Workshops by Mr. Al

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Key for Topics:

M – Music strongly featured

L – Literature, Language, reading

S – Small Group suggested

+ – Math

K – Popular Keynote

CD – Child Development (good for parents too)

R – relationship building

CM – Classroom Management/Discipline

SM – Stress Management

T – Infant Toddler specific


The Kinesthetic Classroom! (M/CD/R)

The Kinesthetic Classroom is one in which movement adds to the learning environment instead of detracting from it. The classroom is designed to help prepare the brain for better retention and retrieval of information. This workshop will help participants to learn, teach and use controlled movements with children for the purpose of:

  • improving communication between the parts of the brain.
  • providing brain breaks that help children process and consolidate information.
  • supporting exercise and fitness for healthy living.
  • developing class cohesion which helps students learn new information.
  • reviewing content using movement and repetition to improve retention.
  • teaching new content to children of all ages and cultures using movement as a tool to increase understanding and retention of information.

Activity Boxes for Infants and Toddlers (S/T)

Learning centers have been a main-stay in early childhood education for some time.  Infants and toddlers, however, have different needs.  They need lots of room for those developing large muscles and can’t handle too many learning centers.  Activity boxes are portable centers that are developmentally appropriate for this age and are fun too!  Come learn how to make them.

A Child’s Time Line (CD)

This is a wonderful time in history to be working with young children.  More is known about their development than ever before.  Separating the fact from myth, however, is sometimes a difficult and frustrating process.  Children all develop at different rates.

This workshop will help educators put the young child’s growth in perspective.  What are the things we must do to help enhance their development and what must we avoid to hinder it?  These are the questions that will be answered during this presentation.  Come share in this interactive and hands-on workshop.

Building Themes Around Books (L)

Thematic teaching gives children a well-rounded, hands-on view of the topics they are learning about by incorporating all the areas of the curriculum into the study of one central theme.  This helps to provide cohesiveness to the program.  Children can choose experiences that are open-ended, and that stimulate and motivate them.  That is why thematic teaching works so well in a cooperative learning environment.  In this session, Mr. Al will help you discover easy ways to develop units based on books, to integrate all of your curriculum areas, to generate new ideas and to make them work for you in your classroom.

Building an Emotionally Intelligent Classroom (SM/M/CD)

Mr. Al will teach you how to help children to develop emotionally. This workshop includes:

  • teaching traumatized and stressed children
  • helping children manage emotions
  • using music and movement for education and expression
  • nurturing children’s developing brain
  • success with “challenging” students
  • how to have fun while learning
  • how to make your job easier for you!

Cooperative Learning: Playing & Working Together (CD)

Cooperative learning can be successful in any learning environment.  It may be childhood learning at its best.  The children share information and actual experiences with each other as they work together for a common goal.  Each child in a cooperative environment feels a warm sense of belonging by helping and being helped by the group.  Each group member is unique and is valued.  The teacher’s role is to help clarify goals, provide open-ended activities and encourage the children.  The children thrive and have a love for learning and the teachers are able to be facilitators instead of constantly trying to manage behaviors.  In this session, Mr. Al will help you to understand more about cooperative learning, and to come up with ideas, activities and a plan to foster its growth in your classroom.

Discipline & Classroom Management “Building Relationships with Children”(CM/R)

With all the information available to us today about the discipline and management of children, it almost seems as though being a teacher is becoming more difficult.  The reason: we are getting too many mixed messages about what to do.  Many of us grew up in homes where discipline was carried out with an iron hand; others grew up with practically no limits.  This workshop is designed to give realistic and common sense information that will help teachers to teach the children the skills they need to foster positive relationships with the people around them.

“Do Wah Diddy” and Other Diddy’s To Do With Kids (M)

Music is a very important part of any early childhood program.  It’s ability to nurture all aspects of the developing child make it one of the most important play experiences that children have.  Children are drawn to the rhythm, repetition and melody that music offers.  They are also drawn to the dynamics of the singing voice.  Any and all kinds of music can work in the classroom, even your favorites can find their place in the hearts of the kids!  This is an enjoyable workshop full of music and movement that will help attendees discover new ways to use music with the children throughout their day.

The Four “R’s” of Classroom Management (CM)

Do the children make you a little bit crazy some days?  This session will explore techniques to help you manage your classroom by setting up a system that works including routines, rules and consequences, rewards, and the proper room arrangement to avoid some of the most common problems.

