online course is designed for educators and administrators to critically examine low to high quality apps and to utilize the resources available to help make the best decisions for the children in their programs. 

    This online course is designed to encourage early educators to enhance children's social and emotional development through the use of technology tools. The course will provide educators with strategies that include older and newer technologies. 

    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.7.C3; K2.16.C3


    Course Objectives: Through active participation and successful completion, course participants will: 

    • Identify how digital literacy can be used effectively to promote healthy social and emotional development. 
    • Use available technology resources to enhancing teaching practices with children. 
    • Reflect on current practices and create new teaching strategies using digital tools to support positive social & emotional development. 

    Digital cameras, computers, tablets, and cell phones are just a few of the technologies out students may have access to or use daily. This online course discusses how we can support literacy (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) skills while using technology appropriately. 

    During the ages of birth through 5 years, the amount of language growth and learning that occurs within children is amazing! Foundational skills of speaking, listening, writing, as well as elementary pictorial and print concepts emerge. This online course provides an overview of the milestones commonly achieved among infant and toddler language development. Through interactive discussion forums and reflective activities, participants will become familiar with developmental concepts as well as early educational strategies and discuss ways to encourage families to support their child's language development. 


    This course provides educators a way to inventory and assess how to use technology and digital media in the early education classroom. The information shared in this session will be based on Brian Puerling's "Teaching in the Digital Age: Smart Tools for Age 3 to Grade 3."

     PA CKC: K2.16.C3


    Course Objectives: Through active participation and successful completion, participants will: 

    • Apply the NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center Position Statement to current classroom practice with technology and digital media. 
    • Provide examples of developmentally appropriate use of technology and digital media in the classroom. 
    • Create small, manageable, developmentally appropriate lesson plans using digital media and technology in the classroom.
    • Utilize tools that are readily available in the early education classroom

    This online course focuses upon ways to plan and facilitate appropriate instructional activities in a preschool environment. Discussions highlight activity planning and differentiation, grouping, and pacing. In addition, activity adaptation and extending and the use of technology will be reviewed. 

    The outside world shapes children's development through experiences that they have, which include using their five senses. This online session explores ways to focus on the five senses through outside play, including materials from the classroom. Course participants will look at ways to utilize materials in different ways to encourage sensory learning with young children. 

    Let's Start a Book Club for Children!

    This online course will highlight books that interest children so they will want to join a book club. Book discussion guides and activities will be one of the features of this course. Don't forget your best resource....a children's librarian! 

    Communication is the key to family involvement in out-of-school time programs.

    Strong positive cooperative relationships with parents and families are at the heart of quality out of school programs for school age children and youth. In this course, students will learn strategies to improve communication skills to build positive relationships with families.

    Many see the potential of competitive play to provide positive experiences and support healthy development in school age children, but are unsure how to maximize those benefits. Some evidence suggests that education on "fair play" and "ethics in competitive play" is not a common part of school age curricula. 

    As children interact with each other and within different competitive situation, whether it be over a board game, on a playing field, or involved in a spelling bee competition, they make numerous choices that have an ethical basis--that is they deal with questions of 'right and wrong.' However, they often have little direction and few role models to help guide their direction. 

    Throughout this online course, participants will discuss strategies for increasing school age children's awareness of the ethical decisions involved in competitive play and ways to practice making those decisions, based on fair play values. Lastly, conversations around how to appropriately provide and monitor competitive play within school age classrooms will occur. 


    Science is everywhere!

    Young children, fascinated with the natural world, are ready to investigate and to develop a value for nature. This module will outline how teachers can use the outdoors as a classroom for children to explore and integrate these activities into their curriculum.

     

    This course "sets the tone" for teachers who are planning inclusive early educational programming for young children and their families in an infant/toddler classroom. Through interactive discussions and varied activities, course participants will consider their vision for including children with special considerations and/or disabilities in their classrooms as well as explore the importance of effectively communicating and working collaboratively with teaching teams, families, service professionals and professionals, and community resources to enhance children's earliest educational experience.               

    Participants in this session will explore the question, “What is social and emotional learning, and why is it important?”  By providing positive social-emotional opportunities for young children they will develop skills necessary to build a solid foundation and feel good about themselves while developing confidence. We will discuss how to support children to form secure relationships with others and ultimately will be able to focus and learn.

    How to meet the needs of all children in the classroom...

