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Annual Symposium


Teaching Young Writers in K-3 Grades

June 28-29, 2016
Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel
150 West 500 South, Salt Lake City, UT

Click here for more information or to register.

June 28, 2016

Dr. Nell Duke

Write Here Write Now: High-Quality Writing Instruction K to 3
High-quality writing instruction is important from the earliest days of schooling. In this presentation, Dr. Duke will share markers of quality in primary-grade writing instruction, with concrete examples from a range of classrooms. She will share an approach you can use to plan writing projects that not only includes research-supported practices, but is also highly engaging for young children.

June 29, 2016

Dr. Cynthia Puranik

What Teachers Need to Know About Supporting Early Writing
Writing is a challenging activity for most school-age children as noted from children’s performance on national assessments. In this presentation, Dr. Puranik will provide an overview of the importance of transcription skills in the development of writing and then focus on how teachers can support writing for young, beginning writers.

Teaching English Language Learners Successfully in an Era of the Common Core ELA Standards in K-3 Grades

June 9-10, 2015
Ogden Eccles Conference Center
2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, UT

MaryEllen Vogt
Meeting the Language and Literacy Needs of the English Learners: The Common Core and Beyond

With the Common Core and WIDA Standards, and the ACCESS and SAGE, what’s a teacher of English learners to do? In this workshop, we will explore second language acquisition, the WIDA Standards, and the instructional implications for English learners in Grades K-3. We will also delve into how to provide effective, proven, and appropriate language, literacy, and content instruction for English learners (and other students), through the SIOP Mode.

Lindsay Young
Practice Makes progress: A Practical Approach for Implementation in the Diverse Common Core Classroom

Planning lessons based on WIDA and Common Core Standards is just the first step. How do we actually put these plans into action and how do we maintain momentum in language development that goes deeper into concepts and critical thinking, especially for the earliest learners? In this session new will explore practical approaches for guiding teachers in making focused decisions that impact student learning. A variety of current, lesson examples from real K-5 classrooms will be shared. There will be opportunities to participate in rich discussion about how to get teachers back to creating innovative lessons that depend students’ critical thinking processes, not just for the days’ lesson, but for a lifetime.

Teaching the Utah Common Core ELA Standards in K-3 Grades

June 24-25, 2014
Ogden Eccles Conference Center
2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, UT

To register and for more information click here.

June 24, 2014

Doug Fisher

Close Reading and Text-Dependent Questions

This presentation will provide an overview on attending to the information presented in the text, while recognizing assumptions, background knowledge, and biases held by the reader, helps the reader deeply understand that which is being read. Close reading is an instructional approach that teaches students to engage in all of these behaviors. As part of close reading, students encounter a text and read that text several times, often for different purposes and based on different questions. As part of close reading, teachers and students ask questions of the text. Some questions can be answered without having read the text; others require a deeper understanding and evidence from the text. In this session, we focus on questions that require repeated close readings in order to be answered. These questions include general understandings, key details, vocabulary and text structure, author’s purpose, inferences, and opinions and arguments.

Learning Outcomes for Participants: 1) Identify the major components of close reading, 2) Describe the differences between close reading in elementary and secondary schools, and 3) Differentiate between questions that do, and do not, require evidence from the text.

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College having been an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, the Farmer award for excellence in writing from the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design as well as books, such as Better Learning Through Structured Teaching, Common Core English Language Arts in a PLC at Work and Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading. He can be reached at dfisher@mail.sdsu.edu.

June 25, 2014

Maureen McLaughlin

Integrating the Utah Common Core ELA Standards in Grades K-3

The focus of this presentation is integrating the Utah Common Core ELA Standards, including Foundational Skills, in grades K–3. A sound theoretical framework and numerous practical ideas for creating Utah Common Core-based, rich instructional tasks are featured. The teaching ideas are designed to address multiple Standards and integrate various types of text. Examples of K–3 students work are featured throughout the session, which is designed for the active engagement of participants.

Maureen McLaughlin is a professor of reading education and chairperson of the Reading Department at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. She earned her doctorate at Boston University in reading and language development. Prior to her tenure at the University, Maureen spent fifteen years as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, and department chair in a public school system.

