Learning Through Play: Creating Opportunities for Deeply Connected and Meaningful Experiences, Level 1

Join the University of New Hampshire’s Early Learning Coaching Team for a series of interactive professional development opportunities for educators (PS through 3rd grade). Choose from two dates and locations for the introductory workshop in which presenters will explore the what, why, and how of play-based learning in NH. Select the tab to enroll in your preferred date and location. 

June 26 - McClane Center, NH Audubon, Concord, NH

July 10 - Grand Summit Hotel at Attitash, Bartlett, NH

Lunch will be provided on both dates.

Learning Objectives, Level 1

• Define play and its importance in early learning. 

• Identify ways to create a play-based learning environment. 

• Use a three-part framework to integrate guided play opportunities in the classroom. 

• Identify the teacher’s roles in guided play. 

• Use strategies to scaffold learning through guided play.  

• Connect learning through play to CCSS and NGSS and curriculum goals. 

A second-level workshop will be offered on a third date and will provide a deeper dive into the implementation of guided play practices. To enroll in the level 2 workshop, please visit the course enrollment page Learning Through Play, Level 2

Instructor Bios


Learning Through Play: Creating Opportunities for Deeply Connected and Meaningful Experiences, Level 1

  • Karen DuBois-Garofalo

    Karen DuBois-Garofalo holds an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and has been working in the field for over 30 years. In her current role she Coordinates the UNH Early Childhood Education Coaching Initiative (funded by NH’s Preschool Development Grant) and is the Lead Early Learning Coach. For most of her career, she taught Kindergarten at the University’s laboratory school. In this role, in addition to teaching and spending her days with young learners, she mentored hundreds of college students at various levels within their pre-service practicum experiences over her tenure. She has presented workshops at the national, state, and regional levels on a variety of topics including child-directed and inquiry-based teaching, play-based learning, engaging students in storytelling, planning and embracing authentic literacy opportunities, and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the kindergarten classroom. Karen transfers her extensive knowledge and expertise as an educator to her role as an early learning instructional coach where she serves as a passionate advocate for the importance of play-based learning in early childhood classrooms, supporting teachers throughout the state as they strive to integrate true best practices through the implementation of principles and practices of guided-play into their classrooms. 

  • Jennifer Berube

    An educator for twenty-five years, Jennifer Berube, M.Ed., has taught preschool, first through third grades in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Currently an early learning coach with the University of New Hampshire, Jennifer holds a CAGS in Educational Leadership and is a certified arts integration specialist. She has presented nationally and internationally. Jennifer believes in the power of teacher growth, reflective practice, and professional learning communities. She is a doctoral candidate in Educational Studies at Lesley University, researching the impact educators’ shift to a pedagogy of play has on their well-being and self-efficacy. Jennifer supports teachers as they implement meaningful, creative, playful learning experiences for students. 

  • Sarah Bond

    Sarah Bond is an early learning coach with the University of New Hampshire, supporting educators statewide with the implementation of best practices, and collaborating with key stakeholders in an effort to enact meaningful change across early childhood systems. Sarah holds a Doctorate in Education, an M.S. in Human Development & Family Studies, and is an experienced educator (B-8). Formerly, Sarah served as an infant and toddler teacher at the University’s laboratory school and later transitioned to teach public kindergarten and first grade for several years. During this time, she participated in the New Hampshire Learning Initiative's Assessment for Learning Project and has since contributed practitioner excerpts to two competency-based education publications. Sarah has presented at both state and national levels on topics ranging from co-design; competency-based education; project-based learning; authentic documentation and assessment; personalized learning; and play-based learning. 

This course is currently unavailable.