Saturday, March 16, 2024


8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Opening and General Session
Conference Welcome, Announcements and Wolf Trap Warm Up

Morning General Session: 5 Things You Need to Know About Kids

Presenter: Jim Harris, Opportunities Consulting Service, LLC

Get ready to laugh and learn as Dr. Harris brings some of the most important developmental principles alive with his down-to-earth presentation style. Dr. Harris will focus on some of the most common misconceptions people have about children and talk about how they affect our ability to intervene effectively. He will pay specific attention to the core developmental needs of children and how they relate to challenging behavior. Dr. Harris will also explore how to strategically approach challenging behavior with children from an instructional perspective.


9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open
Pre-purchased box lunch pick up from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


9:45 – 11:15 a.m. – Concurrent Workshops

Black American Students and Community Connections
Presenter: Krystal Clemons
This session provides information on successful interventions for Black students including creating partnerships with local Black churches, hair salons/barbershops, and Black Greek Letter Organizations. These partnerships provide multiple supports for schools and families and critical mentoring opportunities for students. Black American students’ success depends on the involvement of the community in which they are nurtured and loved. Schools can use data to prioritize interventions and to show the overall effectiveness of the interventions.

Building Blocks to Move From Rage to Calm
Presenter: Mandy Lloyd
When children demonstrate really big emotions it creates upset all around.  The building blocks required to move a child’s brain from upset to calm, while understanding your triggers and how to calm them can be a tall order.  In this session you will learn appropriate strategies for yourself and strategies to teach all children to manage the emotional mayhem that leads to these really big emotions.

Building Strong Partnerships: Using Six Building Blocks of Family Engagement
Presenter: Claudia Castillo-Magallanez
Parents are our partners in educating children. Educators must have strong relationships with their children’s families or/and support system. This session provides participants the opportunity to explore effective family engagement practices through a strength-based approach using the six building blocks of engagement.  The six building blocks of engagement include building relationships, viewing parents as senior partners, identifying strengths, involving the whole family, linking to learning and expanding their network of support.

How Can Educators Support Children with Special Needs in Early Learning Programs?
Presenter: Amy Josephson
Over the past three decades, we have seen an increase in the prevalence of children with special needs in early learning programs. Many educators need support in accommodating the needs of children with disabilities in their classrooms. This interactive session will cover the rationale, strategies, and demonstration of developmentally appropriate learning experiences that foster positive developmental outcomes for children with special needs.

Noticing Nonverbal Math Knowledge
Presenter: Kateri Thunder
Every child knows important and valuable math ideas but we don't always see, hear, or notice their brilliance. Whether young children are English Learners, nonverbal, or simply don't know math words yet, we can tap into their nonverbal math knowledge and mathematize it. In this session, we will unpack the latest brain research on nonverbal math knowledge. We will examine protocols to develop our professional noticing of nonverbal, informal, and even unexpected behaviors that are evidence of mathematical understandings. And, we will analyze strategies to mathematize knowledge so that every learner sees themselves as capable of math learning from the very start.

Responsive Caregiving for Infants and Toddlers: Watch, Ask and Adapt
Presenter: Lucia Gibson
This session will review and discuss what factors influence and prepare us for getting in tune with the infants and toddlers in our care, including the child’s development and temperament, their families and culture, self-reflection about your own upbringing, and how it may influence your interactions and care of young children, the importance of paying attention to the child’s cues and messages, and the responsive process of watch, ask, adapt.

The Floor is Lava! Let's Keep those Feet Moving!
Presenter: Dr. Leslie Floyd
Co-Presenters: Charmaine Bonds
There are many ways to help increase movement in the classroom and throughout a child’s day. Giving students opportunities for structured and unstructured physical activity is crucial for the overall development of the child. This includes both physical and social-emotional development. This session will answer the "why," behind the importance of movement on the young child and strategies for implementing movements in the environment.

9:45 – 11:45 a.m. – Concurrent Workshop

Emergency Preparedness for Child Care Providers
Presenter: Misty Jewell
In this session providers will learn how to prepare, respond, and recover from unexpected events that impact the operation of their child care business. Topics that will be covered include writing an emergency plan, identifying needed supplies, mandated reporting, shelter-in-place, and reunification procedures. Child Care Providers will learn what constitutes an Emergency Plan in Virginia. Disaster Preparedness, learning how to prepare, respond/communicate during, and recover after a disaster.


Noon – 1:15 p.m. – Lunch & Learn General Session

Partners on the Path of Childhood: Our Role as the Children Grow
Presenter: Jacky Howell, MA. Azspire LLC.

Pick up your pre-ordered lunch, or grab something from the hotel outlets and join Jacky in this lively presentation. As educators we recognize it has been a challenging time for us as well as the children with whom we work. Join us for an uplifting and inspiring journey through childhood as we explore how our actions as adults can impact the lives of children with whom we interact. Come participate in this session with Jacky Howell that will leave you singing, remind us of the connections to our work, and leave with ideas in our journey with children!


1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Concurrent Workshops

Organizational Tools: Set Yourself Up for Success
Presenter: Amy David
In this session we will focus on organizational tools for educators & how they support the learning environment. Educators have to juggle a lot on any given day in a classroom. How can we intentionally plan & prepare with the goal of creating a rich learning environment where both educators & students succeed.

