Early Childhood Educator's Summer Institute

The Early Childhood Educator's Summer Institute is held at Castleton every summer. If you are an early childhood or primary teacher, a special educator, home visitor or related service/CIS personnel, then this Institute is for you!

The Institute consists of sixteen sessions for those who wish to attend the institute only, and sixteen hybrid courses for those who wish to extend their learning. The courses are designed to deepen practice, meet child care professional development requirements, and contribute to early childhood or elementary educator licensing competencies and/or renewal of educator licenses and endorsements. These 3-credit courses are a component of the Vermont Early Childhood Educator’s Institute at Castleton University, developed by the Vermont Higher-Education- Early Childhood Consortium. All courses are aligned with the Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) and the Vermont Guiding Principles for Full Participation of Each and Every Child. Both are central to a shared vision for young children in Vermont in the years from birth through Grade 3. Courses may be taken for graduate or undergraduate credit or count toward required professional development hours. Participants looking to add the credit option will attend all four days of the session they choose and complete additional assignments.

The Institute takes place at Castleton University from Monday, July 23 through Thursday, July 26 from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm each day. Some sessions taken for credit require pre-reading as well as online work after the Institute ends. Required texts are not included in the session tuition.

Pricing

Pricing for the Institute is as follows:

Institute only $175
Institute + 3-credit session $550

The cost of the institute includes continental breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack each day (Monday - Thursday). Information on financial assistance is available

Lodging is available in University residence halls (dormitories). Bed and bath linens are included.

Prices for these accommodations are as follows:

3-Night Stay (includes Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights)*
Single Occupancy $141
Double Occupancy $111
4-Night Stay (includes Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights)*
Single Occupancy $188
Double Occupancy $148

*Please note: A key deposit of $40 (cash or check only) is required upon arrival. Deposit is refunded when key and card are returned.

For more information on the Institute or corresponding courses, please contact Cheryl Mitchell

For more information on the registration for either the Institute or sessions, please contact Bethany Sprague.

For more information on lodging, please contact Brigette Olson


Session Information

Select a session title to read the description. You will be asked to make a session selection when registering.

Infants & Toddlers Legal and Financial Issues in Early Childhood and After School Programs
STEM in the Early Years Therapeutic Work with Young Children in Classroom Settings
Professional Portfolio Development for Early Childhood Educators Autism Spectrum Disorder: Stimulating Language, Social Communication, and Social Emotional Learning
Balanced Classrooms: Brain-based Teaching for Social and Emotional Competence: Grad k to 3rd Building Blocks for Literacy
Building Peaceful Communities through Nature-based Learning and STEM Education Strategies Cultivating Joy and Wonder: Farm and Agricultural Experiences for Young Children
Soy Bilingüe Seminar: Language, Culture, and Young Children Early Childhood Special Education: Behavior Management Strategies
Early Literacy: Critical Instruction for Primary Grades Engaging Families and Communities
Implementation Science in Early Childhood Intervention Supporting Children through Trauma, Poverty, and Adversity

Infants & Toddlers

Session Title Infants & Toddlers
Instructor Laura Butler, M.S.
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C47
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS14

Session Description: This session provides an overview of the development and education of infants and toddlers and will emphasize relationships as the basis for learning and growth during this critical stage. The session will emphasize the important role of families and communities in infant and toddler development. The session will emphasize the diverse social contexts in which early care and education for infants and toddlers exists. Additionally, the session will explore the socioeconomic and political issues and challenges that families and caregivers face related to quality, accessibility to, and affordability of high-quality care and education programming for infants and toddlers.

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Legal and Financial Issues in Early Childhood

Session Title Legal and Financial Issues in Early Childhood and After School Programs
Instructor Lori Harris, M.S.
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C51
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS19

Session Description: This session is designed to provide an in-depth study of the fiscal and legal implications practiced by early care and education center directors. The focus is placed on facility operation and management, legal, ethical, financial, and personnel issues associated with early childhood and school-age care professionals as well as those who are seeking to become program directors.

This session fulfills a requirement of Step 2 of Vermont’s Early Childhood and Afterschool Program Director Credential. This session was included in the Institute in 2016.

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STEM in the Early Years: Engaging Children in Ongoing, Hands-On Investigations

Session Title STEM in the Early Years: Engaging Children in Ongoing, Hands-On Investigations
Instructor Sally Anderson
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C54
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS24

Session Description: Educators will investigate ways STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) provides opportunities for children to extend their natural curiosity while providing them with direct experiences with hands-on STEM learning materials, events and ideas imperative for later learning.

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Therapeutic Work with Young Children in Classroom Settings

Session Title Therapeutic Work with Young Children in Classroom Settings
Instructor Anne Wallace, M.S.W. & Howard Russell, M.A., M.Ed.
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C53
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS23

Session Description: This session will explore ways of providing therapeutic and/or healing opportunities in classroom settings for young children who, for either internal or environmental reasons, struggle in their relationships with the people in their world.

