2017 NYC Conference Program

8:30am-10:30am Plenary – Crystal Ballroom

Choosing the Right Intervention at Each Stage of Development: If, When and How to Integrate Approaches to Meet the Individual Needs of Each Child

Michelle Attardi, MA, CCC-SLP, SLP Team Leader, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Lauren Blaszak, Executive Director, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Lisa Bruno, OTD, OTR, Related Services Coordinator, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Danielle Dieckmann, PT, DPT, PT Team Leader, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Melissa Donofrio, MA, BCBA, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Liza Marshall Kali, MSHS, OTR, Occupational Therapist, Celebrate the Children, NJ, Monica G. Osgood, Executive Director, Profectum, NJ; & Serena Wieder, PhD, Clinical Director, Profectum, NJ

1st Hour (8:30am-9:30am)

The Autism Intervention Summit Plenary session will present a case study illustrating the developmental progress of a young child with ASD over three years. An interdisciplinary school-based team will share their journey as they demonstrate the efficacy of using a comprehensive developmental approach to understand the child’s unique profile and collectively pinpoint areas of weakness and gaps in functioning in order to strengthen and support the child’s growth and progress. Video clips will show the progression from a child who initially appeared very self-absorbed, stressed, and non-communicative with few functional skills, to a child who is completely engaged and reciprocal, verbal, and starting to play with peers and learn academically, as well as making great strides in self-help and independence! Within the course of the child’s intervention and developmental progress, the team recognized the benefits of integrating principles of Verbal Mapping and RDI, when appropriate, to further support developmental work targeting communication and life skills.

2nd Hour (9:30am-10:30am)

Panel Discussion of the Plenary Case – an esteemed panel of autism professionals will discuss the case presentation from the perspective of different developmental, behavioral and other interventions, including DIR, RDI and ABA.  Each will share the assumptions, principles and interventions they recommend to advance development in young children on the autism spectrum and describe the criteria they use to choose and integrate approaches, set priorities, assess progress, and address the individual challenges of children and families with different profiles.  Intervention is always a moving target where no one size fits all and the team and panel will share their understanding of how intervention advances development to optimize each child’s potential and highlight current research. Participants will have the opportunity for Q & A.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Learning Language: Using Developmental Models to Choose Speech, Language, and Communication Goals

Sima Gerber, PhD, Professor of Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Linguistics and Communication Disorders, Queens College, NY

The question of how best to determine intervention goals for children who are challenged in the development of speech, language, and communication is universally addressed by educators, clinicians, and parents. Developmental language models provide clear guidelines for how to choose both the goals and strategies for facilitating language acquisition, promoting language use in social interactions, and supporting learning in the classroom. In this presentation, a developmental language paradigm will be presented along with case studies of children at various language levels (e.g., non-verbal, emerging language, advanced syntax and semantics with challenges in pragmatics) to illustrate the assessment to intervention process. Frequently-asked questions such as how to support bilingual parents’ interactions with their children will be addressed.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Early Start Denver Model: A Naturalistic Behavioral Developmental Intervention and Its Community Application

Jamie Winter, PhD, BCBA-D, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY

This presentation will describe the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), a naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI) for toddlers and preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder.  ESDM combines the principles of applied behavior analysis with a relationship-based approach that is developmentally appropriate for young children with ASD. The Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (CADB) at NewYork-Presbyterian/Cornell uses this model of intervention within the framework of the New York State Early Intervention system. The approach combines a toddler classroom, parent coaching, speech, and occupational therapy, as well as support and education for parents.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Gramercy Park

Stress and the Environment

Theresa Hamlin, EdD, Associate Executive Director, The Center for Discovery, NY

Children with autism and other complex disabilities often experience very high stress levels in learning and social environments, which can exacerbate problem behaviors and damage their physical and emotional health.  Stressed brains can’t learn and the developing brain of a young child is exceptionally affected by stress.  The good news is that there are things that you can do to reduce the burden of stress and increase functioning for children with autism.  In this presentation, Dr. Hamlin will explore the research on stress, and discuss the problems that can arise out of chronic stress that affect health and behavior in children with autism.  She will present a common sense approach with strategies for regulating a child’s environment, interactions, and experiences as a way to reduce problem behaviors and increase functioning.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Sutton Place

The ASD Nest Model: An Integrated, Comprehensive Approach for Grade-Level School-Age Students Needing Support in Language/Social Development

Dorothy Siegel, MPA, New York University, NY

The ASD Nest Program is the New York City Department of Education’s Integrated Co-Teaching program for higher functioning school-age (ages 5-18) children with ASDs. Nestled within supportive neighborhood schools, the ASD Nest Program helps children with ASD learn how to function well academically, behaviorally and socially in school and in their community. The program, which provides a therapeutic environment and supports within a grade-appropriate academic setting, costs less than other inclusive settings because of its programmatic approach to meeting individual children’s needs through specialized curricula, pre- and in-service training, a collaborative transdisciplinary approach and on-site support. This presentation will describe the main features of the ASD Nest Program and how it can be replicated in good neighborhood public schools/districts everywhere.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder Subtypes as a Guide to Relationship-Based Intervention

Michele Parkins, MS, OT, Occupational Therapist, STAR Institute, NJ

This presentation will discuss the subtypes of Sensory Processing Disorder and how you can tailor your interactions based on sensory processing differences to facilitate engagement. Assessment strategies for sensory modulation and discrimination as well as posture and praxis challenges will be provided. Both sensory and relationship-based principles will be discussed based on each sensory-motor individual difference. Case examples in children 4-9 years old will help illustrate the concepts presented. Participants will leave with strategies to immediately put in place in practice.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

What To Look For, and Staying On Track of Developmental Progress: The DIR-Floortime Model (Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship Based Intervention)

Christie Virtue, PhD, Senior Faculty, Profectum, NY

Development is often thought of in silos, e.g., speech, motor, social, etc. The DIR Model integrates these silos into a new paradigm that function together to develop the six capacities that form the foundation for lifelong learning and relating. “D” represents capacities for shared attention and regulation, relationships that support the full range of emotions, two way communication, social problem solving, creating ideas in symbolic play, and building bridges between ideas leading to abstract thinking. These are achieved through tailoring the caregiver – child interactions to the child’s unique emotional and sensory-motor experiences to help the child develop initiative, intentionality, friendships, and learning. Videotapes will illustrate these capacities and provide the affective strategies to sustain interactions to learn in meaningful ways.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

JASPER (Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, Regulation) in an Early Intervention Setting with Children with Autism

Suzanne Bracaglia, MSE, JASPER Consultant/Supervisor of Groups, New York Center for Infants and Toddlers, NY; Maria Kodjoe, MSEd, Vice President – Behavioral Services, New York Center for Infants and Toddlers, NY

JASPER (Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation) is a treatment approach based on a combination of developmental and behavioral principles developed by Dr. Connie Kasari. It targets the foundations of social communication and uses naturalistic strategies to increase the rate and complexity of social communication. JASPER addresses core impairments in children with autism spectrum disorders and is aimed at improving children’s relations with objects and relations with people. JASPER is based on 15 years of research, including randomized controlled trials on children aged 12 months through 8 years of age. In 2013-2014, JASPER was implemented into New York Center for Infants and Toddlers’ Early Intervention center based program. Children receiving JASPER demonstrated significant gains in core challenges including joint engagement, social communication, and play skills.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

Understanding the Meanings of Behavior and Using Behavioral, Relationship and Developmental Strategies to Support Behavioral Regulation

Monica G. Osgood, Executive Director, Profectum, NJ  

The focus of this presentation is on the co-morbid issues that many children with developmental challenges face such as anxiety, depression, communication deficits, medical complications, trauma and more. For many of these children, the lack of insight into (and tolerance for) individual differences and make-up often mask what the child is communicating through his or her actions. As a result, communication is often misinterpreted as “behavior.” The strategies of DIR, ABA and RDI will be discussed and video examples will illustrate how to tailor behavior plans based on the individual and the diverse needs of students. Testimonies from students allow participants to hear perspectives from inside the world of autism.

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

The Vital Importance of Symbolic Play in Intervention to Advance Development and Mental Health

Gilbert Foley, EdD, Consulting Clinical Director, NY Center for Child Development, NY; Serena Wieder, PhD, Clinical Director, Profectum, NJ

Climb the symbolic ladder with us from functional to imaginative play to understand its vital importance in developing emotional development, theory-of-mind, reasoning, empathy and self-regulation. Early symbolic play represents real life experiences and problem solving (e.g., doctor, chef, storekeeper, driver). Later, imaginative play captures complex emotions such as jealousy, rivalry, fear, aggression, and justice. Symbolic function is crucial for emotional regulation and the mastery of anxiety that accompanies this expanding emotional range. Anxiety and behavioral challenges often reflect poor symbolization and reality testing, making symbolic play an essential intervention in autism. Learn how symbols develop, how parents/teachers can promote symbolic thinking through affect based interaction and co-regulation, how play strengthens language and sensory-motor processing and develops initiative, intentionality, social thinking and mental health.

