Professional Development Workshops | Wolf Trap
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Professional Development Workshops

A professional development workshop

Hands-on teaching strategies for early educators

Wolf Trap Institute offers professional development workshops for infant, toddler, preschool, and kindergarten teachers who want to integrate the performing arts into early childhood learning. Workshops provide early educators with hands-on teaching strategies and active learning techniques that support:

  • Literacy and language development
  • Science
  • Math
  • Problem-solving
  • Social and emotional development
  • Classroom management

Workshops at a glance

  • Held in one day, in approximately three hours (multi-day customized trainings can also be arranged)
  • Led by Wolf Trap’s expert Teaching Artists
  • Based on research and proven methods
  • Connect early childhood curriculum goals with developmentally-appropriate performing arts skills
  • Train teachers in active learning techniques using puppets, songs, voices, and movement
  • Promote collaboration between early childhood educators with common challenges and goals 
  • Customizable

If you would like to coordinate a workshop in a location other than the Center for Education at Wolf Trap, please contact us.

Available workshops

Workshops can be organized at schools anywhere in the world. Call 703.255.1933 or email for additional information or to schedule a workshop. 

List of Family Involvement Workshops.


ARTFUL ENGINEERING: Exploring Simple Machines through Drama, Movement, and Music ▲Early STEM/Arts
Jeanne Wall, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Explore Engineering’s methodology to problem solving, while learning about simple machines with arts-integrated lesson plans. Through drama, puppetry, music and creative movement, we will learn how simple machines make our work easier by moving objects, lifting heavy loads and building solutions to problems. After learning about wheel and axle, inclined plane, pulley and lever, children can be challenged to use this knowledge for creative problem solving using engineering’s six steps. This can be accomplished using the arts, while connecting to literature, curriculum goals and standards, and thematic topics. Goal: The goal of this workshop is to help teachers use the arts skillfully to create age-appropriate, engaging STEM experiences that foster creative thinking, problem solving and a love of STEM learning.

EXTENDING THE STORY: Integrating the Performing Arts and Learning
Jeanne Wall, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Open up a young child’s imagination and learning skills using performing arts strategies. Learn how to use drama, creative movement, puppetry, and music techniques to prepare early learners to experience a new book and help them gain greater comprehension of literature by extending the story. Using children’s literature as a source of inspiration, you will learn how to develop strategies to integrate the performing arts into learning about their world, natural science and math while fostering emergent literacy skills, positive social behavior, and conflict management. Goal: Early childhood educators will be able to develop lesson plans that integrate the performing arts into classroom curriculum in order to enhance comprehension and emergent literacy skills, and foster positive social behavior and critical thinking skills.

KEEP IT MOVING: Using the Arts and Personal Touches for Smooth Transitions and Smart Classroom Management
Paige Hernandez, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Explore creative ways to facilitate transitions, establish routines and refine daily practices using arts strategies that include dance, poetry, hip hop and sign language! Keep your class orderly and establish an exciting classroom learning environment. Participate in and analyze a lesson with step-by-step examination of structure, transitions and easy solutions for common class challenges. Participants will create and enhance strategies with their own personal flair, culture and expertise! Keep your class under control and keep it moving! Goal: To identify and develop effective classroom management tools and transition techniques using active arts-enhanced strategies. Participants will gain understanding of basic dance and music skills that lend themselves to promote and enhance children’s literacy skills including expressive and receptive language and movement skills.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Discovering STEM through Dance and Drama ▲Early STEM/Arts
Terlene Terry-Todd, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist 

Looking for new ideas and creative experiences to enhance your STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum? This workshop introduces a variety of age-appropriate ways to use arts strategies to teach selected science curriculum such as physical science (the sun, moon, and earth’s rotations), Earth science (clouds and atmosphere), recycling, and engineering practice, while making strong connections to literacy and the scientific method of discovery. The early arts learning (EAL) fundamentals in movement and drama will provide the basis for new arts-integrated experiences created by you! This hands-on, interactive movement workshop will get your creative juices flowing as you become the next STEM movers and shakers! Goal: To learn and practice creative arts strategies in dance and drama that can be applied to STEM curriculum.

Jeanne Wall, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist 

Drama, creative movement, puppetry, and music are engaging tools for the exploration of Physical Science, Earth Science, and Life Science, three main areas of early childhood science education. The arts actively deepen scientific comprehension in both science content and science practices. We will use arts-integrated strategies to expand a child’s knowledge of the world while developing skills that promote approaches to learning, observation skills, descriptive skills, and problem solving through exploring magnets, unique environments, what living things need to survive, and principles of engineering. Goal: Educators will be able to create developmentally appropriate arts-integrated learning experiences that align with early childhood curriculum standards designed to introduce scientific discovery and foster essential habits of mind.

