Bureau of Education & Research Logo

There are currently no scheduled sessions for this course.

Onsite Training

Can't Attend?

Explore Additional



Students Who Start School Behind: Powerful Strategies to Increase Success (Preschool - Kindergarten)

Presented by Carolyn McMahon
Outstanding Educator and National Presenter

Brochure Image

Specifically Designed for: Preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers; Instructional Aides; Special Education Staff; Title I Staff; Literacy Specialists; and Administrators

  • Practical strategies to increase success for students who come to Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten lacking readiness
  • How-to ideas and powerful tools for developing thoughtful, deliberate, research-based activities and lessons designed to promote readiness and increase success
  • Proven, use-tomorrow strategies and activities to close the readiness gap, boost motivation and reduce discipline problems
  • Often students who start behind, stay behind – How to break the cycle of failure BEFORE it begins!

Practical Ideas and Strategies

The school readiness gap is real. Every educator working with Preschool, Prekindergarten and Kindergarten students sees children on the first day of school who are ready to learn and children who are facing challenges. The question is: what can we as educators do about it?

In this information-packed, fast-paced seminar, Carolyn McMahon will share powerful strategies you can use to increase the academic success of students who start school behind. You will learn teacher-friendly strategies you can use the very next day to help your students increase and improve their learning and academic success.

You will leave this seminar with renewed energy and feeling empowered to work with students in your class who start school without the tools necessary for optimal learning. You will also receive an extensive digital resource handbook and a solid understanding of the research-based strategies you can utilize to help close the readiness gap. In addition, you will be equipped to successfully help those children who, through no fault of their own, start school already behind.

Ten Key Benefits of Attending

  1. The Readiness Gap – Why It Exists and How You Can Close It
    Learn powerful strategies you can use to promote and increase the academic success of your students who start school behind … Discover what research says about which children are most at risk, why they struggle and how you can help
  2. Fill the Learning Readiness Gaps in Your Pre-K and Kindergarten Students
    Utilize practical, doable lessons and activities to help students who lack language, impulse control, social skills, and overall readiness to make significant gains … Learn new ways to help fill gaps and increase students’ chances for success in school and in life
  3. Create an Optimal Environment for Learning in Pre-K and Kindergarten
    Discover the keys to creating an optimal learning environment … Research-based, practical ways that you can create a learning environment where students’ readiness gaps can close
  4. Harness the Power of “Play with a Purpose”
    Learn more about the newly updated NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice and how to support, structure and set the stage for learning-rich, student-directed play … Ways you can facilitate rich language development and close the readiness gap
  5. What Works – Powerful, Developmentally Appropriate Literacy Activities
    Discover vital reading and writing activities you can use to help close the readiness gap … Receive tips, strategies, management ideas and clear approaches for more successful learning for all your students
  6. Motivating, Hands-On Math and Science!
    Receive outstanding math and science activities designed to help close the readiness gap … Ideas for increasing motivation, engaging students in discussion, and providing rich opportunities for optimal language development
  7. Conferring that Makes All the Difference
    Learn practical strategies to increase the effectiveness of your conferring and conferencing with Pre-K and Kindergarten students … Powerful ways to help close the readiness gap and develop rich language and thinking skills in your students
  8. Growth Mindset Matters!
    For many “gapsters,” a fixed mindset that they “can’t” is already set by age three! … Vital, practical ways that you can help your students drop a fixed mindset and adopt a growth mindset, unlocking their learning potential
  9. Less Discipline, More Motivation and Joy of Learning
    Discover highly effective strategies that not only help to improve student learning and close the readiness gap, but also increase students’ motivation, joy and responsible behavior … Learn ways you can support and help students who face chronic stress in their home environment
  10. Receive an Extensive Digital Resource Handbook for Helping Your Students Who Start School Behind
    You will receive a detailed digital resource handbook packed with all the practical, research-based information, strategies, techniques, and activities for Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten that will become a well-used reference for you year after year

