Sunday 06 June '21
Monday 07 June '21
Event for Early Childhood Conference

Early Childhood Conference


By registering on line the attendee(s) assume(s) all risks and accepts sole responsibility for any injury (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death), illness, damage, loss, claim, liability or expense, of any kind, that attendee may experience or incur in connection with attending the commencement ceremony (“event”) at Concordia University on June 6 and 7, 2021. 


Specifically relating to the global COVID-19 pandemic, attendee(s) acknowledge(s) the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assumes the risk of exposure or infection by attending the event, and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability and death. 


In addition to all other rules and regulations relating to the attendees(‘) attendance at the event, the attendee(s) agree(s) to comply with all COVID-related procedures that may be implemented by Concordia University in order to protect as much as possible the health and safety of all attendees.

If you need lodging, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Cobblestone Inn under Early Childhood Conference. Reservations must be made by May 6, 2021. Phone 402-646-1004 or 402-646-1005.

We will not be offering on-campus housing for the conference.

Health and Safety Measures will be in place to meet what will be required in June:

  • Hand sanitizing stations conveniently available in all buildings
  • All participants should wear their own face covering
  • Conference rooms and banquet areas allow for social distancing 
  • In the event this conference is canceled, all registrations will be refunded

Meet the Keynote Speakers

Patty Shukla

Children's Musician


Patty Shukla is an internationally recognized expert in educational-interactive music for children. She is watched by hundreds of millions of educators and families worldwide through her popular YouTube channel. She has developed her own music show called “Musical PE For You & Me” that is based on interactive development skills for early childhood curriculum. She is a proud parent to three children and is inspired by them daily.

Andrea Lohman

Preschool Teacher

Zion Lutheran School, St. Charles, MO


Andrea Lohman has served in Lutheran schools for 26 years as a teacher and/or as a director. She currently serves as a pre-school teacher at Zion Lutheran School in St. Charles, Missouri. As a teacher, she loves conversing with children and supporting them as they learn more about God’s world. Her greatest joy in teaching is when the children are totally engaged in listening to the Bible story for the week. During those moments, God’s presence is truly felt. She is married to Jim. They have two daughters, Kayla, who is married to Isaac, and Tessa.


Sunday, June 6

Registration and Guest House Check-in 1-3 p.m.

"Mega" Sectionals 1:30-2:45 p.m.

  1. Trauma, The Brain and The Care We Can Provide

    Thom Leadership Education Center

    Dawn Wright, Asst. Principal, Former Preschool Teacher; Lincoln Public Schools

    This session will cover topics around how trauma plays a role in our support of children. We will explore ideas and strategies you can use that help children gain the necessary skills to be okay, learn and build positive relationships. Target Audience. Pre-Primary, Primary Teachers, Administrators. Content Level: Beginning and Intermediate

  2. Building Effective Early Childhood Leaders

    Thom Leadership Education Center

    Mary M. Phillips, Dir. of Student Services, Educational Service Unit 6

    Early childhood leaders in school settings have not been exempt from the impact of legislative and statewide initiatives. This session will review those initiatives with resources to support early childhood teachers in their work and identify key elements in delivering high-quality early childhood programs in school settings. Target Audience: Pre-Primary. Teachers and Administrators. Content Level: All

  3. Place-Based Curriculum In Your Outdoor Classroom

    St. John Child Development Center

    Dr. Julie Jones-Branch, Consultant and CUNE Adjunct Professor

    Place-Based education is the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts-in all learning domains. The outdoor classroom can emphasize hands on, real world learning experiences and connect children and teachers to the natural world. This approach takes dedication from teachers to value the children’s appreciation for the outdoor environment. Teachers need to be keen observers of children’s actions in the outdoor classroom to connect and support quality learning experiences. During the workshop participants will ‘mess about’ in the natural environment to discover connections to learning opportunities in nature. As teachers we need to play and manipulate materials to ‘see’ the potential and possibilities the exploration can have for children. Participants will brainstorm resources and places that are near their programs and then be encouraged to set goals to start implementing place-based curriculum! Target Audience: Infant, Toddler, Pre-Primary and Primary Teachers. Content Level: All

Tour Dunklau 3-4 p.m.

