Conference Workshop Sessions

Changing Futures – One Child At A Time 

Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery
Reading Recovery® & Early Literacy Conference – Workshop Sessions with handouts!

 Dr. Jan Richardson – Zooming in on Comprehension

Zooming in on comprehension presentation


The Language of Coding: Using Unplugged and Plugged Opportunities in the Early Years presentation slides

In this session, educators will have the opportunity to explore unplugged and plugged coding experiences connected to the global competencies, such as communication & critical thinking and problem solving.  These opportunities further develop young learners ability to increase vocabulary (i.e., directional words), sequencing, retelling, reading code (i.e., code blocks), and connecting to various picture books!

Presenters: Melissa Seco and Laura Collins, Teachers, Toronto District School Board

What Can We Write About That?

Clay (2016) tells us that “Writing is as much about composing as it is about recording. Composing has to be learned.”  How do we help children to compose – to go from ideas, to spoken words, to printed messages? This session will focus on changes teachers have made in the conversations before writing and the impact these changes have had on the messages composed.

Presenter: Yvette Heffernan, Reading Recovery Trainer – Atlantic Region

English Language Learners:  Breaking Barriers by Building Bridges – presentation slides

Clay states that “children who come to school speaking any language or dialect will have preparation for literacy learning that is to be valued, whatever that prior language is. Research has shown that most children can add a second language at this age with relative ease in quite a short time”. At this session, student work samples and video clips will be used to investigate the barriers facing English Language Learners and teaching strategies to promote and support learning.

Presenters: Michelle Sharrat and Briare Wynn, York Region District School Board

Embedding Early Literacy & Learning to Look at Print into Play-Based Learning – presentation slides

Have you ever wondered why some children learn to read almost effortlessly, while others seem to have difficulty? This workshop will address how to support all learners in the K-1 classroom as they learn to look at print in useful ways in an inquiry-based setting. Teachers will explore a complex theory of reading, as well as work through a variety of rich read aloud texts to find new ways to engage children in inquiry through the development of rich provocations.

Presenters: Lisa Finlayson, Liz Kaufman, Kelly Lunn, Toronto District School Board


Whiteboard Woes: Making the most of your time Working with Letters and Words

Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I doing this right?” “Why am I doing this?” or turned to Google when planning your letter/word work at the magnetic board? You are not alone! This session will support Reading Recovery teachers looking to clarify procedures and deepen understanding of this short but often troubling segment of the 30 minute Reading Recovery lesson.

Presenter: Jana Logue-Arbou, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Chignecto Central Regional School Board

Conversations Count!

How do we use conversations to teach more powerfully? Together, we will explore sustained shared thinking to support children in learning more about using language for speaking, reading and writing.

Presenter: Jennifer Flight, Reading Recovery Trainer, Western Region

Incorporating Digital Fluency in your Comprehensive Literacy Program

Join us to learn how to integrate technology into the Comprehensive Literacy program in order to enhance student engagement, differentiation, digital fluency and build 21st Century Learning Skills.  We will focus on GSuite Apps for Education and iOS Apps such as Epic! Books for Kids, Adobe Spark, Book Creator, and Chatterpix.

Presenters: Casey MacDonald and David Hoang, Toronto District School Board

Your Teaching Matters!  How to Smooth the Path to Literacy Learning – presentation slides

How can we better align our teaching practice with key principles of early literacy learning?  In this hands-on session, we’ll explore powerful and practical ideas and approaches that support the efforts of beginning readers.

Presenter: Susan Burroughs, Literacy Consultant

Using Running Records to Inform Teaching Decisions

The primary purpose for taking a Running Record is to guide teaching.  Participants will explore how gathering information from Running Records, a reliable and valid assessment of text reading, enables a teacher to gain a richer and more comprehensive assessment of a student’s reading ability.  Through the analysis of the recorded reading behaviours teachers should be challenged to think with greater clarity about the teaching decisions that are made while responding to and helping extend the reader’s literacy learning.​

Presenters: Jennifer Gillingham and Barb Cassar, Toronto District School Board


BREAKOUT SESSIONS – Monday April 16th – 2:45pm

Moving Forward with Guided Word Study – presentation slides

Strengthen your guided reading lessons by including short, developmentally-appropriate word study activities that improve decoding, phonemic awareness, phonics, and writing.  Learn how to thread the word study focus into your prompting during reading and guided writing. Presentation includes video clips of guided word study activities with emergent, early, and transitional readers.
Presenter: Dr. Jan Richardson, Keynote Speaker – sponsored by Pioneer Valley Books

The Art of Prompting – presentation slides

Reading Recovery teachers make a myriad of decisions daily including what to say next that will propel this child’s learning forward.  This presentation will help you examine teaching decisions that respond to learning decisions.  We will watch a video of the symbiotic relationship between teaching and learning.

Presenter: Dr. Shari Worsfold, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, South Vancouver Island Consortium

Learning to Read through Relationships:  Power of Parent Engagement – presentation slides

Our Reading Recovery students learn to read through the strength of many relationships: between the teacher and student, the family and student, as well as the teacher and the family. Through my own action research, I have come to learn the importance of fostering reciprocal and bidirectional relationships between home and school and approaching our interactions with families from a stance of working alongside one another in partnership rather than a relationship of hierarchy. By sharing and discussing the key learning from my research, it is my hope that this workshop will invite other educators to consider parent engagement through this lens in order to best support our learners and their families.

