2016 EC Summit Archive

The team for 2016 was “The Bridge to All Learning.”  While we welcomed all teachers, the conference was geared toward those that work with infants to 3rd grade.


We held sessions and speakers throughout both days at Memminger Elementary School, located at 20 Beaufain Street, Charleston, SC 29401.


    • Play
    • Literacy
    • Math & Science
    • Social & Emotional Development

2016 Sessions & Keynote


All of Us Were Babies Once: Helping Children Be Music Makers by BEING a Music Maker

Time and again Susan has experienced how songs and their building blocks — melody, rhyme, rhythm, sequence, lyricism, and message – have a powerful, positive effect on children: Story songs encourage children to be good listeners and storytellers; movement helps children get in touch with their physicality without the judgment or self-consciousness that defines the middle school years; songs and instruments from other countries teach children about the world beyond their own. In her classrooms, Susan has “drawn” songs to engage visual learners, “danced” songs to engage physical learners, and “sung” books to engage aural learners. All of Us Were Babies Once will illuminate how a rich repertoire of songs and age-appropriate musical activities can enrich the important work and play of the early childhood classroom.

Motivate, Engage, and Create Strategic Readers

Join Valerie Ellery as she shares inspiring ways to motivate and engage the whole learner by adding a little SPICE into your classrooms (Socially, Physically, Intellectually, and Emotionally). Over twenty-five years ago she realized that her son had a problem with reading.  This very personal experience launched her journey in the quest for understanding what proficient readers do. She set out on a journey to “reach and teach” the whole child! Valerie will inspire us all to rise above the challenges we face as educators and believe that the student’s in today’s classrooms can be self-regulated, strategic readers! You will leave transformed with easy to implement strategies and invigorating techniques that support all learners to reach academic success.  — Ellery Keynote Charleston, SC 2016




Generating Genius- Visual Art & Design Meets Science
Tracy Hunter-Doniger

STEAM is an ideal way to infuse the arts with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  In this session you will learn how to generate genius by combining visual art, design and science. You will get the chance to experiment with a variety of creative, hands-on lessons that you can use to get your students involved in art, science and engineering.  (Examples of lessons include, Rube Goldberg Machine Designs, Imagination Field Guide, and a Wall Roller Coaster.)

Spanning the Bridget of Technology in Support of the Early Learner
Robin Franklin

All technologies are not equal. Explore appropriate technology use in an early childhood learning environment for the greatest impact. Help little ones develop critical thinking and harness the power of the iPad and the Smartboard for motivation and engagement. Presenters will share specific apps that promote creativity and play.  Handouts – ipadagogy-wheel-Franklin • iPad Apps for Each Level of Bloom’s Taxonomy

ETV Does That?
Dianne Gregory

ETV offers many resources for early childhood educators around the southeast. Come explore our ETV resources for children: PBS Learning Media, Knowitall.org, and all of ETV’s recertification opportunities. Take a look at videos, teacher guides, songs, and many other resources for early childhood.

I am a Scientist

Dr. Jean

Children are naturally curious about the world in which they live. Discover how you can take advantage of that natural curiosity as you encourage them to question, observe, experiment, and draw conclusions. Highlights will include:

  • Scientist of the week
  • Discovery bottles
  • Tunes to reinforce science themes
  • Simple experiments from ordinary materials
  • How to integrate science with literacy

Handouts — FeldmanJ_I AM A SCIENTIST

I am a Mathematician
Dr. Jean

Instilling a love of math and helping your students believe that “I am a mathematician” is the best way to start their learning journey. Your students will be excited about math with the songs, games, and hands-on activities presented in this session. Highlights will include:

  • Finger plays for “five”ness and “ten”ness
  • Songs for number concepts and writing numerals
  • Multi-sensory materials to make math real
  • Games to build skills

Handouts — FeldmanJ_I AM A MATHEMATICIAN


The First Twelve Days of School
Dr. Jean

You’ll be ready to GO back to school with all the great ideas you’ll see presented in this workshop.
Highlights will include:

  • Strategies to start the new school year
  • Activities to create a classroom community
  • Projects to win parents and children
  • “Tricks” for transitions
  • Songs, chants, name games

Handouts — FeldmanJ_The First Twelve Days of School

Approaches to Building Trusting Relationships with Families
Ashley Vaughns 

Participants will learn about effective ways to build trust with families—the foundation for meaningful family engagement. This presentation will include the latest evidenced-based approaches to communicating, meeting, and conferencing with families. Participants will have an opportunity to design and/or refine their plan for building trust with families.  Handout — Vaughns Building Trusting Relationships

Ensuring Motivation and Academic Success by Building Genuine Relationships between Teachers, Children, and Families
Kristin Zeaser-Sydow 

Social and emotional learning can be woven throughout the school day and research shows that building relationships with children and families effectively improves academic success and behavior. This session will equip seasoned and new early childhood teachers with strategies that promote strong relationships and prosocial behavior with positive child guidance, discovery learning, and effective use of language and modeling.

