Professional Learning Experiences

Access + Expertise

RAFT’s personal coaching, practical workshops, inspiring institutes, and fun gatherings are designed to be relevant, hands-on, and immediately applicable.  After participating in any of our professional development offerings, our goal is to have you walking away with the knowledge, the repurposed materials, and the motivation to replicate your experiences with your students!  In addition to offering workshops here at RAFT, we now are able to bring professional development to you through our RAFT On Wheels program.

We know that many students benefit from hands-on learning, and now, teachers in rural Colorado can access RAFT’s creative repurposed materials and training through RAFT On Wheels.  This special and unique program will inspire teachers and students alike across the state.  –Governor Hickenlooper  

PD Packages

Bring your team to RAFT for half-day or full-day workshops that empower teachers to design and deliver hands-on lessons that build 21st century skills and bring academic concepts to life.  Current content options include Upcycled MakerSpaces, STEM for Early Childhood, Engineering Across the Curriculum, and Developing Hands-On Activities to Support Academic Standards (more options coming soon!).  We can customize our curriculum to meet your learning needs.  These packages include RAFT memberships for all participants; workshop and take-away materials; and Contact Hour Certificates.  Click here for pricing (up to 25 teachers).

RAFTy Workshops

Open to members and non-members alike, these workshops are great opportunities to have fun, build your skills, and connect with other teachers!  The content of these workshops can range from opportunities to explore applications of RAFT kits, to unique learning experiences provided by special presenters, to fun “RAFTy Crafty” make-and-take gatherings.  Sign up below.

Summer Symposium

In July, RAFT is the place to be for an inspirational and interactive opportunity for educators to reimagine how to connect curricula to engaging hands-on activities, to meet and learn from their colleagues, and to have lots of FUN!  Whether you register for one session or several, we hope your experiences will leave you refreshed, re-energized, and remembering why you love teaching.

RAFT On Wheels

RAFT On Wheels (ROW) is a professional development road show, delivering one of our Professional Development packages to your door.  We provide content and coaching, repurposed materials to implement the training with students, and a RAFT membership to provide access to all of our resources.  Click here for pricing (up to 25 teachers).  Underwriting opportunities are also available.

You can register for RAFTy Workshops by selecting from the sessions below and clicking the enroll button. Sessions must be pre-paid: you may pay online using paypal, over the phone, or in person.

 


 

Workshop Calendar

To enroll in a Workshop, please select from the available future workshops listed below.

After you’ve selected your desired workshops, you will be directed to the workshop sign up page to complete the enrollment.

 
Tuesday, July 18, 1pm - 4pm,
Playing is Serious Business
Join the Denver Public Libraries and RAFT for this research-based presentation explaining why play is so critical role to children's development. You will learn how to guide students' play to develop the foundational skills they need to succeed in school. Discover how young children learn best, how you can support this development, and have fun learning new practices with traditional activities and new technologies.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Teachers of children 0-5
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Tuesday, July 18, 9am - 12pm,
Reading
Find out what children need to prepare them to learn and love to read, the importance of these pre-literacy abilities and how to help children acquire these basic skills. Learn about activities from Brianna Austin of Denver Public Libraries that will prepare children to succeed in school and that adults and children can enjoy together.
TARGET AUDIENCE: All ECE teachers
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Tuesday, July 18, 9am - 12pm,
Terrariums: Where the Water Cycle Meets UpCycled Materials
Terrariums are small environments where plants thrive by photosynthesizing and recycling their water. Join one of RAFT's master teachers, Kathy Zook, to find out how fun and easy - and inexpensive! - it can be to create these incredible tiny little habitats. Everyone will make their own, and we will discuss curriculum tie-ins such as the water cycle, photosynthesis, and respiration.
TARGET AUDIENCE: All teachers interested in terrariums the water cycle or both
$10 for members $20 for nonmembers
 
Tuesday, July 18, 1pm - 4pm,
The Gospel of Architecture
Join Denver Architectural Foundation Education Committee to include Jesse Bank (Urban Villages), Ron Izzo (Handprint Architecture), Cari Reidlin (DPS principal, ret.) & Tim Thomas (CAL Project) for an engaging, activity-oriented session that extends the classroom outward to the surrounding community & the world at large. Relying on "stand alone" challenges that utilize simple materials such as newspaper & masking tape, as well as more extensive "project-based learning" approaches that are limited only by imagination, this presentation will introduce the wide-ranging academic & creative learning potential inherent using ideas culled from the study of architecture & design.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Any teacher looking to blend science, art, and social studies
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Tuesday, July 18, 1pm - 4pm,
Creating the American West
How do you talk about art in your social studies classroom? Can paintings and artifacts be primary sources? Join educators from History Colorado Center and the American Museum of Western Art for this afternoon workshop on the history of the American West. You will learn about and replicate paintings and artifacts using RAFT supplies, and will leave with resources and visual thinking strategies you can use in your classroom.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Any educator that would like to see how to incorporate more art into social studies or more social studies into art
$10 for members $20 for non-members
 
