We know that the early grades are a time of rapid learning. Students are not only acquiring math and reading and writing skills, but they are also learning how to manage their emotions, interact with others, and be good citizens.

The pandemic has made things hard on kids, hard on parents, and hard on teachers. Add to that the many social issues we are facing this year, including heightened racial tensions, unemployment, and natural disasters, and it’s a scary time for everyone, but especially for the kiddos. Our youngest learners should be running and playing with their peers, engaging in hands-on learning, and having very loud lunchtime conversations. Teachers everywhere have had to adjust to teaching remotely or with new health measures in place—and as a result, play has in most cases suffered.

Now more than ever, educators need help in navigating the unique challenges of educating early learners, providing them with a strong foundation that will carry through the rest of their schooling, supporting them in a safe and nurturing environment, and ensuring that they develop a positive identity.

As a result of this course, our hope is that you will see yourself as a more well-rounded educator with practical strategies that can be immediately implemented in your classroom, school, or district.

5 Additional Hours!

The certificate course allows you to earn 10 additional hours of professional development by adding the certificate course to your symposium registration.

Course Objectives

During this course, participants will...

  • Gain a deeper understanding of key issues facing early-grades educators and leaders today.

  • Learn to address the social-emotional needs of young children in times of crisis or difficulty.

  • Gain a better understanding of critical instructional and curricular approaches for students in early grades.

  • Learn to boost young students’ engagement and sense of agency.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome

    • Course Objectives

    • FAQs

    • Before We Begin

  • 2

    Assignment 1

    • Read - In a Time of Calamity, What Do Children Need From Us? by Justin Minkel

  • 3

    Assignment 2

    • Read - Teaching Young Children Remotely by Nell Duke

  • 4

    Assignment 3

    • Read - When Young Readers Get Stuck by Wendy Ostroff

  • 5

    Assignment 4

    • Read - To Be Young, Gifted, & Innocent by Alexs Pate

  • 6

    Assignment 5

    • Read - Classroom Management as a Curriculum of Care by Carla Shalaby

  • 7

    Assignment 6

    • Read -There's More to Emotional Self-Regulation Than Meets the Eye by Lee Ann Jung

  • 8

    Assignment 7

    • Read - Mindsets Matter for Early Identification by Amanda Morin

  • 9

    Assignment 8

    • Read- A Scientific Age by Cindy Hoisington

  • 10

    Assignment 9

    • Read- Honoring All Their Languages by Kelly Hill

  • 11

    Assignment 10

    • Read- Direct Instruction in Early Reading by Douglas Fisher & Nancy Frey

    • View - Show & Tell: A Video Column

  • 12

    Assignment 11

    • Read - Leading Alongside New Teachers of Color by Jill Harrison Berg

  • 13

    Assignment 12

    • Read- A United Front on Equity by Matthew Kay

  • 14

    Assignment 13

    • Read- Tell Us About

  • 15


    • Before You Go

    • Final Reflection & Survey

Forgot to add the certificate course to your symposium registration?

Call the ASCD Service Center at 1-800-933-2723.


  • Can the course be accessed via phone or tablet?

    The course platform is completely responsive, so you may use any device of your choice.

  • How is learning assessed?

    This course utilizes a combination of Knowledge Check quizzes and written/video/audio assignments.

  • How are assignments submitted?

    Assignments are uploaded directly onto the certificate platform and can be in any format that works best for the learner. This includes written, video, or audio.

  • Is there a final exam?

    No; there is no cumulative exam or summative assessment. Certificate requirements are met by completing each assignment, (reading/viewing and corresponding activity).

  • What is the deadline for completing the certificate course?

    All assignments should be completed by January 31, 2021, when the course will close.

Limited Availablity!

Course begins December 7, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.

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