SPECTACULAR VERNACULAR: Enriching Vocabulary with Arts Strategies
Paige Hernandez, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Discover infectious ways to enhance your students’ vocabulary! Participants will get first-hand experience using arts strategies that include hip hop, sign language and theater games! Teaching a rich vocabulary doesn’t have to be a daunting task when you rediscover age-appropriate grammar skills and give them an interesting twist. Participants will even incorporate the modern world into their approaches while integrating slang, #hashtags, technology and more. Students and teachers will feel more confident in achieving a personal vocabulary that is rich, expansive and engaging! Goal: Participants will be inspired and prepared to try enriching and artful vocabulary activities in their classrooms.

STORY BOXES: Looking Beyond the Book, Thinking Inside the Box
Amanda Whiteman, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Discover how story boxes facilitate a range of early childhood developmental domains and enhance children’s learning in the classroom while utilizing a variety of learning styles and intelligences. Learn how creating a box full of found objects and a little imagination can provide dance, theatrical, and creative experiences. In this workshop, educators explore tools to enrich and extend children’s literature using a form of Wolf Trap Coffee Can Theater to ignite a way of thinking that will allow the teacher to see the book beyond the page and bring it to life with creative arts experiences. Goal: To enhance children’s literature by creating sensory experiences in the classroom through the use of creative containers, engaging manipulative objects and music.

“WHY ARE WE STANDING STILL?”: The Power of Tableau in the Early Childhood Classroom
Melissa Richardson and Amanda Whiteman, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artists

Experience the power of tableau as children learn to embody concepts in literacy, math, science, and social studies through the elements of dance and drama. By making still pictures with their bodies to represent a scene, tableau develops children’s focus, self-regulation, spatial awareness, and self-expression. This workshop will scaffold the progression of skills in tableau from concrete representation to more abstract thinking and learning. Goal: To demonstrate the use of tableau in early childhood as a means to deepen children’s understanding of curricular concepts.


COUNT ME IN! Teacher-In-Role Strategies for STEM Exploration ▲Early STEM/Arts
Christina Farrell, Western Pennsylvania Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Discover how to take a more active role in the dramatic play scenarios in your early childhood classroom! During this highly interactive workshop, participants will learn how to tap young children’s love of imaginative play to spark meaningful explorations of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) topics by using teacher-in-role techniques. Practitioners will identify simple strategies for assuming dramatic play roles, adapting informational texts into dramatic scenarios and asking rich, open-ended questions that will empower children to actively apply critical thinking skills and evaluate their learning. Goal: To provide participants with techniques and strategies for facilitating interactive dramatic play experiences to reinforce emergent STEM skills and foster development in key learning domains in early childhood.

FINDING DRAMA EVERYWHERE: Bringing Nonfiction to Life
Melissa Richardson, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Every nonfiction topic is an exciting story waiting to happen. Children are gathering research everyday through books, media, and sensory observations. Discover strategies for collecting, sharing, and celebrating this research as a classroom community. Telling and acting out stories encourages teamwork, fosters creative thinking, reinforces vocabulary, and helps children make connections in their learning. Engage in drama games that connect the concepts of character, setting, activity, and plot to virtually any curriculum topic. Investigate techniques for using children’s prior knowledge to create nonfiction-inspired stories and bring them to life through movement and drama. Goal: To assist participants in developing strategies to meaningfully engage children in nonfiction topics through movement and storytelling.

LET’S TELL A STORY!: Creating, Imagining, and Dramatizing Original Stories
Kim Bowers Rheay Baran, Georgia Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Create an original story with young children using step-by-step story creation strategies and drama techniques designed to deepen children’s 21st century skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. Participants in this interactive workshop will use best practices to guide children to create and dramatize an original story. Strategies include using representational objects to determine story elements; chants and songs; asking guided questions and creative drama to become a character or visualize a setting using body, voice and imagination. Goal: The purpose of this workshop is to provide story-building drama strategies to teachers so they can guide their students to create, imagine and dramatize new stories together.

MATH DETECTIVES – WHERE’S THE MATH? Discovering the Math Hidden in Books ▲Early STEM/Arts
Katherine Lyons, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Is math a mystery to you? Do you find yourself clueless? Numbers and Number Sense, Geometry, Measurement, Graphing, Algebra; math is everywhere if you know how to find it! Let’s look at children’s literature. Discover the math already there, hidden in books you love. Old books, new books, we’ll learn to look at books in a different way, uncovering the natural math concepts embedded in the story experience. Goal: To uncover the math hidden in books and create active, arts-based experiences that support curriculum standards and engage children in creating and performing as a means of developing math skills.

