ECE Conference Presenters and Workshops

43rd Annual | April 22 - 23, 2022
In this Section

2022 Call for Presentations

Presenter Presentations
Submit a proposal
From Playscape to Naturescape: Helping Transform Your Center

Andrea BierbrauerFrom Playscape to Naturescape: Helping Transform Your Center
Andrea Bierbrauer, Naturalist/Early Childhood Specialist/Volunteer Coordinator, Heckrodt Wetland Reserve

This workshop will empower teachers with the background knowledge needed to introduce environmental education into their centers/schools. After this workshop participants will have resources and ideas on how to bring environmental activities into their centers through science and sensory. They will learn how to incorporate processed-based art activities into their science curriculum. Participants will also be able to get concepts on how to showcase environmental education within their own “backyard” at their centers. Through this workshop, we hope to make environmental education more exciting and accessible to all learning centers.
(1 to 5-Years-Old) (Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)

Mindful Breathing and Calm Centering for Young Children

Ann BieseMindful Breathing and Calm Centering for Young Children
Ann Biese, Mediation and Mindfulness Specialist Tuft's Floating Hospital

Mindful breathing is a staple in the practice of mindfulness and is often the foundation of calming children with stress and anxiety. Mindful breathing is an important building block in developing a healthy mindfulness practice and when taught to children it can help them find calmness. Teaching children the benefits of focusing on their breathing when they are confronted with emotions that are difficult to manage can give them a tool for life to manage anxiety.
(2-1/2 Year-Olds to 5-Year-Olds, Adults) (Guidance and Nurturing)


More Than "Your Child did Great" Building Trust & Positive R

Ayuko Boomer
More than "Your Child did Great!" Building Trust with Caregivers to Nurture Children's School Experience!  
Ayuko Boomer, Early Childhood Specialist, and Parent Educator,
University of Minnesota, Shirley G. Moore Lab School

Participants in this session will develop language and communication skills that will enhance the relationship and trust between parents and teachers. Through discussion and sharing, they will have a deeper understanding of how positive parent-teacher relationships enhance and support the child’s learning, thus furthering the goals to provide the best education and experience for the child.
(1 to 5 Years-Old) (Family and Community Relationships)

Lyrics to Literacy: Read a Song and Sing a Book

Debbie ClementsLyrics to Literacy: Read a Song and Sing a Book
Debbie Clement, Arts Enrichment Consultant, Author/Illustrator

Join a picture book author and illustrator for singing, moving, signing, up-beat presentation of integrating picture books into the classroom. We will learn the songs in sign language to support your teaching them for end-of-year celebrations. We will take a quick look at children's open-ended art responses to my book illustrations. There will be movement songs as well, to get your class up and moving in celebration of spring. We'll take a look at the puppets and props that can bring songs to life and make a big impression while augmenting the learning and retention, as well as infusing fun and laughter into the day. All of the songs in the presentation were designed around brain research -- focusing on patterns, rhythm, rhyme, and repetition.
(3 to 5-Years-Old, Adults ) (Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)

Toxic Stress of Homelessness and Housing Insecurities: Unrav

Jeanne EricksonToxic Stress of Homelessness and Housing Insecurities: Unraveling the Correlation with Early Brain Development and Possible Behaviors
Jeanne Erickson, Director of Operations, Today Not Tomorrow, Inc.

Even though we may encounter homeless individuals and families each day, they are often invisible to us. The rate of homelessness is on a steady rise and its impact affects all ages. Participants in this interactive workshop will gain an understanding of the toxic stress of homelessness and housing insecurity and the impact it has on early brain development and how it may manifest through physical, emotional and mental health and subsequent behaviors. The barriers created by homelessness will be addressed, with an interactive discussion on how programming may reduce those barriers.
(Infant to 5-Year-Olds, Adults) (Child Development)

Puppet Play Storytime

Susan FulcherPuppet Play Storytime
Susan Fulcher, Puppeteer, Suzette's Puppets

   Have you always wanted to use a puppet in your classroom but are a little intimidated about making it talk? Well, this workshop will rid you of the fear of using a puppet by teaching you the proper way to use a variety of puppets. You will also learn how to make use of puppets to entertain and educate your kiddos by way of telling simple stories, playing games, and singing silly songs.
(3-Years-Old) (Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)

