Sessions

Friday General Session Keynote

7:45am – 9:00am

“Best Day Ever: How to Create Unforgettable Learning Experiences”
Steve Spangler, Author and Science Expert
Grades Pre-K-3

Amazing teachers turn ordinary moments into unforgettable learning experiences—the kind that kids talk about at the dinner table and remember for a lifetime. The secret to being an “amazing teacher” is to learn to see the invisible possibilities in each of our children and to fill their lives with wonder. So, get ready for Steve to turbo-charge your sense of wonder, rekindle your childlike enthusiasm for learning, and show you how to use the principles of building connections and engagement to create “best day ever” moments day after day!

Friday Breakout Sessions Round D

9:30am – 10:45am

31. “ABC’s the Early Childhood Way”
Kathy Griffin, Early Learning Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K and K

Replenish your supply of student-friendly strategies for teaching phonological awareness, letter recognition, and phonics. Join Kathy as she uses puppets, music, nursery rhymes, and movement to help even your struggling learners. Your students will have so much fun playing that they won’t even realize how much they’re learning!

33. “Male Call: Bringing Boys to Books and Writing”
Michael Shoulders, Children’s Author
Grades Pre-K-3

Did you know that males receive 78% of the D’s & F’s in school and make up 80% of the dropouts? In addition, they constitute 87% of the identified special education population. Brain research by Diane Connell helps to explain why male brains tend to lag behind in learning to read and write when compared to females. In this workshop, Michael focuses on instructional strategies to support reading (literature & informational text), writing, speaking, and listening for boys. You’ll learn about “gross engrossed boys,” the importance of guy humor, and books boys will love to listen to and read, in addition to learning ways to motivate boys to write as a response to literature.

35. “Oooh! Ahhh! Awesome Science: Exploring Science through Children’s Literature”
Steve Spangler, Author and Science Expert
Grades K-2

Take home more than a dozen new ideas for connecting some of your favorite children’s literature to an assortment of eye-catching, hands-on science activities. Learn how to use elements of the storyline to teach and reinforce fundamental parts of your early childhood science curriculum. Most importantly, you’ll uncover the secrets to developing your own presentation style that will truly make children want to learn more. Come prepared to laugh a little and learn a lot!

37. “Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.™”
LaVonna Roth, Author and Educational Consultant
Grades K-3

This is a FUNshop (not just another workshop) that’s motivating, involved, and focused on how every child is gifted and talented in his or her own way. This session is all about our obligation to find, foster, and flourish those gifts so students have pride and a growth mindset. No student fits only into the boxes of reading, writing, math, and science. They’re more than that. They’re whole children! This is why LaVonna focuses on Self, Heart (passion), and how to Inspire and Navigate our journey to create the Exceptional people our students are meant to be. So, how do we meet the demands of school and testing while meeting the needs of these students? By taking a good look at how each student learns and the gifts each student brings to the table. In this FUNshop, be ready to be inspired and leave with an action plan and the desire to truly watch every child succeed!

32. “What’s My Number? Activities for Composing and Decomposing Numbers”
Donna Boucher, Math Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K-1

Mastering the combinations for the numbers to 10 is the foundation of fact fluency, but one size does not fit all. In this session, you’ll learn the importance of part/whole thinking, find out how easy it is to differentiate for student needs, and walk away with games and activities your students will love!

34. “Close Reading in the Early Grades? Sure!”
Glenda Nugent, Missouri State Council/ILA
Grades K-1

Lay the foundation for close reading and analyzing text with easy methods that early readers (and their teachers!) will love. Close reading is a recommended instructional approach to meet the challenges of teaching complex texts. Based on research and strategies from Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey, this session will identify components of close reading that are effective and easy to implement with beginning readers to prepare them for reading those more complex texts they will encounter later. Have some fun and learn some new methods for helping your students attend closely to and understand what they read.

