Special Needs Professional Development


Professional Development: Add Drama and Music to your Special Needs Classroom

Online, Asynchronous, and Self-Paced

Google Classroom Platform​​​​​​​

This creative, asynchronous online Professional Development course is intended for Special Needs teachers, teaching assistants, paraprofessionals, parents, caregivers, teaching artists, and administrators who work with young people with special needs, ages 4 to 21.  Online participants will acquire skills in conducting creative drama and music activities for students who have a wide range of disabilities as well as abilities.  When you employ these newly acquired inclusive skills, your students will gain much improved communication, self-esteem, cooperation, and a sense of fun.  Highlights of this Professional Development course include:

 Lesson Plans
 Enjoyable and Educational Assignments 
 Ongoing Communication with your Online Instructor via Assignments

​​​​​​​This unique online course is taught by Leslie Fanelli, Executive Director of the Arts Education Company, Theatre in Motion, honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and part of the Tony Award-winning team at the esteemed Paper Mill Playhouse.  If interested, email:  tshirl@aol.com or Lfanelli@theatreinmotion.com.  (Cut and paste an email address, if needed.)  Please type “Online Drama Interest” in the subject line or call 908.723.0564 (USA). 

You can choose from the following: 

1.  A version of this online course for Five Continuing Education Units (5 CEUs)

2.  A version of this online course for Three Continuing Education Units (3 CEUs)

(Certificate received for completing the above course versions)

3.  A non-CEU version of this online course  (pricing for all, after testimonials)** 

Educator testimonials ensue:

From Adam Ziering, SPED teacher, South Orange-Maplewood, NJ, School District ...​​​​​​​

File

Please click on the words DOWNLOAD FILE below to hear Special Needs teacher Adam Ziering's heartfelt comments about this online course:

Download File

Other endorsements ensue ...

From Molly Zervoulis, Masters of Science in Teaching Exceptional Adolescents, Fordham University; Special Education Teacher: Bayonne Board of Education, NJ:

"This online Special Needs Professional Development course provides a substantial amount of quality activities, resources, and research.  The lesson plans are thorough and provide many modifications and teaching materials which will prove useful when teaching students with disabilities of all ages.  Self-esteem, strengthened communication skills, and pure joy are just some of the outcomes.  I can attest that these activities can change a life.”   
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Special Needs Course Participants in Rochester, NY, pictured below:
"We are appreciative for all the professional development that you have provided to catapult our staff to the next level of UDL and Multiple Intelligences."
Jennifer Singer, School Program Director, Holy Childhood School
Special Needs Professional Development Drama Music 26 Special Needs Professional Development Drama Music 24 Special Education
Professional Development, Rochester, NY

From London:

"The Professional Development Course 'Add Drama and Music to your Special Needs Classroom' is rooted in Leslie Fanelli’s extensive experience as artist, educator and advocate for the rights of people with different abilities. Her full engagement to this project has enabled her to deliver a comprehensive experience, where teachers, parents and care givers (and anyone interested in education and self-development) are guided into knowledge of the human brain, body, emotions and behaviour.  The course is structured in a way that enables you to search deep inside your own resources, to best apply the scientifically based principles of Universal Design for Learning and Multiple Intelligences. You learn to design your own creative, engaging and fun lesson plans. This course shows the way towards truly inclusive classrooms, meaningful learning processes, and healthy relationships. Anyone interested in 'how we are' and 'how we learn', should take it."

Gabriela Aviles, Student of the Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Studies, London

BA in Social Communication, I.E.E.C. Monica Herrera, El Salvador

.And from Indiana:

"This online course is an excellent resource for teachers of students with Special Needs--and indeed, all teachers.  The creative drama lesson plans are a joy to visualize how applicable, educational, and fun they will be in the classroom.  Additionally, for me, as a visual artist and art teacher, a number of the chapters can be used as an aid in teaching art classes. In particular, the Theory Of Multiple Intelligences clearly describes the way we as artists approach our craft. Understanding the complexity of how we learn helps me guide students to find new paths to creativity and expression in their artwork."

Cindy Crofoot 
Oil Painting Instructor / Dearborn Art Center
Aurora Art Guild
Aurora, Indiana

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**Pricing for this online Professional Development:

5 Continuing Education Units (5 CEUs) version of the course

Certificate received upon completion

For one educator/participant … $175    For groups of 4 or more … $140 each

For the 5 CEU course (50 hours), you have full access to the course.  You complete and turn in all the innovative assignments to be graded by the online instructor.  You also enjoy ongoing communication with the online instructor via the assignments.  Asynchronous and self-paced—you work at any time you choose and at your own pace.

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3 Continuing Education Units (3 CEUs) version of the course

Certificate received upon completion

For one educator/participant … $155    For groups of 4 or more  … $120 each

For the 3 CEU course (30 hours), you have full access to the course.  You complete and turn in fewer of the innovative assignments to be graded by the online instructor.  You also enjoy ongoing communication with the online instructor via the assignments.   Asynchronous and self-paced—you work at any time you choose and at your own pace.

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Non-CEU version  …  $99 per educator/participant

For the Non-CEU version, you have full access to the course, you simply complete any of the innovative assignments you wish and do not turn them in to the online instructor. 


You will need a gmail address to take any course because it is a Google Classroom format.  It is easy to create a gmail address. Visit Create Your Google Account for GmailWith that gmail address, sign up for and take the courses you select.

You can pay for any course with a credit card

By Clicking Here.

Or you can pay by check, made out to:

Theatre in Motion

245 Livingston Ave.

New Providence, NJ 07974

For registration and questions, call instructor and course creator Leslie Fanelli at 908-723-0564 or email tshirl@aol.com or Lfanelli@theatreinmotion.com   Write “Online Drama Interest” in the Subject Line.

Ms. Fanelli is the Executive Director of the Arts Education Company, Theatre in Motion, honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and part of the Tony Award-winning team at the esteemed Paper Mill Playhouse.​​​​​​​

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A Separate Professional Development Program from the Recent Past:
Internationally Skyped Workshop ...

Artistic Director and Founder of Theatre in Motion, Leslie Fanelli, recently conducted a Skyped Professional Development: Universal Design for Learning and Multiple Intelligences Theatre Arts 
class with National Chiayi University in Taiwan.  In addition, we discussed disability in the media and watched Theatre in Motion's music video "Song of Land" with American Sign Language, which was recently honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  This honored music video features intergenerational artists with and without disabilities. We also engaged in interactive sign language, singing, and tossing an invisible, "Magic Clay" ball from nation to nation!

National Chiayi University. http://www.ncyu.edu.tw/eng/

Combined sophomore class of Department of Special Education
and Department of Counseling

Class Title: Early Intervention  
Instructor:  Yu-Hsia Lin   

Guest Instructor and photographer:  Shiang-Jiun Chen
International Guest Instructor: Leslie Fanelli

"Song of the Land" with American Sign Language  

Special Needs Professional Development Drama Music 27Special Needs Professional Development Drama Music 24 Special Education


For a different international theatre journey, please enjoy the book Disability Theatre from the InsideOut by Ruth Bieber with contributing author Leslie Fanelli.  Original scripts included.