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Southern Oregon University

Learning about a Care Farm (Oct. 13, 2012)
(Think: Earth/Animals/People)  The day will be spent at Sanctuary One in the Applegate Valley.  Together, we will compile integrated curriculum ideas to implement in your classroom & learn more about bringing students to visit Sanctuary One.

Empowering Children to Build Inner Strengths (Nov. 3, 2012)
Experience techniques and strategies on the learning level of the young child that teachhow the mind/body/emotions work together to develop an internal frame of reference. Enjoyan innovative approach to teach basic skills in managing stress, communication skills, and switching gears from tension levels to self-calming, Awareness building for emotional intelligence with fun, creative approaches helps heighten understanding how to prevent reactive behavior that brings negative consequences. Creating healthy choices that build self-confidence from the inside-out set a foundation for children to know themselves, how they harm themselves with bad choices and empower themselves with good choices. Discover more about your own inner strengths as you learn how to assist young children build theirs.
Janai Lowenstein, M.S. is a mother and grandmother. She is also an Instructor at the University of Oregon, has hosted and produced award-winning television series for children, authored numerous children's books, three of which have been chosen by Goldie Hawn's Foundation to list on their website as resources for parents and teachers, is a lifelong advocate for childrens' rights to be treated as whole persons and educated about their own internal resources, and has served as a consultant, speaker and trainer internationally on children's self-help issues. Janai was invited by the Surgeon General to represent rural children at the Children's Mental Health Conference in Washington, D.C. She is known for her innovative, experiential, fun and wholistic approach in teaching.

Creating Balance in the Classroom (Dec. 1, 2012)
How does a teacher create balance in the classroom with many colorful children with expressive behaviors, and desires to learn everything? We will look at these budding geniuses and recognize how play is work for children under 8 years. These are the “wonder” years and integration of movement promotes learning.
You will learn the Central Nervous System’s Pyramid to Academic Learning. You will recognize how emotions that student’s associate with a learning experience (not content) become part of the memory system.
You will develop an understanding of how Sensory Motor Preferences can affect the foundation of learning, and learn ways to assist your young developers meet their sensory needs in the 8 sensory systems. We will see how sensory needs are different, individual and influenced by the environment. You will be provided an understanding of the sensitivities of children dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder and given the Top 10 Classroom Tips to utilize immediately.
DD Meeks has been working as an Occupational Therapist and Artist/Educator for over 33 years with people of all ages. She has worked in the Rogue Valley for the last 18 years, prior to this she was at Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital, Children's Hospital at Stanford, the Veterans's Administration Medical Center, adn teh Center for Attitudinal Healing; all in the San Francisco Bay area. DD is a published author and has provided trainings in many areas, ranging from Therapeutic Uses of Art and Recreation to Seating and Mobility for the Disabled to Sand Tray - Jungian Approach. 

Engaging Children through Singing, Playing, and Dancing (Jan. 26, 2013) 
Do you remember the first time you played Ring around the Rosie?  What were you imagining that made you want to play it over and over again or was it the sheer joy of falling with your friends? This active workshop recreates the playfulness of singing and playing games that engage the brain and stimulates the imagination. The connections between song and learning will become evident as the day progresses.
Pam Vellutini has 25 years experience teaching elementary music education in the Ashland and Phoenix-Talent School Districts as well as DoDDS Germany. For the past 4 years Pam taught Music 373 at SOU, a methodology class for music and elementary education majors on how to teach and reach children through music. Pam is the founder and director of Ashland Taiko and currently runs workshops and classes for children and adults. A past board member for Music EdVentures Inc. she is still active with the organization and keeps busy promoting the Song Works approach to music education.
Betty Phillips is retired but continues to work for the Corvallis School District after 31 years of teaching both Music K-5 and 1st and 2nd grades.  She is a Lead Mentor for new teachers, facilitates the Elementary Music Team, provides professional development during the New Teacher Academy and will be presenting a workshop for ways to use music in the classroom this fall.  She also substitutes for elementary music and elementary classroom.  Being involved with Music EdVentures Inc. since its inception, she incorporates its principles and strategies in all aspects of her teaching, whether classroom or music, children or adults. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, golfing, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Tony Williamson taught K-5 music with the Gresham / Barlow School District for 18 of his 27 years teaching in Oregon. He has been a presenter at numerous teacherconferences, early childhood and district in-services, and is a charter and founding member of Music EdVentures Incorporated, a non-profit teacher education institute. Recently he has taught several music education courses with the Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest. In his teaching he emphasizes using “song adventures” to create classroom community and sensitivity along with music and academic skills. Recently retired, Tony continues to enjoy gardening cooking biking, and just about anything Italian. He lives in Portland with his partner, Mark.

