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Professional Development

Professional Development that Works!

LeapSmart founder, Monica Levy is a Credentialed Trainer awarded by NYSAEYC as well as a certified CLASS Observer. She brings, inspiration, passion, knowledge and over 30 years of experience in early childhood development instruction to her presentations, keynotes, and consultations. All trainings align with the NYS Core Curriculum. See what makes her professional development presentations so compelling!  

ONLINE TRAININGS!

 "I would highly recommend these trainings. Monica is informative, well organized, very informative and enthusiastic! Great visuals and activities", (NY preschool teacher)

New Workshops!

CLASS Trainings

The CLASS observation tool is a standard by which educators define classroom quality. It is high-level interactions between teacher and students. Monica Levy's hands-on approach to helping teachers integrate the CLASS guidelines into their teaching results in stronger teachers as well as higher functioning students. Trainings vary in length and focus and can consist of a general overview or an in-depth focus on one domain. 

 

Curriculum

Project Based Learning- Engaging children’s minds through guided discovery

This workshop serves as an overview as well as a guide to implementing a project driven curriculum in your classroom. From inspiration to communication, planning and organization, this workshop gives educators the tools to adapt a project based method into their current curriculum with ease. Educators will learn how to create brainstorming webs, inspire high order thinking with students, create weekly lesson plans and construct compelling, hands- on projects throughout the day. With Project Based Learning, the Common Core standards are integrated into activities that are meaningful and fun for children.

STEM for Preschoolers!

This workshop guides educators through preschool friendly activities that inspire and challenge young minds. Teachers will learn math and science games as well as engineering activities that will awaken their inner inventor. Using inexpensive everyday materials, teachers will discover how simple it is to bring a STEM curriculum into their classrooms.
This workshop covers the following topics:
  • What is STEM?
  • How to inspire the inquiring mind through targeted questions • Math games that integrate mind and body
  • Over 15 simple STEM projects for the preschool classroom
  • How to integrate STEM across disciplines

Knock ‘em down! - Block building in the preschool classroom

Building with blocks provides one of the most valuable learning experiences available for young children. Block play stimulates learning in all domains of development; intellectual, physical, social-emotional and language.
This workshop covers the following topics:
  • How Teacher’s can promote creative play with Blocks
  • Learning Concepts associated with Block Play: e.g sorting, ordering, counting
  • The 6 Stages of Block play
  • How Block Play supports Math, Science, Language and Art

Literacy in the Preschool Classroom

This training reviews, step by step how to incorporate the early childhood literacy core standards into the classroom. At the conclusion of the training, educators will know how to: Incorporate activities that promote symbolic development, use spoken/expressive language to enhance vocabulary and boost communication, use games that heighten listening/receptive language, integrate written language practice throughout the day, effectively use books to help children reflect on learning, and use techniques that help children practice various sounds of language.  

Science and Art with Eric Carle

Educators have been using these books as a jumping off point for art projects as well as science exploration for many years and this workshop will help teachers focus on how the books span both disciplines. The workshop will review ho to- inspire scientific thinking in the PreK classroom, do specific activities that explore earth and space, living things and physical properties of the world as well as activities that introduce the color, shape, and methods that produce the art found in the Eric Carle books.  

Art in your Classroom- How to enrich your curriculum through art

This workshop, which aligns with the core standards of preschool art in the classroom, instructs educators how to encourage process-oriented activities, to be comfortable working in any art medium and how to create a classroom full of creative energy! Outlined in the workshop are the goals of the art process, role of the teacher in this process and creative ideas for printing, painting, collage, sculpture and group projects. Ways that art can reinforce literacy, science, and math is also covered in this workshop. So, come and get messy as you create and experiment and learn through art.

Music in your Classroom- Using music for group and independent activities

This workshop aligns with the core standards of music in the preschool classroom and will give teachers 8 ways to promote musical discovery. From singing to playing and making instruments to ear training, to setting up a music corner, this workshop gives educators specific songs, methods, and ideas that will allow them to transform the way they use music in their classrooms. Whether or not you can hold a tune, this workshop will show you how easy it is to make music a vital tool for learning, enjoyment and class cohesion.

Integrating Teaching with Play – Learning Games for Preschoolers

This workshop teaches child care professionals how to help your preschool students develop an understanding of literacy, math, and social skills, preparing them for kindergarten through a variety of fun and active group games! These games target spatial concepts, sequencing, rhythm and problem solving and are easy to learn and implement. Participants will experience the activities, receive a handout of the activities and learn how to organize and adapt them to their classrooms. "I learned how to integrate movement with math, language, and science." -Preschool Teacher

 

Classroom Management

Classroom Management - your guide to successful a learning environment

This training covers how to set up and manage a successful preschool classroom
Topics include-
  • Arranging the classroom space for optimum learning
  • Creating a schedule that uses every moment including transitional time to educate
  • Teaching lessons that foster optimum engagement
  • Dealing with the challenging child

Utilizing an informational powerpoint, small and whole group discussions as well as hands on activities, this training provides a comprehensive guide for the new teacher as well as new ideas for the seasoned teacher.