MOVIES, MUSIC, AND MATH: Creating Memorable Math Experiences ▲Early STEM/Arts
Michele Valeri, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

“Camera’s rolling! We have sound … and action!” You’re the director and the children are learning math concepts like patterns, shapes and comparative sizes through guided play as performers in a make-believe movie. The participants will learn how to use guided play in the classroom, specifically imaginary travel, story-can theater, ‘making-a-movie’ and simple song/chant writing, to engage the children in interactive learning of basic math concepts. Goals: To learn and practice the performing arts strategies of story-can theater, ‘making-a-movie’ and songwriting that can be integrated with the math concepts of patterns, shapes and comparative sizes; to provide the participants with confidence in using these strategies to make them effective teaching tools aligned with the curriculum content and standards.

SHARE, CARE, AND PLAY FAIR: Using Drama to Enhance Children’s Social-Emotional Development
Katherine Lyons, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Maser Teaching Artist

Explore children’s literature to find the messages so important to a child’s social and emotional growth. In this interactive workshop, learn drama strategies that promote the social skills of empathy, respect, self-control, kindness, cooperation, problem solving, and self-confidence in our youngest learners. By examining literature through a new lens, this workshop will build the foundation for shaping children’s hearts and minds through the arts. Goal: To examine literature and drama strategies that promote children’s social-emotional development, with an emphasis on kindness, empathy, and respect for self and others.

WAKE UP YOUR WISHES: Introduction to Wolf Trap Drama
Michele Valeri or Valerie Bayne Carroll, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artists

In this highly interactive workshop, explore practical and creative drama strategies including coffee can theater, role play, imaginary travel and story dramatization. Actively involving preschoolers in storytelling and dramatization will increase developmental skills in the areas of sequencing, language and vocabulary building, following directions, collaborative problem solving, listening, and social/self-confidence skills. These approaches have been developed and perfected by Wolf Trap Teaching Artists since 1981 and are designed to build emergent literacy skills by bringing stories to life for preschool children in early childhood settings. Goal: To introduce a variety of performing arts strategies for storytelling and dramatization that can be integrated into the early childhood classroom to increase emergent literacy skills.


“TELL ME A STORY, PLEASE!”: Stress-Free Storytelling for the Early Childhood Classroom
Ingrid Crepeau, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Who doesn’t love a good story? Before humans learned to write, they had to rely on memory to learn anything. Storytellers were revered in ancient cultures for keeping histories, social customs, moral attitudes, and manners relevant in their societies as they entertained. In fact, storytelling was one of the earliest forms of performing arts. This workshop is divided into three parts: 1. A Storyteller’s Toolbox: Choosing a story, using expressive speech, employing facial expressions to enhance that speech, accenting humor, and encouraging audience participation; 2. Six styles of storytelling that are age appropriate for preschoolers; 3. Opportunities for workshop participants to practice the story basics and the styles of storytelling presented. Goal: To empower participants to use storytelling basics in the classroom as a teaching tool for solving problems, thinking creatively, and growing imagination.


A ZOOM IN THE ROOM: Using Puppetry to Reach and Teach the Highly-Active Child
Kathleen Lynam, Nashville Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Identify creative ways to use the arts to engage highly active students. Explore ideas for smooth transitions, learning experiences, and techniques to highlight and encourage appropriate behavior. Learn how to be proactive in designing and implementing strategies to achieve these goals. Participants will make an “OH NO” puppet for use in their classrooms. Make-and-take workshop: requires additional materials fee. Goal: To acknowledge the over-active child in every classroom and to provide educators with the tools to develop arts-infused strategies for their success.

Ingrid Crepeau, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Puppet play generates interest and excitement about books! Puppet play reaches all of the learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic and has been found to play a role in helping children with Special Needs access the curriculum. Young children learn best with repetition, and both reading a book and acting it out with puppets provides that repetition in an engaging way. Gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of using books to create puppet lessons in the early childhood classroom to promote literacy and language development. Learn which elements aid book selection. Participants will increase their knowledge of simple puppetry skills, explore ideas for using books to create puppet lessons, and learn methods for making and using simple puppet stages. Goal: To expand the use of books to create puppet lesson opportunities in the early childhood classroom that will promote language emergent literacy skills.

