WAEYC Conference
Washington Association for the Education of Young Children
Call Us at (360)922-0045
Office hours vary. Please email to schedule a registration appointment by phone.

Friday FC Sessions - 3:30pm - 5:00pm

FC04: 10 Reasons Why Your Classroom Should be Singing! By Jocelyn Manzanarez, Musically Minded 


Singing is an effective way to create a learning environment that is fun and engaging. Yet, few teachers are taking advantage of this age-old practice! This interactive session will explore why singing provides an easy way to teach basic skills, promote positive behavior and foster community. Participants will be reminded of songs from their past as well as lots and lots of new tunes to add to their repertoire. Let’s discover what road blocks may be keeping you from implementing this simple strategy that works!

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth and Development

Who Should Attend: Child Care Center | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) | Parents/Relatives | Family, Friend, Neighbor & Relative Care Giver | Family Resource Coordinators | Home Visitors | Therapists - PTs, OTs, SLPs

This session has a $10 materials fee, and participants will receive Cd or digital download of songs from training.

FC05: Mindfulness and Yoga in the Classroom, Angela Blums, Pierce College


Are you interested in learning more about mindfulness and self-regulation? The purpose of this session will be to learn about how mindfulness techniques and yoga practices are beneficial to young children, and will include simple strategies that teachers can use to incorporate mindfulness and yoga in the classroom. There is abundant research to support that mindfulness techniques benefit children’s cognitive and emotional development. Research has shown that even a few minutes of breathing exercises per day can improve children’s self-regulation, which in turn, can lead to later academic success as well as give the child tools to manage emotions during difficult situations. Many teachers are interested in incorporating mindfulness into their classrooms, but aren’t sure where to start! The presenters of this session will provide fun, hands-on strategies for incorporating mindfulness techniques and yoga into classrooms with children aged 3 to 8 years. This session is appropriate for all levels of experience.

About the presenter: Angela Blums, PhD, is a professor in the Early Childhood Education department at Pierce College. Her area of expertise is cognitive development and math and science learning. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for more than 15 years.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth and Development

Who Should Attend: ALL

FC06: How To Become A State Approved Trainer, Maria Joyner, Department of Early Learning


This session will serve as an informational presentation on the State Approved Trainer application process including changes to the process that have been implemented this year. Time will also be given for current trainers and providers to ask questions about navigating the MERIT system.

About the presenter: Maria Joyner is a Professional educator and Professional Development Specialist with the Department of Early Learning in Olympia, Washington. Maria holds degrees in Education and Fine Arts from the University of Washington and the University of North Texas. Maria has fifteen years’ experience delivering instruction to adults in the Higher Education setting and has spent 8 years in the K-12 system. She has served on the faculties of Pacific Lutheran University, Saint Martin’s University, and Pierce College. At DEL Maria manages the State Approved Trainer process and provides customer service and outreach with professional development records and training in MERIT.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Professional Development and Leadership

Who Should Attend: ALL

FC07: Sprouting Simple Change, by Zsofia Pasztor and Marlen Boivin, Farmer Frog


When children and families grow food for themselves, they sow the seeds of positive living. School gardens and community pocket farms provide the perfect outdoor classroom for science, art and math, for appreciating nature and being helpful to others. Join in the conversation with non-profit Farmer Frog, for providing hands-on learning to nurture communities. Hand-up programs, school gardens, and hands-on learning create a safe and healthy community.

About the presenter: Zsofia Pasztor is the founder and one of the co-executive directors of the non-profit organizations, Farmer Frog and she teaches restoration horticulture, urban agriculture, aquaponics, and low impact development.. She trains professionals about sustainable site management, small scale integrated agriculture, community development and natural resource conservation.

She is an author of the book Rain Garden for the Pacific Northwest, an award winning landscape designer, certified Blue Economy consultant, Caring Economy consultant, Low-Impact-Development (LID) designer and construction consultant, professional horticulturist, permaculture designer, Filtrexx designer, commercial urban agriculturist, tree risk assessor, and arborist.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Community Who Should Attend: ALL

FC08: Providing a Solution to Future Teacher Workforce: Applied BA Degree in ECE, by Melissa Matczak, Yakima Valley College 


Washington State professional development stakeholders have been working diligently to ensure that early childhood educators are well trained and ready for the classroom-- on day one. Responding to the needs of their communities, Community and Technical Colleges are making it a priority to provide Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification through an Applied Baccalaureate Degree Programs in Teacher Education (BAS). Their efforts focus on addressing the teacher shortage, diversifying the current teacher workforce, and serving geographically isolated school districts through collaboration and innovation.

