13th Annual Symposium

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: Navigating the Tough Stuff
Saturday, February 27
Percy Julian Middle School
416 S. Ridgeland Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302
SymposiumCoverImage

Gateways Registry Approved Event

IMPORTANT: Online registration is now closed. Please register as a walk-in on Saturday morning, starting at 7:00 AM. See you soon!



SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE LIST OF WORKSHOPS.

The Collaboration for Early Childhood is delighted to present its 13th annual Symposium. This gathering provides an opportunity for parents, educators, caregivers and anyone who works with young children to gain knowledge, perspective, practical skills and tools for supporting all young children.

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: Navigating the Tough Stuff is this year's theme. The only constants in life are problems; obstacles that are dreaded. These obstacles hamper our ability to move from point A to B smoothly. If we look at obstacles as opportunities we can look at these challenges in a different way. Our day covers the tough topics like development, temperament, staff, stress, communication and more. Come to change your mindset; instead of more problems, more opportunities. We expect you will walk away with many hands-on activities and ideas for you to use immediately with those you play with most often.

Please join us at Percy Julian Middle school on Saturday, February 27, 2016. Participants will have the opportunity to network, collect resources, explore books, visit the multicultural center, and use and update Gateways Registry membership, in addition to the wonderful workshops and keynote address.

Download a PDF of the registration brochure.

Next Steps

  • 1. Read the workshop descriptions below
  • 2. Select one workshop from each time slot
  • 3. Click REGISTER to sign up online
  • 4. Pay by credit card or check

Registration Fees

$40 General Registration Fee (postmarked, or paid online, by February 12)

$25 Student Registration Fee (full-time student registration fee postmarked, or paid online, by February 12. Valid/current ID must be presented at check-in)

$50 Late Registration Fee (registration fee for ALL individuals registering after February 12, on-site or online)

Complete a scholarship application.

Please note that space is limited and pre-registration is encouraged.

No refunds provided for any circumstance.

Schedule

7:00 - 7:30 Early Check-in
7:30 - 8:30 Early Bird Workshop
8:00 - 9:00 Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 10:30 Morning Breakout Sessions
10:40 - 12:15 Welcome: Ann Courter, Board Chair, Collaboration for Early Childhood
Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Lisa Ginet, Co-Chair of the Collaboration for Early Childhood Professional Development Committee
Keynote: Play's the Thing: Using Humor and Fun to Uplift Your Workplace, Holly Elissa Bruno, educator, best-selling author, international keynote speaker, ground-breaking radio host and seasoned team builder.
Announcements: Carolyn Newberry-Schwartz, Executive Director, Collaboration for Early Childhood
12:15 - 1:15 Lunch/Networking/Resources/Gateways Registry/"Play Stations"
1:30 - 3:00 Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Workshops

EARLY BIRD SESSIONS

Choose ONE Early Bird Session
7:30 - 8:30 AM

Playful Learning: Focus on STREAM

Session A
STEM adds reading and art in this interactive and engaging workshop. Participants will discover how an integrated approach to learning can enhance their preschool and childcare environments.
Alix Tonsgard and Christine Wells Barry
Illinois Early Intervention Credit: 1 INT


Bibliotherapy vs the Tough Stuff: Using Books for Solace, Success and Solidarity

Session B
Discussion on when and how a book can help with “the tough stuff,” and the amazing power of a reading routine on a child’s development of social communication skills.
Genevieve Grove


Validating Play

Session C
The benefits of play in an Early Childhood Education classroom; learn how to implement play activities and evaluate lesson plans so you can increase the use of play in your classroom.
Amy Cardin


The T & E of Stem: Technology & Engineering

Session D
Positive, appropriate learning experiences in STEM areas can promote key outcomes. Presentation will discuss and provide examples of how to implement an inquiry-based approach to STEM that is intellectually rigorous and developmentally appropriate.
Diana Rosenbrock
Illinois Early Intervention Credit: 1 INT


Supporting Brain Development

Session E
What is happening in the brain? Discover how the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life. Learn how you can make a difference by supporting young children’s brain development through everyday activities.
Mary Quest


Difficult Conversations: A Practical Problem Solving

Session F
A Practical Problem Solving Session will allow participants dedicated time to analyze conversations and interactions with difficult family members and caregivers. Using a real case scenario, participants will begin by engaging in a self- analysis to uncover any biases that may influence parent to provider interactions.
Lauren Olson


The Basics of Special Education in ECE: Abilities Rather than Disabilities

Session G
This presentation provides a general overview of the legal requirements as determined by IDEA, the referral process and a general understanding of specific disabilities. This presentation is to foster a better understanding of children with special needs and how we can support them in the Traditional ECE environment.
Judi Gibbian-Mennenga


Grow Your Brain with Brain Gym

Session H
Experiential introduction to Brain Gym, which develops the brain’s neural pathways through gentle movements. It improves skills of cognition, coordination, organization, vision, listening, focusing, self-soothing and more.
Barbara Bednarz
Illinois Early Intervention Credit: 1 INT


Hurdling over Obstacles with Engaging STEM

Session J
Educators will learn how to integrate learning, problem solving, and discovery to engage learners. Participants will have fun joining in discussions, trying new activities, and walking away with fun activities to implement right away!
Jill Pacyna


MORNING SESSIONS (AM)

Choose ONE Morning Session
9:00 - 10:30 AM

Grow Your Brain with Brain Gym

Session I
Experiential introduction to Brain Gym, which develops the brain’s neural pathways through gentle movements. It improves skills of cognition, coordination, organization, vision, listening, focusing, self-soothing and more.
Barbara Bednarz
Illinois Early Intervention Credit: 1 INT


