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Summer Learning Topics for Educators

Pick your summer learning topic.
Early Childhood Education
Differentiation, Gifted, and Special Needs
Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning

Early Childhood Education Summer Learning Track

Pick your Early Childhood Education subtopic.
• Social Emotional Learning / Behavior
• Movement and Learning
• Mindfulness

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Pick your SEL / Behavior tasks and start learning.
• Read a Post on the Free Spirit Blog
• Watch a Webinar and Earn Free CE Credit
• Study a Free Spirit Book
• Download a Printable Classroom Tool

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Pick a blog post and start reading.


Equip young children with the skills to express their feelings and manage the inevitable difficulties and stressors that come with being human. Read now.

By Goldie Millar and Lisa A. Berger, coauthors of 1-2-3 My Feelings and Me



Instead of taming children to fit into the environments we want to create, we can focus on creating classrooms that are more conducive to their developmental needs, building relationships, and being aware of implicit bias. Read now.

By Michelle Salcedo, M.Ed., author of Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior: Create Responsive Environments Where Young Children Thrive

When teachers create a safe environment, they can help heal trauma and build a better foundation for future learning. Read now.

By Molly Breen, M.A., ECE

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Watch a webinar and earn free CE credit.



Rather than punishing children for misbehavior, educators can help children develop the social and emotional skills they need to navigate the early childhood classroom and beyond. In this free webinar, author Michelle Salcedo will provide teachers with strategies to respond to—and prevent—challenging behaviors. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.

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Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).


When teachers create environments that focus on teaching skills rather than punishing individual actions, they reduce behavior problems and nurture the growth of all learners. This book expertly guides early childhood teachers to analyze their classroom elements, routines, and responses to children.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $34.99 $27.99
Save 20% with code SUMMERPD at checkout.
 Sale ends July 31, 2021.


by James Butler, M.Ed.

Teaching students how to focus and self-regulate at a young age can provide them with skills that will help throughout their schooling and adult lives. Like anyone, they need easy-to-remember tools and strategies to calm their minds and focus on the moment. This interactive, research-based curriculum helps preK and elementary teachers integrate simple, ready-to-use stretching, breathing, and reflective exercises as well as other mindfulness practices into their daily classroom routines.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $32.99 $26.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Katia S. Petersen, Ph.D.

Build attitudes of respect and caring, reduce problem behaviors, empower children to solve problems, and educate the whole child with this flexible, user-friendly activity guide. The lessons’ literature-based connections allow teachers to “build in” rather than “add on” social-emotional learning (SEL) throughout the day. Field-tested in classrooms across the United States, these activities when fully implemented have resulted in improved school climate, greater parent engagement, increased academic achievement, and reduction in discipline referrals.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $29.99 $23.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

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Download free, printable classroom tools.


The Helping Others Worksheet
from Activities for Building Character and Social-Emotional Learning PreK–K

Congratulations on completing your summer learning journey! Visit the Free Spirit Blog on July 13, 2021, to share what you learned and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate.

Return to the previous menu.

Pick your Movement and Learning tasks and start learning.
• Download a Printable Classroom Tool

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Pick a blog post and start reading.



Here are three playful dance games that reinforce listening skills, impulse control, and delaying gratification. Read now.

By Connie Bergstein Dow, author of From A to Z with Energy! 26 Ways to Move and Play



Author Connie Bergstein Dow shared two playful movement activities that work well for the beginning of the school year, or anytime. Read now.

Connie Bergstein Dow has nine tips for modifying movement activities to include all children. Read now.

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Watch a webinar.



In this free webinar, child development and movement authority Gill Connell and her coauthor Cheryl McCarthy explain the inseparable learning relationship between the body and the brain while revealing the natural, common sense truths behind why kids do what they do and how kids learn how to learn. Watch the webinar.

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Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).

A Moving Child Is a Learning Child: How the Body Teaches the Brain to Think (Birth to Age 7)
by Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy

Grounded in best practices and current research, this hands-on resource connects the dots that link brain activity, motor and sensory development, movement, and early learning. The expert authors unveil the Kinetic Scale: a visual map of the active learning needs of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children in primary grades that fits each child’s individual timetable.

