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One-Day Workshop:
Kids First: Crafting Classrooms of Empathy and Joy

Presented by Kristine Mraz

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What does it mean to have a child-centered classroom? How do we keep the focus on the children when we feel pulled in so many different directions? What happens in classrooms where we put kids first?

In this workshop, Kristi will share with you the cascading benefits of orienting our physical, emotional, and curricular spaces on children. Cultivating our own growth-oriented, playful, and empathetic mindsets is an essential first step in redefining our schools. This workshop begins with a study of the habits of mind that support teachers in creating the classroom of their dreams.

Next, we will move to a study of classroom design and its impact on learning. You'll analyze classroom environments, schedules, and routines and reflect on best practice to develop your own vision of a "kids first" classroom.

Then, we'll look at the emotional spaces in our classrooms and schools. You'll learn about the latest research on social emotional learning and how best to support the children in your care. You'll learn strategic, research-based practices for helping each child become a contributing member of their classroom community, without relying on rewards and punishment.

Finally, the day will focus on the flexibility and responsiveness we can find in every curriculum to help each child succeed. This day is an opportunity to explore, imagine, and make real the power of a child-centered classroom from the first day of school.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Learn the research behind cultivating personal growth, empathy, and a playful spirit
  • Study and design classroom environments that maximize children's independence and engagement
  • Reflect on the latest research in social-emotional learning
  • Learn strategies for supporting the emotional growth of children
  • Construct lessons and routines that reflect the uniqueness of every classroom

About the Presenter

Kristi Mraz is coauthor (with Alison Porcelli and Cheryl Tyler) of Purposeful Play, the book that helps you make play an integral part of your teaching. Her previous title is the bestselling A Mindset for Learning (coauthored with Christine Hertz), which provides practical and compelling strategies for cultivating optimism, flexibility, and empathy alongside traditional academic skills. She is also coauthor (with Marjorie Martinelli) of Smarter Charts and Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies. Her latest book, coauthored by Christine Hertz, is Kids 1st from Day One, which informs this workshop.

Kristi is a recent transplant to Southern California, where she will be writing and consulting until the classroom calls again. You can follow all of her adventures on Twitter @MrazKristine or on her blog, found at

Who Should Attend?

Classroom teachers in grades PreK through 5, literacy coaches, special educators, reading and language art specialists, administrators, and curriculum coordinators.


8:30 A.M.-3:00 P.M.


The cost of this workshop is $249.00 per person. If you register 3 or more participants at the same time the cost is $239.00 per person.

Early Discount Deadline Extended!

Registrations must be received by January 28, 2020 to qualify for the early bird rate of $209 per person.

Event Photography Notification

Please note that during this workshop, photography, audio, and video recording may occur. By attending this event, you agree to be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded, and give permission for Heinemann to use your likeness in any promotional and/or marketing materials. If you do not wish to be photographed, filmed, and/or recorded, you must see a Heinemann facilitator or staff member to sign an opt-out form, and have your picture taken for identification purposes. Failure to do so will assume permission has been given to use your likeness in any marketing and/or promotional materials.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

04/07/2020 - Bloomington, MN
04/08/2020 - Westminster, CO

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