Afternoon Lectures

Lunch and Learn

Reflections on the Morning Keynotes through a Jewish Lens

Mark Horowitz & Karina Zilberman

A special opportunity to explore the morning presentations from a Jewish perspective.

A Collaborative Setting for Inspiration, Reflection and Discussion

Anna Hartman & Valerie Lustgarten

What's on your mind? What inspires you? What support do you need? What pressing issues would you like to crowd-source? Join fellow impassioned educators to share, listen, connect, reflect, learn and teach with your peers. Whether you bring the topic or participate in someone else's, all roles are vital in this authentic, collaborative setting.

Session A


Mary Had a Little iPad

Catherine Steiner-Adair

In this talk, I will help teachers understand the research on the impact of technology on all aspects of children’s development —neurological, psychological, physical and social development as well as creativity. This will equip teachers to better help parents understand the limitations of technology, as well as discuss best practices.

iPad as a Teaching Tool

Eira Toral-Sukhra

We will discuss the thinking behind the use of iPads at IPS and how we have incorporated this low budget technology program into our "Learning Through Play" curriculum. I will share the ways in which we research apps that are appropriate for 3 to 5 year olds and describe which apps are best. In adddition, we will talk about the use of iPads for parent/ teacher conferences and curriculum meetings.

A Recipe for Early Math Education: Mixing Intentional Teaching and Curriculum into the Playful Stew

Herbert P. Ginsberg

My talk discusses new research showing that young children develop a complex everyday mathematics—both concrete and abstract—that can form the basis for effective early math education, which should include not only play and projects but also intentional teaching and curriculum. The math stew should involve many flavors and ingredients.

Integrating Elements of Reggio Emilia into your Early Childhood Classroom: Stories of Teachers, Young Children and Families

Lella Gandini & Lisa B. Fiore

This session includes specific documentations of teachers, children and families who are positively moving forward in their learning. These stories demonstrate how inspiration from the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education is transforming their spaces and experiences.

Social Development: Establishing Meaningful Connections Among Children

Lilian G. Katz, Ph.D

This presentation addresses major issues in early social development and the teacher's role in supporting it. Four different kinds of social difficulties that are related to positive social relationships will be addressed: insufficient impulse control, bullying, shyness and "off-the-wall" behaviors. Strategies useful for teachers for each of these kinds of difficulties will be outlined, described and illustrated and some suggestions for parents will be included.

Defining Good Teaching in Early Childhood Education and Why It Still Matters

Patsy Cooper

This presentation, for new and experienced teachers alike, examines a framework for good teaching with regard to curricular choices, pedagogical methods and moral concerns to remind us why teaching well still matters in the day-to-day lives of the young children we teach and the society they will inherit.

Disruptive Kids, Disruptive Parents: Concrete and Proven Strategies That Work

Dr. Ron Taffel

Over the past decade educators have noticed an increase in anxiety in children, often leading to disruptive classroom behavior. At the same time, teachers and administrators experience far greater demands, often bordering on disrespect, from parents. Dr. Taffel will discuss why these phenomena are so widespread now and will offer state-of-the-art, realistic strategies, to calm kids down at school while building more collaborative relationships with parents. He will also suggest ways to create a school-home environment that is genuinely and mutually supportive.


WonderDance: Dances & Kinesthetic Explorations for Your Early Childhood Dance Curriculum

Ann Biddle, Deborah Damast & Jen Katz Burk

Learn how you can reach and teach all the movers and shakers in your classroom. The 92Y WonderDance curriculum employs best practices of early childhood education and gives teachers a flexible model that inspires young children to explore ideas through dance.

Another Way of Thinking about Art: Projects for Young Children

Barry Goldberg

Using many examples taken from the classroom, this workshop will explore the notion that art is idea made of paint, cardboard and glue. The presentation will provide a wide array of creative possibilities and focus on how to talk to children about the art they make. Images of projects will be shown throughout.

Singing, Songs, and What You Get To Play With For Free

Betsy Blachly

Experiencing the open nature of a child or a group of children singing and making up words is inspiring, funny and diagnostic—and, at the same time, playful. In the context of music, play is words, sounds, imagination and the interaction of teacher and children. We will watch some videos, share personal observations and play with music ourselves.

Clay & Little Hands: Introducing Clay to Early Childhood Classrooms

Christina Bingel

An opportunity to become familiar with both the importance and versatility of using clay in early childhood education. See how using clay can be an invaluable medium throughout multiple aspects of a curriculum.

Special Needs: A Working Vocabulary

Tracy Birkhahn & Dena Warren

Using a real-life scenario, we will walk teachers through the steps we used to help a child receive the appropriate special needs services. We will focus on defining the special needs vocabulary used, modeling conversation real conversations between service providers, teachers and families, and help the participants better understand this delicate, but vital process.

Planning for Parent-Teacher Conferences

Felice Friedman

An examination of the underlying themes of this most intimate and anxiety-laden conversation. We will discuss ways to better prepare for the conference, how to stay in control and the most effective strategies for teachers to use so that the conference process can support both parents and children.

