2016 Conference Sessions for Monday April 11th.

Re-imagining Small Group Literacy instruction in the Kindergarten and Grade One Classroom

When we believe children are competent and capable learners, we document what they currently know and can do which  provides us with insights and questions about where the learning might go next. This workshop will focus on Pedagogical documentation and small group reading instruction in the Kindergarten and grade one classroom. We will investigate :
How might we create the opportunities for literacy  to happen authentically throughout the day in multiple contexts and in multiple places?
How can we be flexible about where we are meeting with the children, how long we are meeting with them, and what level of support we are providing to them?
As we reimagine literacy instruction, we will use video clips to hear educator teams making the learning visible by noticing and naming literacy behaviours that are connected and applied in multiple contexts throughout the day.

Presenter: Kim Mastromartino


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Taking a Look at the Virtues & Vices of Levelled Text

Beginning readers do best when they are engaging with books at a ‘just right’ level of difficulty – books that offer opportunities to both consolidate what is known, and do some new problem-solving. However, not all levelled texts are created equal. Understanding the characteristics, function and limitations of levelled text enables teachers to maximize the learning impact of this valuable instructional tool.

Presenter: Susan Burroughs, Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery

Susan Burroughs taught K-3 for many years, worked as a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader for 18 years and retired from the Toronto District School Board in 2012. She is currently Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery.

Sparking Curiosity through Inquiry-Based Learning using Literacy Comprehension Strategies

Join Early Years educators as we explore the process of inquiry-based learning in Kindergarten. Comprehension strategies, such as, asking effective questions and making connections will be highlighted through the use of picture books. We will look further at why focusing on student curiosities, questions, wonderings serve to enhance particular comprehension strategies, spark engagement in writing, but also honours children’s many voices.

Presenters: Melissa Seco & Margaret DaSilva, Toronto District School Board

Melissa Seco: Melissa is currently an Instructional Leader for the Early Years Learning & Care Department at the TDSB. She has been teaching in the Toronto District School Board for the last 10 years as a Primary/Junior teacher in a variety of roles.

Margaret Da Silva: Margaret is currently working as an Instructional Leader for the Early Years Learning & Care Department at the TDSB. She has been teaching in the Toronto District School Board for the last 20 years as a kindergarten teacher, reading recovery teacher and primary resource support teacher.

Full Day Kindergarten Planning Time Framework: Literacy Focus

This workshop will provide participants with an overview of the Full Day Kindergarten Planning Time Framework currently being implemented across the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board. This session will discuss the process that occurred to design this literacy-based framework that includes explicit lessons and procedures, the implementation and professional development plan, lessons learned from the field and current successes in literacy achievement for the board’s youngest learners. Participants will also receive a copy of the detailed framework and links to the various support resources.

Presenters: Judy Eaton & Dean Younger, HWCDSB

Judy Eaton: Judy has been a teacher for almost twenty-five years. She has taught in all divisions and has been a Literacy Coach for HWCDSB. She is currently the board’s Literacy Consultant, serving all staff, Grades 1-8. Judy also teaches Reading Part 1 through Brock University and has been instrumental in developing key resources that are currently serving the entire system. Judy is a wife and mother of three daughters, ages 17-20 and an avid runner in her spare time.

Dean Younger: Dean has been a teacher since 1987. He has taught in all divisions. He was a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and the board’s Early Years Consultant and Early Years Lead throughout the Full Day Kindergarten revolution across Ontario. He is currently Principal at St. Thomas the Apostle CES in Waterdown, Ontario. He is the father of three children, ages 22-26 and is an avid camper in his spare time.


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Analogy: Using the known as a source of information

Clay states, “The child’s brain is excited to find what it already knows in a different setting.” This session focuses on learning how to search for links to the known in moments of problem solving with implications for teaching. Literacy Lessons Designed for Individuals Part Two sections 6, 11, and 12 will be our references.

Presenter: Janice Van Dyke, Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery Central Divison

Interpreting Running Records: The Journey from Accuracy to Processing

Running Records capture what young readers say and do while reading continuous texts. Observing and recording how children problem solve begins with the easy-to-notice behaviours and changes over time. As children’s processing changes from week to week what progress can be observed and how can teachers foster this change? Discussion will be centered on the interpretation of Running Records and how these records can challenge teachers to think about children’s processing.

Presenter: Yvette Heffernan, Canadian Institute of Reading Recovery Atlantic Division

Yvette Heffernan is the Reading Recovery/IPLÉ Trainer for the Atlantic region, where she supports implementations in both English and French. She has been a classroom teacher for 34 years as well as a school administrator. Her experiences as a French Immersion, Core French, Resource and Early Intervention teacher continue to shape her work with both students and teachers.

Transitioning Students: A Team Approach

Reading Recovery and Classroom teachers are part of a team approach to transition students once they have completed their Reading Recovery series of lessons. Discussion will be centered around the following: using classroom and Reading Recovery data to facilitate conversations, adopting a school team approach to literacy support, developing common understandings through a common language, and bridging individual instruction with independent classroom practice.

Presenters: Myrna Noddin-Bona & Ericka Sutherland, Atlantic Region Teacher Leaders

Myrna Noddin-Bona is a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and Early Literacy Consultant with the Chignecto Central Regional School Board in Nova Scotia.
Ericka Sutherland is a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and Early Literacy Consultant with the Halifax Regional School Board in Nova Scotia.

Fifty Shades of CLAY…Unlocking the secrets to Writing Instruction

We will explore the five essential elements that are ‘key’ to effective instruction in writing. We will demonstrate how these five keys – Conversation, Construction, Conventions, Composition and Complexity – work together to create independent, successful writers. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Presenters: Shirley DeSouza & Liz Lightbound, Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board

Shirley DeSouza is a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader with the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board.  Liz Lightbound is a recently retired Teacher Leader with the Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board. Together, they have  30 years in Reading Recovery.

Collaboration Through Conversation to Change Reading Recovery Outcomes

The classroom teacher and the Reading Recovery teacher together hold joint responsibility for providing poorer performers with effective opportunities to learn (Clay, 1991).

Join with us on our journey as we share what we have discovered about the importance of an ongoing conversation between classroom and Reading Recovery teachers during the lesson series.

Throughout this collaborative working session we will discuss what worked, challenges faced and ideas tried, in order to foster improved conversation.  We will continue learning by discussing audience experiences which will prove to be a beneficial learning for all.

Presenters: Amanda McCabe, HSCDSB and Carrie Girdler, BGCDSB

Amanda McCabe, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Huron Superior Catholic District Board
Carrie Girdler, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Bruce Grey Catholic District Board

All that in 30 Minutes? Key Understandings in Reading Recovery

We will explore the key understandings of Reading Recovery in depth while observing student examples of our theoretical principles in action.

Presenter: Christine Fraser, CIRR

Christine is currently a Canadian Trainer-in-training. Her background in Reading Recovery dates back to 2002 where she trained as a Reading Recovery in Edmonton Public Schools. She went on to become a Teacher Leader in 2006 and moved to the Vancouver School Board in 2012. Next year she will take on the role of Trainer for the Mountain Pacific Region.