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Professional Portfolio Development for Early Childhood Educators: An Accelerated Model

Session Title Professional Portfolio Development for Early Childhood Educators: An Accelerated Model
Instructor Susan Torncello, M.Ed. & Heather Duhamel, M.Ed.
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C46
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS13

Session Description: The session will guide students’ understanding of all requirements of the Vermont Agency of Education’s Peer Review Portfolio process and support their writing and documentation of Early Childhood Competencies and Vermont Core Teaching Standards, as well as a student teaching equivalency. Enrolled students must be eligible to meet criteria for acceptance into Peer Review, including a B.S. or B.A. degree and passing Praxis Core (or equivalent) scores.

*Students must enroll in a Peer Review Clinic by September 1. Candidates for Peer Review may not apply to the AOE until they have attended a clinic and have passing Praxis scores.

The session will primarily focus on the Vermont Core Teaching Standards and Early Childhood Education Competencies. Assignments will be correlated to the essay writing expectations of Part I, II, III of the Core Teaching Standards Portfolio, ECE Competencies (Birth-PreK and K-3) and Code of Professional Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct for Vermont Educators. Student teaching equivalency support (up to 13 weeks) will be embedded in the session for those needing to fulfill that requirement. A licensed teacher will support the students in constructing standards-based lesson plans (including a required unit of study), developmentally appropriate, child-centered practices, and the implementation of multiple assessment formats/work sampling. Session instructors/mentors will provide video tutorials to scaffold the students’ Portfolio videotaping requirement. There will be ongoing feedback on writing as students continue to refine their Portfolios.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder: Stimulating Language, Social Communication, and Social Emotional Learning from Birth through Third Grade

Session Title Autism Spectrum Disorder: Stimulating Language, Social Communication, and Social Emotional Learning from Birth through Third Grade
Instructor Laura Bonazinga Bouyea, M.S., CCC-SLP
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C57
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS28

Session Description: Etiology, diagnostic considerations and theoretical underpinnings for the developmental impairments exhibited across: Language, Social Relatedness and Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors and Interest will be addressed. Evaluation and practical application of emerging and established evidence-based practices for treating ASD will be discussed. Additionally, practical applications for supporting social-emotional learning and managing interfering behaviors will be targeted.

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Balanced Classrooms: Brain-based Teaching for Social and Emotional Competence, Grade K to 3rd

Session Title Balanced Classrooms: Brain-based Teaching for Social and Emotional Competence, Grade K to 3rd
Instructor Sara Forward, LICSW
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C48
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS15

Session Description: This session aligns with the social and emotional learning component of the Vermont Education Learning Standards and will provide an overview of neuro-psychological development for young children and explore how developmental history including adverse childhood experiences affect a child’s physiology and brain function and a student’s ability to attend and learn in traditional classroom settings. This session will review current neuroscience and developmental psychology texts, examine critically the implications of latest research on best teaching practices, and explore evidence-based strategies for increasing classroom inclusion of all children, especially those who have experienced adverse childhood experiences.

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Building Blocks for Literacy®

Session Title Building Blocks for Literacy®
  Brenda Buzzel, M.Ed.
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C13
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS21

Session Description: BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY® is an undergraduate/graduate session for early care and education providers, including pre-school and kindergarten teachers enrolled in higher education early childhood degree programs. The session provides a conceptual understanding of the research-based components necessary to deliver effective language learning opportunities in early care and education/Pre-K settings to assure literacy success. This session is aligned with the Vermont Early Learning Standards, integrating play-based strategies to demonstrate scaffolding skills within each key concept. Participants will become familiar with ongoing evidence-based practices that integrate current research with family and professional wisdom and values. Participants will learn how language acquisition, phonological awareness, shared book reading and the speech to print connection help children to build early literacy skills. They will also learn how to deliver these developmentally appropriate learning opportunities in a variety of settings, including individual (1:1), small group/large group, and teacher or child-directed free play.

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Building Peaceful Communities through Nature-based Learning and STEM Education Strategies

Session Title Building Peaceful Communities through Nature-based Learning and STEM Education Strategies
Instructor Jen Brown, M.Ed.; Joanne Pye, M.A.; Emily Pals, M.S.; Dee Smith; Simon Jorgenson, Ph.D.; Lisa Purcell
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C49
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS16

Session Description: In this session, we’ll focus on how children make sense of and connect with their world and with each other through nature-based play and learning and through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We’ll discuss what STEM is, how it is connected to nature-based play, and what it all means to our teaching practice. We’ll explore ways early childhood educators can nurture young learners by giving children opportunities to: be outdoors, explore, play, make observations using all of their senses, ask questions, collaborate, communicate, and be responsible for their own behavior and learning. We will be outside a good deal during this session, rain or shine. In addition to the four-day institute, participants taking the session for credit will be expected to attend at least one of the follow-up Saturday sessions and complete additional readings and a final paper.

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Cultivating Joy and Wonder: Farm and Agricultural Experiences for Young Children

Session Title Cultivating Joy and Wonder: Farm and Agricultural Experiences for Young Children
Instructor Suzanne Young & Jed Norris, M.Ed.
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C01
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS20

Session Description: A week-long exploration of hands-on activities, shared learning, and facilitated discussions to engage and inspire curriculum for early learners. The session will be framed in the context of research on experiential learning and reflection.

