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8:30-9AM Continental Breakfast

9-10AM Keynote address with Bridget Hamre PhD, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), University of Virginia

Recent research highlight major shifts in kindergarten settings over the last fifteen years – kindergarten children spend more time focused on early academic skills, sitting in whole group lessons, and less time playing. These findings have re-invigorated debates about how young children should spend their time in early childhood classrooms. In this presentation I will draw from recent research to illustrate the ways in which trends in preschool and kindergarten classroom practice signify important opportunities to challenge young children to develop key early academic skills as well as barriers to fully supporting children’s learning and development. I will focus on concrete steps administrators, coaches, and teachers can take to help ensure that children’s experiences in the early years of school best reflect what we know about how young children learn and thrive.

10:15-11:45AM Concurrent Breakout Sessions (Choose One to attend)

ENGLIGH LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN THE CLASSROOM. Natalia Palacios, PhD.  This breakout session will focus on the needs of dual language learners (DLLs). The presentation will cover a wide range of topics facing linguistically diverse students, their families, and their teachers as children transition from home to school, including: the changing linguistic demography of the US, the normative language development of DLLs, the instructional needs of DLLs, issues of assessment, cultural sensitivity and parental engagement. 

CELEBRATE YOUR SENSES!  A MULTISENSORY APPROACH TO LESSON PLANNING.  Sheila Chrobak, M.S.  Multisensory play is critical to every child's overall development, including communication skills, and every early childhood educator has the opportunity to include activities that attend to all of our senses as they arrange their environment and plan their lessons.  In this presentation we will explore play and lesson planning through the 5 traditional senses as well as some hidden senses- vestibular and proprioception.  We will discover how important attending to and integrating these senses is and how exploring through all of these senses supports important skills including language and vocabulary development, bilateral coordination, auditory processing, physical and emotional modulation.  With hands on opportunities to experience first hand how a multisensory lesson plan looks and feels, this presentation is perfect for any early childhood educator.  At the end of the session, participants will be able to work through environmental arrangement, materials preparation, and activities for age appropriate theme based multisensory lesson planning.  Additionally, they will be able to recognize areas of strength/weakness in relation to sensory processing skills, how these may impact future skills development, and how they may facilitate these skills in the child care setting and with home based recommendations.

MATH THROUGH ACTIVE LEARNING ACROSS THE PRESCHOOL DAY. Sandy Slack, M.Ed. This workshop will focus on math content rich materials and adult support through the use of intentional vocabulary and conversations across an appropriate typical preschool day. You will practice these skills and leave with practical ideas. 

SUPPORTING TEACHERS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD CLASSROOMS.  Rebecca Berlin, PhD.  Just as three and four year olds are physically, cognitively, and socially different than six and seven year olds, so are the early childhood classrooms in which they spend their day. Children this age learn best through play instead of through worksheets, rote instruction, and homework. The learning looks different, the curriculum looks different, and the teaching looks different. As a result, the observing and supporting of early learning teachers looks different than when working with their elementary counterparts.  Join us to discuss observation strategies including how to best observe play and teacher-child interactions. This presentation is designed for principals, child-care administrators and anyone in the role of supporting teachers in classrooms.  

THE LOCAL LANDSCAPE - A CONVERSATION ABOUT EARLY EDUCATION IN OUR COMMUNITY.  Erika Viccellio, M.Ed, United Way and Jan Dorman, Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.  Roundtable discussion about initiatives of the Early Education Task Force including fiscal map report, mixed delivery pilot, and the Outcome Collaborative.

12PM Early Educator Appreciation Luncheon with Superintendents Dr. Rosa Atkins and Dr. Pam Moran.  All symposium participants are welcome to attend the luncheon!

Register Now for this FREE event!