Communicating the Enchantment and Magic of Books to Young Children: Choosing and Reading Aloud Meaningful Books in the Nursery School Library or Classroom

Louise Kurshan & Hope Prosky

This workshop will address: 1) Choosing and organizing books for a library or classroom. 2) Choosing books to read aloud and ideas for presentations: singing, engaging multiple senses, using felt boards and other props, etc. 3) Involving parents and communicating the value of reading to children. There will be hand outs of titles and organization methods as well as books and props to peruse.

Puppetry: Creative Expression through Puppets and Fairytales

Joan Almon

Fairytales, nature tales and nursery rhymes bring meaning to young children's lives and feed their love of language. We'll hear tales and see various forms of simple puppetry that can be used in the classroom.

How Assessment Aids Teaching and Teaching Aids Assessment

Julie Diamond

Learning that is centered on children’s engagement with meaningful topics can provide valuable assessment material. We will look at slides of children’s work and examine their individual learning. We will also discuss classroom environment, routines and management; practical methods for keeping records; and the correlation between work- and observation-based assessments, and the standards-based assessments for which teachers are accountable.

Learning to Talk is Child’s Play: For Newer Teachers

Lydia Soifer

This workshop will focus on the crucial and dynamic relationship between play and language development. The different levels of play and the related levels of language development will be reviewed. Examples of activities and the kinds of language you can use to stimulate play and language development for preschoolers will be presented.  What you say and how you say it when you play can make all the difference for a little learner!

Team Teaching: Developing Collaboration and Partnerships: For Directors 

Mark Horowitz

The challenge of transforming your staff into a community is compounded these days by the diverse learning styles, attitudes and approaches of your educators. How do we understand the mix of Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millenials in a world of information technology? Let's explore these challenges as we talk about strengthening relationships and building community in your early childhood center.

Out of the Classroom and into the World: The Essential Role of Trips in the Curriculum

Salvatore Vascellaro

This workshop will consider how simple trips into the school’s immediate neighborhood can spark children’s imaginations; engender curiosity, link children to each other, their teachers, and to their social and physical world. We will also illustrate how the follow-up to children’s trip experience can become a stimulus for rich dramatic play, discussion, block building, artwork, as well as reading and writing.

Nurturing Children in a Commercialized, Screen-Saturated World

Susan Linn

The unprecedented convergence of ubiquitous, portable screen technologies and unregulated commercialism is wreaking havoc with childhood. Health and social problems ranging from childhood obesity and the erosion of creative play are linked to commercialism and excessive screen time. This workshop explores the consequences of immersing children in commercialism and what early childhood educators can do to help parents cope and children thrive in a commercialized culture.

Monsters and Superheroes: The Helicopter Technique of Storytelling and Story-Acting based on the work of Vivian Gussin Paley

Trisha Lee

London based educator Trisha Lee shares her experiences of bringing Vivian Gussin Paley’s storytelling and story acting curriculum to life in classrooms across the UK. Participants will have the opportunity to get involved in acting out and creating stories, exploring how the approach works, discovering the benefits and most importantly, having fun. An engaging and enjoyable session where we reconnect with the importance of story and its value in children’s learning.

Collage and Construction for Young Children

Ann Schaumburger

A hands on workshop in collage and construction focusing on colored paper and the material of collage. Included will be discussions about how art experiences foster children’s growth and how talking to children about their art work in descriptive and non-judgmental language supports the young child’s autonomy and development.

Block Building: A Core “Building Block” of Early Childhood Learning

Betsy Grob

In this hands-on workshop, participants will have the opportunity to construct buildings together, while learning about the critical thinking and math skills that result from ongoing block building in the classroom. We will also outline the necessary ingredients, and the role of the teacher in developing a rich block building curriculum.


Building Conversational Skills for 3’s

Alison Snow

Language skills can thrive when properly elicited and supported. Learn techniques for creating “provocations” to spark and develop early language in young children. Even the most reticent member of the group will likely respond.

Bringing the Natural World into Classroom

Lynnette Arthur

The Reggio Emilia approach integrates nature into the curriculum so that children learn to appreciate the beauty and resourcefulness of the natural world. It also boosts self-awareness and problem solving skills, while developing the child's dexterity and gross motor skills. We will show how experiences with nature enrich the lives of our young students, and encourage them to be mindful and respectful of the world around them.

Helping Children Understand and Express Their Feelings for 4’s

Roberta Willenken

We will present an overview of our classroom approach to teaching children how to identify and cope with their own emotions, including the ways in which we help children to recognize and respond to how other children are feeling.

Session B


From the Neck up: Differences in Early Brain Development in Boys & Girls

JoAnn Deak

Although our bodies are more alike than different from the neck down [we both have arms, legs, hands, organs, etc.], those parts that are different by gender make all of the difference! The same is true from the neck up: we are more alike than different anatomically. However, once the brain is asked to work, brain imaging shows that female and male brains are wired quite differently. These differences lead to a variation in the way females and males approach almost everything: from learning to loving, from communicating to consoling.

Learning Inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach: Supporting Inquiry and Discovery in the Classroom

Lella Gandini

Teachers support young children's inquiries and discoveries. Through visual narrative, we can examine and question with the participants, how documenting and making visible the children process of learning is a way to assess and/or self assess.

