Upcoming Workshops, Webinar and video from previous Webinar

Greetings all! For those of you who missed our webinar Education in the Time of Coronavirus here is the full length video: https://vimeo.com/418278556 Our follow up webinar:

Preparing to Return to School in the Time of COVID-19

Wednesday, 6/3/2020 7:30PM-9:30PM PST. This is a free webinar Please click here to register

Introduction to Persona Dolls | A Virtual Workshop 

Thursday 5/28/2020 7:00pm to 8:30pm $30 Please click here to register

Presented by:  Jill Adamson and Berenice Vallejo  In this online workshop we will talk about how to use persona dolls to expand social emotional curriculum in the classroom. We have found persona dolls to be an extremely engaging and effective part of the curriculum. Persona dolls are used to bring up challenging topics, big and small, that children deal with on a regular basis. These dolls mirror the lives of children in the class and play out different scenarios that children regularly encounter. Children get to know each of the dolls and they become a part of the life of the class. This workshop will cover:
  • What are persona dolls?
  • How are they different from dramatic play dolls?
  • Why do we use persona dolls?
  • How do we choose the dolls?
  • How do we create their identities to reflect the cultural and social context of the community?
  • Where do you keep persona dolls in the classroom?
  • When do you use persona dolls?
During the workshop, we will recreate different persona doll scenarios that reflect important topics that come up in a children’s lives including:
  • First Day of School
  • New Baby
  • Acts of Kindness
  • COVID-19
  • Death
  • Divorce
About the presenters: Jill Adamson Jill Adamson grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and studied education at Loyola University Chicago, where she earned her Masters degree in Education. During this time, Jill became involved with the Reggio Emilia philosophy through working at the Chicago Children’s Museum. Jill has gone on to work in four different schools across the United States in Reggio Emilia schools, and has also had experience teaching in public schools. She has taught at schools in Illinois, Virginia and Rhode Island. She is now in her sixth year as a senior teacher at Branches Atelier in California. Jill has had extensive experience with Reggio Emilia and has become a mentor teacher for new teachers. She trains new teachers and instructs them how to set up a classroom, interact with children and develop curriculum. She attended a study tour in Reggio Emilia in 2019 and received advanced training in the philosophy. Jill was a keynote speaker and consultant in China, speaking to educators across seven provinces about Reggio Emilia and progressive education. Jill is highly experienced teaching preschool aged children, and also is an expert at teaching toddler aged children. Jill is passionate about progressive education and aspires to train other teachers how to ingratiate contemporary academics into their classroom. She brings her personal interests, playing the guitar and sewing, to the classroom as well. Berenice Vallejo​ was born in Mexico and immigrated to Los Angeles in her high school years. Berenice 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 the 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 has been a teacher at Branches for over 4 years and has over 15 years of experience working with children of all ages. Berenice has become a mentor teacher and offered workshops for other educators. She attended a nine days study group at Reggio Emilia in 2019 and received advanced training in this philosophy. As Reggio-inspired school, Branches Atelier has motivated Berenice to broaden her understanding of the philosophy and the general interaction of instinctive curiosity with the world, as a process of development and learning for children. “Understanding the complex learning processes that go through the child’s mind while working with materials and making social connections has become my passion”.

How To Integrate Literacy Into The Classroom – A Hands on and Virtual Workshop

6/10/2020 7:00pm to 8:30pm $30 Please click here to register

Presented by Franceska Schifrin and Berenice Vallejo In this workshop we will explore the many ways literacy can be integrated into the classroom and the home. Join us as we consider how we use the many aspects of literacy to support collaboration, grow a love for words and poetic language, engage all learners and connect children in deeper relationships to each other and the world. These are only a few of the many resources that will be included in this workshop: Together we will explore:
  • How can literacy support collaboration?
  • What are Key Words?
  • How can songs and games support literacy?
  • What are Story Book Journals?
  • How to support in-depth and on-going narratives.
  • How to keep letter writing engaging for learners of all types.
  • How can literacy support personal and emotional growth in young children?
  • How can we utilize literacy to support children during this time of the COVID-19 Virus?
About the presenters: Franceska Schifrin is a lifelong painter, student of natural sciences, education and social justice. After studying at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, her international career took her to multiple places where she also worked with children and their families – refugee camps in Bosnia during the wars, orphanages in Haiti, Lakota reservations in South Dakota and Cuban villages, to name but a few. Franceska has always been dedicated to children, during her time in the East Village of NYC she made sure she had a shelf of early reader books for the local children who treated her apartment like an after school center. During the Balkan wars, she used her knowledge of visual arts and human compassion to share therapeutic art with the children in refugee camps. Deeply involved with Haiti since 1985, she has spent years working there with children in a multitude of ways. Franceska is the mother of 2 children and has a personal passion for helping multi-race families and their children navigate their paths. Her experiences with adoption have made her a constant student of the subject, studying family dynamics and child development from all angles. Her introduction to Reggio Emilia began with her 20-year-old son’s preschool in Cambridge, MA. She chose the school because it fit so well her concepts of care and respect of children. She was raised by educators, artists, and anthropologists. Franceska’s formal training in ECE has been at UCLA. She has taught school for over eleven years, including six as a lead teacher and assistant director at a Jewish preschool in Venice, California and three years with Branches Atelier. Berenice Vallejo​ was born in Mexico and immigrated to Los Angeles in her high school years. Berenice 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 the 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 has been a teacher at Branches for over 4 years and has over 15 years of experience working with children of all ages. Berenice has become a mentor teacher and offered workshops for other educators. She attended a nine days study group at Reggio Emilia in 2019 and received advanced training in this philosophy. As Reggio-inspired school, Branches Atelier has motivated Berenice to broaden her understanding of the philosophy and the general interaction of instinctive curiosity with the world, as a process of development and learning for children. “Understanding the complex learning processes that go through the child’s mind while working with materials and making social connections has become my passion”. 
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