WE INVITE YOU TO ATTEND

What: Illinois AEYC Growing Futures 2018 Conference

When: October 18-20, 2018

Where: Pere Marquette Marriott Hotel, Peoria, IL 

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!  Register on-line or download the registration form and mail it in with a check.

Conference Workshop Schedule

Hotel Block: We have a discounted rate at the Pere Marquette. We encourage you to book your room early! You can register for the hotel rooms on-line or you can call 1-800-228-9290 or 309-637-6500. If you call to reserve your room, you will need to tell them you are booking in the Illinois AEYC Growing Futures Room Block to get the discounted rate. We have rooms blocked for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

Prospectus- This contact information for potential exhibitors, sponsors and advertisers.

Conference Keynote:

Playful Explorations:
Building a Foundation for Development and Learning

Steve Erwin has spent 40 years working in a variety of capacities to promote, educate and advocate for young children and their families. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development and post graduate work in Preschool Special Education. His work experience includes being a family childcare provider, owner of a child care center and a Head Start and state Preschool administrator. In addition to the types of programs, he has enjoyed a geographical perspective of early care and education throughout the United States including America Samoa, China and Viet Nam. Experience as well as education has taught him working with young children and their families is important because we can make a difference in their lives… at a time when we can make a difference. For that reason, it has been important for him to promote curriculum models that support developing a knowledgeable skilled workforce that can make a difference. Recently he worked at the Associated Students Child Development Lab at California State University, Chico (CSUC) and adjunct faculty for the Child Development Program at CSUC. He is currently the National Early Childhood Specialist for Kaplan Early Learning Company.

Session Descriptions

Thursday Sessions

8:30am-11:30am Sessions

Introduction to the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale 3rd(ECERS-3)

Stephanie Herling, Denise Henry, and Becky Gronner

The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) was designed to assess process quality by looking at what children directly experience in their Early Childhood classroom. This session will introduce participants to the newly updated ECERS tool, the ECERS-3, which will be used to assess Preschool for All and Preschool for All Expansion programs. The ECERS-3 includes improvements in bpth content and administration and relies on classroom observations with greater emphasis on interactions, the teacher's rqle, language & literacy, and math. Participants will explore this quality improvement tool asaguide in creating early childhood environments and learning experiences that result in positive outcomes for children.

The pyramid Model in Action: A Framework for Social & Emotional Development

Sharon Doubet

The Pyramid Model for supporting the social and emotional competence in infants and young children is a framework developed for you! The pyramid-shaped design of this framework is structured to help you focus on research-based practical strategies to use in your important work. Many real-world examples will be discussed and you will leave this session with your personal plan of action. One-size does not fit all!

Implementing the Project Approach in Inclusive Early Childhood Classrooms: A New Guide and Checklist for Teachers

Sallee Beneke and Micki Ostrosky

Participants will review strategies and engage in dialog about examples and resources intended to help teachers meet the educational needs ofyoung children with diverse needs through theProject Approach. Participants will view and analyze video examples ofpractitioners embedding theProject Approach in inclusive settings. They will experiment with an Implementation Checklist and Guide intended to support practitioner implementation ofthe Project A pproach.

Why can't we go up the slide? Assessing Risk Taking in Children's Lives

Carol Weisheit and Jessica Frederick

In today's world, teachers and parents want to make children's lives as safe as possible when in fact, we can't possible accomplish complete safety! Let's flip the tables and think about giving children MORE opportunities to take risks and face challenges.All children need to face challenges in order to experience healthy development. Experiencing risk helps children self-regulate, develop social skills, concentration, memory and problem solving. Come learn about adventure playgrounds, types of risks and what happens to children when adults remove risk from children's lives.

Building and Integrating Organizational Systems that Support Developmentally Appropriate Practice

Sara Beach and Becky Caldwell

Just as teachers must be highly intentional in the routines, structures, activities, and interactions they provide to children, leaders and administrators can exercise a high degree of intentionality in the organizational systems they create to run the program effectively. This workshop will provide an organizing framework for developing, integrating, and implementing internal organizational systems that respond to the principles of developmentally appropriate practice. Through a combination of presentation, discussion, group synergy and creativity, this workshop will give directors the opportunity to integrate and visually depict the systems that are most important to them for the successful operation of high quality learning programs. Note * The complementary PM session will focus in on creating a system of support and professional learning or teachers and staff.

