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Thursday TB Sessions- 1:30pm-5:00pm


TB05: Extending Learning through Engaging Environments, by Heather MacDermott-Havey
As early childhood educators we can create a classroom community that welcomes and engages all children! Every classroom includes children who need to jump off furniture to the ones who like to curl up underneath. I was the jump off the table style of learner! This workshop will provide ideas on how to create learning spaces that invite curiosity and inquiry, reduce challenging behavior and create a sense of community for children and families. We will also discuss various teaching styles and how they impact the needs of the classroom. Additional ideas and examples for reimagining spaces, creating storage and weaving organization in limited spaces. Ideas for bringing nature inside, and bringing learning outside will be presented. Connect curriculum to the classroom set up, with simple steps and documentation boards to share what is happening in your emerging curriculum. Breakout to small groups based on age groups to share ideas, discuss what works and what challenges you have. Share inspiration and create a network peer group!
About the presenter: Heather MacDermott-Havey, M. Ed. is the director of the Washington State University Children’s Center where she manages operations of an early learning program serving 170 children. Her experience includes using transformational leadership strategies as the supervisor of 30 staff members. Heather has over 25 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood, where she has held positions as a teacher, child advocate, parent educator, education coordinator and director. Her experience includes development of early learning programs, teacher and leadership professional training.
WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment
Who Should Attend: Child Care Center | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP)s | Interested Professionals

TB06: “That’s Not Fair!” Are Students Ever too Young to Learn About Social Justice? By Judith Hart
Hear how one African American Mohican Native teacher changed a preschool curriculum to focus on equity, environmental and social justice issues. Learn how the classroom environment was structured, and how tools such as drama and the visual arts were used to teach these issues in early childhood. Participants will have the opportunity to try a few of these tools. Ms. Hart will discuss the importance of realizing your passions to bring about a love for learning in your students. Furthermore, Ms. Hart will share how she brought her cultural heritage into the relationships with her students and families.
About the presenter: Raised by civil rights activist, Judith Hart had a passion for social and environmental issues from childhood. Ms. Hart began her an early career as a Veterinary Technician, later going back to school to become a teacher.To help pay for school, she became an advocate for students with disabilities. Although Ms. Hart planned on teaching in the inner city for at-risk youth; she found employment at The Evergreen School, a predominately white and privileged private school for the highly capable student. While there Ms. Hart developed her social justice curriculum and has been there over 16 years. Ms. Hart has presented her curriculum at the People of Color Conference and Northwest Association of Independent Schools.
WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment
Who Should Attend: Leadership/Administrators | Child Care Center | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) | P-3 Educators | K-12 Educators | Interested Professionals
This session has a $25 Materials Fee. Participants will do a variety of in session activities requiring materials.

TB07: “Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood”, by Julie Tubbs Luthy
You’ll receive and be trained on the amazing “Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood” activity guide, designed for ages 3-6. It includes over 130 experiences that engage children in outdoor play and exploration. Each of the main topics includes neighborhood walks, background, art, discovery table, math, woodworking, dramatic play, and more. Included is an accompanying music CD that encourages children to sing, dance, and move.
In addition, you’ll learn fascinating things about Pacific NW plants and animals. Join us for a fun workshop and be ready to get your kids outside!
If you’re already enjoying your “Growing up WILD” guide, you’ll see that this is an excellent companion guide with very little overlap. Most of these activities work well with even the youngest of the age range and most take place outdoors.
About the presenter: Instructor Julie Tubbs Luthy has been a naturalist for over 30 years helping people nurture a respect and awe for their natural surroundings. She thoroughly enjoys teaching people of all ages and her enthusiasm is contagious. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental and Science Education. Her field experience includes work in national parks, nature centers and Seattle’s Discovery Park. She currently offers environmental ed. programs through her own business.
WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Curriculum and Learning Environment
Who Should Attend: Child Care Center | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) | Parents/Relatives | Family, Friend, Neighbor & Relative Care Giver | Home Visitors | P-3 Educators | Interested Professionals
This session has a $30 Materials Fee. Participants will receive one activity guide and CD.

TB08: Anti-bias Education in Changing and Challenging Times, by Debbie LeeKeenan
This interactive workshop will explore steps in creating a more inclusive and welcoming program. Participants will learn about the core values and goals of an anti-bias education approach and how these address children’s development of identity and understanding of human diversity and bias. This workshop will offer practical and integrated approaches to anti-bias education in classrooms for children and support teachers in their own anti-bias adult journey. Participants will learn how to respond to children’s questions about differences using short-term and long-term strategies and make decisions about responsive environments and curriculum experiences.
About the presenter: Debbie LeeKeenan is a national and international early childhood consultant, lecturer, and author. She has been in the field of early education for over 45 years. She is a former preschool and elementary school teacher. She was director of the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School at Tufts University from 1996 to 2013. In addition to being a faculty member in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, she was a member of the early childhood faculty at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Debbie is a co-author with Louise Derman-Sparks and John Nimmo for Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change. Her most recent book is From Survive to Thrive: A Director’s Guide for Leading an Early Childhood Program written with Iris Chin Ponte. For more information about Debbie’s work and resources see her website
WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Professional Development and Leadership
Who Should Attend: ALL

TB09: Difficult Conversations: When Families are Grieving, by Lou Olson
Grief and loss are often an important component when working with families whose experience of becoming a parent has not been what was previously expected. Early in life, many families are faced with unanticipated challenges such as a new diagnosis, developmental delays, family changes, traumatic experiences and a general feeling of helplessness. This session will focus on how providing services to families and engaging in difficult conversations in the midst of grief may impact service delivery for both the family and service provider. We will explore skills such as validation, empathetic response, active listening, reflection and the experience of “holding space” for families while they are grieving. These and other important components of the provider-family relationship can have a great impact on developmental progress, a family’s overall wellbeing and the quality of parent-child relationships.
About the presenter: Lisa “Lou” Olson, LICSW is a Clinical Social Worker currently working as an Infant Mental Health Therapist and Program Director of HopeSparks Children’s Developmental Services, an Early Intervention Program in Pierce County. Lou’s work includes supporting social emotional development, treatment of early childhood trauma and specific infant mental health concerns as part of a multidisciplinary approach to Early Intervention. Lou is passionate about supporting families from the very beginning and believes that every provider who enters a family’s life has the capacity to make a lasting change.
WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Family and Community Partnerships, Interactions
Who Should Attend: All