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Soy Bilingüe Seminar: Language, Culture, and Young Children

Session Title Soy Bilingüe Seminar: Language, Culture, and Young Children
Instructor Sharon Cronin & Cecilia Espinosa
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C56
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS27

Session Description: This Soy Bilingüe Seminar is designed to provide a framework for teaching children whose primary language is one other than English as well as teaching a second language to English speaking children. It will cover relevant theoretical and practical information related to bilingual early childhood and elementary education methods with a goal of the development of cultural competence and respect for learners growing up in a bilingual world. The emphasis is on the development of a language plan, selecting options for organizing language usage (time, schedule, teacher, or classroom-based models) and responding to the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of children and their families in curriculum planning. The natural process of acculturation (or cultural transmission) through song-games will be a central component of this class. Participants will learn various Latino folkloric dances, songs, song-games, finger-plays, lullabies, and rhythms. Expect regular demonstrations, high-level interactions, and opportunities to practice in simulations, presentations, and role-plays.

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Early Childhood Special Education: Behavior Management Strategies

Session Title Early Childhood Special Education: Behavior Management Strategies
Instructor Leigh-Ann L. Brown, Ph.D.
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C50
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS17

Session Description: This session will provide Early Childhood Educators with the skills necessary to address the behavioral needs of young children. By exploring the function and communicative intent of behavior and practicing data collection procedures, educators will be able to implement positive behavior support strategies in homes and in their classrooms that demonstrate an awareness of culturally and age-appropriate behavioral expectations and rules. Emphasis will be on collaboration with students, families, and staff to determine proactive strategies for supporting positive behavior at home and in the classroom. Specific attention will be placed on the following Recommended Practices of the Division for Early Childhood as related to assessment, environment, family, instruction, and interaction.

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Early Literacy: Critical Instruction for Primary Grades

Session Title Early Literacy: Critical Instruction for Primary Grades
Instructor Janet B. Steward
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C12
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS18

Session Description: T.I.M.E. for Teachers™ Foundational Literacy Skills provides a conceptual understanding of how children learn to read and the elements of effective reading and spelling instruction. This session draws on current research, developmental models, and practical teaching strategies and activities to help teachers understand students' evolving insights into the workings of our alphabetic system. Participants will gain an awareness of the power and usefulness of explicit, systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonology, phonics, and morphology. Participants will also leave this session understanding how the English language works and how teachers can foster literacy for all learners. Knowing how our language works is the key to delivering quality reading and spelling instruction.

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Engaging Families and Communities

Session Title Engaging Families and Communities
Instructor Deb Gass
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C55
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS25

Session Description: Students in this session will become competent at: initial engagement with families, sustaining the partnership for the benefit of children, problem-solving when concerns arise (either from the family or staff perspective) and transferring our learning to other families. We will review current research on family engagement, emerging best practice, and the growing consensus about critical staff characteristics. We will discuss and practice the creation of community support networks for families, and the role we serve as advocates for policy changes.

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Implementation Science in Early Childhood Intervention

Session Title Implementation Science in Early Childhood Intervention
Instructor Dr. Lori Erbrederis Meyer & Christine Spence
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C14
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS26

Session Description: Personnel who serve children with or at risk for disabilities and their families through services provided by Early Intervention (Part C) and Early Childhood Special Education programs (Part B, Section 619; hereafter collectively referred to as Early Childhood Intervention [ECI]) are responsible for implementing recommended and evidence-based practices (EBPs) that support positive outcomes for children and families. However, there are many barriers to using EBPs in local and statewide ECI systems. This session will focus on increasing the quantity and quality of ECI practitioners who can meet the diverse needs of children and families by increasing their knowledge of evidence-based strategies for addressing barriers to implementing EBPs in home and school-based settings. Through session readings, activities, guest speakers, presentations, and discussions, students will become knowledgeable of implementation science and learn key elements of evidence-based professional development activities and coaching interventions. These knowledge, skills, and abilities will allow students to develop into critical consumers of ECI quality improvement initiatives, personnel development systems and also leaders within their own ECI program and statewide systems to guide their learning along with the development of colleagues, families, and children with whom they work with.

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Supporting Children through Trauma, Poverty, and Adversity

Session Title Supporting Children through Trauma, Poverty, and Adversity
Instructor Ben Williams, Ed.D.
Credits 3
Course Numbers Graduate: EDU 5515 C52
Undergraduate: EDU 4710 CFS22

Session Description: Childhood poverty rates soared to new heights in the wake of the 2008 recession. A decade later current figures still show more than 15.5 million U.S. children living at or below the poverty line. Vermont’s childhood poverty levels are no less alarming at nearly one in four children in some districts. The Trauma of Poverty session explores impacts of long-term high poverty on children focusing on new findings about learning, behavior and social-emotional development. Emerging understandings of the brain and brain function provide new perspectives on the impact of poverty and toxic levels of stress on children and their development. This research provides a new lens for teachers and those working closely with student/participants. These findings often challenge conventional perspectives and methods of working with learning and behavior issues.

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