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Previous Workshops and Conferences

Kim Adsit

Creating Confident Writers

May 7, 2022


We learned how to begin the writer's workshop, learning how to get our kids writing and to take ownership. We learned about mini-lessons that put the children in charge. 

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Deedee Wills

Science of Reading

April 9, 2022

Deedee provided us with valuable resources, lesson plans and activities to help enhance the effectiveness of our teaching and better overall classroom environments. Deedee walked us through aspects of the science of reading and offered ideas for instructional modification.  

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Nancy Rygiel & Matthew Pask

Embedding Literacy in Math

March 16, 2022

Nancy and Matt taught us to use literature as a tool to help children learn Mathematics.  We explored great literature for young learners in which math is embedded. We were also given activities related to these books for our students to use. 

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Abigail Peterson

Literacy Stations Made Meaningful and Fun!

March 5, 2022

Abigail taught us how to get literacy stations up and running quickly and effectively so they would be meaningful practice for our little learners. She also gave us a plethora of ideas to keep them going all year long. 

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Jeff Williamson

Exploring Mentor Texts in the

Early Childhood Classroom

Part 2

February 16, 2022

Jeff continued our exploration into new and old children's literature that lends itself to the creative experience in reading, writing and other areas of the curriculum. Emphasis was on addressing the content standards, as well as social emotional learning. 

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Jennifer LaRocque

Exploring Our Beautiful Diverse

World Through Play and Books

February 5, 2022

Jennifer taught us how to integrate culturally responsive teaching naturally, throughout the curriculum, without adding more into an already busy school day.  She also taught us why culturally responsive teaching is important, how it can impact learning and brain function. Jennifer shared ideas on how she incorporates global awareness in her kindergarten classroom through student-led play and exploration. She discussed how to incorporate 'windows, mirrors and sliding glass doors' through books, play centers and STEM challenges.

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Amy Garner

Understanding Dyslexia and

Other Reading Disabilities

January 22, 2022

Amy taught us how we can identify and help those struggling readers in the early years of school. She gave us an understanding of dyslexia and other reading disabilities, explaining the causes for these difficulties and the signs of dyslexia. She also gave us instructional strategies that would help us support the struggling readers within our classrooms. 

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Mary Amoson

Integrating Science and Social Studies

January 8, 2022

Mary replenished our supply of fresh ideas and hands-on activities for making science content and social studies topics meaningful to our little learners. We learned how to integrate multiple content areas into science and social studies while making learning fun for our classes through STEM activities, art projects and games. 

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Jeff Williamson

Exploring Mentor Texts in the Early Childhood Classroom Part 1

December 4, 2021 


Jeff had us explore new and old children's literature that lent itself to creative experience in reading, writing and other areas of the curriclum. Emphasis was placed upon addressing the content standards, as well as social emotional learning. 

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Hillary Statum

Fun with Fairy Tales

November 13, 2021

Hillary worked with us to teach these popular  stories with a purpose. She paired each book with an engaging standard-driven activity. She also showed us how to use digital fairy tales and comprehension questions with our young students. 

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Kimberly Jordano

Retelling Strategies That Stick!

October 23, 2021


Retelling is a great comprehension strategy. Kim introduced strategies that got our students sequencing, retelling and presenting popular fairy tales, old time favorite books and new popular books. 

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Peggy Campbell Rush

Classroom Management, Executive Functioning, Success for Struggling Learners,

On-line remote learners

October 2, 2021


Peggy gave us a smorgasboard of ideas and classroom management skills to use for struggling learners, and even remote learners. 

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* Dr. Frank J.Sileo - January 21, 2021: Using Mindfulness Practices with Students and Yourself 

* Amy Garner - January 23, 2021: Phonological Awareness, Phonemic Awareness, and Phonics

* Amy Garner - February 6, 2021:  Infusing Phonics in Your Language Arts Block

* Kindlyne Vilcant-Barthelemy Behaviorist/Case Manager - February 24, 2021: Mental Health and Challenging

           Behaviors  with Young Children 

* Matthew Pask and Nancy Rygiel - March 11, 2021: Mindset, Let's Keep Positive

* Dr. Frank Sileo - March 25, 2021:  Kids and Adults Coping in the United States of America

* Amy Garner - April 17, 2021: Embedding Explicit Reading Comprehension Strategies into Daily Practice

* Travis Gale, Eyes of the Wild - April 22, 2021:  Making Sense of the Natural World

* Amy Garner - May 1, 2021: Enhancing Students Writing Using Multi-sensory Technique

* Jeff Williamson - August 26, 2021: Strategies to help children, parents and teachers emerge as readers and


Jeff Williamson
December 1, 2018
Jeff never ceases to amaze us with the wealth of his knowledge.  This workshop focused on literature, and brought to life old classics as well as new readers.  He inspires us with new and exciting ways to make literature come alive for our students as meet all the state standards for reading and writing.

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Greg Smedley-Warren of the

Kindergarten Smorgasboard

October 20, 2018

Once again, Greg captivated a sold out conference,

with his knowledge and expertise. 

He is engaging, funny, and his presentations revitalize us to engage

with our students in new and stimulating ways.