    Developmentally appropriate practice requires both meeting children where they are—which means that teachers must get to know them well—and enabling them to reach goals that are both challenging and achievable. In this course, participants will explore the structure of curriculum design, how room arrangement plays a large role in curriculum, and connect the Early Learning Standards, Outcomes and Curriculum in an intentional and developmentally appropriate way. 

    This course primarily focuses upon the establishment and maintenance of an appropriate indoor as well as outdoor learning environments for young children.

    CDA Functional Area #3: Learning Environment

    CKC: K7.1.C1

    CDA Cohort 7-2

    This course primarily focuses upon the establishment and maintenance of an appropriate indoor as well as outdoor learning environment for infants and toddlers.


    CDA Functional Area #3: Learning Environment

    CKC: K7.1.C1



    Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) requires that teachers make decisions daily based on their knowledge of child development, taking into consideration individual learning differences and social and cultural influences.  This online session will discuss how DAP can be implemented into any early childhood setting in an appropriate way to assure all children are learning to the best of their ability.

    Developmentally appropriate practice requires that teachers make decisions daily based on their knowledge of child development, taking into consideration individual learning differences and social and cultural influences.  This session will discuss how DAP can be implemented into any early childhood setting in an appropriate way to assure all children are learning to the best of their ability.

    Discover how Message From Me (MFM), an innovative technology tool, strengthens the home-school connection between children and their families.  Participants will have an opportunity to play and explore MFM with provided materials, as well as engage in rich discussions on supporting the digital wellbeing of children and bridging the gap between the home-school connection by serving as media menors.  This session will also highight strategies to support culturally and linguistically diverse children and families when implementing Message from Me. 

    The lives and experiences of young children are intertwined with those of their families.  Families are children's first and most important teachers, advocates, and nurturers.  Strong family engagement in early childhood systems and programs is central-not supplemental-to children's lifelong health, developmental and academic outcomes.  In this session, participants will assess supportive practices while addressing appropriate PA learning Standards in the Key Learning Areas.

    PA Core Knowledge Competency: K3.10 C3

    Keystone STARS Program Performance Standard: FC.3.4.4

    When addressing Social/Emotional learning in the classroom, it is imperative to recognize how culture and implicit bias impact the interaction and experiences children have in formal school settings.  This module will facilitate and expand equity and diversity efforts to support children and will begin a conversation about culture by exploring, discussing and sharing our own experiences and the role culture plays in our lives. 



    Participants will engage in an interactive session to build and strengthen knowledge working with diverse children ages birth to 5 and their families.  In order to support early childhood practitioners serving this population, this session will focus on current research, strategies when teaching dual language learners, and techniques to engage families.  

    Pennsylvania CKC: K3.1 C2

    CDA Functional Area #11: Families

    STARS: SQ 3.4.3, EC 3.4.4

    This module will continue to examine ways in which to plan supportive environments for children and families.  Emphasis will be given to the importance and value of enlisting and including families in the process.  Participants will identify barriers and strategies to support family-teacher interaction/communication and will examine how their program supports diverse children and families. 

    In this module participants will begin to examine ways in which to plan supportive environments for children and families.  We will begin by examining young children's identity development (e.g. social identity relative to race).  Participants will identify and discuss classroom strategies for addressing and challenging biases and celebrating differences.   

    This module will briefly review American history from the perspective of People of Color - Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. The policies and institutional structures will be examined for equity back stories. The impact of these policies will be linked to equity and social justice today. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss and explore components of a model to effectively move toward change. 

    "Until the lion becomes an historian the hunt shall continue to glorify the hunter." - African Proverb

    In order to be effective as early educators, we must understand the families from which the children come and the opportunities and support they may receive or be able to receive from within the community. This understanding is necessary in creating positive working relationships that encourage the healthy development of the “whole child.” This online course focuses on the triangular relationship between early educators, children and families, and community resources. Definitions and descriptions of families, community resources, and what is meant be a “collaborative, working relationship” will be discussed. In addition, course participants will share strategies for building and maintaining such relationships and which community resources are considered “important” to include within the early educational context.

    Pennsylvania CKC: K3.9.C1

    This online course focuses upon the importance of family involvement and relationships within an early education setting. Family communication strategies and ways to build and enhance family-school-community partnerships will be identified and discussed. 

