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Coffee Chats with Brookes

Live chats with education professionals and expert authors



Looking for a new professional development opportunity? Tune in to this series of free video chats with Brookes authors, renowned experts on inclusive education, early childhood, and communication and language development. These brief, informal chats are a great chance to get tips and guidance from the experts on the topics you care about the most—and get your questions answered, too. We’re adding new presenters all the time, so check back often for the latest updates!

Upcoming Chats

Embedding Instruction for Young Children in Everyday Activities and Routines

Presented by Patricia Snyder and Crystal Bishop
Tue, May 26, 2020 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

This practical coffee chat will highlight how to capitalize on everyday activities and routines as embedded learning opportunities for young children. Examples from home and community activities will be shared.

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Using Early MTSS to Combat the Pandemic’s Educational Inequities

Presented by Judith J. Carta & Robin Miller Young, co-authors of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Young Children
Wed, May 27, 2020 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

School closures to halt the current pandemic have abruptly denied children access to critical educational opportunities, exacerbating the adverse impact of existing inequities. Young children who were already at risk for learning difficulties will often be the ones most likely to suffer as a result of missed learning experiences and stressful home environments. Join us in thinking about how multi-tiered systems of support may offer a framework for triaging children to their needed level of instructional support and delivering evidence-based intervention.

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Supporting Families in Uncertain Times

Presented by Angela Tomlin & Stephan Viehweg, co-authors of Tacking the Tough Stuff
Thu, May 28, 2020 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

During the current worldwide emergency, when our familiar routines are disrupted, many of us experience a heighten sense of uncertainty. Although information is widely available, it is often conflicting and hard to navigate. In this coffee chat, we acknowledge what we don’t know and offer an opportunity to think about ways to increase feelings of safety and regulation during this unprecedented time.

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Self-Determination/Goal Setting

Presented by Jennifer Mahdavi, author of A Teacher’s Guide to Progress Monitoring
Fri, May 29, 2020 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

Build the self-determination skills of an individual with a disability by assisting him or her in setting short-term goals. With so many schools being conducted virtually, students with disabilities may be struggling to make sense of their new home-school environments. Helping them take charge of each day by setting and working toward a goal could help relieve anxiety and increase productivity– in both students and adults!

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Watch On Demand

Promoting Language via Oral Storytelling

Presented by Trina D. Spencer, co-author of Assessment of Story Comprehension

Storytelling is a sophisticated and academically important language skill that combines both comprehension and expression. The importance of storybook reading is often emphasized over oral storytelling, but when books are less accessible, the power of oral storytelling can be used to promote children’s language skills. In this coffee chat, Dr. Spencer will give a brief presentation on oral storytelling, outlining the key components of stories and how to use them at home or via distance learning.

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A Comprehension Check-Up

Presented by Nancy Hennessy, author of The Reading Comprehension Blueprint

Comprehension is a complex task that involves multiple processes and skills. Informed instruction is only possible when educators understand how written language conveys meaning. Take a few minutes and check your comprehension fitness with this coffee chat from Nancy Hennessy, M.Ed.

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Using Small Group Games to Teach Vocabulary

Presented by David Dickinson, author of Connecting Through Talk

Using games with children is an effective means to teaching vocabulary. In this coffee chat, learn how to make adaptations to familiar games to play them with small groups of children. Dr. Dickinson will describe and show a teacher using a version of bingo in a way that has been proven to be effective.

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Optimizing Shared Book Reading

Presented by Howard Goldstein & Elizabeth Kelley, co-authors of Story Friends

As many parents are currently playing a bigger role in educating their children at home, reading with children is highly encouraged! This session will highlight how parents can optimize the learning accomplished during book reading and beyond. For example, a quick preview of books may help parents identify a few useful words that children do not know and a few questions to make children think.

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Bilingual Assessment

Presented by Elizabeth Peña, co-author of BESA

When we evaluation bilingual children who are suspected of having DLD, it is important to consider both languages. Yet, given the shortage of bilingual SLPs it is important to know what we can glean from testing in one language and how reliable that information might be given children’s level of exposure to their home language and the school language. Dr. Elizabeth Peña will talk about instances in which we can make fairly good diagnostic decisions when testing in English and how the home language can be considered in making diagnostic decisions.

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 How Mediation Restores the Respect

Presented by Ondine Gross, author of Restore the Respect

In this coffee chat school psychologist Ondine Gross will discuss how to facilitate restorative teacher-student mediation—an easy, evidence-based intervention that reduces disciplinary actions and promotes wellness in a school community. She will share how restorative mediation brings the teacher and student together in a positive meeting to model social, problem solving, and communication skills.

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Strategies for Engaging Parents (not Children!) during Tele-Intervention

Presented by Dana C. Childress, co-author of Family-Centered Early Intervention

Now, more than ever, early interventionists and home visitors need to use their coaching skills to engage parents during virtual visits conducted using video conferencing technologies. This coffee chat discusses 10 strategies that professionals can use.

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Using AEPSi to Engage in Authentic Assessment Virtually

Presented by Kristie Pretti-Frontczak and Jennifer Grisham-Brown, co-authors of AEPSi and Assessing Young Children in Inclusive Settings: The Blended Practices Approach

This session will highlight how authentic assessment for eligibility and progress monitoring can continue with AEPSinteractive, the online management system for Assessment Evaluation and Programming System for Infants and Children (AEPS), during the COVID-19 health crisis. You’ll learn about AEPSi features that promote teaming, family engagement, and transition between Part C and Part B services. Using AEPSi for OSEP reporting and kindergarten transition during this time will also be featured. An interactive Q&A will follow the presentation.

