NEW! TransformEd Summer Workshop Series 2015

Happy first of May! 

In Greece, where my relatives are from, today is a national holiday similar to our Labour Day.

May, also happens to be my favourite month!  Though I was born in May, and perhaps that is part of the reason, I simply adore all of the sunshine and Spring flowers!  Do you ever stare upon the blossoms and wonder about the beauty of our natural world? It intrigues and inspires me...

With warm weather in the air, it is difficult not to dream of summer. At the start of this new season, I will be offering a second round of my TransformEd workshops.  There will be two re-visited from the Winter (in case that you missed them!) and two that are brand new!

Come and learn with me in summer weather! 

For complete 2 page handout to download and email click here.

Thank you from my heart to all of you who came out and supported this new endeavour of mine!  I am at a loss of words with how to express my sincerest gratitude... I honestly didn't realize that posting a flyer on my blog would have such a reach! 

Special "thank you's" go out to:   

  • My former student Ava Augustin and her wonderful family for openly sharing their perspectives on student portfolios

  • Vikki Tsekouras of VCM for presenting about her photography tips and documenting our third workshop (see all of the high quality photos from today's blog post).  For more information about her and her specialty, wedding photography, visit her page.

  • All of the amazing participants who not only attended, were engaged in collaborative/critical discussions, wrote testimonials, and offered to help with the registration table, cleaning up materials, and even loading my car!

  • And last but certainly not least, my husband, Arsenios Vergis who put up with me from the moment that I had this wild idea to offer workshops on my blog just a month prior to our wedding, for printing and assembling the handouts, organizing registration lists, and most importantly encouraging me to use St. George's Golf and Country Club.

I have taken the feedback, as well as my own reflections from the sessions, and created some new learning opportunities.  

The sessions will continue to offer:
  • a welcoming, thoughtfully prepared, and inspiring professional learning environment
  • delicious food
  • presentations that will support and challenge you on your learning journey
  • interactive sessions with hands-on learning extensions
  • carefully created handouts and googledoc link with resources
  • networking opportunities
  • critical discussions
  • vendor sales
  • receipts emailed to you with your confirmation in case you are able to get reimbursement  
  • accessible location in Toronto with plenty of parking

Some changes include:
  • two new topics
  • updated images and content
  • sessions are an hour longer and end at 2:00 p.m.
  • brunch will be served instead of breakfast and will begin half way through the session at 11:30 a.m.
  • inspiring colleagues of mine will be joining us as guest speakers 
  • certificates will be issued for each session that you complete with the number of hours
  • draw with prizes

TransformEd Summer Workshop Series:
Detailed Session Descriptions 

Travel to Reggio Emilia: Rediscover the early childhood approach that has inspired educators globally 

For the last five years, I have been inspired by an early childhood approach that comes from a small town in Reggio Emilia Italy.  With every article that I read, professional learning session that I attended (graduate courses, conferences, school visits, etc.), and later experiencing the schools first hand in Italy, I became more and more fascinated by this way of teaching, thinking, and being.  Finding this educational philosophy has undoubtedly changed my life!

This Spring, I have the absolute privilege to be attending the Ontario Reggio Association's Study Tour to Reggio Emilia, and will be re-visiting the lectures and famous Italian schools. Join me on this journey and travel to a place where the image of the child is at its finest.

Special guest: My roomate from the study tour, Ellen Brown, a PhD student and friend of mine from York University.  

Inquiry planning: Finding a balance between an emergent curriculum and standard curriculum

Learn how to a follow a child's interests and wonders, while also considering the Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten program document.  In this workshop, an example of an inquiry project will be shared, ways to use pedagogical documentation to support planning, and how to ensure that all students leave Kindergarten able to read and write.  Participants will have the opportunity to look at different ways to begin a inquiry, as well as a hands-on-learning opportunity to support their understanding of the inquiry process.

Thinking and learning time made visible: iPhoneography and Portfolios, a combined session

Part 1: Portfolios: Perspectives of the educator team, child, and family

As a Full-Day Kindergarten Educator, I collect a lot of documentation throughout the school day and year.  Learn how to organize the documentation within a documentation portfolio. Participants will be shown examples of portfolios, and they will get the opportunity to hear what is included inside of them and why from different perspectives (the educator team, child, and family).

Part 2: iPhoneography: How photography can enhance your teaching and inquiry work

Have you ever wondered how to improve your photography?  After four years of using my iPhone to document student learning, I have several tips to offer you in this area!  This workshop is geared towards educators who photograph play-based and inquiry-based learning and are sharing these learning pictures using social media or on the walls of their classroom.  Participants will have the chance to see the progression and evolution of my photography, as well as practise using photography apps that can easily be incorporated into their program.  Any smart phone or digital camera is welcome to this session!

Getting started in Full-Day Kindergarten: Bringing it all together and feeling more prepared for September

Are you new to FDK? Do you know what the big ideas are? Some of them include: play-based learning, the learning environment as third teacher, inquiry-based learning, self-regulation, and pedagogical documentation. Discover how they are all interrelated and begin to plan the first day, week, and month of the new school year. Several examples will be shared of starting points for September that will support how participants might begin to transform their thinking, space, and program. 