The Future in Our Hands (K)

Mr. Al will lead you in a magical musical hour that will help you to remember why you love your work with children.  This motivational keynote will not only give you new ideas for the classroom, it will help you to find the child inside you!!

Games, Games, Songs & Games (R)

Play is an important part of learning for young children.  And they love to play games.  Not all games have to be win or lose.  Mr. Al will share lots of games and activities that will be fun to do with children of all ages and promote cooperation and team building.  He will also throw in a few new fun songs to get the kids moving and singing between GAMES!!

Helping Parents to Parent (CD)

Much new information is now available on how children grow and develop.  Unfortunately, parents are not the recipients of much of this information and how to use it.  This presentation will help parents understand their children better and show them how to use this new knowledge to their advantage.

Hey, Hey, Let’s Sing & Play!! (CD/M)

Everyone loves to sing and play.  It just so happens that this is a fun and easy way to teach children many skills that they will need in everyday life.  Mr. Al will show you tons of ways to teach children through songs, games and play activities.  Children are active learners making hands-on play and physical involvement an important (and fun) part of your everyday curriculum.  So come spend the morning “playing” and singing with Mr. Al.

Integrating Math into Everything You Do (+/M)

Teaching math to young children can be difficult for teachers and care givers.   Children are often on different developmental levels and are not ready for the symbols associated with traditional math.  Since research points to the importance of play, teaching children mathematical concepts can become easy and fun.  Using math in every day relevant situations becomes a logical step in teaching children.  Music, games, finger plays and literature that children enjoy so much can help them experience language and concepts they need to foster positive attitudes about mathematics.  Teaching math can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. . .

All Stressed Out and No Where to Go! (SM)

Teaching young children has changed dramatically in recent years.  Teachers have been forced to play more of a role in the care and nurturing of children, while still being held accountable for their academic growth.  This emotional investment coupled with added responsibilities has made an already difficult job even more stressful.  This interactive keynote will give teachers strategies that will help them cope with teaching in the nineties and beyond.

Language Experience:   Experience It! (L)

The most important gift we can give young children is the gift of language.  Children with good vocabularies simply do better in school.  This session will share techniques that will help develop language for all your children.

Learning Through Play – It’s the Only Way! (CD/M)

Play is the most important way that children learn.  It is the only experience that can help children develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually while keeping their full attention and giving them joy.  Mr. Al will teach you techniques that will help you create play experiences from any appropriate activity in your curriculum.

A Literature Based Day in the Life (L)

The average child is not ready to read until about the age of seven or eight, but that doesn’t mean that children of all ages can’t enjoy literature and experience it’s magic.  Find out how you can give young children successful literature experiences every day.

Come join Mr. Al for an enlightening day of literature-based activities designed to introduce and/or enhance your reading-writing classroom.  This conference will take you through all the steps necessary to transform your classroom into an environment where children learn to read by reading and learn to write by writing. Research has shown that children need to make the connection between the language they use and the processes of reading and writing.  It is difficult for them to make this connection when basic skills are taught out of context.  Learning to read and write can be a motivating and relevant experience for children if we know how to meet the needs of children.

The Magic of Music in Learning (M/CD)

Music has a magical way of helping preschool and early elementary children to learn social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills while having a great time.  Mr. Al will help even the least musical teacher bring music successfully into the classroom as an important part of the curriculum.

Making and Using Big Books in the Classroom:  A Make & Take (L/S)

Big books and mini books play an important role in the whole language classroom. Children love to make their own books and they will read them over and over again.  It can be a wonderful hands-on experience for both adults and children.  Mr. Al will share some of his home-made big books and the ways they can be incorporated into the classroom.  Then, you will get a chance to make big books of your own to use in YOUR classroom on Monday!

Making Math Magical through Games, Literature and Music (M/+)

Children not only need to learn math; they need to EXPERIENCE IT!  Mathematical concepts and skills are truly understood only when they are related in some way to the child’s experience.  This session will focus on practical ways to use math every day in conjunction with games, literature and musical extensions.

