Upcoming Workshops

Happy New Year Everyone

We still have spaces in the following workshops:



    Wednesday, January 30, 9am to 4:00pm Cost: $100


    Thursday, January 31, 2019 6:00 pm – 9:00 pmCost: $50


          February, 9th, 2019 9am-3:00 pm



    March 20, 2019 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Cost:


    Saturday, May 11th, 2019 9:00am to 3:00pm Cost: $75

Please see below for details. Please note that Roles of the Adult workshop is available for registration and credit card payment via EventBrite. All other workshops are to be paid via check to Branches Atelier.


 Hosted by the West Coast Collaborative

Hi Everyone,

I am excited to announce this workshop! 

We are so happy to have Tiziana Filippini coming to Los Angeles to do a day-long workshop for teachers, parents, students, professors, and administrators. 

She is fantastic. I personally have learned more from her than anyone else. She was one of the original Reggio educators who worked as pedagogista with Loris Malaguzzi!

I have never heard anyone talk about the role of the adult in a Reggio setting like her. She is amazing!! I am hoping that we can have as many people as possible come to hear her speak. 

For Parents, she will give you a new way of seeing and understanding children. For experienced teachers, she will offer new insights into your teaching practice, for students, she will inspire your passion for early childhood education, and for professors and administrators, she will talk about (what is) the role of children in our culture.

The West Coast Collaborative is also happy to announce that we are offering a student discount for ECE students with a current college ID.  We hope to have as many students as possible come to hear her speak. Tiziana is down to earth and at the same time inspirational. 

Please feel free to send this info to anyone who might be interested, and anyone else who needs a little inspiration!

Hope to see you there!

Patricia Hunter McGrath

The West Coast Collaborative is a collection of schools that have been working together for many years, studying and researching the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education.  
Branches Atelier, Bright Start, Growing Place Ocean Park, Growing Place Marine Park, The New SchoolWest, and Voyages Preschool are active members of this collaborative group.

Click Here to Purchase tickets

download flyer


Where: Wildwood Elementary School

12201 Washington Place, Los Angeles, CA  90066

When: February, 9th, 2019

9AM – 3PM

Cost: General admission: $65

Student Discount: $35 With ECE ID

Please email jim@branchesatelier.com with a copy of your current student ID to apply for a student discount. Once approved you will be able to purchase a discounted ticket

Questions: allison@branchesatelier.com

Bring Your own Lunch

As adults, we all choose how we listen and respond to children but what do we base our decisions on? How closely are we connected to the minds and hearts of the children near us?Join us as Tiziana Filippini explores the powerful role that adults play in children’s learning.

Tiziana Filippini is a pedagogista who collaborates with Reggio Children with regard to research, conferences, and consultancies in Italy and abroad. 

From 1978 to 2015, she worked as a member of the Pedagogical Coordinating Team of the Istituzione – Preschools and Infant Toddler Centers of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia.

Tiziana was referent for the acclaimed exhibit, “The Hundred Languages of Children” and is currently one of the curators of the new version, “The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children.”

In addition to her work with the municipality of Reggio Emilia, Tiziana was part of the original research group of Making Learning Visible, a collaboration between Reggio Children and Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The collaboration resulted in a book, Making Learning Visible: Children as Individual and Group Learners, which became very well known in North American early childhood circles and all over the world.

Click Here to Purchase tickets




Thursday, January 31, 2019 6:00 pm – 9:00 pmCost: $50

Presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath and Christina Bianchi

Spend the night exploring light, shadow and transparency with two experienced atelieristas as we explore how light tables, overhead projectors and immersive digital environments have been used to support, uncover and develop children’s’ interests and ideas.  Through hands on experiences, provocative questions and co-constructive interactions we will unpack how to move with fluidity between children’s theories, representations and investigations

  • What is the role of the adult in facilitating the choice of materials to be used with the light table?
  • How do we follow children’s ideas through a wide range of light-driven experiences?
  • What questions do we ask ourselves to support the children’s processes?
  • How are materials an essential ingredient for collaboration and shared meaning making?
  • How can the light table become a catalyst for children’s learning?
  • How is light used to create focused classroom environments?
  • Why is the light an indispensable tool for the classroom


March 20, 2019 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Cost: $60

This workshop includes materials for the creation of a resource book for your continued reference

Presented by Patricia Hunter McGrath

Join us as we do an in depth, hands on investigation of this limitless material. Despite its presence in many classrooms, watercolor is a surprising medium to work with. Slight variations in paper, pigment saturation and setting can lead to dramatic and unexpected results. When considering which materials to introduce, the fluidity of this paint and the unpredictable nature of the relationship between gesture and line make it ideal for supporting a class of individuals in becoming a collaborative group. The creation of our initial color palettes helps to draw children’s attention to the changes in our environment and foster our connection to the natural world as well as our community. Together we will explore: 

  • How are watercolor provocations used to support and uncover children’s thinking?
  • How do we follow children’s ideas to evolve in work with watercolors over time?
  • What questions do we ask during observations with watercolor to support children’s processes?
  • How are these materials an essential ingredient for collaboration and shared meaning making?
  • How can this paint become the foundation for contemporary academic learning?


