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Parent and Teacher Workshops

School Literacy and Culture offers an extensive catalog of parent and teacher workshops which address the needs of young learners from toddlers through 2nd grade.

Participants in our Parent and Teacher Workshops can expect:

  • Latest research on child literacy
  • Proven methods for engaging young learners
  • Highly experienced and energetic workshop leaders

We offer workshops at Rice and can also facilitate workshops at your school. We believe every child deserves a high-quality early literacy education. Please consider one of our workshops and we can achieve this goal together.

Throughout the academic year, School Literacy and Culture will host Parent and Teacher Workshops at our facility. We'd love for you to be our guest during one of these transformative sessions.

School Literacy and Culture can facilitate a variety of workshops tailored to your school’s specific needs and student objectives. Our workshops can also be adapted for audiences of parents. Please browse through our offerings and fill out the Workshop Request Form to begin our partnership today. We have a rate of $500 an hour for up to 50 participants. We look forward to working with you.

Oral Language and Vocabulary Development

Playing with Poetry: Literacy Learning for the Youngest Children (2 hours)
AUDIENCE: Teachers of 3 years–1st Grade
Poetry can be used to introduce a new class project or used during transitions to keep children’s attention. From rhyming books to interactive charts, participants will explore ways to include poetry in the preschool classroom. Learn ways to help students find a love for the written word while focusing on the importance of oral language development, comprehension and finding a “voice.” Come share some of your favorite poems you have used in your own classroom while learning new ones to share with your children. School Literacy and Culture staff will lead this fun and interactive session

Phonological What? (2 hours)
AUDIENCE: Teachers of PreK–2nd Grade
This session will show you how to build the critical foundation that children need to become future readers. Join us as we play and sing away with games, transitions and songs you can use every day. Attendees will walk out the door with research-based strategy cards to promote phonological awareness in the classroom.

The Art of Conversation: Promoting Oral Language and Vocabulary Development with Young Children (1-2 hours)
AUDIENCE: Parents and Teachers of children of all ages
The National Institute for Literacy tells us that oral language development provides “a critical foundation for reading, writing and spelling” and is in fact the ‘engine of learning and thinking.” Presenters from School Literacy and Culture’s mentoring team will share practical strategies for extending everyday conversations with children and show how quality teacher/child interactions promote speaking and listening skills, vocabulary development, and higher level thinking.


The Magic of Read Aloud (1-2 hours)
AUDIENCE: Teachers and Parents of all ages–1st Grade
Is your storybook reading magical for your children/students? Do they beg you to read to them? Come to this session to discover ways to motivate your children to love literature while also building their oral language, vocabulary, comprehension and imagination—crucial components for developing young readers. Research continues to support the findings of the 1985 Commission on Reading statement that found read aloud as “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.” (Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading, 1985)

Owl Babies the Next Day: Bringing Books to Life with Dramatization and Story Baskets (2-3 hours)

AUDIENCE: Teachers of students from 2 years–1st Grade
During this interactive workshop, participants will talk about many ways to extend read alouds of great children’s literature. Presenters will use the book "Owl Babies" by Martin Waddell as a springboard for talking about story dramatizations, vocabulary building activities, and retellings with story baskets. You will see many examples of well-loved story baskets and talk about how to introduce and organize them for classroom use before creating your own story basket supplies for "Owl Babies."


The Critical Importance of Play (2.5 hours)
AUDIENCE: Parents and Teachers of all ages
Parents face the daily challenge of making the best decisions for their children’s development both at home and at school. In an era when even our youngest students’ classrooms are driven by standards, many parents question the value of play at school when there is so much to learn in so little time. Parents are also bombarded with a multitude of technology and toy options that leave them wondering what is really best for their children’s creative development outside of school. This exclusive play session will empower participants to advocate for the importance of play in an early childhood classroom and select materials and toys to support children’s imaginations at home. This presentation will specifically address needs of toddlers to first graders, but parents, grandparents and teachers of all ages are invited. This workshop is only offered on the Rice University campus.

“‘What If…’ We Let Them Play?” Exploring the Importance of Play in Developing 21st-Century Skills in Our Youngest Learners
Join us as we explore the types and stages of play, as well as the importance of play in processing emotional events and developing executive functioning skills. We will consider why play is critical to young children’s socio-emotional and cognitive development, and we will ask, “What if…?” as we reflect on our classrooms and teaching practices to create the play environments young children thrive in.


What a Writer Needs: Thinking About Writing in the Early Childhood Classroom (1.5-2 hours)
AUDIENCE: Teachers of Students from 3 years–Kindergarten
Why write? How can we help young children answer the question for themselves? Writing is more than learning how to form the letters. With your participation, we will demonstrate methods and show examples of writing from “best practice” classrooms.

Creating Confident Writers in the Early Childhood Classroom (3-6 hours)
AUDIENCE: Teachers of all ages–Kindergarten
Join presenters from Rice University’s School Literacy and Culture Project for an in depth session dedicated to building the foundation for a love of writing in the early childhood classroom. After an examination of how young children’s emergent writing moves from scribbles to conventional print, we’ll explore developmentally appropriate activities used to move children through their own zones of proximal development. An inviting writing center, "power writing," the role of dictation, and the placement of meaningful writing opportunities throughout the classroom will be discussed. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the stages of writing as well as plenty of practical ideas for creating confident writers. 

The Literate Classroom: Write Around the Room (2-3 hours)
AUDIENCE: Teachers of all ages through 1st Grade
Are you making the best use of your centers? Transition times? Join us as we talk about goals for your classroom and how to intentionally build literacy activities into all parts of your day. Walk away with practical ways to make literacy learning inviting to young children.

Literacy Extensions

Bounce From a Book (2 hours)
AUDIENCE: All teachers of PreK–1st Grade
During this workshop, participants will be introduced to quality children’s literature and ways to extend children’s understanding of the written word. From creating class quilts to writing group stories, come discover specific ways to enhance children’s literature, making the reading process a fun and engaging one.

When Children Become Authors: Making Class Books in Preschool and Kindergarten Classrooms (2 hours)
AUDIENCE:  All teachers of 3’s–Kindergarten
Find out how books can come alive in your own preschool classroom with a little bit of creativity and planning. During this workshop, you will see ideas for many different types of class books to make with young children and be able to make a big book to take back into your own classroom.

Workshops that Work Across the Curriculum

Building Blocks of Building Blocks (2 hours)
AUDIENCE: Teachers of all ages
In this hands-on session, participants will learn how block play impacts child development while linking early literacy development to the building process. This presentation will also encourage teachers to become familiar with the stages of block play, learn ways to organize and manage a block center, and explore ways to keep block play interesting throughout the school year.

What’s in a Name? (2  hours)
AUDIENCE: Teachers of students from 2 years–Kindergarten
A child’s name is a wonderful developmentally appropriate tool for individualizing literacy learning. Come learn how to use “name curriculum” as a springboard to meeting a variety of objectives including phonological awareness, letter recognition, print awareness and more.

Workshop Request Form