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Verbal Behavior and Communication: ABA Approaches

Marilena Drakopoulou, MSED, Director of ABA Services, Los Niños Services, NY

This presentation will provide a brief overview of Applied Behavior Analysis with an emphasis on Verbal Behavior. We will discuss a traditional ABA program and how it differs and relates to a Verbal Behavior model in teaching language. We will review the parts of language and objectives as broken down by Skinner and how it pertains to teaching young children with spectrum disorders. We will have an opportunity to watch videos which will give you a clear insight into the verbal operant, Discrete Trial Teaching, Natural Environment Teaching and using the child’s motivation which will allow us to acquire a complete language repertoire (Sundberg & Michael, 2001).

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

Integrating Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech in the Classroom or Clinic

Michelle Attardi, MA, CCC-SLP, SLP Team Leader, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Lisa Bruno, OTD, OTR, Related Services Coordinator, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Danielle Dieckmann, PT, DPT, PT Team Leader, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Liza Marshall Kali, MSHS, OTR, Occupational Therapist, Celebrate the Children, NJ

This presentation will show the importance of the integrated model to support each child’s ability to reach their maximum potential. Occupational therapy integration into the classroom strengthens visual spatial, fine motor, handwriting, and executive functioning skills for curricular and daily living objectives. Physical therapy integrates into the classroom to support whole body awareness and its importance for the foundation to academic and movement demands in the school and community environments. Language therapy is integrated into the classroom by supporting visual representation necessary for comprehension and formulation, and by strengthening executive functioning skills. Language expression is supported with technology to support differentiated learning and expressive capacities. Video examples of activities and interventions in the classroom will be utilized.

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

Putting Families First:  Family Centered Treatment Model in Reflective Practice 

Ruby Salazar, ACSW, BCD, Founder & Director, Pennsylvania Lifespan Services at Salazar Associates, PA

We will define the Family Centered Treatment Model which includes defining a family by their specific culture (history and dreams), dynamic aspects of daily life such as routines and occupations, rituals, and activities which make meaning for individuals being together in the family and thus being an impacting group.  Further, we will explore relationships including attunement, building bonds, lifestyle and resource allocations.  Both preemptive building of a healthy family and challenges when there is concern about a young child or other family member will be discussed.  Emphasis on parent-professional partnerships will be made so that both can articulate appropriate expectations.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Technology Resources to Support Communication: iPads, Smartboards and Other Devices

Elisa Chrem, MS, CCC-SLP, MEd, Adjunct Professor, Imagine Academy for Autism, NY; Michele Havens, EdD, DIR Consultant, Imagine Academy, NJ; Janet London, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech Pathologist, Imagine Academy for Autism, NY

The presentation will encompass a brief background of the technology available with an emphasis on communication apps for iPads and iPhones. Secondly, the importance of using developmental principles to choose the appropriate programs and applications to support learning. The majority of the presentation will focus on how to use the therapeutic relationship with technology and focus on engagement and circles of communication. Technology often places a barrier between the listener and speaker in terms of fluency and the natural flow of communication. Specific techniques will be highlighted to illustrate how to insert yourself into the child’s world rather than them engaging in solitary play.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Ways of Seeing: Supporting Early Attachment and Development in ASD using Creative Dance/Movement Psychotherapy

Suzi Tortora, EdD, Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, Dancing Dialogue, NY

Dance movement psychotherapy is a New York State licensed form of treatment within Creative Arts Therapy (LCAT). An experiential form of psychotherapy, it utilizes nonverbal movement observation, creative arts and multi-sensory techniques for assessment, intervention and educational programming. Ways of Seeing, the program discussed in this lecture, is based on supporting the primary attachment relationship. Using dance/movement, music, play and body awareness activities as key communicative tools, children learn to express themselves while simultaneously gaining skills in communication, self – regulation and social interaction. The development of intersubjectivity is supported as children read and respond to nonverbal expressions, thoughts and feelings of others through dancing dialogues. At the core of this program is the belief that all nonverbal actions have the potential to be communications.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

Fostering Independence – Get Executive Functions and Problem Solving Going From the Start!

Karen McDowell, Program Coordinator, Celebrate the Children, NJ; Michelle Rehse, MA, Early Elementary Teacher, Celebrate the Children, NJ

This presentation will focus on assessment and intervention of the Executive Functioning capacities of young children in educational settings. These include capacities to plan ahead, initiate tasks, hold onto information, think flexibly, follow directions, sequence ideas and movement, control impulses and self-regulation. All children have the potential for Executive Functions when supported by designed environments, relationships, and experiences. Video examples will illustrate skill building  strategies and methods to develop growth-promoting environments, set up daily activities with opportunities for practice, and how to model and build these capacities necessary for independence.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

Implementing Relationship Based Interventions in Preschool and Elementary School Classrooms that Meet State Standards

Lynn Abelson, MS, CCC-SLP, OTR/L, Speech Language Pathologist, The Phoenix Center, NJ; Kristin Cody, Teacher of Students with Disabilities, The Phoenix Center, NJ; Heni Mozes, MS, Supervisor of the Lakewood Public Preschool Programs, Lakewood Public School District, NJ; Susan Smith-Foley, MPA, OTR, Occupational Therapist, Lakewood Public School District, NJ; Devorie Stareshefsky, MS, Supervisor of Special Education, Lakewood Public School District, NJ

The Developmental Individual Difference Relationship-based (DIR) School Model offers a multi-disciplinary approach to education. It proceeds from the central principle that relationships are the foundation of learning. Academics in the DIR classroom address the student’s core developmental and learning challenges. For students working at the beginning levels, this includes a focus on self regulation, communication, and remaining in interactions for longer periods of time. For children who are symbolic, classroom curriculum focuses on perspective taking, empathy, and multi-causal reasoning. This presentation will highlight how the DIR Model is implemented in private and public school settings. Key ingredients such as staff training, administrative support, and parent involvement will be addressed. Data collection procedures will be shared with emphasis on developmental progression and Common Core Standards.

9:00 am – 12:00 pm Half-Day Workshop – Herald Square

The NeuroNet Learning Program: The Neuroscience Behind Movement-Based Learning

Nancy Rowe, MS, Audiologist, NeuroNet Learning, FL

During a child’s formative years, the strongest emphasis should be placed on activities that promote both cognitive and motor development. This presentation will provide an overview of the neuroscience behind movement-based learning and the neurological process that takes place in the brain as children develop fluency in basic academic skills. Participants will receive access to 2 software programs — PreK and Program Level 0 — in addition to iPad assessments. These programs contain 160 days of unique movement-based learning activities that can be used to develop motor and cognitive skills as well as fluency in early literacy, math, and handwriting skills.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Half-Day Workshop – Herald Square

Transforming the Third Teacher: High Quality Classrooms from the Inside Out

Michael William Figueroa, MS, Early Learning Coach, Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) – Quality Practice Professional Development (QPPD) Unit, WA; Miriam Zmiewski-Angelova, MPH, Early Learning Coach, Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) – Quality Practice Professional Development (QPPD) Unit, WA

A high quality and culturally responsive Early Learning environment is the third teacher. A well-organized learning environment with balanced stimulation has the potential to establish good active learning practices and mitigate commonly mislabeled behavioral concerns in children. By allowing children to see clearly defined interest areas for various types of play, explore open-ended materials intentionally derived from their interests and reflections of their culture, language and family throughout the classroom, the learning evolves organically and children’s imaginations blossom. In the spirit of active learning principles, we will use a combination of dialogue, alignment with common assessment tools (ECERS, PQA), small group collaboration, and real-application to your classroom to help you transform or simply enhance your classroom environment.

7:30 am – 8:15 am Yoga Class for Attendees – Crystal Ballroom

Zsuzsanna Kiraly, PhD, RYT-500, Director, Hagin School Consultation Centers, Fordham University, NY

8:30 am – 9:20 am Keynote – Grand Ballroom

The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness

David Rendall, DM, Founder, The Freak Factory, NC

What’s your problem? I’m serious. What do you wish you could change about yourself? What is the complaint that you hear the most from those closest to you, your friends, co-workers, and family members? Are you too loud or too quiet, too hyperactive or too sedentary, too organized or too messy? You get the idea.

So, what should you do? Most people think that they should find and fix their weaknesses. Unfortunately, this just leads to frustration and failure. Your weaknesses are actually the best clue to your strengths. Furthermore, building your strengths, not fixing your weaknesses, is your best strategy for success.

