Session Schedule 2022

2022 Plant a Rainbow Early Childhood Conference > Session Schedule 2022
Saturday, March 19, 2022

Keynote and Featured Presentations

8:30 am
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9:45 am
Tom Wilbeck, MA, LPC

Featured Presentation – Healthy Teacher, Healthy Classroom

Tom Wilbeck has been a professional trainer and Licensed Professional Counselor since 1997 and has reached thousands of people through his dynamic presentation style, counseling services and musical performances as Mr. Tom from Tom's Fun Band and The Old Common. Through the shaping forces of his life, Tom has learned that love is what changes lives and it's laughter that teaches the lessons that make us the people we were meant to be.  This philosophy is present in every training, counseling session, and performance Tom provides. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science and Master's of Art degree from Sam Houston State University in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Early Childhood Development and Play Therapy.  This education can be credited with setting his direction but it's Jesus Christ that leads his life. Tom is the founder of Tom’s Fun Band, a top-rated children’s group that mixes high energy music with education and world-class silliness!  It is in this role that Tom and band mate, Will Samson, created two education programs:  The Science of Sound and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  These programs have reached thousands of children and help reinforce Tom’s personal mission; to excite the imagination of children through music.  This mission has recently expanded with the help of John Jackson, Chris Wilbeck and Russell Bush.  Together, they formed The Old Common.  This group brings listeners back to a simpler time, playing music from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s using guitar, ukulele and several homemade instruments such as cigar box guitars and washtub bass.
10:00 am
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11:15 am
Dr. Sharon Young

Featured Presentation – Professionalism in the Workplace

There are times when we just don’t feel up to it. Life has a way of frustrating us with issues, circumstances, heartbreaks, and stress. Although these situations occur, we are required to leave everything at the door when we step foot into our workplace. This session addresses gossip, conversations, attitudes, appearance and a whole lot more to assist you with presenting yourself as a professional.
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Dr. Gregory Williams

Featured Presentation – Helping Children Navigate Through the Perfect Storm

In a world that is constantly adding more layers of stress on our children, Dr. Gregory Williams will be presenting an in-depth look at the impact of the stress, the source of the anxiety, and the road map through the Perfect Storm of Stress and arrive at what every child is seeking: HOPE!
2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Dr. Sharon Young

Featured Presentation – Team Player or Co-Worker?

It feels good when someone has my back. It also feels good when someone cares enough to do “all the extras. ”In addition, when someone cares enough about me to be truthful about my actions, I like it!! I like having a TEAM PLAYER! Many professionals consider themselves “coworkers” but you deserve so much more than that. As a team player, you are set apart. You create meaning and value in your work space both to those you work with, but also in meeting the needs of the children you care for and teach. Discover how to unleash your potential to transition from “co-worker”to team player and embrace the valuable role you have at your facility. During this session, you will find out just how important your role is and participate in team building activities to help you interact and gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the educators you work with every day.
SESSION II

10:00 - 11:15 AM

10:00 am
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11:15 am
Jennifer Howell - Texas Children's Hospital

upWords: Early Language and Brain Development

10:00 am
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11:15 am
Mitzi Bartlett, MA

Using Loose Parts for Learning

Come play with loose parts! During this session participants will experience interacting with loose parts, observing others working with loose parts, and learn how to use the knowledge gained from those observations.

10:00 am
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11:15 am
Marlyn Kramer

Move it On Out!

Through outdoor play, children have the opportunity to develop large/small motor skills, experience risk-taking, practice problem solving, and learn academic skills.  This training will help teachers understand the importance of outdoor play and provide ideas that can be implemented in their classroom to enhance the outdoor experience!
10:00 am
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11:15 am
Darleen O’Brian, Occupational Therapist and Lynn Williams, Therapy Supervisor - Texas Children's Hospital

Motor Development in Play Routines

10:00 am
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11:15 am
Meghan Green

Sister Outsider: Lived Experiences of Anti-Racist Black Women Early Childhood Educators

Through the lens of Black feminist thought and intersectionality, the purpose of this narrative inquiry study was to examine how Black women early childhood educators’ lived experiences informed their use of culturally relevant pedagogy in early childhood classrooms. This session explores the stories of the co-researchers.
10:00 am
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11:15 am
Natasha Harris

Minimum Standards Refresher

This class is designed for participants licensed in the 746 (centers)  minimum standards requirements. We will discuss the updates, highly cited deficiencies and how to maintain compliance and refresh each participant in some basic sections in the standards.
10:00 am
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11:15 am
Georgia & Kenneth Frawley

Babies Can Talk! Combine ASL with Music and Games to Benefit Infants & Toddlers

This fun, hands-on ASL workshop provides participants with songs and activities to use with babies and toddlers. ASL can provide hearing children with a way to communicate, increase their vocabulary, and stimulate brain development. Even with various ages and abilities within their class, all children can benefit. No experience necessary!
10:00 am
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11:15 am
Sharon Jackson

