/, Early Leaners, High School Plus, Primary School Age/Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners 4-7yrs A Two-day Workshop with Nancy Tarshis

Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners 4-7yrs A Two-day Workshop with Nancy Tarshis

Monday 17 February and Tuesday 18 February 2020

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

This is simply the best two-day training for anyone working with early learners”.

If you are using the We Thinkers program this workshop will equip you to teach this award winning program to its full potential. Nancy Tarshis is by far one of the best speakers we bring to Australia.  You will warm to her engaging speaking style and be inspired by Nancy’s depth of experience working with early learners.  This program won’t be back in Australia for a few years so don’t miss this opportunity.

Tickets on sale HERE.

Scroll down to read the Workshop description below.



Day 1 Workshop Topic: Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners – Through Stories and Play-Based Activities

for anyone working with early learners, ages 4 – 7

Presented by Nancy Tarshis, co-author of We Thinkers Vol 1 & We Thinkers Vol 2

Day 1 Workshop Description

This course introduces professionals and parents to the many important facets of development that underlie social learning in preschool and early primary-age children. What looks like pure fun to us has important social consequences for the developing mind. The ability to participate in collaborative play and learn as part of a group depends upon having a flexible brain, competent language ability, self-regulation, and solid social-emotional development as well as the executive functioning skills to multitask the use of it all.

Educational standards highlight the importance of classroom listening and collaboration, which are hallmarks of developmental learning in preschool and early elementary years. This course is designed to give participants knowledge of the key researched components of social-cognitive development from birth to age 5 as they connect to the core concepts taught through our curriculum. Social-emotional growth and executive functioning/self-regulation—and their interactive impact on socio-communicative abilities—will also be explored from a research perspective. This course will focus on how to put the research and best practices of teaching social information into action.

We will introduce five Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts that have been adapted for children ages 4-7: thoughts and feelings, the group plan, thinking with your eyes, body in the group, and whole body listening. We will explore methods to teach these concepts through storybooks, music, structured activities, and play. We will also look at different strategies for service delivery in a variety of settings. Strategies for home and school are designed for young children with average to strong language and learning abilities.

Note: Treatment refers to using conceptual and strategy-based frameworks to help individuals improve their social competencies.

Course Disclosure: While this course includes information on other products and the work of other authors, it primarily focuses on the content included in the We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers curriculum guide and storybooks to teach this information with fidelity. This is the best course for teaching early learners you’ll find and is based on the best-selling curriculum for teaching social development to early learners – We Thinkers Volume 1 Social Explorers.

What you will learn on day one

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Identify at least three (3) key milestones that underlie the development of social cognitive skills from birth to age 5.
  2. Explain the difference between a skills-based approach and a social cognitive–based approach.
  3. Explain why an early learner (ages 4–7) with social learning challenges may struggle to work and learn as part of a group.
  4. Describe ways to structure learning experiences in preschool and early elementary settings to promote social and emotional learning.
  5. Describe ways to teach at least three (3) Social Thinking Vocabulary concepts to students ages 4–7.

Day Two TopicWhat Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? – Exploring Social-Executive Functioning and Social-Emotional Learning for Early Learners

for anyone working with early learners, ages 4 – 7

Presented by Nancy Tarshis, co-author of We Thinkers Vol 1 & We Thinkers Vol 2

Day 2 Workshop Description

Social-executive functioning is at the heart of successful play, social interaction, and learning as part of a group. This course teaches you how to move from the five basic Social Thinking lessons in We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers to the more complex lessons presented in We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers.

Attendees will engage in research-based group learning activities and learn strategies to apply in the classroom, clinic, or home the next day. Explore concepts such as the role of play and working as part of a group in the development of self-regulation, social problem solving, and executive functioning. We will also look at why a child who has difficulty with social attention will have trouble with sharing an imagination and interacting/playing with peers. Learn to teach kids to become better social observers and decipher the hidden rules and social expectations of a situation.

From there we move to teaching strategies around the concepts of flexible versus stuck thinking, recognizing the size of the problem, making smart guesses, and sharing an imagination.

