C Workshops

Please remember to list a 1st and 2nd choice for each workshop block when registering, as workshop spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.


C1. Music and Movement for All for Children Birth to Early Elementary – This is an interactive group activity in music and movement for parents and educators. The session will include experiences in song, chant, poetry, moving to music creatively and small hand held instruments.

I will begin with vocalizing and pattern work, layering movement, and crossing mid line activities. The musical material used is folk and classical and reflects the rich musical literature of the world. Dance and creative movement along with instruments will also be shared.

The session will provide all attending with immediate resources they can use. The musical and movement experiences will also be framed with research that addresses why these activities are important to the social and emotional development, including self-regulation of all children no matter their age.  I will provide a resource list of music, song and activities.

Target Audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Early Childhood Administrators, Mental Health Providers, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Provider, Preschool Special Education Provider

Strand: SEL and the Connection to Equity and Bias, Family Engagement: Addressing Equity and Bias through an SEL Lens, Community Collaborations to Address Equity and Bias, Parent Education and Advocacy, Equity and Bias in Early Childhood Education, Administrators and Teachers, Social Justice, Equity, and Bias

PresenterSusan Kirschner-Robinson, Windsor Montessori


C2. Everyone Belongs: Relationships, Racial Equity and Reflection in Early Childhood Settings – Empathy, caring and self -reflection are powerful words in context of learning spaces for young children. Indeed, young children who are racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse, will gain positive social emotional development where authentic relationships with adults who personify these values in their interactions with everyone in the classroom. Participants will discuss racial equity, culturally responsive relationships and SEL ; creating spaces where everyone belongs; and understanding the science of implicit bias and learn about tools which promote personal reflection and mindfulness.

Target Audience: Parents, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Early Childhood Administrators, After School Professionals, Mental Health Providers, Early Intervention Provider, Preschool Special Education Provider

Strand: SEL and the Connection to Equity and Bias, Equity and Bias in Early Childhood Education, Suspension and Expulsion through the lens of Equity and Bias

Presenter: Paquita Jarman-Smith and Nitza Diaz, SERC


C3. Prioritizing Attachment and Inclusion for Young Children with Disabilities and their Families – In this presentation, we will explore the reality that although children with developmental delays/disabilities have the same need for secure attachment as typically-developing children, differences in the way they communicate or use their bodies can interrupt the unfolding of dyadic attunement and attachment. We will also discuss as a group how implicit and explicit bias may impact children with developmental differences to isolate them from the everyday social routines and interactions that typically serve to optimize healthy development. We will take a look at evidence that reduced access to healthy attachment and inclusion into social activities and routines can lead to an increased vulnerability to maltreatment and the subsequent effects of trauma. Finally, we will share and discuss specific strategies that early childhood professionals and families of young children can use to scaffold healthy attachment, to observe and understand their child’s unique way of communicating and interacting with the world, and to empower every child to use his or her own abilities, whatever they may be, to make a difference in the world.

Target Audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Mental Health Providers, Early Intervention Provider

Strand: SEL and the Connection to Equity and Bias, Equity and Bias in Early Childhood Education, Support and Considerations for Children with Special Needs or Disabilities, Trauma/Mental Health

PresenterSusan Killmeyer, Ph.D. and Salam Soliman, Psy.D., Child First, Inc.


C4. Preschool Problem Solving – Do you sometimes feel more like a referee than a preschool teacher?  So much classroom time is spent solving social conflict rather than teaching and playing.  Explicit and indirect teachings of social emotional concepts are critical components to early childhood curriculum, ultimately affecting a child’s overall development and learning.  During this presentation, we will review the challenging behaviors many preschoolers present each day. The focus will be on strategies which promote positive relationships and increase independence in social areas including problem solving, sharing, taking turns, and self-regulating emotions.

These positive behavior strategies ultimately help build supportive school environments deeply rooted in trust. It allows educators to provide equitable discipline or behavior supports to all children ensuring that each child gets what they need.

Behavior is a child’s first language and participants will walk away with a better understanding of what message a child may be trying to send.  Other key discussion points include maintaining a positive classroom environment including rules and routines, effectively using visuals to promote positive social interactions, and connecting and reinforcing appropriate expression of feelings and emotions through children’s literature and activities.