Building Brains with Music

Maryann HarmonBuilding Brains with Music
Maryann Harman, Founder of Music with Mar

Come get energized about what you do while becoming engaged with stimulating lectures and activities. Mar. will share brain research findings and give you ways to use them that will help in all areas of development while having fun. Repeatedly, research has shown that music is the only activity that utilizes the entire brain. Combining that with knowing that the early years are the ones where we make the most difference, this workshop demonstrates through movement and activity how to use music to build brains. Make learning enjoyable for you and the children!
(1 to 5-Years-Old, Adults) (Child Development)

Tappin' Those Tiny Toes

Maryann HarmonTappin' Those Tiny Toes
Maryann Harman, Founder of Music with Mar

Toddlers enjoy music, too; but they have special needs. Many times materials are too old for them. That Baby Bounce when listening to music is delightful. Come learn songs Mar. has written just for this age group, many for Kaplan and Dr. Becky Bailey. The workshop will present developmentally appropriate activities and materials for toddlers, as well as educate participants on their value in development.
(Infant to 2-Years-Old) (Child Development)

STEM @ Home

Orinthia HarrisSTEM @ Home
Orinthia Harris, Ph.D., STEMearly LLC
Paola Vides

Let’s face it… CoVid 19 and this global pandemic has left many parents frustrated and burned out! It has also caused a lot of stress and trauma. Many parents desire to create a stress-free environment where their kids can be actively engaged and learning, and not simply watching a screen. However, not having the right tools can cause added stress. Creating a STEM-rich environment at home should not cause stress.  STEM @ Home is a virtual bilingual workshop designed to train parents and students on Best Practices for creating a STEM-rich environment at home. There are three concepts that we stress in this video. #1.STEM is Freeing. #2. STEM is a Foundation. #3. STEM is Fun. Understanding these three concepts will enable participants to create a STEM-rich environment @ Home that will yield many positive results.
(3 to 5-Year-Olds, Adults) (Family Systems and Dynamics)

How Can Parent Involvement Alter a Child's Education

Tess HaskelHow Can Parent Involvement Alter a Child's Education
Tess Haskel, University of Vermont, Elementary Education Major

Parent involvement? Sure! This session will discuss what this can look like and how to get started. Understand the value of programming for parents and parent clubs and how they contribute to children’s success. Sharing student work with parents through homework activities and assignments can be fun and explorational but can also be educational for both the student and the parent.  With this approach, you are teaching both the parent and the student. This gets them involved in working on a project together and creates a bond that brings the parent and student closer together.
(5-Years-Old, Adults) ( Family Systems and Dynamics)

Math Tools and Games in the Lower Elementary

Brian KlapperichMath Tools and Games in the Lower Elementary
Brian Klapperich, Lower Elementary Teacher

In this course, you will discover math tools for students to understand their math work, and not just get an answer. Tools covered include rekenreks, filled-in ten-frames, and 100 bead frames. Fluency games include Reach for the Stars, Smartboard Versus, and the 100 Path game.
(5-Year-Olds) (Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)

Building Blocks to Quality: A Look at QRIS in Wisconsin

YoungStarBuilding Blocks to Quality: A Look at QRIS in Wisconsin
Chris Lace, YoungStar Consult/Trainer, Child Care Partnership

YoungStar, Wisconsin’s quality rating, and improvement system for early care and education have gone lean! A research study on the effectiveness of the state's QRIS revealed the quality indicators most related to positive outcomes for children, which were used to update the evaluation criteria for 2021/22. Together we will take a careful look at these quality indicators, considering the research behind each and how they affect quality in early childhood. YoungStar’s new look, the block system will be introduced along with highlights in the most current environment rating scale tools. We look forward to answering questions and having a conversation about how you can meet your program goals. 
(Infant to 5-Year-Olds) (Learning Experiences, Strategies, and Curriculum)

Oh So Appropriate Toddler Environments

Lynch, JamieThe Art of Creating Purposeful, Engaging, and Oh So Appropriate Toddler Environments
Jamie Lynch, Early Childhood Education Instructor, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, Rice Lake