Saturday, May 11th, 2019 9am to 3pm Cost: $75

Presented by Berenice Vallejo

 Part of the fascination with the bad guy/good guy game, is that the children are exploring the concept of power; who has it, and how it gets used. In our current charged culture, teachers and parents grapple with the ideas of power as expressed in children’s play. In this workshop we explore one classes’ avenues of inquiry in this important exploration of power in our classroom and our society as we continue to support children’s understanding of the importance of being a part of the community. Together we will consider: 

  • How can close examination of “bad guys” and their power dynamics lead to a deeper understanding of children’s behavior?
  • How can investigations of character travel through a wide range of two dimensional and 3-d materials?
  • How can we support storytelling through new technological tools?
  • How does storytelling become a tool for collaboration?
  • How can storytelling in classrooms be used to change the dominant narratives in our culture?

 About the presenters

Patricia Hunter McGrath is the Executive Director/Atelierista of  Branches Atelier in Culver City, California. Over the past 20 years she has developed an innovated early childhood program inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach. From 2005 to 2007 Patricia developed the role of the Atelierista at Bold Park Community School in Perth, Australia. From 1998 to 2005 she was the Atelierista at Evergreen Community School where she developed a unique approach to children’s symbolic languages. Using clay, wire, paint, dance, etc. children enter into relationship with the materials and express, clarify and modify their ideas and theories. She also taught at the Growing Place in Santa Monica for 7 years. Patricia is an artist and has over 28 years of experience in Early Childhood Education.  Patricia has taught the Reggio Emilia Class at Santa Monica College and at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia.  Patricia graduated with a Masters degree in Human development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California. She also speaks at conferences throughout the United States and abroad and has visited Reggio Emilia, Italy six times.  She is also a contributing author of the book In the Spirit of the Atelierpublished by Davis Press and Insights and Inspiration from Reggio Emiliaalsopublished by Davis Press.


Christina Bianchi is the atelierista, naturalist and classroom teacher at Branches Atelier. Prior to becoming an educator at Branches Atelier, Christina worked as the Program Director for The Children’s Nature Institute bringing her passions for teaching, children and promoting environmental literacy to the agency. In addition to overseeing both the design and implementation of all new education programs and curricula; Christina also worked with Development staff on grants related to program development, managed a staff of Environmental Educators and coordinated and implemented volunteer training.


Becky Zlotoff created and has taught a preschool program at Santa Monica Synagogue for over twenty-five years. She has been a California Mentor for nine years, working in the classroom with college students, supporting the practical application of good early childhood practices. For twelve years, she was a teacher at First Presbyterian Nursery School. In addition to attending many workshops about the Reggio Approach in the United States, she has been on two learning tours to Reggio Emilia, Italy. Becky has presented her work at many local workshops and at NAEYC. With Mary Hartzell and Ami Cohen, she co-authored the chapter “Parents As Partners” in Next Steps Toward Teaching The Reggio Way.

Berenice Vallejo earned her BA Degree in Early Childhood Education from Cal State Los Angeles University. During her college years, she discovered her passion for working with children. Her teaching experiences started as a volunteer in Head Start program in East Los Angeles Occupational Center. Later she became an assistant teacher at the Vine Street and Commonwealth Elementary Schools in the LA Unified School District and then a teacher in private preschools in Downtown LA. including the Infant and Toddler Program at Hope Street Friends. While taking Reggio-inspired courses at Santa Monica College, she was a substitute teacher at Branches Atelier for a year before joining the community as a full time teacher. Berenice believes that the early years’ experiences are the core foundation to a child’s future and that together parents and educators help children build strong foundations for life.

Click here for flyer

Click here for registration form


We are happy to announce a second date for our Branches Atelier Educator Tour

When: Wednesday, January 30, 9am to 4pm

Where:  Branches Atelier 11359 W. Washington Blvd. Culver City , CA 90066 

Space is limited to 15    Lunch is included.

We are happy to welcome you to experience a day of observation and reflection of our school. During our time together, you will have a guided tour of our school, observe in our classrooms and meet with teachers, parents and facilitators to gain a deeper understanding of the culture of our school.

This tour will cover the following:

  • How are the values of our school integrated through out the flow of the day?
  • How do the teachers engage children through the use of materials?
  • What role do reflection meetings play in the organization of the day?
  • How are documentation tools used to support, uncover and develop children’s inquires?
  • How are parents involved in our school?
  • How are pedagogical team meetings used to uncover and support children’s learning?

To secure your space, please download and complete the registration form and mail it in with your payment.

educator tour flyer 1-30-18

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