Mr. Al’s Three “R’s”:   “Rocking, Reading, and Rhyming “Combining Music, Literature, and Poetry in the Early Childhood Classroom (M/L)

Children need to have positive early language experiences.  Music, poetry and stories are all fun ways to experience language both orally and in print.  Music and poetry provide the rhythm and repetition that help build natural language patterns in children.  Reading is simply and an extension of these experiences.  The more success children have with literature, the more natural the transition to the written word is when readiness occurs.  The beginning reader will be motivated to practice his skills if he has fun doing it.  In this session, Mr. Al will help you discover how to combine music, stories and poetry in your early childhood classroom (preschool through elementary level) to improve your children’s verbal skills, creativity, imagination, and language experiences.  Not only will you be motivated to try it … so will the children. Music and Language: The Bridge to Literacy

One of the key factors in reading readiness is a good vocabulary.  Unless children have had appropriate and meaningful language experiences, they will not have the skills they need to learn to read.  One of the most important and meaningful language experiences is music.  Much research has proven that music helps to build connections in young children’s developing brains.  This workshop will show teachers the value of early and continuing musical experiences and how they can use it in the journey towards literacy.

Music for The Mind (and soul) (M/CD)

It is known that a child is born with all the brain cells he/she will ever use.  What has recently been proven is that it is the interactions during the first decade of life that hold the key to the potential that each child will develop.  Stimulation is the key to brain growth and child development.  Music plays a very important role in the process.  Child love music and research has now proven that using music in the classroom and at home aides in the development of the whole child.  Come join Mr. Al for a poignant look at how music and movement can help unlock the brain’s potential for each and every child.  Gain practical ideas for choosing and incorporating music and movement into your classroom in a fun, easy and educational way.

Parent Involvement: Sparing the Rod Won’t Spoil the Child Effective Discipline Techniques (CD/CM)

The more that we know about children, the better decisions we can make regarding their welfare.  Much of the information parents receive about parenting has come from secondary sources such as one’s own parents.  Much of this information is outdated.  Parents, care givers and teachers are often surprised by the latest knowledge we have about children.  This workshop is designed to bring the latest findings in child development to everyone concerned about children’s well-being.  You will learn tips and techniques that will help you manage the children you deal with every day.  Mr. Al will help you understand the reasons for discipline problems and give you some surprising revelations as to how to handle these problems in a positive way.

Process Writing:  Even Mikey Likes It! (L)

One of the biggest weaknesses in traditional approaches to teaching writing has been the relevance to the child.  Children are much more motivated when learning is somehow related to their own experience.  This is especially true in the writing process.  When writing becomes a natural extension of children’s enthusiasm to communicate, their progress can be astounding.  It is easier for them to see writing as a whole process rather than parts to a whole.  This workshop will give teachers all the strategies they need to make writing the fun part of each day.

Rock the Baby – Songs to Soothe, Stimulate & Educate the Young Child (M/T)

Interaction and stimulation are the most important experiences for young children.  It is these experiences that trigger the development of the nervous system making the learning easier and more efficient for the child.  In this session, Mr. Al will share music & activities that will help you provide the positive experiences that all young children need.

Self Esteem and Staff Support (SM)

Working together in this society can be extremely difficult today.  The state of the economy and other stress-related conditions make the working place a potential hot bed of problems for employers, supervisors and co-workers.  The symptoms of stress have far reaching effects on everyone.  Positive interactions between people in the work place do not take place by accident.  There are building blocks of self-esteem and basic needs that must be met if people are to be able to work together effectively.  Staff morale and productivity can be enhanced when esteem is high and needs are met.  Achieving this in the workplace is simply a matter of putting staff relations at a high priority and realizing and utilizing positive techniques that help a staff grow together.  This workshop will give you the techniques and awareness necessary to begin immediately the process of building an effective team in your workplace.  A supportive and motivated staff is within reach for everyone.

Seven Secrets to a Successful Circle Time! (M/CD)

Circle time is a very important part of the day in any early childhood classroom.  So much can be explored and learned during circle time.  Circle time can happen several times a day.  This session will give you fresh ideas and techniques to use in the coming year.  Learn how to incorporate all of the areas of your curriculum into this sharing time.  Songs, games, finger plays, stories, poetry, discussions … everything is fun in a circle!!

If You Sing It, They Will Come!!  Circle Time Songs & Activities (M/CD/CM)

Children respond to music.  If you sing something or play a tune, you will usually get their attention.  This workshop will help you feel more comfortable incorporating music and movement into your curriculum with easy to implement techniques and ideas for how and when to use music during the day.  Special attention will be given to circle time to show you ways to incorporate all the areas of your curriculum and keep the kids tuned in.  You’ll have lots of fun while learning new songs and finger plays to use on Monday morning.