About the presenter: Melissa Matczak is an education and early childhood professor with Yakima Valley College. Her academic experience spans over 20 years working in education as an elementary teacher, early childhood program designer, and Chair of Early Childhood Education. Her focus is to increase student success in Education and Early Childhood education through effective teacher preparation. In 2016, the State recognized her work has a model of excellence for other community college program that serve Spanish speaking providers in early childhood. In addition to her work in Hispanic serving institutions and Agencies, Melissa is a dedicated educator focused on helping all students achieve their academic success through innovative pathways addressing the persistent achievement gaps in our State.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Professional Development and Leadership

Who Should Attend: Leadership/Administrators | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) | P-3 Educators | K-12 Educators | Adult Educators

FC09: Cultivating Curiosity: How Embracing the Notion that Behavior has Meaning Can Transform Interactions, by Lisa Mennet, Cooper House


Young children can say and do things that can be mysterious, frustrating and seem to “come out of nowhere.” In this presentation, we’ll go over some the cognitive and emotional milestones that children face in their early years, and learn how their ways of making sense of their world can seem confusing to us but make perfect sense--from their perspective. We’ll also discuss how early attachment experiences, safety, trauma and emotional regulation all affect children’s behavior, and how our increased knowledge of these factors can help us understand children more deeply and connect to them more meaningfully. Finally, we’ll discuss how our conversations with parents can inform our work, and support the parent in being successful. These concepts are all foundational for taking and Infant Mental Health-informed perspective to early care.

About the presenter: isa Mennet, PhD, LMHC is the Clinical Director at Cooper House, a clinic that provides Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Occupational Therapy services for children birth-5, and their caregivers. She began her clinical career at Ryther Child Center, then studied at the Center on Infant Mental Health at the UW, and was later a clinical instructor there. She’s taught infant mental health principles at the UW schools of Social Work and Nursing, and for the Washington DSHS. She has a certificate in child psychoanalytic psychotherapy from SPSI, and a doctorate in Infant Mental Health from UW. Her particular area of interest is the impact of trauma on early relationships. In addition to working directly with young children and their families, Lisa provides reflective consultation and supervision to professionals who work with this population.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Child Growth and Development

Who Should Attend: Child Care Center | Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program (ECEAP) | Parents/Relatives | Family, Friend, Neighbor & Relative Care Giver | Family Resource Coordinators | Home Visitors | Therapists - PTs, OTs, SLPs | Interested Professionals

FC10: Beyond Growth Mindset: Using a Coaching Model to Bring out Children’s Greatness, by Tracy Cutchlow, Zero to Five

Children act according to who they believe they are. How can we keep them in touch with their strengths, even in challenging moments? This perspective -shifting talk will describe children’s three healthy needs for growth: connection, experience, and power. This lens allows us to easily look for a child’s underlying need in the moment and help the child meet that need in a way that’s OK with us. Such an approach avoids power struggles, de- escalates challenging behavior, and takes our own heightened emotion out of the picture. We’ll talk about how to use three simple coaching steps, called Language of Listening®, to create a relationship where children feel seen and heard, are redirected in a way that truly meets their need, and regularly get proof that they have the many strengths you know they have.

About the presenter: Tracy Cutchlow is the author of “Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science” and the editor of “Brain Rules” and “Brain Rules for Baby.” She reaches thousands of parents and educators with her writing on parenting, which has appeared in publications from the Huffington Post to the Washington Post. She is on the board of the Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS). Her book, “Zero to Five,” is used by pediatricians, support -group facilitators, home visitors, childcare providers, and parents for its approachable, easy- to- use format. She lives in Seattle with her husband and 5-year-old daughter.

WA State Early Learning Core Competency: Interactions


Who Should Attend: Interested Professionals | ALL