Track A Courses

1, 2, 3 Read and Learn With Me: STEM for the Littlest Learners

Workshop: A1
Presenter: Christine Alderman
Ages: I, T, & 2
Core Knowledge Areas: Professional Practice, Methods, & Curriculum
Description: Learn the latest brain research and see modeled activities for our littlest learners to set them up for success in literacy, science technology, engineering, and math. Participants will learn how to make little moments with infants and toddlers into huge learning opportunities throughout the day.
Christine is an independent trainer (TECPD Registered #3671) of three years and has worked in public and private schools with Twos-PreK. She has an M.Ed. from Harvard University and B.S. from Vanderbilt University Early Childhood and Early Education.

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Sensational Beginnings: Sensory and Motor Activities for Infants & Toddlers

Workshop: A2
Presenter: Marilyn Bitsis
Ages: I, T, & 2
Core Knowledge Areas: Child Growth & Development
Description: Discover how you can make a difference in the development of an infant or toddler. What you say and do really matters. Marilyn will demonstrate sensory and motor activities to encourage early learning.
Marilyn Bitsis, a Master Registered Trainer in the Texas Early Care and Education Development System, has co-authored a book Sensational Beginnings – Sensory and Motor Activities for Infants and Toddlers. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi ad has a combined twenty-six years of business and teaching experience. She is the owner of the motor skills company Kidbuilders.

Making the Classics Rock!

Workshop: A3
Presenter: Barbara Brandt
Ages: 3, 4, & K
Core Knowledge Areas: Professional Practice, Methods, & Curriculum
Description: Children like what is familiar, and music becomes familiar only when children hear it often enough, so if we introduce children to the classics when they are young, they will appreciate and listen to them their whole lives. Providing a musically stimulating environment for children in our classrooms not only increases their musical ability, it also promotes their physical development, language development, pre-reading skills, math skills, ability to self-regulate, and creative expression, among other benefits. You don’t have to be a music teacher to learn how to pair children’s literature with classical music in ways that are emotionally resonant, easily understood, remarkably relevant, and fantastically fun!

Trauma and Attachment Theory

Workshop: A4
Presenter: Nancy Cook, Ph.D
Ages: 3,4,& K
Core Knowledge Areas: Child Growth & Devlopment
Description: The participative workshop will present a basic conceptualization of attachment theory as a way to understand children’s behavior. It will then integrate some of the most recent research about trauma and the impact of trauma on a child’s ability to develop socially and emotionally.
Dr. Cook has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. She is in private practice in Houston, Texas.

Consistency, Choices, & Consequnces

Workshop: A5
Presenter: Jan Flowers
Ages: PK-K
Core Knowledge Areas: In this interactive session, we will be discussing how to use consistency, choices, and consequences in the classroom in a loving, intentional way.
Jan has always loved working with children. She has a degree in Health from The University of Houston and a masters in Early Childhood Education for The University of St. Thomas. She began her career by being a nanny for nine years. She began her teaching career at St. Luke’s Day School, where she taught 2s, Pre-K, and the Bridge Class. She then did private tutoring before starting at The Joy School, where she has taught Kindergarten through 3rd grade for the past 18 years. She also takes groups of children on trips to Colorado where they work on organization, confidence and social skills. She loves teaching children to read and helping them find the joy in learning.

Fine Motor Skills...Write Out of the Box!

Workshop: A6
Presenter: Marianne Gibbs, EdD, OTR
Ages: 3, 4, & K
Core Knowledge Areas: Child Growth & Development
Description: Marianne will provide an engaging hands-on presentation of the fine motor development of young children 3-6 years old session, which supports pencil grasp and pre-writing development across the curriculum, contains essential, rarely addressed, information for educators of all young children. Activities and techniques are ready to use in the classroom tomorrow!
Marianne Gibbs, EdD, OTR is an occupational therapist and dynamic, nationally-known early childhood educational speaker. In addition to being a contributing author to Frog Street Press Pre-K curriculum and Benson Handwriting programs, she is the owner of Gibbs Consulting, Incorporated. Dr. Gibbs provides once in a lifetime workshops every time!

