Info 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 behaviors that are challenging, pressures to “ready” children for Kindergarten, and the goal to build kinder, more inclusive, and more creative classrooms, which address the whole child. The host, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, has 30 ears of experience in teaching and supporting early educators. You, too can become an ECE {R}evolutionary and reclaim children's right to learn through play, reimagine inclusive classrooms, and revolutionize early care and education.
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Now displaying: 2020
Nov 18, 2020

Anyone else confused about when to praise a child...if ever? When to reinforce something? What about punishment?

Wow...supporting children who are experiencing big emotions is not for the faint of heart that's for sure.

And it seems everyone (including me) has an option on how to "weather the storm".

In this PreK Teach and Play podcast episode, Alyssa Blask Campbell, Laura Fish, Dr. Shauna Tominey and I dig deep into what we mean when we use phrases like praise, rewards, and punishmentWe also work really hard to share practical ideas to help teachers and parents support young children's development and to weather the storm of big emotions.

During our conversation, we examine...

  • How to avoid teaching compliance over connection
  • Why our own emotional responses to undesired behaviors can result in both children and ourselves becoming dysregulated
  • How traditional views on praise, rewards, and punishment need a makeover...where our aim is to help the child develop, not manage their behavior.

Key take aways...

And while we share many tips and suggestions...we all agree on the need to hone our own awareness of what is going on (for ourselves and our children) and for co-regulating when supporting children's emerging ability to self-regulate.

This episode also includes access to a collection of annotated resources to help you think beyond Applied Behavior Analysis and the use of behavior charts.

Oct 23, 2020

What does inclusion mean to you?

For me, it is a fundamental human right...NOT just a rite-of-passage. It is when we experience a true sense of belonging. ​​

In this PreK Teach and Play podcast episode, I talk with Ijumaa Jordan and Isela Garcia about what inclusion means and explore our top tips for early educators.

This conversation was originally recorded for the 2020 Summer Leadership Institute sponsored by Inclusive Schooling and hosted by Dr. Julie Causton and me. The recordings from over 30 hours of expert conversations about inclusion from Pre-K to post secondary is available NOW on-demand!

During my conversation with Ijumaa and Isela, we explored:

  • How to shift our mindsets (regardless of where instruction takes place) to see our work as being with children vs. doing to children
  • Barriers to inclusion and how leaders can work to remove them
  • Tips about what makes inclusion a true possibility


Oct 1, 2020

When I talked with Dr. Susan Hopkins for Episode 46 of the Pre-K Teach and Play podcast, we explored what the term "self-regulation" really means.

In this bonus episode with the incredible Dr. Stuart Shanker, we go even deeper.

For example, did you know that at one time there were 447 different definitions of self-regulation in education....446 of which were all about self-control?

Yeah, I didn't either! 

In this Pre-K Teach and Play bonus podcast episode, Dr. Stuart Shanker explains how his fascination with the American Revolution as a young school boy in Canada resulted in a passion for understanding how children (and humans in general) develop.

In this bonus episode, Dr. Shanker discusses: 

  • What he discovered about the difference between the educational, neuroscientific, and physiological understandings in terms of what it means to self-regulate
  • The science of stress and why we need to reframe labeling reactions as stress-behavior...not misbehavior
  • How our brains have grown and evolved over time
  • What it really means to be a stress detective
Sep 17, 2020

We've all heard the word "self-regulation", but do you really understand what it means?

For many years I thought I did, but I was wrong.

There's so much more depth and meaning behind the concept than just dealing with your emotions. It's also not just about thinking. It's about things that are happening automatically beneath the threshold of conscious awareness.

In this episode, we explore:

  • What's below the threshold of our awareness
  • What we need to do to co-regulate
  • What's going on in this thing called the interbrain
  • How humility helps us learn
  • The genuine need for children to play.

So not only do we talk about what's going on in the brain and what is meant by self regulation, but we also begin to scratch the surface of our shared love around the necessity of children and play.

Aug 21, 2020

While I can't recall all the details, from the first time I met Lisa Pepper-Satkin, to the time we recorded this podcast (which was actually back in February of 2020), I remember how she made me feel during each encounter. In a word: inspired! 

Lisa has really helped me to grow in my thinking about what it means to we show up in the world, as well as how we can transform the culture in which we are working, living, and being. 

While our discussion happened pre-pandemic, its incredible to look back now and see how even then we were in awe of the way our world is always changing, forever in flux, with new and different opportunities for positive change.

Take a listen and explore what it means to dare to be yourself!

Jul 16, 2020

This episode is actually a repeat...meaning I lost the first recording and had to go back and ask Isela to sit and chat with me again.

I'm so glad she said yes because I remember the 1st recording brought me to tears (in a good way) and so did this one.

Whether you are a leader by title or not, this episode if for you!

In it, we dig into what it means to show up and be open-hearted. Not just with our staff, but with families, with children, with one another. We also dig into what it means to be a leader and explore practical tips for how to be a better leader, and to be honest, a better human being.

Be sure to grab this episode's freebie's a leadership bundle from Dr. Garcia, which includes her:

  • Barriers to Effective Communication
  • Leadership Skills Infographic
  • Communication Connection Sandwich

Learn more about Dr. Garcia's work at

Jun 17, 2020

For me...this quote from Ijumaa Jordan says it all!

