2011 Annual Symposium

The 13th Annual Early Childhood Symposium will held on June 21-22 2011 at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center, 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, Utah

Writing for Classrom Teachers 

For more information and registration materials, please call (435) 797-8629 or send an email to eejcenter@cc.usu.edu The cost is $175 or $255 (2 University Credits). View Brochure

Speaker Presentations:


Presentation (PDF) 
Handout Pages (PDF)

Writing in the Primary Grades: What Do We Know and How Can We Use It?
This interactive presentation is designed to provide participants with a clear and thorough overview of current research related to writing instruction in the primary grades. Initially we will discuss the development of early writing, and we will explore how problems with specific skills can impact the quality of students’ writing. We will also describe empirically-supported instruction and examine how these practices can be incorporated into the curriculum. Questions of how to assess writing in the primary grades will be discussed using examples drawn from current research.

David L. Coker, Jr. is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware and teaches courses on writing and reading instruction. Dr. Coker’s research focuses on issues that are central to the effort to advance writing research and to improve writing instruction in schools that serve lowincome students. These topics include writing development, early writing assessment, and effective approaches to writing instruction. He has published articles in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Exceptional Children, and The Harvard Education Review among others.

Coker, D. (2007). Writing instruction for young children: Methods targeting the multiple demands that writers face, pg. 101-118. In S. Graham, C. A. MacArthur & J. Fitzerald (Eds.), Best Practices in Writing Instruction. New York: Guilford Press.


Presentation (PDF)
Handout Pages (PDF) 

Rooted in Writing: Building a K-3 Spiraled Writing Curriculum in School
Kids today find writing to be one of the difficult tasks in school. Have you ever felt overwhelmed trying to incorporate a schoolwide writing curriculum within your school that meets the needs of all learners? This session will explore strategies and best practices for teaching writing that hook kids and keep them writing. Participants will learn that the teaching of writing can be both rewarding and engaging for all involved.

Melinda received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at Ball State University in 1988 and her Master’s Degree in 1998 at Nova University in Tampa, FL. She taught elementary school for 14 years with most of her teaching experiences in Florida Title One Schools. Her career began as a classroom teacher and then she became a writing specialist which afforded her the opportunity to help create a school-wide, kindergarten through fifth grade, writing special curriculum. High student achievement on Florida’s FCAT writing test inspired her vision to share her program’s success with other teachers.

During the 2000 school year, Melinda authored her first book, WriteReflections™, Volume One which included the framework for this unique color-coded writing program. WriteRefelctions™, Volume Two was published in 2002 and is a K-5 expository and narrative writing curriculum. She continued the WriteReflections™ curriculum by adding a Jr. and Sr. High component. Currently, she is developing PowerPoint presentations for all of her elementary lessons.