PD 4 Paras

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Your co-teachers

Dr. Julie Causton

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A best selling author, inspiring speaker, and inclusion advocate, Dr. Julie Causton began her career as an educator and then 14 years as a tenured professor at Syracuse University. In 2012 she founded Inclusive Schooling, a premiere company solely devoted to delivering professional development which transforms schools and lives. She has spent the past 25 years nearly obsessed with discovering innovative practices and teaching others about inclusive education through her wildly engaging presentations.

Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak

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A highly sought-after speaker, accomplished author, and educators’ educator. Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak began her career as an early interventionist and then spent 16 years as a tenured professor at Kent State University. Since 2013 she has followed her true passion for designing and delivering transformative professional development. As a result, she has accumulated over 50,000 hours of helping educators and leaders work from a place of compassion, hope, and love in locations from Cincinnati to Singapore.

Session-by-Session resources

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 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)
      • Blank Ladder [pdf]
      • Ladder with examples (not discussed in the video) [pdf]
    • Practice point about visual supports [pdf]
    • Visual choice during tough times [vlog]
  • Self-correcting materials resources [blog
  • 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]
  • Building Relationship Resources [link]

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition

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

Session 3: Decoding the ABC’s 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 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)

Options to Demonstrate Learning

Option 1: Recording Space.

Click here to download a guided note-taking PDF.

Option 3: Exploration Plan.

Click here for a fillable PDF to plan your learning.

Option 2: Quizzes.

Click here to download fun quizzes for each session. 

Option 4: Learning Contract

Click here for a fillable PDF to track your learning. 

Bonus Masterclass

Bonus Masterclass #1 - Supporting Big and Challenging Behaviors

Link to the recording: https://vimeo.com/509035768


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 Masterclass #2 - The Ladder of Independence

Link to the recording: https://player.vimeo.com/video/551475332

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

  • Boy in the bubble article [pdf]
  • Ladder of support [pdf]
  • Material supports [blog]
  • More about visual supports [pdf]
  • Resources on supporting friendships [blog]
  • Paraprofessionals Handbook [link]
Bonus Masterclass #3 - 100 Ways to Adapt Anything!

Link to the recording: https://vimeo.com/575458412/65b0c8a38c

Here is the link to the resource shared during the third masterclass:

  • 100 Ways to adapt Anything [pdf]


Bonus Masterclass #4 – Providing Supports on the Fly!

 Link to the recording: https://vimeo.com/625493188

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

  • 20 Ways to Provide Silent Support [pdf]
  • 100 Ways to adapt Anything [pdf]

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.

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!

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