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Annual Early Childhood Conference

Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning & Development

Schedule of Events

Conference Sessions

Download Sessions by Room Location


Preconference Sessions  9:00 am - 4:00 pm

STEM: Using Games and Pattern Block Puzzles to Develop Mathematical Concepts in Number and Spatial Thinking in K-3  -  Beth VanMeeteren (Ed.D.) (6 hours, 360 min)

Connecting Ideas and Building Relationships through Materials in Preschool  -  Patricia Hunter McGrath, (M.Ed.) (6 hours, 360 min)

Let Them Inspire Us: Observing Infants and Toddlers to Plan Curriculum with Everyday Materials - Rosemary Geiken (Ed.D.), Laura Barnett (M.Ed.), Stephanie Stephens (M.Ed.) (6 hours, 360 min)

Lunch 12:00 - 1:00 

8:30 - 9:15    Opening Session with Brady Rymer


9:30 - 11:00

Interactive Stories, Songs and Organized Movement - Jennifer Daniels

Measurement in the Garden: How to make math fun, accessible, and meaningful for young children - Alissa Lange, Hagit Mano

STEM: What’s It All About? - Rosemary Geiken, Phillip Gadzekpo

Integrating Sustainable Natural Materials into our Classroom - Patricia Hunter-McGrath

Addressing the Multiple Intelligences of the Children in Your Early Childhood Classroom - Robert J. Walker

Wordcatching: Journaling for the Early Childhood Educator - Carolyn Koesters

Are You an “Elephant Teacher”? Fostering a warm, respectful, and nurturing relationship with young children - Cassandra Caffee

Writing is Sweet: Integrating Writing Workshop Across the Curriculum - Rachel Campbell, Kristen Cannon

All You See is Light: Thinking about light in early childhood classrooms - Michael Garrett

SHAPE/SHIFT - Turning Conventional Management UPside DOWN - Linda Sitton

The Ins and Outs of Portfolios - Tammie Davis, Tony Jolly (TEAM Coach)

11:15 - 12:15

Interactive Stories, Songs and Organized Movement: Emphasis on the Inclusion of Kids with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders - Jennifer Daniels

Children Play to Learn their Physical Environment - Tom Schlitt, RaRa Schilitt

Building Strong Brains: Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences - Sarah Ransom, Vickie Clark, Elizabeth Renfro, Lamanda Weston, and Anastasia Wheeler

Mentoring in a Constructivist Manner: Developing our Consulting Teacher Position - Laurie Tucker, Sean Skidmore

Engaging Parents as Partners in Early Literacy Development - Zoyah Kinkead-Clark

The Magnificent Morning Message - Kathryn Sharp

Why Parent to Parent support is an Integral piece to Systems of Care - Kara Adams, Crystal Simpson

Building Bridges with Diverse Children’s Books - Carol Bland

Math in Motion! - Crystal Cromwell, J.J. Coward

Visioning: Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future - Glenna Jones, Brandy Phillips

Creating Supportive and Effective Classrooms Strategies through the Use of Rituals and Routines - Lee Tracy

12:15 - 1:30   Lunch


1:30 - 3:00

Ron Coffey & Engage Educational Entertainment: Singing the Standards - Ron, Dylan, & Drew Coffey

Merging Special Education PreK with Voluntary PreK to Promote Social/Emotional and Speech and Language Growth - Kimberly Cassidy, Lauren Wallace

Bring on the Worms!: Promoting Children’s Inquiry and Thinking about Living Things - Cindy Hoisington

The Curriculum of Curiosity - Moon Bishop

Investigating the Exciting World of Young Creative Thinkers: Inspiring, Nurturing, and Valuing the Process - Rebecca Isbell

Making More than a Mess at Mealtime - Teresa Boggs, Lindsay Greer, and Michelle Johnson

From PreK Students to Authors - Paula Mowery

Ramps & Pathways: Young Engineers at Work - Beth VanMeeteren

Take the Wheel, Steer Their Career: The Director’s Role in Supporting Professional Development - Linda Sitton

Block Party - Elizabeth Renfro, Lamanda Weston, & Sarah Ransom

3:15 - 4:30

Empower, Inspire, and Celebrate Children through Music in the Classroom - Brady Rymer

Forget the Rainforest – Save My Classroom! - Wendy Williams

Science Dance: Using Movement and Choreography to Learn Science Concepts - Jane Broderick, Narges Sareh

Building Writing Identities: Fostering Authorship in Kindergarten - Hannah Louderback

Strategies to Engaging Young Children in Early Childhood Classrooms - Hongxia Zhao, Carol Trivette