This presentation will encourage you to become more of who you are, not to turn you into someone else. It’s about becoming more different and more unique, not more average and more mediocre. You will learn how to:
• Discover your distinctive strengths and weaknesses
• Frame your unique characteristics in a positive way
• Find situations that highlight your positive qualities
• Maximize your self-control
• Implement permanent procrastination

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Applying Behavior Modification Strategies Using Family Centered Approaches to Teaching Language and Communication: A Functional Approach for Working with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jana Diamond, MSEd, SpEd, BCBA, Sr. Director of Autism and Educational Services, TheraCare, NY; Meghan Duffy, MA, CCC-SLP, Clinical Supervisor, Theracare, NY

The large number of young children diagnosed with autism in recent years make it essential that early childhood educators and interventionists are well educated in best practices for early autism treatment. For Early Intervention services, current best practice is family centered therapy (FCT). Our presentation aims to provide a functional and accessible model of therapy that applies ABA strategies/behavioral modification to work on language in a family centered environment. We will address select principles of ABA as well as basic principles of embedded coaching/family centered approaches, and use case studies to illustrate specific examples of how to use an integrated model of educators and interventionists working with families to address language goals for children with autism. Attendees will learn how to best incorporate families and coach them to work with children with ASD to meet language goals in the natural environment.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Understanding How Immature Reflex Development Affects Our Children’s Functional Outcomes

Fraida Flaishman, MA, OTR, Therapy Supervisor, Smartbaby Inc., NY

Viewing children through a lens in which underlying foundational weaknesses are identified help professionals pinpoint the source of their delays. At the very bottom of the foundational hierarchy is reflex development. As a baby’s brain matures, primitive reflexes are expected to integrate, paving the way for voluntary and controlled movement. It is important for professionals to recognize that the children they see with behavioral, attentional, motor, visual, and other related challenges have neurological immaturity, non integrated primitive reflex development. Lack of function that correlates with a non integrated reflex responses can be remedied. Attendee will learn why reflex maturation is essential for development, learn how to match the corresponding deficits to the immature reflex pattern, and learn what can be done to remedy this situation.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Sutton Place

Neighborhood Music Visits: The Legacy of Fred Rogers, “Facilitators” and “Performers” Introducing Music in PreK-1st Grade Classrooms.

Kathleen Beining, DEd, Director of PreK4-Middle Grade Education, Saint Vincent College, PA

Emulating Fred Rogers, from the award winning, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, introducing music to children. Fred often visited with musicians and carefully noticed their efforts and their love of music. Guided by his simple language, calm demeanor, and genuine interest, learn to share a similar message with children. As Fred explains, “Where would any of us be without teachers – without people who have passion for their art or their science or their craft and love it right in front of us?” Discovery experiences encouraging positive self-expression, resilience, and passion. Discover how you too can incorporate this type of experience in your classroom.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Gramercy Park

Nature and the City – How to Incorporate Nature Play in an Urban Classroom

Veronica Barnes, MS, Conservation Educator, Wildlife Conservation Society-Bronx Zoo, NY

Time in nature has been shown to be essential in the healthy cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. However, growing up in an urban setting can make regular contact with nature challenging. This interactive presentation will provide practical ways to incorporate nature play into the daily lives of urban students. Participants will be provided with examples of hands-on activities that can bring the benefits of nature play indoors and develop students’ math, science, and language arts skills.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Herald Square

Pediatric Behavioral Feeding Disorders

Sonu Sanghoee, MS, CCC-SLP, Clinical Director, Achieve Beyond, NY

This workshop will focus on describing clinical cues for behavioral feeding problems in children. Participants will learn specific reinforcement intervention techniques used to treat the broad spectrum of pediatric behavioral feeding disorders.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Product Demonstration – Kips Bay

STEM, STEAM and Beyond with Panelcraft

Jeff Whittaker, MLS, President, Panelcraft, Inc., MI 

A properly designed block center provides key skill development opportunities such as; creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration. It also provides a platform for social development, physical development, STEM, STEAM, and creative expression. Learn how the Panelcraft magnetic building system is playing a key role in changing the way we think about block play in the 21st century preschool classroom.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Prevent Challenging Behavior by Being More Creative with Circle Time and Transition Activities

Lisa Poelle, MA, Child Care Consultant, Pacific Kid, NY

Circle time. It can be frustrating or it can be fabulous, depending a teacher’s ability to maintain children’s focus and interest. In fact, a lot of time may be spent “managing” the behavior of a few while the majority sit and wait. Also, “transitions” from one activity to another are often times when some children march to their own drummer, instead of falling in line with the teacher’s plan. The overall tone in the classroom will have a lot to do with how these two situations are managed. This session will explore various reasons behind these problems and provide a wide assortment of solutions using photos, videos, handouts, and discussion.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Curriculum Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Play-Based Learning as a Strategy for Play-Based Teaching with Young Children

Melissa Arnold, Sales Consultant, Heutink USA, CA

The building blocks of a strong readiness program start with play. Young children delight in exploring the world we live in. They learn the most when they are engaged in play. Key concepts are mastered through discovering, creating and doing. It is a child’s natural way of learning about themselves, their friends, and their communities. Play-based learning effectively enriches cognitive skill-building.The focus of this presentation lies on the concept of play-based learning and the added value of both free and structured play combined with play-based manipulatives. Carefully chosen manipulatives, based on a curriculum, integrate child-centered playing and can maximize learning outcomes.
Experience how play-based manipulatives will transform your strategies of teaching!

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Sutton Place

How Do You Know That They Know? Using CROWD Prompts to Support Comprehension in Preschool

Carmen Sherry Brown, EdD, Assistant Professor, Hunter College – CUNY, NY

Reading aloud helps young children acquire early language and literacy skills and stimulates cognitive development. Dialogic Reading is an interactive shared picture book reading practice designed to enhance young children’s language and literacy skills through appropriate strategies and prompts. During this session, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the specific strategies used during Dialogic Reading and view videos of teachers using PEER (Prompt, Evaluate, Expand, Repeat) strategies and CROWD prompts to support comprehension in preschool.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Gramercy Park

“They Said WHAT?!”: Respond to Young Children’s Questions about Cultural and Racial Differences

Sheri Atwater, PhD, PPS, Professor & Director of the School Counseling Program, Loyola Marymount University, CA

This presentation aims to turn attention to how young children begin to develop attitudes and beliefs about racial and cultural differences, and what educators and parents can do and say to respond to young children’s questions and comments in order to support inquisitive young minds while also offering appropriate, non-biased information. Research indicates that educators often continue to adopt a “color-blind” racial ideology (e.g.”We are all the same”) approach, which may hinder students’ critical thinking skills and inadvertently affect their cognitive growth as it denies the existence of the realities of racism. This presentation will introduce and apply a Developmental Framework for Racial/Cultural Discourse that can be used with young children, based upon the work of Derman-Sparks (1989, 2010) and others.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Herald Square

Creating an Environment of Consistency and Compassion to Help Children Especially Those Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence

Kristie Adams, MEd, VP of Programs & Services, Family Scholar House, Inc, KY

“Only children who feel safe dare to grow forward healthily.” This quote by A. Maslow is the foundation for working with children exposed to domestic violence. This presentation will provide a brief overview of children exposed to violence, information on working with children in a trauma informed way using a two-generational approach, and will include examples of activities that can be included in any classroom. Other best practices that will be introduced will be mindfulness and conscious discipline.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Kips Bay

The Classroom Activity Matrix: A Tool for Individualizing Learning for ALL Children

Amy Goerl, MA, BCBA, Early Childhood Special Education Consultant, HighScope Foundation, NJ

HighScope classrooms are vibrant, energetic and creative places for ALL children. The role of the educator is to maximize the engagement and participation of every child so they can reach their potential. The Classroom Activity Matrix is a tool that can help teachers embed learning opportunities across the Daily Routine so children with special needs can learn contextually. Bring your IEP goals and objectives and learn how to insure multiple learning opportunities for every child.

11:45 am – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 am – 1:50 pm Keynote – Grand Ballroom

To Be Announced

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Teaching Sentence Structure for Developing Writing, Reading, and Listening Comprehension

Judy Fuhrman, MS, Speech Language Pathologist, Riverside Unified School District, CA

Mastering English syntax has far-reaching effects on written and oral language. This face-paced, hands-on session will introduce a clear, thoughtful process for teaching sentence structure, elaboration, and punctuation using non-linguistic representations for the functional uses of words. Concrete examples will be provided for how to use this knowledge to improve writing quality, reading fluency, and language comprehension. Participants will leave with practical ideas that lay a foundation for skills that students can apply throughout their educational experience, from kindergarten through college.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

The Looking Glass Mirror – I See You in Me: Supporting Social and Emotional Development in Babies and Toddlers

Shulamit Ritblatt, PhD, Professor in Child & Family Development Department,  San Diego State University, CA

Research emphasizes the importance of early relationships in shaping brain development and their long-term effects on social emotional development and learning readiness. Positive, responsive, and sensitive adult-young child “serve-and return” interactions are critical to healthy development. The young child’s perception of the world around and his/her sense of self are based on the “mirror” the adult provides him/her with. Babies respond to music prior to being born. Brain research indicates the impact of music on the brain and its soothing effects. Hence, involving music sooth, excite, and bond young children and adults to provide children with “Positive looking glass self” and a strong social emotional foundation.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

Ready, Get Set, Learn: How to Jumpstart Your Child to Start His Work

Cindy Goldrich, EdM, ACAC, Board Certified ADHD Coach, PTS Coaching: ADHD Education and Support, NY

Often times we see our children stall, postpone (without an actual plan to do), or simply avoid doing their work. Getting started for many children (and adults!) is about feeling READY to begin: Emotionally, Physically, and Mentally. Tackling each of these issues in advance will make it easier to actually START, but the thought of preparing to work feels like added effort – and is often avoided. This presentation will address helping kids actually begin their work at an appropriate time.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

Cultural Competence: The Future is Now, Let’s Talk About It

Claudia Rebolledo, Nationally Endorsed Cultural Competence Trainer, Guilford Child Development Regional Child Care Resource and Referral, NC

Cultural Competence is essential for the highest quality early childhood education to be developmentally beneficial for ALL children. This includes honoring children’s home languages and genuine engagement and support with all families, including extended and nontraditional family units. This presentation is designed to be self-reflective and will review the beginning steps to preparing the early childhood workforce to increase awareness and understanding of culture and cultural competence by defining culture, understanding cultural conditioning, culturally responsive teaching and the role of engaging families.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation -Herald Square

Let’s Increase Cognition, Fine Motor and Language Through Play Using Inexpensive Household & Dollar Store Items!

