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Centering Love and Freedom in the Literacy Classroom, Gr. K-3 / A Virtual Mini-Workshop

Presented by Aeriale Johnson

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Date and Time

PLEASE NOTE: An upper-middle grades 4-8 version of this mini-workshop will be offered by Jess Lifshitz. Click here for details.

A 90-minute virtual mini-workshop from 10:00am to 11:30am Eastern Time (ET).

  • Saturday, March 6, 2021

Please note that this virtual mini-workshop is scheduled for Eastern Time (ET). If you are in a different time zone, please plan your schedule accordingly.


What does it look like for students to own and accept their roles in a constructivist community centered on love and freedom? In this mini-workshop, expert early childhood teacher Aeriale Johnson will share how she leverages literacy as a tool for social-emotional development and collective well-being through fierce love, listening, and high expectations. Participants will learn several teaching moves for in-person and virtual classrooms to affirm students' identities, celebrate their ways of thinking and meaning making, teach responsively, and gather evidence of what students have learned how to do as readers and writers.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how constructivist pedagogies support spaces where children learn content alongside self-awareness of learning process.
  • Prepare to help young children critically read texts—as well as the world.
  • Embrace a definition of freedom that illuminates how shared responsibility, accountability, and caring about the world brings freedom for everyone.
  • Use play and kid-watching as assessment stance that relies on fierce listening with love.
  • Learn how leveraging oral language opportunities supports deep conversations about reading and writing.

About the Presenter

Aeriale Johnson, she/her/we, is a Reggio-inspired, abolitionist teacher of third graders at Washington Elementary School, a school bursting with the energy of multiculturalism and multilingualism in downtown San Jose, California. There she strives to build a democratic classroom where all adults (educators and families) believe in children, allow children to bring the fullness of their humanity into the space, and deliberately relinquish their power to the children. Aeriale is a National Board-certified teacher, specializing in early to middle childhood literacy, and a recipient of many grants and fellowships. She most recently served as a Heinemann Fellow. Aeriale is an associate director for the San Jose Area Writing Project, facilitating professional development for teachers and writing workshops for children. She is a column editor for Language Arts, and her blogs, articles, and essays have been published by NCTE, Heinemann, the International Literacy Association, School Library Journal, and ASCD.

Who Should Participate

Classroom teachers, parents and caregivers, and homeschoolers of grades K-3, literacy coaches, reading and language arts specialists, curriculum coordinators, and administrators.

Special 2021 Tuition Fee

The cost of this virtual mini-workshop is $40.00 per person. Tuition also includes access to the recorded workshop for 60 days.


Registrants will receive multiple emails from Heinemann, including enrollment confirmation, which also serves as your tuition receipt and contains some basic instructions. If you have not received your confirmation email within 48 hours of your registration, please contact us at or 800-541-2086, ext. 1151. Approximately two days prior to the event date you will receive an email with the PD event's Zoom link and log-in instructions.

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Note: We encourage group participation; however, we require that each person be registered and provide a unique email address.

Registration Form

Our Registration Form is now standardized to be used for any Heinemann PD Services open-enrollment event. Download our new PD Event Registration Form here.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

03/06/2021 - Eastern Time, ET

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Availability: Available When: 03/06/2021 Where:
Virtual Workshop

Eastern Time, ET

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