    Pennsylvania CKC: K3.9 C2

    This online course will focus on how to communicate and build relationships with families using technology tools and digital media. Course participants will be asked to consider implications and benefits of using digital communication in order to bring families into the early education environment. Participants will also be encouraged to reflect on current practice and policies with technology. 

    This online course is designed for educators and administrators to critically examine and develop a deep understanding of the intentions and guidance of the NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center position statement. The course will encourage reflective practices to positively influence teaching, policy development, and dialogue about young children and technology. 

    The first in a series of modules to facilitate and expand early childhood equity and diversity efforts to support children, families and practitioners, this module will begin the conversation about race and culture by exploring, discussing and sharing our own experiences and the role culture plays in our lives. The group will decide on an agreement (ground rules) to support productive dialogue and discuss necessary skills to support discussions about race. It will review some of the beliefs and values that are different than traditional American culture. An emphasis will be placed on the need for ongoing, intentional, meaningful discussions. 


    On average, young children need 25-30 hours per week of active physical play. Such play has profound benefits on children's development. Ideas, perspectives, and skills obtained through their physical play influence and integrate into all other developmental areas and domains. 

    This online course discuses how educators are able to effectively and authentically capture children's physical play, both indoors and outdoors. Formal and informal assessment strategies will be reviewed and discussed. Educators will be able to reflex upon and work to enhance current assessment strategies being used within their programs. 

    Assessment is the ongoing process by which we base our ongoing educational decisions to inform and support learning, identify children that may need additional supports and show child progress.  This course provides a foundational knowledge of authentic assessment in early childhood settings.  Through video clips, discussions, and reflective readings, participants will identify types and purposes of different assessments and reflect on the use of an assessment system withing their early childhood program.  



    K4.1.C1


    Reflective observations are more than simply taking notes. This online session provides early educators with strategies and tools in order to make the most of classroom observations and use this information to complete detailed, meaningful assessments of the children as well as the curriculum. 

    On average, preschool-aged children need 25-30 hours per week of active physical play. Such play has profound benefits on children's development; ideas, perspectives, and skills obtained through their physical play influence and integrate into all other developmental areas and domains. This online course discusses how educators are able to effectively and authentically capture children's physical play, both indoors and outdoors. Formal and informal assessment strategies will be reviewed and discussed. Participants will be able to reflect upon and work to enhance current assessment strategies being used within their settings.

    Assessment results can do much more than evaluate what a child has already learned, it can also assist the classroom teacher to design and enhance lesson plans!  during this session the participant will enhance their understanding of the basic principles of assessment and young children, increase their understanding of how assessment demonstrates accountability  and be able to enhance lesson plans according to the results of the assessments. 

    Assessment results can do much more than evaluate what a child has already learned, it can also assist the classroom teacher to design and enhance lesson plans!  during this session the participant will enhance their understanding of the basic principles of assessment and young children, increase their understanding of how assessment demonstrates accountability  and be able to enhance lesson plans according to the results of the assessments. 

    Assessment is the ongoing process by which we base our ongoing educational decisions to inform and support learning, identify children that may need additional supports and show child progress.  This course provides a foundational knowledge of authentic assessment in early childhood settings.  Through video clips, discussions, and reflective readings, participants will identify types and purposes of different assessments and reflect on the use of an assessment system withing their early childhood program.  



    K4.1.C1

    Assessment results can do much more than evaluate what a child has already learned, it can also assist the classroom teacher to design and enhance lesson plans!  During this session the participant will enhance their understanding of the basic principles of assessment and young children, increase their understanding of how assessment demonstrates accountability  and be able to enhance lesson plans according to the results of the assessments. 


    K4.4.C2

    Reflective observations are more than simply taking notes. This online session provides early educators with strategies and tools in order to make the most of classroom observations and use this information to complete detailed, meaningful assessments of the children as well as the curriculum. 

    K4.14.C2

    Best practice in early childhood education explains how children grow and develop within the context of the family, how adults and children are motivated by what is important to them and how the family is the expert on their child.   However, families often play limited, if any roles in the assessment process.  This course will focus on strategies to engage families as active team members in the process; including conducting, sharing of results and goal-setting.   


    K4.11.C2

    As educators, we know the importance of establishing working relationships with families. However, so often, other things consume our time that it becomes a secondary task on our "to do" list. As times have changed, there are many ways to communicate with families, particularly involving technology and social media. Within this course, participants will review the online blog titled "Three Ways to Connect School and Families through Social Media" recently published by ASCD (September 5, 2014) and discuss innovative communication strategies used or can be used with families. 