Julie Marzano, MS, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, Fine Motor Boot Camp, LLC, PA; Emily McCarthy, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Fine Motor Boot Camp, LLC, PA

How are you addressing fine motor, language and academic needs in early childhood? Learn how to meet ALL of these needs in only 5-15 minutes a day using up-cycled, inexpensive, dollar store and household items. Teachers and parents are often “left in the dark” when it comes to fine motor and language interventions that they can implement. Created by a Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist, these fine motor and language activities were developed as an inter-professional program that ANYONE can implement. Given the rise of direct instruction and electronics with a decrease in outdoor, hands on play, children have less opportunity to increase their fine motor and language skills.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Kips Bay

How A County is Using Mobile Technology to Increase Bilingual Literacy

Andrea Knowlton, Director of Early Childhood Education, Napa County Office of Education, CA; Barbara Nemko, PhD, Napa County Superintendent of Schools,  Napa County Office of Education, CA

Research indicates that students arriving in kindergarten without adequate vocabulary and pre-literacy skills are significantly less likely to be successful throughout K-12. Napa County has adopted a transformative countywide digital early literacy program, used in 23 preschool classes and provided at no cost to all families with a preschool child. In partnership with Footsteps2Brilliance and NapaLearn, we have put early learning curriculum into classrooms, homes, libraries and health clinics through bilingual audio books, songs, nursery rhymes, Aesop’s fables, and games. These resources have helped develop vocabulary, comprehension, literacy, and writing skills for children from pre-K through 3rd grade. We will share efficacy data along with student, teacher, and parent responses to this initiative.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Love Me For Who I Am: Empowering Children of All Abilities through Music in the Classroom

Brady Rymer, Children’s Recording Artist, Bumblin’ Bee Records, NY

What can a collaboration with children with unique developmental profiles teach us about empowering all students to feel good about who they are? Brady Rymer tells the story behind Love Me For Who I Am, a collection of rock-n-roll roll anthems inspired by ideas contributed by students with special needs. This collaborative project, expressing children’s feelings and inner worlds, illuminates what it might be like to face being different — and ultimately shows us what we all have in common. Songs from the project will be performed and it will show how they can be applied to motivate, bring joy, educate and bring the classroom community together. Students will share stories of how Brady’s music helped them find their voices and express themselves in new ways.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

ADHD: School and Parents – The Great Divide and How to Bridge the Gap

Tenise Wall, PhD, Mental Health Clinician, The Institute for Family Health, NY

This presentation will focus on the recent research findings published by Dr. Wall as they relate to children with ADHD in the school setting and home connection. There are barriers that impact the school-home relationship that negatively impact the odds for student success. Those challenges with be discussed with recommendations on how to reduce and/or eliminate them. One thing that is evident is that school personnel need more support in increasing their knowledge about the etiology of ADHD while acquiring new skills to interface with parents of children with ADHD. The role of the 504 accommodation is crucial in supporting such students. Research has shown that 504’s are underutilized and practitioners are often unaware of evidenced-based interventions to include for the student with ADHD.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

Watch, Think, Tell: Supporting Narrative Development in Children with Social Learning Challenges

Anna Vagin, PhD, Speech & Language Pathologist, Private Practice, CA

Social thinking challenges affect not just relationships, but language development as well. Narrative is a linguistic composition that reflects our knowledge, impressions, and opinions of events, and can be challenging for young children who struggle with perspective taking, social sequencing, inference, and the emotional understanding of action and reaction! We will begin with a discussion the social cognitive and emotional foundations of narrative. With this in mind, we will then touch on how our own behavior influences the narrative we hear from children, as we review the importance of silence, pacing, gesture, visual supports, and how our own language can best support spontaneous storytelling. The majority of the presentation will focus on engaging ways to support narrative development in the early elementary age student.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

Scribble, Color, Draw: Key Readiness Skills Essential for Handwriting Success

Diane Eldridge, RN, Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant, Handwriting Without Tears, VA

Focusing on a child’s need to play, this interactive presentation addresses the prerequisite skills for handwriting and how to infuse writing into the Pre-K day. I will provide engaging teaching strategies that address fine motor skills, pencil grip, coloring, drawing, letter/number recognition and formation, and name-writing. Activities that develop fine motor skills for strength and dexterity and strategies to develop an appropriate crayon/grip are examined. Coloring, drawing a person, drawing shapes, tracing, and alphabet knowledge that includes recognizing letters and numbers will also be explored. Sensory motor components and social-emotional skills that include body awareness and the ability to understand directional terms will be discussed. Strategies for capital letters formation and name writing are considered.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Herald Square

Be Included vs. Being in the Room: Effectively Including Children with Disabilities

Kathy Boisvert, EdD, Integrated Preschool Teacher, University of Massachusetts Boston, MA

This presentation will discuss a variety of methods and interventions that enable children to be effectively included in an early childhood classrooms. Topics that will be discussed include: a variety of communication methods as well as communication interventions that will assist children with disabilities during social opportunities, behavioral intervention methods embedded into a daily schedule that will assist in the reduction of negative behaviors during transitions and throughout the day, specific adaptations/modifications for children with physical impairments, as well as case studies.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Product Demonstration – Kips Bay

Brain Building Birth to Five – Vroom Turns Research into Reality through User-Friendly Materials and Family Empowerment

Patience Hill, Community Engagement Specialist, Child Care Aware® of America, VA; Mary M. LaMantia, Senior Director, Child Care Aware® of America, VA

New science states children’s first years are when they develop the foundation for future learning. Such advances in neuroscience and child development confirm what educators have long believed: Children’s readiness for kindergarten (and life beyond) hinges on positive engagement with caring adults during their first five years of life. Vroom provides user-friendly materials and resources built upon these scientific underpinnings to create an early learning nation focused on ease, functionality, universal availability, practicality, and scientific research. Vroom is about meeting families in the places they live, work, and play. understand research, explore outreach and assess resources for meeting the needs of children and families. Be a part of this national shift in how we think about brain development in children birth – five!

7:30 am – 8:15 am Yoga Class for Attendees – Crystal Ballroom

Zsuzsanna Kiraly, PhD, RYT-500, Director, Hagin School Consultation Centers, Fordham University, NY

8:30 am – 9:20 am Keynote – Grand Ballroom

To be Announced

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Solving the Behavior Mystery: Realistic Solutions for the Real Life Behavior You Face

Marcie Beigel, EdD, BCBA-D, Founder & Director, Behavior + Beyond, NY

Without the right tools it can feel impossible to overcome disruptive, disrespectful and exhausting behaviors. Educators are burning out all too quickly because they are not equipped to face challenging behaviors effectively. This presentation is here to change all that by providing the needed education to tackle the behavior that is faced everyday. If you want the simple truth about how behavior works and realistic solutions you can easily implement, this is the presentation for you! You will learn ways to identify the root cause of problem behavior, the 3 keys to unlock challenging behavior, and strategies that you can use immediately. With the right tools, the frustrating behaviors disappear and you can get back to loving your classroom again.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Play with a Paper Bag and Sing with a Sock: Creating and Using Puppets as Powerful Early Literacy Tools

Leigh Fox, MLIS, Assistant Manager, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

This presentation will explore different ways that puppets can enhance early literacy activities, focusing on the practices of reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing. We will look at the ways that rhymes, songs, and stories can be used with puppets. Participants will learn simple ways to use puppets with popular children’s books and incorporate puppets into their curriculum. Participants will also learn simple puppet making techniques using recycled or inexpensive materials, and have “hands -on time” to experiment with their puppet skills.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Product Demonstration – Sutton Place

The Amazing Technology Race – Using iPads in Early Childhood Education

Brett Baker, MEd, E-Learning Coach, North Penn School District, PA; Marisa Neeson, MEd, North Penn School District Preschool Outreach Coordinator; North Penn School District; PA

After sharing several new technologies for the early learning classroom, participants will use their new found tech-knowledge to compete in a race against other teams in the room. The race will include actually using the technologies which were demonstrated during the first half of the session. Technologies will include Remind, Symbaloo, Doodle Buddy, and Educreations. Each of the technologies discussed can be used immediately within the Early Learning Classroom. Two of the strategies are not tied to any particular device while two of the technologies will be apps tied to iPads. Please bring your own iPad, tablet, or laptop to experience this session!