Wednesday, July 19, 1pm - 4pm,
Drop Into Inquiry
Students are by nature active creatures. Harness this by facilitating their active inquiry. In this workshop you will use parachutes as a model to explore force and motion while experiencing and inquiry based model of learning. As the parachutes fall your expertise will soar.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Any educator ready to stop inquiring about inquiry and start experiencing it
$10 for members $25 for non-members
 
Wednesday, July 19, 9am - 12pm,
Giving Students Ownership: Create Flexible Learning Environments and Happy, Successful Students
How would a classroom operate without worksheets, workbooks and written tests? What if the experience was driven by creativity, student-driven instruction and problem-solving? This alternative outlook to typical classroom instruction lends itself to any discipline at any level. Come learn with Monica Strass and Evan Sherlock and RAFT about how you can give students ownership of their outcomes and successes, and how to foster an environment where students are creators of ideas and masters of their own creations and learning. This hands-on session will help create a classroom which is adaptable and flexible for all disciplines and skill levels and creates happier more successful students.
TARGET AUDIENCE: All educators hoping to give students more control to create better outcomes
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Wednesday, July 19, 1pm - 4pm,
Engaging Special Education Students in Science
Science is important and relevant to students of all ability levels. Tara Butler, from Community Reach Day Treatment, will show how to use game design and computer programming as a base to develop an understanding and love of science. We'll discuss and use resources on teaching students the concept of coding as it relates to communicating and working with computers. Several RAFT kits teach students these skills, and you can make even more computer science and code tools with RAFT resources! We will explore together to find novel ways to meet a variety of needs.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Special Education grades 3-12
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Wednesday, July 19, 9am - 12pm,
Enginature
Imagine if your jaws could crush 8,000 pounds in one bite, your punch could break through aquarium glass, and your ears could act as air conditioners. From the inside out, every living thing is a machine built to survive. Nature's mechanical designs have a lot to teach us about the principles of force, levers and other science and engineering ideas! In this session with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, we'll highlight DMNS's summer exhibition, Nature's Amazing Machines and provide you with hands-on activities you can do with your students. Marvel at where humans have mined and mimicked the ingenuity deep in nature's invisible workings.
TARGET AUDIENCE: K-8
$10 for members $25 for non-members
 
Thursday, July 20, 9am - 12pm,
It's Shocking! Electrons are Fun
This is NOT a tech-heavy class so don't be concerned about too much MATH!!! This session will explore some basic concepts of science as they relate to electricity: what electricity is, where it comes from, what it tastes like and why it behaves the way it does. Participants will construct a small battery using pennies and use it to create light and make special PlayDoh to use as wiring for simple circuits. A grand prize will be awarded for the "Best in Class" use of these materials as art forms. Join Tom Graves and RAFT for a 'shockingly' good time as we look at innovative ways to introduce these ideas at different age levels.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Any teachers looking to spark interest in budding scientists
$10 for members $25 for non-members
 
Thursday, July 20, 1pm - 4pm,
Artist-Inspired Art Installations
THINK BIG! In this workshop, you will be inspired by artists' process and learn how you can create a site-specific art installation at your school. Using design thinking and artists' work featured at the Denver Art Museum, you will find new ways to invigorate your school campus and students' creativity.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Any art educator or educator that would like to incorporate more large scale art into their environment
$10 for members $25 for non-members
 
Thursday, July 20, 9am - 12pm,
Contemporary Art and Embracing Failure to Learn to Lead
Art, failure, and leadership do not often end up in the same sentence, but they should. In this session, RAFT is partnering with the Museum of Contemporary Art. Embrace and expand your knowledge of contemporary art, absorb new project ideas, and learn about the Museum of Contemporary Art's programs that promote art and youth leadership.
TARGET AUDIENCE: High School art teachers excited for new projects to help promote young adult leaders
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Thursday, July 20, 1pm - 4pm,
Rube Goldberg and Digital Tools: A Match Made in Maker Heaven
Rube Goldberg machines perform simple tasks in a complicated, chain-reaction way. During this session, you will learn how your students can create Rube Goldberg machines while combining digital learning tools to become innovators, creators, and empowered learners. By the time you leave our time together, you will be an Innovative Designer, a Computational Thinker, and a Knowledge Constructor - Just in time to return to your classroom and facilitate your students' acquisition of these skills too!!
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone who wants to build a better (or at least more elaborate) mousetrap
$10 for members $25 for non-members
 