I'll allow your initial shock, but we're still going to move forward. It's not going to stop us. We still had to talk about...we still have to move forward, because right now children are being harmed-" Ijumaa Jordan

Here are just a few of the topics we dive into:

  1. Developing humility
  2. Classroom rules
  3. Characteristics of the White dominant culture
  4. Referring to others as our "friends"
  5. Implications for prioritizing the individual over the collective
  6. Where White Supremacy "shows up" in professional development
  7. And so much more!

And so, we can grow together, because that gives me hope. It's not necessary that we actually have to know the same thing or do the same work, but that we're willing to do the work together to make those, the changes that we want, to move to that world where all needs are met, where there's no lack. ~ Ijumaa Jordan, ECE Consultant

May 20, 2020

This is such a powerful episode!

In it we talk about many of the issues that we're facing... living through a pandemic, and we aim to provide hope, specific strategies, and practical ideas of how we might transition to and reimagine what education will look like in the future.

I learned so much, I have pages of notes and in fact, within an hour of recording this episode, I was already sharing what I've learned. Here's a quick example...

Right at the start of our conversation Lori shared three things the brain just can't take, meaning things that will impact across any age our ability to learn, our ability to thrive:

  1. chronic unpredictability
  2. isolation
  3. emotional or physical restraint

Sound familiar?

Listen now and learn what you can do!

Apr 15, 2020

Do you all know Dr. Barb O'Neill? Host of the Transform Challenging Behaviors Online Conference. 

Well in this episode you get to hear how the conference came to be, what Barb has learned over the years (aka her top tips for addressing behaviors that are challenging), and what to expect during the 3rd annual conference.

We also talk a bit about how she came to love puppets and how to use them with young children to promote their social-emotional health and well-being. 

The download for this episode includes a FREE e-Book with over 60 practical strategies you and use immediately to help with behaviors that are challenging.

Apr 7, 2020

In this bonus Pre-K Teach & Play podcast episode, I sit down to talk with Pat Radel, a special education lawyer, advocate, and father.

We start off by sharing what he know as of April 7, 2020 about serving students on IEP during the pandemic.

We then explore 20 U.S.C. 1414 (d)(1)(A)(i)(I)(bb) that states - IEP shall identify “for preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities”

The bulk of our conversation centers on 5 underutilized aspects of the IEP.

  • Student Strengths - 20 USC 1414 (d)(3)(A)(i)
  • Concerns of the Parent - 20 USC 1414 (d)(3)(A)(ii)
  • Communication/Assistive Technology - 20 USC 1414(d)(3)(B)(iv) & (v)
  • Supports for School Personnel - 20 USC 1414 (d)(1)(A)(i)(IV) - statement of services “to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child” - 20 USC 1414 (d)(3)(C) - “support for school personnel” - e.g. information on specific disability & implications for instruction  (Note - Official Comment to the enabling regulation makes it clear that this refers to support to meet unique & specific needs of child, not general in-service) 
  • Parent Counseling & Training - definition of “related services” under 34 CFR 300.34 

We end the conversation (abruptly due to tech issue on my end) about eligibly determination at this time. We specifically explore the requirement to administer a standardized test.


To learn more about Pat go to

Mar 15, 2020

I've been talking with so many fellow ECE {r}evolutionaries these past few weeks.

I see you and I hear you. 

In these unprecedented times, having to think about how best to support children on IEPs can feel overwhelming...and maybe even a bit scary.

And while information can help some of us with our can also add to the confusion and uncertainty. There are so many opinions and ideas coming from districts and everywhere you look on social media.

There are endless ideas and things being sent home with families on how best to “homeschool” students. Yet are these practices in line with our core values of family-guided practices, differentiation, and embedding during play and daily routines?

I thought I'd join the conversation - and take it in a slightly different direction.

In this bonus Pre-K Teach and Play podcast episode I'm joined by early childhood special education expert and professional development provider, Beth Diedrick.

Here are the big ideas that we cover in our conversation:

  1. Practices that support a strong home-school connection and partnership versus trying to "do school" at home.
  2. Considerations for children who have diverse abilities and an IEP in place - not from a legal perspective, but in terms of supporting their growth and development.  
  3. Possibilities for our field - and ultimately our children - that are emerging in this time of uncertainty.
Feb 17, 2020

In this episode I chat with my longtime friend, colleague, and autism expert Barb Avila, and Dr. Dan Siegel, a New York Times bestselling author and clinical professor of psychiatry.

We dive into some really amazing stuff. Like how interpersonal neurobiology intersects with autism and the challenges of forming secure attachments with 24 children at the same time!

We end with a brief conversation that left me knowing just how necessary the ECE {r}evolution is...and a few words of hope from both of my guests.

Jan 15, 2020

One question that comes up all the time when I'm taking about how to teach before the peak and weather the storm is, "What do we do about giving a child our attention when they are demonstrating behaviors that are challenging?".

I suspect...what you really want to know is...

"What do we do when some team members and experts suggest the strategy of planned ignoring and others say connect with the child"?

So...who is right?!?!

In this episode here's what you'll learn:

  • Five reasons ignoring (broadly defined) is problematic
  • Three solutions for what to do instead of ignoring
  • Three take aways
  • Links to tons of practical solutions (see show notes at