“Sing Me A Color” Thematic Teaching with Mr. Al (M)

Thematic teaching gives children a well-rounded hands-on view of the concept they are learning about by incorporating all the areas of the curriculum into the study of one central theme.  This helps to provide a cohesiveness to the program.  In this session, Mr. Al will help you discover easy ways to develop a unit based on the theme of colors.  Learn to integrate all areas of your curriculum and to generate new ideas that will work for you in your classroom.  Once you grasp the concept of a “colors” theme, you can easily apply it to any theme you want!

Sing Me Some Sanity, Please (M/CD)

Do the children make you a little bit crazy some days?  This session will explore techniques to help you move through your day smoothly.  Children through the ages have listened to and enjoyed music.  That is why it is so useful in the classroom.  Learn how to use music (and you don’t have to sing) throughout your day (not just at circle time) to create a successful, manageable and sane classroom!!

Songs to Read, Stories to Sing: The Music Literacy Connection (M/L)

Children do not need to read early, but they do need to have positive early literature experiences.  One of the most important of these literature experiences is music.  Music provides the rhyme, rhythm and repetition that helps build natural language learning processes in children.  Reading is simply an extension of these processes.  The more success children have with literature, the more natural the transition to the written word will be for them later on when readiness occurs.  Music and movement are natural play experiences for young children.  Therefore, it is natural for children to be introduced to literature through their music and movement.  The use of big books, pictures, charts and props along with music and movement provides a holistic, as well as, a different slant to early literature experiences.  It’s fun for children to move and sing while they observe incidentally the printed word.  They are interacting in the way they interact best . . . actively!! This presentation will give teachers and care givers practical and usable ideas that they can try on Monday, as well as, a long range plan they can slowly build up to.  There are many songs to read and stories to sing!!!

Storytelling 101 (L)

Storytelling is a great experience for everyone.  Who doesn’t get drawn into a good story?  Kids love to hear stories whether it is from a book or something you make up as you go along.  This is a terrific way to develop language and promote reading while fostering important skills and concepts!  Children will enjoy a story even more when they are actively involved.  Mr. Al will show you how to involve the children in your storytelling using their five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  Enjoy the morning of listening to, and becoming involved in, Mr. Al’s favorite books & funny stories and then creating your own.

Support Your Staff:  You Can’t Afford Not to!! (SM)

Staff morale and productivity can be enhanced when self-esteem is high and needs are met.  This workshop will give you techniques and awareness necessary to begin the process of building an effective team in your workplace.

Thematic Units in a Cooperative Classroom (M/L/CD)

Thematic teaching gives children a well-rounded, hands-on view of the topics they are learning about by incorporating all the areas of the curriculum into the study of one central theme.  This helps to provide cohesiveness to the program.  Children can choose experiences that are open-ended, and that stimulate and motivate them.  That is why thematic teaching works so well in a cooperative learning environment.  In this session, Mr. Al will help you discover easy ways to develop units based on themes, to integrate all of your curriculum areas, to generate new ideas and to make them work for you in your classroom.

The Toddler Tango (T/M)

Many care givers and parents believe that the year called toddlerhood is one of the most difficult in early childhood.  These children are growing physically and cognitively at an incredible rate and yet have not acquired the ability to express themselves verbally.  They have become more independent and yet are still very dependent on their care givers.  It can be a very frustrating time for both children and care givers.  This presentation will show how a little bit of knowledge and understanding can completely change the way adults view this age.  Toddlerhood is a terrifically exciting age.  Attendees will find out why!!

United We Learn, Divided We Brawl:  Tips, Tools and Techniques for Building a Community of Learners (M/CD/R)

Cooperative learning is not a new idea, it’s just a good, solid one!  Children learn by sharing information and actual experiences with each other as they work together for a common goal.  It can start as early as preschool and create a lifetime learner & cooperator.  The teacher as facilitator, can watch the children bloom while having less management problems.  The workshop introduces the use of cooperative games and activities.  Participants will discover that the combination of teaching social skills and academics is a great way to foster effective learning in a cooperative environment.  This year don’t just have a good class, have a great team!  Mr. Al will share proven tips, techniques and tools so you can do it!

United We Stand:    Working Together for the Future of Our Children (K/M/CD/R)

The saying goes: “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”  But it seems that more and more responsibility is left up to the teachers these days.  Mr. Al will lead you in a musical hour that will remind you why you love your work with young children and will give you tips for involving the families and community in a cooperative effort to educate and raise them.