Professional Development: Experiences


Most of the photographs below are of participants working with materials. What I don’t think conveys through these images is the spirit of participation and community, where together…and also with the participation of the materials themselves, we don’t just learn techniques and methods–we form, nurture, and deepen relationships of all kinds.

 March 2015 Beverley Hills Church Preschool, Alexandria, VA “Why Materials Matter.”











2014 OSI Early Childhood Education Summer Learning Institute, DC Public Schools, Washington, DC  June 21-24, 2014, “Clay as a Tool for Thinking and Learning.

 Here are some photographs of our work:

 IMG_8349 IMG_8346 IMG_8361 IMG_8360 IMG_8340  IMG_8424 IMG_8380IMG_8393 IMG_8371  IMG_8407

2014 OSI Early Childhood Education Summer Learning Institute, DC Public Schools, Washington, DC  June 29-31, 2014, “Beyond Crayons and Markers: the Language of Paint and Color as Tools for Expression and Thinking


IMG_0861 IMG_0880 IMG_0889

IMG_0879 IMG_0894  IMG_0888 IMG_0886



7th Annual NAREA Summer Conference, Asilomar, CA June 16-19, 2011

10 Ateliers were conceived and facilitated by a collaborative group:

Jennifer Azzariti, Pauline Baker, Kristi Cameron, Juan Felipe Calle, Simonetta Cittadini, Kristen Edge, Jennifer Kesselring, Sarah Liebold, Monica Malley, Lily Schwartzman and Shannon Welch. Below are photographs of some of the groups.

Clay as a Language in Connection with Passover, Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, April 5, 2011

Participants, after thinking together about the values and meaning of Passover, used clay, wire and paper to represent their ideas. Participants were encouraged to think abstractly, not literally about Passover.

I wanted to link the past with the future. The eye is how we see our future and our past. The mouth is what we have to say about our past and future. The ear is what we hear, what our families pass down. The blank one (the participant had not had time to link the blank piece) is that way because it leaves space for the different ways to tell the story)

“Community” “Connectedness” Bondage…slavery…

Materiality: Considering the Relationship Between Materials and Ideas, Innovative Teacher Project, San Francisco, CA, February 26, 2010

Participants design ‘carpets’ for specific spaces in the school.

The Grammar of Light, Innovations Seminar Series, Wayne State University, Michagan, February 5, 2010

Thinking and Designing With Thread, August 24, 2010, Atlanta GA, Inspired Practices in Early Education

selecting materials
“Constructing” with thread only

Clay Workshop for Professional Development, June 2010, Scott Montgomery Elementary School, Washington DC

Here are some photographs from a recent workshop at Scott Montgomery Elementary School in DC (this year Scott Montgomery has merged with Walker Jones Elementary School).

To paraphrase Loris Malaguzzi, philosopher and founder of the Reggio Approach, it is our responsibility as educators to have knowledge of  materials and media.

Conversations With Clay, August 31, 2010 Laura and Joel Greenzaid EarlyChildhoodCenter at B’Nai Tzedek, Potomac, MD

Constructing Verbs
Inspiration From Nature



  1. If you go to the links page on my blog, you will find a link to NAREA, which has information about upcoming conferences and workshops around North America. I am not familiar with where Norwalk is, but there is a NAREA summer institute June 16-18 in Pacific Grove,CA, and the Wonder of Learning Exhibit from the Municipal schools in Reggio Emilia will be in Salinas, CA starting June 15.

  2. Hello I´m a licensed child care provider in Norwalk, CA. I would love to attend a workshop, training, seminar, anything that will help me with setting up my home and what material I can offer to a mixed-aged group. My children´s ages are 4 mo old, 16 mo old, 2 yrs old, 3 yrs old, 4 yrs old, and 8 yrs old. Is there any books, blogs, websites you recommend? Thank you so much!

Add Your Comment