Current State Initiatives: What You Need to Know….Suspension & Expulsion, Pyramid Model and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

Lori Orr, Donna Nylander, Antoinette Taylor, and Cindy Berrey

First 1.5 hours: This presentation discusses Illinois’ PA 100-105, the law aimed at ending the practice of expelling infants, toddlers, and preschoolers from their early childhood programs. It is designed for administrators and direct staff who work with early childhood programs. We will discuss research, statistics, and causes of early childhood expulsion and suspension, highlighting the gender and racial disparities. Learn how the legislation came to pass, how it is being implemented, about the development of a statewide plan, and best practices that programs may utilize to support direct practice.

Second 1.5 hours: Using the Illinois State Board of Education’s Whole Child, Whole School, Whole Community initiative, this part of the presentation will provide information regarding the evidenced based practice of utilizing MTSS (Multi-tiered System of Support) as a holistic system that encompasses and is able to sustain a variety of frameworks throughout any learning environment. We will discuss data, research, learning standards and the relationship between promoting a system of supports for adults (educators) and students as a way to build capacity and achieve positive outcomes.

 12:30-3:30 Sessions

Introduction to the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale 3rd(ECERS-3)

Stephanie Herling, Denise Henry, and Becky Gronner

The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) was designed to assess process quality by looking at what children directly experience in their Early Childhood classroom. This session will introduce participants to the newly updated ECERS tool, the ECERS-3, which will be used to assess Preschool for All and Preschool for All Expansion programs. The ECERS-3 includes improvements in bpth content and administration and relies on classroom observations with greater emphasis on interactions, the teacher's rqle, language & literacy, and math. Participants will explore this quality improvement tool asaguide in creating early childhood environments and learning experiences that result in positive outcomes for children.

Adaptations to Support High Quality Inclusion

Emily Ropers

Learn to use a research-based tool to develop amazing adaptations for all learners. Participants will see examples of adaptations that support the inclusion of children with disabilities. Resources shared will enable participants to practice developing modifications to routines, environments and activities.

Yoga and Young Children

Tamara Notter

Participants will learn a variety of yoga poses they could indeed conduct with two· year old children up to school age. Anyone who is interested in encouraging and promoting children to move, stretch, relax, gain strength, body awareness and connect the mind and body would gain from the training. Currently the public is learning more each day about the childhood obesity epidemic and children struggling wi th coping with stress. Yoga is one form of movement that canbe used to motivate children to move and learn self • regulation skills. During this training adults should be prepared to move: dress comfortably and bring a yoga mat or large beach towel.

Creating a Learning Culture in Support of Continuous Quality Improvements: Embedding Systems for Teacher Professional Development

Sara Beach and Becky Caldwell

Improving the quality of early learning programs requires ongoing learning, practice changes, and accountability for all staff, from the administrators, to teachers, and all support staff. Getting buy-in from everyone involved can be difficult, but when leaders work intentionally to create systems for professional learning throughout the program, everyone is more likely and more eager to participate. This workshop will provide a systems framework and some specific strategies, for leaders who wish to create a center-wide culture of learning in their programs. We will look at the role data can play in helping build buy-in and creating both program and individual goals for improvement. We will identify all the most important components in a comprehensive plan that includes teacher collaboration, supervisory feedback, ongoing learning, and practice improvements. Leaders will have an opportunity to map out the steps they need to take to create a successful system of learning and support so that quality improvements are achievable, continuous, and sustainable for everyone.

Friday Sessions

8:00-9:15 Breakfast Keynote Steve Erwin

Playful Explorations: Building a Foundation for Development and Learning

This interactive session will provide teachers the opportunity to explore and understand how children’s play is the gateway to children’s growth and development. This session will provide small group discussions, roleplaying and video examples that will identify how play supports not only the social and emotional growth but how cognitive growth is stimulated through play.