36. “Spicing Up Guided Math Centers: A Plethora of Engaging, Active Games and Acitivites”
Tracy Kerth and John Schulte, Blue Valley School District
Grades K-2

All kids love games! Research points to the importance of games in learning and mastering math concepts. In this session, you’ll add activities that foster hands-on, active engagement of your students during guided math centers. The games and activities presented are tied directly to grade level standards and the mathematical practices. You’ll leave with a full plate of resources you can implement immediately upon returning to your classroom. Come play with Tracy and John and indulge in learning some new games to implement in your classroom!!

38. “The Writing Thief Goes on a Reading Rampage: Grades 1-3”
Ruth Culham, Writing Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades 1-3

Sharing great picture books is a joy for every teacher, regardless of the age of his or her students. However, when we look at the books through the lens of the writing traits: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions (and presentation), it’s possible to use these texts to teach students how writing works, not just reading. In this session, you’ll sample books that show strength in each of the traits and modes and you’ll learn how to use them to bring energy and enjoyment to the writing classroom right along with building skills that strengthen the work of your young writers.

39. “Creating a Community of Readers Through Conferencing”
Sarah Valter, Lindbergh School District
Grades 2-3

Are you stuck finding the time and strategies to discuss your students’ reading with them? This session will support you in developing strategies to engage in meaningful reading conferences with young readers and to support students in conferring with one another. Interactive activities will provide you with opportunities to explore a variety of options for engaging your readers in conversations about text to support and extend their literacy development. Come learn about establishing a time and structure for conferences, developing language to stretch students’ thinking, and create routines for students to talk to one another about reading. You’ll leave this session with a toolkit of strategies for reading conferences and conversations that you can integrate into your reading workshop immediately!

Author’s Luncheon

11:00am – 12:15pm (Separate Fee) or Lunch on your own.

“We Know What We Are, But Not What We May Become.”
Michael Shoulders, Children’s Author
Grades Pre-K-3

Like caterpillars, we don’t know what beautiful things life has waiting for us. Dreams come true, especially with determination and perseverance. Come and listen as Michael describes one person’s metamorphosis from educator to author.

Friday Breakout Sessions Round E

12:45pm – 2:00pm

40. “1, 2, 3….Come Explore Math With Me! Integrating Math and Literature in the Preschool Classroom”
Laura Cortner, St. Louis Archdiocese
Pre-K

Are you looking for ways to re-energize your teaching? More specifically, are you looking for ways to integrate math and literature in your preschool classroom? In this presentation, Laura will provide you with a fun way to explore and discover math and literature concepts through interactive hands-on centers based on Eric Carle and Eric Litwin books, to name a few. No need to head to Pinterest when you get home; all of the materials will be waiting for you to make and take for immediate use in your classroom!

42. “Recognizing Red Flags for Common Learning Challenges”
Kathy Griffin, Early Learning Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K-1

Recognize the red flags that indicate a child may have a learning challenge such as autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, or sensory processing disorders. Discover how to distinguish common learning challenges from immaturity or a lack of readiness. Leave with research-based strategies and skills to aid even your most challenging students.

44. “Reading Aloud: What / Why / When / How”
Michael Shoulders, Children’s Author
Grades Pre-K-3

Working-class children spend as much as 1,700 hours with books before beginning kindergarten. Welfare children spend as few as 25.  Believe it or not, even with tons of research supporting reading aloud as a vital strategy, some school districts have a “No Reading Aloud” policy for their teachers.  Attend this session and discuss with Michael the what, why, when, and how of reading aloud to children.

46. “ABC Books Build Literacy Skills”
Tamara Jo Rhomberg, Missouri State Council/ILA
Grades K-2

Alphabet books are often found on bookshelves in classrooms and homes and have long been associated with helping children learn the names and sounds of the letters of our alphabet, but ABC books are not just for babies anymore. These books build multiple literacy skills such as vocabulary, content knowledge/background knowledge, cultural awareness, language structure, and higher order thinking. Alphabet books (fictional and informational) range from simple letter identification to sharing deep content knowledge on a topic, thus providing for a wide range of instructional opportunities for diverse learners. In this session, Tamara will provide an overview of the research supporting the use of ABC books to build literacy skills, share a variety of ABC books while exploring their instructional use, and engage you in multiple strategies for using ABC books across the curriculum. You’ll leave the session with a list of ABC books and your own ABC book to get you started when you return to your classroom.

