Thursday, October 13, 10am – 12pm EST

Children with Sensory Processing Issues

Linda Delano Schumacher, M.Ed.

Do you know a child who just doesn’t seem to listen, or can’t sit still, or overreacts to everything? Children who have difficulty processing sensory input can also have challenges with behavior, communication, and carrying out everyday activities. Learn more about this complex disorder and how you can adapt your environment and interactions to support these children.

This workshop is an Advanced Specialized Care Training.

Digital Communication and Advocacy

Hannah Reid

Using Social Media to Advocate as an Early Childhood Education Leader.
Participants will discuss the uses, pros and cons of various social media platforms and ways to effectively use social media most effectively. We will discuss pitfalls to avoid, how to get most from your posts and effective ways to promote interactions and positive results. Attendees will leave with techniques for effective use of digital platforms as advocates.

Strengthening Families

Brenda Schramm

Introduction to Strengthening Families:  This training provides an introduction to the Strengthening Families Framework and the five Protective Factors. This training is appropriate for individuals who are new to Strengthening Families and have not taken any previous training on the topic. This training meets the Advanced Specialized Care training requirement. This training uses a 2+2+2 training design. There are three parts to this training: 1) a two-hour In – Person training session at the VTAEYC Conference; 2) two hour assignment practicing or implementing the training material; and 3) a two-hour Online Real Time training session focused on reflection and next steps related to the training material. To receive the full 6 training hours you must attend both the In-Person and Online Real Time training sessions and complete the independent assignment.

This workshop is an Advanced Specialized Care Training.

Collective Leadership: Where Do We Want to GO?

Cassandra O’Neill

Imagine all your dreams for early childhood professionals came true… Imagine a magic wand is waived and early childhood professionals are valued and recognized as leaders statewide… What is happening What do you see and hear? What led the way to this spectacular outcome? What if… what if it all began when the people working with young children recognized their own inner leadership. What if they claimed their power to positively influence themselves, young children, colleagues, families, and communities? And what if… they truly recognized and claimed their own value and worth. Where do we want to go?

Math with Loose Parts

April Zajko

Through playing with loose parts, children learn and expand their mathematical skills as well as foster their sense of wonder. This workshop will explore ways to create meaningful math learning opportunities with natural materials and recycled objects. We will examine how to create play-based ways to implement the Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) for mathematics and design environments that invite authentic mathematical exploration.

Developing Healthy Boys

James Arana

“The Developing Healthy Boys” workshop promotes understanding of how boys learn about gender, ways that masculinity norms and stereotypes harm boys, and the adult’s role in positively supporting healthy gender development. The workshop will be participatory, with a mix of presentation, activities and discussions, including lessons learned from presenting a full day, 5 hour, Developing Healthy Boys training with early childhood educators throughout the northeast US.

Leadership for Beginners

Lawrence G. Shelton

With co-presenter Kate Cowles

Good educators often become curriculum coordinators or program directors because they are good teachers, not because they demonstrate leadership skills. Many undergraduate education programs don’t teach leadership skills. Some people develop into good leaders, while others struggle in leadership roles. This workshop provides a useful model for good leadership, based on principles familiar to early childhood professionals. We discuss with participants their experiences with leaders and what they have learned from them. Then we introduce the model, discuss how it guides leaders in early childhood programs, and why following it works. Participants practice applying it to real situations.

Diversity and Equity in Literature

Jackie Sprague

With co-presenter Linda Darrow, MA

This Training creates an opportunity for professional dialogue focused on equity and inclusion guided by the main themes and concepts presented in children’s literature. An overview of Diversity and Ant Bias will give the participants a glimpse into our own biases. Attendees will have the opportunity to read and reflect on selected children’s books and to engage in meaningful conversation exploring the ways in which children’s books can be used as tools for promoting equity and inclusion in our classrooms and communities.

This workshop is an Advanced Specialized Care Training.

Thursday, October 13, 1:15pm – 2:45pm EST

Nurturing Children’s Sense of Wonder

Hilary Redman

With co-presenters Joanne Pye and Lisa Purcell

This workshop will focus on nature-based play and learning. We will introduce strategies for nurturing children’s curiosity, creativity and compassion while building peaceful learning communities. Additionally, we will discuss the benefits of regular access to nature-based play on healthy child development and how to incorporate this practice into your program. Come ready to play outside!

College Degrees for Early Education Without the Debt! How to avoid college loans and/or get assistance paying off loans you already have!