“The More We Get Together, The Happier We’ll Be”: Practical Strategies for Promoting Classroom Community
Kelley Mayer-White

Research shows the closer children feel to their teachers, the better off they are socially, emotionally and academically. However, with increased pressure to meet more rigorous academic standards, the early childhood classroom is a busy place.  This session will focus on practical, developmentally appropriate strategies for building relationships with young children while also promoting children’s healthy relationships with one another.  Handout — EC Summit_White

Panel Discussion- From the Classroom:  A Practitioner’s Perspective on School Readiness in the Tri-County

Kimberly Foxworth, Facilitator
Erica Clanton, Berkeley County Schools, Berkeley Elementary School, 4K Teacher
Laurie Keitt, CCSD, Child and Family Development Center, Infant/Toddler Teacher
Denise McClain, Weapons Station Child Development Center, 2 year old Teacher
Sandra Robinson, Air Base Child Development Center, 3-5 year old Teacher
Cynthia Sweeney, CCSD, E.B. Ellington Elementary, Child Development 4K
Suzanne Zais, CCSD, Memminger Elementary, Kindergarten Teacher

Revised Early Learning standards…”The Profile of the Ready Kindergartner”…there is so much happening in early childhood in South Carolina!  Local early childhood Teachers will discuss their views on school readiness.  They will share how they are preparing their students and families to meet the expectations of Kindergarten.  Come be part of the conversation.


Five Crutches of Early Childhood: And Why You Don’t Need Them
Michelle Salcedo

Letter of the week? Calendar? Themes? These live on in early childhood classrooms without thought as to why. This session examines the goals behind these practices, evaluates their efficacy, and finds alternatives more in line with early learning research. Learn hands-on ideas for building active classrooms around how children really learn.  Handouts — 5 Crutches Handout • 5 Crutches of Early Childhood

Smart Moves: Why Motor Skills Matter for Academic Success
Robin Prothro

Research shows students with poor motor skills struggle with academics. More than ever before, typically developing children are now entering school with underdeveloped motor systems. Find out what motor skills children need for school, how to screen for motor delays, and practical suggestions to improve motor skills for every classroom.  Handouts — Animal Walks • Five Skills of the Hand • Hand Strengthening • Motor Skills Checklist • Six skills kids need before they can write their name (2) • W sitting

Move2Learn P.L.A.Y Activities to Enhance Literacy and Math
Susan Flynn 

Fun interactive session designed to provide teachers with Move2Learn activities and strategies to facilitate P.L.A.Y (Physical Literacy and You). The session supports the vast body of research linking physical activity with positive outcomes in cognition, concentration, behavior, and executive function. Teachers will receive lesson ideas to promote targeted learning outcomes across literacy and math standards using creative equipment.

Sure-Fire Hits for the Preschool Classroom (repeated 2nd day)
Susan Salidor 

In this fun and interactive workshop, singer/songwriter and music specialist Susan Salidor will explore the musical landscape over which she takes her 500 preschool students week in and week out during the school year.  Best practices and favorite songs and finger plays will be shared along with strategies for successfully integrating more music and movement into the early childhood classroom.  Participants will leave the workshop with a treasure trove of new songs and ideas along with the confidence to help young ones become music makers.  Handouts — Salidor Handout


I am a Writer
Dr. Jean

Children have to crawl before they can walk, and they need a wide variety of small motor activities before they are ready to control a pencil and write letters and words. In this workshop you will discover simple materials that will develop those small muscles, as well as activities that will give children opportunities to write.

  • Finger calisthenics
  • Body writing
  • Pencil grip – left and right
  • Pre-writing strokes
  • Books children can make, write and read

Handouts — FeldmanJ_I’M A WRITER

Literacy Strong All Year Long: Empowering Strategies for Young Learners
Valerie Ellery 

Motivate and engage primary students with empowering lessons that spiral across the entire year as students accumulate literacy achievement. This powerhouse presenter shares her very best research based classroom ideas that yield results. Come learn practical techniques for starting the year off strong, creative ways to fend off the mid-year blahs, empowering ideas for ending the school year on a high note, and proven strategies for engaging students in literacy all summer long! These interactive lessons actively engage students as they jump, move, write, talk, and sing with this unique gradual release model that really works!

HandoutsPart1 • Part2 • Part3

Motivating Readers to Make Meaning
Valerie Ellery

Discover engaging ways to motivate your readers to comprehend what they read through visual and kinesthetic approaches! Learn instruction techniques that support the comprehension strategies of previewing, activating and building schema, predicting, and determining importance. You’ll leave this session with effective tools for boosting comprehension in your classroom!  Handouts — Ellery Motivating Readers to Make Meaning SC, 2016

Using Hands-on Learning Manipulatives to Support Emergent Literacy and Math Skills (repeated on 2nd day)
Donna Sanderson

This session explains how you can create free, homemade, educational learning manipulatives to increase students’ basic literacy and math skills. All you need is a lot of creativity and passion! Learn how to make Cap Kits from recycled bottle caps and gain access to a website showing hundreds of different ways to use them in the classroom.  HandoutsSanderson_spring14_manipulatives • Sanderson_EC Summit outline • Sanderson_Cap Kit instruction sheet • Sanderson_article2