IMAGINE THAT! Creative Problem Solving through Engineering and Puppetry ▲Early STEM/Arts
Penny Russell, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Discover how the connections between the engineering method and puppetry can enhance your teaching and empower children’s creative problem-solving skills and habits of mind! Your classroom will come alive as you employ simple puppetry strategies to create curriculum-based environments from self to family to community and beyond! Goal: Educators will learn to enhance curriculum through project-based experiences using drama, music and puppetry. The engineering method will serve as our guide as we problem-solve our way through the school year.

LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD: Using Puppets to Bring Stories to Life
Kathleen Lynam, Nashville Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

“Once upon a time…” Every child loves the beginning of a new story. Using puppets to tell a story creates an enhanced sensory experience in which the story actually comes to life before a child’s eyes. The character’s voices, movement and engaging visual presence will capture the attention of even the most demanding child. We all have many voices within ourselves. Let your voices be heard as you use puppetry to bring books to life! This workshop will help you develop skills needed to become a puppeteer and storyteller and capture a child’s imagination in the creative world of enchantment. Emphasis on vocal expression will be an asset in the classroom, whether used in conjunction with puppets or simply when reading aloud. Make-and-take workshop: requires additional materials fee. Goal: To assist participants in discovering and developing their voices to promote emergent literacy and listening skills through the effective use of puppetry in the classroom.

LIGHTS OUT FOR LEARNING: Illuminating the Curriculum through Shadow Puppets ▲Early STEM/Arts
Kathleen Lynam, Nashville Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Discover how to use the ancient art form of shadow puppetry to captivate children’s imaginations! Participants will explore how to create different settings for the shadow screen and how to make and manipulate shadow puppets while drawing connections to literacy, science, and other childhood curriculum. Teachers will receive a complete shadow puppetry package to use in the classroom, including a shadow puppet screen, shadow puppet templates, changeable scenes, an LED flashlight, and storage for the materials. Limited to 25 participants. Make-and-take workshop: requires additional materials fee. Goal: To increase arts-based learning experiences that can be child or teacher directed across the curriculum content using shadow puppets.

Kathleen Lynam, Nashville Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Many nursery rhymes provide learning opportunities to actively engage children in mathematical explorations. This workshop will focus on traditional rhymes with connections to math concepts such as: Number and Operations, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis and Probability, Algebra, and Math Process. A sock puppet based on a character from the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle, Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle” will be made by each participant. This puppet will be used enhance students’ mathematical development. Make-and-take workshop: requires additional materials fee. Goal: To increase mathematical understanding through developmentally appropriate arts-based learning experiences.

Kathleen Lynam, Nashville Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Mother Goose nursery rhymes come alive and serve as learning catalysts as they are explored through puppetry, song, movement, dramatic play, and props. Nursery rhymes provide easy and developmentally appropriate connections to curriculum strands and outcomes, emergent literacy skills, such as recall and sequencing, rhyming, phonemic awareness, making predictions, as well as extending other developmental domains such as cognitive, social/emotional, and motor skills. Make-and-take workshop: requires additional materials fee. Goal: To enhance the development of children’s imagination and representational thought and to explore simple puppet-making skills and techniques that can be easily used in the classroom.

OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR: Exploring the Arts in Nature ▲Early STEM/Arts
Penny Russell, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Explore earth, life, and physical sciences through drama, music, and puppetry. Discover how the arts can enhance your children’s understanding of weather and seasonal changes, life needs, and the natural world outside your door. Goal: To expand participants’ science curriculum while discovering new strategies for engaging students in the natural world, increasing their curiosity and knowledge through drama, music, and puppetry.

PUPET POWER: Effective Techniques for Using Puppets in the Classroom
Joe Pipik, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Puppets have the power to pique children’s curiosity, focus attention and foster enthusiasm for learning. Explore the interaction of teachers, children and puppets and learn specific techniques to simplify their use in the classroom. Discover how to use puppets to introduce new curriculum and concepts, as well as support verbalization and language acquisition and developing social/emotional topics. Goal: To explore the use of simple but effective puppets to enhance early childhood developmental domains and encourage enthusiasm for learning in the classroom.


“AHA!” READING: Developing Artful Strategies to Create Prior Knowledge
Sue Trainor, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Explore and create multi-sensory music strategies designed to develop children’s prior knowledge about story vocabulary, characters, setting, problem/solution. Children will experience the “aha!” feeling—a deeper understanding of and connection with story content as they apply their knowledge to new learning. Goal: To develop an arts-integrated, multi-sensory strategy for young children designed to create prior knowledge about a key idea and supporting details in a story, in order to support Common Core and other literacy learning standards.