Handling Challenging Behaviors – Addressing the Underlying Stressors

Workshop: A7
Presenter: Diane Goyette
Ages: T-K
Core Knowledge Areas: Guidance
Description: Many children are experiencing stressors in their lives which lead to challenging behaviors, especially when children with identified special needs such as ADHD and autism. Learn how to buffer the effects of these stressors and accommodate these children’s needs. You will learn effective guidance strategies for preventing challenging behaviors, managing meltdowns when they happen, and teaching these children what to do instead.
Diane is a Child Development Specialist, a TECPDS Master Registered Level Trainer, and a certified Child Care Health Consultant. She has a Master’s Degree in Child Development and 30 years of experience in early childhood education and teacher training. She provides training and consulting through her company, Early Childhood Specialties LLC.

Language Learning for Littles: Sharing Words, Ideas and Emotions with Young Children

Workshop: A8
Presenter: Sharon R. Jackson
Ages: T-K
Core Knowledge Areas: Child Growth & Development
Description: Oral language development doesn’t stop when a child learns to speak…it continues throughout life as children absorb vocabulary, are prompted to think deeply and learn to be both a speaker and a listener. This session will discuss ways that teachers and parents can encourage language learning and will offer tools and suggestions for a variety of ages. Finally, the opportunity to share and network will allow tried and true ideas to be presented.
Sharon is an early childhood veteran with over 40 years in the field! She is a strong proponent of play based learning and believes that respect is the foundation for positive early experiences. Sharon directs a birth to five program and present nationally on a variety of topics about early learning and partnering with families for success.

Meeting the Needs of the Whole Child

Workshop: A9
Presenter: The Richards Institute of Education and Research/Education Through Music (ETM)
Ages: All
Core Knowledge Areas: Child Growth & Development
Description: Offering a refreshingly different way to approach learning, Education Through Music (ETM) frees adults to teach and parent in accordance with the joyful nature of children. Through song and play, ETM provides a gateway for contemporary understanding of learning, motivation, child theory, and cognitive development, and helps with discipline in the classroom. since 1969, the staff of the Richards Institute of Education and Research has traveled across the US, and Canada, and in Japan, offering a variety of courses and workshops in communities like yours to help improve intelligence through song-experience-games.
Carmen’s 30 years as a physical therapist and 22-year history as a mother of a daughter with brain damage and sensory processing dysfunction have led her on a journey of learning how best to teach her daughter in home schooling and life skills. She has been certified in Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing (S.I.P.T.) for 17 years, and she currently works as a pediatric PT in an outpatient clinic, where she specializes in working with children with autism. She recently returned from from teaching an Atypical Brain workshop in Japan, for the Japanese ETM. She has also begun her PhD program at Texas Woman’s University in the Houston Medical center, to learn how to teach other physical therapists how best to work with patients with autism. Carmen will be joined by Dr. Romanda Hutsell, a pediatrician, and Mary Mountford, a retired teacher of elementary school children and a church musician, who bring their wealth of knowlege to our workshop.

Revive Your Read-Alouds

Workshop: A10
Presenter: Pat Miller
Ages: PK & K
Core Knowledge Areas: Professional Practice, Methods, & Curriculum
Description: A well-done story time increases listening ability, grows language skills, breeds a love of books, and bonds you and your students – and it’s fun! This session will give you techniques to increase engagement with story time rituals, dynamic book selections, and ways to enhance your storytelling.
Pat has taught grads PK-5 as a classroom teacher and librarian for 37 years, both in public and private schools. She wrote 20 books of lesson ideas for school librarians, 200 professional articles, and seven books for children. She and her husband, a former principal, have thee children, seven young grandchildren, and am illiterate Jack Russell terrier. Learn more at

