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If you are registered, here’s what you need to know about the workshop: 8:00am Registration; 8:30am Workshop Commences; 4:30pm Workshop Concludes; The workshop will be held in the State Library of Queensland, Auditorium 2, Stanley Street, South Bank Brisbane.  The State Library of Queensland is part of the Cultural Precinct at South Bank Brisbane, Auditorium 2 is on level 2 of the Library; This workshop is NOT catered. There are lots of cafes and restaurants close to the State Library and you are most welcome to bring your own lunch and snacks; What to Bring: Pen and notebook/device; Lunch and snacks (you will have time to buy lunch); Water bottle.  Any questions contact Peter on 0423 205 291 or [email protected]  See you there!

Day 1: Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities (ages 4-7)

Using video examples, multisensory lessons and play, we will provide you with strategies to teach children core Social Thinking concepts to help them learn in a group, think about others, use their whole body to listen, etc. This course teaches parents and professionals to implement with fidelity our award-winning curriculum, storybooks, and music collection: We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers (formerly The Incredible Flexible You!). The vocabulary and strategies you will learn are adaptable for use with other activities and age-appropriate literature.

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.

What you will learn on Day 1

Participants will be able to:

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

Course Content Disclosure

While this course includes information on other products and the work of other authors, day 1 primarily focuses on the content included in the We Thinkers! Volume 1 Social Explorers curriculum guide and storybooks to teach this information with fidelity.

Day 2: What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning? Exploring Social Executive Functioning and Social Emotional Learning for Early Learners (ages 4 -7)

Social executive functioning is at the heart of successful play, social interaction, and learning as part of a group. In this course, we’ll teach how to move from the five basic Social Thinking lessons in We Thinkers! Volume 1 (formerly named The Incredible Flexible You!) to the more complex lessons presented in We Thinkers Volume 2. Attendees will engage in group-learning activities that align with the research and learn strategies to use in their classroom, clinic, or home the very 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.

We delve into teaching kids to become better social observers, and tips for deciphering the “hidden rules” and social expectations of a situation.

From there we move to teaching strategies around the concepts of Flexible versus Stuck Thinking, recognising the Size of the Problem, making Smart Guesses, and Sharing an Imagination.

On day 2 you will learn to use Social Thinking’s newest tool, Social Thinking’s Group Collaboration, Play and Problem Solving Scale (GPS) to understand the five different levels of play and how they relate to classroom participation and academic standards! Understand how this play scale interfaces with and expands upon other known scales such as the Westby Play Scale (2000), a gold standard in the literature of play assessment.

Learn how the lessons and activities in the We Thinkers! curriculum are adapted for each level of the Social Thinking GPS, and how the information can be used in Pre-K-2 mainstream classrooms as part of social emotional learning (SEL), Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Response to Intervention (RTI) programs.

Our goal on Day 2 is to teach how to use We Thinkers! Volume 2 and related treatment ideas with fidelity. The information presented on this day builds on the five core Social Thinking concepts presented in our precursory course, “Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities.”

What you will learn on Day 2

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe two strategies for helping individuals learn to be more flexible thinkers.
  2. Describe two 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 aspects of each of the five levels of play as explained through Social Thinking’s Group Collaboration, Play and Problem Solving Scale (GPS).
  5. Define two different strategies to provide differentiated instruction to students who have different interactive play abilities.
  6. Explain how to teach students how to read the “hidden rules” to figure out what behaviours are expected in a specific situation.

Course Content Disclosure

While this course includes information on other products and the work of other authors, day 2 focuses primarily on the content included in the 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.


You can purchase tickets by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

  • Super Saver $650 Wednesday 18 October to Sunday 19 November 2017
  • Early $700 Monday 20 November to Friday 22 December 2017
  • Standard $750 from Friday 22 December 2017 to Friday 5 January 2018

* All prices are in Australian Dollars and include GST.

* The only discounts available are our time-based booking windows: ‘super saver’, ‘early’, ‘standard’. The earlier you book, the lower the registration fee.

* Information about Purchase Orders can be found here.

* Our Workshop Cancelation and Refund Policy can be found here.

Catering & Refreshments

Please note that catering is not available for this event. There are numerous food outlets and cafés within close proximity to the venue.

We Thinkers Vols 1 & 2

When you purchase a ticket you will receive by email information about how to purchase copies of We Thinkers Vol 1 and Vol 2 for a 10% discount and free postage.

About Nancy Tarshis; MA, MS, CCC-SLP

Nancy Tarshis is a speech-language pathologist whose prolific career includes extensive experience working with children and their parents. In 1992, she joined the professional team at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where, in 1996, she was named Supervisor of Speech and Language Services. Currently, she maintains a clinical practice, seeing patients birth to 21 for diagnoses and therapeutic treatment, supervises ten speech pathologists, lectures to medical residents and psychology interns, participates in research projects, and serves as adjunct clinical instructor at Teachers College, Columbia, Hunter College, NYU, and Hofstra University. She is deeply experienced in a wide variety of treatment methodologies, including Social Thinking, and is a frequent speaker across the U.S. on its concepts and strategies.

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

Nancy co-authored both volumes of the popular We Thinkers early learner program (formerly titled The Incredible Flexible You) and regularly conducts training on “We Thinkers” both in the USA and internationally.  This will be the first time this training has been conducted in Australia.

Nancy and her husband of over 30 years live in Manhattan.