PD 4 Paras on-Demand Part 1 Course Dashboard

Welcome and Introductions From Your Course Instructors

Dr. Julie Causton

Introduction Video

Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak

Introduction Video

How To Navigate This Course

Welcome again to our PD 4 Paras on-demand series.

There are a total of four lessons, which we refer to as sessions. 

You can start with the first one about going beyond the label, or with the topic of your choosing.

1. Each session has many pieces and parts. The first of which is a link to a video (each under 60 minutes). You are encouraged to journal as you go.

2. Each session has a video link as well as an audio only version (in case you want to move around while you learn), a graphic record of the key concepts covered, and a packet that includes a place for taking notes. We hope these will aide in your learning and overall experience.

3. Each session has links to handouts (tips and tools you can print and put into practice), our key PPT slides, and then tons of optional things to read, watch, or listen to…each designed to deepen your understanding and improve your practice.

4. Finally…because you're going to want to share what you have learned. You do NOT need our permission to share the tips and tools from this course. You can (and we hope you will), share everything with other team members. We do ask, however, that you not give others full access to the course dashboard. If there are other paraprofessionals who are interested, please have them contact us to save a seat for the next time the course is offered. 

Quick Links


Downloadable poster

Three+ Ways Paraprofessionals Can Demonstrate Learning

Option 1: Quizzes

Option 2: Recording Space

Option 3: More Ideas

On-Demand Session Content

Session 1: Going Beyond the Label

Session 1 Handouts and Resources

Session 1 Key PPT slides [pdf]

Session 1 Recording [Vimeo] [YouTube with CC]

Session 1 Packet of Printable Handouts [pdf]

Session 1 Related Resources:

  • Article on reframing “THAT” child [link]
  • The Golden Rule of Providing Support in Inclusive Classrooms: Support Others as You Would Wish to Be Supported [article]
  • Blog on how to reframe deficit oriented words [link]
  • Division for Early Childhood Concept Paper on Developmental Delay [link]
  • Winnie the Pooh video and PPT [YouTube]
  • What Works Map [pdf]
  • All About Me Map [pdf]

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition

  • Person First Language [pdf] (p. 74)
  • Positive Student Profile [pdf] (p. 65)
  • Supporting Using Strengths – Multiple Intelligences [pdf] (p. 69)
  • Fixed vs. Flexible Mindset [pdf] (p. 73)

Session 1: Graphic Record

Download [PNG] [PDF]

Session 2: Helping Kids Become Independent

Session 2 Handouts and Resources
Session 2 Key PPT slides [pdf]

Session 2 Recording [Vimeo] [YouTube with CC]

Session 2 Packet of Printable Handouts [pdf]

Session 2 Related Resources

  • Boy in the Bubble research article [pdf]
  • Ideas for One Teach/One Make Multi-sensory [pdf]
  • Visual Supports
    • “Ladder within a ladder” – visual support hierarchy (pdf)
    • Practice point about visual supports [pdf]
    • Visual choice during tough times [vlog]
  • Self-correcting materials resources [blog] [Pinterest board]
  • Check out this Inclusive Schooling podcast episode where Brianna Dickens shares many thoughts about the best and worst ways to help students create friendships in schools
  • Watch this video and listen to how Emma describes the people in her life who support her. What do you notice?
  • Blog series on supporting friendships [link]
  • Zig Zag Process [podcast]
  • Aim = To Connect; Toothpaste Theory of Relationships
    • Toothpaste theory from Fred Rogers Institute [link]
    • FaceBook live broadcast with Dr. KPF [link]

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition

  • Common Activities and Supports [pdf] (p. 87)

Session 2: Graphic Record

Download [PNG] [PDF]

Session 3: Decoding the ABCs of the IEP

Session 3 Handouts and Resources
Session 3 Key PPT slides [pdf]

Session 3 Recording [Vimeo] [YouTube with CC]

Session 3 Packet of Printable Handouts [pdf]

Session 3 Related Resources (optional):

  • Two Minute Tip for a Better IEP: One BIG Special Ed Myth you Need to Know [blog]
  • Long list of supplemental supports and services [pdf]
  • Pre-K IEP Makeover e-Book [pdf]
  • Training YouTube video on how to write a meaningful PLAAFP
  • IEP one-pager [pdf]
  • Achieving inclusion [pdf]
  • Link to the research related to inclusion [link]

