Professional development for teachers working with pre school and school-age children and for others working in an educational setting.
Teachers and educators face an array of challenges and opportunities. Whether they are present in or outside of the classroom, we can provide the tools and knowledge to face and overcome these challenges and harness potential to allow opportunities to flourish. Take a look at some of the workshops we've conducted that address some common issues faced by educators.
For a custom workshop that addresses your specific needs, contact us →
Tools for Tough Times: Taming Tigers and Slowing Down Tasmanian Devils - The Secrets of Working With those With challenging Behaviours.
Some people you serve are challenged in following directions, behave appropriately with others, cross boundaries and are unable to stay within the lines of a planned activity. By the end of the workday, staff can be found exhausted, unsure of what to do next, and discouraged by their unsuccessful efforts. Taming a group full of tigers and settling down Tasmanian Devils is no circus act and definitely not an easy task. Learn and utilize a new skill that will bring more balance to a shared environment. Topics emphasized include:
- Effective communication tools and agreements
- Thinking out of the box about barriers and boundaries
- Understanding the differences between independence, dependence, codependency and interdependent relationships
- Games and activities that teach while being inclusive to all – for both inside and outside the classroom
- The Big R Words – Routines, Responsibilities, Relevancy, Rights, Rules, and Relationships when working with children and youth
- Personal stories and examples of resources that provide perspective of the teacher, student, family and community worker regarding the need for change, challenge and more direct approach to care
Tools for Tough Times Revival: Unplugging the Little Monsters and Reconnecting the Virtues of Childhood Learning
This workshop is dedicated to understanding the simple virtues of childhood learning by creating the best environment to foster social and emotional learning. We will examine the current realities and potential directions we are heading in the 21st Century in regards to outdoor and experiential based learning techniques. An inspiring and interactive workshop providing attendees activities, games, perspectives and resources to support educators/instructors/camp leaders in being in the driver’s. It is not about slamming technology but rather taking a step back to ensure we are not letting go of the virtues of childhood learning with our communities.
Connecting Famous Children’s Characters to Place Based Education: When Peter Rabbit Stepped on Pooh
Many of our beloved fictional children’s characters, from Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh and Anne of Green Gables, shape the imagination of young – and old readers alike - through their adventures in nature, their simplicity and friendship. Many of the stories creatively display social-emotional learning opportunities in a simple and relatable way. What would happen if we could bring our learners into the story and utilizes our outside places to teach? Could the 100 acre Woods that intrigued Christopher Robin or Mr. McGregor's vegetable garden be recreated in another setting?
Place based learning mixed with story telling supports children’s creativity and the natural places that surround them. The story of place and the characters that come from these settings is how place based education works magic with young learners.
Let’s take nature education and connect it to all aspects of place, like local history, environment, and love for the natural world. Every place can have a story - in the city, the schoolyard, the forest or your backyard! This workshop will introduce the fundamentals of place-based education with emphasis on lessons of environmental responsibility and imaginative play. Walk away with simple and low cost ideas of how you can use place(s) and stories as tools for learning that are engaging and relevant.
Secrets of Magic: Nonsensical Play & Rediscovering the WILD Within!
Nonsensical play? Sound like nonsense? Unstructured play is important for people of all ages. Developing imagination, strengthening physical, cognitive and emotional skills and resiliency, collaborative and social skill building and laughter are some of the many benefits of free play. This workshop will focus on the importance of play and how to weave free play into education by using our senses. Understanding that by simply feeling, smelling, hearing, tasting and listening, our world becomes a playground once again. We will learn more about what plants and animals live in your neighbour-wood and how unstructured play gives space to learn about the stories of the natural world.
This workshop will invite you to explore your edges of comfort, since a lot of us have forgotten what it's like to goof around! Come wander through the woods and experience some magic!