Connecting the Quality Dots: VQB5, CLASS & Curriculum in Virginia
Presenter: Caitlin Ellis
Co-Presenters: Marie LaMonica-Sarro
In this presentation, Marie Lamonica-Sarro will describe the state initiatives through VQB5 with a focus on strengthening teacher-child interactions through CLASS (AEII) and providing access to high-quality curriculum to enhance early childhood experiences and ultimately, child outcomes. You will then take a closer look at the STREAMin3 Curriculum Model with Kate Matthew and Caitlin Ellis and learn how it was designed to focus on social-emotional and academic learning with an emphasis on high-quality interactions and the PD needed to increase understanding of implementation and improve interactions and experiences with children.

Mentoring and Coaching: Cultivating Educators from Potential to Success
Presenter: Zamora Logan
This Coaching and Mentoring session will help you to develop a plan to mentor new educators and coach seasoned educators. Participants will learn to build a collaborative process that will create a foundation of support through resources and professional development, develop measurable goals, provide support through motivation and modeling, while creating direction and vision for their program.

OCCHS Has On Its Listening Ears
Presenter: Jeff Williams
The Director of the Office of Child Care Health and Safety will be available to the VAAEYC community during this session to hear what's on its mind and heart.

The Magic of Fairy Tales: Opening the Story Box of Creativity in Your Classroom
Presenter: Aimee Gangai
Co-Presenters: Bernadette Sisler
Through play based, hands-on activities, attendees will experience and learn techniques to expand classic fairytales in a variety of ways. Attendees will have an opportunity to reflect on important teaching elements of each activity and synthesize ways to develop ideas that would suit the needs of the children in their classrooms.

Transition in Early Childhood - We Can Do This!
Presenter: Meg Druga
Co-Presenters: Erin Saxon
Building self-determination skills in early childhood has lasting impacts, including creating successful opportunities for transition starting in preschool and continuing throughout a lifetime! Learn how to teach children the skills they have to achieve a goal, make choices, and identify the people who can help them learn and grow. Walk away feeling empowered and ready to support self-determination in early childhood classrooms. Getting started now is possible!

1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Concurrent Workshop

Quality Infant-Toddler Interactions Begin with Safety and Connection
Presenter: Jane Plum
Looking to improve your CLASS scores?  Wondering how to provide more meaningful interactions with children in your care?  The Conscious Discipline Powers and Skills can help you build trust and safety and authentic connections while building your skills in the CLASS domains of Responsive Caregiving for infants and Emotional and Behavioral Support for toddlers. Join this interactive session to walk away with practical, effective strategies that will positively impact your daily interactions in the classroom.


2:45 – 4:15 p.m. – Concurrent Workshops

Challenging Behavior: The Why & How
Presenter: Jim Harris
It is well documented that one of the major challenges in working with young people today is addressing behavioral issues. In this presentation, Dr. Harris shares with you a framework of understanding regarding challenging behaviors and some practical strategies for addressing behavior issues.

Emotional Literacy for All: Adapting and Modifying SEL Instruction for Children with Special Needs
Presenter: Lindsay Giroux
In this workshop, participants will explore a variety of activities designed to support young children with identifying, understanding, and managing emotions. Then, participants will walk through how to modify activities to meet children with different developmental needs. This session will include hands-on emotional literacy activities, group work to practice modifying activities, as well as reflection as to how to translate activities to the population they serve.

Five Basic Principles to Get Your Students Learning Through Play
Presenter: Ali Sullivan
Co-Presenters: Mary Jo Grieve
Come and learn The Basics, five fun, engaging techniques backed up by science that will give you tools to manage stress and handle challenging classroom behaviors. Participants will also learn strategies to integrate science, math, movement, and literacy to ignite the student's interest and love for learning. Bring your curiosity, enthusiasm, and dancing shoes to this hands-on session; more than another presentation, it will be a brain break that will inspire and excite you about teaching.

Classroom Management: Strategies for a Peaceful Classroom
Presenter: Amy David
We have all heard that the classroom functions as an additional teacher in the classroom. Early childhood classrooms are set up specifically for the environment to inform the children how to engage with it. Participants will explore a variety of methods to employ this method resulting in a classroom filled with self-reliant, confident, capable students all while not making the teacher have to solely focus on behavior challenges.

Play Matters
Presenter: Preston Blackburn
Play does matter, and the more physical it is, the more it sets the stage for a successful journey through school and life.  Adding big-body physical play into the school day can be challenging, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  We will discuss ways to advocate for play by diving into the long-term impact of big-body play on learning and behavior then look at overcoming those pain points from space, time, or other adults who don’t understand its value to uncover more ways to accommodate play in the day.  Includes takeaway games and ideas to put to work immediately.

Tattling: An Opportunity to Teach Assertiveness
Presenter: Heidi Condrey
Tired of constant tattling? In this session, learn how to turn tattling moments into teaching moments! You will discover the three types of tattling and how to respond to each type of tattling to foster the skill of assertiveness.  Finally, you will learn about the conflict resolution Time Machine and how to use this tool to support the skill of assertiveness.

Together for Birds
Presenter: Tarneshia Evans
Birds are a wonderful introduction to the natural world outside your classroom doors. Whether in a city or in a forest, a variety of birds are usually within easy eyeshot or earshot. Using Project Learning Tree's "Together for Birds" unit you will see how it supports play-based and inquiry-based learning for young children. We will also explore how this unit supports Reggio Emilia inspired programs and ways it can lead to an enriching artistic journey of discovery using nature and ornithology as a guide.

Share this Page