41. “The Writing Thief Goes on a Reading Rampage: Pre-K-K”
Ruth Culham, Writing Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K and K

There are so many writing models right at our fingertips: picture books, chapter books, everyday texts, and more. At this session, you’ll examine mentor texts that can be used to teach all the traits of writing and more. You’ll explore the relationship between reading and writing as you learn how to be Writing Thieves. Ruth will share lessons and activities along with new titles and excellent resources for bringing joy into your writing classroom!

43. “The ABCs of Number Sense”
Donna Boucher, Math Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K-3

Are you wondering how to incorporate all the many components of effective math instruction into your daily routine? It’s as simple as ABC! Experience a simple mnemonic device that will take your math instruction and student engagement to the next level, while incorporating the Math Process Standards.

45. “Growing Writers through Interactive Writing”
Erin Baker, Trainer, Missouri Reading Initiative
Grades K-2

Teaching writing is hard. There’s so much to teach and model for students to become writers. How do we do it and teach into the content areas? Interactive writing is the answer! In this session, you’ll discover the what, why, when, and how of interactive writing. You’ll see examples of interactive writing lessons and how interactive writing can be used to meet the literacy, math, science, and social studies Missouri Learning Standard Expectations.

47. “Give Them What They Want: What Kids Say They Want from Books”
Teri Lesesne and Karin Perry, Sam Houston State University
Grades K-3

This session has been cancelled.

48. “’Engage Me, Please… I’ve Mastered Compliance’: Empowering Your Instructional Environment (Part 1)”
LaVonna Roth, Author and Educational Consultant
Grades 1-3

It’s time to banish boredom and compliance from our classrooms! Students are immersed in a multi-faceted and fast-paced world where gaining their attention and keeping them engaged can be tough. So, how do we do it? Dynamic instruction that captivates and challenges their brains! This engaging and interactive session, based on LaVonna’s highly sought-after books, will give you the keys you need to unlock the secrets to captivating and engaging the minds of your students. Restock your toolbox with dynamic, brain-powered strategies that will ensure you reach students with diverse backgrounds, varying emotional needs, and those who are dealing with the challenges of stress and poverty. (Note: You are not required to attend Part 2 of this workshop. Each session stands on its own and offers a number of great strategies for the classroom!)

Friday Breakout Sessions Round F

2:30pm – 3:45pm

49. “Letting Go of Letter of the Week”
Shelli Lee, Lafayette County C-1 School District
Grades Pre-K and K

Research is telling us that Letter of the Week has become an ineffective technique, yet it is so hard to let go of this comfortable and familiar practice. Come and learn how to take the first step in dropping Letter of the Week and walk away with a bag full of strategies and activities to use in its place that you can implement tomorrow!

51. “Inside Recess to Learn & Play”
Christy Brown, Lebanon R-3 School District
Grades Pre-K-1

Discover simple, quick, and exciting ways to spice up your inside recess time. This session will cover how to keep your kids active and engaged in math, science, and reading, as well as social-emotional and physical activities! Experiments, yoga, large group games, craftivities and more will be covered!

53. “Singing Your Way through the Phonics Maze”
Kathy Griffin, Early Learning Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades K-1

Teaching phonics to young children can help unlock the mystery of decoding. Yet, learning all of the phonics rules and patterns can be difficult, especially for struggling learners. Come learn how to incorporate singing, movement, and technology to help teach phonics in a developmentally appropriate way that will have your students excited about learning to read.