AGOO AMEE: Engaging Young Children in Call and Response Experiences
Kofi Dennis, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Call and Response: It’s More Than You Think! Call and response corresponds to the pattern in human communication and is found in many traditions. In West African cultures, call and response is a pervasive pattern of democratic participation in public gatherings as well as in vocal and instrumental musical expression. In music, a call and response is a succession of two distinct phrases usually played by different musicians, where the second phrase is heard as a direct commentary on or response to the first. This workshop will offer early childhood educators an opportunity to look at how call and response experiences enhance emergent literacy and language concepts and foster skills such as memory, concentration, listening, math concepts, patterning, sequence and symmetry. Goal: To enable participants to use carefully selected call and response techniques and experiences to engage children and enhance their emergent literacy and language concepts and other developmental skills.

THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUM: Music and Drama Strategies for Children with Special Needs
Valerie Bayne Carroll, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

In this workshop, teachers will learn performing arts strategies targeted toward building social-emotional skills in children with special needs. Art strategies such as call-and-response singing, creative movement with steady beat, guided dramatic play, and the exploration of books through music appeal to children with multiple learning styles and inspire enthusiastic interaction. In addition, children learn life skills such as listening and turn-taking, and how to be independent but also part of a group. Goal: To learn how music can be used as a tool to extend and enhance learning experiences of children with special needs.

Aaron Fowler, Kansas Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

The power of music surrounds us every day. It can bring us joy or move us to tears. It can also be a powerful tool in the classroom when used as a management technique with children. This unique tool can add novelty and fun to classroom management and transitions. Discover how to create simple songs and chants that will engage children while enhancing the flow of your classroom routine. Goal: To provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to incorporate song and chant as a tool for giving classroom instruction for transitions, adding variety to story time, and energizing classroom activities.

Sue Trainor, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

How you present a song or a chant is as important as which song is chosen for use with young children. In this workshop, participants will a) identify and explore important variables to be considered when preparing to use music with children in different ages/stages, and b) create an original song/chant strategy that manipulates those variables to meet a classroom objective in a developmentally appropriate way. Goal: To enhance participant’s ability to create a developmentally appropriate song and chant strategy that will meet an identified classroom objective.

DID YOU HEAR THAT? Learning to Listen through Sound Play, Soundscapes, and Stories ▲Early STEM/Arts
Mary Gresock, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

What was that sound? Creative sound exploration can become an effective way to strengthen critical listening skills, concentration, and self-regulation with young children. Engage in sound games and experiment with playful creations in sound science designed to motivate little ears to open up, listen, and learn. Practice habits of mind through the discovery process, language and literacy skills, and identify the shared common vocabulary of music and science. Goal: To assist participants in developing strategies that promote critical listening and focus skills and to practice the scientific method though creative, child-centered sound exploration.

GREAT MUSICAL ADAPTATIONS! Songs for Memorable Teaching and Smooth Transitions
Sue Trainor, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Music is a powerful presence in all our lives. We tend to think that the experience of music is our goal. Music also can be used as a tool to accomplish other goals. In this workshop, participants will identify areas where musical tools can enhance their classrooms and learn how to create and use music strategies to support identified objectives. Participants will gain an understanding of how beat, melody, and lyrics create focus, improve motivation, affect mood, and foster emergent literacy skills. Singing for the confidence-impaired and "best practice" principles for leading music will be addressed. Goal: Participants will explore strategies for using music as a tool for teaching and classroom management in preschool settings.

Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artists

Celebrate the wonder of the natural world around us and encourage the protection of wildlife and habitat through the use of music, creative drama and movement. Explore our connection to the families of plants and animals while sharing ideas and choices children can make to become environmental caregivers while enhancing numerous curriculum goals such as cognition and identification, listening and verbalization, and motor skills. Goal: To become familiar with songs of nature that facilitate and encourage responsible environmental habits in young children.

Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artists

Developed for teachers and providers with little or no musical background, this workshop will assist participants to become familiar with the various ways songs can enhance the content and themes of children’s books. Over the course of the five sessions, participants will take part in individual, large and small group work designed to provide opportunities to help teachers develop and practice music and song techniques that foster emergent literacy skills and support curriculum themes. Goal: To help participants become familiar and comfortable with various ways to use music, movement and drama to enhance curriculum goals and bring the content and themes of children’s books to life.

LOOKING FOR MUSICAL CLUES: Uncovering the Hidden Music in Favorite Stories
Christina Farrell, Western Pennsylvania Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Uncover the hidden music in favorite stories! During this workshop, participants will identify arts strategies for adapting a book text to include musical elements and practice simple techniques for using rhythm and melody to engage young children in storytelling. Participants will create a child-led musical experience based on favorite fairy tales. Goal: To provide participants with arts techniques and strategies for facilitating interactive musical storytelling to reinforce emergent literacy skills and foster development in key learning domains in early childhood.