Discover practical ways to transform your classroom into a meaningful space that will enrich, guide, and support the toddlers in your care. A variety of ideas will be shared to help you create an interesting, calming, and welcoming environment. Tips will be included on effective room arrangement, furnishings, lighting, sound, organization, activities, color, and more!
(1 to 3-Year-Olds) (Learning Experiences, Strategies and Communication)

Balanced Stimulation Insights for Optimal Brain Development

Deb McNelisBalanced Stimulation Insights for Optimal Brain Development
Deborah McNelis, Founder, Brain Insights

The human brain is an amazing and complex organ that allows each of us to think, feel and act. The brain systems that regulate those activities are largely shaped by experience. This presentation provides you with brief and easy-to-understand insights to share the importance of balanced stimulation, so brains are not under-stimulated or over-stimulated to cause dysregulation. Additionally, you will be provided with ideas to support the optimal development of children as you implement the understanding gained.
(2 1/2 to 5-Year-Olds) (Guidance and Nurturing)

Neuro-Nurturing: Brain Science and Realizing Potential

Deborah McNelisNeuro-Nurturing®: Brain Science and Realizing Potential
Deborah McNelis, Founder, Brain Insights

When the brain feels a sense of trust and security it is then able to relax and is ready to learn. This security is essential to establish from birth, preparing the brain for learning, self-regulation, critical thinking, resiliency, empathy, problem-solving, and getting along with others. Beginning with a newborn it is essential that physical and security needs are met, and nurturing interaction and an abundance of play is consistently provided. This is Neuro-Nurturing®.
(2 1/2 to 5-Year-Olds) (Guidance and Nurturing)

Strawberries, Peppermint, and Sunflowers: Joy, Learning, and

Deb MosesStrawberries, Peppermint, and Sunflowers: Joy, Learning, and Healing with Farm to ECE
Deb Moses, Farm to ECE Outreach Specialist, Rooted

Farm to ECE supports the overall health and well-being of children, child care providers, and families. What does it mean to do farm to ECE? We will talk about the farm to ECE “mindset” and look at how it can be easily incorporated into daily activities - from snacks to hands-on learning to storytelling. Participants will recognize what they are already doing to support healthy kids, and we will share inspirational stories of small things providers are doing that have a big impact! Most importantly, we will discuss how creating positive relationships with plants, food, and culture provides joy for everyone involved. 
(Infant to 5-Year-Olds) ( Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)

"No Small Matter" the film

No Small Matter"No Small Matter"
Co-Directed and Produced by the Kindling Group and Siskel/Jacobs Productions

No Small Matter will redefine the public understanding of what's going on in children's brains from birth to five and push their needs to the top of our social and political agenda. We are unlocking the secrets of the brain for the first time in history. We never had a way to look into a baby's brain before. What is going on up there is rocket science!
(Adults) (Child Development)


Biting, Kicking, and Hitting, OH MY! Top Tips to Reduce and

Raelene OstbergBiting, Kicking, and Hitting, OH MY! Top Tips to Reduce and Address Toddler Aggression
Raelene Ostberg, Director, Thriving Together, LLC

Explore common triggers for toddler aggression and learn techniques to reduce aggressive behaviors. Identify adult responses and coaching tips to help toddlers through challenging moments that will promote self-regulation skills and teach toddlers to cope with strong feelings. You will gain methods that will reduce negative behaviors, increase calm, and reduce stress for all in your care environment.
(Infant to 2 1/2 Year-Olds) (Guidance and Nurturing)


Decrease Stress, Increase Success, and Enhance Joy

Raelene OstbergDecrease Stress, Increase Success, and Enhance Joy
Raelene Ostberg, Director, Thriving Together, LLC

Learn how to train your brain to stress less and enjoy more, no matter what your current situation.  Discover practical methods to reduce stress both personally and professionally.
(Infant to 2 1/2 Year-Olds) (Guidance and Nurturing)

"Why do They do That?"

Alisha PrangeWhy do They do That?
Alisha Prange, Little Knights Preschool Teach, ECFE Teacher, and S.M.A.R.T Presenter, A Chance to Grow, Inc.