9:30am – 11:00am Sessions

Sign Language Basics: Talking With Your Hands

Sheri Kraus

This workshop will provide participants with the basic knowledge behind Sign Language of who, what, where, when, and why sign language is used. Participants will learn basic signs that will help them when working with individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or have not yet acquired language. This is a fun, interactive, hands-on workshop where all participants will be encouraged to participate.

Sharing Developmental Concerns with Families to Impact Informed Family Decision Making

Lynn Barts

Sharing developmental concerns can be a difficult conversation to have with a family. When each person feels valued and respected in this conversation, it can strengthen partnership and trust. Let’s dialogue about how to share developmental concerns in a way that can impact outcomes for young children & their families.

Hands-on STEAM for the Pre-School Classroom

Erin Wiese-Reichert

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) activities are becoming increasingly important to the early learner! Come join us for this session that will include discussion on the importance of STEAM based learning for the young child, demonstrations of hands-on activities, and try out a few hands-on activities for yourself! You will leave this session with lots of ideas on how to easily incorporate STEAM based learning in your classroom!

What is a microaggression? Why should I know about it as an early childhood professional? Is it really that important? (YES!)

Dr. Anni K Reinking

Microaggressions are embedded into our culture and communities. In this session, the presenter will help participants understand what a microaggression is, types of microaggressions, and how they play out in early childhood classrooms. The presenter will provide evidence of microaggressions in early childhood curriculum and will encourage participants to evaluate teacher talk, school/classroom culture, and curriculum based on the ideas of microaggressions.

The Use of Thinking Maps to Enhance Literacy Development

Laura Ray Kelly and Natasha Garman

“Thinking Maps” are a tool to give students a set of 8 specific visual organization strategies to help them process, retain and express knowledge about any topic in the curriculum. It is useful for Pre-Kindergarten through adult learners as a way to represent simple and complex topics. Research shows that students retain information better when this is used as a means for instructional pedagogy or personal expression/recall of a topic. Samples of its use to develop literacy skills will be presented.

11:15am -12:45pm Sessions

Leadership – The Path in Supporting and Sustaining Quality in ECE Programs

Steve Erwin

Highly motivated and effective workforce is vital for the quality of ECE programs. Increasing the quality of programs represents change to the workforce. This process will require directors to rely on their leadership skills. This session will focus on leading rather than managing the workforce through this process.

Junkyard Math

Rebecca Swartz

Found objects and recycled materials can provide many opportunities for young children to develop math-thinking skills. Come explore materials and learn developmentally appropriate ways to enhance children's mathematical thinking in this hands-on workshop. New graphic tip sheets from the Illinois Early Learning Project will be highlighted to help you share your knowledge with colleagues and families.

Fostering family engagement through P-3 transitions

Michael Abel and Barb Volpe

Participants will explore the attitudes, dispositions, and prejudices that occur in early childhood education and examine their own practices. They well consider successful models for changing organizational climates to improve family engagement. Through interpersonal activities, they will collaboratively develop ideas that could be implemented in their communities for supporting sustained family engagement from birth through the primary grades.

The DEC Recommended Practices: Tools to Support Implementation

Chelsea Guillen and Maria Castainis

The Division for Early Childhood(DEC)Recommended Practices were updated again in 2014.With this revision, an emphasis has been placed on getting the Practices into use by the field. Both DEC and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance(ECTA)Center are developing products that support the use of the Practices by early childhood professionals. This session will cover the revision process and the products available to support implementation of the practices.

The Pyramid: Teaching Social-Emotional Skills

Denise Henry

Come and learn some ways to specifically teach social emotional skills to children in PreK and ECSE! We will explore books, visuals, drumming, puppets, and more. This workshop will be based of the CSEFEL Pyramid Model.

Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS): Importance of Family Involvement in Your Child's Development

Michelle Escapa

Not all children learn and grow at the same rate in all areas. Family imput about their children’s behavior and development can enrich what teachers are observing during the school day. The Kindergarten Individual Developmental Survey (KIDS) is and ongoing observational assessment; it is not a “test”. It is vital that schools work in partnership with families to foster children’s development.

2:15pm-3:45pm Sessions

Teaching Strategies to Support Social & Emotional Development

Sharon Doubet

Are you challenged with the challenging behavior of some young children you work with? We will discuss strategies you can use to increase healthy social and emotional development and reduce challenging behaviors of young children. Topics will include strategies to teach emotional literacy, friendship skills, and problem-solving skills.

