2024 Session List and Descriptions

2024 Plant a Rainbow Early Childhood Conference > 2024 Session List and Descriptions

Schedule Overview

Session Descriptions (by Presenter)

Abert Wright

Know Your Fight: Don’t Get Lost in the Craziness!

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of the day to day, but it’s extremely important to know what you are fighting for so that you know how to direct your energy. Don’t get lost in the craziness of what is going on in the world outside the classroom. This training will help you remember your purpose, and why you got into this field. You still have a voice, and the fight you fight is in the classroom, or in the front office, or in the field. You can make a difference in the world if you focus on your specific fight. Know your fight, so you can know how to win.

Teachers Matter and Don’t Think Otherwise!

Teachers have one of the most influential jobs on the planet. Every lawyer, doctor, and every president has had a teacher who believed in them. Teachers create lifelong interactions, and help give children a voice. Teachers inspire, mentor, encourage, influence, praise, and instruct. Teachers Matter. Without Teachers, life would have no class. This Keynote is perfect for reminding teachers why they got into this field in the first place.

Stephen Fite

The Magic of Music & Movement

This participatory workshop will give teachers a new perspective on using music with children as they discover the power Rhythm, Repetition and Melody and understand the connection between music & movement and the brain, and the role they play in retention.

Engaging Children with Music & Movement

Does music engage children? Yes, it does and the possibilities for its use in the classroom is unlimited. Stephen will offer lots of encouragement, rules of engagement and user-friendly ideas that will help them engage and focus their children with lots of movement, a little imagination and tons of fun and excitement.

Natasha Harris

Director’s Roundtable: Director Responsibilities per Child Care Regulation’s Standards

This lunchtime roundtable is for Early Childhood Directors seeking to learn and discuss the 2023 Minimum Standards updates. We will discuss Director duties and responsibilities, staff supervision, hiring, training, staff retention and so much more. Come join the circle of support with other Early Childhood Leaders as we dive into Child Care Regulation Minimum Standards for Center Directors.

Playground Safety and Active Supervision

Just how safe is your playground safety plan? How often do Directors & Owners follow up on the rules & regulations pertaining to outdoor play areas? Many times, we believe our centers/homes are compliant, when in reality, there are so many components lacking to ensure all children are safe and their outdoor play areas are free from harm. In this training, we will explore ways to ensure safety compliance at all times.

Conflict Resolution Like a Pro!

In a perfect world, everyone gets along and is always happy. Smiling faces and the beautiful unity of a collective body of employees striving for the same goal is what we all hope for. What happens when what you thought would be the perfect scenario turns out to be complete chaos?

In this session, we will define conflict resolution and provide tips on how to have those difficult conversations professionally and what you can implement to address differences quickly.

KhaRaven Guerra

Strategic Enhancement of Childcare DEIB Initiatives: A Human Resources Hiring Approach

Optimize your childcare business with our training on strategic DEIB initiatives. Explore Human Resources-driven hiring approaches, tackle challenges, and create an inclusive environment. Gain practical skills and develop a tailored action plan for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive childcare workplace.

Corey Garza

Igniting the Fire for Social-Emotional Learning

In contributing to a GREAT conference, I hope each of you will join me for a quick look at Social-Emotional Learning and its concepts via Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). This will include group activities and a few anecdotes to remind us how important these concepts are to our children and our personal lives.

Amy Musick

Nature Matters – Outdoor Nature Play and Child Development

Outdoor nature play is essential to child growth and development but is often overlooked in child care centers. Rising summer temperatures and lack of safe space for independent nature exploration are only two of the many barriers limiting the time we spend outdoors. Learn strategies to combat the increase of child anxiety, ADD/ADHD, and sensory processing disorders in your classroom by increasing quality outdoor engagement.

The Web We Weave – Ethics and Professionalism in Early Childhood Education

For teachers or administrators, this session will troubleshoot difficult situations that arise in caring for other people’s children. By using the NEAYC Ethics Guidelines, we will navigate through finding possible solutions that respect all parties. In addition, SMART Family Literacy will provide books, parent communication tools, and classroom curriculum to all participants.

Dr. Mary White & Lashawnda Harris

How Well Are You? Mental Health for All Ages

This session will bring participants an awareness of their mental health and the outlying areas that affect their thinking and decision-making. Through providing background on the status of mental health across our Nation to their personal status, session attendees will explore and practice mental nutrition and healthy thinking habits.

We are in an era where mental wellness is a challenge for adults as well as children. This session will help develop an awareness of how to listen to yourself for signs of unhealthy thinking and how to have mentally healthy conversations with others while respecting their boundaries. This is not a diagnosis and remediation session, rather a session to assist in promoting healthy mindsets.

Holly Hoffman & Dulce Ladner

STEAM in Early Childhood Education (Interactive)

This session will focus on how STEAM education develops throughout the childhood years and how to meet students’ changing needs ages 18 months to 6 years. Educators will enjoy a fun, fast-paced, differentiated STEAM lesson while collaborating with peers. Take-aways will include a folder with multiple STEAM printables and lessons.

Robin Quick

Unleashing the Power of Parent-Teacher Teamwork

Research supports the need for better communication to increase parent involvement. It is a necessity to empower the family when it comes to their child’s schooling. This session will present old school and new school solutions, in the form of hands-on activities and technology, to address common home/school communication issues.

Tammy Davis

Outdoor Adventures and Their Importance!

Learn the importance of having centers on the playground. Outdoor play is essential for children to develop not only physical strength but also communication skills. Natural playgrounds stimulate children’s imagination and creativity, help develop motor skills, improve social skills, and provide an opportunity for for nature study. Come and see how you can get started in this adventure.

Amy Lerman

Tough Talks Navigation System: Discover the Power of Listening

Imagine the kind of listening that cultivates openness, trust, and understanding. What impact could the power of listening have on the relationship between educator and caregiver? This presentation and workshop will challenge the educator to examine their role in, and provide tools to navigate through, tough talks.

Jamie Cook

Books: The Math, Science and Art of It All!

Participants will learn how to effectively use books as daily/weekly themes in their classrooms. We will use books in math, science and art to demonstrate how effective the right blend of books can be to help children learn to their fullest potential.

Teacher Made: Providing Some OOMPH Without Breaking the Bank

Teachers will see how using everyday items (pencil bags, pool noodles, water bottles, etc.) can create amazing learning tools and experiences for children!  This session will cover Math, Science, Literacy and Sensory items.

Erica Kelley

Tools to Help You Support Children with Various Abilities in Your Classroom

Individuals with various abilities have the right to play and learn with their neurotypical peers. Participants will gain invaluable skills to help support children with various abilities in their classroom using differentiated teaching strategies to create an inclusive learning environment.

Beverly Reed

Breathe, Focus, and Smile: Understanding Strategies to Support Resiliency

Stress and trauma are normal parts of life. Resiliency develops as children cope with stress and trauma. In this session, we will define these terms and describe the impact of stress and trauma on the developing brain. We will also discuss and practice strategies to promote resiliency in children.

Lucia Martinez & Raul Zavaleta

Health, Sanitation, Policy and Planning

Having a clean and safe early childcare center is essential to maintaining a healthy working environment for the teachers and the families served. With the COVID-19 pandemic, a focus was put on sanitary practices in early childcare centers to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce the spread of other common viruses such as the common cold and the flu. In this session, we will review the necessary practices set forth by local health officials to maintain sanitary practices in the areas where we eat, play, and learn as well as learn best practices for policies that will protect the center, staff, parents and students in the events of hazardous conditions.