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition

  • Cycle of Support [pdf] (p. 79)

Session 3: Graphic Record

Download [PNG] [PDF]

Session 4: Dealing With Big Emotions

Session 4 Handouts and Resources
Session 4 Key PPT slides [pdf]

Session 4 Recording [Vimeo] [YouTube with CC]

Session 4 Packet of Printable Handouts [pdf]

Session 4 Related Resources

  • Beyond Treats and Timeouts: Humanistic Behavioral Supports in Inclusive Classrooms [pdf]
  • The Boy on Red and the Problem with Public Behavior Charts [link]
  • Watch this video about how to “teach before the peak”
  • Read and listen to resources for the case against ignoring [link]
  • Pre-K Teach & Play Podcast 48: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly When it Comes to Praise, Rewards, and Punishment
  • Bag the behavior charts [blog]
  • You Are Key – the 4 S's [pdf]

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition

  • Connections Between Behaviors and Strengths [pdf] (p. 119)
  • Give them What they Need [pdf] (p. 123)

Session 4: Graphic Record

Download [PNG] [PDF]

Bonus Masterclass #1 – Supporting Big and Challenging Behaviors

Link to the recording: 


Here are links to the resources shared during the first masterclass:

  • Conversations with Dr. Stuart Shanker and/or Dr. Dan Siegel (click here and search episodes)
  • Need to order the Para Professional Handbook? Click here
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly When it Comes to Praise, Rewards, and Punishment [podcast]
  • Article – Beyond Treats and Timeouts [pdf]
  • Sample letter you can edit and share with your supervisor, principal, director of special education, etc. [pdf]

Bonus Mindset Before Methods Tips

  • Model what we want them to move toward.
  • For those with a copy of the “Paraprofessional's Handbook for Effective Support in Inclusive Classrooms” check out pages 112-114 for a few ideas on creative problem-solving.
  • Read, “How do I change the mindset of my staff?” [blog]
  • How to help adults stop using behavior charts: FB live and show notes [link]
  • Be watching for our Partnering with Paras pop-up webinar!

Bonus Q&A Session


23 of the top questions paraprofessionals have were asked and answered during this session [video]

Click here for a printable version of the PPT slides.

 “I do know how to spell mottoes this is artistic license.” – Otto Lana

Advice to Paraprofessionals

Meet Otto Lana…a 15 year-old who will inspire you to become a better human! This was a bonus session where we asked Otto to share his advice for paras.

Here's just one of the things he shared…

Please know your position is valued. Please treat your position as a profession … you are not “just an anything…”.  You are the thread that supports a day that can be seamless or completely unraveled.  You serve the function of interdependence you are an integral component to success.”

Learn more and connect with Otto here.

Connect with Julie

Connect with Kristie

Want even more? Excited to dig deeper? Then join us for Part 2 of our PD 4 Paras On-Demand Series.

As we’ve said time and time again, paraprofessionals play a vital role in the success of all our students. Enroll today in Part 2 of our PD 4 Paras series. It’s on-demand!


What: Four on-demand sessions facilitated by Dr. Julie Causton and Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak.

  • Session 1: Inclusive Education – Presuming Competence
  • Session 2: Providing Support Under An Invisibility Cloak
  • Session 3: Special Education Law-  What Do You Need To Know
  • Session 4: Before the Blow Up – Dealing with Student Crisis with Love

How: Once registered, you will receive a link to a password protected course dashboard. This is a different dashboard and password than the one used for Part 1 in this series.

Access To: As you know…the course dashboard gives you 24/7/365 access to the recordings of the sessions, practical tips and handouts, and tons of downloads with evidence-based practices for supporting children and students with diverse abilities.


Plus – Bonus Content:

  • Bonus #1: Bonus Session: How to ROCK “behavior management”
  • Bonus #2: Caring for yourself- while caring for others
  • Bonus #3: Advice for educational paraprofessionals with Stephen Hinkle, M.Ed.
  • Certificate of completion
  • Built in accountability features

Need full access for everyone in your district? Click here to learn about a district-wide license for PD 4 Paras Part 2 On-Demand.