17th Annual Symposium

Embrace the Mess! The Complexities of Early Childhood


Saturday, February 29, 2020
Percy Julian Middle School
416 S. Ridgeland Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302

THE SYMPOSIUM IS FULL AND REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.
PLEASE EMAIL INFO@COLLAB4KIDS.ORG TO BE PLACED ON A WAIT LIST.
LIMITED SPOTS MAY BECOME AVAILABLE.
SCHOLARSHIPS ARE STILL AVAILABLE.
Symposium20CoverImage

Gateways Registry Approved Event

WORKSHOPS ARE FILLING UP FAST! REGISTER ONLINE NOW TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT. PAY ONLINE NOW OR SEND A CHECK LATER.

The Collaboration for Early Childhood is delighted to present its 17th annual Symposium. This annual gathering provides an opportunity for anyone who works with young children – educators, caregivers, and parents – to gain knowledge, perspective, practical skills and tools for supporting all young children.

This year’s theme is Embrace the Mess! The Complexities of Early Childhood. The 2020 Symposium is focused on the many sticky situations we find ourselves in when working with young children, their families and our colleagues.

The value of facing challenges head on, tackling big problems and literally getting down and dirty with kids will be addressed in an array of workshops exploring science, creativity, movement, anti-bias/anti-racism, infant/toddler specific issues, a directors’ strand and so much more. We are confident you’ll walk away with many new ideas, activities and experiences to incorporate into your work on Monday morning.

Please join us at Percy Julian Middle School on Saturday, February 29, 2020! The day will include a continental breakfast, keynote address, lunch, and a variety of early bird, morning, and afternoon breakout sessions led by noteworthy presenters. Participants will also have the opportunity to network, collect resources, explore books, and update their Gateways Registry membership.

We hope to see you in February!

Registration Fees

$45 General Registration Fee (postmarked, or paid online, by February 15)

$30 Student Registration Fee (full-time student registration fee postmarked, or paid online, by February 15. Valid/current ID must be presented at check-in)

$55 Late Registration Fee (registration fee for ALL individuals registering after February 15, on-site or online)

After registering online, pay online or mail payment to:
Collaboration for Early Childhood
123 Madison St., Room 209
Oak Park, IL 60302

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

Scholarships

The Joan White Scholarship was created to provide early care professionals, providers, and parents an opportunity to attend the Symposium, build skills and become leaders in the early childhood arena. Complete an application for the Joan White scholarship.

Schedule

6:45 - 7:30 Early Check-In
7:30 - 8:30 Early Bird Workshops
8:00 - 9:00 General Check-In & Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 10:30 Morning Workshops
10:40 - 12:15 Welcome: Penny Wallingford, Board Chair, Collaboration for Early Childhood
Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Amy Cardin, Co-Chair of the Collaboration for Early Childhood Professional Development Committee
Keynote: Finding Beauty in Loose Parts
Pat Chamberlain works as a consultant with school districts and agencies on issues related to optimizing the educational opportunities for young culturally and linguistically diverse children and their families. She has worked in a variety of capacities including as a bilingual teacher, a professional development specialist, a bilingual special education supervisor, a director of Early Learners program, and in Higher Education. Her most recent project has been with the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood as the Director of the Award for Excellence Project for Linguistically and Culturally Responsive practices.
Announcements: John Borrero, Executive Director, Collaboration for Early Childhood
12:15 - 1:25 Lunch/Networking/Resources/Gateways Registry/"Play Stations"
1:30 - 3:00 Afternoon Workshops

Additional Information

Registration is limited for each workshop and is first come, first served!

When registering online, payment can be made by credit card or by mailing a check.

PARKING IS LIMITED. Please allow extra time for on-street parking and pay attention to parking signs. Please do not park in the residential permit lot behind the school.

No refunds provided for any circumstances.
Lunch options include meat and vegetarian wraps.

