Whether offered in person or virtually, Rae’s presentations are lively, entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking. Join her as she explores the possibilities for a world in which the whole child is recognized, respected, and taught — and where children experience childhood as it was meant to be!

Rae welcomes the opportunity to bring her message to parents, educators, schools, and professional groups!

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • National Association for Family Child Care
  • American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
  • State WIC organizations and health departments
  • Education conferences, resource & referral agencies, and schools in 46 states and Canada
  • Head Start Bureau
  • Eric Jensen’s Learning Brain Expo
  • Eric Jensen’s Learning Brain Expo
  • American Montessori Society
  • Southern Early Childhood Association
  • Universities and colleges
  • Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals


Educating the Whole — Thinking, Feeling, Moving — Child

Developmentally appropriate practice dictates that we educate the whole child in an integrated fashion. But more than ever the trend is toward the mind and body as separate entities, with children regarded as existing only from the neck up. We have the research that proves how children learn; now we have to implement best practice! Rae’s presentation informs, entertains, and empowers as she explores the possibilities for uniting mind and body.

What If Everybody Understood Child Development?

Early childhood is a unique and special period in the lifespan. Or, as Rae likes to say, young children are “a whole different animal.” But, often, those responsible for making decisions for children’s lives and education – parents, teachers, administrators, and policymakers – are unaware of, or have forgotten, this simple fact. Based on her book of the same name, this presentation serves as a reminder, offering research on how children learn best and revealing why “earlier is better” is a myth. Rae invites you to join her as she imagines education in a world where everybody understood child development!

Why Does Sitting Still Equal Learning?

This presentation debunks the myth that the mind and body are separate and unrelated and demonstrates why it’s vital that active learning and physical activity be part of the classroom and the school day, for the sake of both the body and the mind. The research is clear: sitting increases fatigue, reduces concentration, and contributes to behavior challenges. Movement is the solution to all of that!

Childhood at Risk: How Can We Rescue It?

In her nearly four decades as an early childhood consultant, Rae has seen trends come and go. Recently, however, early childhood professionals from all around the country tell her the same three stories. Rae informs, entertains, and empowers as she shares these three surprising trends and explores the possibilities for a world in which child development is understood, the whole child is recognized and respected, and children experience childhood as it was meant to be!


Whole-Child and Active Learning Professional Development Workshops Include:

Active Learning Across the Curriculum:
Teaching the Way They Learn!

The domains of child development — physical, social/emotional, and cognitive — are so intertwined in the early years that a child can’t learn something in one domain without learning something in the others. To truly educate the whole child, we must recognize children as thinking, feeling, moving human beings who learn through all their senses. In this workshop, participants explore activities that will offer children meaningful and long-lasting educational experiences in art, language arts, mathematics, music, science and social studies.

Trouble-Free Transitions:
They’re Possible If We Understand Child Development

If there were a list of things that young children aren’t developmentally ready to do, at the top of that list would be being still and being quiet. Yet those are the two requirements — along with forming an orderly line — we try to impose on young children during most transitions. And rarely does any of it work! But if we handle transitions in imaginative and developmentally appropriate ways — and plan them, as other parts of the program are planned — transitions will be both trouble-free and filled with important learning experiences.

Acting Out!: Avoid Behavior Challenges in the Early Childhood Classroom

Over the course of four decades in the early childhood field, Rae has heard a lot of things from a lot of teachers and caregivers; and all too often lately she hears laments from early childhood professionals about how disruptive the children’s behavior has become. Why are we seeing demanding and disrespectful behavior in young children? Rae believes it’s due in large part to changes in our education system, a failure of policymakers to understand children and child development, and misinformation parents are receiving about childhood. In this presentation, you and Rae will explore how letting children be children can create a friendly and joyful atmosphere in your setting.

Jump into Literacy!

Policy may have changed, but children haven’t; they still need to experience concepts to fully understand them. That includes concepts falling under the heading of literacy and the language arts. This presentation explores the use of movement and music as tools in the promotion of children’s emergent literacy.

Jump into Math & Science!

Policy may have changed, but children haven’t; they still need to experience concepts to fully understand them. That includes concepts falling under the heading of math and science. This presentation explores the use of movement and music as tools in the exploration of and acquisition of knowledge in early mathematics and science.

Physical Fitness & the Early Childhood Curriculum

Should children’s physical fitness be the responsibility of early childhood professionals? Yes! We are responsible for children’s bodies as well as their minds. This participatory workshop explores the concept of developmentally appropriate physical activity, the five health-related components of physical fitness, and ideas for helping young children to become lifelong movers!

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Learn what others are saying

  • “Thank you for an amazing presentation about child development! Excellent information to kick off our virtual conference.”

    Ed Cosentino, President

    Ed Cosentino, President, Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals
  • It was a wonderful morning of learning and the teachers loved your presentation. Thank you for sharing such a powerful message!

    Jane Richardson, Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator, Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Thank you for all your encouragement, sense of humor and WEALTH of knowledge!!!! I had been experiencing some serious \”burn out\” and felt as though I needed to get out of the field. You were inspiring and helped me look at my teaching methods and where my frustration was really coming from… You will never know just how many people you have inspired, truly. Keep talking….we are listening. And someday….hopefully those making choices for all of us will hear you too. Cheers!!

    Celeste Tarrant, Lead Preschool Teacher MSSU’s Lion Cub Academy Joplin, MO
  • I had the pleasure of sitting through your presentation at the NAEYC conference and I am so glad I did!! We made changes immediately when I got back to work! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!

  • “You’re an inspiration to me. I have to tell you that I was starting to question the direction of ECE and then I went to your presentation and was refilled with the reasons I got into the field. Thank you for giving me back my purpose.”

  • I wish we could bring you to this event every year!! Your inspiration and call to advocacy are truly outstanding!!”

  • “… I saw her present … in an auditorium with theatre seating, more than 500 people, and she had everyone on their feet moving around ….The down side is that she’s a hard act to follow so your next conference has to be really special!!”

  • “Rae is a magnificent presenter and a great motivating person…I’ve taught school 28 years and you are one of the best presenters ever.”

    Jacquie Hall Herne, Pre-K Teacher
  • “Rae’s ideas, comments and suggestions are wonderful! They can be easily adapted for any pre-school program, even my pre-school handicapped class of 3-5 year olds.”

    Rebecca Wanatick, Preschool Handicapped Teacher
  • “Thank you so much for spending three days with us here at Miami University….I cannot thank you enough for the time, energy, professionalism, and ‘down-to-earthism’ you displayed during the entire visit.”

    David E. Belka, Physical Education, Health & Sport Studies, Miami University, Oxford OH
  • “I wanted to thank you so much for the successful workshop you presented at the college during the Week of the Young Child. The energy and interest you generated in movement, music and learning are important for child care professionals…”

    Anita Ward French, ECE Program Coordinator, New Hampshire Community Technical College
  • “Rae practices what she preaches – we hear it, we see it, we say it, and we do it!”

    Cheryl Burns-Stephens, Training & Curriculum Specialist