Untangling School Readiness - Strategies that promote early learning skills within developmental variations

Executive functioning skills are the basis for school readiness and this training gives educators activities, games and strategies that builds executive functioning skills in their students. The Building Blocks model provides the structure for teachers to assess, and identify the best way to help children across the domains. Videos examples, group discussions and active games give participants engaging ways to learn and apply new techniques to their classrooms.
At the conclusion of the training educators will:
  • Recognize the School Readiness skills, terms and categories
  • Demonstrate ways to improve executive functioning in the classroom
  • Review Building Blocks scaffolding strategies that target specific domain area
  • Select strategies that target the needs of a specific child in their classroom

Room Arrangement- Spaces that maximize learning

Discover your inner designer and optimize your classroom for your students. Room arrangement is vital to promote learning, independence and focus. At the conclusion of this training educators will-
  • Learn how to transform the classroom environment so it lays the foundation for learning
  • Identify 6 elements that make up a successful classroom design
  • Assess their classroom space according to these criteria
  • Design simple and inexpensive changes that can positively impact the learning environment

The Art behind Purposeful lesson planning - how it impacts positive behavior

Beneficial for both new and seasoned teachers this training guides teachers step by step in the creation and implementation of compelling lesson plans that satisfy common core requirements.
Educators will-
  • Reflect on and discuss the elements of a successful lesson from engagement to content integration
  • Practice the art of collective brainstorming
  • Create strategies that will allow all learners to succeed

Transition Techniques

Transitions are powerful tools. In this session, teachers will practice and share dynamic transitions ideas to maintain a smooth learning environment, reduce the number of interruptions, keep children on task, limit wait time, and encourage activities to flow from one to another with ease. 

The Challenging Child

This training explores strategies that help educators handle tantrums, noncompliance, non-involvement, aggressiveness and more. Participants will learn how to recognize behavioral triggers, offer solutions and improve teacher/student communication. Through activities, discussion and collaboration, teachers will gain experience to meet the challenges that they may experience in the classroom while also learning strategies for communicating with parents in a positive way.

Language Modeling- Building communication, vocabulary, and verbal clarity

The focus of Language Modeling is for teachers to model more complex language and to increase the amount of talking kids do. High level language modeling skills are essential to promote learning, improve communication, and foster positive relationships in the classroom. Utilizing a variety of methods, this workshop will help teachers learn how to achieve high-range language modeling. 

 

Social Emotional Trainings

Strengthening Social Emotional Development- Focus on Self Awareness and Healthy Relationships

Strong Social skills and Emotional Intelligence are vital to lead a healthy productive life. This training reviews the stages of social/emotional development and provides the tools for early childhood educators to improve their students self awareness, ability to self regulate, awareness of others and communication skills. Through an informative powerpoint, discussion, and hands on projects, teachers will learn activities to bring to their classrooms that will raise their students emotional and social skills.
At the conclusion of the training teachers will
  • Understand the 5 stages of social and emotional growth
  • Demonstrate games and activities that boost emotional awareness
  • Utilize musical games to increase awareness of feelings
  • Demonstrate movement games that improve self regulation

Bullies Are Created, Not Born- How To Develop A Safe and Caring Classroom Community

Creating an environment of mutual respect between the teacher and the students is essential to developing a positive classroom community. In this training we will
  • define bullying and distinguish it from developmentally predictable behaviors
  • examine different scenarios to determine if a situation could become a pattern of bullying
  • review intervention strategies to resolve conflicts so they don’t become bullying situations
  • learn how to implement classroom strategies to strengthen peer relationships, respect differences, and promote a positive classroom community

Understanding the Trauma of Loss and Grief in young children

Children who experience trauma and and grief are all too common in school. This training helps educators recognize the warning signs, provide support, comfort and the tools to help children deal with the feelings and behaviors that result from emotional trauma. This training will also review how teachers can take care of themselves in order to remain strong, objective and focused.