Workshops

Click here for the list of workshops with Early Intervention credit.

Here is a PDF of the Symposium brochure.

Workshops marked as "Director Focus" offer content specifically designed for administrators. Workshops marked as "Infant/Toddler Focus" offer content specifically for anyone who works with children birth to 3. Everyone is welcome to attend any workshop.

EARLY BIRD SESSIONS

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

Early Bird A
Movement and Mindfulness: It Starts with You!

Join Erin Bracco, former kindergarten teacher and co-founder of Buddha Belly Kids Yoga, as she addresses how movement and mindfulness can be integrated into your personal and professional daily routine. You will leave this session with multiple ways to immediately incorporate yoga and mindfulness with young children.
Erin Bracco

Early Bird B
Embracing Process Art In Your Preschool Classroom

This workshop will introduce teachers, providers and parents to the process art philosophy for preschoolers. We will identify differences between teacher led traditional craft art, and child led process art provocations, and the benefits of using process art in your preschool classroom. Participants will have the opportunity to explore process art provocations to create individual and group art projects with non-traditional media.
Erin Bradd & Emily Norman

Early Bird C
Peanut Butter & Jelly = Movement & Outdoor Play

Physical activity during outdoor or indoor play helps with self-regulation and information recall in young children because it increases neural connections and blood flow to the brain. We will discuss how guided and unguided outdoor play is beneficial. The review of basic brain development and participation in movement activities will also allow educators to leave with a better understanding of the benefits of outdoor play.
Chandi Edmonds

Early Bird D and AM N
Windows and Mirrors: Variations in Caregiving Practices
Director Focus and Infant-Toddler Focus

This workshop will use Emily Style’s concept of windows and mirrors to examine variations in caregiving practices (such as sleeping arrangements, feeding, toileting, and other daily life routines). This will allow us to examine our own beliefs, values and biases and how these shape our work with both children and families. Participants will engage in reflection on day-to-day practices and ways to incorporate Anti-Bias curriculum, practices and policies into our settings. While the focus will be on infant and toddler caregiving practices, the concepts and content will be relevant to any early childhood practitioner or administrator.
Mary Quest & Elizabeth Tertell

Early Bird E
Racial Bias & White Privilege Are Messy; Together, Let’s Sort How It Plays Out in the Classroom
Director Focus

This hands-on session is geared toward intermediate and advanced early childhood practitioners, administrators, and Directors who are aware that young children (0-8 years old) are not too young to understand characteristics of the dominant culture, across race, ethnicity, gender, class, ableism, religion, etc. Educators will leave equipped with a personalized first step to change, curriculum resources, and resources for further learning.
Sarah Dennis

Early Bird F and AM S
Making Sense of all the Mess: Counting Classroom Collections

Math work engagement like counting collections, engages students in authentic experiences while allowing the teacher to observe and interact with them to support learning and assess their understanding of counting principles. Learn how to teach children to understand and employ the counting big ideas foundational to more complex mathematics.
Jill Sapoznick

Early Bird G and PM AH
Building Resilience in Young Children

During this workshop, the importance of helping children build resilience will be discussed, noting things that may hamper that goal such as increased technology use and changes in children’s unstructured play. We will look at the impact of these challenges on the development of autonomy and growth.
Amy Cardin & Susan Gittings

Early Bird H
Mind the Stress Mess of Infants & Toddlers? Mend Your Mind!