Learn more and look inside

Paperback • $34.99 $27.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Move, Play, and Learn with Smart Steps: Sequenced Activities to Build the Body and the Brain (Birth to Age 7)
by Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy

Build the body-brain connection with step-by-step activities that help children develop physical, cognitive, social, and emotional foundations for early learning and school readiness. The easy-to-follow, full-color format includes diagrams and photos along with teaching tips to advance and automate children’s foundational physical capabilities while providing incremental challenge.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $34.99 $27.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Return to the previous menu.

Download free, printable classroom tools.

Coloring Page from From A to Z with Energy!

Congratulations on completing your summer learning journey! Visit the Free Spirit Blog on July 13, 2021, to share what you learned and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate.

Return to the previous menu.

Pick your Mindfulness tasks and start learning.

Pick a blog post and start reading.



Rookie year is unlike any other year in your teaching career. Here are five mindfulness-related tips to help you move through your first year of teaching and come back for year two. Read now.

By James Butler, M.Ed., author of Mindful Classrooms: Daily 5-Minute Practices to Support Social-Emotional Learning (PreK to Grade 5)



Your students come to your classrooms with many stressors that can and will impact their learning potential. Whether the stress is related to peers, home life, or school, it’s important to acknowledge that students need support to get ready to learn. Read now.

Another post by author James Butler, M.Ed.



Attention Restoration Theory indicates that just being in natural environments compels our nervous system to relax into a state of more focused attention and stress recovery. Read now.

By Molly Breen, M.A., ECE

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Watch a webinar and earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, participants will learn strategies for incorporating mindfulness into a daily self-care routine; explore mindful inquiry in their efforts to make sure all students have equitable access to education; engage with simple mindfulness practices that can be woven into synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities for students; explore how mindfulness fits into education during the coronavirus pandemic; and grow their general understanding of mindfulness in education.

Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.

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Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).

Intentional Teaching in Early Childhood: Ignite Your Passion for Learning and Improve Outcomes for Young Children
by Sandra Heidemann, M.S., Beth Menninga, M.A.Ed., and Claire Chang, M.A.

Through in-depth self-assessment and reflection, educators reexamine their teaching philosophies, integrate new knowledge and strategies into their practices, and strengthen the impact of their teaching on students. In the midst of a constantly changing education landscape, teachers will become more intentional in their practices and rediscover their unique purpose and passion for teaching young children.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Intentional Teaching in Early Childhood is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $29.99 $23.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by James Butler, M.Ed.

Teaching students how to focus and self-regulate at a young age can provide them with skills that will help throughout their schooling and adult lives. Like anyone, they need easy-to-remember tools and strategies to calm their minds and focus on the moment. This interactive, research-based curriculum helps preK and elementary teachers integrate simple, ready-to-use stretching, breathing, and reflective exercises as well as other mindfulness practices into their daily classroom routines.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $32.99 $26.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Return to the previous menu.

Download free, printable classroom tools.

Mindful Breathing Scripts from Mindful Classrooms

Coloring Page from Me and You and the Universe

Classroom Poster from Breath by Breath

Congratulations on completing your summer learning journey! Visit the Free Spirit Blog on July 13, 2021, to share what you learned and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate.

Return to the previous menu.

Differentiation, Gifted, and Special Needs Summer Learning Track

Pick your Differentiation, Gifted, and Special Needs subtopic.
• Differentiation
• Gifted Education
• Special Needs

Return to the top.

Pick your Differentiation tasks and start learning.
• Read a Post on the Free Spirit Blog
• Watch a Webinar and Earn Free CE Credit
• Study a Free Spirit Book
• Download a Printable Classroom Tool

Return to the previous menu.

Pick a blog post and start reading.



Dr. Richard M. Cash dispelled two common preconceived notions about differentiation: that it doesn’t work and that it is too hard to do. Read now.

By Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., author of Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century



In recognizing the diversity among students, educators must also affirm that not all students need to learn, think, and do in the same ways. Read now.

By Diane Heacox, Ed.D., author of Making Differentiation a Habit: How to Ensure Success in Academically Diverse Classrooms




Learn the six myths that lead teachers to believe learners are empowered when they might not be. Read now.

