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One-Day Workshop:
Teaching through Play and Inquiry in Uncertain Times / A Virtual Workshop

Presented by Kristine Mraz

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This virtual workshop will begin with a framing of what makes something play or inquiry. First, we will study some of the research that supports an inquiry- and play-based classroom approach to learning for all children. We'll then examine the foundational classroom practices that support play and inquiry, including physical and emotional environments. This conversation will entail a dive into common classroom management practices and their impact in classrooms, and the disproportionate impact of these systems on IBPOC children in our classrooms and schools. Studies on teacher bias and statistics on suspension rates will anchor the conversation in research. For those wanting a deeper conversation and study on this aspect of emotional environments, additional readings and referrals to consultants focused on these topics will be provided.

From these foundational practices, this virtual workshop will shift into a study of child-centered classroom structures: open explorations during small group time, play workshop, inquiry studies in literacy, and collaborative conversations. Examples, experiences, practical strategies, and troubleshooting will round out the last part of the virtual workshop.

You'll leave this virtual workshop with a better understanding of play and inquiry, and tools for discussing their power in the classroom; reflection on physical and emotional environments, and ways to improve them; and structures and strategies that can begin tomorrow.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Identify the characteristics of play- and inquiry-based approaches
  • Gain familiarity with the research that supports play and inquiry in schools
  • Reflect on current physical and emotional environments and re-envision the possibilities within them
  • Learn child-centered structures and methods to shift traditional classroom practices to more play- and inquiry-driven approaches
  • Gain strategies and practical methods to implement this work in classrooms and schools

About the Presenter

Kristi Mraz is a former classroom teacher with twenty years of experience. She was awarded the New York State Apple Excellence in Education Award for her play-centered classroom practices. She coauthored several books while teaching, including A Mindset for Learning and Kids First from Day One (coauthored with Christine Hertz); and Purposeful Play (with Alison Porcelli and Cheryl Tyler). She is currently supporting schools across the country on their journey to more child-centered instruction. Kristi is on an anti-racist learning journey and working to rethink her assumptions about pedagogy and classroom practice with this lens.

Who Should Attend?

Classroom teachers in grades PreK-5, administrators, literacy and instructional coaches, special educators, interested families, and any and all stakeholders in schools looking to move from a curriculum-driven experience to a child-driven, curriculum-supported approach with an emphasis on play and inquiry methods.


Each workshop will run from 8:30am-3:30pm; please make note of the time zone! Log in at least 15 minutes early to give yourself time to get set up.


The cost of this workshop is $209.00 per person.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

10/29/2020 - Eastern Time (ET) - Virtual Workshop, Online
12/09/2020 - Pacific Time (PT) - Virtual Workshop, Online

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