2017 Online Summer Conference

Starting July 10, 2017

-Registration is closed-

Practical, Actionable Professional Development in the comfort of your own home!

It is the FIFTH Year for this virtual conference. This year’s conference is a powerhouse! You can’t believe how many incredible presenters we have this year!

Teacher Tom

Speaking With Children So They Can Think

Richard Cohen

Cultivating Creative Minds: Inspiring Imaginative Learners

Jeanine Fitzgerald

Telling the Story Differently

Tom Bedard

Dialogue with Water: Children's Scientific Inquiry at the Water Table

Dr. Diane Kashin & Cindy Green

Inquisitive Learners Require Curious and Passionate Teachers

Susan Stacey

Cultivating Curious Teachers: The Role of Documentation

Debi Keyte-Hartland

Curiosity and Expressing Meaning: Young Children, Visual Arts, and Understanding

Sandra Duncan

Understanding Children's Perspectives: The View from the Door

Rick Ellis

The 100 Languages of Teachers: Connecting Reggio-Inspired Philosophy with the Bigger Picture

Holly Elissa Bruno

Learning from the Bumps in the Road: Turning potholes into grand possibilities

Rae Pica

What if Everybody Understood Child Development?

Joanne Babalis

Considering the layers of inquiry-based learning: Transforming education practice

Lynnette Arthur

Woodworking! Real Tools & Experiences for Our Youngest Learners

Chanie Wilschanski

How to create a culture of innovation, risk taking, and collaboration

Susan MacDonald

Finding the Spark: Bringing Passion and Intentionality into the Planning Process

Join over 3000 Early Childhood Educators from over 50 countries and renew your teaching practice.

Access the sessions at YOUR convenience! Participate anywhere and anytime! You have lifetime access!

No more travel costs! No more hotels! Settle into your favorite chair at home! Everything is online.

Session Descriptions

(click each day to find out more. Remember – you have LIFETIME access to all sessions!)

Session One: Speaking With Children So They Can Think

Teacher Tom

In a very real sense, the language we use creates reality. Tom speaks on how the specific words we use, and how and when we use them, shapes reality for our students for both good and bad. Conference participants will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of: being clear and precise with language; honoring children without commanding or bossing them; using words to create a world of facts and intrinsic motivation; creating space in which children must do their own thinking and make their own decisions; and supporting children as they learn from the natural consequences of their behaviors.

Session Two: Cultivating Creative Minds: Inspiring Imaginative Learners

Richard Cohen

Interestingly, the theme of this conference “Cultivating Curious Minds: Inspiring Inquiring Learners” could have just as easily been called “Cultivating Creative Minds: Inspiring Imaginative Learners”. In this session we will explore the relationship between curiosity and creativity, inquiry and expression, science and art. For young children, these are two sides of the same coin: As children play freely in ways that are meaningful to them, they are, in turns, both solving problems as inquiring scientists and expressing themselves creatively as artists. Let’s take some time to explore these connections and discuss how to create environments and experiences for and how to facilitate children’s play in ways that maximize their potential for both inquiry and creativity!

Session Three: Telling the Story Differently

Jeanine Fitzgerald

Children enter this world with layers and layers of possibilities waiting to unfold. Yet, our culture has a relentless focus on shortcomings and weaknesses that has perpetuated a competitive, detached, stressed out, pill-popping society. It is time we rewrite the story and channel the possibilities that are hiding in plain sight into a vibrant and amazing life. It is time to guide our children toward the lives they were born to live – a life of wellness.

Session Four: Dialogue with Water: Children’s Scientific Inquiry at the Water Table

Tom Bedard

In this session, children tell the story of scientific inquiry through photos, videos and anecdotes. Children’s explorations include self-directed experiments with both sand and water as they discover the affordances of easy-to-build constructions in and around the sensory table. Children pose their own questions for investigation; tryout their own solutions; reflect on the results; and work with others in socially competent ways. In the children’s dynamic interplay between time, space and materials at the sensory table, the children demonstrate just how capable they are of complex scientific thinking.

Session Five: Inquisitive Learners Require Curious and Passionate Teachers

Dr. Diane Kashin and Cindy Green

Having a strong image of children and educators as competent and capable, invites us to reflect on the impact that we have on children’s capacities for learning through play and inquiry. This session will highlight the role that professional vision has on cultivating and sustaining our own passion, so we can partake in the co-construction of joyful and playful indoor and outdoor play for all children.

Session Six: Cultivating Curious Teachers: The Role of Documentation

Susan Stacey

What role does Documentation play in your setting? How does Documentation support your curiosity about what children are doing, why, and how we might respond? When we raise questions through our documentation of children’s work, and try to answer those questions through our classroom practices, we are stepping into the role of researcher – an exciting place to be!! In this presentation, we will see and reflect upon several types of documentation, and think about how they support our growth as teachers and our curiosity about children’s ideas and thinking.

Session Seven: Curiosity and Expressing Meaning: Young Children, Visual Arts, and Understanding

Debi Keyte-Hartland

In my presentation I will be looking at how curiosity is a powerful motivator for learning and the ways in which young children communicate and express their curiosity through the visual arts. This has implications on the ways in which educators cultivate generative contexts for curious minds to express what they discover about the world.

