Thursday General Session Keynote

7:45am – 9:00am

“Teach Like a PIRATE”
Dave Burgess, Award-Winning Teacher, Author, Engagement Expert
Grades Pre-K-3

Join New York Times best-selling author Dave Burgess for a high-energy, entertaining, and inspirational program that will transform the way you look at your role as an educator.  Learn how to dramatically increase student engagement, design wildly creative lessons, and build a course that is a life-changing experience for your students.

Using a unique combination of magic and humor, Dave will reignite your passion for the education profession and show you exactly how to make school an amazing place that has students wanting to knock down the walls to get in.

“Teach Like a PIRATE” has sparked a full-scale revolution in the educational world and has inspired teachers from all over the globe to achieve new levels of excellence in their schools and classrooms.  This program is your chance to experience the one-of-a-kind presentational style of unbelievable intensity and outrageous energy that has transfixed audiences at packed venues across the nation.

Thursday Breakout Sessions Round A

9:30am – 10:35am


Session Descriptions Coming Soon!

Author’s Luncheon

10:55 am – 12:10 pm (Separate Fee, Includes Meal and Speaker)

Bruce Lansky, Children’s Author


Thursday Breakout Sessions Round B

10:55 am – 12:10 pm

Thursday Breakout Sessions Round C

2:30pm – 3:45pm

21. “Passionate about the Outdoors?”
Deanna Sheehan and Susan Jonn, Ambrose Family Center, Webster Groves School District

Are you passionate about the outdoors? Would you like to connect with nature and have a purpose when you head outside? If so, come learn how to make the outdoors a meaningful place to learn with children. The benefits of being outdoors are endless: sensory input, increased activity levels, and empathy, just to name a few. One of Deanna and Susan’s many inspirations at Ambrose Family Center is Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods. His research explores the importance of young children connecting to nature and eliminating what he calls “Nature-Deficit Disorder.” The presenters blog daily and document their students’ outdoor learning through Teaching Strategies Gold (aligned with MELS and Project Construct). This documentation is reflected upon during planning time, ensuring the learning is driven by the children, with the teachers there to facilitate, question, and provide provocations to further the learning.

23. “Using Humor with Kids, or How Dincerella Slopped Her Dripper”
Bob Kann, Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K-1

Humor is a powerful but underutilized tool for teachers of young children. So get your funny bones ready as professional entertainer Dr. Bob Kann shares great ideas for using humor to build community, promote positive behavior, cement relationships, reduce stress, defuse tensions, and feel good. Any teacher working with kids will benefit from this session!

25. “Guided Reading: Building Literacy through Small Group Instruction”
Vanessa Levin, Early Learning Expert and Educational Consultant
Grades K-1

In this session, Vanessa shares powerful strategies for strengthening your guided reading program. Discover how to get your students excited about reading with these teacher-tested, innovative reading strategies. You’ll learn tried and true management techniques that will keep your students engaged and on-task. Provide your students with the skills they need, and watch them soar to success!

27. “Readers Theater for one (or Two): Developing Fluency with Authentic Literacy Projects”
Claudia McVicker, William Jewell College
Grades K-2

Come learn how to teach and develop fluency in young children! This workshop includes a simple definition of fluency so even the youngest new readers learn what it means to read fluently with expression and ease at a conversational pace. In this session, you will create and practice a fluency project that you can immediately implement in your classroom. A handout will be provided with other self-explanatory ideas and projects with patterns for use in the K-2 classroom. Each is research-based and is connected to the Missouri State Standards.

29. “Capture. Think. Show. Share: iMovie Across the Curriculum”
Kristin Ziemke, Author and Educational Consultant
Grades 1-3

Looking for one great app that will engage all students and transform your teaching practice?  This session will show you how iMovie provides infinite possibilities for capturing thinking and sharing learning across the grades. From reflection videos and science inquiries to book trailers and student-led app tutorials, you’ll see examples of students building comprehension skills and developing media literacy as they read, write, record and create! Join Kristin to explore iMovie and create a simple project you can share with students on Monday. Lights, camera, thinking!

22. “More Than Just Materials”
Heather Nichols and Lauren Forsyth, Ambrose Family Center, Webster Groves School District
Grades Pre-K and K

What is a provocation? Come and experience materials that are transformative, inviting, and exploratory, that provoke and expand on thoughts and ideas based on the interests of children. See and hear how the presentation of these materials can be used to enhance the environment, engage all types of learners, and strengthen the indoor/outdoor connection. Using these materials with intention and purpose will move learning forward and develop young children socially, cognitively, physically, and creatively. So, please accept Heather and Lauren’s invitation to come explore and express yourself as you learn together through these open-ended provocations! Come ready to play!

24. “S/he Hit Me First!”: Dealing with Personal Loss and Healing the Need to Get Even”
Jill Molli, Conscious Disciple Trainer, Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K-3

Take daily conflicts with children and between children (hitting, tattling, name calling) and turn these moments into opportunities to teach missing social and emotional skills. Teachers and caregivers report encountering more and more children with lowered abilities to self-regulate, tolerate frustration, and interact well with others. The amount of aggression ending in retaliation and revenge in many programs and homes is on the rise, both in quantity and intensity. In this workshop, Jill will explore the relationship between personal loss and aggression/violence/revenge in the classroom and home, and offer proactive solutions for teachers and parents to start implementing immediately.

26. “Promoting Positive Beginnings: Preparing our Youngest Learners in Math”
Beth Gregory, Missouri Western State University
Grades K-1

Math games are naturally fun and motivating, especially for the youngest mathematicians. In this “hands on” session, Beth will address how math games can be effectively used in early childhood classrooms to improve students’ understanding of number concepts and other mathematical concepts, as well as their speed solving mathematical problems. You will learn the games by playing and discussing. You will leave with a wide array of math games that you can immediately use in your classroom.

28. “Energize and Strategize Your Small Groups”
Margo Mann and Carrie Luedde, Wentzville R-IV School District
Grades K-3

It’s no secret that small group instruction is key to meeting the needs of all students in every classroom. Many teachers use guided reading small groups, but what about strategy small groups? Margo and Carrie are excited to show you how to create strong strategy small group lessons that follow a structure for success—success for student learning and success for the teacher as well (meaning, these lessons are easy to plan and responsive to student needs). You will walk away with lesson plan templates, ways to collect data, strategic instructional language, and tools to support teaching for transfer.

30. “Reading Recipe for the Write Stuff”
Julie Bryant and Colleen Shuler, Southwest Baptist University
Grades 1-3

Are you feeling as if you’re stuck in an episode of the Worst Books in America? Don’t let your next writing lesson get Chopped! Come witness Julie and Colleen’s cooking show-inspired interactive writing fun! In this session, Throw Down with Julie and Colleen as they Unwrap how to use popular and newly published children’s literature to cook up the perfect recipe for exciting your students to write like authors. In your Cut-Throat Classroom, pencils will be flying and pages will be turning as your students go head to head as writers in their very own Bookpage Wars! At the end of the day, they’ll devour their own Good Treats of writing, and you’ll be proud you helped inspire the Next Book Network Stars!