Learn to use Social Thinking’s newest tool, the Group Collaboration, Play and Problem Solving (GPS) Scale, to understand the five different levels of play and how they relate to classroom participation and academic standards. Understand how this scale interfaces with and expands upon other known scales such as the Westby Play Scale (2000), a highly regarded standard in the literature of play assessment. Learn how the lessons and activities in the We Thinkers! curriculum are adapted for each level of Social Thinking’s GPS and how the information can be used in Pre-K–2 mainstream classrooms as part of social and emotional learning (SEL), Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Response to Intervention (RTI) programs.

The goal of this workshop is to teach how to use We Thinkers! Volume 2 and related treatment ideas with fidelity. The information presented in this workshop builds on the five core Social Thinking concepts presented in the day one workshop.

What you will learn on day two

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe two (2) strategies for helping individuals learn to be more flexible thinkers.
  2. Describe two (2) strategies to help individuals learn how problem solving involves self-regulation.
  3. Design a lesson to promote a child’s development of Shared, Collaborative, Imaginative Play (SCIP).
  4. Describe two (2) aspects of each of the five levels of play as explained through Social Thinking’s Group Collaboration, Play and Problem Solving (GPS) Scale.
  5. Define two (2) different strategies to provide differentiated instruction to students who have different interactive play abilities.
  6. Explain how to teach students to read the hidden rules to figure out what behaviours are expected in a specific situation.

Course Content Disclosure

While this two-day course includes information on other products and the work of other authors, it focuses primarily on the content included in the We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers and We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers curriculum, storybooks, and the GPS assessment and treatment guide for the purpose of teaching this information with fidelity.

Our Speaker – Nancy Tarshis MA, MS, CCC-SLP

Nancy Tarshis, a speech-language pathologist and special educator with extensive experience working with children and their parents, is the Director of Early Childhood Programming at The Quad Preparatory School, which is dedicated to twice exceptional children, Grades K-12. For 27 years, she was a member of the professional team at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, serving as Supervisor of Speech and Language Services for 21 of them. In that capacity, she trained more than 400 SLPs currently practicing throughout the nation. As Emeritus at CERC, she participates in ongoing research and lectures to pediatric fellows, medical residents, and psychology interns. In addition, she serves as adjunct clinical instructor at New York University, Teachers College – Columbia University, and Hunter and Lehman Colleges of City University of New York, and consults on social emotional learning to a variety of public and private schools. Nancy is deeply experienced in a wide variety of treatment methodologies, including Social Thinking. She speaks frequently across the United States and internationally on its concepts and strategies, and is the co-author of We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers and We Thinkers! Volume 2 Social Problem Solvers.

Nancy’s private clinical work includes Altogether Social, a social cognitive practice she co-founded with Debbie Meringolo, that serves clients age 14 months through 22 years. Altogether Social provides individual and group sessions, trainings for parents and professionals, and school consultations.

Nancy is a member of the professional advisory boards of New York Zero to Three and Apraxia Kids (formerly the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America).

Speaking Experience

  • Narrative Development and Intervention
  • Early Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Introduction to the ADOS
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech
  • Play and Language: Development, Assessment, and Intervention for the Preschool Child Resilience
  • Parent-Child Dyadic Intervention for Infants
  • Handling, Positioning and Oromotor Control
  • Language Development and Language Disorders: Birth to Five
  • Play as a Context for Enhancing Developmental and Academic Skills
  • Early Intervention and Assessment of Autistic Infants and Toddlers
  • Speech and Language Assessment: Birth to Five Years
  • Interview Techniques and Hiring Practices: A Conversation with Professionals in the Field
  • Speech Therapy Post Cochlear Implant

Click here to download Nancy’s CV


Nancy is intensely proud of her son, a cheese monger, currently slinging cider; daughter-in-law, a Professor of Geology; daughter, a pediatric Nurse Practitioner; and son-in-law, a consultant. Nancy’s husband, Phil Galdston, is a New York based music composer who has written songs for a wide range of artists, including “Save the Best For Last,” recorded by Vanessa Williams. Nancy and her husband of over 35 years live in Manhattan.

Tickets on sale HERE.

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