Dashboard: PD 4 Paras

Welcome and Introductions From Your Course Facilitators

Dr. Julie Causton

Introduction Video

Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak

Introduction Video

Everyone will want to know this!

Dr. Julie Causton and Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak are offering four FREE Paraprofessional Master Classes in 2021.

Anyone can attend; however, these master classes are specifically geared for paraprofessionals supporting students Pre-K through 12th grade.

Enroll HERE for free and you will receive details via email on how to join the FREE Master Classes.

You can attend one, two, three, or ALL four. You only need to register once! We’ll use the same ZOOM meeting link for all four master classes.


  • February 5, 2021 – Supporting Big and Challenging Behaviors
  • May 12, 2021 – Using the Ladder of Independence
  • July 14, 2021 – 100 Ways to Adapt Anything
  • Oct. 6, 2021Providing on the Fly Supports

All sessions are from 3:30-4:30 pm Eastern Time and will be hosted via ZOOM.

These master classes also provide a sneak peek into our PD 4 Paras series, which you are already a part of.

General Course Info

ZOOM Meeting Information

Topic: PD 4 Paras Live January 2021
Time: Jan 8, 2021 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Fri, 4 occurrence(s)
Jan 8, 2021 02:00 PM
Jan 15, 2021 02:00 PM
Jan 22, 2021 02:00 PM
Jan 29, 2021 02:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 832 1054 8941
Passcode: 005611
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Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
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Meeting ID: 832 1054 8941
Passcode: 005611

Buy the 2nd Edition


Resources for Live Sessions

Session 1: Going beyond the label

Session 1 Key PPT slides [pdf]

Session 1 Recording [YouTube with CC]

Packet of Printable Handouts [pdf]

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]

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition

  • Positive Student Profile [pdf] (p. 65)
  • Multiple Intelligences [pdf] (p. 69)
  • Person First Language [pdf] (p. 74)

Session 2: Helping kids become independent

Session 2 Key PPT slides: [pdf]

Session 1 Recording [YouTube with CC]

Packet of Printable Handouts [pdf]

Related Resources

  • 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]
  • You Are Key: Strategies for helping children feel safe and secure [blog]
  • Self-correcting materials resources [blog] [Pinterest board]
  • Visual Supports
    • “Ladder within a ladder” – visual support hierarchy (pdf)
    • Practice point about visual supports [pdf]
    • Visual choice during tough times [vlog]

Added after Session 2

  • Ideas for One Teach/One Make Multi-sensory [pdf]
  • Making Time When There Isn’t Time [pdf]
  • Boy in the Bubble research article [pdf]
  • All about sequences in early development and learning
    • This video is part of a series titled, “Every child is a triangle.” And in this video, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak explores why we start instruction with knowing “what's your what.”  Length: 19 minutes, 49 secondsThree types of outcomes (aka three types of “what”): Common, Targeted, and Individualized. Read Chapter 3 from our Blended Practices text to unpack each.

      • Sorting outcomes handout [pdf]
      • Starting with “what”: Samples of sorted outcomes [pdf]
      • What vs. how and sorting needs [audio]

      For those wanting to go deeper, check out this podcast on what comes before counting.

      Scope vs. Sequence

      • Video where Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak describes the differences between scope and sequences in early childhood education. You will learn about scope and sequences and how those shape educators on what, when, and how they teach [video] (Length: 14 minutes, 33 seconds).
      • Podcast 26: Three Sequences for Designing and Delivering Meaningful Experiences [link]: For this podcast, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak explores how you can understand children go from point A to point B in regards to scope and sequence element of curriculum framework. She discusses three sequences: developmental, pedagogical, and logical sequencing (Length: 23 minutes, 44 seconds).
      • Podcast 31: 6 Reasons Why Pacing Guides (and other ploys to undermine teachers) Won’t Improve Student Outcomes [link]: For this podcast, Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak provides 6 reasons on why pacing guides and means to standardized curriculum does not young children succeed (Length: 20 minutes, 44 seconds).

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition

  • Common Activities and Supports Table 6.2 page 87 [pdf]

Only a portion of the session was recorded…sorry about that!

Session 3: Decoding the ABCs of the IEP (and IFSP)

Session 3 Key PPT slides [pdf]

Session 3 Recording [Vimeo] {YouTube with CC]

Session 3 Bonus Recording With Extra Tools and Tips [Vimeo] [YouTube with CC]

Packet of Printable Handouts [pdf]

Session 3 Related Resources (optional):

  • Watch this YouTube video on the “four filters” for identifying meaningful IEP goals
  • Two Minute Tip for a Better IEP: One BIG Special Ed Myth you Need to Know [blog]
  • Achieving inclusion [pdf]
  • Pre-K IEP Makeover e-Book [pdf]
  • Training YouTube video on how to write a meaningful PLAAFP
  • IEP one-pager [pdf]
  • What Works Map [pdf]
  • All About Me Map [pdf]

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition (nothing specific)


Session 4: Dealing with big emotions

Session 4 Key PPT slides [pdf]

Packet of Printable Handouts [pdf]

Recorded Session [Viemo]

Related Resources

  • Watch this video about how to “teach before the peak”
  • Listen to not yet launched podcast about the use of praise, rewards, and punishment
  • Podcast on the case against ignoring
  • Bag the behavior charts [blog]
  • Beyond Treats and Timeouts: Humanistic Behavioral Supports in Inclusive Classrooms [pdf]
  • The Boy on Red and the Problem with Public Behavior Charts [link]
  • Zig Zag [pdf]
  • You Are Key [pdf]

If you have a copy of Dr. Causton’s book, “The Paraprofessional’s Handbook for Effective Support in Inclusive Classrooms” you can read more about labels in chapter 5.

From The Handbook for Paraprofessionals 2nd Edition (See Chapter 8)

Bonus Sessions (aka Extra Credit):

Bonus #1: Frequently Asked Questions from Paras

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 #2: Otto's Advice

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 a…”.  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.”

Bonus #3: More Tips and Tools

At the end of Session 3…we stayed on a bit longer and walked through even more tips and tools. 

Bonus #4: Masterclass on Supporting Big and Challenging Behaviors

Bonus #5: Masterclass on The Ladder of Independence
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]

Video: https://player.vimeo.com/video/551475332

Bonus #6: Masterclass - 100 Ways to Adapt Anything!
Here are the links to resources shared during the masterclass:
Handout: https://pdforparas.s3.amazonaws.com/100+tips+to+adapt+anything.pdf

Video: https://player.vimeo.com/video/575458412

Three + Ways Paraprofessionals Can Demonstrate Learning

Option 1: Quizzes

Option 2: Recording Space

Option 3: More Ideas

Stay Connected with Julie


Stay Connected with Kristie