- Opening Session: E is for Equity, featuring Sesame Street's Sonia Manzano.
- Closing Session: Early Ed for President Rally!
- President's Featured Session: Elevating our power to create a more just world. Led by two national experts, this session invites you to explore issues of equality and equity in our profession, and to elevate our power to influence social change. Using a multimedia approach, this workshop defines the challenges, presents case studies from various states, and will provide you with tools to be an architect of change in your own work. This session focuses on applying practices and strategies that build our professional capacity to create a more just world for our programs, the staff who work within these programs as well as for the children and families we serve. Featuring Tammy L. Mann, NAEYC President; Valora Washington, Council for Professional Recognition; and Sherri Killins, The BUILD Initiative.
- Social justice education in a time of change and uncertainty: Responding to the challenges and opportunities for anti-bias educators. In this workshop, we will engage in a much needed conversation about current issues such as changing gender dynamics, growing religious intolerance, and community responses to poverty and violence. What is the relevance of these types of issues to early childhood programs and curriculum? What new knowledge and strategies do anti-bias educators involved in the classroom and in teacher education need to access? What other approaches—such as peace education, children's rights, and environmentalism—can help us to respond? We will model self-reflection, lifelong education, and risk-taking as essential to being an effective anti-bias educator. Featuring John Nimmo, Portland State University; Louise Derman-Sparks, Pacific Oaks College; Mariana Souto-Manning, Teachers College, Columbia University; and Debbie LeeKeenan, Lesley University.
- Translating social-emotional research into classroom practice: Using what we know to support children’s social-emotional development. Research has shown that emotions drive our thinking and nonacademic skills are essential to success in school and in life. Educators have an enormous responsibility in supporting young children’s social-emotional development so that children succeed in both academic and social domains. During this session, the foundation of social-emotional development will be unpacked by examining a more integrated developmental approach to children's curiosity and learning. Participants will consider how this new lens can inform and guide current classroom and program practices. Featuring Tarima Levine and Davia Brown Franklyn, Bank Street College of Education.
- Tap, click, read: New strategies to encourage literacy in a digital age. Drawing from the contributions of leaders in early learning, child development, journalism, and public policy, this session will stimulate a lively discussion of the four critical dimensions that must be considered in the use of new technologies in early learning programs. The session leaders will also detail the research and policy implications that are essential in ensuring that America's early literacy crisis—over two-thirds of all fourth-graders cannot read well—is addressed in the coming decade. Featuring Michael Levine, Joan Ganz Center at Sesame Workshop, and Lisa Guernsey, New America.
"Todos los niños listos para leer" y la nueva generación de recursos en la biblioteca. Este taller explora el importante papel de los padres como primeros maestros y proporciona diversas ideas sobre cómo incorporar actividades cotidianas como hablar,
leer, cantar, escribir y jugar para apoyar el desarrollo del aprendizaje temprano, tanto en la casa como en el salón. Los asistentes tendrán la oportunidad de aprender actividades muy fáciles de implementar y con un gran impacto en las destrezas de los niños. Descubriremos también la variedad de recursos que las bibliotecas ofrecen hoy en día para los docentes y las familias.Featuring Alberto Pellicer, Denver Public Library.
- Adventure play and anarchy zones: Ten ways to safely bring risk back to the lives of children. Children around the world today are not able to freely play the way they did only a few generations ago, and the fear of safety has stripped play and play spaces of much of their thrill and excitement. An exciting trend in bringing free play, risk, and adventure back into the lives of children is the return of adventure playgrounds! In these spaces children are encouraged to be kids again, with plenty of time for free, kid-structured play and exploration. This session will show a variety of adventure playground examples from around the world, while highlighting the newest American adventure playground: The Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone at The Ithaca Children’s Garden in Ithaca, NY, where children are free to climb trees, build forts, dig in the mud, cook over fires, and more. Featuring Rusty Keeler, Earth Play.
- "My brain is full of ideas!" Unleashing young children's creative thinking in an exciting learning environment. Much has been written about the "decline of creativity," especially during the critical early years. At the same time there is growing evidence that there is a great need for thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators who can adapt to our changing world. This session will focus on the characteristics of young children, who are some of the most creative people in the world—finding ways to encourage their thinking, value their efforts, and help them gain confidence in their capabilities. It will also integrate visuals of young children and their creative efforts in language, science, math, social relationships, art, music, movement, and play. Teachers will gain insight into a stimulating environment that will inspire young thinkers and support their creative development. Featuring Rebeca Isbell and Sonia Yoshizawa, East Tennessee State University.
- Each one teach one: Strengthening the early childhood leadership pipeline. What is your leadership story? What is your personal mission? And what key relationships and experiences have shaped your career trajectory? It is absolutely critical that the next generation of early childhood leadership reflects the vibrant diversity of the field and of the children and families we serve. In order for us to achieve this goal, we must be thoughtful, intentional, and committed. During this interactive panel discussion, emerging and master leaders will share their stories, paying particular attention to the relationships and experiences that have supported and/or inhibited their development as leaders in the field. From there we will draw connections, highlighting common themes across leadership stories that can help us identify ways to better support young professionals and strengthen the early childhood leadership pipeline moving forward. Featuring Megan Madison, Brandeis University; Kia Ray, University of the District of Columbia; Kori Bardige, Learning Circle Consulting; Nick Terrones, Hilltop Children's Center; William Strader, Facilitator of NAEYC’s Student Interest Forum; Ed Greene, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN); Sebreana Domingue, Project LAUNCH.
- Mind, brain, and education science: A better way to think about what we do. Learn to separate the myths from the reality about how young children learn and develop intellect. This presentation provides information on (a) what is well established, (b) what is probably so, (c) what is intelligent speculation, and (d) what is popular misconception or myth. In this interactive session, participants self-assess what they believe, learn 10 guidelines for application, and view slides showing application to the early childhood environment and curriculum. Participants leave with a tool to evaluate their own program and share with others. Featuring Judy Harris Helm, Best Practices Inc. and Karen Coyl, UPC Discovery.
- How storytelling creates better writers and readers: Inspiring young children with your own family and cultural stories to transcend the writing demands of the Common Core. During this interactive workshop, participants will learn strategies and skills of the art of storytelling. Participants will experience how storytelling provides a space for creative and critical thinking, and how to use an organizer to outline a personal story that can be used in their classrooms as well as a vehicle to gather new stories. The presenter will emphasize the importance of storytelling as a tool to encourage reading and writing and support children in learning vocabulary. Imbued throughout is his understanding of how culture and language—and his grandmother’s insistence on being bilingual—provided the impetus for his own love of storytelling, reading, and writing. Featuring Antonio Sacre, UCLA Lab School
- Principles for principals: Informing and supporting school leaders for pre-K through third grade. This session will (a) feature recent reports on the critical nature of principals as early education leaders, (b) share opportunities for how systems can support elementary principals, and (c) provide insight into how early childhood educators in all settings can work with principals to promote developmentally appropriate practice and support positive transitions in the early years. Featuring Laura Bornfreund, New America, and Kelly Pollitt, National Association of Elementary School Principals.