The things we learn at teacher workshops

Every teaching workshop is different but they all have a way of inspiring you to go back into the classroom and try something new…

I try to attend local workshops any chance I get, and at times, I even get invited to come and speak.  Today, I thought I would share some photos of my latest workshop held in Southern Indiana this past weekend…

Each time I am invited to speak somewhere, I practically change what I want to say or share on the drive over.  Well, not totally, but I do give myself room to just go with the flow and share what I find to be important when it comes to teaching young children…

For the most part, this workshop was all about defining the intelligent classroom and the concept of STEM.  I also brought some hands-on materials for the teachers to check out…

The photos that you are viewing today were taken by my friend and Fellow Blogger, Casa Maria’s Creative Learning Zone. She took many photos of the things we shared during the workshop that I thought I would share with you today…

Water Beads

I brought a small container of water beads for the teachers who had not yet tried them out. I just love these and if you want to know more about water beads then just click here.

I also demonstrated the process of making a “Cloud in a Jar” with the teachers.  You can learn more about that process by clicking here

In addition, I brought one of my store bought light tables to demonstrate different items you can explore on a light table like ice pops and rice. You can read more about light table activities by clicking here...

We also made a sample of slime for the teachers to see the process and feel it for themselves. You can see more about slime by clicking here or by clicking here

I also introduced our magnetic can play set which you can read more about by clicking here

I also introduced the magnetic board which you can view here and a variety of DIY magnets to try on the board which you can view here

And I brought a couple of bags of M&Ms so we could do a little M&M Painting.  You can see how to make M&M paint by clicking here

It is always hard for me to decide what to bring when I present a hands-on workshop with teachers. There are so many things I just love!!

I can’t end this post without sharing with you a few of the most creative door prizes  I have ever seen at a workshop. These prizes were put together by the hosts of this workshop….

Outdoor Play Basket

Who wouldn’t want to walk away with a basket of noodle blocks and hula hoops?  There may have been more stuff underneath too but I didn’t dig through!

DIY Drum Set

And these little drum sets were handed out to every teacher along with a spoon for drumming up your own tune!

Cardboard Tube Blocks

And the grand prize was super special.  Three large bags filled with these amazing heavy duty cardboard tubes.  These folks really know how to recycle and find gems for their classrooms.  As soon as I got home, I went on a search for my own set of these tubes and found a few but I have to keep looking.  I will share with you more about these tubes once I get a collection together…

I hope you have enjoyed this mini-version of my Teach Preschool workshop!

By |2012-08-19T22:53:17+00:00August 19th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Trisha August 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    I wish I could have been there to play with all your stuff!

  2. Cheryl August 20, 2012 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Will you come and be a guest speaker for my work! I think you are amazing!!

  3. Amy M August 20, 2012 at 5:17 am - Reply

    What a great workshop you provided. 🙂 Some great activities to put away for later use. Thank you!

  4. Melissa August 20, 2012 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Hi Debbie,
    This looks amazing. Oh how I wish I could attend one of your workshops! Teacher workshops can be great and sometimes not so great. Yours looks meaningful, fun and inspiring! How do you feel about webinars? We have been integrating them into our required hours each year. Some have been ok. Have you ever hosted a webinar?
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Melissa,
      I have done a total of ONE webinar and it was quite a bit of work but I did enjoy it. The only problem with a webinar is that it is tough to be hands on:) I think teachers need to see, feel, explore, play with the materials just like the kids do. Sometimes, teachers get the impression that some of these materials are hard to do or hard to manage or just not for them. By having personal experience – they are more likely to go back to the classroom and give it a try:)

  5. Vicky August 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    I used to love teacher workshops! Thanks for bringing back memories. Can’t wait to try the cloud in a jar idea. Vicky from

  6. Alissa Mwenelupembe August 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed hearing you speak on Saturday Deborah and I also enjoyed seeing my hand in the water beads! haha I got lot of great ideas that I know I’ll be passing along to the providers that I work with that weren’t lucky enough to attend over the weekend!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm - Reply

      Haha! I wondered whose lovely hands those were!! I loved your community of teachers – what a terrific group!

  7. Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky August 22, 2012 at 1:06 am - Reply

    I love going to teacher work shops, they give you that little spark and revive the old brain. It’s so much fun bringing the ideas and learning back to the classroom.

  8. Vita Bates August 24, 2012 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Hi Deborah,
    I am a member of the South Suburban AEYC board. We are looking for a speaker for our workshop for teachers. Maybe we could talk.
    Vita Bates

  9. Joy Brace September 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I have been looking at your website and love it!!
    I am trying to expand my daycare into a preschool/daycare center and I am in the process of purchasing items to make it better for the children so they can learn and have fun while doing it.
    I also moved to Texas, not too long ago and I am having a hard time finding classes (CEU) to take. I want to take classes that will help me become a better teacher for my little ones.
    Is there any info you can give me?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Joy,
      If you are a member of your local NAEYC chapter, they should be able to direct you as to where you can pick up CEU classes. I wish I could be of more help but every state is so different and I wouldn’t begin to be able to offer up advice and feel confident that I am steering you in the right direction. I must say, however, GOOD FOR YOU for caring enough to reach out and seek out professional development! Well done!

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