Conferences & Institutes

Teaching Kindergarten Conference

Kindergarten plays a critical and unique role in a child’s life. It is a year filled with discovery, wonder, friendship and creativity – when language, literacy, science and math take on real meaning through play and active learning. Yet, in many classrooms, experiential learning is marginalized as kindergarten is fast becoming the new first grade. The Teaching Kindergarten Conference provides an opportunity for educators to come together and address this challenge.

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2019 Teaching Kindergarten Conference

April 5, 4:00 – 8:30 PM and
April 6, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Keynote Speakers include: Dr. Ron Taffel, Dr. Lydia Soifer, and Anne Stires.

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Conference Founders

Betsy GrobBetsy Grob, early childhood consultant, currently advises students at City College of New York and served on the faculty of Bank Street College for over twenty years. Betsy has taught kindergarten, first grade, and Spanish in both New York City and Colorado and has worked with early childhood educators in many countries including Sierra Leone, Chile, Romania, Mongolia, and Azerbaijan. She is co-author of The Right to Learn: Preparing Early Childhood Teachers to Work in High-Needs Schools (Bank Street College Occasional Paper Series) and is co-editor of Teaching Kindergarten: Learner-Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century (Teachers College Press, 2015). Betsy holds an MS and an EdM from Bank Street College.


Fretta ReitzesFretta Reitzes, educational consultant, was the founder and director of the Wonderplay Conference at the 92nd Street Y in New York City from 2006-2016. She was the director of 92Y’s Goldman Center for Youth & Family from 1990-2016 and was director of the Y’s Parenting Center from 1980-1990. Before her tenure began at 92Y, Fretta taught preschool, kindergarten, and first grade in New York City and New Jersey and trained daycare teachers and directors in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is the co-editor of Teaching Kindergarten: Learner Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century (Teachers College Press, 2015), Wonderplay (Running Press, 1995), Wonderplay, Too! (Running Press, 2005), and The Right to Learn: Preparing Early Childhood Teachers to Work in High-Needs Schools (Bank Street College Occasional Paper Series).

Conference Sponsor

Community Playthings logoWe wish to thank Community Playthings for their support.

It was incredibly inspiring to be at a conference focused on Kindergarten! The conference validated the work we are doing at our school and gave us resources and motivation to continue on our journey to create a best practice environment for our students and their families.
Teaching Kindergarten Conference 2017 Attendee
This conference empowered me to return to my district with the experiences and knowledge to strengthen my work for the kinder “gardens” my children deserve. I know what next steps I need to take to improve our practices and what resources I need to seek for all our children to succeed. Thank you for this amazing opportunity and I hope it will become an annual tradition for kindergarten teachers to continue these conversations.
Teaching Kindergarten Conference 2017 Attendee
We left the conference rejuvenated, with the feeling that we should be proud of our practice and reminders to do what we believe in. Thank you for devoting this conference to kindergarten. We truly appreciated it.
Teaching Kindergarten Conference 2017 Attendee