Shining Stars Conference 2011

Monday, July 18th


Preconference Session


Who Are We Really Teaching? Rethinking HOW We Collaborate with Families of Young Children with ASD during EI Visits

Speaker: Dana Childress, M.Ed., Program Specialist in Early Intervention at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU


Dana Childress will provide national research and evidence-based practices on effective strategies to collaborate with families using a coaching model.


CoPA_WhoAreWeReallyTeaching-Childress (.ppt)


Opening Keynote Address


What I Know For Sure…

Speaker: Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Ph.D., University of Kentucky


After 30 years in education, there are a few things that Dr. Grisham-Brown knows for sure about how to improve outcomes for all children in inclusive preschool settings. Along with several colleagues in the field, she designed a curriculum framework and will present information on four critical components: assessment, scope and sequence, activities and instruction, and performance monitoring. She will speak about implementing the framework successfully by ensuring that you have three key ingredients: leadership support, collaborative relationships, and high quality professional development. Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear Dr. Grisham-Brown and to learn more about using the curriculum framework to improve outcome for your students.


OverviewCurriculumFramework-Grisham (.ppt)




Let’s Play Together: Encouraging Interactive Play with Young Children with ASD

Presenter: Dana Childress, M.Ed., Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU


This interactive session will provide learners with information about characteristics of social play and toy play in young children, birth through 5 years, who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The research literature will be used as a guide so that learners will understand what the evidence tells us about how children with ASD play and what we as interventionists and teachers can do to encourage the development of purposeful play and engaging social interactions. Special attention will be paid to what providers who support families in natural environments can do to help young children increase their social play abilities within the context of natural daily routines and family activities. Video Clips, discussion, and group problem-solving will be incorporated into the session so that learners gain practical strategies and planning ideas that they can use when they return to working with children and families following the conference.


Let’s Play Together! Childress (.ppt)


SMART Sharing: Lessons Using the SMART Board - Beginner Level

Presenter: Kristen Ingram Weatherford, VDOE TTAC at ODU


Not sure what to do with your new interactive white board?  In this introductory session, participants will learn how to bring early childhood curriculum to life using the SMART Board.  Tips and tricks on making the most of any interactive whiteboard will be shared and participants will receive a CD of resources and how-to guides.  


* To open this presentation, you need to have SMART notebook software installed on your computer.


Tuesday, July 19th




Infant Mental Health IS Social Emotional Development: An Overview of VA’s EC Mental Health Initiative


Cori Hill, Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU

Bonnie Grifa, DBHDS, Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia


This interactive session will include information-sharing using state and national data and audience participation. The session will include small group activities and individual synthesis and assimilation via guided discussion. Participants in this session will be given tools to describe infant-child mental health within the context of social-emotional development. Also, information will be given to help identify current trends and data related to infant-child mental health; and to describe a statewide approach to infant-child mental health supports and services. Finally, participants will have access to statewide infant-child mental health supports and services to promote effective adult-child interactions.


InfantMentalHealth- Hill&Grifa (.ppt)


ASD in the Classroom: What to Look For and When to Refer


John Harrington, M.D., Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters

Kathrin Hartmann, Ph.D., Eastern Virginia Medical School


Two clinicians, experienced in the identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorders will provide an overview of typical behavioral and emotional features and how these may present in the classroom. They will discuss several levels of identification, from evidence-based screening measures to more comprehensive assessment measures that are currently being used within the school setting as well as the clinical setting. The focus for this session will be on the M-CHAT and the ADOS. Participants will be provided with a detailed description of these measures and their usefulness for educational planning.


Autism-Hartman (1)

Autism-Hartman&Harrington (.ppt)


“Wait Right There While I Get My Cape!” Powerful Paraprofessionals Creating Positive Relationships


Debbie Lickey, Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU


This session is designed to help paraprofessionals who work with young children feel confident about setting positive boundaries and providing the social-emotional support that young children need in order to make friends, solve problems, and safely express their own emotions while respecting the rights of others. Participants will learn about strategies and tools that can help them continue to provide positive and appropriate ongoing supports for all young children in the classroom.


