Play Your Way Into Literacy! A Two-Day Early Literacy Institute (Pre-K and 4K)

Questions? Please contact Amy Ruppert, Program Assistant, at (920) 420-5746

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Last Date to Register: 6/22/2021 12:01 AM
Last Date to Cancel: 6/16/2021 12:01 AM
Agency: CESA 6
Agency Contact: Nicole Lehr
Agency Assistant: Amy Ruppert 920-236-0562
Location: CESA 06 - Conference Center
2300 State Rd 44
Oshkosh, WI 54904
Facility: Solutions
6/23/2021 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM
6/24/2021 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Play Your Way into Literacy!
A two-day early literacy institute for Pre-K and 4K

Play encourages the development of language, problem-solving, and social/emotional skills, all of which are the critical foundations of literacy development. During this institute, we will explore how a play workshop may evolve across the year, moving from solo play and work with materials to more student-driven dramatic and fantasy play. You’ll learn about the role conversation plays in strengthening collaborative play, and get ideas for how to make this work more student-run. Along with experiencing emergent storybook reading, shared reading and shared writing, you will learn how to plan for ways in which these instructional contexts can serve as a cornerstone of your developmentally appropriate classroom culture.


  • Understand the types, structures, essential materials and environmental organization required for a play workshop
  • Experience play workshop from two perspectives: the learner and the teacher
  • Acquire an overview of how the play workshop may evolve over the school year
  • Understand how names can serve as the heart of a wordplay curriculum
  • Understand the look and feel of three instructional contexts: emergent storybook reading, shared reading, and shared writing
  • Learn about the latest and greatest wordless picture books


Pre-K and 4K Teachers, Literacy Coaches, Reading Specialists, Principals, and Directors of Curriculum and Instruction


DAY 1: Wed., June 23, 2021

Opening Session: Virtual Keynote by Kristine Mraz

Kristine Mraz will introduce us to four types of play, six stages of play, and the organization of the classroom and materials. She will share practices that support a growth mindset and that turn ownership of classroom spaces, artifacts, and decision making over to students.

Breakout Sessions (facilitated by Literacy Center staff)



Nicole Lehr       Brittany Meier
Constultant       Consultant

1. The Learner's Perspective: Living the Workshop Structure

2. The Teacher's Perspective: Supporting Learners in their Journey of Play

Closing Session

Play Focus Lessons

  • Developing lessons to support players

DAY 2: Thurs., June 24, 2021

Facilitated by Literacy Center staff


Nicole Lehr       Brittany Meier
Constultant       Consultant

Opening Session: Introduction to Name Study - Playing with Names

  • Why study names?
  • Looking closer at a name study lesson
  • Exploring picture books to support name study in the classroom

Breakout Sessions

       A. Emergent Storybook Reading

       B. Shared Writing - From Pictures to Words

       C. Shared Reading

Closing Session: Wordless Picture Books

  • Why wordless picture books?
  • Strategies for use
  • Exploring wordless picture books


  • One emergent children's literature text


DATES:  Wed., June 23rd and Thurs., June 24th, 2021

TIMES:  9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. both days


  • $275 per participant if attending in person at the CESA 6 Conference Center in Oshkosh
  • $250 per participant if attending virtually on the days of the institute
  • $225 per participant if only receiving the recordings of the institute to view on their own (two-week access to recordings)

In-person cost Includes:

  • Light breakfast snacks both days
  • Lunch both days
  • Online resources and materials

LOCATION*:  CESA 6 Conference Center, 2300 State Road 44, Oshkosh, WI 54904
Participants may attend virtually if needed!




Any registration cancellation must be received before Tuesday, June 15, 2021 in order for a full refund to be issued. Registration cancellations received after Tuesday, June 15, 2021, a refund will be issued, but minus $50 for each participant.  Persons who are registered, but not in attendance on the days of the sessions ("no call, no show") will be charged the full registration fee. CESA 6 reserves the right to cancel any session due to insufficient enrollment. Participants will be notified by email if a cancellation occurs.

Kristi Mraz & LC Staff June 2019Kristine Mraz

Kristi has been the Literacy and Instructional Coach for New York City Public Schools, a special education Kindergarten teacher, and an author and consultant. She works with schools across the country and around the world on early literacy, play, and inquiry based learning. Her most recent publications include Kids First from Day One, coauthored by Christine Hertz, and Purposeful Play, coauthored by Alison Porcelli and Cheryl Tyler.  Kristi began writing and consulting work with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.  To see more of Kristine Mraz's publications, please go to Heinemann.

CONNECT with Kristine Mraz @MrazKristine





CESA 6 makes every effort to accommodate basic dietary needs such as vegetarian, gluten free and basic food allergies. Because of the number of meals served and the number of items used each day, along with food product changes from our food vendors, we cannot guarantee that every allergen in the food served will be identified and labeled. Guests concerned with food allergies must be aware of this risk. CESA 6 does not assume liability for adverse reactions to food consumed or items one may come into contact with while eating at a CESA 6 event. To better serve our guests with dietary restrictions or allergies, please go into your myQuickReg account and update the special accommodations section. Notice of a special dietary need must be made in advance of the event.

Cancellation Policy:

Any registration cancellation must be received at least 8 business days before event in order for a full conference fee refund to be issued (full refunds do not include service fees. Service fees are nonrefundable).Registration cancellations received 1-7 business days before an event, a refund, minus $50 for each participant, will be issued. Persons who are registered, but not in attendance on the day of the session ("no call, no show") will be charged the full registration fee. CESA 6 reserves the right to cancel any session due to insufficient enrollment. Participants will be notified by email if a cancellation occurs.

Note: Cancellation policies are subject to change based on event.