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Gramercy Park

Inclusion of All Students Using Music and Movement: Essential Elements in a Comprehensive Early Childhood Educational Program

Saundra Day, Principal, Early Intervention- Stanislaus County Office of Education, CA; Sarah Grantano, MA, Assistant Superintendent, Stanislaus County Office of Education, CA 

Participants will learn about and observe videos of students as they participate in an established music and movement enrichment program. Creating a fun learning experience with music and movement, ensures that each child’s needs are being met with symmetrical movement, self-regulation, body awareness, communication and motor movement in a fun and social way that can include all children. Preschool children can benefit greatly from exposure to these enriching and carefully planned experiences, including students with hearing impairments and multiple disabilities, with typically developing students.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Herald Square

Project Based Learning Through Science: EVERY Day for EVERY Child!

Stephanie Lester, MA, Educational Consultant, Antelope Valley College, CA

Experience this hands-on presentation demonstrating how to utilize science activities to facilitate Project-Based Learning resulting in highly engaging activities EVERY Day for EVERY Child! Implementing the Project-Based Learning Approach through science activities increases student engagement, learning and achievement. Participants will complete hands-on science activities which demonstrate the 7 key principles of Project-Based Learning as introduced through the acronym SUCCESS! (Self-selected, Utilize resources, Creativity, Critical thinking, Engaging, relevant learning experiences, Skills for organization, and Social learning) Recognizing and identifying the connections between Project-Based Learning, STEM/STEAM activities, and the Common Core standards will maximize the learning opportunities for children. Utilizing science activities to facilitate Project-Based Learning effectively guides ALL children toward mastering the skills vital to their SUCCESS.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Kips Bay

Connect4Learning®: Success in School and Life Begins with Teaching 21st Century Thinking Skills in Pre-K Classrooms

Staci Hitzke, MEd, Director of Professional Development, Kaplan Early Learning Company, MN

Cooperating, Observing, and Using Tools Strategically are three of the ten 21st century skills woven throughout Connect4Learning®—a new, innovative prekindergarten curriculum, the development of which was funded by the National Science Foundation. The curriculum uses research-proven teaching methodologies in mathematics, science, literacy, and social-emotional development and builds 21st century thinking skills. Learn how to embed these skills in pre-K classrooms and what to look for in pre-K classrooms to help ensure all children are learning and ready for kindergarten.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Grand Ballroom

“I Like to Work with Kids that Hit, Bite, and Do Not Listen”: Transforming Challenging Behavior

Barb O’Neill, EdD, Consultant, Barb O’Neill Consulting, CA

In this interactive presentation you will learn strategies for transforming challenging behavior in your classroom through case studies, video clips, and interactive exercises. All strategies rely on the use of songs, puppets, visuals, play-support and interactive transition techniques. Research shows that teachers will only implement behavior prevention strategies that they feel confident in and that match their teaching philosophy. Therefore, you will be guided in selecting from the strategies shown based on your beliefs and then guided in adapting them to support individual children based on their interests, strengths and needs. You will leave with increased confidence in your ability to support even the most challenging children and with concrete tools for doing so.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Tell Me A Story: Learn the Art of Effective Storytelling and Story Performance to Engage Young Audiences

Aleesah Darlison, Author, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Australia

When reciting stories to the very young, those stories need to be performed, not just read out. Learn from one of Australia’s most popular and prolific children’s picture book authors, Aleesah Darlison, as she shares with you the techniques she’s learned to engage and excite young listeners during storytelling sessions. Learn how to keep children focused and engaged, how to include them in the storytelling process, and how visual props, pictures and music can make your storytelling circles dynamic, educational and fun. Get ready to romp, rollick and roar your way to storytelling success! Suitable for those working with children from 2 – 8 years of age.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Sutton Place

How to Nurture Cooperative and Caring Behavior in Young Children

Kenneth Barish, PhD, Clinical Professor of Psychology, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY

In this talk, Kenneth will describe basic principles of how to foster cooperative and caring behavior in young children, based on scientific research. He will discuss the importance of interactive play, emotional dialogue, and collaborative problem solving in children’s social development. He will then discuss how we can nurture in our children a spirit of kindness and generosity toward others. Finally, Kenneth will present 15 specific recommendations – tips and strategies that parents can use to help children learn to cooperate with adults, sustain effort on difficult tasks, regulate their emotions, and get along with their peers.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Gramercy Park     

History Comes Alive Through Podcasts – 21st Century Learning in the Classroom

Sonia Marotta, Principal, English Montreal School Board, Canada

Imagine learning about a community’s history by listening to podcasts created by students. Last spring, Level 6 students selected 12 historic venues in the Montreal (Canada) borough of Saint Leonard. These students researched the history and compiled their findings which were then professionally recorded into 45-second trilingual podcasts. Students then created QR codes which were printed on durable, weatherproof plaques.  All 12 plaques were mounted at the corresponding locations, where visitors could instantly listen to a brief history lesson delivered by the students with a simple swipe of their smartphones. This is an example of a great 21st century initiative in which students were able to contribute and gain meaning from their lesson.  This presentation will provide attendees with the steps taken to complete this project including the resources and tools that were used.  Finally, the presenter will discuss how teachers were able to integrate this project as part of their curriculum and will discuss the benefits of completing such an innovative project across all curriculums.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Presentation – Herald Square

A Spectrum of Differences – How Music and the Arts Can Help!

Rene Boyer, EdD, Professor Emerita of Music Education, University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, NY

This presentation will present the most important areas that teachers and therapists focus on when dealing with the child with autism and show how creatively designed music programs can serve these children at home and in the classroom. A variety of creative approaches and techniques that assist children in expressing themselves will be shared. These techniques include activities that assist children in recognizing and dealing with environmental stimuli. Through singing, making rhythms, playing instruments, movement and creative drama, participants will be shown how to better manage and help filter sounds and other stimulation with which a child with autism comes in contact.

10:45 am – 11:45 am Curriculum Presentation – Kips Bay

Play-Based Learning in the Common Core Era: How Bing Nursery School Supports the Common Core Through Play with Basic Materials

Jenna Rist, Teacher, Bing Nursery School at Stanford University, CA

Play – especially free play – is vital to life and learning, which has been shown anecdotally and through research time and time again over the last 50 years. In an attempt to increase academic performance in American schools, many classrooms have increased instruction time at the expense of play. Similarly, direct academic instruction has continued to become more prominent in early learning situations as well, going directly against what so many researchers and practitioners know about young children – they learn better when they are engaged in play. There are exemplary programs that teach children through play, such as Bing Nursery School, which we will look at in depth, as well as examine how they teach CA Common Core State Standards through play with five basic materials.

11:45 am – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm – 1:50 pm Keynote – Grand Ballroom

Seven Skills for School Success

Pam Schiller, PhD, Senior Author of Research Based Curriculum and EC Curriculum Specialist, Frog Street, TX

A child’s ability to navigate the complex structures of his or her world depends on human interactions and experiences that begin at birth. Social and emotional skills don’t just unfold, they have to be intentionally taught. Research indicates a child’s intellectual capacity is only achieved when his or her social and emotional competence is developed. This presentation will focus on how social and emotional skills are wired and on simple strategies for supporting the development of these skills.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Ten Strategies to Boost Brain Power in the Early Years

Pam Schiller, PhD, Senior Author of Research Based Curriculum and EC Curriculum Specialist, Frog Street, TX

Scientific research findings have provided new insights into how we can best optimize learning and development. Many of these findings are particularly crucial during the  first five years of life when 95% of the brain is wired. This presentation will provide simple, easy to implement strategies that will help educators, caregivers, and parents support early learning and development of children right from birth. Join us for this fun-filled session on applications you can immediately implement.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

“What’s Your Idea for Solving the Problem?” Involving Children in the Conflict Resolution Process

Kenneth Sherman, Early Childhood Early Specialist/Teacher, HighScope Educational Research Foundation, MI

Preschool children encounter conflicts on a daily basis and resolving them can either be empowering or frustrating. When teachers adopt a problem-solving approach to resolving conflicts with children they will find that the process benefits children and empowers them to become confident problem solvers now and in the future. In this session, participants will examine their own feelings and ways of dealing with conflicts and learn the benefits of involving children in the process of resolving conflicts. In small groups they will practice supportive strategies that assist children in resolving conflicts with other children. Teachers will develop an implementation plan they can use to apply these strategies with their children and when used consistently will observe as the children begin seeing themselves as successful “problem-solvers.”

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

Teaching Children Self-Control: Learn how to teach children to control their impulses: their bodies, their thoughts, and their actions!