Friday, July 21, 1pm - 4pm,
Accessing Your Creative Self
Whether your creativity lies close to the surface or it is buried deep within we'll find it! In this hands on workshop, participants will tap into their creative selves through RAFT materials. We will explore human's innate need to create and express themselves as well as the design cycle involved in creating. Once you find your creative self, how can you support others across all disciplines in finding their creativity?
TARGET AUDIENCE: Everyone who would like to bring more art and
$10 for members $25 for non-members
 
Friday, July 21, 9am - 12pm,
Making Our Classroom Stress-Less And Success-Full
As teachers, we are often under tremendous amounts of stress; however, we often forget that our students are as well. What at first may appear to be a student's defiance or procrastination is instead often hidden anxiety or stress. In this presentation you will learn how stress negatively impacts learning and behavior, as well as strategies to help reduce the stress and allow students to be more successful in the classroom.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Teachers looking to minimize both their own and their students' stress
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Friday, July 21, 9am - 12pm,
Artist-Inspired Art Installations
THINK BIG! In this workshop, you will be inspired by artists' process and learn how you can create a site-specific art installation at your school. Using design thinking and artists' work featured at the Denver Art Museum, you will find new ways to invigorate your school campus and students' creativity.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Any art educator or educator that would like to incorporate more large scale art into their environment
$10 for members $25 for non-members
 
Saturday, July 22, 9am - 12pm,
STEM in a Box and Space Camp
Interested in building your STEM programming with open exploration of materials, but don't have the room? Find out how you can make your own STEM-in-a-box kits, pricing anywhere from $10 to $2500! Then, we'll explore the materials and interactively accumulate new projects and ideas as Denver Public Libraries share some of the innovative activities they are doing in their programs.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anybody interested in incorporating STEM and Making into your programming but concerned about not having enough room. This session is particularly helpful for out-of-school time programming.
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Saturday, July 22, 1pm - 4pm,
Designing Habitats for Beneficial Insects- "The Insect Hotel"
Using a design-thinking approach, this workshop will focus on how to incorporate biodiversity concepts while creating habitable spaces for insects. Insect hotel designs will take into account interactions between plants and insects, and incorporate our best understanding of interactions and the need for biodiversity. First, we will brainstorm insect needs and preferences. Then, we will use those insights to design possible layouts for insect hotels. Finally, using RAFT materials, we will use engineering processes to prototype and bring these insect accommodations to life! This will be a great session hosted by Dr. Violeta Garcia from STEM Learning By Design and RAFT
TARGET AUDIENCE: Early Childhood, K-2
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Saturday, July 22, 9am - 12pm,
MaxScholar Orton Gillingham Seminar Training
Join national expert Dr. Deb Levy for this special opportunity to be trained on MaxScholar, the only online Orton Gillingham software! You will learn how to pronounce phonemes correctly to better model for your students, and you will learn how to teach phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing. Now, the piece de resistance: you will be given the MaxScholar Orton Gillingham software and workbooks to have a full tool kit to take back to your class, giving you the reading foundation your students will need to become on-grade level readers. Visit MaxScholar.com for more details about this programming.
TARGET AUDIENCE: All k-2 educators interested in learning about then using MaxScholar by Orton Gillingham
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers
 
Saturday, July 22, 1pm - 4pm,
MaxScholar Orton Gillingham Seminar Training
Join national expert Dr. Deb Levy for this special opportunity to be trained on MaxScholar, the only online Orton Gillingham software! You will learn how to pronounce phonemes correctly to better model for your students, and you will learn how to teach phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing. Now, the piece de resistance: you will be given the MaxScholar Orton Gillingham software and workbooks to have a full tool kit to take back to your class, giving you the reading foundation your students will need to become on-grade level readers. Visit MaxScholar.com for more details about this programming.
TARGET AUDIENCE: All grade 3-5 educators interested in learning about then using MaxScholar by Orton Gillingham
$10 for members $25 for nonmembers


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