Social 3-5:30 p.m.

Bottle Rocket Brewing Company

Bottle Rocket Meal and Keynote 6-7:30 p.m.

Bottle Rocket Brewing Company

Andrea Lohman - Kick Up Your Heels: Sharing Jesus’ Joy With Young Children

Monday, June 7 

Registration (Monday only participants) 8 a.m.

Thom Leadership Education Center Lobby

Welcome and Introduction of Keynote Speaker 8:30 a.m.

Janzow Cattle Conference Room

Morning Keynote 8:45 a.m.

Janzow Cattle Conference Room

Patty Shukla: Music, Movement and Media for the Active Learner

Break 10 a.m.

Sectionals 10:15-11:15 p.m.

Thom Leadership Education Center
Infant/Toddler Strand
  1. Responsive Caregiving for Infants and Toddlers

    Kelsey Schnoor, Childcare Director

    Utilize social and emotional skills to discipline and grow empathetic disciples of Christ. Target Audience: Infant and Toddler teachers. Content Level: Beginning

  2. Day-to-Day the Relationship Way: Developmentally Appropriate Practice for Infants and Toddlers

    Rosie Evans, Infant/Toddler Specialist, Owner/Director Evans Early Childhood Center

    A curriculum is everything a child experiences in your care; YOU are the curriculum! Infants and toddlers have their own curriculum driven by their individual development and interests. Responsive infant toddler curriculum includes relationships, routines, materials, experiences and opportunities. In this hands-on session, you will reflect about what you and babies would want during a day in childcare to help you develop a responsive curriculum. Planning to observe, observing to plan and making learning visible are the responsibilities of the caregiver in creating curriculum for infants and toddlers individually and in groups. Target Audience: Infant and Toddler Teachers. Content Level: Beginning and Intermediate

Pre-School Strand
  1. Create Opportunities for Learning in the Outdoor Classroom

    Dr. Julie Jones-Branch, Consultant and CUNE Adjunct Instructor

    Discover how to use sticks, stones, sand, and mud as curriculum tools, and explore a wide range of activities in different curriculum areas. Participants will gain confidence in supporting play-based experiences with intentional teaching strategies. Target Audience: Infant, Toddler, Preschool and Primary Teachers. Content Level: All

  2. Loose Parts and Literature: A Solid Foundation in Early Learning

    Linda Dammann, Preschool Teacher, Immanuel Lutheran Preschool & Christ Lutheran Preschool, Columbus, Nebraska

    “Loose Parts Play” has been around since dirt and sticks. In this age of technology, creative play is more important than ever. Come and explore a variety of ways to utilize this powerful teaching tool. Participants will also have the opportunity to connect children’s literature to classroom loose parts play. Target Audience: Infant, Toddler, Pre-Primary, and Primary Teachers. Content Level: Beginning and Intermediate/em>

  3. Challenging Behavior: What works? What Doesn’t work?

    Katie Zabel, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Early Childhood Coach

    What do relationships and environments have to do with challenging behavior? Answer: EVERYTHING! Explore tools and what you can do to minimize challenging behavior in your classroom and support children’s learning in the process.Target Audience: Pre-Primary Teachers. Content Level: Beginning

School Age Strand
  1. The Art of Digital Storytelling with Scratch Jr.

