Early Childhood Conference

Event details

  • Friday | March 6, 2020
  • 9:30 pm
  • Immanuel Lutheran Church and School 115 South Sixth Street St. Charles, MO 63301


Shout for Joy

“Sing to him a new song; Play skillfully, and shout for joy.”  Psalm 33:3

 A conference designed for those serving as early childhood educators with children from infant/toddlers to second grade. Directors, teachers, and classroom assistants will especially benefit from this professional development event.


Saturday, March 7, 2020
8:00 – 2:30

Immanuel Lutheran Church and School
115 South Sixth Street
St. Charles, Missouri 63301


7:30 – 8:00      Registration/Continental Breakfast/Exhibitors and Vendors

8:00 – 8:15      Welcome and Opening Devotion

8:15 – 9:45      Keynote: What If Today was Their Only Day?

10:00 – 11:00    Breakout Sessions “A”

11:00 – 11:45    Lunch

11:45 – 12:45    Breakout Sessions “B”

1:00 – 2:30      Keynote: The Importance of Early Experiences

2:30 – 2:45      Wrap up


Registration Fee and Deadline    $65 per person before or on February 28

Clock Hours

Conference participants receive 5 clock hours of professional development. Official Missouri Training Clock Hours are available for attending this conference. Participants requesting official training clock hours MUST sign-in during each session and provide their MOPD ID.

If you need a MOPD ID, you may obtain one by visiting


Questions and Information
If you have any questions regarding the conference or need additional information, please be sure to contact:

Cheryl Haun    chaun@zionharvester.org

Lee Wagner    lwagner@immanuelstcharles.org

Alan Freeman alan.freeman@mo.lcms.org


See Descriptions on Keynote Presentation and Breakout Sessions Below



 What if Today was Their Only Day?

Lisa Murphy, M.Ed. from Ooey Gooey, Inc.

In this motivational keynote address Lisa shares the powerful story of her first day of school. Through active and engaging storytelling Lisa brings you back to her first day, taking you on a grand tour of Miss Mary’s Nursery School. And, in the style she has become famous for, she shares many observations, lessons and anecdotes about how early childhood has changed along the way. Lisa will share the sights sounds and smells of the place where, at the young age of three, she decided to become a teacher and identifies the how, and why, that one day solidified her decision to become an educator. This inspiring keynote gets participants back in touch with their personal how and why. It gets them excited and gets them thinking: If it WAS their only day, what will they remember?

Lisa Murphy’s Bio – https://www.ooeygooey.com/about/lisa-murphy-bio/


BREAKOUT SESSION “A” 10:00 – 11:00

A1       Ooey Gooey Squishy Plop! Sensory Play for Every Day!
In addition to being a dynamic presentation of Lisa’s signature high-energy workshop, this one-of-a-kind workshop will supply you with six tables of hands-on art, science and sensory play activity ideas as well as the “wolf words” that support their use in your classroom! Participants will be invited to come up on stage and play with the experiences at the end of the demonstration.

Lisa Murphy’ Bio – https://www.ooeygooey.com/about/lisa-murphy-bio/

A2       Making Meaningful Connections
Our classrooms seem to be becoming more and more challenging with disruptive behaviors, social-emotional concerns and lack of self-regulation. Let’s talk about strategies for improving children’s behavior while forming meaningful relationships.

Elissa Beaver and Megan Deines teach three-year-old children at Immanuel Lutheran School in St. Charles.  Both are members of NAEYC and enjoy researching how to better serve children and their families. They love to share their joy of Jesus daily with their little blessings and their families.

A3       Wigglers and Blabbers
Every class has those students who don’t stay on their carpet square, roll on the floor during circle time, touch everything and put it in their mouth, won’t participate in anything where their hands might get dirty, blurt out the answers, continually talk to their neighbors, teachers or themselves.  In this session we will talk about the how’s and why’s of common behavior issues, how to document and address these issues and determine when a referral to an outside agency is appropriate.

LASE Specialized Education provides special education services to 19 schools in the St. Louis metro area.  Karen Wittmayer, Mara Springer and friends serve in a variety of roles in local Lutheran schools.

A4       Missouri’s New Speech and Language Criteria
Learn about the new speech and language eligibility guidelines and how those impact current practice.  Ideas on how interventions can be implemented and documented.

Holly Kes-House has worked for the Francis Howell School District as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 23 years.  She has worked as a diagnostician and therapist in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary. This year she has been working on informing and implementing the new speech and language eligibility guidelines in our district and with our parochial partners.

A5       STEM Playground
Nothing formal here, come get your hands on some great STEM tools you can use in your classroom. Check out Bee-Bots, WeDo Legos, Spheros, STEM boxes, and several online platforms for teaching coding.

Former preschool teacher turned technology coordinator, Amanda Helmkamp works with students and teachers on a daily basis helping to integrate technology into the classroom.

A6       Playing Along with Interactive Books
Are you ready to play with books? Come and learn about books that invite the children to physically participate and make things happen as you turn each page.  Make sure you don’t push the button!

Diane Miesner has been an early childhood teacher for 35 years in Lutheran schools, public schools and an in-home preschool. She currently teaches three-, four-, and five- year-old children at St. Andrew Preschool in Cape Girardeau, MO. Her greatest passion is sharing the love of Jesus with her little friends and their families.