Session Eight: Understanding Children's Perspectives: The View from the Door

Sandra Duncan

How do you effectively transition children from the outside world into the classroom world? One idea is to improve children's view from the classroom door by creating entryways that not only welcome but entice children to excitedly cross the threshold.

Session Nine: The 100 Languages of the Teachers: Connecting Reggio-Inspired Philosophy with the Bigger Picture

Rick Ellis

In this discussion, the speaker will attempt to show teachers how the mindset behind Reggio-inspired instruction has been around since the time of Plato and through the ages. By looking at other voices and then back to the work of Reggio, we can weave a tapestry of like-minded individuals who over the years have echoed the importance of how best to work with children. Hopefully teachers will come away with some new thoughts but also to be validated in the work they are currently doing. The purpose behind attending a lecture or taking a course is to answer some of the questions of the students, but more importantly, sending them away with 100 more questions! Bibliographic resources will also be made available to any interested attendees.

Session Ten: Learning from the Bumps in the Road: Turning potholes into grand possibilities

Holly Elissa Bruno

We all hit bumps in our road. As we choose “the path less traveled by”, we can’t always see what lies ahead. When we trip, what matters is how we pick ourselves up, learn, grow and make things right. Bumps can be painful; failure can be devastating. But, without trying and failing, how can we learn? Let’s practice strategies to help us regain our footing, reclaim our confidence, rekindle our joy and humor, and turn potholes into grand opportunities.

Session Eleven: What if Everybody Understood Child Development?

Rae Pica

This presentation explores the possibilities for children’s lives and education if teachers, parents, and policymakers fully comprehended child development. What changes would occur in schools and homes? How would it affect you? Rae invites you to join her in imagining a brand new world in which the unique and magical period of childhood is understood and valued.

Session Twelve: Considering the layers of inquiry-based learning: Transforming education practice

Joanne Babalis

Inquiry-based learning is an approach to teaching and learning that values the process of what emerges with students over the product that is predetermined by the educators. Learn about the layers of inquiry that include: positive relationships (the image of the child, image of the adult, image of the family, communication, trust) time, space, materials, listening, planning, and documenting. These layers, when considered and applied together, allow for an inquiry project to unfold more organically.

Session Thirteen: Woodworking! Real Tools & Experiences for Our Youngest Learners

Lynnette Arthur

Young children can handle real tools. Woodwork provides a unique learning experience for young children. It enriches many areas of learning and development and it’s an activity in which children can be empowered. Children are seen as capable, respected and trusted to use real tools. Woodworking builds children's confidence and self-sufficiency, and also utilizes creativity and problem solving skills. As children explore with tools and wood, they are using gross and fine motor skills. They are also building self-esteem and creating a sense of accomplishment. Watch and be inspired by these 3 & 4 year-olds in action!

Session Fourteen: How to create a culture of innovation, risk taking and collaboration

Chanie Wilschanski

We want to empower our teachers to take initiative

  • We want teachers who take ownership
  • We all want to be able to follow up and create accountability
  • We want teachers who share our vision
  • In this training you will learn the roadmap to get there.
  • This will include the strategies and mindset that work with your personality, skill set and where you are already.

Session Fifteen: Finding the Spark: Bringing Passion and Intentionality into the Planning Process

Susan MacDonald

This lively and engaging workshop will help you discover new ways of finding inspiration for developing a child-centered curriculum. You will be introduced to a four-step process that will help you create a curriculum that is deeply reflective of the children’s interests. You will also be encouraged to bring your own passions and hobbies into the curriculum to enrich the learning experiences you create. And, you’ll also receive a resource list and sample planning forms at this important workshop.

How This Online Conference Works


Grab an iced tea, settle into your favorite chair–fire up your computer, iPad, or laptop. Participating in this conference is that easy! You have lifetime access to all sessions!


Every session has a specially crafted action pack so you can take the best of the session and put into action in your own teaching practice.


15 Sessions will be released the week of July 10. Three sessions a day will be available. Watch them the day they are released OR at your convenience.


So no worries!


All you have to do is make a reflective comment on each session, and we will honor your learning with a personalized certificate.

  • Early Childhood Educators
  • PreK-2nd Grade Classroom Teachers
  • Directors
  • Trainers
  • Consultants
  • Administrators

-Registration is closed-

Very inspiring conference. It was amazing and I loved attending at my own pace. I intended to do the conference over a few weeks, but once I got started, I could not stop. Thank you!!!!!


All I can say is THANK YOU this has helped to reignite my joy in the work i do.


I loved everything about this experience! It was very convenient to do this at home on my one pace. It’s wonderful to have it for life to look back on and pull ideas and get refreshed from. So many great resources! Every teacher/presenter was extremely passionate and brought very useful/helpful/inspirating information to us.



This was my first online conference experience and I would highly suggest it to my colleagues. I also really appreciate the option to be able to re-visit the sessions, especially when I am preparing to incorporate an idea or project.


What a wonderful conference!! Thank you so much. This was my first online conference. There were many inspiring presentations. I am looking forward to implementing many of the Reggio ideas into my classroom!


This has been a wonderful journey of new discoveries and support for current practice. I have enjoyed all of the presentations and look forward to the next conference.


Conference Group Enrollment (3 participants or more)

Group rates are 20% discount off the total enrollment fee for your group.

Please email the following information, and we will send you an invoice for the conference:

  • Total number in group.
  • Names of participants and their emails

Email sally@fairydustteaching.com

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