Among its many activities, the Early Learning Foundation works with:

Preschools and K-3: The foundation trains staff to use a competency based learning model which emphasizes personalized learning pathways to help students develop proficiency for every essential skill and behavior.  We offer a license to use the Essential Skill Inventories as a framework to use systematic formative assessment as children develop the foundation skills needed for success.

Training on the development of behavior, self-regulation, numeracy, sensory-motor skill development, oral language, literacy, phonologic and other key skill areas are available to school and community organizations.

Parent Education:  Projects include long-term parent education series which are described as transformational. Using a four or five part training sequence allows parents to learn, practice, and develop new patterns of behavior in the home.  Single topics trainings are also available.

Community Organizations and Planning: Training and consultation is available to communities interested in developing comprehensive planning to support high-quality early childhood learning, parent education, building community networks of support for young families, considering the needs of single-parent families, and supporting high-quality health care for young children.

Our most requested individual training topics: 

Competency-Based Learning 

The principles of competency based learning ask educators to identify a manageable set of learning and behavior outcomes, assess the learning needs and readiness of students, design instruction to match the learning needs of students, and systematically monitoring progress toward essential skills and knowledge.  In this interactive workshop we will explore the history of both competency-based and curriculum-driven instruction, the principles underlying each model, and offer participants a clear path to better learning outcomes for your schools.

CBL is fundamentally different than curriculum-driven instruction, which gives priority to covering a standardized set of content objectives in each grade or course.  This one-size-fits all approach, especially in it modern version, has failed to help a vast majority of students build proficient learning skills and fall in love with learning for life.

Competency based learning is focused on student learning outcomes, and is built with the following design principles in mind:

  • Students advance upon mastery, not age.
  • The pathways to competency are built with explicit and measurable learning objectives.
  • Assessment is primarily formative, and skills or concepts are assessed in multiple contexts to guarantee both deep understanding and application


 Love of Learning

In the rush to cover more content, educators could easily lose track of some basic truths about teaching and learning.  To become a lifelong learner, it is crucial to fall in love with learning during the early childhood years.  To be a highly effective teacher, it is important that you love the daily experience of working in your classroom.  Explore the conditions which help young learners fall in love with learning and help teachers find joy in building a highly effective classroom culture.  Keynote or 90 minute session

 Developing Self-Regulation, Empathy, and Resilience

Children with self-regulation skill can calm themselves, focus, persevere, and delay gratification.  Empathy gives children the foundation for social skills and emotional intelligence.  Resilient children have the ability to struggle, believe in themselves even when things get tough, and solve the problems that come along in life.  They also are healthier, happier, and achieve more in school.

In this workshop you will understand the sequence of attachment, self-regulation, empathy, and social learning experiences which help students become resilient.   You will consider the correlation between self-regulation, empathy, resilience, school success, and life success.  You will learn and practice specific teaching strategies and skills to help students develop self-regulation, empathy and resilience.

Full day, half day, or 90 minutes

Creating Classrooms Where Teachers Love to Teach

Great learning is far more likely to occur in a classroom or learning environment in which the teacher loves to teach.  Participants will learn the crucial skills that allow you to teach joyfully.  You will learn to establish routines, build connections with students and parents, create powerful expectations for success, offer challenges at the optimal level of difficulty, connect meaning to learning, take anger out of the classroom, and more.

This workshop offers you a chance to connect to basic values about creating respectful classrooms, build skills to make this possible, create a clear personal plan, and create a support network to help you follow your plan.

Full day, half day, or 90 minutes

Building Number Sense and a Love of Math for Life

Practically all young children can develop a solid understanding of basic number concepts and values.  With the right sequence of enjoyable kinesthetic and manipulative activities, we can help children truly understand and appreciate mathematics for life.

In this workshop you will:

  • Understand the essential sequence of early number concepts
  • Learn how children can learn to fake their way through mathematical learning if they miss out on learning essential skills
  • Make mathematical learning fun in the early years
  • Develop the skills to help practically every child understand basic number concepts
  • Smile a lot!

Full day or half day session

Competency of Coverage: The Essential Pre-K to Grade 3 Math Skills

With all the content teachers are asked to “cover”, it is easy to understand how difficult it could be to carefully assess each child to determine if there are gaps in the foundation skills that allow math learning to be fun and successful.  In this workshop we will explore efficient ways to determine exactly which numeracy skills a child has, and which skills she is ready to learn.  We will also discuss strategies for instruction that focus on the specific needs of each child.
You will learn:

  • Learn to difference between coverage and competency
  • How to assess the essential sequence of early number concepts
  • Keep track of which skills a child has, and which she is ready to learn
  • Develop instructional strategies at the correct level of challenge
  • Develop the skills to help practically every child understand basic number concepts  and enjoy math

Full day or half day session

Improving Motor Skills to Enhance Learning

Many children today do not develop the sensory-motor skills needed for basic, much less optimal, success in the early years of school. These children may have difficulty sitting still, maintaining attention, balancing, catching a ball, running, skipping, listening, or using visual-motor skills for cutting, coloring, drawing and printing.

Along with language and behavior skills, sensory-motor skills are an important part of the foundation of early learning success. In this active workshop we will explore the typical sequence for the development of sensory-motor skills, and the importance of developing these skills.  Sensory-motor experiences and skills are needed for optimal listening, language, visual spatial awareness, self-regulation, sustained attention, near-point visual skills, and integration of brain functions.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • The sequence of normal sensory-motor development
  • How to optimize brain develop through sensory-motor activity
  • The connection between motor and social or academic learning
  • How to help students improve sensory motor skills through activity and play

Full day or half day session