Jamie Goldring, MA, Speech and Language Pathologist, Memphis Jewish Community Center, TN

Research tells us that children with self-control perform better in school and are better at managing their own behavior. Learn effective strategies that encourage the development of self-control, and other social emotional and executive function skills. Teach children how to manage their own behavior, take responsibility for their actions, stop & think about the consequences for their choices, & resolve conflicts peacefully. Children learn self-control by participating in activities that give them the opportunity to practice controlling their impulses. Self-control is not something that someone can do for you. It is a set of skills that children need to learn how to do for themselves. Teachers learn practical information and are given specific activities to incorporate into their curriculum to encourage the development of self-control!

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

The Movement Perspective is the Foundation for The Waldon Approach – A Sensory-Motor Intervention for Children with Developmental Delay

Daniel Posner, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai Hospital, NY; Walter Solomon, MA, Cantab, Jerusalem Waldon Center, Israel

We will review the literature on the role of intentional sensory motor activity in the growing understanding of the typically developing child and how abnormalities in movement interfere with the cascade of typical development. We will outline the principles of the Waldon Approach and provide case studies of children with both CP and ASD and demonstrate how parents can learn to work with their own children. We will discuss ongoing research on the effectiveness of the approach and explain how the activities in the Waldon Lesson aid in the development of cognition, social communication and in the reduction of challenging behaviour. We will show how children play and move intentionally for their own intrinsic pleasure and satisfaction rather than for the approval of supporting adults.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Herald Square

Bridging the Gap: Creating a Family Engagement Action Plan to Build School Community

Kisha Edwards-Gandsy, Co-Founder, NY City Explorers, NY

This presentation will offer the participants the ability to create solid parent and community engagement plans for their classrooms or larger school community through the case study of a successful preschool community. By using the School House Method, participants will create an achievable vision for parent and community engagement in their own early learning environments and create the basis for their program’s EAP (Engagement Action Plan). Participants will also learn the value of community building to successful early learning programs.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Kips Bay

Visual Impairment: Implications on Motor Development and Concept Formation in Infants and Toddlers

Linda Gerra, EdD, Director of Children’s Vision Programs, Lighthouse Guild, NY

Vision plays a dominant role in the development of young children, particularly in organizing environmental information. The two most critical areas are motor development and concept formation. The absence of vision, decreases the child’s interest in moving because he/she does not see what is around him/her. Without adequate vision, concepts may be misinterpreted because the child is only receiving partial or distorted information. Suggestions for observing and detecting signs that an infant might have problems with his/her vision will also be presented. It is important for early interventionists and families to follow up with concerns regarding children’s vision by referring to a pediatrician or ophthalmologist and by requesting a “functional vision assessment.”

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Embedding Music in the Inclusion Preschool Classroom: Strategies for Classroom Teachers

Tori Conicello-Emery, MA, MT-BC, Conference Presenter, Music Together LLC

Songs and activities that support social development, language development, and physical/motor development are an important component of lesson planning and classroom management. Participants will learn how to structure song experiences to accommodate special learners, including children with delays in social/emotional development, language development, and physical/motor development. The presenter uses video to guide participants’ attention to specific examples of accommodations made in an inclusion music class for children in the preschool setting. Participants will see how students who are multiply handicapped participate alongside their typically developing deaf peers. Practical application of the presented material culminates in a collaborative endeavor between participants. Attention is paid to increasing teacher confidence by engaging in live, accessible Early Childhood Teaching and Learning: Emergent Writing Development and Tablet Technology music making.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Early Childhood Teaching and Learning: Emergent Writing Development and Tablet Technology

Tiffany Ohlson, PhD, Research Fellow for Early Learning and Literacy, Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida, FL; Heather Monroe-Ossi, EdD, Associate Director for Program Development & Administration, Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida, FL

As an effort to improve children’s emergent writing and use of tablet technology, researchers developed and implemented professional development for early childhood teachers. Content included emergent writing, explicit teaching strategies that were implemented using a 3-step writing routine guided by a continuum of children’s writing development, and the integration of tablet technology into instruction. Three explicit teaching strategies – modeling, thinking aloud, and feedback – were emphasized to advance children’s writing development. Results indicate that teachers implemented the 3-step writing routine. The use of whole-group lessons, with four explicit strategies, and small group instruction also increased. Teachers’ use of iPads in emergent writing instruction improved, as did their weekly use of iPads across multiple classroom contexts.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

Building Resilient Families: Working on Challenges Big and Small

Rocio Galarza, MA, Assistant Vice President, Sesame Workshop, NY

Sesame Street invites you to learn more about how we as caring adults can positively impact children’s resilience on a daily basis in this interactive session: “Building Resilient Families: Working on Challenges Big and Small”. Together we will explore the resilience factors young children (ages 2-5) need to persevere through everyday challenges – such as sharing with a sibling or beating the bedtime blues – as well as more significant life transitions and situations. In this presentation, we will explore several positive strategies for helping children build these resilience skills, and practice activities to use with children, parents, and caregivers to support the development of these skills.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

Smart Moves: Why Motor Skills Matter for Academic Success and Behavior Management

Robin Prothro, MS, OTR/L, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Clarendon School District 2, SC

Motor Skills (gross motor, fine motor, sensory motor, and visual motor) are a robust predictor of academic success. Research has shown children with delayed motor skills have a much greater chance of struggling with academics, and children with strong motor skills perform better academically. More than ever before, typically developing children are entering school with underdeveloped motor systems. In fact, out of a kindergarten class of 20 students, only 2 may have adequate strength and balance. Lack of ‘tummy time”, “baby containers”, and an increase in use of electronic devices have significantly impacted normal child development. Find out which motor skills children need for school, how to screen for motor delays, and practical suggestions to improve motor skills for every classroom.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Herald Square

Celebrating Differences: Using Children’s Literature to Create an Inclusive Culture

Nicole Briceno, Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center Credential Coordinator, Institute for Disability Studies, MS; Alicia Westbrook, PhD, Mississippi Early Childhood Inclusion Center Director, Institute for Disability Studies, MS

Creating a classroom culture that promotes individuality and celebrates unique differences creates a warm and safe place for learning and playing. The use of children literature that highlights characters with exceptionalities lays the foundation for an inclusive classroom culture. This interactive session will demonstrate how to use children’s literature as a teaching tool for acceptance, empathy, and inclusion. Participants will be provided an extensive annotated bibliography of children’s literature with main characters who have special health care needs and developmental disabilities. Further, participants will learn teaching strategies that promote early literacy development while teaching acceptance, empathy, and inclusion.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Kips Bay

Strengthening Family Engagement: Strategies to Successfully Communicate Sensitive Information to Families

Jane Montgomery, MEd, Director, Peachtree Presbyterian Preschool, GA; Patty Randall, Director of Educational Practices, Peachtree Presbyterian Preschool, GA

Early education teachers are often the first to express concerns regarding the development of young children. Educators must first create a partnership with children and families to be successful in relating sensitive information that will hopefully result in needed intervention. Educators find this hard and don’t have necessary competencies for this conversation, nor do teachers realize the importance of first building the relationship through authentic family engagement. Through a three-step plan, educators will learn how to plan and prepare for any conversation with parents through meaningful exercises that include worthwhile and proven strategies. In this course, educators will discover that effectively delivering information to parents yields the result of needed early intervention for the student.

7:30 am – 8:15 am Yoga Class for Attendees – Crystal Ballroom

Zsuzsanna Kiraly, PhD, RYT-500, Director, Hagin School Consultation Centers, Fordham University, NY

8:30 am – 9:20 am Keynote – Grand Ballroom

Awakening the Greatness in Children

Howard Glasser, MA, Founder, Children’s Success Network, AZ

The Nurtured Heart Approach is a systematic way of seeing and reflecting the beauty in children in a way that it inspires them to live that greatness. NHA consists of three main “Stands” that are achieved entirely through relationship: Refusing to energize or reward negativity; Creating and energizing pervasive experiences of success; while still providing a perfect level of limit-setting and consequences. The approach focuses on building Inner Wealth…children who are nurtured to experience who they really are as positive influences, as making thoughtful choices, and as having excellent character traits…tend to grow those very seeds planted on their own as they take root. NHA helps children to realize their greatness, helping them live this out in their everyday lives. We are confident that this Keynote will strengthen your relationships and inspire you to new ways to celebrate and influence the children you work with.

9:30 am – 10:30 am Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Transforming The Intense Child

Howard Glasser, MA, Founder, Children’s Success Network, AZ

Faced with problematic behaviors from an intense child, most adults react by cranking up their level of application of traditional and conventional methods. They don’t realize these methods are virtually guaranteed to make the situation even worse. This isn’t the fault of the parents or teachers, or the intense children themselves. The culprits are the methods most people have at their disposal. The Nurtured Heart Approach® was developed from my work with the most challenging and intense children and it enables adults to quickly experience great impact in helping children channel their intensity into great choices and great qualities of character and leadership. Those who have studied this approach become agents of change in their homes, schools, agencies and programs. They inspire those around them to interact with children in a new way that acknowledges and amplifies greatness in every area of those children’s lives. Join us for this workshop to learn how to light up the runway for children with all levels of intensity. Let’s help the more intense child discover that he or she is no longer “the bad kid” or even “the good kid”— but the great kid, with great things to contribute.

