Opening Minds 2017 Early Learning Itineraries

Challenging Behaviors: One of the chief complaints of anyone working in early childhood education is how to address the problem behaviors common to our field?

Opening Minds 2017 is pleased to have Eric Pakulak of the Oregon Brain Lab with us to provide the newest findings in brain science on attention, language, stress regulation, and emotional regulation, and how they (and you) can shape an integrated program model for children and parents to improve attention and self-regulation in both children and parents: From neuroscience to education: Development, implementation, and assessment of a successful two-generation intervention.

But, how to deal with the many symptoms of social-emotional arrested development? Attend one of the many sessions on HEALTH & WELLNESS to identify potential underlying medical issues such as hearing loss, allergies, or exposure to environmental toxins, which impact children’s ability to pay attention or focus on their learning. Dr. Diane Ozog, M.D. just returned from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting. Come learn about the incredible progress in the area of Food Allergies and what more we all can be doing to care for young children with these conditions on a daily basis.  Molly Weber, Carey Ratliff, Meredith Craven and Erin Lipps of Ohio Valley Voices are expert in auditory issues. Be sure to attend their sessions: The Question ISN’T “Can you Hear Me?” or Navigating your way to the mainstream as a child who is deaf in the auditory/oral world. If children can’t use their words, they use their teeth, hands, or feet to communicate.

What’s at the root of bad behavior? We need to go back to our earliest attachments and, of course, family stressors to understand why behaviors look the way they do. Learning how to move differently to respond instead of reacting, or meeting anger with anger, frustration with frustration, takes practice.  As Maya Angelou said, “when you know better, you do better”.  You can start with any of these sessions to learn more, refresh your skills, or your perspective: Dr. Marie Masterson, Shifting from Struggle to Success: Fostering Responsibility in Children, or be sure to attend, Supporting Healthy Social-Emotional¬ Development of Infants and Toddlers in Family Child Care: This session will explore strategies to support the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers in Family Child Care from the Program for Infant Toddler Care’s (PITC) six essential policies of relationship-based care and the Pyramid Model. Participants will increase knowledge of infant and toddler social-emotional development and needs, actively explore aspects of responsive caregiving, and engage in intentional planning to incorporate strategies to meet the needs of infants and toddlers in a mixed-age Family Child Care context. Resources for providers and parents will be shared. This session is made possible by the Regional Infant/Toddler Specialists for the State Capacity Building Center, a service of the Office of Child Care.

This is just a sample of what’s being planned with you in mind.  A full listing will be available online in January.

Working with young children and families is exhausting work. We’ve built in some time for you to care for yourself, too. Unlock your capacity to feel and heal the emotions trapped in your tired muscles. Attend one of Elizabeth Reynold’s yoga sessions, Unlock Trapped Emotions with Forrest Yoga, or unwind at one of our planned special events where you will get the scoop on what’s happening and changing in early learning during the EXPO RECEPTION on Thursday from 3pm-5pm, or the Innovation Award Reception on Friday evening beginning at 7pm.

Prosocial behaviors are critical in children’s ability to be successful in school and life. Building prosocial behaviors is just one piece of what you do each day. We know high quality successful programs and professionals PLAN their Curriculum!

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Curriculum, the kitchen sink: another chief complaint of anyone working in early childhood education is how to plan the day with each child in mind while meeting all the requirements of funders, states and parents, to name but a few? What ever happened to planning with children’s interests and fun, in mind?

The Opening Minds Early Childhood Conference 2017 addresses curriculum planning from a variety of perspectives.  For fun ideas you can immediately use, plan to attend:  Carole Stephen’s session with her newest music, Sing Along, Dance Along, Do Along: Learning Through Music! ; Get Your Motor Running! Fun Physical Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers, or Patrick Cerria’s , Movement, Music & Developmental Diversity.  For the most recent research and its applications, attend UIC Professor, Dr. Kathy Sheridan’s session during which you will examine Math at Home: Early Math Matters, an Open Access Professional Development Series and its Resources, or Dr. Jane Fleming’s three part Mirrors Matter Series to set up your learning environment to reflect the children and families of the community. We have numerous sessions on how to set up your learning environment indoors or outdoors,  and on common research based curricula such as The Project Approach. There are some new teaching strategies to develop young children’s ability to become capable readers, writers, speakers and listeners, the cornerstones of literacy development.  You can choose from Sarah Dennis’ 10 Strategies That Work to Support Young Children’s Language Development, or consider Maria Boeke Mongillo’s session on Disciplinary Literacy and its crossover applications to early childhood education.  The Opening Minds Early Childhood Conference 2017 provides an opportunity for professionals of all disciplines to come, together, to determine whether or not to stick with tried and true teaching strategies, or how to implement innovations in to their practice.

The Opening Minds Early Childhood Conference 2017 is the innovation hub for early childhood learning and education for professionals from all kinds of settings.  Opening Mind’s STEM for Little Learners is a South by Southwest Panel Picked 2017 Session! Opening Minds leads the early childhood field in developing innovations which are both forward thinking and developmentally appropriate. Join Adam Rudman of Spiffy Pictures, Kelly Durov of the Northbrook Public Library, and Opening Minds CEO, Gail Conway to create the learning experiences of the future for young children and their families.

This is just a small snapshot of what’s being offered. How to make sense of it all? Brian Puerling is a master at integrating new ideas in to your curriculum plan. If you want assistance in creating or refreshing your curriculum plan, attend Brian’s three hour work session, Technology Integration Development Lab Teachers, Preschool-3rd Grade, or plan on one of our ‘unconference’ sessions on Wednesday or Friday from 4:00pm-5:30pm to talk with others with similar questions and interests about your issues in early childhood education. Our ‘unconference sessions’ will be listed in the program as Personal & Professional Development/Issues in Early Childhood Education

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The Opening Minds Early Childhood Conference is unique because of the people like you who attend. The Opening Minds Early Childhood Conference attracts professionals from all walks of life: medicine, law, administration, teaching, library science, parks and recreation, and more- and from places far and near, which makes for dynamic learning opportunities.

This is just a very small sample of what’s being planned with you in mind.  A full listing will be available online in January. 

Additional Itineraries are available upon request.

If you are a NURSE, PRINCIPAL, LIBRARIAN, TEACHER, ADMINISTRATOR, PARENT, DOCTOR, PROFESSOR, CURRICULUM DIRECTOR, FAMILY CHILDCARE OWNER OR PROVIDER, ADVOCATE, GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATOR, NATURE LOVER, MUSEUM CURATOR, AUTHOR, or PRODUCT DEVELOPER, or you plan on attending this year’s conference, please don’t hesitate to reach out for recommendations on how to plan your time on site with us.

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