Heather Martin

Now is a great time for early educators to pursue Higher Education! Early Educators have more resources available than ever to earn a degree at little to no cost, while those with degrees may be eligible for assistance paying off loans. This workshop will provide an overview of financial resources and programs designed specifically to support early childhood educators, whether it’s taking one college course, earning a certificate, a degree, or even a teaching license.
This session will cover programs including the Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Programs, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Vermont, Credential Bonuses, The Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program, and the VSAC Scholarship Program for Perspective Early Childhood Educators. This session is designed for anyone looking to avoid college loan debt or get assistance paying off existing debt.

How do we feed Vermont’s children?

Rebecca Webb

With co-presenter Keely Agan

Providing nourishing meals and snacks in early childhood programs is an essential component of quality early childhood programming. We interviewed representatives from 32 early childhood programs in an effort to learn about the cost and barriers to operating a meal program and how programs have successfully provided meals and snacks to children enrolled in their programs. In this session we’ll share key findings and discuss specific recommendations for the establishment of successful meal programs. Participants will engage in discussions about professional development, messaging, advocacy, and resources towards feeding meals in their programs.

But What Have They Learned? Completing Mandatory Assessments in a Child-led Outdoor School

Michelle Black

Teachers working in outdoor programs, or who just want their students to spend more time outdoors, will be asked to prove that students are actually learning. This session will highlight strategies for meeting standard assessment requirements regarding learning done outside school walls. Topics include the challenges of applying assessment requirements to outdoor education programs for which they were not originally designed, and adapting assessment requirements in an outdoor education setting to appropriately address skills and development in children of all ages, abilities, and identities.

Dramatizing Children’s Stories for Literacy Development

Robin Ploof

Come participate in a hands-on workshop exploring the development of literacy skills through stories written and acted out by children. We will begin with a discussion based on Vivian Paley’s work, together we will dramatize the stories offered and then move into small group work that focuses on sharing and acting out our own stories. We will come back together and share what we have learned by listening to each other’s stories and explore ways to make storytelling and story play come alive in our own classroom practices.

Getting College Credit For What You Know

Melissa DeBlois

For more than 45 years, the Vermont State Colleges System has been helping adults get college credit for their on-the-job learning through Prior Learning Assessment. Early Childhood Education Professionals are accessing these alternative resources to save time and money in reaching their professional and academic goals. Attend this session to learn about the creative ways to advance yourself and your employees in the profession by getting college credit for what you already know.

Collectively Creating Safe Spaces for Children

Donna Lopiccolo

With co-presenter Beth Maurer, Director of VT Child Care Licensing

Licensing regulations and enforcement help provide a baseline of protection for children. Effective licensing prevents harm, mitigates the risk of injury/death from fire, building hazards, disease and inadequate oversight. Licensing establishes the minimum requirements necessary to protect the health/ safety of children. Participants will: Learn who CDD consults with to monitor regulations. Learn the different ways the CDD supports programs. Learn about the top 10 violations by program type and how you can ensure compliance. Receive updates on the new licensing regulations. Receive answers to questions submitted by providers prior to the conference.

Cultivating Wonder, Awe & Social Exchange Through Play

Laura Bouyea, M.S., CCC-SLP

Play is an integral part of learning, communication, social well-being, and self-regulation. It’s also the natural context for cultivating curiosity, wonder, and awe, capacities which ignite the drive the learn, connect, and communicate. Through play we learn language, flexibility, explore intense experience, and hone our negotiation of social exchanges. This course focuses on creating opportunities for children’s developing minds through neurodiversity-affirming practices in play.

Thursday, October 13, 3pm – 4:30pm EST

Using Visual Communication Aids to Support Behavior

Linda Delano Schumacher, M.Ed.

Providing visual communication, or pictures, in an early childhood environment can assist children in understanding what is expected for behavior and routines. In this workshop, we will look at many ways to use visual communication aids to support positive behavior in young children.

Tips and Tricks for Program Directors

Adri Taylo-Behrman

Join a Northern Lights Resource Advisor for an overview of Northern Lights and the supports we offer. Participants will review Bright Futures Information System (BFIS) Quality Credentialing accounts and what needs to be submitted, discuss staff education requirements and pathways to meet them, and identify different types of trainings and how to make sure they count. Bring your professional development questions and learn some helpful tips and tricks to share with your staff.