By Patti Drapeau, author of Inspiring Student Empowerment: Moving Beyond Engagement, Refining Differentiation

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Watch a webinar and earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, Susan Winebrenner, M.S., and Lisa M. Kiss, M.Ed., describe how to identify twice-exceptional (2e) students—students who are gifted and have another learning difference—and how to meet their academic and social-emotional needs in any classroom. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, Dina Brulles, Ph.D., and Karen Brown, M.Ed., will share practical strategies to successfully implement flexible grouping in order to build student collaboration and respond to students’ diverse learning needs and abilities. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, veteran educator Patti Drapeau shares practical, evidence-based practices that shift focus from engaging students to empowering them, and from differentiation to personalized learning. You’ll learn how school districts that have focused on student empowerment have seen a rise in test scores, motivation, attention, and self-confidence. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.

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Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).

Differentiating Instruction in the Regular Classroom: How to Reach and Teach All Learners
by Diane Heacox, Ed.D.

In this updated edition of the popular and trusted guide, Diane Heacox provides a practical introduction to differentiation and explains how differentiated instruction can work in a wide range of settings to provide variety and challenge in how teachers teach and in how students learn. Differentiated instruction lesson plans are provided as templates and forms, with examples to illustrate differentiation in many content areas.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Making Differentiation a Habit: How to Ensure Success in Academically Diverse Classrooms
by Diane Heacox, Ed.D.

In this updated edition of her guide to daily differentiated instruction, Diane Heacox outlines the critical elements for success in today’s classrooms. She gives educators evidence-based differentiation strategies and user-friendly tools to optimize teaching, learning, and assessment for all students.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Making Differentiation a Habit is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century
by Richard M. Cash, Ed.D.

Advancing Differentiation will lead you through the process of creating a thriving, student-centered, 21st-century classroom. Since its initial publication, the book’s materials have undergone rigorous testing and refinement in classrooms all over the world to deliver the best and most effective differentiation strategies.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Advancing Differentiation is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Inspiring Student Empowerment: Moving Beyond Engagement, Refining Differentiation
by Patti Drapeau

When students have voice and choice, they gain control over their learning and their actions and feel empowered to work harder and achieve more. Through sample lessons, strategies, and applications, educators will learn how to shift from engagement to empowerment, from differentiation to personalized learning, and practical ways to make these strategies work in the classroom.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Inspiring Student Empowerment is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $42.99 $34.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Return to the previous menu.

Download free, printable classroom tools.


Walkthrough Checklist from Advancing Differentiation

Congratulations on completing your summer learning journey! Visit the Free Spirit Blog on July 13, 2021, to share what you learned and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate.

Return to the previous menu.

Pick your Gifted Education tasks and start learning.
• Download a Printable Classroom Tool

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Pick a blog post and start reading.



Developing relationships is a complex developmental task. It isn’t just shy kids, kids with negative attention-getting behavior, or kids new to school who can benefit from assistance with relationships. Even high-achieving, highly talented kids can struggle socially. Read now.

By Jean Sunde Peterson, Ph.D., author of Get Gifted Students Talking: 76 Ready-to-Use Group Discussions About Identity, Stress, Relationships, and More (Grades 6–12)



https://www.freespirit.com/teaching-strategies-and-professional-development/cluster-grouping-handbook-revised-updated-susan-winebrenner-dina-brullesDr. Dina Brulles discussed five steps schools can take when implementing cluster grouping. Read now.

By Dina Brulles, Ph.D., coauthor of The Cluster Grouping Handbook: A Schoolwide Model: How to Challenge Gifted Students and Improve Achievement for All



Author Deb Douglas highlighted three things that frustrate gifted students, and what teachers can do to help. Read now.

By Deb Douglas, M.S., author of The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners: Teaching the 4 Essential Steps to Success

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Watch a webinar and earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, Dr. Diane Heacox explores well-documented research on underlying causes of low performance and creates distinctions between non-producers, selective producers, and underachievers among the gifted populations. Viewers are guided through a process for diagnosing specific performance issues and provided with specific and targeted courses of action. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, Susan Winebrenner, M.S., and Lisa M. Kiss, M.Ed., describe how to identify twice-exceptional (2e) students—students who are gifted and have another learning difference—and how to meet their academic and social-emotional needs in any classroom. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, Dina Brulles, Ph.D., and Karen Brown, M.Ed., will share practical strategies to successfully implement flexible grouping in order to build student collaboration and respond to students’ diverse learning needs and abilities. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.

