Event Details

Online Course: Building Rigorous & Robust PreK-3 Learning Environments

  • 26 Sep 2017
  • 29 Sep 2017
  • Online & In-person (see description)


  • Please note: At least two registrants from any school must enroll. Registrants must enroll individually.

This FREE online course, focused on communication and oral language development, is designed to improve student learning, classroom community and the culture of collaborative inquiry in schools.

This course is sponsored by the MN Department of Education and the MN Elementary School Principals' Association. Course content is provided by the University of North Carolina's FirstSchool program.

Who should enroll?
PreK-3rd grade educators, principals, directors and instructional coaches are invited to enroll. At least two colleagues should enroll from any school, agency or program.  

Course details
  • Two tracks are available: one for administrators and an educator track tailored to PreK-3 teachers (see below for more details)
  • Comprises 12 modules on topics such as conversation, formative assessment, equity, collaboration, student communication in literacy and math instruction, and more
  • Participants will attend a regional kickoff meeting the week of September 25
  • Course runs from late September 2017 and will conclude in April 2018

  • Each module requires approx. 1.5 hours online plus time to do your assignment.
  • Modules are designed to be self-paced, but coursework must be completed within a two-week window.
  • Participants will attend a regional kickoff meeting the week of September 25 (see below for specific dates). You must select which date you will attend in the course registration.
Educator Track
  • Examine research and practice strategies supporting the use of oral language and vocabulary in classrooms, essential for student engagement and success in literacy and mathematics.
  • Use student communication to meet learning standards and assess student progress.
  • Earn 40 CEUs!
Administrator Track
  • Help lead teachers to implement effective, research-based practice in scaffolded instruction, intentional teaching & planning, small group interactions, vocabulary development and more.
  • Support teachers in using student communication to assess progress and meet learning standards.
  • Understand how child development impacts social and academic learning.
  • Earn 40 CEUs!
Regional kickoff meeting
Participants will work with Dr. Adam Holland and Gisele Crawford and a course liaison in-person during the week of September 25. Participants are required to attend the kickoff in order to enroll in the course.
  • September 26 - 1-5pm, TIES Event Center (St. Paul)
  • September 27 - time TBD, NJPA Co-op (Staples)
  • September 28 - time TBD, Mankato (site TBD)
Please note: schools are responsible for covering their own travel costs and substitute teachers.

Please contact the MESPA office at mespa@mespa.net or 651.999.7310.

Event Cancellation Policy 

A completed online registration constitutes a bill and a commitment to pay for a full seminar payment. Due to MESPA's incurred costs (i.e. materials, meals, speaking fees, etc.) please know that unfortunately, we are unable to grant refunds within two weeks from the start of the professional development. Prior to the two week mark, we are able to issue a 50% refund.

For Institute Exhibit registrations, please see the Cancellation Policy at mespa.net/exhibit.

Hotel Accommodations

Attending a professional development event in the Twin Cities? Consider booking at the Radisson Hotel in Roseville. For reservations, call 651.636.4567 and ask for the MESPA rate - $109 a night! 

MESPA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

1667 Snelling Avenue North, Suite C101
St. Paul, Minnesota, 55108

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