WaitRightThere_Paraprofessionals-Lickey (.ppt)



This is How We Do It- Strategies for Preventing Challenging Behavior


Jo Claire Marshall, Virginia Beach City Public Schools

Tiffany Hillegass, Virginia Beach City Public Schools


This workshop will be modeled after the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social and Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children published by the Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (2008).  Using the model, strategies and tools for preventing challenging behaviors will be discussed. This will include the importance of room arrangement, schedules, teaching routines, behavior systems, and collaboration with families. Specific strategies will also be discussed for those students who need more intentional supports, modifications, and adaptations to the environment and with activities in both the home and classroom.


ChallengingBehavior-Marshall&Hillegass (.ppt)




Building a Literacy-Rich Environment


Dorothy Shears-Billups, CDI Head Start

Lisa Steven, CDI Head Start

Vicki Holmes, CDI Head Start

Tiffany Garlic, CDI Head Start


A literacy-rich environment emphasizes purposeful speaking, reading, and writing while students are engaged in high-interest, meaningful experiences. Come learn what tools, materials, and classroom designs you can use to enhance student understanding of the printed word, linguistic and phonemic awareness, and vocabulary development. Make your classroom a literacy-rich, active, and dynamic learning environment!


Literacy-RichEnvironment – ShearsBillups (.ppt)


Using The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R) to Help Prevent Challenging Behaviors


Marilyn Rice, M.Ed., VDOE TTAC at VCU

Hilari Devine, Preschool Partners


Children may exhibit behaviors in a group setting that teachers find challenging. Prior to looking at the child, the teacher must first look to see if there are components of the classroom that might be changed to prevent misbehavior. The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R) places an emphasis on creating an appropriate environment for young children which facilitates their engagement, builds upon their interests, and provides a variety of materials to increase their levels of play.


ECERS-Rice&Devine (.ppt)


Starting With Their Strengths: Utilizing Projects to Promote Curiosity and Joyful Learning


Denise Powers, SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)

Debbie Lickey, Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU


In this session, participants will learn strategies for creating a classroom based on the evidence-based, child-initiated project approach. A discussion of vignettes will look at this approach with respect to how children can develop an investment in their own learning experiences, negotiation and collaboration skills, as well as the skills for problem solving. Come participate in learning and planning to promote skill and concept development through the project approach.


StartingWithStrengths-Lickey&Powers (.ppt)


1:00-2:30 pm Breakouts


“Read” My Feelings


Diana Smith, Roanoke City Schools

Kathy Hill, Roanoke City Schools

Marianne Coulter, Roanoke City Schools


This presentation will use a literature-based approach to developing social/emotional topics or themes in the preschool classroom. The ideas and activities presented will be ones that teachers can take back and immediately use with their students. Some of the books that will be discussed are: Llama Llama Misses Mama, A Letter to Amy, The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything, Go Away Big Green Monster, Pet Show, The Doorbell Rang, and Mean Soup.


ReadMyFeelings-Smith&Hill (.ppt)


Natural Environments and Cultural Competence: Understanding Theory and Moving into Practice


Sarah Pavitt, Achieve Beyond

Georgeanne Hirshey, Therapy 4 Kids


This presentation will focus on the unique needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families who are coping with an autism diagnosis for their child. Participants will view autism through a multicultural lens and learn important aspects of working effectively with families facing multiple barriers when seeking services and supports. This will be discussed in terms of educational, medical, and socio-cultural settings, where early identification and treatment, equal access to services, increased disability education, and collaboration is essential in order to achieve the best outcomes for all children and families.


CulturalCompetence-Pavitt&Hirshey (.ppt)


“I can do that!” Developing Self Determination Skills in Young Children


Carol Wiegle, VDOE TTAC at JMU

Nancy Anderson, VDOE TTAC at GMU


The skills necessary for self-determination must be developed early in a child’s life. Typical early childhood routines, centers, play and developmental skill-building activities can be used effectively to provide opportunities to develop self-determination skills. Evidence-based practices in designing home and school environments that support choice and decision making, problem solving and social and emotional growth will be demonstrated. Participants will have access to the VDOE-TTAC “I’m Determined” website, children’s literature that supports self-determination, and a wide variety of activities to use with their children and students.


