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PreKTeachandPlay.com Podcast

How do you help all children thrive? Get in-depth discussions and insider tips with Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak. Each episode gives access to real-world strategies and tools for dealing with high-stakes testing, pressures to “ready” children for Kindergarten, and move toward inclusive practices, which address the whole child. The host, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, has over 20 years of experience in teaching and supporting early educators. You, too can become a solutionary and re-imagine early education, redefine inclusion, and reclaim children’s right to learn through play.
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Jun 5, 2018

This Pre-K Teach & Play episode is for you if you are interested in learning more about the importance of self-regulation, about common myths or misperceptions about self-regulation, and why our job is critical in ensuring children’s success in school and of course in life.

Your take away is that the brain areas associated with self-regulation are malleable, and self-regulation can be practiced and strengthened!

As a bonus to this episode, you’ll learn more about how important it is to address development and learning from a whole child perspective, how to use Dr. Megan McClelland and Dr. Shauna Tominey's book, Stop, Think, Act to create embedded learning opportunities with evidenced-based interventions, and about a self-paced course they offer through Oregon State University called Red Light, Purple Light: A Self-Regulation Intervention Program.

Apr 1, 2018

We all know that learning centers, and center time for that matter, play a key role in the delivery of early experiences for children. So what's the downside and how can they be improved to support wholeness and integrated brains?

This episode is for you if:

  1. You'd like to take a more intentional look at how to best design learning centers
  2. You want to ensure a "YES Brain" approach to early learning
  3. You're supporting other educators and want to know "What makes a good learning center?"

Episode includes a free download with seven strategies to ensure learning centers are engaging, designed in ways that build upon children's interest and different abilities, and incorporate a "healthy mind platter".

Feb 4, 2018

In this podcast episode, Laura Fish and I share how early educators can broaden their perspective around the "causes" for challenging behavior. You will learn how to discover the “why" behind a child's behavior.

This episode is for you if you are interested in:

  1. Helping children remain the Green Zone (how to respond instead of react)
  2. Strengthening your understanding of what may contribute to challenging behaviors
  3. Understanding the concept of prevention and promotion vs. intervention
  4. Aligning teaching practices with children's basic needs and drives
Nov 9, 2017

Have you ever wondered "what comes before being able play with friends at recess" or what skills children need to pass the "3rd grade reading guarantee"? In this episode, I explore how we can better understand how children...get from here to there...in terms of early development and learning.

This episode is for you if you've ever wondered...

  1. Is this something all children should be learning right now?
  2. What comes before or earlier in development?
  3. How do we scaffold and support a child who is struggling to make progress?

Lastly, this episode is also for you if you are interested in learning how to use an authentic curriculum-based assessment, the Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming, System (AEPS), to help you tackle these complex questions.

Episode includes a free download, which is an an infographic depicting the three types of sequences: developmental, pedagogical, and logical. You can request the free download at https://prekteachandplay.com/podcast26

Oct 17, 2017

In this episode, I continue the discussion into why circle time, and most other large group activities, just doesn't serve us in the way we would hope.

Spoiler alert! It has to do with children's interest...

And as always, after we admire the problem for a bit, I offer a number of suggestions on how to make activities and experiences, like circle time, optimal for learning, including:

  1. Offering activities as a child's choice
  2. Establishing and creating curiosity to you (C2U™)
  3. Engaging in attuned communication and interactions
  4. Differentiating what is being taught and basing the what on children's interests
Aug 10, 2017

In this episode, Laura Fish and I continue the conversation about teaching with the brain in mind by going deeper into mindfulness…a word we hear tossed around with a great deal of regularity these days.

It is our hope that through this conversation, early educators will see the complexity and the simplicity of mindfulness concepts and practices.

Meaning…we hope to help show how mindfulness in EC isn’t a fad, or something we “just add to part of our routine”….and how mindfulness is more than a spiritual concept …it is in truth…a set of practices, which closely align to many quality care and educational practices that have a rich tradition in our field.

We also dig into how mindfulness is a key part of building children’s brains and how we can create and embed opportunities throughout our daily routine. This is an episode you aren’t going to want to miss.

Jul 22, 2017

Why do we see calendar time as a key part of many preschool routines? My colleague Dr. Jennifer Grisham-Brown argues, it's a habit. A habit that we should break. In this episode fellow #ECE {r}evolutionaries Jen Davis, Jolene Chavez, and Alicia Frost explore the "timely" topic of calendar time.

Jun 27, 2017

We all face resistance...and at times...demonstrate resistance. But when trying to get to a change in practice, what do we do when resistance is not in the best interest of those we serve? In this episode three tips are shared for how to use your superpowers in the face of resistance.