Going Beyond the Typical Recreational Activities and Sports: Infusing Nature-Based and Outdoor Skills in Children and Youth Programming
Most recreation centres and schools have done a remarkable job with developing their recreational and sports activities while still improving and tweaking their outdoor programming. However, developing outdoor experiential-based programming and skill training only compliments and supports recreation and leisure activities in summer camps, pre-schools and community centres. Backed by research, educators and parents have been calling for more outdoor education learning and skill building opportunities for children and youth. This workshop will cover some basic outdoor skills that can be taught to all ages from knots, shelter building, orienteering, urban parks nature-based games and activities, cloud reading and more. The outside classroom is waiting for those ready to learn about outdoor community-based recreation.
Organized Chaos: Understanding the importance of balance with structure and unstructured learning experience and management practices.
Our workplaces and schools have become increasingly dependent on everything being “absolute”, structured and achievement-driven to the point that creativity and resiliency are diminishing. This workshop explains the art of imperfection and how to create teachable moments.
What does organized chaos mean? “A situation or place that seems to be in chaos, but has an underlying organization and pattern which is evident to those involved in the situation.”
Everyone needs a little shake up and chaos to inspire some creativity and let loose of some rigid thinking and functionality. This is a workshop of play, activity and facts relating to the concept and theory of organized chaos. Participants will be engaged in a fun and motivating professional development experience dedicated to discovering balance, the importance of unstructured play and the concept of ‘work life’ being a powerful learning approach to teaching, being and leading.
The Messiness of Play: Why Pig-Pen Ruled the Peanuts Gang
Let’s be honest, we have totally over sanitized the concept of play from childhood to adulthood. In this fun and interactive workshop, practitioners, educators and the curious will play with dirt, paint, glue, water, dyes and more (all dependent if we are outside or inside), as a way to re-emphasize the importance of play in activities and projects, and supporting the understanding that play requires getting ones clothes and hands a bit dirty. Play is diverse, infinite and critical to developing positive personal identity. Pig-Pen reminds us that there is room for a little messiness in our playful lives.
Nature’s Essential heART
Strengthening School-based Art Projects through Connecting Children’s Creativity with Nature
"Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos" - Saul Bellow
Everyone is an artist – regardless if they colour within the lines or not. This workshop is all about honouring, rediscovering (or deepening) and expressing the artist that lives within you. One thing is guaranteed - it will be messy and 100% environmental! Come and get radical and make a piece of art that invokes some stillness in the business of life. Based on a concept called Nature Art or Earth Art, we will dive into the principles of how to weave this practice into your classroom, workplace or any space!
Nature Art is an opportunity to explore nature and make masterpieces on the land that shape children’s perspective of the natural world. We will cover the basics of Nature Art and how it relates to the classroom, make our own individual and group pieces of art, and unravel how art can create connection to both the land and to one another.
Creative bag of tricks
Does your classroom need an infusion of creativity or do your students need to be challenged to get out of their shell? This workshop is aimed at challenging, teaching and engaging you with the tricks to creativity and the foundation of putting fun back into play and your classroom. Offering training in improv, clowning, theatre initiatives, camp fire songs and imaginary play, we provide a seemingly bottomless box of creative ideas to transform your classroom.
CONNECTING THE DOTS BETWEEN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING AND CULTURAL PRACTICES
Schools, community centres and camps are central to honouring diversity and bringing inclusivity and connectivity to their communities and students. Enjoy a workshop that not only challenges our paradigms on building a sense of community, but also leaves you with tools and perspectives to continually reshape them. The workshop is both interactive and discussion-based, and will provide participants transferable learning tools, play activities and resources for ages 5 and up.
OUTSIDE PLAY: BRINGING BACK THE FUN INTO NATURAL PLAY
Do we really need to read another statistic about how much children spend inside or how much screen time they are getting? Come and enjoy a half or full day workshop completely based on outside learning and play. The ‘inside” traditional classroom is small and simple compared to the expansive “outside” classroom where kids learn hands-on through experiential learning techniques, play and sometimes getting a little dirty. You will learn a ton of games, activities and ideas that are transferrable to the home, centre or school.