From Tantrums to Teachable

Workshop: A11
Presenter: Peggy Osborne
Ages: T-K
Core Knowledge Areas: What is the most successful process to use when a child melts down? How cam I begin to lay a new neural pathway in the child’s brain so that they will have acceptable options to express their emotions when the world does not go their way? Does the Bible say anything about our emotions and give us any guidance? Join us as we discuss these and other questions!
Peggy has 25+ years in the field of education as a teacher and an administrator with the Early Childhood Department in College Station ISD. She worked for 14 years as a Certified Instructor in Conscious Discipline. She is currently Co-Owner and Consultant for You Are My Treasure. Peggy presents with her daughter and daughter-in-law at Women’s Events, Retreats and Parent Workshops and trains Christian Educators as well.

21st Century Littles: Exploring the Future of Early Childhood and How to Keep Up!

Workshop: A12
Presenter: Erika Sanchez
Ages: 3-k
Core Knowledge Areas: Child Growth & Development
Description: Education is rapidly shifting, and the future world of our Littles will be very different due to the many technological advances. Explore how we can keep up by utilizing a Professional Learning Network while maintaining our core preschool values. The world is full of iPhones, tablets and digital media and they’re not going away. Let’s begin the conversation of how to embrace 21st Century learning and foster Digital Citizenship as professional educators and for our young learners.
Erika Sanchez has been passionate about doing what is right for over 20 years. Her enthusiasm for education led her to continue to be an advocate for innovation and bet practices in Preschools. She holds an M.Ed. in Special Education and B.S. SPED/Early Childhood. Erika has been a Preschool Director, Preschool teacher and Kindergarten teacher in both private and public schools and currently teaches PPCD/Kinder Inclusion for Cy Fair ISD. She has been presenting to educators at the local and state level for 15 years and is a fun loving Mom to 4 boys ranging in age from college age to 1st grade

Move Over Time Out: Movement Alternatives to Time Out

Workshop: A13
Presenter: Margaret Schafer
Ages: T-K
Core Knowledge Areas: Guidance
Let’s face it, we all try Time Out in the classroom, but does it really work? In this workshop you’ll learn the original intent for the techniques and how to use movement and the 14 Basic Kidbuilders Skills as alternatives to traditional, often unsuccessful time-out.
Margaret Schafer is a Master Professional Registered Trainer with the Texas Early Care and Education Career Development System. She is a graduate of Converse College and has 25 years of early childhood experience as a director and preschool gymnastics instructor. Margaret has also co-authored a book Sensational Beginnings – Sensory and Motor Activities for Infants and Toddlers.

"Block"–buster Ideas of Teaching Literacy, Math and Science

Workshop: A14
Presenter: Christine Smith
Ages: 3-k
Core Knowledge Areas: Professional Practice, Methods & Curriculum
Description: This is a hands-on interactive workshop using blocks to teach across the curriculum. Teachers will learn how blocks construct pathways in the brain that lead to lifelong learning. We will share the joy of “building bridges” to literacy and “stack up” skills for Math and Science.
Christine is the Director of Early Childhood and the Carver ECC for Enid Public Schools. With 40+ years of experience in Early Childhood she also presents professional development nationally, at SECA and NAEYC and in OK, TX, KY, FL, AK and TN. She also has taught university EC classes and serves on the State Department Early Childhood Consortium.

Encouraging Creativity in Young Children Through Process Art Experiences

Workshop: A15
Presenter: Donna Wheeler
Ages: T-K
Core Knowledge Areas: Professional Practice, Methods, & Curriculum
Description: During this session, we will explore and gain a deeper understanding of developmentally appropriate art practices. Through hands-on activities participants will be able to recognize the differences between “process art” and “product art”. Participants will have the opportunity to develop intentional curriculum that supports a child’s creativity, need for choice and exploration of materials at their own pace.
Donna has been in the field of Early Childhood education for 27 years. She has been a preeschol director, a nature educator, and CDA instructor. She is looking forward to sharing her research and classroom experiences of how children develop and start on their path to creativity.


Advanced & Director Tracks

Directors’ Track: Designed for directors, this is a 4-hour long workshop (including lunch) and will be offered on Thursday only. Participants will still go to the keynote address on the day they attend this workshop.