Mary Ann DeSapio

"The Brain, the Body, the Joy in Learning -- Part 2” 

Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Middlesex County Workshop

Winnie-the-Pooh is helping a child learn points to tap for EFT to release stress.  Stress shuts down learning so this is one way to help alleviate it.  Some schools are using this school wide.

This is a mat used to walk the figure 8, which aids in the body crossing the midline. Figure 8's can also be small on a mat where the child can trace it, even with a toy car.  It can be waved in the air. All aid in 

crossing the midline. The body needs to make an "x" so the brain makes an "x."  This is necessary for full learning and performance in all we do.

Up and at 'em instead of stationery worksheets at your seat.  Each person marks a time they choose on their wristwatch. With their recording sheet, they find the person to match that number and write down their time. Fun way to reinforce telling and writing "time" in no time at all!  Instant engagement for all!

The live vegetable garden is "learning on your feet, not in your seat" about identification and parts of plants we eat. We need to move or we compromise the way we learn.  This activity uses all our senses - the optimal way to learn.

Jeff Williamson

Comprehension Connections

Taking a Bite out of Math

March 10, 2018

What a fabulous workshop last Saturday with Jeff Williamson.

As usual, Jeff had many thoughts and ideas to share with us. Saturday's workshop centered on math and reading comprehension curriculum and we came away inspired and enthused. We also learned that Jeff is retiring this year from public school. We wish him well in his 'new' life choice - spending more time teaching us!

We can't wait to see him again!

Reading Strategies That Work

Nancy Rygiel & Matt Pask

October 18, 2018

Reading workshop with Nancy and Matt showed us how to use running records, and gave hints of ways to make them easier (for those of us who already use them). Also lots of ideas of technology to help with reading in our classrooms. These were just two of the areas covered in Thursday's workshop, along with information to help us, help our students be more successful.

Peggy Campbell Rush

October 7, 2017

It was a great conference and a great Saturday with Peggy Campbell-Rush!

She shared her expertise, knowledge, and kept teachers awake

and wanting more!

Thanks Peggy for a wonderful presentation!

MaryAnn DeSapio

 September 19, 2017

What a wonderful workshop with MaryAnn DeSapio.

We learned about taking care of our bodies and in turn,

taking care of those precious ones in our care.

Lots of ideas to help our students learn, such as ideas to

cross the mid-line, which is so important to our students brain health.

Thank you MaryAnn for an inspiring morning!

Marsha McGuire

August 1, 2017

Differentiated Instruction 

There were so many kinesthetic and sensory curriculum ideas

to incorporate into our classrooms to stimulate

our children's brains and bodies.

Dr. Alice Christie


April 1, 2017

presented an enlightening, empowering, and relevant workshop on

how technology can enhance teaching and learning

"Extend Your Five Senses"

March 2, 2017
Wondergy creates and delivers interactive science for the young child.
Presenter Ken Fink, President of Wondergy Harnessing the Power of Curiosity


Author Workshop 

January 12, 2017

What a wonderful workshop we had with our authors. Listening to these authors tell us a little bit about themselves, how they got started, a bit about their books, we were inspired for our children to become the best authors they can be. Maybe even inspired ourselves to write a book! 
Over 70 teachers attended this event to hear: Jef Czekaj (Cat Secrets, Oink-a-Doodle-Moo); Kevin O'Connell (Abecedarium Automobilium); Traci Dunham (The Oyster's Secret, and Nothing to Fear from the Park, my Dear); and Roseanne Kurstedt (And I thought About You).

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November 5, 2016

What a fantastic conference with Greg Smedley-Warren on Saturday!

So many great ideas and Greg is such an inspiring speaker.

It's hard to know where to begin to recap our day with him.

Math strategies, art (LOVE the Directed art drawings), classroom management ideas.... the time flew by and we were sad that our day with Greg had to end.

Share one positive thing happening in your classroom or school each day to your social media accounts using this hashtag.


October 20, 2016

UCAKE (Union County Association of Kindergarten Educators) The math strategies workshop was a big success. Some favorite ideas were a colored coded 1 - 100 chart, color coded number line to 20, Common Core information, and lots of 10 frame ideas. Thank you Matt Pask and Nancy Rygiel for presenting for us. We had 80 teachers in attendance.

John Farrell Workshop
May 2016

Mary Amoson Conference

On Saturday, April 9, 2016, NJAKE hosted their Spring Conference with Mary Amoson at the Holiday Inn Carteret.  Mary Amoson is a kindergarten teacher, where she enthusiastically uses technology to engage her active students.  Mary loves sharing her ideas, activities, and tools that have worked with her own kindergartners.  

Mary has her own blog:  She is committed to instilling passion in teachers because she believes that passion is truly the secret to increasing learning and achievement. And that is what she did at our Spring Conference on Saturday.  Mary presented three wonderful sessions.  The sessions focused on Science with some STEM ideas/activities, Learning Sight Words, and Games Galore. 

It was a special morning because we learned many new exciting activities, learned new technology apps & sites, and made new friendships.  Many door prizes were given away by our presenter, Mary Amoson, NJAKE, and our many vendors.  A special thank you to all of them for their generous contributions.  Also, a very special thank you to our NJAKE members who spent their Saturday with us.  We had a lot of fun and learned many new exciting things. 

Mary Amoson
Executive Board members with Mary
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