    Pennsylvania CKC: K5.9.C3

    Air pollution has been a burden on the residents of Southwestern PA for decades, and while cities like Pittsburgh have made vast improvements-there is still more work to be done. One of many contributors to this air pollution are vehicles and one of the most vulnerable populations are children. Within this online course, participants will learn about our regional air quality issues, the effect on children's health, and the importance of not idling. 

    This course briefly introduces participants to the causes and potential relief strategies of work place stress. Stress is a natural reaction to people's perception of something unfamiliar, out of their control, and/or a "threat" to their current state of being. The reaction to stress is a uniquely personal experience, and so is the way it is managed. Participants will define "stress;" reflect upon their personal roles in the creation as well as the reduction of stress; and think of personal as well as group strategies for relieving stress. 

    Early childhood administrators often have a global impression that things are "going well" or "not so well" at their programs, but they lack specific information on just which areas of the program contribute to those impressions. This online course looks closely at how ten dimensions of organizational climate help shape the quality of work life for staff. Through thought-provoking discussions and reflective exercises, participants will learn how to assess the organizational climate of their program, consider the unique role perspective plays in shaping work attitudes and behavior, and implement specific strategies that will help create a GREAT PLACE TO WORK

    This course will cover the basics of operating the business of an early childhood program and remaining open and profitable.  The activities in this course can also help directors to evaluate the state of their books and whether they are prepared to seek additional state funding such as a Pre-K Counts grant.

    This module offers a "train the facilitator toolkit" for early education program leaders to effectively discuss and educate both professional colleagues and families about the importance of advocacy and mobilization. Module discussions and toolkit resources will outline the concepts of advocacy and how it relates to the field of wary care and education. Participants will learn ways to discuss the basic elements of effective advocacy planning with staff and families and discover ways to use advocacy as a tool to influence decision-makers to invest in positive outcomes for young children, families, and the field, in general. 

    PA CKC: D6.10.C1


    Through active participation and successful completion of the course, participants will: 

    • Discuss ways in which they already act as advocates and how advocacy may occur in various settings. 
    • Formulate a personal definition of "change" and mobilization. 
    • Reflect upon personal values and beliefs related to advocacy
    • Gain knowledge of the supports needed to establish and maintain accessible and equitable high-quality programming for children and families. 

    Throughout this online course, participants will explore and discuss the ways in which professionals can become active "leaders." The definition of "leadership," will be highlighted as well as the characteristics associated with "effective leadership" will be discussed. Participants will become familiar with various aspects of being a professional leader as well as how they can grow both personally as well as professionally within the field. 

    Throughout this online course, participants will explore and discuss the ways in which professionals can become active "leaders." The definition of "leadership," will be highlighted as well as the characteristics associated with "effective leadership" will be discussed. Participants will become familiar with various aspects of being a professional leader as well as how they can grow both personally as well as professionally within the field. 

    Northside Cohort

    Growing as an early childhood advocate requires only two elements: your care and your commitment. We designed this course to give you practical skills and strategies for determining your goals and lifting your voice. Armed with the focus provided by this online course, you can channel your knowledge and experience to move from a provider with a vision to a successful advocate with a plan! 

    Recently, the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership convened more than 600 early childhood leaders to engage in public policy forum and discussion around the concept of “whole leadership.” This course asks participants to review both the article “Whole Leadership” and a video from the public policy forum that captures early childhood leaders, from across the field discussing and reflecting upon what the term “whole leadership” means to them, personally as well as how it “looks” within an active early educational environment.

    PA CKC: K6.9.C3


    What are ethics, and why do they matter?


    NAEYC recognizes that those who work with young children face many daily decisions that have moral and ethical implications. This module takes a closer look at the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, and how it impacts and informs the work of early childhood educators.

    What are ethics, and why do they matter?

    NAEYC recognizes that those who work with young children face many daily decisions that have moral and ethical implications. This module takes a closer look at the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct, and how it impacts and informs the work of early childhood educators.


    As a program leader, most of your day is either spent hunched over paperwork in your office or spending time observing teachers and providing feedback on their performance. When giving feedback, ask yourself 'do I praise my teachers or do I provided them with encouragement...or both?" What's the difference between performance praise and encouragement and how and when should it be offered? This online review will ask course participants to read the article "Rethinking Our Reliance on Praise" by Carol Weisheit and engage in reflective discussions and activities around these questions. 


