A preschool student counts using an abacus.

Join us for the Institute of Child Development's
2019 Community Symposium

Strategies for success: Early learning practices that support achievement for all students

February 8, 2019 | 8:30 a.m. to noon | McNamara Alumni Center | Cost: $25

Join Institute of Child Development (ICD) faculty and early childhood experts from ICD's Shirley G. Moore Lab School to discuss evidence-based early learning practices that can be applied in classrooms or schools to promote student learning. The event will feature presentations by subject matter experts followed by small group discussions facilitated by ICD faculty and partners.

This is a popular event! Please REGISTER early to secure your spot.

The fee to attend is $25 to cover the costs incurred by the event. A light breakfast and refreshments will be served.

Fee waivers are available for government officials. Scholarships are available for non-profit organizations serving high-need or at-risk populations. Continuing education clock hours are available upon request. Please contact ICD Chief of Staff Amy Simpson for information.

Symposium Location

McNamara Alumni Center

McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

We're thrilled to host this year's symposium at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.

Directions and parking


Opening remarks

Megan Gunnar, PhD, Regents Professor, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Director of the Institute of Child Development

Addressing the achievement gap is a priority nationwide, including in Minnesota. It's well-established that children’s experiences early in life determine whether they start school playing catch up or are ready to progress on day one. But, how do we address the educational needs of all of our young children? These opening remarks will provide an overview of the symposium, which will emphasize approaches that promote success for all children in all communities. These approaches are not one size fits all, but rather sensitive approaches to children’s unique experiences that support children’s natural enthusiasm and capacities for learning.

Preparing trauma-informed early childhood educators

Elizabeth Criswell, MEd, IMH-E®, Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator, Institute of Child Development
Marie Lister, MEd, Teaching Specialist, Shirley G. Moore Lab School
Emma Juon, MEd, Educational Services Manager, People Serving People

ICD's early childhood education program has infused trauma-informed educational principles into teacher preparation via its collaboration with People Serving People, the largest and most comprehensive shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. This presentation will highlight how the partnership has promoted the translation of research into practice and why it’s important to incorporate trauma-responsive practices into early education programs in Minnesota and beyond.

Using nature-based learning strategies

Sheila Williams Ridge, MA, Director, Shirley G. Moore Lab School
Anna Dutke, MEd, Nature Preschool Teacher, Nature Preschool Program Developer, Prior Lake Savage Area Schools

Explore the benefits of nature-based learning and hear about practices that can be applied in early learning programs to promote research-based student achievement. At the end of the presentation, attendees will participate in small group discussions about challenges and resources for fostering nature-based learning opportunities.

Teaching mathematics concepts intentionally using everyday materials

Michele Mazzocco, PhD, Professor, Institute of Child Development

Mathematical skills promote success in school, work, and daily living, and early mathematical skills help to establish a solid foundation for later mathematics achievement. This presentation will focus on the science of early mathematics, with an emphasis on the importance of supporting children’s mathematical thinking before kindergarten through everyday interactions that may foster awareness of mathematical features, conceptual understanding of mathematical principles, and a positive disposition towards being a mathematical thinker.

Expert panel with community partners

Andre Dukes, Director of Organizational Learning and Practice, Northside Achievement Zone
Tim Thorman, Director, People Serving People's Center of Excellence
Ronel Robinson, Program Director, Way to Grow

A panel made up of experts from ICD community partners will react to the morning’s presentations and answer questions from the audience.