2016 Sessions

Session information for the 2016 CIRR Conference.
More sessions, presentations and speaker bios coming soon!

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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Assembling Cut-Up Stories … More than Just A Puzzle!

Why is the cut-up story part of the lesson activities? How does the teacher benefit from observing the child reassembling the story? How does the child benefit from reassembling his story? This interactive session will examine the power behind Assembling Cut-Up Stories in Reading Recovery lessons and in the classroom. We will explore examples of ways to use this activity in Kindergarten and in grade 1 classrooms.

Presenter: Paul Cousineau

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.

Between the covers: What is in those sheets? Making the most of the book orientation

“I think introducing new texts which young school children are going to read demands great skill” (Clay, 1991)
Participants will explore how rich introductions support children in becoming independent readers. Actively engaging children to participate in the conversations, before reading, sets them up to read a new text with a high degree of successful processing.

Presenters: Jennifer Gillingham & Barb Cassar, TDSB

Jennifer and Barb are Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders with the Toronto District School Board. They are regular presenters and contributors of Literacy Learning Professional Development for Reading Recovery and Classroom Teachers of the Elementary and Secondary Panels. Combined they have taught for over 50 years!

Seize the Moment: Moving from Monotony to Creativity when Composing

When composing, Clay instructs us to, ‘Start up a conversation, guided by all you know about this child. Talk about something that you feel sure he would be interested in.’ In this session, we will examine ways to help all students create authentic, meaningful and exciting stories that build upon their interests, creativity and passions.

Presenters: Dee Dee Verlinde & Fiona Weller, YRDSB

Fiona and Dee Dee are Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders in the York Region District School Board.

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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I’m an Author and I Have Goals!

Writing begins in the mind. Our young students have many ideas and stories to share but the logistics of recording them on paper can be almost overwhelming – pencil grip, spelling, letter formation, illustrations, punctuation…How do we help young writers move forward, take risks, and meet achievable goals while still enjoying writing? This workshop will help you explore ways to have classroom wide learning goals and success criteria for writing that also allow for manageable, differentiated personal goals for each child. We will consider group and individual goals, ways to document and celebrate learning for you and for the children, and structures that ensure the children see themselves as capable writers from the very start.

Presenter: Kathleen Corrigan, Corrigan Education

Kathleen Corrigan is a former Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and Early Years Consultant with a public board. She is currently working as a consultant for several independent schools as well as writing children’s books and teachers’ resources for local and international publishers.

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.