    The quest for professional contentment and success begins with an inner quest to discover who we are-our passions, values, talents, personal resources, and even those foibles and annoying habits we might prefer not to acknowledge. Having a better understanding of ourselves in the first step toward achieving a better relationship with others. This course is an invitation to self-discovery. Through thought provoking discussion forums and engaging activities, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their personal and professional journeys as well as envision new possibilities for the decades ahead. 


    How do I motivate my staff? How can I encourage my teachers to be more committed to the field? We’ve heard the same issues, framed the same way for years within our field. In this session, we will begin to break this cycle of questioning towards action planning! Online, program administrators will work together to brainstorm strategies for improving the overall quality of their programs by creating a climate and conditions that inspire ‘peak performance.’ Real transformative organizational change does not come about by checking off a series of tasks on a ‘to-do’ list. Real change means thinking beyond the ‘star-employee-of-the-month’ techniques and striving for something bigger. Course participants will engage in provocative discussions and complete activities targeting true professional learning communities within early childhood programs. It will be a goal that staff view each day as an opportunity to expand their abilities and support for one another in moving towards a shared vision of excellence.

    Pennsylvania CKC: K6.9.C2


    PAEYC's Early Childhood Advocacy Fellowship seeks to develop participant knowledge of social change strategies from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Fellows will work to:

    • Advance the interests of young children and their families. 
    • Promote professionalism within the early childhood education (ECE) field and elevate ECE professions. 
    • Analyze systematic barriers and challenges to policy and funding proposals. 
    • Think critically about the advantages and limitations of several approaches to advocacy. 
    • Explore ways to constructively contribute and develop an individual role as a 'change maker.'

    PAEYC designed this program to align with each fellow's goals-priorities that may impact a fellow's workplace, neighborhood, or daily life. In addition to expanding and supporting existing advocacy efforts, fellowship experiences encourage each fellow to identify issues, analyze opportunities, and lead change relevant to self. 

    MEETINGS ARE THE GLUE THAT HOLDS EARLY CHILDHOOD ORGANIZATIONS TOGETHER.

    Whether they are weekly staff meetings, monthly family meetings, or annual board meetings, program administrators rely on meetings as the primary vehicle for communicating information, promoting professional growth, solving problems, and building a sense of community. This course provides a framework for planning and conducting more engaging and productive meetings. Participants will learn how to increase a group’s commitment to shared goals, arrive at decisions supported by everyone, and have more fun in the process!


    Early childhood administrators often have a global impression that things are "going well" or "not so well" at their programs, but they lack specific information on just which areas of the program contribute to those impressions. This online course looks closely at how ten dimensions of organizational climate help shape the quality of work life for staff. Through thought-provoking discussions and reflective exercises, participants will learn how to assess the organizational climate of their program, consider the unique role perspective plays in shaping work attitudes and behavior, and implement specific strategies that will help create a GREAT PLACE TO WORK



    When individuals embark on a new job, they are filled with a welter of emotions that range from excitement and anticipation to anxiety and uncertainty. They wonder if they have made the right decision. Will they fit in? Will the job provide the challenge, variety, intellectual stimulation, and recognition that they anticipated it would?

    This course is designed to review orientation strategies that help to keep that excitement alive as well as help individuals discover more about their positions to ensure a good adjustment between expectations and reality. When done right, orientation programs are the foundation of the program's professional development system. It sets the stage for the working relationships between new employees, the program's staff, and the children and their families. 


    Building trust and a spirit of collaboration among staff in early education programs are central to achieving high-performing teams. This does not come easy however! It takes patience, persistence, time and a genuine willingness to seriously consider differing points of view. And, it involves a style of leadership, entitled "participative management" that focuses primarily on shared decision making and active engagement. This course is the first online session of a two part series examining Participative Management

    Building trust and a spirit of collaboration among staff in early education programs are central to achieving high-performing work teams. This does not come easy however! It take patience, persistence, time and a genuine willingness to seriously consider differing points of view. Meaningful staff involvement in decision making is one way that trust and commitment to organizational goals can be achieved. This course is the second session of a two part series examining Participative Management. Participants will discuss the importance of and examine shared decision making strategies. Course content intends to support educational leaders determine strategies of increasing both the quality of program decision making and the acceptance and commitment of others in implementing those decisions. 