 A7 The Essence of Early Childhood
EC teachers can get caught up in our planning, recording, discipline and forget the joy that is childhood.  You will come away with a few tools to help you remember what you love about teaching young children.

Julie Stanglein is a half-day teacher in a multi-age classroom at Zion, St. Charles.  She values spontaneous learning moments in nature and collect memories of adventures with natural phenomena.     

A8       Building Creativity, Skill and Confidence with Art in the Classroom
“I’m not good at art!” is a phrase frequently spoken by individuals of all ages. Unfortunately, this is even spoken by young children as they become self-aware and compare their art to those around them. This session will focus on art concepts for K-2nd grade level that are age appropriate for skill building while allowing freedom for creativity and personal expression.

Amber Maddick is a certified K-12 art teacher and has been teaching art at Lutheran High School of St. Charles Co. for thirteen years.

A9       Self-Portraits with Young Children
Participants are invited to create renderings of themselves using multiple art mediums. These art processes are appropriate for implementation in the early childhood classroom. Come ready to create!

 Megan Rouland and Andrea Lohman teach preschool at Zion Lutheran School, St. Charles. Megan loves supporting children as they design and make amazing creations, including self-portraits. Andrea enjoys observing children as they produce original work.

A10     Math in the Twos Room
This workshop will discuss how to implement math into a two-year-old classroom. There will be activity ideas as well as way to share with parents the learning happening in the classroom.

Katie Mawer has worked for St. Charles Community College for sixteen years in many capacities. She has been an infant/toddler teacher, two-year-old teacher, and now assistant director.  On the college campus of SCC she teaches Child Development 1 & 2.  She is also a Project Construct facilitator.


 BREAKOUT SESSION “B” 11:45-12:45

B1        10 Little Hot Dogs Fryin’ In the What?!?!
Fingerplay songs & chants for transition time, circle time or any time! Join Lisa in a sing-along of classic fingerplays that have withstood the test of time and others that are destined to become future favorites! Leave your inhibitions at home and come ready to sing, play, clap and shout along!

Lisa Murphy’s Bio – https://www.ooeygooey.com/about/lisa-murphy-bio/

B2        Making Meaningful Connections
See A2 for description

B3        Wigglers and Blabbers
See A3 for description

B4        Missouri’s New Speech and Language Criteria
See A4 for description

B5        STEM Playground
See A5 for description

B6        Foundational Living and Learning
How do we grow in our faith-walk with Jesus in our classrooms this year? Let’s celebrate the many teachable faith moments that we have the honor of experiencing in our early childhood classrooms with our young learners. We are so blessed and so humbled to serve as spiritual leaders in our schools! In our short time together, we will explore authentic, intentional ways to demonstrate spiritual literacy in the early childhood classroom.

Cheryl Haun has served as an early childhood teacher and/or administrator in Lutheran schools for the past 35 years. She strives to remain current in best practice in early childhood education, and to encourage and inspire her teachers to make continuous improvements in their craft. She is blessed to serve with a host of Christ-centered teachers at Zion Lutheran School.

B7        Making Math Mean More Than 1, 2, 3
Young children can often count to high numbers far before they have developed a sense of what those numbers mean. In this workshop, preschool teachers will gain an understanding of the developmental sequence involved in children learning the meaning behind the numbers as a foundation for future math skills. Participants will engage in hands-on developmentally appropriate activities and learn strategies for building math into the daily routine.

Jennifer Gauble is a career educator with expertise in environmental, science, and math education. She has a PhD in Education from UMSL and serves as Director of Teacher Education at McKendree University. Jennifer teaches courses in assessment and science education and co-leads the Ready 4 Math project focused on helping preschool teachers in rural Southern Illinois build their confidence and skills in teaching math.

 B8        All the Little Things – Using Resources to Enhance your Infant & Toddler Ministry
Resources and tools are an important aspect of your infant and toddler ministry.  Come learn about Little Lambs, Enduring Faith curriculum, The Story Bible and more available for kids, parents and teachers of infants and toddlers in the Lutheran faith.  We’ll also discuss practical ways to use them!

Stephanie DiDonato is a marketing content specialist at Concordia Publishing House with a focus on education and children’s products.

 B9        Creating Self-Portraits with Young Children
See A9 for description

B10      Books and Babies
This workshop will discuss how important it is to read to babies. It will give an overview of infant development. We will share ideas on how to make books available to Infants. And finally discuss ways to educate parents on the ways to read to Infants.

Katie Mawer – See A10 for bio



The Importance of Early Experiences: How playing IS Kindergarten readiness!

Lisa Murphy, M.Ed.

During this session, Lisa will identify the seven things we need to do with children each day. These seven things make up the foundation that supports the house of higher learning. There is nothing wrong with the “academic” expectations within this house: reading, writing, math… the trouble is that many early childhood educators are being pressured to build a house where there is no foundation. And you do not need to be an architect to know that if you build where there is no foundation, the house will come crashing down! Playing is “getting them ready” and through an investigation of each of the “seven things,” Lisa shows you how. This session has become one of Lisa Murphy’s most popular and oft requested workshops. By making time to create, move, sing, discuss, observe, read and play we are getting children ready not just for kindergarten, but for life!

Lisa Murphy’s Bio – https://www.ooeygooey.com/about/lisa-murphy-bio/