Helping the Quiet and Shy Child Find Their Voice in the Classroom

Steven Kurtz, PhD

There are children in every class who are uncomfortable in groups, separating, sharing, performing, mingling and interacting that they actually avoid doing it. Some even don’t talk - literally – the ones with selective mutism. Join child anxiety expert Dr. Kurtz from the Child Mind Institute for a lively and interactive discussion about what’s normal, what’s not and how to help youngsters develop their brave muscles so all can find their literal and figurative voice in the classroom.

Boys and Girls: Superheroes in the Doll Corner

Vivian Gussin Paley

Thirty years after the publication of Boys and Girls, are the superheroes still at work saving the world from evil-doers? What has happened to the fantasy play of young boys and girls now there is less time for play?


Collage and Construction for Young Children

Ann Schaumburger

A hands on workshop in collage and construction focusing on colored paper and the material of collage. Included will be discussions about how art experiences foster children’s growth and how talking to children about their art work in descriptive and non-judgmental language supports the young child’s autonomy and development.

Block Building: A Core “Building Block” of Early Childhood Learning

Betsy Grob

In this hands-on workshop, participants will have the opportunity to construct buildings together, while learning about the critical thinking and math skills that result from ongoing block building in the classroom. We will also outline the necessary ingredients, and the role of the teacher in developing a rich block building curriculum.

Occupational Therapy: Tools and Tips for your Classroom

Eileen LaMourie

In this workshop attendees will learn how different sensory materials and environments can affect children and learning. We will consider ideas on integrating movement into the classroom, activities and strategies from OTs, as well as when and how OT intervention can help children and parents (and teachers!) in early childhood.

They're Stepping all Over Me: Establishing Boundaries and Routines for Parents and Children

Jean Schreiber

Children feel more secure and parents develop a stronger alliance with teachers when expectations are clear and consistent. Learn how to create and implement meaningful limits and boundaries to support a respectful parent/teacher/child learning environment.

WonderFit: An Early Childhood Approach to Fitness and Well-being in the Classroom

Katera Noviella

Katera will describe and demonstrate various techniques and exercises to keep your children active during class, while discussing the physiological and other benefits of working this way.

Supporting Inquiry and Initiative in Prescribed Curriculum

Lisa B. Fiore

How do teachers maintain a focus on children's and teachers' curiosity and creativity when the spirit of inquiry takes a back seat to standardized curriculum and testing? This session introduces video segments from a public Pre-K classroom in Boston, documenting how the teacher infused inquiry into the students' investigations of color. We will discuss how structured curriculum can serve as a launch pad for inspiring, meaningful learning experiences.

Enhancing Teachers’ Skill Sets for Developing Language and Literacy Foundations: For School Directors

Lydia Soifer

Teachers have many skills that are readily taken for granted. Defining and enhancing those skill sets within a framework of recent developments in knowledge of the role of language development and literacy will turn theory into practice with the result of enriching pedagogy and helping to meet increasing levels of parental expectations. Three core issues that will enhance student academic potential will be discussed, i.e., vocabulary, listening skills and narrative.

This workshop will serve as the introduction to the upcoming series of talks sponsored by 92nd Street Y entitled, Language and Literacy Development: Building Foundations in the Preschool Years.

Little Discoverers: Big Fun with Science, Math and More

Rosemarie T. Truglio & Michelle Newman-Kaplan

This site created for desktop and mobile users, is designed to engage and excite children in STEM learning in playful ways through interactive Sesame Street games, videos and hands-on activities. It also provides educators with tools to guide the integration of STEM concepts and skills into their existing work, and gives parents and caregivers resources to incorporate STEM concepts and language with their children in everyday moments.

Puppets: Self-Expression, Mastery and Modeling

Susan Linn

Children’s creative play is simultaneously a window into their hearts and minds and the means by which they naturally wrestle with life to make it meaningful. Puppet play is a particularly potent medium for helping children cope with life challenges. This workshop explores the power of puppetry and provides practical suggestions and techniques for using puppets in preschool classrooms.


Post Office Curriculum for Kindergarteners, 5's and 6's

Laura Swindler

The integrated curriculum creates meaningful learning experiences and allows student questions to help form the course of the curriculum. Learn how a post office curriculum engages a school community and leads to powerful learning.

Restaurant Curriculum for Kindergarteners

Robyn Ulzheimer

Teachers of young children need an understanding of child development, the role of the child in the curriculum, the purpose of play and the relationship of one’s self to the world around him/her. We will examine a social studies curriculum on restaurants that looks at child development, the voice of the child and teacher and the use of standards to design a unit where the final outcome is the running of an actual restaurant in the classroom. 

Babies Curriculum for 4’s and 5’s

Sarah Leibowits

This workshop will be based on Sarah’s classroom unit on babies with 4-5s. As they learn about how babies and toddlers grow and change, children are able to look back and connect with their own experiences in growing up. We do this research through books, discussions, baby and toddler visits to our classroom as well as photographs and storytelling/writing about our own baby/toddler experiences.