Return to the previous menu.

Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).

Start Seeing and Serving Underserved Gifted Students: 50 Strategies for Equity and Excellence
by Jennifer Ritchotte, Ph.D., Chin-Wen Lee, Ph.D., and Amy Graefe, Ph.D.

This reader-friendly guide promotes equity in gifted education by providing teachers with fifty strategies to nurture the academic and affective growth of their gifted students from traditionally underserved populations. The strategies are outlined within five chapters addressing how teachers can see, understand, teach, challenge, and advocate for their underserved gifted learners in all content areas.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Start Seeing and Serving Underserved Gifted Students is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $42.99 $34.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners: Teaching the 4 Essential Steps to Success
by Deb Douglas, M.S.

Gifted learners are full of potential, but sometimes they’re also frustrated, bored, and even disruptive in class. Many bright students struggle because they have never been taught how to ask for what they really need to improve their school experience. This research-based guide shows educators how to teach self-advocacy skills to gifted students.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Dina Brulles, Ph.D., and Susan Winebrenner, M.S.

The Cluster Grouping Handbook offers a guide for schools to create a workable, defensible gifted program; to simplify teachers’ jobs; and to maximize learning for all students. The new edition offers identification and placement guidance for a wide variety of student ages and populations. It directs special attention toward empowering gifted English language learners. It shows teachers how to use the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) framework to differentiate learning tasks, and it offers new ideas for integrating technology into both professional development and student learning.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for The Cluster Grouping Handbook is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $42.99 $34.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Differentiation for Gifted Learners: Going Beyond the Basics
by Diane Heacox, Ed.D., and Richard M. Cash, Ed.D.

Differentiated instruction for gifted learners must go beyond adjusting content levels, task complexity, or product choice—it must truly challenge and support learners on all levels: academic, social, and emotional. A leading resource in the field of gifted education, this book connects the unique learning differences among gifted students to the specific teaching methods used to tailor their learning experiences.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Differentiation for Gifted Learners is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $42.99 $34.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Dina Brulles, Ph.D., and Karen L. Brown, M.Ed.

Grouping learners purposefully throughout the school day based on their needs and the curriculum remains the single best way to differentiate instruction. This award-winning guide will help teachers expertly use flexible grouping and differentiation strategies to respond to students’ diverse learning needs, abilities, and interests.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for A Teacher’s Guide to Flexible Grouping and Collaborative Learning is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $42.99 $34.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Return to the previous menu.

Download free, printable classroom tools.


Congratulations on completing your summer learning journey! Visit the Free Spirit Blog on July 13, 2021, to share what you learned and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate.

Return to the previous menu.

Pick your Special Needs tasks and start learning.
• Download a Printable Classroom Tool

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Pick a blog post and start reading.



Author Ezra Werb shared four strategies to give struggling students the confidence that they can learn. Read now.

By Ezra Werb, M.Ed., author of Teach for Attention! A Tool Belt of Strategies for Engaging Students with Attention Challenges



Author Emily Kircher-Morris provided five ideas teachers and parents can use to help kids with executive functioning struggles. Read now.

By Emily Kircher-Morris, M.A., M.Ed., LPC, author of Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom


A strong relationship between special and general education teachers is essential to helping students succeed. Learn expert tips for building a successful partnership. Read now.

By Benjamin Farrey-Latz, author of I Can Learn Social Skills! Poems About Getting Along, Being a Good Friend, and Growing Up

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Watch a webinar and earn free CE credit.



In this webinar, Ezra Werb, M.Ed., formerly a behavior interventionist and resource specialist teacher and currently an educational therapist, shares his strategies for lowering anxiety, raising confidence, and increasing engagement in students with ADHD and other attention challenges. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, Susan Winebrenner, M.S., and Lisa M. Kiss, M.Ed., describe how to identify twice-exceptional (2e) students—students who are gifted and have another learning difference—and how to meet their academic and social-emotional needs in any classroom. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.

Return to the previous menu.

Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).

by Susan Winebrenner, M.S., with Lisa M. Kiss, M.Ed.