Embodied and Transformative Reflective Practices

Morgan Leichter-Saxby

We all want the best for children, families, colleagues and ourselves. Our own identities and experiences inform what we think that means, what we bring to our work, and conversations with one another. In this workshop, we’ll explore common and living metaphors of reflective practice, through a mixture of theory, metaphor, and simple exercises. These are designed to assist practitioners in developing professional and collective integrity in any setting.

Leading Through The Lens Love

Jody Marquis

During this workshop participants will be introduced to a Fear to Love Spectrum, and use the framework to identify observable behaviors of fear inspired leadership vs love inspired leadership. They will engage in specific hands-on practices that provide the catalyst for shifting out of fear based leadership, and into love inspired leadership as means to be a catalyst for creating cultures of community and belonging in the home, workplaces, and communities.

Eagle & Mouse ~ A Tale of Nature Based Leadership

April Zajko

Scurry or soar? Ready to tap into nature-based experiential activities to feel rooted and grounded?
Storytelling and reflective practice help eagle and mouse teach us valuable lessons on leadership.

Getting up to Speed

Rachel Hunter

This is a fun recap of the Advancing as a Profession project to date. We will be talking about the work that has occurred to create a clearly defined early childhood education profession with distinct roles and responsibilities, aligned preparation pathways and licensure, professional compensation, supportive infrastructure and shared accountability. This session is designed for early childhood educators who are just getting involved in the Advancing as a Profession work or may have only had the opportunity to attend one or two sessions in the past.

Kids In Control

Sandra C Soucy

This workshop will focus on creating a democratic classroom where children and adults are equal stakeholders and decision makers. We will discuss the practices of our school which include children choosing daily chores, leading morning meetings, voting on topics, and negotiating social conflict situations. We will discuss empowering children while guiding them in making decisions that are good for themselves and their community. We will talk about allowing children to make decisions without turning over the reins of the classroom.

Talking With Children About Race and Racial Violence

Emma Redden

This workshop will support educators to speak more directly and more truthfully about race and racism with young children. They will be supported in doing this by reflecting on what language and concepts they already use and engage with that are foundational to racism, as well as reflect on the racial messages that are getting communicated to children just by existing in their schools and communities.

Friday, October 14, 10am – 12pm EST

Hands-On Math for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Linda Delano Schumacher, M.Ed.

Math learning starts when children first begin to explore their world. Learn what “mathematics” looks like for an infant and how math skills gradually develop as the child grows and prepares for kindergarten and beyond. Gain some ideas for developmentally appropriate, easy-to-plan math activities that can be adapted for mixed aged groups or children at differing skill levels.

Nature Play & Outdoor Environments

Colleen Christman

NATURE PLAY has taken center stage as a solution to the increasing behavior, health and learning challenges that children face. More and more children are growing up noticeably weaker– their balance systems significantly underdeveloped compared to children of previous generations. The cause? Children are not spending enough time playing outdoors and it is affecting their sensory systems and quality of life. Based on the philosophy from TimberNook, an innovative outdoor program developed by author & pediatric occupational therapist, Angela Hanscom, this workshop aims to empower parents and educators with strategies and resources to reverse this childhood trajectory.

Image of the Child as an Artist: Process Art

Carrie Becker

Art is a powerful tool for developing motor skills, meeting sensory needs and expressing thoughts and emotions. Children learn to express themselves without restriction when we provide a variety of materials and allow them to explore, get messy and experiment. Workshop participants will discuss product versus process art practices and learn to create process-oriented experiences for their children.

Leadership and Whole Brain Living

Cassandra O’Neill

In Jill Bolte Taylor’s new book, Whole Brain Living: the anatomy of choice and the four characters that drive our life, she answers questions we didn’t know we had. She teaches how we can work with our brain and nervous system to create the life (and world) we want.
Deep seated dominant cultural views tell us that we are at the whim of external circumstances, however, wisdom traditions tell us something different. Wisdom traditions teach that we go within for the deepest knowing. This book applies the most current neuroscience to help us choose peace within ourselves. By choosing peace, we can positively influence our own life and those we are in relationship with.

Working with Wool

Jed Norris

This workshop will work to connect to our agricultural community through building connections to the fibers that we were. We will spend the majority of the time exploring wool and will have time to learn to clean & card, make a simple felting project and have a discussion around how this medium could benefit the classroom experience.