    Brett Meyer, Coordinator of STEM Education – Trinity Fremont

    The world of design and modeling has merged with engineering to create a demand for digital artists that is hard to fill. Scratch Jr. is a wonderful entry-level tool for young children to let their creativity run wild. Tie your lessons into engineering to help students begin to understand the world of engineering and how anything is possible. Target Audience: Primary Teachers. Content Level: Beginning

  2. Academic Readiness – What’s the Connection to Sensory and Motor Skills?

    Tiffany Wallman, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, ESU #5

    An organized and fun way for kids to develop sensory and motor skills that are foundational for reading, writing, and sitting still is through the use of a motor lab. The motor lab stations provide consistent opportunities to develop sensory and motor skills. Educators will recognize how sensory and motor skill development is essential for students to be successful in the classroom. Target Audience: Pre-Primary, Primary Teacher and Administrators. Content Level: Intermediate

  3. Seesaw in the Classroom

    Mrs. Abbie Oberhauser, 1st Grade Teacher, Seward Public Schools

    Have you ever wanted your classroom to work like a community? Do you want parents to understand what students are learning and have an inside view of your classroom? What if you could engage students with a single app? Can you connect technology with your current curriculum? Join me to learn how to do all of these things using Seesaw! Target Audience Pre-Primary and Primary Teachers. Content level: Beginning and Intermediate

Monday Morning Mega Sectional 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

  1. Telling the Most Important Stories

    Andrea Lohman, Preschool Teacher

    The Holy Spirit fills the space; the stage is set; the props are ready; the story is told. In those moments children are drawn in to hear the wonderful story of God’s great love for them. During this sectional attendees will learn some strategies for creating this storytelling environment. Target Audience: All

  2. Tips for Using Teaching Strategies GOLD

    Heide Weber, Early Childhood Special Educator

    New to GOLD? Overwhelmed by objectives and documentation? Join us for this sectional, to learn tips and tricks to make data collection using Teaching Strategies GOLD work for you! Participants will have the opportunity to explore different tools on GOLD, develop ideas on how to merge other ways of data/documentation collection into GOLD, and discover new ways to make GOLD user-friendly for you! Target Audience: Infant, Toddler and Pre-Primary Teachers. Content Level: Beginning

  3. What Is Coaching and Is It for Me?

    Gina Defreece, MA, Early Learning Connection-Coach Consultant

    What is coaching? Come discover how coaching is different than consulting, mentoring, or other technical assistance models. We will share 5 key coaching strategies that support ongoing learning when working with providers, teachers, directors, and parents. Target Audience: All. Content Level: Beginning and Intermediate

Lunch on your own or pre-purchased box lunch 12:45-1:20 p.m.

Boxed lunch includes sandwich, chips, fruit and bottled water.

Monday Afternoon Sectionals Time (e.g. 1-3 p.m. whatever)

  1. Creating A World of Wonder

    Kelsey Schnoor, Childcare Director

    Creating a safe and fun environment for infants can be tricky. Find out how to be creative in designing spaces that are stimulating and are conducive to early learning goals. Target Audience: Infant and Toddler Teachers. Content Level: Beginning and Intermediate

  2. Social and Emotional Learning in Early Childhood; the Building Blocks of Critical Regulatory Skills for the Developing Child

    Dr. Thad Warren, Professor and Chair of Human and Social Science Department; Concordia University, Nebraska

    With an ever more anxious and reactive society, children are often not catching the skills that help them to be able to best manage themselves socially and emotionally. This creates for these children an anxiety and stress that impacts their perception of self and others. Often they internalize this and find it holding them back from being successful in many facets of their lives. This workshop is designed to better understand the critical importance of social emotional learning and how to coach/partner with children as they form strong regulatory skills for the future. Topics of brain development, social & emotional learning and practical skill development will be explored. Target Audience: Pre-Primary, Primary Teacher and Administrators. Content Level: Beginning and Intermediate

  3. Day-to-Day the Relationship Way: Developmentally Appropriate Practice for Infants and Toddlers (See Infant/Toddler Strand #3)
  4. Loose Parts and Literature: A Solid Foundation in Early Learning (See Pre-School Strand #2)
  5. The Art of Digital Storytelling with Scratch Jr. (See School Age Strand #1)
  6. Academic Readiness – What’s the Connection to Sensory and Motor Skills? (See School Age Strand #2)

Break 2:15 p.m.

Final Keynote 2:45-4 p.m.

Janzow Cattle Conference Room

Patty Shukla - Jump, Wiggle and Hop in the Classroom



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