Hard Conversations with Families: Getting It Started and Getting It Done

Hard conversations with families may come without warning but with intention and care, they can also be prepared for, handled well and they can result in a supported and realistic relationship. Join this session to find ways to make hard conversations easier to deal with and more positive for all.
10:00 am
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11:15 am
Erica Wood

Read Alouds: Tips and Tricks for Engaging Read Alouds

Are you tired of the same old read alouds? If so, come join me in this interactive session as we learn some tips and tricks to engage your students with read alouds!
10:00 am
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11:15 am
Susan Robertson & Carol Thompson

Step Up To The Plate

Healthy eating in a child's early years can increase their cognitive development and ability to learn for years to come.  Audience will gain insight for incorporating good nutrition and learning activities.  Participants will leave with ideas for activities that combine good nutrition habits with learning skills across the curriculum.
SESSION III

12:00 - 1:00 PM

12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Tonya Dean

Nourishing Healthy Eaters in ECE

Participants will explore basic nutrition concepts and the role of nutrients in child growth and development. Participants will learn about nutrition labels, ingredients lists and explore eating practices such as mindful eating and understanding portions.
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Susan Robertson & Carol Thompson

You Got To Move It!

Physical activity is vital for a child's development.   It promotes early brain development and learning in young children.   Early childhood education is becoming more academic and structured and at times restricts physical movement.  In this session participants will look at ways to integrate movement into lessons throughout the curriculum.
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Erica Wood

Learning Through Discovery and Play

"Aren't they just playing?" Is this a phrase you've heard about your classroom before? If so, come join me in this session about the power of play for our early learners and the teacher's very important role in facilitating learning during this time!
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Larry Kotch

All You Need is Art

The audience in this training will be person's interested in learning more about the usefulness of art and art projects in the classroom.  Always a fun part of the training is the make and take of different art projects that children can use in the classroom.
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Vickie Maertz

Why is Play so Important?

Have you ever thought about why we need to let kids play? Play is a child's occupation that lays the foundation for the child's success in learning. We will take a look at not only reasons why children need play but also ways to foster a child's development.
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Kristen Beckworth, Manager for Center for Injury Prevention at Texas Children's Hospital

Supporting Safe Sleep Practices in Infants

12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
LJ Henderson

STEMtastic! Igniting Your ECE Programs with STEM

Discover ways to conduct experiments with common household objects to expand imaginations, inspire curiosity and develop critical thinking skills. Implementing STEM in your ECE program will enhance the development of future Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, and Mathematicians. Join me on a journey to teach kids to Learn, Love, and Lead in STEM!
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Sharon Jackson

Director’s Round Table

CALLING ALL DIRECTORS!  Join a fantastic group of early childhood administrators in discussing the MANY challenges of running a successful child care program.  It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it!
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Michelle Pina

Rise Up! Adult Social Emotional Learning and Wellness

Participants will examine their own self-awareness and life balance in order to assess how they are managing their personal and professional relationships. We will introduce mindfulness and emotional intelligence strategies that help participants stay healthy and productive. Participants will be prompted to develop healthy habits and accountability activities addressing — Mindfulness, Body Awareness, Community and Connection and Digital and Social Media Consciousness in order to build new habits that promote learning, connection, and a sense of community.
12:00 noon
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1:00 pm
Sarah Johnson

Autism Spectrum Disorder in Early Childhood

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affects a rising number of children in Texas. 1:54 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as of 2020, according to the Center for Disease Control. It is imperative that Early Childhood Professionals learn to recognize the signs of ASD so that children can be evaluated and receive Early Childhood Intervention or special education services through their local school district as soon as possible. This training will give providers the tools to recognize ASD in young children, adapt the learning environment and/or materials to help children on the spectrum, and help children with ASD who have a difficult time with transitions.
SESSION IV

1:15 - 2:15 PM

1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Diane Kaulen, Sr. Community Initiative Coordinator for Public Health Pediatrics at Texas Children's Hospital and Cary Cain, Research Faculty and Registered Nurse for Public Health Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Child Maltreatment (part 1)

1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Kristin Miller

STEAM in Afterschool Programs

This training will help provide resources and ideas for staff to incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) into their afterschool programs. Using games, video examples, research, and participate collaboration and interaction in small groups, attendees will have a blast learning and applying techniques back into their own programs! Participants will also be given follow-up resources to sustain knowledge and support their afterschool programs!
1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Ceila Garcia- Szyszka

Fun with Behaviors: Responsive Interactions and Behavioral Guidance that Kids will Love

Implement responsive interactions, positive guidance, and safe environments for all children. Foster nurturing relationships to understand, assess, and communicate the needs of each family. Learn strategies for self-regulation; music and movement with behaviors; activities for smooth transitions; and more. Leave with a variety of quality resources!
1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Casey Casteel

Addressing Anxiety in the ECE classroom

Anxiety in children and parents has increased and escalated beyond the expected separation anxiety of early childhood. Learn how to proactively support anxious students and parents and recognize behaviors related to anxiety. Understanding childhood anxiety can help support students, families and the entire classroom.
1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Francisco Usero-Gonzalez & Shehla Merchant

