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2019 Summer Institute  

June 21 @ 8:15 am - 4:00 pm


2019 Summer Institute  
June 21st 8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus OH 43210
$75 fee, Free Parking


This one day conference offers high-quality professional development for early childhood educators, practitioners and administrators who work with young children (birth to five). The conference features keynote speakers and breakout sessions that emphasize strategies to promote young children’s learning and well-being. Teachers will be awarded 6 hours of Ohio Approved credit. This year’s theme is Achieving Quality – Best Practices in Early Childhood.


Registration 8:15 AM – 8:45 AM

Opening Remarks 8:45 AM – 9:00 AM

Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown, City of Columbus
Kristen Knight,  SFC Professional Development Coordinator

Keynote 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Attention to Relationships
Deborah McNelis, Author/Owner, Brain Insight

Early interactions are critical to the base of self-regulation, resiliency, delayed gratification, executive function, relationships, health and behaviors throughout life. Did you know early relationships also affect learning?  Through the use of the, Neuro-Nurturing Circle of Potential Model you will better understand the direct influence connections have on children in your life. It is essential that EVERYONE understands the impact of early relationships and how it can best be achieved for the well-being of all children

Break 10:00 AM – 10:15 AM

3 Breakout Sessions 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM

Connecting to the Brilliance of Young Children’s Mathematical Thinking
Dr. Courtney Koestler, Ohio University

This workshop is designed to support early childhood educators’ knowledge, skills and dispositions related to understanding the informal and intuitive mathematical understandings of young children. We will engage in several hands-on-activities (e.g., data collection and analysis, a pattern block task, what’s in the bin?) to discuss how early childhood educators might use similar activities and routines to support children’s mathematical understandings through play and exploration. We will also discuss “bid ideas” in ECE mathematics specifically related to counting and problem solving.

A Thousand and One Possibilities: The Joy of Planning
Kim Swart, Keith Barron, and Sara Stephenson, Ohio University Child Development Center

This workshops will encourage participants to rethink classroom planning.  By examining innovative planning techniques, teachers will reach new depths with studying children’s work and increase the quality of their practice.  Specifically, we will explore classroom investigations, taking an interest and planning in a way that explores that concept with meaning and intention.  Then from these new strategies apply them to the work being done in your own classroom. 

Nature Based Large & Small Group Activities
Rachel Larimore, Samara Early Learning, LLC

Using the seasons as a framework, this session will focus on integrating nature into your preschool classroom. We’ll focus on nature-based large and small group activity ideas to integrate into your indoor and outdoor classroom throughout the year.

Lunch 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

3 Breakout Sessions 12:45 PM – 2:15 PM

Setting the Tone for Learning: Environment, Materials and You;
Danielle Norman, Therese Brady, AJ Heckman, and Darren Thompson,
Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities Early Childhood Program

Conference participants will exchange perspective and point of view regarding the influence space, materials, and relationships have on regulating the learning and interests of infants and toddlers.  In this session, participants will discuss; and experience learning through the lens of young children. We will experience and emphasize the importance of planning and creating intentional, relevant and meaning learning environments.  Through multiple hands on experiences, and through the use of materials found in our natural environment, you will leave with a tool-box filled with a different way to think about your work.  There will be suggestions and ideas that will guide your practice and your work with youngsters who think differently about how to organize their world. Thinking differently about creating learning environments that are relevant, rewarding, respectful and relational will be the expected outcome of this session. 

STEM & Nature-Based Early Childhood Education
Rachel Larimore, Samara Early Learning, LLC

This session will focus on nature-based activities and materials indoors and outdoors that can support science learning. We’ll discuss science teaching and learning practices while exploring specific activity ideas.

Engaging Children in Storytelling
Keith Barron, Ohio University Child Development Center

There is a storyteller in all of us.  Through modeling and encouragement, teachers can help children develop the ability to share their stories.  This presentation will share strategies for creating a culture of storytelling in the classroom, guiding teachers in a progression from telling simple stories to more and more complex and interactive ones. Participants will leave empowered to tell stories in their classrooms, collect the stories of their children, and develop meaningful experiences based around story-acting that create an authentic literacy curriculum.

Break 2:15 PM – 2:30 PM

Closing Session 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Social Emotional Learning for Teachers (SELF-T)
Dr. Sarah Lang and Jovanna Tyree Owens, The Ohio State University

Your ability to manage stress and to take care of your own social-emotional health influences your ability to model appropriate emotional expression, to build and maintain effective interpersonal relationships, and to support productive social skills for children. This training introduces the concept of resilience and offers self-care strategies and organization care strategies to help decrease teacher stress and improve teachers emotional and physical well-being. 

Closing Remarks


June 21
8:15 am - 4:00 pm
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