Darkness-to-Light/Child Abuse Prevention (Feb. 16, 2013)
If you have children in your life or work with children, this training is for you!

In this class you will have the opportunity to take the nationally acclaimed Stewards of Children/Darkness to Light training in the morning session.   You will learn how to:
-- Take steps to protect your child and those around you from abuse
-- Spot the signs of possible abuse
-- Act effectively and safely if you suspect abuse

The afternoon session will focus specifically on educational issues and challenges teachers face in the classroom.  Through discussion, roles plays, and small group interactions, you will have an opportunity to devise strategies for: (1) dealing with disclosures; (2) providing parents and community members with practical guidelines for protecting their children; and (3) educating parents and community members about the challenges posed to child safety by the Internet and other electronic media.

Marlene Mish has been an educator since 1968. A graduate of UCLA where she also got her teacher’s credential, she worked for Beverly Hills High School for almost three decades as a German/English/ESL teacher and then, after receiving her PPS,  a guidance counselor, where her specialty was program creation, running groups for students,  staff and  district-wide in-services.  When she came to Oregon in 2000, she became the principal of CrossRoads Alternative School in Medford and instituted art and music, raised the bar for graduation, and worked with the school districts to ensure a real education instead of an alternative to education. After two years working as a child sex abuse advocate for the District Attorney’s Office, she became the Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County.

Creating Early Childhood Environments (Mar. 9, 2013)
This workshop is designed to explore the messages that the environment sends to young children and how teachers intentionally plan spaces that support engaged exploration, discovery and the wonder of learning.

The morning will begin at the Early Childhood Education Center at Redwood Campus of Rogue Community College Head Start Center in Grants Pass. We will discuss influences of educators from Reggio Emilia, Deb Curtis, Margie Carter, Anita Olds and Sandra Duncan and identify key elements of creative environments for young children. In the afternoon the group will visit Grants Pass Early Head Start, Imagine That and return to RCC Head Start Center for a tour and final thoughts.
Bring a tasty sack lunch!

Susan Hamilton is a Consultant with Southern Oregon Early Head and an Adjunct Instructor at Southern Oregon University where she teaches courses in curriculum design and guidance. Susan’s experience includes designing and planning a variety of early childhood environments. She holds a M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College.

Working with Low-Income Families (Apr. 13, 2013)
What does it mean to be poor in America’s schools? This interactive class will investigate biases about wealth and poverty, look at the strengths of low-income families, the persistence of poverty and the role of public policy in shaping children’s educational outcomes. We’ll review the literature on the cost-benefits of early education and explore the impact of low socio-economic status on literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional development. The class includes a discussion of parent engagement in the early school years and participants will develop a personal action plan that addresses summer slide and the achievement gap. We’ll review best practices for supporting parents in their role as their child’s first teacher, and plan to help economically-stressed children thrive in the classroom.
Felicity Elworthy is the Family and Community Partnership Manager at Southern Oregon Head Start, working with the Head Start team to provide family support and parent engagement in children’s education. A graduate of the University of Wales and the University of Oxford, she has worked and taught in many different parts of the world. Josephine County has been her home since 1984.   

Montessori, Reggio, Waldorf...What's the Difference, What's the Same? (May 11, 2013)
Perhaps you have been exposed to these “buzz” words of various early childhood practices for some time. It might be time now for you to have a clearer sense of what all these approaches mean to you; Montessori, Reggio, and Waldorf… What are the differences and how are they similar? This workshop will provide an opportunity to explore and clarify “what they are” about and “how they do” in comparison and contrast. We will have three early childhood practitioners who represent these approaches to share and discuss about the history, philosophy, and authentic examples from their practices.

“Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development through constructivist or discovery model where children learn concepts from working with materials… The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum…  Waldorf education approach is intended to foster young children to develop into free, morally responsible, and integrated individuals with a high degree of social competency through the role of imagination in learning and a strong value on integrating academic, practical, and artistic pursuits…” (adapted from Wikipedia)

Working with Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Children (June 1, 2013)
Have you ever wondered about the stages young English Learners (ELs) progress through in acquiring the English language? Young ELs enter preschool with a variety of knowledge and tools in their native language to become successful in developing English. Effective educators will observe ELs first, and then design experiences to build onto existing resources that will facilitate oral English language development. Megan Farnsworth will present on the topic of oral language diversity and the ways educators can help support young ELs be successful in expressing oral communication.
Megan Farnsworth is an assistant professor in Special Education at Southern Oregon University. Her experiences include over ten years of working with English Learners in public and private schools, with special attention to culturally responsive assessment of ELs for Special Education.