*** Register through paypal at the end of the blog post...

Previous Participant Testimonials:

"Joanne's workshops are truly inspirational for every teacher at every stage in their practice.  I've been teaching for 15 years and am walking away with fresh ideas to implement with my students. Thank you!" -Bali Punia

"Thank you Joanne for sharing your experiences and your journey so openly and honestly.  I appreciated the hands on elements in the 3 workshops and the exchange of ideas from other participants.  I feel fortunate to have been able to attend all 3 sessions as this final workshop just pulled together all of the elements for me.  What I have learned, is that I am on a journey - Not only discovering my students but myself as well." -Janice Prazoff

"Joanne's workshops have an inspirational way of making the impossible seem possible! I left her portfolio workshop knowing what I wanted to achieve." -Emily Boag

"Always inspiring and informative, the TransformEd workshops allow educators at various tags of their learning journeys to collaborate, network, and enhance their teaching practices." -Antonella Fabbro

"As a new FDK teacher, Joanne's Workshops were great at giving me opportunities to learn about integral parts of the FDK program in a fun, hands-on way!" -Shirley

"Joanne's winter workshops have been an opportunity for me to extend my learning beyond the walls of my classroom. It has allowed me to dig deeper in my understanding around inquiry, planning, and portfolios.  Being able to network, share my learning and leave feeling inspired, means that each session was well-planned, thought-provoking, and relevant. Thank you Joanne for offering up your time to educate others, share you practice, and inspire many! Many thanks, Jocelyn. #4EverInspired" -Jocelyn Schmidt 

"Engaging, intelligent and thoughtful... Inspiring for any FDK educator..." -Fiona Flint

"Being an early childhood studies student, it has been wonderful attending the TransformEd workshops and being able to gain new insight into various topics such as inquiry-based learning and portfolios.  This series was a great way to connect with other educators on what I have been taught in my studies! Amazing! Joanne is so passionate and this definitely comes through during her presentations.  I would love to attend future workshops put on by Joanne." -Lauren Coolahan

Comment regarding the student's perspective on portfolios: "The best think I heard all day... Being a teacher is a gooiest thing... Out of the mouth of babes... Because you let us learn... Well, thank you Ava!" -Mary Pasquali

"How enthusiastic and devoted you are to teaching and learning from young children! So inspiring!" -Christina Matier

"Another fun, interactive, and informative session! Thank you for sharing your experiences!" -Allyson Slee

"Joanne provided such a rich experience filled with amazing information, resources, speakers, tips, and tricks.  If you have a chance to hear her speak you will be welcomed to such a warm environment and will leave feeling renewed and inspired to rethink your teaching practice." - Darci Gallinger

"I find that many workshops inspire me but leave me without a place to start.  The two that I attended in this series left me inspired, yet not overwhelmed.  Hopeful." -Jennifer Davidson

"Thank you/ chi-miigwech Joanne! A wonderful morning morning looking at capturing what students say, do, and represent while being accountable and differentiating.  Enjoyed networking and the venue." -Towana Brooks

"I am always deeply inspired by Joanne's classroom practice.  She brings her classroom and students' experiences to life and her joy of teaching and learning are infectious!  I have always received helpful tips to try right away when I return to my classroom.  There are questions posed that cause me to reflect on my own practice as well.  I am deeply grateful to be allowed to have been able to attend this workshop!" -Tammy Sault 

Thank you for taking the time to write or email your testimonials. They truly motivated me to offer my second series!

If you register by June 1st, your name will automatically be entered in a draw with prizes to be won before the end of the session.

Location: St. George's Golf and Country Club 1668 Islington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M9A 3M9

Timing: 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Each summer session costs $132.74 + HST = $150.00.  An email will be sent to you confirming your registration and I will attach your receipt.  

All sessions are non-refundable.  The golf course requires that I confirm the number of participants, to ensure that they have adequate space, staffing, and food.  Even on a snowy day, they would not provide me with my money back.  You may, however, give your spot to someone else and email me about the changes so that I may update my list.  Think of this like a ticket to a concert, once you register, your spot is confirmed. Thank you for your understanding with this...


TransformEd Summer Workshop Series

Please note that some of my previous sessions filled up within the first week of my blog post, so I strongly suggest signing up sooner rather than later, in order to avoid disappointment! 

Thank you and I hope to see you soon! :)

The wider the range of possibilities we offer children,

the more intense will be their motivations,

and the richer their experiences.

                                                                     -Loris Malaguzzi

Share your thoughts :

  1. Can teacher candidates attend these workshops?

  2. I am taking the Kindergarten Part 2 course and our instructor gave us the link to your blog as a resource. I must say I am so inspired by all the work you have done.
    I was wondering if there are any openings for either of your workshops at the end of June or beginning of July. If you could post as I can't get the link to your email to work.
    Thank you in advance

    1. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is space. Just visit the paypal registration within this blog post to save your spot!

  3. Hi Joanne, is there still space in your workshops for next week?

  4. Yes, but please contact me via email before you register to ensure that I can contact the venue in time!

  5. Hi Joanne,

    Just wondering if there is still availability for Friday's workshop. I emailed you, but you are no doubt extremely busy this week. Hoping I can still squeeze in.


    1. Hello Michelle! You can register, but I have already printed all of the handouts and certificates. Are you okay with having everything digitally?

  6. Hi Joanne,
    Could i get your email.
    Registered for the July 3rd course but have not received confirmation or receipt from you

    1. Hello! It may be a paypal error. Please email me at