Sue Trainor, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

In this hands-on workshop, participants will gain an understanding of how to adapt strategies for songs and singing games to address various physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. Principles of Universal Design will be discussed as they relate to planning music experiences for children. Participants will have the opportunity to develop creative new strategies for "music time" that accommodate a range of special needs and address variations in learning styles. Goal: To gain an understanding of how to adapt strategies for songs and singing games in order to address various physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.

Michele Valeri, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

MUSIC! Music is fun and fundamental to all children. Music develops listening skills, invites intuitive responses and helps children remember. Explore how songs, simple instruments and sound effects can be used to reinforce curriculum topics, enhance creative play and imagination, enliven emergent literacy activities, and foster positive transitions during their day. Learn and share songs appropriate for early childhood classrooms, explore strategies for integrating songs and sound effects into the daily schedule, and increase your knowledge of how to create experiences that use songs and sound effects to structure and guide imaginative play and to stimulate the creative experience of pretending. Goal: To increase the use of music integration as an approach to learning and enjoyment in the early childhood classroom setting.

MUSICAL MOMENTS: Using Music to Explore Math in Children’s Literature ▲Early STEM/Arts
Wincey Terry-Bryant, New Jersey Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

In this highly interactive workshop, participants will learn how to tap into young children’s love of music and stories to spark meaningful explorations of math. Participants will examine children’s literature to uncover math and music connections. They will experience how to maximize the magical process of play by identifying math opportunities in any book, story, or lesson and then creating catchy songs, chants, or refrains to teach these math concepts. Participants will also explore the use of music as a classroom management and assessment tool. Goal: To teach teachers simple strategies for creating songs and math experiences from any early childhood lesson or story.

Mary Gresock, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Explore a treasure of performing arts strategies designed to teach new vocabulary and empower children to communicate with confidence and clarity. Learn how to bring new descriptive, sensory, and action-packed vocabulary words to life through engaging experiences that link chants, poems, and stories to music, movement, and drama. Discover how your children can become motivated and excited about learning and building new vocabulary, a literacy skill so critical to their academic success. Goal: To lead participants in developing creative strategies through the performing arts that promote vocabulary building within the context of a story, poem, chant, or song.


ARTS-BASED ASSESSMENT: Serious Fun and Games
Laura Schandelmeier, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Assessment fun? You bet! Learn arts-based strategies that will delight both you and your children while easily and efficiently fulfilling your assessment needs without negating curriculum requirements. Gain practical tools, developmentally appropriate for the early childhood classroom, to determine children’s skills and knowledge base through movement, drama, and music. Turn classroom transitions, circle time, story time, and any time into an opportunity for assessment. Through this workshop, you will develop your own arts-based assessment experience and expand the healthful, movement filled, imaginative, and musical environment in your classroom. Goal: To help early childhood educators fulfill their assessment requirements accurately and efficiently through developmentally appropriate, child centered/directed arts-based experiences.

ARTS IN APPLICATION: Dance in Kindergarten Math ▲Early STEM/Arts
Rachel Knudson, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Be inspired by the natural connection between math and dance to ignite your imagination as you create multisensory experiences for the kindergarten classroom. Participants will explore math and dance using movement, props, stories, and music that align with kindergarten math curriculum standards. Goal: To expand participants’ use of dance in kindergarten math instruction in order to provide children the opportunity to act directly on their physical world and enhance their cognitive development.

ARTS IN THE NATURAL WORLD: Exploring Science through Dance ▲Early STEM/Arts
Amanda Whiteman, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Learn how accessible props, children’s literature, and the elements of dance can facilitate sensory and creative experiences that ignite children’s imagination and understanding of the environment, nature, and scientific inquiry that align with curriculum standards. Goal: To discover how nature and dance can partner together in an early childhood classroom to create enriching learning experiences that connect to curriculum standards in science, while developing imagination, creative thinking and self- expression.

Rachel Knudson, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Children move naturally. When their movement becomes consciously structured and is performed with awareness, it becomes dance. Learn how dance/movement experiences help children develop an awareness of their body in space and provide opportunities to develop strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Dance/movement experiences give children the ability to kinesthetically organize and experience thoughts, feelings, concepts and memories. Participants will create experiences that can be used immediately in their classrooms to facilitate opportunities for social interaction, cooperation, self regulation and emotional well-being. Goal: To expand participants’ use of dance/ movement experiences in early childhood classroom learning.