★ Creating the Resilient Learner- Promoting Communication and Problem Solving in your classroom

This workshop gives early childhood teachers methods and processes to help their students develop the skills necessary to meet the challenges and adversities of life.
At the conclusion of the presentation educators will
  • Understand the effects of toxic stress on children
  • Be able to utilize strategies in the classroom that will build student's "Growth Mindset"
  • Know how to model communication that builds resilience in children
  • Practice 8 active games that build coping, problem solving and self control skills

Improving interactions

What is the key to having meaningful interactions in the classroom? This workshop will outline 7 basic skills that form a template for any teacher to improve student engagement. Through group practice, discussion and role play educators will come away with important communication and practical skills such as-
  • Active Listening
  • Responding and scaffolding
  • Targeted praise
  • Repetition and Extension
  • Effective questioning, and brainstorming
  • Dramatic play, movement/music, puppets, hands on activities
  • Forming connections- extending learning across the curriculum

Diversity*

Pink is for Girls? Learn how to embrace and promote a diverse and inclusive preschool classroom. This presentation gives educators the opportunity to be open about their own perceptions and biases and learn how to move forward so as not to isolate and stigmatize students. Through discussion, hands-on activities, and informative powerpoint, educators will learn how they can embrace and accept all forms of diversity including changing definitions of family, gender, and race and learn practical, age-appropriate ways to instill an open mindset in their students.  "Thanks. This has been one of my favorite workshops." -Preschool Teacher

 


Movement Integration Trainings

Promoting the development of Executive Function through Yoga and Mindfulness

Executive function is a set of skills that allow people to control their behavior and direct it toward longer-term goals. Children can practice these skills through activities that blend with curriculum and are easy to implement in the classroom. This training will cover-
  • What is Executive Function? (EF)
  • Breathing
  • Mindfulness
  • Body awareness/yoga

Zumba for preschoolers

This training gives you the tools to build a child friendly routine inspired by the popular Zumba dance/exercise program. You will learn how to maintain focus and safety while challenging your student’s minds and bodies. Perfect for practicing sequencing skills, balance, coordination and creating a positive class community, Zumba for preschoolers is easy to implement in any classroom space.

De-stressing Your Classroom – Yoga for Preschoolers

Featuring the LeapSmart Yoga Kit which includes special cards, music and curriculum, this workshop will give teachers easy to implement techniques and activities that bring the physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits of yoga to preschoolers. Using pictures, imagery and stories, yoga will be adapted and made accessible to all teachers regardless of physical limitations. This workshop will focus on yoga as a teaching tool, stress reducer, the spark for creative play as well as a means to enhance social and personal awareness. Come and be inspired as  Monica Levy, director of LeapSmart, shows you how Yoga can enrich your classroom curriculum in surprising and original ways. 

Action Tool Kit – Classroom Management Solutions For Children With Special Needs

Take Action in your classroom! Monica Levy shares techniques and activities that teach and invigorate preschoolers while also being especially beneficial for children with special needs. Participants will learn activities that train children to improve their spatial intelligence, listening and communication skills as well as problem-solving skills. This workshop also highlights games to improve gross motor skills and self-regulation as well as simple tips to help your class transitions run smoothly. LeapSmart’s Action Kit is featured in this workshop.

Activate Your Curriculum – Movement in The Classroom*

Participants learn how to invent their own custom tailored activities around curriculum and use classroom space creatively. The focus is using movement as an integral teaching tool within the confined space of the classroom. Teachers are empowered to enhance their curriculum in creative and innovative ways.

Outdoor Games for Preschoolers

This workshop gives educators over thirty specific activities that will help their preschool students develop strength, endurance, gross motor ability, teamwork, sequencing and motor planning skills. Aligning with the core standards for physical development and health, teachers will learn step by step how to organize and adapt these games for any preschool space. Fun and easy to teach, they require minimal setup and are designed to appeal to any preschool age child. In addition, this workshop teaches specific strategies to deal with challenging behaviors and include all learners. Teachers will be empowered to create and implement their own customized activities for their students and will leave the workshop full of new ideas and ways to get their kids moving!

 

Educator Enrichment

The Peaceful Mind in a Stressful World

Educators are especially prone to stress. Full days and constant attention to the needs of young students leave little time to focus on oneself. This can impact how teachers handle discipline, provide structure, and promote a positive atmosphere in the classroom. This workshop provides a guide to reduce the stress we hold in both mind and body that leads to illness, chronic pain, and worry. 

Team building

In order to be successful, educators in the classroom must operate with mutual respect, healthy communication, and appreciation for what each individual brings to the table. This workshop addresses these areas, working to strengthen the skills that are needed to act effectively as a team. In a fun and safe atmosphere, through targeted discussion, games and activities participants learn about each other, practice problem solving, communication and learn the language of appreciation. Learning objectives: identify ways to improve our feeling of satisfaction at work, experience problem solving together in fun and relaxed situations, discover more about each other- improving communication, and practice ways to better connect through appreciating each other.

 

Keynotes

Imagining possibilities- The new preschool classroom

Education is constantly evolving. As educators we must balance what we believe is important for children to succeed, with the latest trends, requirements and parental expectations. Monica Levy will examine some of the most recent changes and reflect on how we as educators can reframe our role for the 21st. century. Together we will dare to imagine what lies ahead and how we can open our minds to new possibilities for education in a changing world.

*(available as a Keynote presentation)

To book a workshop, keynote or consultation, or for more information contact Monica