Professional Development:

Early Learning Program

Click here to learn about upcoming professional development workshops

The  Early Learning program offers workshops suitable for educators and teaching artists alike.  All workshops employ CAT’s “model-train-practice-reflect” approach to teaching and learning. As CAT facilitators guide teachers through each drama activity, participants are invited not only to engage as “children,” but also to observe and reflect on what is being presented as educators. By being transparent about their motives and methods throughout sessions, CAT staff support the teachers’ understanding of the different objectives and outcomes of each activity. Teachers are also encouraged share their own understanding of educational methodology and best practices, often leading to exciting and instructive discussion among the cohort.

Group Building through Drama: In this workshop, participants are introduced to drama activities that foster cooperative and collaborative learning in the classroom or afterschool setting. Particular emphasis is placed on identifying the step-by-step process as well as personal leadership style. This session can be tailored for teachers at any grade level. All participants receive a CUNY/CAT Certificate of Attendance.

Puppets and Puppeteering: This workshop is designed to give teachers hands-on training in puppeteering as well as identifying ways puppets can be used in the early childhood classroom to develop language skills and address emotional and social growth. Participants work with a variety of puppets, from the basic sock puppet to the more sophisticated soft “Muppet-like” puppet.  All participants receive a CUNY/CAT Certificate of Attendance. 

Interactive Storytelling: This introductory workshop explores the way story and storytelling can be integrated into the classroom to support students’ literacy skills. Particular attention will be paid to developing participants storytelling abilities, using source materials to create original stories and exploring how stories can be a collaborative creation between the storyteller and audience.  All participants receive a CUNY/CAT Certificate of Attendance.  DOE Early Childhood Professional Development Initiative

Drama in the Early Childhood Classroom: This workshop explores how the use of specific drama skills - pantomime, tableau and student-centered questioning – can be used to build a student’s oral literacy and self-confidence. Participants experience and then reapply (co-lead) each skill set. All participants receive a CUNY/CAT Certificate of Attendance.

Approaching the Common Core Standards Through Interactive Storytelling:  This workshop guides and mentors participating teachers through a step-by-step process that will help them build an experiential and intellectual understanding of the power of oral storytelling in developing children's  listening, speaking and language skills as outlined in the Common Core Standards.  

Workshops for Parents - These workshops focus on how parents of young children can support their children’s literacy skills using song, story, games and arts activities. The workshops are hands-on, participatory and are designed to be fun and educational:

Supporting Your Child’s Language Skills: Hand games, finger plays, stories, and songs

Beyond TV: Interactive activities to implement with your child at home


For information on workshops and residencies for Early Childhood Educators, contact Helen Wheelock, Early Learning Program Director.

CUNY-CAT is an approved New York State Education Department Sponsor of Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE).


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