Friday AM Schedule


8 - 10 am      registration

9 - 9:30        Welcome plenary

9:30- 10:30   morning sessions

(Sessions will fill on a first-come basis)

Overcoming Parental Burnout

Description: Stress is the off switch to connecting. Disconnection leads to burnout. Burnout for parents is real. Learn strategies to identify parental burnout and solutions to transform chaos into calm. Mindful based parenting utilizes the latest research to teach how mindfulness can help families feel less stressed, more connected and happier.

Sally Arnold, Master Lecture

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A mindfulness educator and speaker, Sally Arnold has taught holistic education for over 20 years. Her background includes being a registered nurse and an educator in the fields of parenting, adoption, foster care, and mindfulness. Sally has brought mindfulness into schools teaching to students, teachers and administrators. She has piloted school programs, integrating mindfulness curriculum designed to be sustainable and year long. She is the parent of four children and has opened her heart and home to countless others in need of a safe place and a kitchen table where they can gather and share their stories.

An Experiential, Music, Movement and PLAY-Based Workshop for Grown-ups!
(bilingual: Español / English)    

Description: Biodanza ("the dance of life") is a joyful moving meditation, a practice of connecting through music and movement which relaxes the overactive mind and rational cortex, balances the nervous system, and fosters open, empathic communication. Participants will develop their capacities for self-regulation, flexibility and creativity; increase their ability to slow down and listen deeply; and experience a strengths-based approach to navigate ups and downs, bring harmony to diverse groups, and reduce burnout. This session will be given bilingually in English and Spanish. Come as you are - just bring comfortable clothing and your natural curiosity and desire to connect!
(This is a very special practice that involves trust, so we ask that participants stay for the entire session if they can - we will close doors to latecomers after 10 minutes.)

Biodanza ("la danza de la vida") es una meditación en movimiento que trae alegria, una práctica de conectar a través de la música y el movimiento que relaja la mente hiperactiva, equilibra el sistema nervioso y fomenta la comunicación empática y abierta. Los participantes desarrollarán sus capacidades de autorregulación, flexibilidad y creatividad; aumentarán su capacidad para desacelerarse y escuchar profundamente, experimentar un enfoque basado en fortalezas para navegar por altibajos, traer armonía a diversos grupos y reducir el agotamiento. Esta sesión será bilingüe en inglés y español. Le invitamos a participar, sólo necesita ropa cómoda y su curiosidad natural y deseo de conectarse.
(Esta es una práctica muy especial en la cual es importante la confianza, así que los invitamos a que se queden por toda la hora - no se permitirá la entrada después de los primeros 10 minutos.)

Clara Rubin-Smith McKie and Mirjam Krohne

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Clara Rubin-Smith McKie is a lifelong dancer and a movement teacher with a mission to make dance accessible for everyone. She first experienced Biodanza in Chile, and as a certified Biodanza Facilitator leads groups in English and Spanish with specializations in Biodanza for Children and Teenagers and Biocentric Systems for Organizations. Clara is also mother to two young children and a member of Sunset Co-op Nursery School here in San Francisco.

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Mirjam Krohne is a public school education specialist, dancer, storyteller and certified Biodanza Facilitator. She facilitates Biodanza for adults, youth and families and combines story, facilitated movement, and special education insight into playfully teaching all to reach their full potential. Mirjam also completed the Luna Dance summer program for educators which stimulated her to incorporate dance in teaching core subjects at her school.

Tell Me a Story: How and Why  

Description: Enter the experience of listening to stories that are age appropriate for adults to appreciate the sensation that your little ones experience. Learn age appropriate story forms for preschool children and techniques of learning and telling stories without a book. Explore why telling is different than reading and how to handle fears.  

Olive Hackett-Shaughnessy

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Olive Hackett-Shaughnessy is a storyteller, writer, workshop leader and curriculum consultant in San Francisco, where she has been an artist-in-residence in public and private schools since 1986. She has brought the joy and magic of storytelling to countless children and grown-ups over the past three decades, preserving and transmitting this ancient yet relevant art form through transformative and engaging live performances and high-quality recordings.

Brain in Mind - Understanding the Metacognition Movement  
(of special interest for teachers) 

Description: Todd will offer an overview of brain development and what it means for learning and thinking. He will illustrate the vital connections between physical, emotional and intellectual development in the early years and intellectual learning throughout life. Using verbal, interactive, visual and physical tools to model whole brain teaching, we will explore together how to create interactions and curriculum that serve the ultimate goal of early childhood education: the development of the mind.

