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2017 Teaching Kindergarten: Afternoon Workshops

Upon registration, you will be asked to select one afternoon workshop to attend. See descriptions and facilitator bios below.

  • 4. The Essential Role of Trips in the Kindergarten Curriculum

    This workshop will show how simple trips into the school’s immediate neighborhood can spark children’s imaginations, engender questions and the desire to explore and discover, and link children to each other, their teachers, and the social and physical world around them. In essence, the presentation will show how purposeful and well-planned simple trips can vitalize and deepen a child’s—and teacher’s—experience of the curriculum.

    Facilitator: Dr. Salvatore Vascellaro is on the graduate faculty at Bank Street College and teaches courses in curriculum in early childhood education, block building and dramatic play, and children’s literature. In his role, he also consults in New York City schools with teachers, administrators, and families and oversees the fieldwork of student teachers. Salvatore has experience teaching ages three through eleven in Head Start, daycare, and elementary schools and is the author of Out of the Classroom and into the World (The New Press, 2011). He earned his doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University.

  • 6. Finding the Courage to Bring Kindness and Compassion Back to the Garden

    For too long now, the values of kindness and compassion in the classroom have been pushed aside by a focus on academic achievement. In this workshop, by examining the stories of three teachers at different stages of their teaching cycle, we will explore how to develop and support the social-emotional skills of kindergarteners, how to advocate for a kind and compassionate learning community, and how to work with administrators and policy makers to bring kindness and caring back into the garden.


    Kelly D’Addona is in her fourth year of teaching in the Baltimore City Public Schools, where she currently teaches kindergarten. She holds a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Delaware, where she student taught in Laura Morris’s classroom in the UD Early Childhood Laboratory School. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in educational leadership from Johns Hopkins University. In the book, Teaching Kindergarten: Learner-Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century, Kelly co-authored the chapter, “Courage in Kindergarten: Facing our Wolves” with Laura Morris and Cynthia Paris.

    Laura Morris is currently a master teacher in the University of Delaware (UD) Early Childhood Laboratory School. She has over 28 years of teaching experience in general and special education, eight of which were in kindergarten settings. For the past 14 years, Laura has been a teacher educator for preservice and in-service teachers. She has worked closely with members of the UD Early Childhood Education faculty to develop and pilot methods to enhance early childhood teacher preparation.

    Dr. Cynthia Paris taught kindergarten for nine years in public schools and in the University of Delaware (UD) Early Childhood Laboratory School. She is currently Associate Professor of Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Director of the UD Early Childhood Laboratory School. Cynthia is author of Teacher Agency and Curriculum-Making in Classrooms, Learning to Write Differently (Teachers College Press, 1993) and has also authored articles and chapters on early childhood education and teacher development.

  • 7. Friendship, Fear, Fairness, and Fantasy at Five: What Makes Vivian Paley’s Kindergarten Vision So Stubbornly Relevant in All Settings? **Workshop full**

    Most kindergarten teachers agree with author and educator Vivian Paley’s view that, below the academic curriculum, five-year-olds actively struggle to manage the four Great “F’s” in school: the desire for friends, the fear of being overwhelmed, the quest for fairness, and the need to wrap it all in fantasy. This workshop examines Paley’s proposition to ask how we can help children explore these developmental essentials through play, story writing and acting, and fair teaching.

    Facilitator: Dr. Patricia M. (“Patsy”) Cooper is an associate professor and Director of Early Childhood Education at Queens College, CUNY. A frequent presenter and professional developer, Patsy’s work in teacher education is informed by her past experiences as a kindergarten teacher and early childhood school head. She is also founding director of the School Literacy and Culture Project at Rice University, which works directly with classroom teachers on the implementation of Paley’s work and related language and literacy curricula. Patsy is the author of many publications on Paley’s significance to the early childhood teaching community. Her book, The Classrooms All Young Children Need: Lesson in Teaching from Vivian Paley (University Of Chicago Press, 2011), won the AERA Exemplary Research in 2010 in Teaching and Teacher Education. In addition, Patsy writes on other issues of effective teaching in early childhood, from teaching multiculturally to children’s literature. From 2012-2015, Patsy served as editor of the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.

  • 8. How Curiosity Drives an Investigation: The Wheelchair Study and the Aviation Project **Workshop full**

    In this workshop, presenters will share two studies—a Wheelchair Study and an Aviation Project—that illustrate how an inquiry-based curriculum supports children’s natural curiosity and interests and integrates many opportunities for children to use reading, writing, and mathematics in their explorations. Each study’s path was driven by the passions of a group of children, who became co-constructors of the investigation. Together, participants will review the CCSS for kindergarten to discover how these two inquiry projects not only met, but surpassed expectations for five-year-olds.


    Dana Roth has been teaching for 14 years, 13 of which were spent as a kindergarten teacher at P.S. 10 in Brooklyn, NY. She is co-author of “Saim's Wheelchair: Making a Transportation Study Meaningful”, Chapter 4 of the recently published Teaching Kindergarten: Learner-Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century (Teachers College Press, 2015). She has led workshops in New York City on “Inquiry-Based Choice Time” and "The Importance of Play," as well as international teacher training sessions in Ghana and Bolivia. She holds a BS in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Annotation and an MS in Childhood Education and Special Education.