Wet sleeves and shirt collars? Meltdowns at clean-up time? Explore the "why" behind common behaviors that tend to be labeled as "misbehaviors" in your classrooms. Learning the "why" behind the behaviors can help you better understand what the child is trying to tell you. Along with that understanding, participants will be equipped with tips and tricks to help ease the frequency or intensity of these behaviors ranging from shirt chewers to meltdowns at transitions. 
(3 to 5-Year-Olds) (Child Development)

Building Our Capacity for Curiosity, Compassion, and Courage
Hannah Riddle de Rojas
Hannah Riddle de Rojas
Jamie Bonczyk
Jamie Bonczyk

Building Our Capacity for Curiosity, Compassion, and Courage: Critical Elements of Leadership in Early Education
Hannah Riddle de Rojas, Trainer, Semilitas Training
Jamie Bonczyk, Consultant, Semilitas Training

The fundamental changes and conversations, which accompany the professionalizing of early childhood education, create an environment conducive to feelings of isolation and opposition. At this time in our field, we are required to engage in hard conversations – of which the stakes are too high not to share our opinions. In many ways during our collective journey, we have wandered away from the practice of three powerful character traits: curiosity, compassion, and courage. Rediscovering and exploring the power and impact of these traits and how to use them in our lives, serves as an essential tool to strengthening and unifying our voice.

(Adults) (Administration and Management)


Nursery Rhyme Mathematics

Terrie SchmoldtNursery Rhyme Mathematics 
Terrie Schmoldt, Advanced Learner Specialist, Oregon School District

We’re going beyond phonemics and rhyming! We are measuring, estimating, graphing, and having fun. We will conclude with a field day of Nursery Rhyme Olympics!
(3 to 5-Year-Olds) (Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)

Let's Get Physical with Zoo-phonics!

Dana SchuetzLet's Get Physical with Zoo-phonics!
Dana Schuetze, Consultant, Zoo-phonics, Inc.

Zoo-phonics is a multi-sensory phonics program. Zoo-phonics uses animals in the shape of lowercase letters along with a physical body movement to lock the sounds and shapes of the letters into memory. The capital letters are also intertwined with the animal making a connection to both the lower - and uppercase letters. In this way, the children have a reference using visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile modalities to access information. Through these Zoo-phonics techniques, you will find many new teaching ideas for phonemic awareness, phonics, segmenting and blending VC/CVC words, incorporating literature, and much more. Lessons use the hierarchy of learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing through playful and physical activities that will capture the excitement of young learners.
(1 to 5-Year-Olds) ( Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)

Take Back Time: Teaching Outdoors

Stacey SchultzTake Back Time: Teaching Outdoors
Stacey Schultz, Elementary Educator, Spring Grove School District

It's time to take back time and start teaching outdoors. How much time do you spend lining up, waiting in the hallway, reteaching behaviors?  Get ready for tips and tricks on how to move and shake and learn outdoors in our ever-changing, high expectation learning day!
(5-Year-Olds)(Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)

Beyond Sharing: Teaching Generosity and Multicultural Awaren

Pam ThompsonBeyond Sharing: Teaching Generosity and Multicultural Awareness to Young Children
Pam Thompson, Early Childhood Teacher, Mahtomedi Public Schools

Many of us believe that the future of the world depends upon our children’s spirit of generosity. We also fear that if we don’t remind children to share, they might become selfish, stingy outcasts. So… we tell children to “share”. If generosity and empathy are values that we want to pass along to kids, how do we do it? You will leave this workshop with ideas, resources, and activities that you can use with the children in your class as well as with their parents.
(1 - 5-Year-Olds, Adults) (Learning Experiences, Strategies and Curriculum)


Best Practices for Intentional Teaching

Shucrea Victor-CameronBest Practices for Intentional Teaching
Shucrea Victor-Cameron, Owner/Doctoral Candidate, Intentional Teaching Consulting, Services, Inc.

Intentional teaching requires wide-ranging knowledge about how children develop and learn. Intentional teaching doesn’t happen by chance, intentionality is a result of being deliberate. Moreover, it requires early childhood professionals to be inspired, equipped and supported. Early childhood professionals will be provided with BEST intentional teaching practices to guide them through an organized scope and sequence that supports targeted teaching and outcomes.
(Infant to 5-Year-Olds) ( Planning, Reflection, and Evaluation)