A gold mine of practical, classroom-tested teaching methods, strategies, and tips to improve learning outcomes for students who score below proficiency levels. This fully revised and updated third edition provides information on integrated learning, problem solving, and critical thinking. Sidebars throughout highlight special information for working with students on the autism spectrum, and “tech tips” describe technologies that are especially useful for kids with LD.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Teaching Kids with Learning Difficulties in Today’s Classroom is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Myles L. Cooley, Ph.D.

Covering topics including PTSD, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and many others, this accessible, ready-to-use reference explains how each disorder or difficulty might be exhibited in the classroom and offers straightforward suggestions for what to do (and what not to do).

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for A Practical Guide to Mental Health & Learning Disorders for Every Educator is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $42.99 $34.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

RTI Success: Proven Tools and Strategies for Schools and Classrooms
by Elizabeth Whitten, Ph.D., Kelli J. Esteves, Ed.D., and Alice Woodrow, Ed.D.

Response to Intervention allows educators to assess and meet the needs of struggling students before they have fallen too far behind. Three expert authors offer over 100 research-based, instructional techniques and interventions for use in diverse settings, advice on creating personal and positive learning environments, information on co-teaching, and approaches to purposeful grouping.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for RTI Success is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $42.99 $34.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Return to the previous menu.

Download free, printable classroom tools.

Motivation Strategies Based on Student Learning Preferences from Advancing Differentiation

Classroom Factors Observation Form from Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior

Classroom Poster from Y Is for Yet

Congratulations on completing your summer learning journey! Visit the Free Spirit Blog on July 13, 2021, to share what you learned and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate.

Return to the previous menu.

Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning Summer Learning Track

Pick your Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning subtopic.

Pick a blog post and start reading.



Checking in with students does not have to be an intense, deep conversation about mental health. Many times, quick and intentional interactions with students help them develop a larger belief that there are people who recognize their existence and care about their well-being. Read now.

By Stephanie Filio, M.Ed., author of Responding to Student Trauma: A Toolkit for Schools in Times of Crisis



For some children, relearning not to consider people and places “dangerous” could be challenging. The first day of school jitters alone might be epic. Here are some steps to help adjust during this next, awkward re-opening phase. Read now.

By Summer Batte, author of Name and Tame Your Anxiety: A Kid’s Guide



Mental health stigma brings shame and stress, and reduces the likelihood that a child will be diagnosed and receive treatment. Learn tips for reducing the harmful stigma of mental illness. Read now.

By Deborah Serani, Psy.D., author of Sometimes When I’m Sad

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Watch a webinar and earn free CE credit.



Educators can play a powerful role in providing coping mechanisms for students to help them process and endure our often-chaotic world. In this free webinar, school counselor Stephanie Filio, M.Ed., will share activities and resources that can assist educators in responding to today’s traumas and help them to prepare for the next crisis. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



One in five K–12 students has a mental health disorder, and an additional 5 percent are classified as learning disabled. In this free webinar, clinical psychologist Myles L. Cooley, Ph.D., provides guidelines on supporting these students. Dr. Cooley describes various mental health and learning disorders, clarifies misunderstandings, and explains new and revised diagnoses. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.

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Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).

How (and Why) to Get Students Talking: 78 Ready-to-Use Group Discussions About Anxiety, Self-Esteem, Relationships, and More (Grades 6–12)
by Jean Sunde Peterson, Ph.D.

Young people need a safe, supportive place to connect and “just talk” with caring peers and an attentive adult. Through guided group discussions with inclusive language, this books helps young people gain self-awareness, build important verbal communication skills, cope with difficult emotions, practice problem-solving, and more.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

Responding to Student Trauma: A Toolkit for Schools in Times of Crisis
by Stephanie Filio, M.Ed.

This quick reference guide for trauma response gives educators strategies to address the specific needs of their students. Structured according to the source of trauma—self/home, school, community, and country/world—this book provides techniques and tools to:
• understand the layers of trauma
• identify signs of trauma in students
• guide conversations
• take necessary action
• reduce anxiety
• improve student mental health

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Responding to Student Trauma is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $24.99 $19.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

A Practical Guide to Mental Health & Learning Disorders for Every Educator: How to Recognize, Understand, and Help Challenged (and Challenging) Students Succeed
by Myles L. Cooley, Ph.D.

Covering topics including PTSD, bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and many others, this accessible, ready-to-use reference explains how each disorder or difficulty might be exhibited in the classroom and offers straightforward suggestions for what to do (and what not to do).

