Wabash Valley Education Center

PD Pop: ~*Play-based Learning (PK-2) - Carolyn Howard & Carol Grady


When I started teaching kindergarten they said we didn’t have time to do big theme units because we have too many standards we needed to hit. I bought into this for a while but I found a way to fit it in to almost any standard I am teaching. With themes you hit, science, social studies, reading, writing, and math. Play based learning for early childhood is so important.


Research says that play-based learning:

  • Increases brain cells
  • Builds empathy
  • Teaches and allows practice of self-control
  • Improves concentration, memory, and attention span
  • Reduces Stress
  • Promotes language development
  • Allows children to cope with difficult feelings
  • Teaches problem-solving
  • Develops mathematical thinking
  • Supports social development
  • Promotes physical development(fine and gross motor)
  • Teaches understanding of the real world
  • Allows trying out different roles


After this session, you will leave with ideas that you can start using in your classroom immediately! Play-based learning is worth it!



Carol Howard and Carol Grady

We are two teachers named Carol who grew up in the same county and worked in the same school.  We realized our similar backgrounds and life experiences gave us a vision for living life joyfully and a desire to honor childhood.  Professionally, this led us to discover purposeful,  play-based learning.  Carol Howard has almost 20 years of experience in education. Her experience includes Title I interventionist, Response to Intervention specialist, and the last eight years, she has taught kindergarten. Her educational background is a Bachelor’s in Child Psychology and a Masters in Gifted and Talented curriculum instruction. She has become passionate about teaching through play and movement in her classroom.

Carol Grady has 30 years of experience in teaching kindergarten through adults in traditional classrooms as well as alternative educational programming.  Her major focus has been academic enrichment teacher for gifted students, English Language Learners and Title I Lead Teacher.  These opportunities allowed her to focus on the variety of ways to reach learners and provide opportunities that lead to success and satisfaction for the students. Carol holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Purdue University and has taken additional coursework focusing on neuroscience and education.

Our Practice:

Carol Howard has spent the past year creatively and purposefully playing with her kindergarteners in person and virtually. She assured that all these experiences translate into Indiana Academic Standards for kindergarten. Carol Grady worked to align interventions with play based practices. They  developed an educational website and blog to share their ideas. They have been providing professional development through Tippecanoe School Corporation  and Indiana Educational Service Centers.  Visit us at www.teachingthroughplaylovingtolearn.org


Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM Eastern Time

Location: Virtual

PGP Points Awarded: 1


Cost: $40

WVEC Title III and Title IV Consortium Eligible!


**See cancellation policy below

Cancellation Policy

* Registrants who notify WVEC of their cancellation on or before the registration deadline date will not be required to pay the registration fee.
* Registrants who cancel after the registration deadline but before the workshop date or call to cancel on the day of the workshop will pay 50% of the registration fee.
* Registrants who neglect to call or notify the WVEC of their cancellation will be responsible for paying the full fee.
* On official school corporation weather-related cancellation days, registrants will not be required to pay registration fees.


Registration open through 5/12/2021 11:45 AM EST

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About Us

Wabash Valley Education Center
3061 Benton Street
West Lafayette, IN 47906