9:30 am -10:30 am Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Feel That Rhythm! Music and Movement Activities That Naturally Support Children’s Development of Early Math Skills

Ellen Acuna, In-School Services Mentor, Music Together Worldwide, LLC, NJ

Before children are able to count to 10 or add and subtract, they are developing their mathematical understanding. Songs, rhythmic chants, and small and large movement activities are enjoyable way to holistically support young children’s emerging math skills. Active music and movement experiences include exploration of math concepts such as patterning, sequencing, representation, proportion, and opposites. In this session, you will be introduced to the ways you can use music, movement, and rhythmic chants to naturally support even the youngest child’s emerging math skills in ways that are enjoyable for both children and adults. You’ll come away from this session with music activity ideas you can use right away in your work with children to give them a foundation for future mathematical learning.

9:30 am -10:30 am Presentation – Sutton Place

Developing Social-Emotional Competencies in Young Children: The Role of the Early Childhood Educator

Zina Rutkin, PhD, Director of Competent Kids, Caring Communities (CKCC), Ackerman Institute for the Family, NY; Arlean Wells, PhD, CKCC Program Coordinator, Ackerman Institute for the Family, NY

Early childhood is a critical time for children to develop foundational social and emotional competencies. These are the skills that lead to later success in school and life. By the time young children reach the age of four years, they are expected to have achieved a range of objectives in five social-emotional domains: self-concept and self-awareness, self-regulation, relationships with others, accountability, and adaptability. For many children, the majority of these objectives are met organically within the context of a developmentally appropriate, play-based early childhood setting. There is, nevertheless, an important role for educators to play in teaching and scaffolding of these skills. This presentation will present and explore developmentally appropriate strategies and tools for helping to develop and strengthen social-emotional capacities in young children.

9:30 am -10:30 am Presentation – Gramercy Park

The Self-Worth Component…Eliminating Challenging and Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom by Raising Your Students’ Self-Worth Barometer

Cynthia Rainbow, MS, ED, Elementary Educator, The Rainbow Affect, NY

Building kinder, more confident, and compassionate children as a means to eliminate challenging and disruptive behavior in the classroom. Take your students from MISbehaving to AMAZing by creating experiences that will raise their self-worth barometer. This presentation will demonstrate behavior management techniques to coach your students’ in the development of coping strategies, empower teachers to inspire positive change in their students through practical lessons and activities directly addressing students’ self-worth barometer, and expose educators to the idea that children succeed when they themselves feel empowered through self-worth experiences.

9:30 am -10:30 am Curriculum Presentation – Herald Square

Phonological Awareness Instruction for Young At-Risk Learners: Helping Our Children Succeed

Froma P. Roth, PhD, CCC-SLP, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, MD

This presentation focuses on the emergent literacy skill of phonological awareness (PA) and the critical developmental link between PA and reading. The importance of PA instruction aligns with and underscores a basic premise of Universal Pre-K: brain development in the preschool years lays the foundation for future success.  At-risk preschoolers (e.g., economically stressed, English language learners) who receive high-quality, developmentally-sensitive PA instruction show notable gains in early reading compared to peers.  Key parameters of PA, effective strategies, and teaching sequences will be described in this session.  An example of a preschool curriculum for teaching three fundamentals of PA—rhyming, blending and segmentation, using explicit strategies and child-centered activities will be presented as well. This PA program provides resources that promote interactive dialogic reading, direction-following, vocabulary, and letter-sound association skills.

9:30 am -10:30 am Presentation – Kips Bay

We’re Going on An Adventure: Sensory Storytelling and Puppetry with Children 0-5

Susanna Brock, Education Manager, Spellbound Theatre, NY

Spellbound Theatre is NYC’s only theatre exclusively for children ages 0-5. Learn Spellbound’s approach to sensory storytelling and puppetry with hands-on activities geared toward infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. A Spellbound teaching artist will lead participants through storytelling, material-led exploration, creative play, and puppetry activities to engage children’s imaginations and stimulate learning, and will lead an active reflection for how participants can

apply this work to their own practice, and adapt activities for both family-centered and classroom settings.

10:45 am -11:45 am Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Teaching More Than Music – Music, Movement, Imagination and STEM

Michael Napolitano, MA, Founder, Preschool of Rock, NJ

Every instrument has a story. What is it made of? Where does it come from? In this presentation we explore the science, technology and engineering of unique instruments. We discuss the origin, anatomy and the possibility of sounds the instrument delivers. Using various percussion instruments we discuss scientific terms such as vibration, tone, resonance, and tension. We can associate the investigation of the instruments with other classroom activities teachers participate in daily. Science, technology, engineering and math are part of our everyday life and our lessons and discussions reveal possibilities of a greater education within lessons we are already practicing. The presentation is bookended by wonderful and fun music exploring dramatic play, language discovery and more.

10:45 am -11:45 am Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Promoting Positive Behavior: Creating Environments That Support Success in Young Learners

Rebecca Hershberg, PhD, Director of Early Childhood, Ramapo for Children, NY

This presentation will introduce tools for creating environments that support success in our youngest learners. Participants will learn to view early childhood behaviors that adults find challenging through the lens of unmet needs and lagging skills. Using hands-on experiential activities, reflection questions and case studies, participants will develop and practice techniques for meeting needs and teaching skills. Participants will leave with an organized “Toolbox” of strategies and a common language for preventing, understanding and responding to challenging behaviors through role modeling, building relationships, clarifying expectations, establishing structures and routines, adapting for individual needs and responding, reflecting and repairing when conflict does occur.

10:45 am -11:45 am Presentation – Sutton Place

How Can Families Best Prepare Their Autistic Child for the Transition into School?

Jaclyn Burton; Intake Coordinator, Rochester Center for Autism, MN; Jonathan Sailer, MA, Ed, Owner & Director, Rochester Center for Autism, MN 

Using a combination of case study and research we intend to present a “best practice” guide to helping families and professionals prepare for educational transitions. We will follow 3 students as they transition from intensive one-on-one ABA therapy to a variety of more generalized settings. We will show how we worked hand in hand with a local preschool, private school, and public school to help transition students into their next educational setting. We will present the research, show how we adapted the research to meet each students needs, and then review the results for each student. Because of the well-documented importance of the transition into a typical educational setting it is crucial that families are able to access well researched information.

10:45 am -11:45 am Presentation – Gramercy Park

Making Early Literacy Magical for ALL Preschoolers (General Education, Special Education, Deaf Education, Language Delays)

Sarah Carpenter, MDEHS, Preschool Teacher, Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, TX; Rebecca Schmitt, MA, ED, Early Childhood Teacher, Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, TX 

Two early childhood teachers working with three and four year old’s come together to share tips and tricks for a successful year in a child centered Preschool classroom/therapy/home setting focused on Early Literacy. They will share strategies and resources used in their classroom to help develop thinkers, problem solvers and “mind readers”. Topics within this presentation will include developing Theory of Mind, increasing more elaborate dramatic play, furthering vocabulary growth and promoting auditory and language skills that support the MAGIC of Early Literacy.

10:45 am -11:45 am Presentation – Herald Square

Put Your Oxygen Mask on First! A Mindfulness-Based Practice for Caregivers

Zsuzsanna Kiraly, PhD, RYT-500, Director, Hagin School Consultation Centers, Fordham University, NY

Caring for others is one of the noblest yet challenging missions we are called to do in life. It is noble and challenging for the same reason: we give ourselves to the task. In the process, however, often the best intensions and efforts result in feeling overwhelmed or burned out because we neglect to take care of ourselves: to put the oxygen mask on first! Understanding that the wells of resources are not bottomless, self-care becomes an integral part of caregiving.

This experiential presentation will address the importance of self-care and teach a 30-minute mindfulness-based movement practice that can help replenish our inner resources. It consists of a sequence of simple breathing / yoga / chi-kong techniques, derived from my many years of personal experience with these techniques. A step-by-step practice guide, with useful modifications, will be provided. Please wear comfortable clothes.

10:45 am -11:45 am Presentation – Kips Bay

Thriving Through Grieving, the Fullness of Life After Death for Kids

Donna Janel Williams, CEO, Founder of DonnaJanel, Inc, DE

This presentation will consist of strategies for teachers, parents and guardians to use to empower children of all ages to overcome challenges from grief and trauma. Focusing on the importance of making the best out of a what appears to be a bad situation, this presentation consists of practical strategies to help kids thrive while still in the grieving process. Using the strategy of empowering kids through developing their purpose, you will learn the effectiveness of strategically using purpose to overcome and champion over grief and trauma.

11:45 am – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm – 1:50 pm Keynote – Grand Ballroom

Are You a Positive Psychology Teacher? 

Patty O’Grady, PhD, Professor, The University of Tampa, Fl

How do you discipline young children in positive ways? How do you leverage your children’s developmental strengths? How do you manage the complexities of your classroom? How do you motivate young learners? How do you bring happiness and joy to learning while also ensuring that students are cognitively competent and academically ready? The new science of positive psychology enables early childhood educators to positively nurture and motivate young students in their learning. The new science of positive psychology is the best way to deploy the neuroscience of learning in your classroom and move beyond behavioral strategies. Participants adopt a positive psychology mindset to creatively engage their students. Join us to find out if you are a positive psychology teacher or how to become one!

