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NAEYC Featured Sessions
Dialogue with water: Promoting and analyzing children's scientific inquiry at the sensory table
Presenter: Thomas Bedard, Saint Paul Public Schools
Through inspiring videos, photos, and anecdotes of children exploring easy-to-build constructions in and around the water table, participants are invited to see children engage in a dynamic interplay between space and materials as they take charge of their own scientific inquiry. Children’s explorations include experiments with water in different states: water (liquid), ice and snow (solid), and suds and bubbles (gas). Learn concrete ideas for turning the water table into a hands-on science table for children to author their own experiments. Reflect on your attitude in relation to planning intentional activities at the water table. Participants will be offered a framework of dimensions and elements to consider when building that is easily adapted to fit any classroom. Examples will also include ways to adapt the constructions for toddlers.
Kale salad, laundromats, and Obama: How cultural competency creates transformative learning experiences for students, staff, and parents
Presenter: Alvin Irby, Barbershop Books
In this session, attendees will define cultural competency and investigate common barriers to transformative communication, curriculum design, instruction, and professional development, as well as learn and apply effective cultural competency strategies to real-world challenges from a variety of early childhood educational settings. Attendees will be invited to reflect on their own cultural background (i.e., age, geographic region, ethnicity, race, school history, socio-economic status) and think about how it manifests itself in their pedagogy, trainings, or communication with parents. In small groups, attendees will consider what barriers to cultural competency are present in their schools, classrooms, programs, or staff trainings, and they will share how they would apply cultural competency strategies to a challenge they have identified.
Identifying and creating child-centered environments
Presenter: Lisa Murphy, Ooey Gooey, Inc.
In this workshop we will discuss nine things you will see in a hands-on, play-based early childhood environment. Via interactive lecture, true-to-life examples, anecdotes, and “learning and laughing,” discover what it really means to be a child-centered program. Compare and assess your program against the nine points, and identify areas you to might want to change.
Starting out right: Developmentally appropriate language and early literacy practices for dual language learners and children from families with low incomes
Presenter: Susan Neuman, New York University
In this session we will examine ways that teachers and parents can support children's early language and literacy skills. Highlighting key principles from research that demonstrate the importance and malleability of language and vocabulary development, we will describe easily implemented language and literacy practices to support DLLs and children from families with low incomes. We will also discuss ways that parents can support children's language and literacy activities through developmentally appropriate practices that are aligned with classroom practices.
Making, Tinkering, and Makerspaces: What You Need to Know and How Teachers Are Using Makerspaces in Their Classrooms
Presenters: Cate Heroman, Cate Heroman, LLC; Lisa Brahms, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; Ryan Moreno, REM Learning Center; Megan King, Passaic Public Schools
STEM starts early! Learn about making, tinkering, and engineering in early childhood from this panel of experts, teachers, and practitioners.
Academic rigor and DAP: Implementing high-quality teaching practices in K-3
Presenters: Shannon Riley-Ayers, The National Institute for Early Education Research; Sharon Ryan, Bank Street College of Education; Kaitlin Northey, Rutgers University; Vincent Costanza, Teaching Strategies, LLC
Learn how one state is making strides in improving the quality of education in the primary grades by providing professional learning opportunities for teachers and leaders. See high-quality classrooms in action, meeting standards with a developmentally appropriate approach. Discuss the supports needed for a shift to DAP in the primary grades and how data can help guide change. Formulate a plan for supporting this shift in your context.
The NAEYC and Fred Rogers Center joint position statement on Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs turns 5 – guiding educators in the digital age.
Presenters: Chip Donohue, Erikson Institute; Susan Friedman, NAEYC; Rick Fernandes, Fred Rogers Center; Kathleen Paciga, Columbia College Chicago
Panelists reflect on lessons learned during the three-year process of developing the joint position statement and consider how well the statement and key messages have aged since 2012. We will review what we know now that we didn’t know in 2012, and explore the big ideas, key messages, and best practices described in the position statement and how they impact young children, parents, families, and early childhood educators in 2017. Learn about the perspectives of other organizations that have written position statements and guidelines on this topic since 2012, and consider how to effectively synthesize and use them to help us connect the dots between child development, early learning, best teaching practices, and digital media.