Todd Wanerman


Todd Wanerman, MA lectures in Early Childhood Education at San Francisco State University and provides coaching, consulting and training to ECE programs around the country. He taught preschoolers at The Little School in San Francisco for 24 years and is the author of two books: Including One, Including All: A Guide to Relationship Based Early Childhood Inclusion, (with Leslie Roffman), and From Handprints to Hypotheses: Using the Project Approach with Toddlers and Twos.

Tiger Moms, Attachment Dads and Helicopter Parents: What Science Really Tells Us About Raising Healthy, Confident, and Independent Children  

Description: Early Childhood Matters' founder and director, Rebecca Walsh, will discuss the evolution of parenting roles and what decades of research tell us about parenting styles and child outcomes. Get answers to questions such as "How do I increase independence as my child moves into next developmental stage?" and "Are there any good alternatives to yelling, bribing and threatening to get cooperation?"

Rebecca Walsh


Early Childhood Matters' founder and director, Rebecca Walsh, is an early childhood expert and local mother of three. Rebecca's primary focus is helping parents to understand the developing brain of children, while providing strategies to establish connection and effective positive discipline tools in the early years.

Singing Games for Connection and Community Building  
(of special interest for teachers)   

Description: Singing games are a part of every culture and generation, providing opportunities for sensory integration while lifting spirits and building community. Come experience the wisdom embedded in these games to encourage healthy human development in body, soul, and spirit.

Anna Rainville

After 30 years in the classroom, Anna travels widely as a mentor and teacher. She is co-founder and director of the quarterly Kindergarten Forum and facilitates teacher renewal and integrated arts curriculum development in schools and universities nationally and internationally. Anna is the author of Singing Games for Families, Schools and Communities.

Early Language and the Growing Brain  
(of special interest for teachers)   

Description: Educators and parents will deepen their understanding of early childhood brain development as it relates to literacy. We will review the latest research on the subject and practice specific interactive classroom read aloud strategies that support early language acquisition and development.

Sara Rizik-Baer

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Currently serving as Deputy Director of Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, Sara Rizik-Baer brings over 10 years of experience working in early education and family engagement. Her holistic view of the modern, urban education landscape is informed by the multiple roles she has assumed in the field-as a family literacy specialist, professional development provider, preschool and TK literacy coach, and bilingual classroom teacher. Sara holds a Master's of Language and Literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in Comparative Literature and Hispanic Studies from Oberlin College.

Understanding What Sensory Processing Is
& Its Effect on Attention and Self–Regulation

(of special interest for teachers) 

Description: Trouble with processing sensory information is now understood as a component that contributes to problematic behavior in children. Each child is unique and this workshop will help identify signs of when a child is displaying difficulties with processing sensory input. It will also provide strategies to assist a child through calming and organizing activities to help support their success in school and with peers.

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Julia Harris

Julia Harris is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in a San Francisco based private practice. She works with children and their families one on one in the clinic, as well as school screenings and educational in-services for teachers and parents. The focus of treatment includes Gross and Fine Motor Skills, Visual Processing Functions, Sensory Processing and Self Regulation.

10:30 - 11     Break with coffee & tea

11 am -12:30 FRiday Keynote
     presented by Jovial Co-Op Management Software

Why Mindfulness Matters for Parents & Teachers

Description: You have likely heard something about the value of mindfulness – in the workplace, at home, and at school. But how do practices stemming from ancient Buddhist teachings actually impact the development of your child’s brain? How can these practices profoundly improve the relationships between parents, teachers, and children? Drawing on pioneering findings in neuroscience and psychology research, as well as powerful experiential exercises, Dr. Shapiro will show how mindfulness practices lead to positive changes in our brains and our lives, and how they can deepen the connection and compassion in our families, schools and community.

Shauna Shapiro


Shauna Shapiro, PhD is a professor, author, and internationally recognized expert in mindfulness. With twenty years of meditation experience studying in Thailand, Nepal and the West, Dr. Shapiro brings an embodied sense of mindfulness to her scientific work. She has published over 150 journal articles and chapters, and coauthored the critically acclaimed texts, The Art and Science of Mindfulness, and Mindful Discipline: A loving approach to setting limits and raising an emotionally intelligent child.