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Child Find: Identifying Children for IDEA Services in a Remote and Virtual Context

Presented by Marisa Macy, co-author of Developmental Screening in Your Community

Child Find is a legally mandated requirement for states to actively screen young children for disabilities in order to provide early intervention services. This screening is important to continue during the current health crisis. Learn ways to provide Child Find services through remote and virtual activities.

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Common Types of Reading Difficulties

Presented by Louise Spear-Swerling, author of The Power of RTI and Reading Profiles

This presentation, led by Louise Spear-Swirling, Ph.D., will focus on three common patterns of reading difficulties that are based in the “simple view of reading.” These patterns include specific word recognition difficulties; specific reading comprehension difficulties; and mixed reading difficulties, in which the student has difficulties involving both areas, word recognition and comprehension. Each profile and its implications for instruction will be discussed.

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Supporting Children’s Language and Preventing Challenging Behaviors at Home

Presented by Erin Barton & Justin Lane

Challenging behaviors are a concern for many parents, especially during stressful times. This coffee chat will discuss how supporting young children’s communication skills can help prevent challenging behaviors. Practical strategies for use at home by parents will be highlighted.

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STEM Experiences for All Children at Home

Presented by Angi Stone-MacDonald, author of Engaging Young Engineers

This session will explore strategies for supporting young children to participate in STEM inquiry experiences. All children benefit from building the problem-solving and critical thinking skills used in STEM learning, but we need to plan and create UDL-friendly environments to support their participation and learning. Dr. Stone-MacDonald will provide ideas and resources that families can use to support learning at home while having fun at the same time (and early childhood educators will gain valuable ideas too!).

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Let’s Talk to Parents: Strategies for Remote Parent Counseling and Training

Presented by Rhea Paul, co-author of Let’s Talk

Referencing practical guidance from her book, Let’s Talk, and podcast, Let’s Talk about Super Special Kids & Cake, expert Rhea Paul, Ph.D., CCC-SLP will present several ways for SLPs, particularly those working with young children, to talk with parents about language stimulation, behavior management, and family inclusion for their children with disabilities.

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Virtual Student Engagement

Presented by Tim Knoster & Danielle Empson

This session will focus on the translation of student engagement strategies from typical classroom settings to a virtual instruction environment. Emphasis will be placed on virtual means of providing students with Opportunities to Respond, student acknowledgement and encouragement procedures to enhance student motivation, as well as methods to engage students in virtual communication about course content.

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Supporting the Grieving Student During the Pandemic

Presented by David Schonfeld & Marcia Quackenbush, authors of The Grieving Student

Even outside of the context of a pandemic, bereavement is common in lives of children — 9 out of 10 children experience the death of a close family or friend and 1 out of 20 the death of parent. This session will review practical suggestions for how to support grieving students and make helpful academic accommodations. During the pandemic, the isolation children experience as they grieve a personal loss can be greatly increased and the value of support that an educator may provide especially critical; the coverage of the deaths associated with the pandemic may increase children’s questions and concerns about loss. The session will also highlight free online video and print materials for educator professional development in this area as well as online resources for parents, developed by the Coalition to Support Grieving Students (

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TPBA2: Can we do assessments via Zoom?

Presented by Toni Linder, Ed.D., author of TBPA2 and TPBI2

During the COVID-19 pandemic, schools, clinics, and centers are closed, but children still need to be identified for services. This discussion will focus on how to conduct a TPBA2 assessment using Zoom, Skype, or another video conference method.

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Using PICCOLO and HOVRS with Virtual Home Visits

Presented by Lori Roggman, Ph.D., and Mark Innocenti, Ph.D., co-authors of PICCOLO and Developmental Parenting

Continuing to help parents use their strengths to support children’s development remains critical during difficult times. The home visiting tools PICCOLO and HOVRS can be adapted to virtual home visiting in various ways. Join us for a discussion on how to complete observations using online meetings or self-recordings.

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Trauma-Sensitive Student Support During School Closures: Practical Strategies for Helping Caregivers Help Kids

Presented by Jen Alexander, author of Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools

As more and more schools close due to the spread of COVID-19, how can school teams work together to help caregivers provide trauma-sensitive supports for kids? Get practical guidance from trauma expert Jen Alexander in this informative and engaging webinar.

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Executive Skills and ADHD

Presented by Erik von Hahn, M.D., author of Essential Skills for Struggling Learners

This seminar is useful for any teacher who works with children who have ADHD. Erik von Hahn, M.D., will discuss the key executive skills of impulse control, working memory, and planning. He will also share strategies for what teachers and school teams can do to support children with ADHD in these critical skills.

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Self-Care in the Era of COVID-19

Presented by Dyane Carrere, author of The Re-Set Process (coming Fall 2020)

This session will identify several key brain-based methods for taking care of oneself and others in the midst of the stress of this pandemic. Practical simple considerations will be shared—many of which link to trauma-informed school practices.

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Supporting Each and Every Child During Transitions

Presented by Elena Soukakou, author of The Inclusive Classroom Profile (ICP™)

This session will discuss strategies and ideas that families and caregivers can use to support children ages 2-5 with transition between daily home-based routines and activities, as well as strategies for helping children to adapt to changes in their everyday life experiences.

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Making Curriculum Modifications in Minutes!

Presented by Nicole Eredics, author of Inclusion in Action

Learn how to make curriculum modifications for student with disabilities that are inclusive and are aligned with grade level content. With her practical insight from years of teaching in inclusive classrooms, Nicole Eredics will give participants tips, strategies, and resources they can use right away!

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