Power to the Profession: A Pulse Check
Presenters: Rhian Evans Allvin, Marica Cox Mitchell, NAEYC; Shyrelle Eubanks, National Education Association; Bill Hudson, National Association of Family Child Care; Debra Murphy, ACCESS and Cape Cod Community College; Karen Ponder, National Power to the Profession Taskforce; Sue Russell, T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center; Aaliyah A. Samuel, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices; Ruth Schmidt, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association; Dianna Wallace, Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children; Valora Washington, Council for Professional Recognition; Stephanie V. Blank, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS)
High-quality educators drive high-quality early learning and NAEYC is committed to achieving a vision in which the early childhood profession exemplifies excellence and is recognized as vital and performing a critical role in society. Power to the Profession is a collaborative initiative to establish a shared framework of knowledge and competencies, qualification, standards of practice and compensation for all early childhood educators who work with children birth through age eight across a variety of early learning settings. Join the national conversation and help shape the future of the early childhood education profession.
President’s Seminar: New roles and methods for assessment in the face of increased diversity and accountability and curricular alignment from birth through age 8
Presenters: Tammy Mann, The Campagna Center; Samuel Meisels, Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska; Linda Espinosa, University of Missouri-Columbia; Vincent Costanza, Teaching Strategies, LLC
The President’s Seminar will explore recent research and policy about assessment by focusing on diversity, accountability, and curriculum alignment from birth through age 8. We will explore the progress states and programs are making in implementing assessment approaches that are research-based, reliable and valid for diverse populations, and developmentally appropriate. We will discuss multiple methods that states and programs can implement when few assessment tools have been normed on or are appropriate for the diversity of language groups represented among the expanding birth to age 8 population. We will also consider how assessment practices can be altered to correspond to the heightened interest in the full early childhood age range by examining contexts that support implementation of appropriate assessment practices in the primary years of schooling. Finally, we will ask about the challenges teacher educators are encountering as they attempt to respond to this changing professional and demographic environment. Join us as we think about how NAEYC can help shape future research and policy in this arena.
Connecting with millennial parents: On demand, social, and personal
Presenter: Karen Deerwester, Family Time
The rules of family engagement have changed and continue to change as early childhood educators adapt to the needs and preferences of millennial parents. Early childhood educators are adept at problem-solving models that lead without controlling and compromise without surrendering core values. We can use those same skills to collaborate with a new generation of parents. In this session, we will discover the freedom and the creativity of true collaboration based on the best recommendations from generational research on millennial parents. Join us as we identify the changing needs of parents and families, find ways to let go of rules and practices that are no longer meaningful or effective, and harness the power of relationship-building and technology to meet parents where they are and create the best possible programs for children.
Lifting us higher: Elevating our profession through the transformative power of accreditation
Presenter: Elanna Yalow, KinderCare Education
Nationally accredited programs aren't just a benefit to children and families - accreditation elevates the entire early learning and teaching profession. This panel session will shed light on the transformative impact of accreditation and why every early learning provider in America should make it their focus.
Meet Caldecott-award winning authors and illustrators: Children's literature at NAEYC
Presenters: Brian Selznick, author and illustrator; Molly Idle, author and illustrator; Steve Jenkins, author and illustrator; Robin Page, author and illustrator; Holly Seplocha, William Paterson University
Be your child's best teacher using children's literature. This annual well-attended featured session brings award-winning children's authors and illustrators to NAEYC to share their experiences and expertise with teachers. The authors and illustrators, all leaders in the field, will discuss how they create their books, what children have said and asked about their books, and share strategies to use their books with children. Additionally, they will share their own journey as writers, writing for publication, and experiences in working with children in school.