Valuing Diversity: Integrate Culture with Authenticity

Paula Nadeau

In this workshop we will explore how to move past simple acknowledgment of celebrations from other cultures and into authentically celebrating the cultures of our children, families, and our educators with humility, respect and curiosity. As our populations diversify, we will need to also grow a teaching workforce representative of this diversity. In this workshop, we will also explore how to welcome the culture of New American educators with the same authenticity.

This workshop is an Advanced Specialized Care Training.

Milestones Matter! Learn to Track Early Development

Janet Kilburn

With co-presenter Cooper Siegel

Come to a fun, interactive workshop where you will learn to use tools that support all children’s healthy development and resilience. As an early childhood educator, you play a key role in supporting children’s early development. This workshop will address how early development is a dynamic process that can be influenced and weighted toward health and wellbeing. Through hands on learning, videos, and group activities, you will learn to use CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) Program tools for developmental monitoring and use brain building tips to add learning to everyday moments. These tools help strengthen protective factors like parental knowledge of child development and understanding social and emotional skills. Teachers will receive free resources to support families to better understand their child’s early development, celebrate milestones, and identify concerns so that young children get connected to the services they need at an early age when the benefit is greatest.

This workshop is an Advanced Specialized Care Training.

Joy in Motion: Integrating African-American Art, Culture, Creativity and Resilience into Pre-K-3 Education

Lydia Clemmons, PhD, MPH

Participants will be introduced to Clemmons Family Farm’s Joy in Motion Pre-K-3 curriculum and learn to use lesson plans, discussion questions, curated resources, and participatory creative activities built around the fascinating and little-known history of Black roller-skating. Each workshop will be co-facilitated by two Clemmons Family Farm team members- a visual arts educator and a music and movement teaching artist.

Friday, October 14, 1:15pm – 2:45pm EST

Expand Oral Language with Playful Drama Routines!

Susanna Olson

How can making dramatic choices with voice, body, and imagination broaden oral language skills? Children develop language through practice, especially through encouraging interactions with adults who give them something fun to talk about! In this workshop, participants experience joyful, dynamic tried-and-true drama routines enhanced with research-based oral language strategies proven to meet multiple dimensions of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. As a follow up, participants receive access to a new free online video PD resource created in collaboration between Champlain Valley Head Start teachers, performing arts and oral language specialists, and Vermont Arts Council.

Leadership Begins With Your Own Story

LouAnn Beninati

Leadership and Advocacy begins with your personal ECE story. Learn ways to share your experiences in service of the mission of quality early care and learning for all VT families. Learn techniques to develop your advocacy storytelling skills, hear from experienced ECE leaders and learn about ongoing leadership and advocacy opportunities in VT.

Focusing on the Strengths of Others for Success

Tracy Cheney

We live in a society in which we are always trying to improve. This workshop focuses on a different approach, that of what is already working well and is inherently a person’s strengths.

Leading with Equity

Shabnam Nolan

Equity is a big word with many meanings. This workshop is tailored to leaders of childcare organizations who are interested in an interactive dialogue where we define equity, explore how it shows up in our organizations, discuss what we can do as leaders to lead with equity, and leave with one action step we can each take in our journey towards an equitable childcare sector.

Supporting Children’s Play

Scott Noyes

Through understanding the function of play, adults can define their role in children’s most natural learning style. By asking ourselves difficult questions, we can start to comprehend how our involvement helps or hinders children’s discovery of their world.

“What’s the Latest?” in the work to Advance ECE as a Profession

Rachel Hunter

This workshop is designed for early childhood educators who have some familiarity with this initiative. Participants will be able to describe implementation planning that is underway in Vermont to prepare for early childhood education becoming a recognized profession. Participants will be able to describe the link between this work at the state level and the creation of a national profession.

Joy in Motion: Integrating African-American Art, Culture, Creativity and Resilience into Pre-K-3 Education

Lydia Clemmons, PhD, MPH

Participants will be introduced to Clemmons Family Farm’s Joy in Motion Pre-K-3 curriculum and learn to use lesson plans, discussion questions, curated resources, and participatory creative activities built around the fascinating and little-known history of Black roller-skating. Each workshop will be co-facilitated by two Clemmons Family Farm team members- a visual arts educator and a music and movement teaching artist.

Pathways to Teacher Licensure

Heather Duhamel, M.Ed.

Are you interested in teaching in a Vermont public pre-K program? If so, you’ll be glad to know there are many pathways to qualifying for an Educator License with an ECE endorsement from Vermont’s Agency of Education. This session explores multiple ways to meet this professional goal while individualizing a pathway that is right for you!