Trauma and ACES: How do I know? What do I do?

Cris Stanek, LCSW

Scary things happen in our world and babies, toddlers and preschoolers are often not immune. Sometimes these are big like school shootings, tornados, or abuse and sometimes these are smaller like dog bites, car accidents or medical procedures. Learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of trauma and how to help a child work through this and become resilient.

Reducing Teacher and Administrator Stress through Virtual Learning and Technology Simulations: How to have difficult conversations.

Dr . Anni K Reinking

Early childhood educators and administrators have difficult conversations with a variety of individuals in their profession-from co-workers to parents to board or community members. In this session the participants will develop a toolkit to reduce the feelings of-fear, anxiety, and stress when engaging in a diff icu lt conversation as well as have time to practice implementing the toolkit.

Calendar Time: Good Intentions Gone Awry

Sallee Beneke and Micki Ostrosky


PLC at the ELC; Working Smarter Not Harder

Sue Mayernick & Cynthia Dressler

Interdisciplinary panel will share a school based PLC model based on their experiences.Materials shared will include video examples, agends, portocols, action steps, as well as opportunites for attendees to problem solve common challenges that may occur when implementing a PLC.

How Do We Connect Math and Literacy?

Sherial McKinney and Roseann Slaght

Let's look at how Math and Literacy can be connected. We will share strategies and examples of children's books and activities that pertain to mathematical concepts. Developmentally appropriate ideas for each of the Math and Language Arts areas will be discussed. Come join us and identify what you are already doing, how it can be extended, and how it can be fun and inviting for children.

Saturday Sessions

8:00am -9:30am Sessions

Powerhouse Positive Guidance: Strength-Based Strategies to turn around Toddler Behavior Struggles and Activate Success

Marie Masterson

Meet the unique needs of toddlers with resilience- promoting, child-centered guidance that will reorient your practice and radically change outcomes for children. Solve toddler challenges and learn strategies that work.

Creating a Culture of Quality: Creating a Strength Based Continuous Quality Improvement Plan CQIP)

Michelle Wood and Jenny Metcalf

In this session learn about ISBEs new CQIP cycle for continuous quality improvement! We have shifted our CQIP process from a compliance driven model to a culture of quality and support for continuous quality Improvement. Come to this session to learn about the changes to the CQIP process and how to implement them in your program. This session is targeted for Preschool for All/Preschool for All Expansion Grantees. Al participants welcome!

Songs for Any Day: Building Better Brains with Music !

Carole Stephens

Children are born with pitch and rhythm, but It takes practice to keep those qualities In tiptop shape until they're ready to read. Making music daily Is more than fun - it's a necessity for brain development. Let's add to your repertoire while exploring the WHY's and HOWs of early childhood songs!

Reflections on the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education

Andrianna Smyrniotis

In ECE there are alternatives to thematic curricula and bright rooms with brightly painted walls and bright carpets, and commercial posters displayed on walls. Adopting 1-2 attributes of the Reggio Emilia approach are not in the best interest of children. Reggio is a holistic approach that employs child-centered curricula and attention to an aesthetic environment.

Learning the Language of Math

Marie Kielty

A workshop to assist teachers in assisting children understanding of the structure of a calendar, patterns, ordinal numbers, and terms for addition and subtraction.

Dramatic Play: More than just dolls and dishes

Becky Gronnert

This session will take a deeper look into the ECERS-3 dramatic play item and how it is applied in the classroom. We will describe appropriate interactions that lead to expanding children's learning. Participants will identify how areas of the IDELS aligns with the dramatic play.

10:15am-11:45am Sessions

Preschool for All Compliance Checklist Updates - What you need to know!

Jenny Metcalf and Michelle Wood

During this session, you will learn about the newly updated FY 2019 compliance checklist for Preschool for All programs. Come see what has changed and how it applies to your program. There will also be a chance to get your questions answered!

Music Integration: Using Music as a Classroom Tool

Jeannie Bratschie

How to incorporate music as an everyday teaching tool in the classroom as well as curriculum applications.