CRUISING THE CARIBBEAN AND BEYOND: Gateways to Teaching Cultural Experiences
Terlene D. Terry-Todd, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Join Ms. T on a trip to the sunny West Indies, a journey full of songs, dances and stories. Participants take an imaginary voyage to the seashore and a Caribbean market place while exploring props and costumes which bring songs and dances from the Caribbean to life. Whether used as part of a multicultural unit or to reinforce gross motor, counting, sequencing, verbal or other skills, the experiences presented in this workshop fit beautifully into the early childhood curriculum. This workshop provides participants with examples of strategies and techniques that could be adapted to explore other cultural content. Goal: To explore how to incorporate a multi-sensory approach to explore a rich cultural experience designed to foster social interaction and creative play skills in young children.

Amanda Whiteman, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

How can dance promote the natural scientist in all children? Dancers use many of the same skills to explore their world as scientists, developing skills in observing, classifying, predicting, experimenting and communicating. By connecting the creative and kinesthetic sides of children to the analytical, we help children develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. This workshop will help you discover ways to engage children, asking them to look at their world through the eyes of a scientist and a dancer. They aren't as different as you may think! Goal: Discover how the natural connections between dance, movement, and science can empower children to learn and understand the scientific process of observing, classifying, predicting, exploring, and communicating—foundational skills for all learning.

THE EARTH SPINS AND SO CAN I: The Dance of Living Communities ▲Early STEM/Arts
Roberta Lucas, Detroit Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Learn how to foster children’s movement vocabulary to observe and interpret the actions and movements of living things and their environments. From the backyard to the schoolyard, park, forest, and beyond, learn how to create habitats found in stories, non-fiction texts, and science curriculum by using dance and imagination. Creating movement sequences as a class ensemble allows children to embody and experience the interdependence within an environment. Simple props, music, and sounds will bring the earth’s many dances to life in the preschool through first grade classrooms. Goal: To integrate and develop movement-based experiences that will help enhance learning and enrich the curriculum.

LET THE PICTURES MOVE YOU: Using Books with Few Words to Inspire Movement and Language in Children
Maria Tripodi, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

In this workshop, teachers will learn how to use picture books as an inspiration for language and creative movement. Incorporating basic dance concepts, music, and literature, teachers will be introduced to and encouraged to create movement-based experiences that will stimulate arts-based learning in the classroom. Goal: To use picture books, or books with few words, to inspire movement as a way of fostering language and understanding in the classroom.

MATH IN MOTION: Using Creative Movement to Explore Math Fundamentals! ▲Early STEM/Arts
Rachel Knudson, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Movement is the first language of children; it is how they first explore their environment, it is what they do naturally. Through creative movement and dance, children can develop the thinking skills and concepts used in preschool early math learning curriculum such as: number sense, classification, geometry, measurement and mathematical reasoning. Participants will explore how kinesthetic experiences can enhance math and movement skills as well as support literacy development, social interaction and self-regulation. Goal: To expand participants’ use of dance/movement experiences to explore math fundamentals and math concepts which are part of the early child curriculum.

POETRY IN MOTION: Communicating the Meaning of Poetry through Dance
Rachel Knudson, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Participants will explore how language inspires movement and how poems can be used to create a dance. By investigating the meaning of poetry through the lens of dance, participants will learn strategies to inspire children to create their own dances based on their interpretation of poetry. Goal: To integrate and develop movement-based experiences that will enhance learning and enrich the curriculum.

TAKING CHANCES MAKING DANCES: Strategies for Emergent Literacy through Stories and Movement
Laura Schandelmeier, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Dance your way through any book! Through fun, interactive strategies, this workshop will help you facilitate child-directed, movement-based experiences to tell a story. Engage your children in increased physical activity while honing emergent literacy skills and math concepts including sequencing, patterning, syllabication, shape and spatial awareness. Learn simple strategies such as how to generate a dance phrase using movements created by your children and how to facilitate self-regulation through a movement exploration based on the main character of a book! Learn how to unfold a story over several lessons, generating excitement for literature and opportunities for children to make predictions through a rigorous and developmentally appropriate process. In this workshop, you will explore and create experiences that can be used immediately in your classroom. Goal: To offer teachers movement-based strategies that aid in the development of emergent literacy skills and math concepts and to easily increase the amount of moderate to vigorous activity in the early childhood classroom.