May 28, 2017

Guest Laura Fish joins Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak to talk about how to support teachers in their efforts to promote learning through the lens of interpersonal neurobiology. Strategies for keeping the brain in mind, particularly during large group pre-k activities, are discussed. A free download is available to aid teachers in self-reflection and to incorporate evidence-based practices during circle time.

May 16, 2017

In this episode, I clarify the difference between when a child needs something and when they want something. Clarifying the difference between a need and a want leads to stronger relationships with children and fosters growth and learning.

Mar 28, 2017

In this episode, several key themes regarding what to do when children struggle or when development and learning have stalled related to counting are discussed. Issues of children’s expose to stressors and the impact stressors have on their ability to count are also shared.

Feb 17, 2017

Author, researcher, and inclusion expert, Dr. Jennifer Grisham-Brown, shares what is meant by blended practices. During the interview, Dr. Grisham-Brown also shares critical messages covered in her latest book, "Blended Practices for Teaching Children in Inclusive Settings, 2nd Edition", real-life success stories, and few tips you can put into practice immediately.

Jan 25, 2017

Pre-K Teach and Play podcast episode about how an "open" snack policy transformed relationships and routines in an inclusive classroom. Tips and teaching considerations are shared. Learn more at http://prekteachandplay.com.

Dec 23, 2016

Do you share my love/hate relationship with circle time? I know the benefits of gathering all members of a community...but I also struggle with "group starts" and "group starts."

In this episode, we explore how circle time can be a choice, and where everyone wins!

Dec 12, 2016

Becoming self-aware of our habits...the good, bad, and ugly ones...helps us engage in more intentional teaching and decision-making.

So why are "bad" habits so hard to break and "good" ones so hard to create? What are some habits we need in delivering effective services to children and families and what are some we can let go of?

Oct 5, 2016

In this Pre-K Teach & Play podcast episode I share where this mantra originated and how planning, delivering, and revising instruction can be strengthened when we realized that every child is a triangle.

Sep 13, 2016

Special episode! An interview with Janice Fialka, a nationally-recognized lecturer, author, and advocate on issues related to disability, parent-professional partnerships, inclusion, and raising a child with a disability. Learn more Janice’s book What Matters: Reflections on Disability, Community, and Love at http://www.danceofpartnership.com.

Sep 2, 2016

Today’s episode is especially for those who are moving into a new classroom, serving new children, and for those who have set a goal that this year...their classroom will be more peaceful and less chaotic.

Aug 19, 2016

What's your superpower? Not sure?

Here are five fabulous tips for unleashing the superpowers within you, within others, and throughout your community.

Jul 18, 2016

Does the following scenario sound familiar?

You're playing with a child who has been coming to preschool for the last two years, and when you ask, "How many are there?"...the child always says...2, 3, 5, 8!

Jul 10, 2016

No one wants to think about delivering PD to students, staff, or colleagues, who are rolling their eyes, shaking their heads, and sighing heavily....

No one wants to offer PD with the knowledge that it will have little to no impact...

BUT, what if it could be different?

Jun 27, 2016

Have you ever wondered...why you need a vacation from your vacation?

In today’s episode my goal is to help unlock a secret to how you can feel renewed, with or without and vacation...and no, it doesn’t mean you have to leave the kids at home.

Jun 20, 2016

We all wish it were easier right?

Helping children during the middle of a meltdown!

What we wouldn't give for a magic wand or on-demand wizard who could help prevent outbursts and help children control their impulses.


Well, it's not as easy as waiving a magic wand, but it's also not as hard as it might feel. In fact, our <strong>every day actions, questions, and comments</strong> can help children <strong>become more self-regulated</strong>, and to regain a more <strong>neutral emotional state</strong> after they've had a meltdown.

In today’s podcast I explore a simple, but effective way to intentionally teach a “soft skill” like self-regulation, using what we call, Power Packs™.

May 29, 2016

Serving groups of children with diverse abilities just got a bit more doable.

Reach for the Stars (RFTS), Planning for the Future has been revised and it is better than ever.

Authors, Diane and Jennifer have masterfully blended the ideas of person-centered planning, family-centered practices, and tiered instruction into a series of maps that serve as a guide to help families of young children plan and transition during critical periods.

May 12, 2016

I love visiting pre-K classrooms and watching amazing brain architects hard at work, but was fed up with all the clutter in classrooms, as well as toys and materials so broken and boring they hadn't been touched in years! So I created Pre-K Teach & Play Classroom Clean Sweep™, a process that helps early educators create learning environments that are more accessible, more engaging, and more fun!

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