55. “Dyslexia 101”
Noel Leif and Jennifer Edwards, Springfield Center for Dyslexia and Learning
Grades K-3

Come learn exactly what dyslexia is and discuss proposed reading legislation in Missouri. You’ll watch short video clips and participate in a dyslexia simulation that will help you understand what it feels like to students to have dyslexia. Noel and Jennifer will present appropriate classroom accommodations that you can use with your dyslexic students and will provide you with a list of frequently used parent and teacher resources. Dyslexia is not a death sentence (many famous people have been dyslexic), but it is an extremely challenging condition that teachers must be prepared to deal with. After attending this session, you’ll be much more prepared to do so!

57. “’Engage Me, Please… I’ve Mastered Compliance’: Empowering Your Instructional Environment (Part 2)”
LaVonna Roth, Educational Consultant
Grades 1-3

It’s time to banish boredom and compliance from our classrooms! Students are immersed in a multi-faceted and fast-paced world where gaining their attention and keeping them engaged can be tough. So, how do we do it? Dynamic instruction that captivates and challenges their brains! This engaging and interactive session, based on LaVonna’s highly sought-after books, will give you the keys you need to unlock the secrets to captivating and engaging the minds of your students. Restock your toolbox with dynamic, brain-powered strategies that will ensure you reach students with diverse backgrounds, varying emotional needs, and those who are dealing with the challenges of stress and poverty. (Note: This is not a repeat. This session offers more brain-compatible teaching strategies that were not covered in Part 1. You can attend either session or both.)

50. “Digging Deeper into Subitizing”
Donna Boucher, Math Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K-1

Subitizing, which means to instantly recognize small quantities, is an essential step toward moving beyond basic counting strategies. But did you realize there are actually different types of subitizing? In this session, you and Donna will walk through the progression of subitizing skills and play games you can use in your classroom.

52. “Of Course They Can Write!”
Ruth Culham, Writing Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K-2

The very first time a young writer picks up a pen or pencil to capture an idea on paper using pictures and imitations of letters and words, he or she is writing. The writing traits: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions (and presentation) are terms teachers can use with young writers right from the start. Using developmentally appropriate scoring guides to understand how early writing works, you’ll discover how easy it is to infuse the traits–all of them–into conversations and lessons about writing with young students.

54. “Dig Students Out of the Summer Reading Slump”
Julie Albee and Melanie Smith, Hannibal-LaGrange University
Grades K-2

Do you want to know how to dig your students out of the summer reading slump? Come explore Julie and Melanie’s Dig Into Reading packets for kindergarten, first, and second grade students! These packets were based on research and developed by a team of elementary, Title I, and university reading teachers. Join Julie and Melanie in experiencing the learning activities that will motivate your students to read all summer long! You’ll leave this session with a packet of research-based, copyright free, replicable resources to provide a foundation for your own summer materials to remediate or maintain your students’ reading progress.

56. “Spelling Stories: Helping Children Understand Spelling through Memorable Stories”
Jennifer Williams, Nixa School District
Grades K-3

Some students are good at spelling because they have great memories, but others seem to struggle no matter what we try. But never fear! If you understand the rules of English, spelling starts to actually make sense. Unfortunately, memorizing rules is boring and hard. Enter Spelling Stories. These are free stories that Jennifer has created to help children understand the rules in a fun and memorable way. The letters, especially the vowels, take on personalities that are similar to kids on a playground. The best thing about these stories is that they can use the same rules to help them read new words. This methodology works especially well with students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. This interactive session will help you learn and practice these stories that help spelling and word attack come alive for students!

58. “Engaging Students Using 3-Dimenional Graphic Organizers”
Libby Dierking, University of Central Missouri
Grades 2-3

Today, teachers are seeking different ways to engage all types of learners. 3-D graphic organizers are effective tools to use in your classroom because they’re interactive. In this hands-on session, Libby will teach you how to effectively use these organizers as well as give you strategies to teach your students how to create them. So bring some scissors and glue, and be prepared to get creative!