Bringing Books to Life - J.J. Coward, Crystal Cromwell

The Multiplier Effect: Mindful Leadership - Linda Sitton

Building Strong Brains: Tennessee’s ACE Initiative - Neta Gross, Lee Hughes

8:30 - 10:00

Power of Self-Regulation: Helping Children Manage Emotions, Impulses, and Behavior - Cheryl Smith Turner

Social Emotional Teaching Strategies that Every Preschool Teacher Should Know and Use - Lise Fox

STEM in the Early Childhood Classroom! Daunting and Overwhelming? It Doesn’t Have to Be - Mary Yankosky-Amtsberg

Lines that Wander: An Exploration of Techniques and Possibilities - Patricia Hunter McGrath

Tinkering with Tops: Exploring Physics of Rotational Motion - Beth VanMeeteren

Integrating Yoga into the Classroom for Behavior - Kimberly Cassidy, Leah L. Brooks, Melissa D. Nelson, and Darlene Lee

Building Strong Brains: TN’s ACE initiative - Emily P. Merritt, Valerie Hopson

The Language Explosion: Igniting the Fire for Language Development - Rebecca Isbell

Science and Language: A Natural Fit - Cindy Hoisington

Supporting Food Allergies in the Classroom Environment - Meghan Redman

Nature Nearby - Marty Silver

10:15 - 11:30

Songwriting IS Writing! Literacy Skills Workshop - Jennifer Daniels

The Room is Ready! I am Ready! Mr. No Thank You Does Not Want to Play! - Michelle S. Kilgore

Building a Ladder: STEM in a Reggio Emilia-Inspired Environment - Sean Skidmore

Children’s Perceptions of Their Social World - Jane Broderick, Kim Ballantyne, Rebecca Aslinger, and Anne Brewster

Integrating the Curriculum like a Pro - Ruth Facun-Granadozo, Tsitsi Nyabando, and Narges Sareh

Infant Mental Health in TN: What’s Happening and What’s Infant Mental Health Endorsement All About? - Michele Moser and Angela Webster

Create a Squishy Book: Adapting Books to Make Them Accessible for Everyone - Angela Dugan and Cathy Galyon

Seeing the World Differently - Michael Garrett

Science Time - Sherry Wolfer

Spatial Implications of Early Childhood Pedagogy - John Noble

11:30 - 12:45   Lunch


12:45 - 2:15

Can’t We All Get Along? Creating a Positive Classroom Community for Preschoolers - Cheryl Smith Turner

When Little learners have Big Feelings - Tania Henson-Brooks and Rebecca Aslinger

Preschool Teacher Attitudes on Outdoor Education - Cathy Landy

Encouraging Participation Through Student-led Projects - Ben Minnis

Neurofeedback and its efficacy in addressing brain wave dysregulation - Noel Baker

Building Oral Language Skills Through Shared Reading Experiences - Melody Hobbs, Sarah Neesen, and Kathy Fitzgerald

The Whole Child: How Health, Safety, and Nutrition Come Together to Impact Children’s Well-Being - Randa Dunlop

Power Up with Morning Message - Kerri Munsey

Stepping into the Wild: A Journey of Education and Conservation - Shanna Kinchloe and Marc Bradley

Recognizing & Responding to Bullying Behaviors in the Early Childhood Classroom - Laurie Clements

Teaching Reading Skills to Students in Early Grades through Scaffolded Writing: Lessons in Interactive Reading and Writing - Penny Thompson

2:30 - 3:30

Supporting Scientific Thinking in Young Children - Cindy Hoisington

Cultural Influences on Young Children’s Behavior: Culturally Responsive Teaching and Classroom Management - Arnold Nyarambi and Ntuli Esther

Family Connections: STEM, STEAM, STREAM Take home bags - Gwen Robertson

Table Topics: Promoting Meaningful Conversations During Mealtimes - Susan Taylor St. Lawrence

Love Me For Who I Am: Singing the World through the Eyes of Children with ALL Abilities! - Brady Rymer

Reel to Real Activities: Relating Movies to the Classroom - Tammy Hickle and Lydia Lindsey

Montessori: Method or Madness? - Meghan Redman and Liz Dawkins

Journaling with Preschoolers: A Bridge to Develop Writers - Carol Bland

STREAM – An Early Childhood Approach to STEM - Lacy Hughes and Kindetta "Kandy" Thompson

Bridging the Gap Between Mental Health and School Success through the Pyramid Model - Lee Hughes and Michael Riddell

The Power of Words - Keri Elb and Jenna Leckenby

Exhibitor Breakdown - 5:00 pm


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