Lively and entertaining, Rae’s early childhood education keynotes are also 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 presents her speeches to parents, educators, schools, and professional groups throughout North America.

  • 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

Keynotes

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?

Based on her book of the same name, this keynote explores the possibilities for children’s lives and education if teachers, parents, and policymakers fully comprehended child development. What changes would occur in schools and homes? How would it affect you? Rae invites you to join her in imagining a brand new world in which the unique and magical period of childhood is understood and valued.

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!

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.

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!

Workshops

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.

Break Them Out of the Mold!: Creativity in the Age of Standardized Testing

Why is creativity important, and why, in this country, does it peak at about age 4? Structured classroom environments, insistence upon conformity, academic accountability, and emphasis on competition are often blamed for squelching creative potential. Yet the characteristics of creativity are what today’s kids will most need as they venture into an ever-changing future. This presentation offers ideas and encouragement to those hoping to nurture creativity, self-expression, and problem-solving skills.

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

  • “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
  • “We’re still raving about your presentations. The feedback from both the public and staff was uniformly positive. …You have a gift for presenting research and practical ideas in a fun, interactive way. The activities you suggested can be put into use immediately and we are all looking forward to giving them a try.”

    Betsy Brainerd, Family Place Librarian, Arapahoe Libraries