When the messiness of young children “gets” to you, you may overload your nervous system with stress chemicals. Learn some stress-busting techniques in this experiential workshop.
Jan Johnston

Early Bird I and AM V
Understanding and Complying With the Illinois Early Childhood Expulsion Law: Reflecting On Current Practices and Next Steps
Director Focus

In response to high rates of, and racial disparities in early childhood expulsion, the state of Illinois recently passed a law that aims to end the expulsion of children from any publicly funded or DCFS licensed early childhood education (ECE) program. This presentation will review components of the law, present results from the evaluation study, and engage participants in a solution-focused discussion around retaining and supporting children displaying challenging behaviors. ALL members of the ECE community are encouraged to participate.
Kate Zinsser & Callie Silver

Early Bird J and AM W and PM AF
How To Bring The Mess Home For The Younger Child
Infant-Toddler Focus

In this presentation teachers will learn to coach parents on ways to bring messy play home while allowing for easier clean up, as well as options for parents whose children don’t always enjoy getting their hands messy. There will also be easy ideas for how to engage in learning with things they already have in the home.
Michelle Gonzalez

Early Bird K
Trees, Bees and Skinned Knees: The Impact of Nature on Brain Development

Discover how nature provides cognitive benefits and why playing outdoors is so important to brain development. Learn strategies and get resources to effectively integrate nature into creating or improving upon your outdoor classroom. With loose parts, you will design your own “ideal” outdoor classroom. Come play with us and see what all the nature excitement is about! Leave with the research to convince your administrators, your colleagues and the families you work with.
Diann Gano

Early Bird L
Playful Tinkering and the Messes We Make: Focus on Tinkering and Making


Join us for a workshop that highlights how playful experiences can be centered around tinkering and making best practices. Participants will engage in hands-on activities and discussions that will help support them in feeling confident about implementing open-ended play-based activities in a variety of early learning settings.
Alix Tonsgard & Dustin Thacker, DuPage Children’s Museum

MORNING SESSIONS (AM)

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

Early Bird D and AM N
Windows and Mirrors: Variations in Caregiving Practices
Director Focus and Infant/Toddler Focus

This workshop will use Emily Style’s concept of windows and mirrors to examine variations in caregiving practices (such as sleeping arrangements, feeding, toileting, and other daily life routines). This will allow us to examine our own beliefs and values and biases and how these shape our work with both children and families. Participants will engage in reflection on day-to-day practices and ways to incorporate Anti-Bias curriculum, practices and policies into our settings. While the focus will be on infant and toddler caregiving practices, the concepts and content will be relevant to any early childhood practitioner or administrator.
Mary Quest & Elizabeth Tertell

Early Bird F and AM S
Making Sense of all the Mess: Counting Classroom Collections

Math work engagement, such as, counting collections, engages students in authentic experiences while allowing the teacher to observe and interact with students to support students’ learning and to assess their understanding of counting principles. Learn how to teach children to understand and employ the counting big ideas foundational to more complex mathematics.
Jill Sapoznick

Early Bird I and AM V
Understanding and Complying With the Illinois Early Childhood Expulsion Law: Reflecting On Current Practices and Next Steps
Director Focus

In response to high rates of, and racial disparities in early child- hood expulsion, the state of Illinois recently passed a law that aims to end the expulsion of children from any publicly funded or DCFS licensed early childhood education (ECE) program. This presentation will review components of the law, present results from the evaluation study, and engage participants in a solution-focused discussion around retaining and supporting children displaying challenging behaviors. ALL members of the ECE community are encouraged to participate.
Kate Zinsser & Callie Silver

Early Bird J and AM W and PM AF
How To Bring The Mess Home For The Younger Child
Infant/Toddler Focus

In this presentation teachers will learn to coach parents on ways to bring messy play home while allowing for easier clean up, as well as options for parents whose children don’t always enjoy getting their hands messy. There will also be easy ideas for how to engage in learn- ing with things they already have in the home.
Michelle Gonzalez

AM M
No Mats? No Problem! Transforming your Read Alouds into Storybook Yoga

Join Erin Bracco as she demonstrates ways to make your read alouds come to life with the magic of yoga. Develop yoga sequences to mirror children’s literature and engage students by allowing them to truly embody stories, providing more opportunities for recall and retelling. Learn to enlist the help of music to enhance the storybook yoga experience.
Erin Bracco