Outstanding Strategies You Can Use Immediately

  • Proven teaching strategies to reduce the school readiness gap
  • Strategies that help improve the challenges that effect students’ environments from birth to three – the years when the gap is created
  • Ways to develop rich language, the foundation of cognitive abilities
  • How to respond effectively to students with a negative self-image
  • Eliminate non-productive behaviors using teacher-tested and research-based ideas and strategies
  • Learn how to create the optimal conditions for learning in your preschool, pre-kindergarten or kindergarten program
  • Help students build an “I Can” attitude
  • The keys to successful conferencing with students who start school behind
  • How to help students drop a fixed mindset and adopt a growth mindset
  • Practical ways to set the stage for learning-rich, “purposeful play”
  • Strategies to help your students who start school behind close their readiness gaps and participate with enthusiasm in learning

A Message From Your Seminar Leader

Dear Colleague:

What challenges and changes we have seen in education throughout the years! From the moment those wonderful young learners walk into my classroom until the moment we finish our learning journey over the course of the year, I know that each and every one of them have a unique learning style, talents, and personality! I know that they each have variables in their personal lives that may have an impact on their ability to learn. I believe that all children want to learn and succeed. But it is also very apparent that not all children start school ready to learn, or seemingly even wanting to learn. What causes some children, at the Preschool, Prekindergarten or Kindergarten level, to welcome learning and challenges while others avoid it? Why does learning seem to be so easy for some and so difficult for others? I learned what research tells us about why some children come to school ready to learn and others do not. I read about ways to decrease this gap. I tried out many ideas with my own students. And now, I am excited to share with you what I have learned.

Why are there such differences in readiness? Most importantly, what can we do about it? In this one-day seminar, I will help you better understand students in your class who seem disconnected, experience greater difficulty learning, and who may interfere with the learning of others because of poor self-control. We will explore strategies to help you catch these kids early … before they fall. I believe that Preschool, Prekindergarten and Kindergarten educators are essentially “gamechangers” and fill the most important role in the education of children – especially for those children who begin school already behind.

Join me for a day that I have designed specifically for preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten teachers. I will move seamlessly across the content areas and model activities to show both the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of activities you can use immediately in your classroom. The emphasis of this seminar will be on practical strategies, ideas, and activities. This is a “Hear it today – Use it tomorrow” seminar. My goal is for you to leave feeling empowered and motivated to succeed in closing that gap!

Carolyn McMahon

P.S. YOU are the “gamechangers!” Our day will be full of practical strategies that can make a real difference in the lives of your students. Your digital handbook will include ideas, strategies, and lessons that you can use immediately!

Who Should Attend

Preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers; Instructional Aides; Special Education Staff; Title I Staff; Literacy Specialists; and Administrators

Special Benefits of Attending

Extensive Resource Handbook
Each participant will receive an extensive digital resource handbook giving you access to countless strategies. The handbook includes:

  • Ideas for developing an educational approach designed to redirect your preschool and kindergarten students’ learning paths from starting out behind to finding a path of success
  • Dozens of ready-to-use strategies designed to help break the cycle of failure before it begins
  • Important practical take-aways from seminal research studies on the reasons for the readiness gap and practical ideas for how to close it
  • Powerful strategies for developing a learning environment that fosters a growth mindset, optimal language development, increased empathy, and a better sense of inclusion
For in-person seminars, registrants will also receive a printed copy of the resource handbook as long as their registration is received in the BER office at least 15 calendar days before the event.

Share Ideas with Other Educators
This seminar provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to share ideas with other educators interested in increasing the success of their pre-k and kindergarten students.

Consultation Available
This seminar provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to share ideas with other educators interested in increasing the success of their pre-k and kindergarten students.

Semester Credit Option
UMASS Logo Up to four graduate level professional development credits are available with an additional fee and completion of follow-up practicum activities. Details for direct enrollment with University of Massachusetts Global, a nonprofit affiliate, will be available at this program.

Meet Inservice Requirements
At the end of the program, each attendee will receive a certificate of participation that may be used to verify hours of participation in meeting continuing education requirements.

(Back to Top)