Teaching Kindergarten Conference

Online Conference

Join us for a live stream of Saturday morning’s keynote and a choice of three interactive workshops. See descriptions below. We will contact you upon registration for your workshop selection. Technical requirements: Computer with a high-speed internet connection. Headphones, microphone and video camera are highly recommended.

Fee: $50 (Participation is limited)

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Keynote: Language! So Much More than Words

Virtually all of a school day is mediated by language. Teachers instruct, comment, guide, regulate, propose and so much more. Kindergarten children have so much to say and communicate, and their language helps to mediate their thought processes and emotions. Join Dr. Soifer as she exposes and explores the enormous complexities and nuances of the gift we refer to as language – the power of which we all too often underestimate.

Dr. Lydia Soifer is a language pathologist with over 40 years of experience in clinical and private practice. Dr. Soifer was the founder and director of The Soifer Center for Learning and Child Development and designed Classroom Language Dynamics ©, which is used in a variety of school settings to empower teachers and invigorate learners of all kinds. Dr. Soifer is the author of “Oral Language Development and Its Relationship to Literacy”, a chapter in Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, Fourth Edition (Brookes Publication, 2019), and a contributor to local publications. Additionally, she is Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and faculty member in the Early Intervention Training Institute, both at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.


  • Workshop 1: Limit Setting as a Play Therapy Technique

    Bank Street College promotes childhood play as a critical component of all children’s development. Play is a child’s primary mode of expression and of learning about the world. In this workshop, we will focus on a particular play therapy technique – limit setting. Participants explore and practice this technique that promotes self-regulation, self-esteem, mastery, and social, emotional, and cognitive development in typically developing children, as well as in children with special needs. This workshop is appropriate for general and special education teachers.

    Facilitator: Dr. Kate Ascetta is an assistant professor of Early Childhood Special Education at the University of South Carolina. Previously, she worked in variety of settings with young children and early childhood teachers, beginning her career as an early childhood special education teacher for young children who had experienced trauma. Prior to beginning her doctoral degree, she was an assistant principal at a Head Start program. Dr. Ascetta earned her PhD in Special Education from University of Oregon, her MSEd in Early Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and BS in Elementary General and Special Education from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

  • Workshop 2: Early Childhood Education in Finland: Learning through Play and Exploration

    This workshop will present the cornerstones of early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Finland. Finnish ECEC is totally non-academic by nature, focusing on learning through play and exploration. ECEC in Finland aims to follow children’s natural development and foster meta skills for learning. Despite the stress-free and child-centered approach Finnish early childhood education lays the basis for the excellent learning results Finnish pupils have gained in international comparisons. Welcome to find out more about the Finnish approach to learning in early years!

    Facilitator(s): Educators from Learning Scoop, a Finnish company working in the fields of teacher education, leadership development, and community building. Learning Scoop is a group of experienced teachers and experts who have received excellent feed back on their work from Finnish as well as foreign teachers and principals. Their well-executed and inspiring training sessions and study visits have empowered teachers and education developers around the world.

  • Workshop 3: Creating Trauma-informed Classrooms that Build and Strengthen Resilience

    Full title: Safety From the Storm: Using Children’s Curiosity and Imagination to Create Trauma-informed Classroom that Build and Strengthen Resilience in Children and Families

    For some children kindergarten is an extension of their home, a supportive environment that encourages learning and exploration. For others kindergarten may be the only or one of few safe spaces they feel they can relax and breathe. Through the implementation of family centered care and strengths based strategies educators will learn to identify, develop and build upon protective factors that support resilience in children and families. In addition, participants will learn strategies for incorporating children’s natural curiosity and imagination as a tool for developing protective factors.

    Genevieve Lowry, MS.Ed, CCLS, CEIM, is currently a faculty member and advisor in the graduate school at Bank Street College of Education. She has worked as a Certified Child Life Specialist for over 20 years, preparing and supervising students training to become Child Life Specialists. Lowry writes and presents on topics related to children and families with a focus on early childhood, most recently she presented Developing Tools for Transformation: An Introduction to Racial Literacy and its Impact on Health Disparities, ACLP Conference (2018) and Goldy is Dead and Other Missed Opportunities to Talk about Loss with Young Children (Valley Hospital Palliative Care Event, NJ. 2017). Her MSEd is from Fordham University in Curriculum and Teaching. She earned her BS in from Wheelock College in Early Childhood Education and Child life.