AM O and PM AA
My Special Needs & Different Abilities
Infant/Toddler Focus

Children with special needs and different abilities may be unique in your classroom but they are just being themselves. This session will allow us to begin to understand the perspective of children and families with different abilities while recognizing their needs in the classroom. Educators will also discuss ways to collaborate with therapist teams and will consider the use of additional online classroom resources.
Chandi Edmonds

AM P and PM AB
Infants Toddlers & Twos, Focus On Creativity & Communication
Infant/Toddler Focus

This workshop will focus on the CDA Functional Areas of Creativity and Communication. Participants will engage in creative art and sensory activities, and learn to use voices for music and musical transitions and the importance of appropriate high quality children’s literature for children ages 0 to 3. This is a hands-on messy workshop, so come prepared to play!
Leah Shapiro

AM R and PM R
Racial Bias & White Privilege Are Messy; Together, Let’s Sort How It Plays Out in the Classroom
Director Focus
Double Session. Please register for both AM R and PM R

This hands-on double session is geared toward intermediate and advanced early childhood practitioners, administrators, and Directors who are aware that young children (0-8 years old) are not too young to understand characteristics of the dominant culture, across race, ethnicity, gender, class, ableism, religion, etc. Educators will leave equipped with a personalized first step to change, curriculum resources, and resources for further learning.
Sarah Dennis

AM T
The Organized Chaos of Communication: Integrating New Vocabulary & Learning Strategies All the Time

Even if children can read the words in front of them, they lose all meaning and comprehension if their vocabularies aren’t robust enough to keep up. This workshop will go beyond “learning to read” and help you prepare children to “read to learn” by building a strong, sustain- able foundation of vocabulary with methods that can t seamlessly into an early childhood educator’s or parent’s routine.
Jesse Ilhardt

AM U and PM AE
It’s Complicated: The Need for Culturally Relevant Reflective Supervision
Director Focus

Being a culturally relevant teacher requires parallel reflective supervision and coaching from administrators and leaders. This engaging workshop will provide simple yet practical ways to support diversity among ECE professionals.
Ty Giles & Darshae Bias

AM X and PM AG
Get Down, Get Dirty and Get Moving; Supporting Infant and Toddler Development in the Outdoor Environment
Infant/Toddler Focus

Young children learn through their senses and what better way than in the outdoors? Discover how to give our youngest kids the time, space and opportunities to explore and investigate a wide variety of natural and creative materials that provide meaningful experiences, including unique outdoor activities for babies. Learn to design outdoor environments that create areas of curiosity, challenge, wonderment and movement.
Diann Gano

AM Y and PM Y
The Mess That Calms: Utilizing Sensory Activities to Enhance Self-Regulation and Social Emotional Development
Double Session. Please register for both AM Y and PM Y

This hands-on workshop will discuss the causes of challenging behaviors, how they connect to social emotional development and how adults react to them. Participants will learn hands on activities and materials to better support children (and adults!) during those moments when they need it the most and leave with concrete ideas and tools to enhance social emotional development and help kids to self-regulate.
Tracy Patton

AFTERNOON SESSIONS (PM)

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

Be sure to check the list of afternoon workshops that are also offered in the morning. They are listed together above.

Early Bird G and PM AH
Building Resilience in Young Children

During this workshop, the importance of helping children build resilience will be discussed, noting things that may hamper that goal such as increased technology use and changes in children’s unstructured play. We will look at the impact of these challenges on the development of autonomy and growth.
Amy Cardin & Susan Gittings

Early Bird J and AM W and PM AF
How To Bring The Mess Home For The Younger Child
Infant/Toddler Focus

In this presentation teachers will learn to coach parents on ways to bring messy play home while allowing for easier clean up, as well as options for parents whose children don’t always enjoy getting their hands messy. There will also be easy ideas for how to engage in learning with things they already have in the home.
Michelle Gonzalez