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for A Practical Guide to Mental Health & Learning Disorders for Every Educator is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $42.99 $34.39
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

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Pick a blog post and start reading.



The Harvard EASEL Lab (Ecological Approaches to Social Emotional Learning Laboratory) has developed an ideology that takes the abstract concept of SEL and anchors it with small implements, or tools, called SEL kernels that have specific mini goals on several levels. Read now.

By Stephanie Filio, author of Responding to Student Trauma: A Toolkit for Schools in Times of Crisis



Teachers and counselors often see students who misbehave or are suffering in various ways. The key question is, what underlies these problems? Read now.

By Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., coauthor of Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Activities to Build EQ Skills (Grades 5–9)



Learn how to create a circle time that’s intentional and meaningful. Read now.

By Lydia Bowers, author of We Listen to Our Bodies

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Watch a webinar and earn free CE credit.



When students feel confident, they are more likely to be emotionally strong, behaviorally appropriate, and cognitively aware—and thus, more successful learners. In this free webinar, Dr. Richard Cash discusses specific strategies to build and shape students’ confidence and make your classroom an enjoyable learning environment for all. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



Developing emotional intelligence (EQ) in students is essential to preparing them for success in college, careers, and adult life. In this free webinar, Dr. Maurice Elias and Dr. Steven Tobias talk about what EQ is and why and how you can build valuable EQ skills in your students. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



Drawing on insight from years of teaching growth mindset in the classroom, author Shannon Anderson, M.Ed., shares positive, practical advice on building an improved mindset for kids of all abilities. In this free webinar, you'll learn how to change the way your students think about their challenges and help them set goals, overcome self-doubt, and build resilience. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.


In this free webinar, Jonathan Erwin, M.A., provides a research-based rationale for teaching SEL, shares lessons that teach specific social emotional skills, and shows how you can use SEL content to satisfy state standards. Leverage Erwin’s 30-plus years in education to learn how SEL can be an excellent vehicle for satisfying the requirements of your state’s ELA standards in addition to improving students’ attitudes and behaviors. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.

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Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).

by Richard M. Cash, Ed.D.

To succeed in school, students need more than subject area knowledge—they must learn how to learn. Use this comprehensive, hands-on guide to help students find personal value in learning, develop effective study habits, welcome challenges, seek help, and use failure as a learning tool.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Self-Regulation in the Classroom is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Michele Borba, Ed.D.

Based on a practical, six-part framework for reducing peer cruelty and increasing positive behavior support, End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy utilizes the strongest pieces of best practices and current research for ways to stop bullying. The book includes guidelines for implementing strategies, collecting data, training staff, mobilizing students and parents, building social-emotional skills, and sustaining progress, and presents the “6Rs” of bullying prevention: Rules, Recognize, Report, Respond, Refuse, and Replace.

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $34.99 $27.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Jonathan C. Erwin, M.A.

With dozens of fun and easy-to-do lessons and activities, this book provides everything needed to create a positive learning environment in any classroom or school. The SEL Solution helps students master critical social and emotional skills, encourages student leadership, provides compassionate behavior management strategies, and increases student success.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., and Steven E. Tobias, Psy.D.

This practical resource for middle school educators provides guidelines for teaching fundamental EQ in an intentional and focused way. The core of the book is a series of thirty hands-on lessons, each focusing on critical EQ concepts and centered around productive and respectful discussion.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $39.99 $31.99
Save 20% with code SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

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The Traffic Circle of Life Worksheet from The SEL Solution

Congratulations on completing your summer learning journey! Visit the Free Spirit Blog on July 13, 2021, to share what you learned and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate.

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Pick your Educator Self-Care tasks and start learning.

Pick a blog post and start reading.



Learn tips to help you feel assured, confident, and purpose-driven in the teaching profession. Read now.

By veteran English teacher Isaiah Moore


This summer, take time to get to know what may trigger emotions and how you respond to those emotions. Here are some ideas to help you do that as you gear up for the coming school year. Read now.

By Richard M. Cash, Ed.D., author of Self-Regulation in the Classroom: Helping Students Learn How to Learn


Many educators work so hard caring for students, staff, family, and friends, that they neglect their own needs. Click below for self-care habits and routines you can easily incorporate into your summer schedule. Read now.