    Renée Dinnerstein has nearly 50 years of experience as an early childhood educator in Italy and in the United States. She was a member of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Early Childhood Reading think tank, has worked as an early childhood staff developer for the New York City Department of Education, and received the Bank Street Early Childhood Teacher award in 2000. She is currently working as an independent early childhood consultant and presents workshops and keynote addresses nationally. Renée also has a blog, Investigating Choice Time: Inquiry, Exploration and Play, and is co-author of “Saim's Wheelchair: Making a Transportation Study Meaningful”, Chapter 4 of Teaching Kindergarten: Learner-Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century (Teachers College Press, 2015). In addition, Renée has a recently published book, Choice Time: How to Deepen Learning Through Inquiry and Play, PreK-2 (Heinemann, 2016).

  • 11. Literacy and Art, Building the Bridge **Workshop full**

    This hands-on workshop will focus on the relationship between literacy and art by building a bridge that can support, scaffold, and connect the early literacy process and skills needed on the road to becoming a reader. Stages of literacy development in kindergarten will be addressed as well as the CCSS.

    Facilitator: Denise Prince has worked in the field of education for over 20 years in a number of capacities, including as director of a childcare center for homeless families; citywide program planner for the Department of Mental Health Early Intervention Program; staff developer; Carnegie researcher for Teachers for a New Era; and consultant to a number of early childhood programs and agencies. She is co-author of A Bridge: The Art Literacy Connection. Denise is currently director of a Bank Street College’s Early Childhood Leadership program and holds an MSEd in Educational Leadership from Bank Street.

  • 13. From Read-aloud to Retelling: Planting a Story Garden in Kindergarten **Workshop full**

    Storyteller and children's book author Nina Jaffe uses her book, The Golden Flower: A Taino Myth from Puerto Rico/La flor de oro: Un mito taino de Puerto Rico (Arte Publico Press, 2005), to share techniques for storytelling and read-aloud in the kindergarten classroom. Using songs, chants, rhythms, and musical instruments, participants learn how build an inclusive, joyful, multilingual community.

    Facilitator: Nina Jaffe is an award-winning author and storyteller who uses world folklore as themes in many of her books. Some of these works include Patakin: World Tales of Drums and Drummers (2001), Tales for the Seventh Day: A Collection of Sabbath Stories (2000), and the anthology, The Cow of No Color: Riddle Stories and Justice Tales from Around the World, among others. Nina is on the faculty of Bank Street College, where she is currently project coordinator of FEAST: Folklore Education and Storytelling for Teachers. She holds an MSEd from Bank Street College in Bilingual Special Education. 

  • 16. What's New in Children's Books for the Kindergarten Classroom?

    This interactive session explores trade books that are especially relevant in today’s world. Diversity, cultural sensitivity, environmental issues, and social justice are some of the themes highlighted in this workshop. This is an opportunity to find new favorites to add to your classroom book collections. Considerations are in place for various entry points for readers.

    Facilitator: Dr. Mollie Welsh Kruger is a faculty member in the Reading and Literacy Program and Co-Chair of the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College. Previously, Mollie was a New York City public school teacher for 18 years. Her academic interests include children’s literature, students’ funds of knowledge, the arts in education, and urban education. Recently, she has been working with NYC librarians, speaking with school communities about literacy practices, and delving into outstanding picture books with the Irma Black Award committee. Mollie holds an EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University.

  • 17. Working with English Language Learners in Kindergarten

    This workshop provides teachers working with English Language Learners with tools and structures to support children’s mastery of a new language. Participants will learn how songs, rhymes, chants, and a carefully designed classroom environment can support children to become confident risk takers in learning a second language. Teachers will learn the stages of language acquisition as well as routines that allow children to transfer knowledge from one language to the other with ease.


    Tatiana Rosa is a Dual Language /Bilingual Early Childhood General and Special Education teacher at PS 513: The Castle Bridge School in New York City, where she has taught pre-K for the past four years. She also taught in a TESOL kindergarten program in Brazil before moving to New York City. Tatiana earned her MSEd from Bank Street College in Dual Language/Bilingual Early Childhood General and Special Education.

    Antonia Bendezu is a Dual Language, ICT, Special Education Teacher at PS 513: The Castle Bridge School in New York City and is also an adjunct instructor in Bank Street College’s early childhood master’s program. She has taught early childhood through third grade in both dual and monolingual settings. Antonia has also served on the Progressive Educators Network (PEN) and presented at the Wonder of Learning: Reggio Emilia Conference in 2015. She holds an MSEd in Dual Language/Bilingual Early Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College.

  • 18. Block Building Basics: Making the Most of Your Block Area
    In this hands-on workshop, new and veteran teachers will discover how to make the block area a place of greater innovation, communication, and community building within the kindergarten classroom. We will begin by exploring how to create a space that works for every builder by sharing routines that ensure a safe and productive building experience for all and troubleshooting the inevitable social issues that arise in any busy, active place for early learning. Wear comfortable clothes—we will be building together!

    Facilitator: Rebecca Burdett has been an early childhood educator for 34 years in both public and private schools in New York’s Hudson Valley. She currently teaches kindergarten in the New Paltz Central School District and is a teaching consultant for the Hudson Valley Writing Project, where she presents on topics such as emergent literacy, block play, and place-based nature studies for young children. Her chapter, “They Thanked the Bear; Then they Ate the Bear: an Integrated Block-Based Curriculum,” appears in the book, Teaching Kindergarten: Learner Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century (Teachers College Press, 2015).