Hurdling over Obstacles with Engaging STEM

Session K
Educators will learn how to integrate learning, problem solving, and discovery to engage learners. Participants will have fun joining in discussions, trying new activities, and walking away with fun activities to implement right away!
Jill Pacyna


Rock and a Hard Place: Resolving Ethical Quandaries in Early Childhood

Session L
If you are ready to challenge yourself by tackling everyday ethical challenges, you will emerge from this session with deepened confidence and honed skills about doing what’s right.
Holly Elissa Bruno


Math with a Smile: Literature and Activities to Bring Math to Life

Session M
This workshop will introduce the 5 content strands of math and demonstrate how teachers can use books, games and manipulatives to support and extend young children’s mathematical understanding in ECE classrooms.
Amy Cardin and Susan Gittings


Moving from What's Wrong with That Kid to What's Happening with This Child: Becoming a Trauma Informed Organization

Session N
Becoming trauma-informed (TI) is not guesswork. It requires organizational self-assessment and incorporation of strategies to implement TI protocols. Participants will receive the needed tools to become TI.
Cherie Estrada


Making "Tough Stuff" Typical: Using Children's Literature to Navigate the Realities of Modern Life

Session O
Participants will explore a range of high-quality children’s literature that can help initiate everyday conversations about the realities of children’s lives, including family diversity, economic challenges, and separation or loss.
Jane Fleming and Lisa Ginet


Social Emotional Learners

Session P
This collaborative session reviews the types of social emotional learners, avoiding vs seeking attention behaviors, effect of attachment on learning, and activities to help improve social emotional development in young children.
Jen Holland- Marks and Marge Holland


The Traffic Control Tower in My Brain: Charting a Flight Path to Behavior and Learning Success

Session Q
The Air Traffic Controller (ATC) prevents collisions, organizes traffic, and monitors flight patterns. Introduce children to the ATC skills in the brain that make behavior, relationships and learning SOAR.
Marie Masterson


Stress Is Not Your Enemy: Create a Stress-Is-Enhancing Mindset

Session R
Stress can be labeled as either “distress” (a negative) or “eustress” (a positive). With a few tools for handling distress, parents and teachers can make their tomorrows eustress-filled days.
Janis Johnston
Illinois Early Intervention Credit: 1.5 WWF


Stem Bringing Nature Inside (Spanish)

Session T
One of the best practices in teaching and learning is to make learning relevant, and there is nothing more relevant than being outside and exploring the world we live in. Let’s not wait another day to take children outside to start engaging them in STEM education.
Milagros Andrews


Set up Your Teaching Team to Be a Learning Team: Drive Continuous Quality Improvement through a Culture of Collaboration

Session V
This workshop offers practical experience with tools and resources to support the foundations of continuous quality improvement defined by ExceleRate Illinois.
Kristin Barendregt-Ludwig


Creating People-Safe Places (PSP): A Public Health Approach

Session X
This session will explore how to create trauma- , developmentally-, and culturally-informed spaces to promote effective limit setting, healthy relationships, family self-care, and community well-being.
Elise Groenewegan


Using Nature to Guide Science Inquiry in Early Childhood Classrooms

Session Z
Through this interactive session, participants will use natural objects to explore child-directed and inquiry-based activities in the early childhood classroom.
Rebecca Pruin


AFTERNOON SESSIONS (PM)

Choose ONE Afternoon Session
1:30 - 3:00 PM

Stress Is Not Your Enemy: Create a Stress-Is-Enhancing Mindset

Session S
Stress can be labeled as either “distress” (a negative) or “eustress” (a positive). With a few tools for handling distress, parents and teachers can make their tomorrows eustress-filled days.
Janis Johnston
Illinois Early Intervention Credit: 1.5 WWF

Stem Bringing Nature Inside (English)

Session U
One of the best practices in teaching and learning is to make learning relevant, and there is nothing more relevant than being outside and exploring the world we live in. Let’s not wait another day to take children outside to start engaging them in STEM education.
Milagros Andrews

Set up Your Teaching Team to Be a Learning Team: Drive Continuous Quality Improvement through a Culture of Collaboration

Session W
This workshop offers practical experience with tools and resources to support the foundations of continuous quality improvement defined by ExceleRate Illinois.
Kristin Barendregt-Ludwig

Creating People-Safe Places (PSP): A Public Health Approach

Session Y
This session will explore how to create trauma- , developmentally-, and culturally-informed spaces to promote effective limit setting, healthy relationships, family self-care, and community well-being.
Elise Groenewegan

Using Nature to Guide Science Inquiry in Early Childhood Classrooms

Session AB
Through this interactive session, participants will use natural objects to explore child-directed and inquiry-based activities in the early childhood classroom.
Rebecca Pruin

Brain Development: Building, Supporting and Advocating

Session AC
We will explore practices that help and hinder brain development from pregnancy through infancy, early childhood and beyond. Suggestions and resources will be shared to support optimal brain development.
Susan Gittings
Illinois Early Intervention Credit: AC-1 INT, 0.5 WWF

How Do We Promote Growth Mindset in Ourselves and Our Children?

Session AD
An interactive workshop for parents/teachers to learn what to model and playfully train themselves and their children what to do to offset a “fixed mindset” nature.
Sheryl Stoller

Learning from the Bumps in the Road: Turning Potholes into Grand Possibilities

Session AE
Let’s practice strategies to help us regain our footing, reclaim our confidence, rekindle our joy and humor, and turn potholes into grand opportunities.
Holly Elissa Bruno