By veteran school counselor and character coach Barbara Gruener



Teaching can be the most rewarding profession, but it can also be draining. To avoid burnout, follow these three rules for self-care. Read now.

By Beth Baker, M.S.Ed., coauthor of The PBIS Team Handbook: Setting Expectations and Building Positive Behavior



Here are tools that can help you stay attuned, connected, and grateful for the work you do each day. Read now.

By Molly Breen, M.A., E.C.E.

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Watch a webinar and earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar, award-winning teacher, motivational speaker, and author Justin Ashley teaches educators how to:
• Catch happiness in every domain—social, career, physical/emotional, and financial
• Counteract burnout, reduce anxiety, and skillfully navigate through seasons of depression
• Set up fun family field trips without breaking the bank
• Build and live by a family creed
• Create and follow a monthly cash flow plan
• Bounce back from failure at work
• Take advantage of exercise opportunities before, during, and after school
• Increase your quantity and quality of sleep, so you can be fully present while you’re awake
• Inject “Purple Cows” into your lessons that make your classroom feel like an academic playground
• Set four “Rising Sun” goals for the next school year

Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



Conflicts are inevitable, often hard to navigate, and quick to multiply and become unmanageable. In this free webinar, coauthors Chris Amirault and Christine M. Snyder introduce you to the basics of finding your way through conflict. Using engaging, real-life scenarios to support your self-reflection and understanding, they discuss the critical principles and attitudes required for successful conflict engagement. Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.



In this free webinar with author James Butler, M.Ed., you will:
• learn strategies for incorporating mindfulness into a daily self-care routine
• explore mindful inquiry in your efforts to make sure all students have equitable access to education
• engage with simple mindfulness practices that can be woven into synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities for students
• explore how mindfulness fits into education during the coronavirus pandemic
• grow your general understanding of mindfulness in education

Watch the webinar. After watching the webinar, take a short quiz to earn free CE credit.

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Pick a Free Spirit book to study on your own or with a professional learning community (PLC).

by Justin Ashley

It wasn’t long after being named North Carolina History Teacher of the Year that Justin Ashley started noticing signs of burnout. In The Balanced Teacher Path, Justin shares his personal story—illuminating how easy it is to give your job everything you’ve got and leave yourself with nothing outside of school—and shows new teachers and veterans alike the self-care techniques they can employ to create work-life balance and prevent burnout.

Learn more and look inside.

Paperback • $19.99 $15.99
Save 20% with code SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Sandra Heidemann, M.S., Beth Menninga, M.A.Ed., and Claire Chang, M.A.

Take a guided journey of self-discovery and self-determination to take charge of your professional development and navigate the complexities of a teaching life. This essential book includes: 
• In-depth tools for examining your teaching philosophy
• Strategies to chart your growth
• Techniques for problem-solving
• Personal stories from other early childhood educators
• And much more!

Learn more and look inside.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Intentional Teaching in Early Childhood is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $29.99 $23.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

by Chris Amirault, Ph.D., and Christine Snyder, M.A.

Resolving conflict requires self-reflection, understanding, and vulnerability. But knowing how to tackle difficult conversations will strengthen relationships, create a more equitable community, and improve the impact educators have on the children they work with.

This first-of-its-kind book uses authentic conflict scenarios that empower educators to get in and out of conflict in a variety of personal, organization, and cultural contexts.

Free PLC/Book Study Guide
This free PLC/Book Study Guide for Finding Your Way Through Conflict is designed as a professional development resource and can be used to facilitate a book study or as a learning experience for a professional learning community (PLC). Facilitator notes are provided for additional support and explanation in planning and facilitating your school or group’s study sessions or workshops.

Paperback • $29.99 $23.99
Save 20% with code 
SUMMERPD at checkout. Sale ends July 31, 2021.

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Download free, printable classroom tools.

Mindful Breathing Scripts from Mindful Classrooms

5 Things Teachers Don’t Need to Learn the Hard Way by Otis Kriegel, author of Everything a New Elementary School Teacher REALLY Needs to Know (But Didn’t Learn in College)

Classroom Poster from Breath by Breath

Congratulations on completing your summer learning journey! Visit the Free Spirit Blog on July 13, 2021, to share what you learned and enter for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate.

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