Virtual Training

Trauma and Learning: Using Movement to Support Students with Adverse Childhood Experiences

A 6-part online course exploring the background on ACEs and toxic stress, brain research, the damaging consequences for students with ACES, the appropriate role of the educator, and innovative strategies to calm students and help them learn, facilitated by Math & Movement Founder, Suzy Koontz.

Upcoming course dates TBD

Target Audience: Educators of students in PreK through fifth grade who are curious about ACEs and the ways movement-based learning can be used to increase learning.

Please note: this is an introduction to ACEs and trauma-based learning. If you have had detailed training in ACEs, this course may not provide new information for you.

A landmark study by Felitti and Anda found that 67% of the US population has one or more ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience).

The likelihood that one of your students will have one or more ACEs is high.

The difficult truth is that students with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) usually find traditional learning environments unsuitable for their needs. 

If you are interested in trauma-informed teaching

If you are looking for teaching strategies that help students overcome learning barriers… 

If you want strategies that promote students’ feeling safe, appreciated, loved, and valued

If you want to learn practical techniques and strategies that will provide encouragement and hope for the many students with ACEs

This training is for you.

Why We Created This Course

About 6 years ago, I became trauma-informed. I learned about ACEs and that when children experience ACES, it can be detrimental to their health and can inhibit their learning. I also learned that movement and physical activity can help students struggling with the ill effects of ACEs. 

When educators become trauma-informed, it can be one of those lightbulb moments. After learning about trauma, educators gain insight into trauma and toxic stress and how these can impact the lives of their students. 

This training offers solutions. We know that trauma can be horrific for children. There is hope offered in this training because there are many strategies that can be used to support students who have experienced trauma.

– Suzy


Trauma & Learning is a 6-part LIVE online training

This training consists of 6, 1-hour live session trainings, plus 4 hours of independent ‘homeworks’ – a total of 10  professional development hours.

If you cannot attend all of the sessions at the designated time, recordings will be available on our course portal.

Homework will be given after each session to consist of the other 4 hours of professional development. Homeworks range from watching TedTalks to creating practical, movement-based plans you can use in your own classroom. All homeworks will also be found on the course portal.

Live Class Sessions: TBD
Session 1
Trauma and Its Effect on Students

During our first session together, we’ll lay down a foundation to better understand Adverse Childhood Experiences. We’ll explore:

  • What do we mean when we say ‘trauma’?
  • What are ACEs?
  • Effects of ACEs and trauma
  • Signs/symptoms of ACEs
  • How PTSD creates differences in the brain


Session 2
How Toxic Stress Damages the Brain

We’ll begin our second session with a review of the Paper Tigers documentary – our homework from the first session. We’ll then move on to discuss:

  • Types of Stress
  • How Toxic Stress Damages the Brain
  • Relationships
  • Prescriptions for ACEs
  • Resilience


Session 3
How and Why Kinesthetic Learning Benefits All Students

Our third session will focus on one of Suzy’s favorite topics – kinesthetic learning and how it can be especially helpful for students with ACEs.  We’ll explore:

  • What is Kinesthetic Learning?
  • The Research Behind Kinesthetic Learning
  • Why Kinesthetic Learning Benefits ALL Students


Session 4
The Role of the Educator in Supporting Students with ACEs

This session covers trauma-informed strategies and ideas for your own classroom or school. We’ll discuss: 

  • The Trauma-Informed School Model 
  • Mindset Matters: Studies on Math Anxiety
  • Shifting the Student’s Mindset with Positive Affirmations
  • Trauma-Informed Education: An Educator’s Role


Session 5
Literacy: Practical Strategies to Counteract the Ill-Effects of ACEs and Toxic Stress

Our fifth session will focus on strategies for building reading fluency. We’ll explore: 

  • How Trauma Can Affect Reading Ability
  • Innovative Reading Programs
  • How Movement Can Support Students with ACEs
  • Literacy Benchmarks, Connections To Brain Science, and Practical Strategies
  • Discussion: What Innovative Strategies Have You Implemented to Increase Practice Time?


Session 6
Math: Practical Techniques to Attenuate the Damage of ACEs and Toxic Stress

Our last session will cover strategies for boosting math abilities and outcomes. We’ll talk about:

  • How Movement Can Support Students with ACEs
  • Math Benchmarks, Connections To Brain Science, and Practical Strategies
  • Final Questions about the Course


What This Training Includes