Whole-child approach and culturally responsive group dynamics in ECE

In diverse classrooms, teachers positively respond to a child's needs or conduct. Replying to a child's needs can help them develop healthy communication and social skills. Group dynamics describes how members of a group interact. Positive group dynamics foster productive collaboration and mutual learning.
1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Natasha Harris

“Being Authentic” Reflective Leadership for Directors

Reflective leadership is the Director’s ability to lead in the present, to be aware of our reactions which pave the way to lead others. Taking the time to reflect daily with ourselves helps to gauge our interactions and responses with our staff and others . Directors set the culture for their programs in a positive, professional and integral way by being authentic & intentional in their interactions.
1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Emily Lian & Natsuki Hara

Using Multiple Intelligences Theory to Foster Inclusivity in the Early Childhood Classroom

Why do we define our students as “intelligent” only when they excel at testing? Early childhood educators can foster inclusivity in their classrooms when tapping into students' strengths by using Dr. Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences, which posits that there is not just one standard measure of intelligence.
1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Vickie Maertz

Teacher – Child Interaction

Have you ever wondered what kind of impact you make as a teacher on a small child? The teacher/child interaction is vital to a child's development and has a lasting impact on their growth both physically and emotionally.
1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Kendolyn Pope

Let’s Talk: Communicating with Diverse Parents in Tough Situations

It all begins with respect and being sensitive to each person’s needs.  Parents, especially the parents of young children, have needs that play into how they interact with teachers and administrators.  Come develop a tool box of ideas for how to communicate with parents in even the most sensitive situations.
1:15 pm
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2:15 pm
Tonya Dean & Dominque Rice

Caring for the Health and Safety of Child Care Staff

Child care staff attend to the basic needs of young children. They carry out daily routines for diapering and toilet training, meal times and naptimes. Child care staff offer indoor and outdoor activities that support a child’s growth and development, and learning opportunities to promote school readiness. In all that child care staff do for children, their most important responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of all children in care.
SESSION V

2:30 - 3:30 PM

2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Kristin Miller

Game-Based Learning in Early Childhood Programs

Make preschool time, FUN time!! The foundation for learning in education is through opportunities of play and real-life scenarios.  During this training, participants will gain insight and identify scenarios on incorporating play-based games throughout their preschool program environment and routines.  As well as, we will have fun together creating game-based learning activities for participants to take these tools back with them and use with the students.  This training is a hands-on workshop and ideal for the preschool and Pre-K classroom teacher!  Together, we will learn how to make learning time meaningful and engaging for the children we teach!
2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Ceila Garcia- Szyszka

With your help, I can grow and learn my way! Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early-Childhood

Play is the primary learning avenue for young children, but equally important is that we know how to provide adequate support and guidance. The Texas’ Infant, Toddler, and 3-year-old and Pre-K guidelines are great resources for Developmentally Appropriate Practice. Learn to utilize these tools to promote healthy growth and development.
2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Casey Casteel

What Gets Your Goat?

Dealing with challenging behaviors can be frustrating, but developing an awareness of what behaviors are most bothersome to you can help you most effectively address those challenges. Understand how co-regulation can help with some of your most challenging behaviors and how important perception, response and awareness can be to managing class behaviors.
2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Natasha Harris

“Diversity In Childcare” Children With Special Needs-Autism/Sensory Processing Disorders

Childcare Today is becoming more diversified and it is essential for childcare providers to receive all the information and updates necessary to provide quality care for our children. The purpose of this training is to discuss Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders signs and symptoms, classroom and schedule management, identification of symptoms and ways to teach to enhance child growth and development.
2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Nicole Beasley

Becoming a Great Leader in Child Care

Becoming a Great Leader in Child Care is an interactive session designed to help you identify and implement effective leadership practices within a child care setting.
2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Brian Mowry

Pathways and Cornerstones to Early Numeracy: Counting, Comparing, and Cardinality

Counting, cardinality, and comparison are foundational skills young children must acquire prior to understanding numerical relationships and place value concepts introduced in first grade. This session will showcase videos of young children's counting and work with numbers through the lens of a research-based developmental progression of these early numeracy skills.
2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Diane Kaulen, Sr. Community Initiative Coordinator for Public Health Pediatrics at Texas Children's Hospital and Cary Cain, Research Faculty and Registered Nurse for Public Health Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine

Child Maltreatment and Supporting Children during Trauma (part 2)

2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Vickie Maertz

What does Fine Motor skills have to do with Gross Motor Skills?

What happens if a child has poor fine motor skills. This can impact their academic learning for many years to come. Come and learn some fun ways to improve gross and fine motor skills and give each child the academic boost they deserve.
2:30 pm
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3:30 pm
Kendolyn Pope

Bring the Drama: Incorporating STEM into the Dramatic Play Area

The dramatic play center is a wondrous place with many opportunities to explore, create and imagine.  In this workshop, learn how to make those experiences even more impactful and rich by incorporating math and science into each dramatic play scenario.