    This online course explores the concept of leadership in the context of early childhood education. Participants will discuss the multi-faceted role(s) of a program administrator and the skills and competencies needed to nurture leadership at all levels of an organization. From practical suggestions and examples from high-performing administrators, participants will learn how to create and sustain a compelling vision that transforms their programs into vibrant and engaging learning communities. 

    This course focuses upon ways to plan, facilitate, and evaluate evidence-based, developmentally appropriate education experiences in a preschool environment. Discussions will highlight using formal and informal assessments as tools for planning, not just child monitoring! Overall strategies for activity planning, differentiation, grouping, and pacing will also be reviewed. 

    Danielson Framework: 1.c; 1.e; 1.f; 3.c; 3.d; 4.b

    Pennsylvania CKC: K2.1.C3

    Induction 2018-2019 (2)

    This course primarily focuses on the establishment of a respectful and responsive learning environment, for all children. Discussing and reflecting upon verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that convey acceptance, warmth, and comfort, the importance of daily positive and responsive interactions with young children will be reviewed. In addition, participants will analyze and discuss how they currently work to build and "manage" a relationship-based preschool classroom. 

    2018-2019 (1)

    Danielson Framework: 2.a; 2.b; 2.c; 3.a; 3.b

    Pennsylvania CKC: K2.1.C3


    This course primarily focuses on the establishment of a respectful and responsive learning environment, for all children. Discussing and reflecting upon verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that convey acceptance, warmth, and comfort, the importance of daily positive and responsive interactions with young children will be reviewed. In addition, participants will analyze and discuss how they currently work to build and "manage" a relationship-based preschool classroom. 

    2018-2019

    Danielson Framework: 2.a; 2.b; 2.c; 3.a; 3.b

    Pennsylvania CKC: K2.1.C3


    This course will investigate and discuss what it is like to be a professional in the field of early education today. Topics such as assessment & accountability, family-community partnerships, and professionalism will be highlighted. 

    Danielson Framework: 1.d; 4.a; 4.f

    Pennsylvania CKC: K6.4.C3

    This course focuses upon ways to plan, facilitate, and evaluate evidence-based, developmentally appropriate education experiences in a preschool environment. Discussions will highlight using formal and informal assessments as tools for planning, not just child monitoring! Overall strategies for activity planning, differentiation, grouping, and pacing will also be reviewed. 

    Danielson Framework: 1.c; 1.e; 1.f; 3.c; 3.d; 4.b

    Pennsylvania CKC: K2.1.C3

    Induction 2018-2019 (1)

    In the life of an early educator, we have the crawling baby who dumps every toy bin off of the shelves, the toddler who screams and tantrums during every mealtime, the energetic tattle-telling preschooler, and the aggressive Kindergartener. There are a number of ways to react to such situations. Sometimes we find ourselves frustrated or too punitive, which can be ineffective. By reframing the situation from the perspective of positive guidance, we can move beyond a reaction and towards a more effective response. This online course discusses appropriate guidance techniques when working with and for young children, through the lens of positive guidance. Participants will focus upon the establishment of developmentally appropriate expectations as well as ways to positively address children's behaviors. 

    Northside Cohort

    Pennsylvania CKC: K2.13.C1

    CDA Functional Area: 10


    Creativity involves generating ideas and engaging curiosity, risk taking, and imagination. As an early educator, it is essential to not only set the stage that will encourage children but to also work with them to discover the wonderment of the Arts and nurture their interest and ideas so they can grow to be creative problem-solvers and confident, 21st century thinkers. This online session discusses strategies as well as reiterates the importance for the integration of the creative arts, especially "messy art" in an early education program. 

    In the life of an early educator, we have the crawling baby who dumps every toy bin off of the shelves, the toddler who screams and tantrums during every mealtime, the energetic tattle-telling preschooler, and the aggressive Kindergartener. There are a number of ways to react to such situations. Sometimes we find ourselves frustrated or too punitive, which can be ineffective. By reframing the situation from the perspective of positive guidance, we can move beyond a reaction and towards a more effective response. This online course discusses appropriate guidance techniques when working with and for young children, through the lens of positive guidance. Participants will focus upon the establishment of developmentally appropriate expectations as well as ways to positively address children's behaviors. 

