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January 25-26, 2019
Venue: American International School
Chennai, India

Kristi Mraz

Author and consultant in early literacy, play, and inquiry-based learning.

Full Bio

KRISTINE MRAZ is coauthor—with Christine Hertz—of the new Kids First from Day One, which provides a practical blueprint for increasing the child-centeredness of your teaching practice. She and Christine previously teamed up for the bestselling A Mindset for Learning, which provides practical and powerful strategies for cultivating optimism, flexibility, and empathy alongside traditional academic skills.

Ms Mraz has also coauthored (with Alison Porceli and Cheryl Tyler) Purposeful Play, the book that helps you make play a powerful part of your teaching. She and Marjorie Martinelli wrote Smarter Charts and Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies to get the most out of this classroom staple.

Ms Mraz formerly taught Kindergarten in the New York City Public schools. In addition to writing and teaching, she consults in schools across the country and as far away as Taiwan. She primarily supports teachers in early literacy, play, and inquiry-based learning.

Institute Description

Powerful Play: Igniting Deep and Joyful Learning Across the Day

Too often play is set in direct opposition to work, when in reality, play is the engine of learning for children. Play sets children on a path to academic and social competence beyond what any structured or scripted curriculum can provide. This two-day session will help teachers reclaim a playful and joyful spirit by teaching the myriad of ways play can be used to facilitate social, emotional and academic growth.

For those that already embrace a playful practice, these two days will deepen your understanding of the work in play, and the work teachers can do to help children grow in dynamic and deep thinking ways. For those just dabbling with play in the classroom. this institute will give you the tools and the research to commit more fully to play-based experiences for children.

This institute will outline the ways play can be infused within a day, as well as the instructional strategies teachers can use to support children's learning at this valuable time. A special focus will be given to rough and tumble play, fantasy play, and the extended time for play known as "choice time" or "work time".

Teachers will learn how strategies like focused lessons, conferring, small group play, and whole class conversations can build literacy skills, STEM skills, and critical social emotional skills. Charts and tools will be shared alongside lessons that can be used in classrooms. Teachers will see demonstrations and photographs of how a playful spirit can extend to any teaching by using student interests, props, videos, and joy.

In addition, teachers will have hands on opportunities to study children at play, design materials, lessons, and spaces to deepen play experiences in their own classrooms. Come to learn more about the power of play, and leave with pockets full of possibilities.

Target Audience: K-3

Continuum Level: 1, 2

NESA's Learning Continuum:

Learn more about how NESA plans Professional Learning


Participants will:
  • Learn the research behind the power of play.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of what play is and the conditions that best support it.
  • Create tools and lessons to support social-emotional development.
  • Study and practice the structures that support free, imaginative, and powerful play.
  • Analyze a developmental continuum of play.
  • Collaborate with peers to develop play-based experiences for learning.