Advanced Track:
Designed for very experienced teachers, this is a 4-hour long workshop (including lunch) and will be offered on one day only. Participants will still go to the keynote address on the day they attend this workshop. If you choose the Advanced Track, please ensure that you ONLY attend the workshop that is relative to the age that you teach.

Thursday Directors’ Track: Follow the Leader & Ask The Experts

Workshop: A16
Presenters: Mark Lukert, Jodi Carroll, Anna Williamson, and Janie Gallagher
Ages: Admin
Core Knowledge Areas: Professional Practice, Methods, & Curriculum
Description: Mark Lukert will start us off with an inspiring workshop, Follow The Leader, where he will discuss how as school leaders you Instigate, Facilitate, Evaluate, Delegate, and most importantly CELEBRATE! Leading your school by example is of utmost importance. He will share team-building ideas that focus on valuing your teachers, and building your staff through the intentional use of team-builders and motivators.
Following the lunch together, you will have an opportunity to “ask the experts.” We’ve brought together a panel of experts moderated by Jodi Carroll, Director of Holy Covenant Child Development Center. Our experts include: Mark Lukert (retire principal and national leadership speaker), Anna Williamson (Infant/Toddler Team Leader and Assessment Coordintor, St. Luke’s Day School), and Janie Gallagher (Human Resource Manger, St. Lukes’s United Methodist Church).

Thursday Advanced Track: Follow the Leader & Ask The Experts

Workshop: A17
Presenter: Susan Mariweather
Ages: I & T
Core Knowledge Areas: Professional Practice, Methods, & Curriculum
Children who listen and learn to rhyme become readers. Become aware of the importance of introducing nursery rhymes early and their influence on child development. Learn to use nursery rhymes as a teaching tool with infants, toddlers, and twos.
Susan has been in the field of early education for overs 20 years and has a Masters Degree with a Specialization in Working with Infants, Toddlers and Families. Recently, she graduated from the Rice University’s School for Literature & Culture Early Literacy Leadership Academy (ELLA). She teaches two and three-year-old children at St. Francis.

Friday Advanced Track: Teaching Emotional Intelligence: Meaningful Math for Young Minds

Workshop: A14
Presenter: Chrissy Liverman
Ages: PK-k
Core Knowledge Areas: Professional Practice, Methods & Curriculum
Description: Learn ways to foster the development of mathematical concepts and skills in a fun and meaningful way! We will discuss ways to enrich implementation so that strong mathematical foundations of learning are being formed in each of your students.
Chrissy Liverman is currently in her 17th year of teaching. She has taught kindergarten and first grade in Katy I.S.D. and she is currently teaching Transition at Holy Covenant Child Development Center. In her career, she has had the privilege to serve in the ole of Lead Campus Mentor which allowed her to work directly with mentors to better support first year teachers: in 2005, she was awarded Teacher of the Year at McRoberts Elementary School. This past Fall, she had the honor and privilege to speak and train teachers at other schools.


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Show your ECMC strength this year by joining in our Sharing Exhibit!

We are looking for documentation of excellent early childhood activities that illustrate one or more of the three core consideations of Developmentally Appropriate Practices:
• Knowing about child development and learning;
• Knowing what is individually appropriate; and
• Knowing what is cuturally important.
Others will love seeing your successful ideas!

New this year: Please document with photos and brief explanations on a tri-fold board. No props necessary.

All Submissions msut be accompanied by the Sharing Exhibit Description Form which has been sent to your program Director. Bring your trifold boad to the SLUMC Fellowship Walk greeting desk on Thrusday and pick it up at the close of the conference on Friday. Questions may be emailed to Debbie Durkin,

Please Note: Sharing Exhibit contributors who meet all the criteria earn on e clock hour of professional development credit!

We are Stronger When We Share!

If you have questions about the Sharing Room,
please email Debbie Durkin:
Don’t miss this opportunity to let your favorite activities shine!