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

How to Teach the Positive Psychology of Winnie the Pooh

Patty O’Grady, PhD, Professor, The University of Tampa, Fl

“It’s hard to be brave, when you’re only a Very Small Animal” – Pooh. This interactive and motivating session invites participants to find their inner selves – and help their students recognize emotions – using the whimsy and wisdom of some of the most memorable characters in children’s literature. Participants discuss and explore some of essential positive psychology themes embedded in the stories including: positivity, golden mean, golden self, courage, resilience, and grit. Participants also identify other themes. Participants choose a favorite quotes and connect it to the positive psychology themes. Participants choose a character to use as the class mascot and a quote to use as a daily “pledge” in their classrooms. Participants share how they may already use the stories to teach emotional and social lessons, and share new ideas. Participants develop lessons and activities that use the positive psychology the lessons the characters teach. Participants leave with a more empathetic awareness that every lesson can be a positive psychology lesson and with some new ideas as how to model and teach positive psychology in the early childhood classroom. 

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Ten Tips for Preventing Challenging Behavior You Can Start Using Tomorrow!

Christopher Rosado, MS, BCBA, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Quality Behavioral Solutions (QBS), RI

Over the years Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has developed numerous practical methods for preventing challenging behavior in individuals with and without developmental disabilities. Essential components of effective behavior programming involve the use of preventative strategies (antecedent interventions). This presentation will identify 10 practical preventative strategies that can be utilized across settings and populations. Among the strategies to be discussed include the minimization/elimination of triggering events and setting up simple behavioral based reinforcement programs. This presentation will follow an introduce, discuss, and demonstrate model where presenters will introduce and discuss the strategies, then model its appropriate use.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

Early Literacy Every Day: It All Begins with A Book!

Laurie Anne Armstrong, MA, Early Literacy Trainer, Arapahoe Libraries, CO

Participate in an interactive presentation to learn how a powerful, intentional storytime can be the foundation for early language and literacy development. Getting our children ready to learn to read is essential to later success in school. Based on the research of the Every Child Ready to Read* initiative, presenters will use developmentally appropriate picture books to demonstrate effective techniques for supporting brain development, print and phonological awareness, vocabulary, comprehension and reading motivation. Join us to learn how to integrate these key early literacy skills into a simple, well planned storytime for every child, every day.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

Student-Teacher Interactions and Expectations in Preschool When the Teacher and Student are of Different Races and Social Classes

Angela Sansone, EdD, Adjunct Professor, Mercer County Community College, NJ

This presentation looks at how teachers devise their expectations for students, how preconceived notions influence those expectations, and how those expectations influence teacher-student interactions. These interactions and expectations set the stage for the way that students view teachers and school. A quick overview of the research concerning this topic will be given as well as the practical implementation for the classroom, and parts of my personal research will be included. Additionally, scenarios will be used to show teachers the impact that their expectations and interactions can have on students especially during large and small group. This presentation will show teachers how to provide a culturally competent classroom instead of trying to have a color-blind approach to teaching.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Herald Square

Making Outdoor Play Relevant: Using Movement and Explorations to Enhance Learning

Keith L. Pentz, MA, National Early Childhood Specialist, Kaplan Early Learning Company, FL

Children engaged in learning experiences outdoors optimize learning due to the enhanced natural air, light, and body movements often associated with outdoor play and interactions. The brain and body are stimulated in a unique and very “compatible” manner when outdoors. Particularly for the preschool child, the outdoor environment provides an increase in gross motor activity, rather limitless space for movement, choices, dialogue and social interaction, along with specialized observation experiences, role play, and risk-taking which ultimately yields strong academic outcomes when the results of these engagements are applied to other learning endeavors. Outdoor play and the outdoor environment can and should be a natural extension and part of any early childhood program.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Presentation – Kips Bay

It Takes a Village: Fostering a Supportive Relationship with Families for Students with Developmental Delays or Special Needs

Julie Blair, MED, MSD Program Lead (Special Education), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), AZ; Stacy Rucker, MED, MS, Program Lead (Early Childhood), Grand Canyon University in Early Childhood Programs, AZ

Family interaction and involvement are essential to the growth and development of all children. Learning a child has developmental delays or other special needs can be difficult for families. There is strong evidence to show the impact positive parent interaction has on the learning outcomes for children with developmental delays. Families developing a relationship with both the teacher and other school-wide stakeholders can benefit the learning outcomes of these children. This presentation will focus on parenting children with developmental delays, home-school relationship, and parent support to achieve learning outcomes. The communication between school and home is the connection necessary to develop appropriate intervention strategies to support the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of young children with exceptional needs.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Grand Ballroom

Round and Round We Must Go: Building Community Through Circle Songs and Dances

Marissa Curry, MA, Director of the Early Childhood Program, The Diller-Quaile School of Music, NY; Ingrid Ladendorf, MA
Early Childhood Advisor, The Diller-Quaile School of Music, NY; Caroline Moore, MA, Summer Music Study Program Director, The Diller-Quaile School of Music, NY 

For the young child, movement and song go hand-in-hand. In collaborative group circle games, the natural pairing of movement and music is enhanced through peer observation, cooperation, and fun. By exploring circle songs and dances from around the world, we can help our children to develop their musicality, and also their ability to work effectively with others. Come join us as we celebrate the young child’s natural propensity for music, and as we expand your ability to facilitate collaborative, joy-filled, circle songs and dances in your classroom.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Crystal Ballroom

Listening Ears in the Toddler Room? Developmentally Appropriate Discipline Strategies in the Toddler Environment

Donna Grover, El. Ed, Education Support Specialist, Goddard Systems, Inc, NJ

How do I discipline toddlers when they just don’t listen? What is developmentally appropriate discipline? Let’s remind ourselves that toddlers don’t own “listening ears”. They don’t know what is a good choice or a bad choice. We will discuss strategies to create a calm environment while maintaining control at the same time. Participants will hear real life examples and share strategies that result in toddlers that are engaged and busy and nice to their friends! It is a struggle for us all, let’s make it work!

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Sutton Place

ABC, Easy as 123 – Behavior Management Tips and Techniques That Really Work!

Rusty May, MA, Creator of SchoolToolsTv, Bullying & School Safety Foundation, DE

When students act up in your classroom, are you searching for the perfect blend of actions and reactions to create a ‘Five-Star’ classroom? Learn how to quickly and effectively analyze a situation, intervene or refocus a student’s actions, and allow the student to be integrated back into the classroom so learning can continue. Save the precious ingredients of time and energy as you allow students the opportunity to be successful. All of this and you maintain your dignity, no messy spills of temper and no burned egos. You WILL have time to teach. You will create the perfect recipe for good behavior.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Gramercy Park

Bibliotherapy: Using Children’s Books to Help Young Children Understand Disabilities

Elizabeth M. Elliott, PhD, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Florida Gulf Coast University, FL

This presentation will demonstrate how early childhood teachers can develop activities using children’s books in the inclusive classroom setting to help all children learn how to be sensitive to and understand children who have disabilities in their inclusion classrooms. A variety of typical children’s books will provided for teachers to use and practice making creative classroom activities that help children understand many typical types of disabilities in the inclusion classroom. Each participant will leave the session with at least three activities that can be incorporated into their classrooms immediately.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Herald Square

Movement and Meditation Experiences in the Classroom – Bringing Mindful Activities to Early Childhood Classrooms

Lauren Maples, Founder & Director, Bija Kids, NY

This interactive presentation will explore the importance of movement and mindfulness activities for children and ways to create these experiences in the classroom. Breathing practices, visualization techniques and walking meditation, specifically for children ages 2-6 years will be presented. Dance and yoga poses settings will be introduced, along with ways to incorporate them into your ongoing curriculum. We will discuss the value of moving in dynmanic ways both indoors and outdoors. Participants will develop an understanding of how movement and meditation support children in developing coping skills, flexibility of mind and body, critical thinking, focus and improved communication. Small group work, reflections and written materials will be provided for each participant.

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm Presentation – Kips Bay

The Changing Culture of Infancy: Revisiting the Importance of Infant-Caregiver Physical Contact for Early Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Development

Emily Little, MA, Doctoral Candidate, University of California, San Diego, CA

In modern industrialized culture, infants are carried in strollers, fed with bottles, taught with electronic toys, and entertained with tablet apps. This increased use of objects and technology with infants has come with a transition away from simple infant-caregiver physical contact, which is unique from a cultural and historical perspective. What are the implications of this shift in childrearing? This presentation will address the role of infant-caregiver physical contact in promoting social, emotional, and cognitive development from birth to three, backed by empirical evidence from anthropological, psychological, and medical research. Practitioners will learn not only the latest science behind infant-caregiver physical contact, but will also learn easy, cheap practices to promote increased physical contact among the parents and infants in the communities where they work.