AM O and PM AA
My Special Needs & Different Abilities
Infant/Toddler Focus

Children with special needs and different abilities may be unique in your classroom but they are just being themselves. This session will allow us to begin to understand the perspective of children and families with different abilities while recognizing their needs in the classroom. Educators will also discuss ways to collaborate with therapist teams and will consider the use of additional online classroom resources.
Chandi Edmonds

AM P and PM AB
Infants Toddlers & Twos, Focus On Creativity & Communication
Infant/Toddler Focus

This workshop will focus on the CDA Functional Areas of Creativity and Communication. Participants will engage in creative art and sensory activities, and learn to use voices for music and musical transitions and the importance of appropriate high quality children’s literature for children ages 0 to 3. This is a hands-on messy workshop, so come prepared to play!
Leah Shapiro

AM R and PM R
Racial Bias & White Privilege Are Messy; Together, Let’s Sort How It Plays Out in the Classroom
Director Focus
Double Session. Please register for both AM R and PM R

This hands-on double session is geared toward intermediate and advanced early childhood practitioners, administrators, and Directors who are aware that young children (0-8 years old) are not too young to understand characteristics of the dominant culture, across race, ethnicity, gender, class, ableism, religion, etc. Educators will leave equipped with a personalized rst step to change, curriculum resources, and resources for further learning.
Sarah Dennis

AM U and PM AE
It’s Complicated: The Need for Culturally Relevant Reflective Supervision
Director Focus

Being a culturally relevant teacher requires parallel reflective supervision and coaching from administrators and leaders. This engaging workshop will provide simple yet practical ways to support diversity among ECE professionals.
Ty Giles & Darshae Bias

AM X and PM AG
Get Down, Get Dirty and Get Moving; Supporting Infant and Toddler Development in the Outdoor Environment
Infant/Toddler Focus

Young children learn through their senses and what better way than in the outdoors? Discover how to give our youngest kids the time, space and opportunities to explore and investigate a wide variety of natural and creative materials that provide meaningful experiences, including unique outdoor activities for babies. Learn to design outdoor environments that create areas of curiosity, challenge, wonderment and movement.
Diann Gano

AM Y and PM Y
The Mess That Calms: Utilizing Sensory Activities to Enhance Self-Regulation and Social Emotional Development
Double Session. Please register for both AM Y and PM Y

This hands-on workshop will discuss the causes of challenging behaviors, how they connect to social emotional development and how adults react to them. Participants will learn hands on activities and materials to better support children (and adults!) during those moments when they need it the most and leave with concrete ideas and tools to enhance social emotional development and help kids to self-regulate.
Tracy Patton

PM Z
Brains and Behaviors: Exploring Emotional Expression in Early Childhood

Using Music Therapy techniques, in tandem with popular social/ emotional curricula, attendees will learn engaging music and movement activities to use in the early childhood setting for emotional understanding and development.
Alyssa Wilkins

PM AC
Kids who are “More,” Alternate Explanations, Empathetic Effective Responses
Director Focus

Many don’t know that when a child with gifted- “overexcitabilities” has a thought/idea/ sensation/emotion/movement-need the child’s whole system may be living it in ways that are advanced beyond their capacity to process. When an adult can understand which of the child’s overexcitabilities are at play and how, and share it with the child, the safety and relationship necessary for learning can develop. Come learn this unique framework for navigating the messiness of the whole, (un)identified intense (gifted) child.
Sheryl Stoller

PM AD
I Can Play That! Culturally Responsive Play Is a Social Justice Issue

Children develop and learn across all domains when they engage in high level dramatic play. However, children cannot play what they don’t know. EC providers who are keen observers of children can identify culturally relevant themes and follow children’s leads. With intentional planning, providers can scaffold play to build bilingualism and deepen complexity of play. In this session we will explore culturally responsive dramatic play examples, a framework for planning for the language of play, techniques for scaffolding play and ideas to engage families.
Pat Chamberlain, MS