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The Magic Is Happening Now!

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Need more convincing? 

Kindergartens today are nothing like those in years past. And even so, one thing has stayed the same. Children still come into kindergarten with vastly different early learning and Pre-K experiences. Some arrive raring to go while others need more time to warm up. Oh what to do?!?! 

One suggestion—take a breath and put on your comfy pants.

That's right! Get comfortable and get a fresh perspective on early learning, literacy, engagement, and psychology and human development from four amazing experts. These juicy, informal, interview-style videos are so chock-full of delicious bites of knowledge that you may very well come back for seconds.

Five signs that you need to join us:

5. You work with kindergarteners, care for a kindergartener, or were a kindergartener at some point in your life.

4. You believe that each child comes to you with one brain and one identity ('s really 3 brains and at least 4 identities that impact reading alone).

3. You pride yourself on your love of learning.

2. You don't know what a "neurological age" is, but you do know that yours must remain a secret!

1. You live for the magical moments when reading clicks.

Meet the Experts!

    Dr. Timothy Shanahan, The Evolution of Kindergarten

Dr. Shanahan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is Founding Director of the UIC Center for Literacy. He is author or editor of more than 200 publications including the books, Teaching with the Common Core Standards for the English Language ArtsEarly Childhood Literacy, and Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten through Third Grade. Professor Shanahan was previously the Director of Reading for the Chicago Public Schools and has served as past president of the International Reading Association. He received a presidential appointment to serve on the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Literacy, was a member of the National Reading Panel, and chaired the National Early Literacy Panel. He is co-principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Title I Study of Implementation and Outcomes: Early Childhood Language Development funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. In 2013, he received the William S. Gray Citation for Lifetime Achievement from the International Reading Association (IRA). He was inducted to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2007, and is a former first-grade teacher. For more information, visit his blog at


    Dr. Carrie Contey, The Anatomy of a Kindergartener   

Carrie Contey, PhD is a internationally recognized coach, author, speaker and educator. Her work offers a new perspective on human development, parenting, family life and being a healthy, happy, whole human being. She passionately guides, supports and inspires people to live with a wide-open and courageous heart so they can approach life with and around children with skill and spaciousness. Dr. Contey received her PhD in prenatal and perinatal psychology and is masterful at synthesizing and articulating the science, psychology, and spirituality of humanhood. She is the co-founder of the Slow Family Living movement and the co-author of CALMS: A Guide To Soothing Your Baby. She has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, NPR, CBS radio and in many publications including Time, Parenting and The Boston Globe. Currently she lives, works and plays in Austin, TX. To learn more, please visit                        


    Dr. Michael Opitz, The Magic of Making Meaning

Dr. Opitz is Professor Emeritus of reading education from the University of Northern Colorado. Currently he is an author and literacy consultant who provides in-service and staff development sessions and presents at state and international conferences. He also works with K-6 teachers to plan, teach, and evaluate lessons focused on different aspects of literacy, including integrating fitness with literacy, and is author and coauthor of numerous books, articles, and reading programs. His most recent book, coauthored with Michael Ford, is Engaging Minds in the Classroom: The Surprising Power of Joy (ASCD, 2014). Opitz and Ford are also editors of the Engaging Minds Series, three books that show how to apply the principles of their book in mathematics and science, social studies, and language arts.


    Erin Kinard, M.Ed., Unlocking the Magic of Reading   

Ms. Kinard has over 15 years’ experience developing curriculum for early learners, and currently serves as Executive Vice President & Publisher for Abrams Learning Trends.  She holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a former Pre-K, K, and 1st Grade teacher.   


Learn how to ensure ALL your students unlock the magic of reading with our all-star cast of experts.


Dr. Timothy Shanahan, The Evolution of Kindergarten

  • Kindergartens today compared to those in years past
  • Play and why it is an essential element of every kindergarten classroom
  • Common Core—what it’s really asking kindergarteners to do

Dr. Carrie Contey, The Anatomy of a Kindergartener

  • A guided tour of your kindergarteners’ budding and bubbling brains
  • The joys and challenges of being a big being inside a little kindergarten body
  • Tips for getting wobbly kindergarten brains back online

Dr. Michael Opitz, The Magic of Making Meaning

  • Reading identities—when they are formed, what influences their development, and why it’s never too late to mold them
  • Ways that we trip up kindergarteners on their path to reading
  • Tips for supporting literacy acquisition for those who need it most

Erin Kinard, M.E.d, Unlocking the Magic of Reading

  • Why reading can feel like magic to some early readers
  • What good reading magicians do                                                       
  • Tips and tricks for unlocking the magic of reading in your classroom

Can you believe this lineup?? And you get access to all four as often as you like, starting now!

So before you do anything else (oh yeah—we know you are a master multi-tasker!) stop and do three things.

1. Register! An Abrams Learning Trends web account is required to register for and access this event. Be sure to jot down your username and password. (You'll need that info to re-enter the event at a later date.)

   Login to existing account and register for the event.    Create a new account and register for the event. 

2. Start Watching! Can't get through all four videos right now? That's okay. As long as you maintain an active Abrams Learning Trends web account, you can come back anytime and pick up where you left off.

3. Share! This information is too good to keep under wraps. Any person who interacts with a kindergartener is a person that should watch these chats. So help us spread the word!