    Pennsylvania CKC: K2.13.C1

    CDA Functional Area: 10

    The purpose of this online session is to introduce early education professionals to the importance and value of purposeful observation. Discussions and activities will describe and strategize ways to incorporate systematic and intentional observation into daily classroom experiences. How observation can be used to support individual children and improve the overall quality of the learning environment will also be discussed. 

    This online course focuses upon the importance of family involvement and relationships within an early education setting. 

    Within this online course, participants will discuss the physical growth and motor development of young children, including brain development and the development of the five senses.  


    In the life of an early educator, we have the crawling baby who dumps every toy bin off of the shelves and the toddler who scream and tantrums during every mealtime. There are a number of ways to react to such situations. Sometimes we find ourselves frustrated or too punitive, which can be ineffective. By reframing the situation from the perspective of positive guidance, we can move beyond a reaction and towards a more effective response. This online course discusses appropriate guidance techniques when working with and for infants and toddlers, through the lens of positive guidance. Participants will focus upon the establishment of developmentally appropriate expectations as well as ways to positively address children's behaviors. 

    EHS Cohort 7

    Within this online course, participants will discuss the physical growth and motor development of young children, including brain development and the development of the five senses.  

    Northside Cohort


    The purpose of this online session is to introduce early education professionals to the importance and value of purposeful observation. Discussions and activities will describe and strategize ways to incorporate systematic and intentional observation into daily classroom experiences. How observation can be used to support individual children and improve the overall quality of the learning environment will also be discussed. 

    Northside Cohort

    Healthy nutritional practices go beyond the mealtime schedule in the classroom. Throughout this online session, participants will learn techniques and strategies to instill healthy habits and practices, throughout the day with young children. Participants will also discuss ways to share this information with the families that they engage with each day. 

    Creativity involves generating ideas and engaging curiosity, risk taking, and imagination. As an early educator, it is essential to not only set the stage that will encourage children but to also work with them to discover the wonderment of the Arts and nurture their interest and ideas so they can grow to be creative problem-solvers and confident, 21st century thinkers. This online session discusses strategies as well as reiterates the importance for the integration of the creative arts, especially "messy art" in an early education program. 

    How to meet the needs of all children, in the classroom. 


    Developmentally appropriate practices require both meeting children "where they are"—which means that teachers must get to know them well—and enabling them to reach goals that are both challenging and achievable. In this course, participants will explore the structure of curriculum design, how room arrangement plays a large role in curriculum and connect the Early Learning Standards, Outcomes and Curriculum in an intentional and developmentally appropriate way. 

    Rough-housing, horse-play, aggressive play, these are all descriptors commonly associated with what child developmental researchers and psychologists like to coin “rough and tumble play.” Rough and tumble play (R&T Play) refers to the vigorous types of behaviors that occur within the context of children’s play which are often mistaken for aggression, or fighting; therefore, it is typically discouraged by adults. However, as with other types of play, appropriate rough and tumble play enhances healthy child development! Participants of this session will define and discuss the benefits of rough and tumble play. Misconceptions as well as controversies around this play type will be reviewed. Working together, participants will brainstorm ways to offer appropriate venues and experiences for R&T Play within their classrooms as well as strategies for speaking with families and other stakeholders about its importance and place in early education. 


    Pennsylvania CKC: K1.8.C1

    CDA Functional Area: 3 - Learning Environment (Candidate organizes and uses relationships, the physical space, materials, daily schedule, and routines to create secure, interesting and enjoyable environment that promotes engagement, play exploration and learning of all children, including children with special needs.)

    Healthy nutritional practices go beyond an early childhood program's mealtime schedule. Throughout this online session, participants will learn techniques and strategies to instill healthy habits and practices, throughout the day with young children. Participants will also discuss ways to share this information with families. 

    When addressing Social/Emotional learning in the classroom, it is imperative to recognize how culture and implicit bias impact the interaction and experiences children have in formal school settings.  This module will facilitate and expand equity and diversity efforts to support children and will begin a conversation about culture by exploring, discussing and sharing our own experiences and the role culture plays in our lives. 

    Cohort 1

    Within this online course, participants will focus upon the following 5 objectives:

    1. Explain why the first few years of a child's life sets the stage for future behaviors and learning; 
    2. Understand, recognize, and support trauma and behaviors associated with trauma; 
    3. Identify resources within their school and community to support continued learning and behavior change; 
    4. Learn and use age appropriate tools to help stop or correct negative behaviors and support learning in the classroom; 
    5. Recognize feelings and approaches surrounding work with students and their families.