Self-Determination_Wiegle (.ppt)


Learning can be Fun for Everyone with Universal Design for Learning


Mary Tobin, VDOE TTAC at VCU

Marilyn Rice, VDOE TTAC at VCU


Come hear about strategies to engage all learners in your classroom. When children are excited about learning, they are engaged in meaningful ways with the materials, peers and adults in the classroom. In this session, participants will learn about universal design and how it evolved into universal design for learning (UDL). Additional information will be shared about the three principals of UDL and practical strategies that can be used by teachers in early childhood settings.


UDL-Tobin&Rice (Adobe)


I’m So Mad! Helping Young Children Handle Anger and Use Self-Control


Mary Lynn White, Wingspan


This interactive workshop highlights evidence-based approaches that teach children to use self-control, express feelings appropriately, interact positively, and resolve conflicts. Using lively discussion, music, and activities, participants will learn about model early childhood programs that employ easy-to-use strategies for strengthening children’s social-emotional competence. This session will use the lens of protective factor, and resilience research to examine how teachers can strengthen classroom characteristics that buffer all children from risk and adversity, and support children’s development of social-emotional competencies and school readiness skills.


I’m So Mad!-White (.ppt)


Join the CROWD: A Strategy for Reading Aloud to Young Children


Peggy Agee, SLPD, CCC-SLP, Longwood University


Reading aloud to young children has been described as one of the most important ways that adults can facilitate positive socio-emotional connections between caregiver and child while at the same time supporting the development of emergent reading and writing skills. Skill development and print motivation are best encouraged when we read WITH children rather than simply reading TO them. This session will provide information about the CROWD strategy, evidence –based dialogic approach to shared reading, which assists caregivers and early childhood educators to design and implement an interactive shared reading exchange around a written story. The CROWD mnemonic provides caregivers and early childhood educators with a frame on which to hook dialogic strategies and cues to support memory for the task. Participants in this session will have hands-on opportunities to script a story book using the CROWD strategy and to share their scripts with others.




Sail with Us: Navigating Our Transition Guidance Document for ECSE!


Terry Jones, Franklin County Public Schools

Stephanie Whitt, Franklin County Public Schools

Mandy Young, Franklin County Public Schools


Working within the Inclusion Placement Options Placements (IPOP) program, our transition sub-committee created a document to address the components of best practices for appropriate placement of students. In order to help teachers and families make the best decision about a student’s next educational placement, several teachers in Franklin County Public Schools, including the Autism Specialist, created a Guidance Document for Transition. The document organizes developmental skill sets necessary for success in school, such as language and communication, math, social-emotional, self-help, and fine and gross motor. This session will review the transition document and offer suggestions on how to complete it effectively. An opportunity to use the document will be given.


TransitionDocument-Jones,Whitt,Young (.ppt)


Step by Step: Teaching Through Art and Music


Nancy Hauser, Roanoke City Public Schools

Andrea Micklem, Roanoke City Public Schools

Donna Lee, Roanoke City Public Schools


Everyone has a creative side! This session is designed to model examples of songs and poems that can be written and shared with young children. Whether the goal is to teach vocabulary, extend learning, to get your children up and moving, or to build relationships, your children will respond when their ideas and classroom experiences are included in the songs and poems they hear every day.


Also during this session, a step-by-step process of drawing with young children will be provided and modeled. This specific style of teaching drawing gives children the tools to see parts of the whole, and to break the subject down so that they are able to reproduce a picture. Nobody says “I can’t” because we show them how!  We will share our children’s portfolios.


Brief History UKE (.doc)

STEP by STEP Teaching through Art and Music


Wednesday, July 20th

Closing Keynote Address


Sticks & Stones Exposed: The Truth Behind Words and Relationships – Culture, Climate, and Student Outcomes

Presenter: Dave Weber


Laugh and learn with Dave Weber as he captivates you with his stories and encourages you to reflect on your professional practices. In Sticks and Stones Exposed, Mr. Weber discusses how the culture and climate in your school building has an effect on student outcomes. He identifies areas that are important, such as internal culture and atmosphere, communication, team building, and strategic focus, and asks us to consider how we can create a more positive learning community. Do we have clearly communicated team goals that keep us moving in the same direction? How can we work to bring out the best in our teaching colleagues and the students in our classrooms? This high energy, entertaining presentation will have you thinking, learning, and laughing all at the same time!


Shining Stars 2011 Conference Program (.pdf)