BABIES SIMPLY KNOW: Exploring Natural Movement Patterns in Infants
Anne Sidney, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

In this workshop, participants will look at how to promote learning, build trust, and cultivate a secure attachment through song and dance. Participants will explore developmental movement patterns within the first year of life and learn how dance can facilitate babies’ physical and social development. Goal: To integrate and develop movement-based experiences, enhancing learning for infants.

BABY ARTSPLAY: Music with Infants and Toddlers
Valerie Bayne Carroll, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

Learn how songs and other musical experiences can be woven into your infant and toddler daily schedule to foster learning and support skill development. Participants will actively engage in quality, developmentally appropriate music, songs, and movement experiences designed for infants and toddlers. Goal: To expand participants’ use of singing voice and body movement with infants and toddlers to foster and support early childhood developmental domains including language, cognitive, social, emotional and physical.

Presented by two of the following DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Teaching Artists: Valerie Bayne Carroll, Kofi Dennis, Yvette Holt, Sue Trainor, Maria Tripodi, and Sylvia Zwi

Developed by Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts for Little Voices For Healthy Choices, A National Initiative for Early Head Start (EHS) and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) Administered by The Early Head Start National Resource Center (EHS NRC) at Zero to Three The naturally stimulating combination of music and movement experiences impacts healthy physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and language development skills in infants and toddlers. Wolf Trap Teaching Artists will present dynamic, creative, developmentally appropriate movement and music experiences to be used in the home, day care and classroom setting. Participants in this highly interactive workshop will learn and practice arts-based content that can be infused into the daily routine, providing many long-term benefits to infant/toddler growth and development. Goal: Participants will learn about the inherent connection that music and movement have in infant and toddler development and explore opportunities to apply these sensory experiences in the everyday routines of the classroom and home settings.

Katherine Lyons, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

This highly interactive workshop teaches how the use of props, movement, music, and drama can bring toddler stories to life, reinforce concepts and literacy development, and foster in young children a love of books that will last a lifetime! Participants will be introduced to a variety of books for infants and toddlers and learn how they can be enhanced with music, movement, gestures, chants, props, using all the senses. They will practice using new and familiar books in creative ways. Goal: To create hands-on, multi-sensory “story experiences” for the children.

MOVING AND LEARNING: Creative Movement Experiences for the Infant/Toddler Classroom
Maria Tripodi, DC/MD/VA Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist

This workshop will incorporate basic dance concepts into teachers’ daily curriculum in order to stimulate arts-based learning in the classroom. With the aid of music, children’s literature, and imagination, teachers will be introduced to and encouraged to create movement-based experiences that will enhance all areas of development in our youngest learners. Goal: To integrate dance and creative movement into the infant/toddler curriculum as a tool to enhance learning and development.

Valerie Bayne Carroll, DC/MD/VA Master Teaching Artist

In this workshop, participants will learn how to link stories with music and movement. Explore the beat and rhythm of language from books through chanting, call-and-response and rhythm instruments. Employ props and hand gestures to bring illustrations to life. Engage very young children through sight, sound, touch and movement to make literature a multi-sensory experience! Goal: Participants will learn how to connect books and literature with music experiences that will facilitate children’s understanding, recollection and enjoyment of stories and enhance language, motor, social, and cognitive skill development.

90-Minute Arts-Integrated Professional Development Workshops for Early Childhood Educators

COMMUNITY OF MOVERS: Encouraging and Managing Thoughtful Movement in the Classroom
Valerie Branch, DC/MD/VA Master Teaching Artist

In this workshop, participants will explore the elements of dance and specific movement strategies that will empower educators to use and facilitate movement-led teaching and learning. Participants will learn how dance fosters classroom community development and engagement by setting classroom expectations and creating a fun learning environment while connecting to core curriculum. This workshop will inspire child-led learning and participation and help educators nurture their children’s self-discovery by encouraging them to express ideas, thoughts, and feelings through movement. Goal: To empower participants to use dance strategies that foster classroom community development and engagement, and encourage child-led learning and participation.

Jennifer Ridgway, DC/MD/VA Master Teaching Artist

Children experience a range of emotions as they interact with their peers, caretakers, and environment. These emotions stem from everyday experiences and affect children’s ability to empathize and build healthy relationships, as well as learn and recall core academic learning goals. This participatory workshop explores how adults can use role play and drama in the classroom to help young children recognize, label, understand, and regulate emotions in order to develop and practice emotional intelligence. By learning how to facilitate dramatic play, participants will discover ways to relate a child’s past, present, and future emotional experience, build their observation skills, engage their senses, and allow for a rehearsal of life. Goal: To provide tools for educators and artists to develop the emotional intelligence of young children, which includes encouraging young children to manage feelings, empathize, and build healthy relationships.