Presenter: Lisa Vien, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, York Region District School Board

Red Flags: A Call to Action for Teachers – presentation slides

What are the red flags Reading Recovery teachers should notice when working with individual students? What, when and how should they take action in order to respond effectively?  In this session we will explore these signals and responses.
Presenter: Allyson Matczuk, Reading Recovery Trainer – Western Region

Tentativeness and Flexibility in Reading Recovery: It Takes Two to Tango

Tentativeness and flexibility are bywords of Reading Recovery instruction.
How do we foster cognitive flexibility in our students? How do we achieve a tentative and flexible stance ourselves?
This presentation will take participants through the different activities of a Reading Recovery lesson from a flexible and tentative lens.

Presenter: Ju Silva, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board


Keynote: Dr. Bob Schwartz – The Story of  Monitoring and Searching in Early Literacy – Keynote Presentation

BREAKOUT SESSIONS – Tuesday April 17th – 10:45am

Written Language Development Beyond Reading Recovery

This presentation tells the story of four former Reading Recovery students’ writing development in their grade two classrooms. You will discover the ways in which their writing changed over five months of classroom observation, and the conditions for learning that supported development. Discussion will focus on what classroom observation and communication with the classroom teacher revealed about progress for children beyond Reading Recovery.

Presenter: Janice Van Dyke, Reading Recovery Trainer, Central Region

‘Discovering Ways’ Through Students’ Learning Roadblocks

“If a child is a struggling reader and writer the conclusion must be that we have not yet discovered a way to help him learn.” (Clay, 2016, p. 165) Have you ever been there – not yet found the way to clear those learning roadblocks for a particular student?  In this session, insights gained and lessons learned, will be shared through video clips and records of progress. This data comes from a daily, one to one literacy intervention pilot project involving children with exceptional needs. From this project, teachers made discoveries in ways to support individual children learning about print, picking up meaning, and building oral language strengths in learning to read and write.

Presenter: Holly Cummings, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Winnipeg School Division

Bridging Children into Literacy – presentation slides

Learn more about the Bridging Children Into Literacy project in PEI.  In this project, the Reading Recovery teacher leader and the literacy coach worked collaboratively to support the professional development of teachers working at the K-1 level. Teachers explored theory related to literacy learning and examined early leveled books. A plan was developed to get ‘readable texts’ into the hands of each and every child (especially those struggling readers). Rather than relying on published materials, teachers strategically created little reading books intended to support specific children in learning how to look at print.

Presenter: Lorna Ansems, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, PEI Department of Education

Setting Sail in New Seas: How Predictions of Progress Help Navigate to a Self-Extending System

Reaching a goal, or destination, is as much about the journey as final results.  Marie Clay helps us navigate our way through the sea of literacy, supporting our students as they move towards the shores of a self-extending system. Clay’s An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement and Literacy Lessons Designed for Individuals provide the maps.  Charting individual journeys through Predictions of Progress throughout the series of lessons, can help ensure that the journey across the sea of literacy is purposeful, efficient, and timely for individual students.  This workshop provides thinking about preparing to set sail in these seas, and maintaining a steady course, to reach positive outcomes.

Presenter: Teri Turner, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, York Region District School Board


The Reading Recovery Journey in York Region District School Board – the Past, the Present & the Future

This workshops is designed for administrators who are currently implementing or are interested in implementing Reading Recovery in their schools.  During this interactive session, with ample opportunity for questions and conversation, learn about the 24-year implementation of Reading Recovery in York Region District School Board.  We will examine the process of the Reading Recovery implementation, the benefits to the children, schools and district, and the continued journey to leverage Reading Recovery expertise to support all learners.

Presenters: Janine Stutt: Principal, Leadership Development and Early Years Lead, York Region District School Board and Dee Dee Verlinde: Coordinator of Reading Recovery, York Region District School Board

BREAKOUT SESSIONS – Tuesday April 17th  – 1:15pm

But He’s Not Doing That in the Classroom!

Are you a Reading Recovery teacher who frets about your students’ ability to adapt and survive in the classroom environment? Are you a classroom teacher who isn’t always able to see the growth that your students’ experience in the Reading Recovery room? If so, then this session is for you! This session will explore ways to ensure smooth transitions between both environments from the very first lesson.

Presenter: Christine Fraser, Reading Recovery Trainer, Mountain Pacific Region

Read Alouds: Developing Classroom Community – presentation slides

Sharing stories is a time during the day that all children can participate in regardless of where they are in their learning.  Stories can help develop classroom community by bringing students together in a shared endeavour.  Stories can also be used  to improve the thinking that must occur while learning to read and write.  Writers make deliberate decisions when they write a book and the more students can understand their decisions, the better they will be able comprehend messages.

Presenter: Dr. Shari Worsfold, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, South Vancouver Island Consortium

Closing the Administrator Gap – Practical Advice for Supporting Reading Recovery – presentation slides

Using data from the 2016-17 school year and data from the i3 study we’ll examine how administrator decisions can effect RR outcomes. Are administrators constantly pulling teachers away from RR lessons? How does that effect outcomes? What happens to outcomes when teacher are keeping all children in the fall for 20 weeks when they really don’t need 20 weeks? Teachers need to serve students with a sense of urgency. What does data have to say about that? What do outcomes look like when RR is part of integrated solution at school and not just its own island? Additionally, we will tackle a few myths that are floating about in RR. Like some children are too young for RR. Some children are too low for RR. Some English language learners aren’t proficient enough in English to benefit from RR. We’ll use data from the i3 randomized control trial to show how that is all just non-sense.  This workshop is designed for administrators of schools that are implementing or would like to implement Reading Recovery or others who are curious to know more about the data.

Presenter: Jeff Brymer-Bashore, International Data Evaluation Centre – Ohio State University


Digging Deeply into Running Records: An Extended Conversation – presentation slides

This interactive and collaborative learning session will include a guided exploration of Running Records.
Facilitator: Dee Dee Verlinde, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, York Region District School Board