Participants will leave with several strategies and ideas to add to their problem-solving kits including visuals that help foster independent conflict resolution (sharing, trading, taking turns).

Target Audience: Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Early Childhood Administrators, Strand: SEL and the Connection to Equity and Bias

PresenterTracy Glynn, PLAYDATE & PLAYMATES, LLC


C5. Ideal Learning – Ideal Learning assumes that children best achieve their potential through learning that activates their interests, abilities, and talents to build knowledge, skills, and confidence.   Regardless their pedagogical perspective, all Ideal Learning providers nurture children the exact same way and have the same basic approach to helping very young children develop their potential. In this session, participants will deepen their understanding of racial equity bias in early care and education systems; learn to place current early childhood practices in an historical context; explore the nine ideal learning principles; and practice using the Ideal Learning principles to implement social emotional learning in a racially equitable and trauma informed way.

Target Audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Early Childhood Administrators, Mental Health Providers, Early Intervention Provider

Strand: SEL and the Connection to Equity and Bia, A History of Equity and Bias in Education, Equity and Bias in Early Childhood Education, Administrators and Teachers, Social Justice

Presenter: Wendy Simmons, New Haven Children’s Ideal Learning District and Allyx Schiavone, Friends Center for Children


C6. Environmental Impact: Teaching in Intentional Spaces, Learning from our Surroundings – In early childhood education and non-classroom settings we use the spaces, inside and out, as learning opportunities. This session will provide a hands-on workshop to assist you in making the most of your physical teaching and learning spaces. The literal landscape of options will be addressed as tools to support individual student social-emotional learning, systemic access and equity issues to nature and freedom of movement. Examples of how learning spaces support choice and independence while reinforcing how to be part of an interdependent community will be shared. Presenters will offer a developmentally appropriate early childhood perspective and Montessori land-based practices. Come learn about how to intentionally design your classroom environments and utilize outdoors and alternative spaces. The session will be broken into three parts: presentation followed by an interactive small group breakout session and ending with shared insights and discussion with time for questions and answers.

Target Audience: Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, Elementary Teachers, Early Childhood Administrators, After School Professionals, Early Intervention Provider, Preschool Special Education Provider

Strand: Family Engagement: Addressing Equity and Bias through an SEL Lens, Community Collaborations to Address Equity and Bias, Support and Considerations for Children with Special Needs or Disabilities, Strategies for Meaningful Inclusion of Young Children with Special Needs

Presenter: Paige Bray and Courtney Reim, Center for Montessori Studies at University of Hartford


C7. Meaningful Circle Time: Developing Children’s Social Emotional Skills at Circle Time and Making Circle Time Successful for All – What is the purpose of Circle Time? What does research tell us about how children learn best at Circle Time? What do Quality Measures (ECERS, NAEYC, CLASS) look for when observing circle time? Come and discuss how to meet the needs of all children at Circle time. We will consider ways to facilitate young children’s language/literacy and social emotional development at Circle Time and throughout the preschool day.

Target Audience: Early Childhood Teachers/Caregivers, After School Professionals, Preschool Special Education Provider

Strand: SEL and the Connection to Equity and Bias, Support and Considerations for Children with Special Needs or Disabilities, Strategies for Meaningful Inclusion of Young Children with Special Needs

PresenterMeg Formica, LEARN


C8. Identifying and Addressing Challenges in Social and Emotional Learning– Many children face social and emotional challenges that adversely impact their ability to fully participate in school.  This program will review the steps that families and educators can take to identify these challenges and work together to craft programs designed to help young children and students progress.  This interactive program will focus on implications for infants and toddlers as well as young students with attention paid to insuring proper evaluation and implementation for Individual Family Service Plans, transition into preschool, IEPs and Section 504 Accommodation Plans.

Target Audience:  Parents, Parenting Educators, Early Childhood Administrators, Preschool Special Education Provider

Strand:  Family Engagement:  Addressing Equity and Bias through an SEL Lens, Parent Education and Advocacy in Regard to Equity and Bias, Suspension and Expulsion through the Lens of Equity and Bias, Support and Considerations for Children with Special Needs or Disabilities

Presenter:  John M. Flanders, Esq., Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center


For a full list of our presenters and their bios, visit the Presenters page.