Answering Questions about ECERS-3: Growing in Quality

Daria Drzewiecka & Marie Masterson

The ECERS-3 has expanded our understanding about quality settings and interactions for children ages 3-5. Come learn more about quality teaching and bring questions about your own classroom

Beginning Writing From a Child’s Point of View

Marie Kielty

A Workshop focusing on the stages of beginning writing composition with examples from toddlers to kindergarten and first graders and suggestions for reading and writing in dramatic play.

Engaging and Meaningful Transitions

Becky Groennert

Participants will discuss developmentally appropriate transition in all areas of the classroo.m In this workshop transitions will be developed and shared. We will define the teacher's and paraprofessional's role in transitions. Participates will align transitions to the IELDS.

1:15pm-2:45pm Sessions

Invisible Stories: Discover the power of telling stories without books

Katie Shea

In this workshop, we will enjoy many stories told without books and learn how to adapt a story to engage infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children with diverse abilities. Participants will leave this workshop with their own "Invisible Story", ready to tell to the children in their lives.

Dances for Any Day: Building Better Bodies with Active Music!

Carole Stephens

Children learn by moving through their environment. Early literacy skills can be acquired while dancing and moving rhythmically. Let's Identity those skills and how to put them on their feet - while we get our own toes a-tapping!

The Cues We Use are Tip-Top Tips

Mary N Wonderlick

The cues we use are visual and auditory. They are the hints we give to facilitate responses from the youngsters in our care. They are shortcuts and prompts. We use them to foster skill development, improve memory, and to manage and guide behavior. This may be one from your childhood: HOMES, the acronym for recalling the Great Lakes. This will be a sharing session. you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.

Educators as Policy Influencers

Wendy Uptain

To date, policy has been done to teachers instead of with teachers. If positive changes are to occur in our childcare system for children, educators and providers need to be involved in policy discussions throughout the entire process—from the idea formation to implementation to providing constant feedback for continual improvement. However, most educators have little training and experience in how to get involved or are reticent because it would take them away from their classrooms. This session will 1) explain why the lack of teacher involvement in policy is a problem, 2) provide teachers the opportunity to share either their experiences in or ideas for reform, 3) highlight teacher leadership opportunities that also allow teachers to stay in the classroom, and 4) offer suggestions for how to get involved.

You Are the Leader of Your Classroom: Discovering Your Strengths, Values, and New Skills for Positive Change 

Susan Mrazek

This training will focus on you as the leader of your classroom or childcare environment and is geared towards everyone participating in the childcare environment, whatever your specific role. What values drive your daily decisions? Where did these values come from? How can you use them most effectively? Activities will be presented that allow you to better understand your strengths as well as areas of opportunity. We will uncover the differences between technical and adaptive work and how to navigate challenges that arise when working with others who hold differing values and beliefs.

3:00pm-4:30pm Sessions

Freedom to Move: Promoting Natural Large Motor Development for Infants and Toddlers

Bethany Jackson

This presentation would help you learn about the importance of freedom of movement and natural large motor development for infants and toddlers. We connect how being free to move and develop motor skills naturally benefits all areas of development. We will discuss how to create an environment that allows infants and toddlers to gain large motor skills naturally and with as much freedom as possible. We share our experiences as we have worked on incorporating freedom of movement in our classrooms.

Play Center vs. Interest Area

Stephanie Herling


Engineering and Mathematics in the Preschool Classroom

David Banzer

This session will examine how early mathematics can be supported within engineering activities within the preschool classroom. Age-appropriate instructional practices will be explored within engineering activities and projects. Examples of engineering materials and projects based on children's interests will be discussed, and hands-on activities will explore materials that children can explore early math and engineering concepts.

High Quality Language Development Using the Planned Language Approach

Sergio Hernandez

This session will provide a brief overview of current best practices embedded in popular home visiting program models, facilitate group discussion that allow peers to interact and reflect during the presentation, and provide practical examples to apply immediately in participant programs.

So How I Do Advocate When I Have No Extra Time in My Life?

Betsy D. Mitchell

No one has extra time anymore, especially time for contacting your legislators. Let me give you some simple steps to help you advocate for children and for your profession in an almost effortless, yet highly impact way. Also, come and share how you advocate.