Meeting the Challenge of the English Language Arts Utah Common Core Standards

June 26-27, 2013
Ogden Eccles Conference Center
2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, UT


June 26, 2013

Elfrieda (Freddy) Hiebert

Why Teachers Need Multiple Sources of Information About a Text's Complexity

This presentation shows why all of the ways of measuring a text’s complexit—readability and guided reading levels, qualitative features, and reader-task elements—are essential, if teachers are to provide the instruction that guides students up the Common Core’s staircase of text complexity.

Elfrieda (Freddy) H. Hiebert is President and CEO of TextProject, Inc., a not-for-profit aimed at increasing student-reading levels through appropriate texts. She is also a research associate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Hiebert received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked in the field of early reading acquisition for over 40 years, first as a teacher’s aide, teacher of primary-level students in central California and, subsequently, as a teacher educator and researcher at the Universities of Kentucky, Colorado-Boulder, Michigan, and California-Berkeley.

PowerPoint Presentation: Text Complexity in Reading and Writing: Understanding the Critical Role of Vocabulary

June 27, 2013

Steve Graham

Writing More Sophisticated Text

This presentation will provide an overview of Evidence Based Writing Practices and then focus on strategy instruction for producing more sophisticated text and sentence-combining for producing more sophisticated sentences within such texts.

Steve Graham is the Warner Endowed Chair Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. His research focuses on identifying factors that contribute to writing development and writing difficulties, developing and validating effective instructional procedures for teaching writing, and the use of technology to enhance writing performance. He is the past editor of Exceptional Children and Contemporary Educational Psychology. He is a current editor for the Journal of Writing Research, the author of the Handbook of Writing Research, Handbook of Learning Disabilities (Volume 2), Writing Better, Best Practices in Writing Instruction, Making the Writing Process Work, and Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Click here for more information

2012 Response to Intervention

The 14th Annual Early Childhood Symposium will be on RTI – Response to Intervention. The symposium will be held on June 19-20, 2012 at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center.

This year’s presenters will be: Dr. Charles Greenwood and Rachel Brown-Chidsey.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dr. Charles R. Greenwood

Dr. Charles R. Greenwood is a professor of Applied Behavioral Science, Senior Scientist in the Life Span Institute, and Director of the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project (JGCP) at the University of Kansas. He holds the PhD. in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah. He is the author of over 100 scholarly articles and books related to education and special education. Dr. Greenwood is nationally known for his expertise in developing and evaluating innovative instructional intervention procedures. His most recent work has been in early intervention and preschool programs in homes, classrooms, and communities of at-risk children and families. His interests also extend to measurements that have relevance to teachers and other caregivers making instructional intervention decisions, including direct observation and formative evaluation. He is the recipient of the American Psychological Associations Division 25 Fred Keller Award for his contributions to the field of education. Under his leadership, the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project received the Council for Exceptional Children’s Research Award. In 2009 he received the Irvin Youngberg Research Achievement Award in the Applied Sciences at the University of Kansas, its highest award for research.

Presentation: Response to Intervention (RTI) in Early Childhood: What is it; Why do it?
We increasingly understand that school readiness and learning to read in elementary school are advanced and supported by the language and early literacy skills that children learn prior to kindergarten. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss what we are learning about RTI in early intervention and early childhood general and special education. Implications for early education and early intervention research practice are discussed.

Click here for his PowerPoint that was presented at the symposium.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dr. Rachel Brown-Chidsey

Dr. Rachel Brown-Chidsey is an Associate Professor of School Psychology at the University of Southern Maine. She was born and raised in Alaska and she taught general and special education for ten years before earning her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2000. She is the author of numerous articles and books related to evidence-based instructional practices and Response to Intervention (RTI). Dr. Brown-Chidsey is licensed to practice psychology in Alaska and Main and is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She is married with one daughter and splits her time between Alaska and Maine.

Presentation: Tiers Without Tears: Implementing RTI with Success
We increasingly understand that school readiness and learning to read in elementary school are advanced and supported by the language and early literacy skills that children learn prior to kindergarten. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss what we are learning about RTI in early intervention and early childhood general and special education. Implications for early education and early intervention research practice are discussed.

Click here for her PowerPoint that was presented at the symposium.