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Lee-Ann Lear, Shari Kudsia, Helen Maclean, Mara Hockenhull – Using Word Lists/Chains, Phrases, and Sentences to Build Literacy Skills

Session: Using Word Lists/Chains, Phrases, and Sentences to Build Literacy Skills

Are you looking for ways to spice up your Structured Literacy Lessons? Join us for an engaging seminar designed to equip elementary educators with effective strategies to enhance the reading and writing skills of their students. This session will focus on utilizing word lists/chains, phrases, and sentences as powerful tools for literacy development, and will also include oral language activities suitable for kindergarten students. Some will leave this break-out room with a door prize, but everyone will leave with a repertoire of practical ideas ready to implement in their classroom.

Lee-Ann has spent over 20 years teaching in Ontario elementary schools. She has always been fascinated by the process of teaching reading and working with struggling readers. Throughout her career, she has sought experiences to help her grow her understanding of the current best practices in reading instruction. This journey has included Reading Recovery, Empower Reading, Orton Gillingham (through Fundamental Learning, Liisa Freure), Structured Literacy, and most recently, an exploration of Structured Word Inquiry. In 2022, Lee-Ann became certified by AOGPE at the Associate level. She has now resigned from teaching to focus on growing her company SyllaSense, where she writes and publishes decodable books, and shares her knowledge of structured literacy through workshops and free teacher resources. Lee-Ann Lear, OCT, A/OGA

Teaching in the TDSB for 24 years, Shari Kudsia’s journey is marked by a commitment to improving literacy education. Trained in Reading Recovery, Shari, unsatisfied with its effectiveness, explored Orton-Gillingham and SWI under Liisa Freure of Fundamental Learning. Certified by AOGPE at Classroom Educator and Associate levels, she’s facilitated dyslexia-focused workshops and courses and serves on the board of the International Dyslexia Association. In the last five years, Shari has successfully integrated structured literacy, based on SOR, into her classrooms, witnessing significant literacy improvements in all students. Shari is committed to supporting educators in their efforts to improve spelling skills and has recently launched her business, Spelliosity. Shari Kudsia, OCT, A/OGA, CE/OGA

Throughout her career, Helen has made literacy a top priority. Despite having a Reading Specialist and training in Reading Recovery, Helen noticed that many of her students encountered difficulties in both reading and writing. Introduced to SOR Instruction by the SLP at her school, she eagerly sought further knowledge. Helen pursued Orton Gillingham training and SWI with Liisa Freure at Fundamental Learning, earning her A/OGA and Classroom Educator from the Orton Gillingham Academy. Over the past five years, Helen implemented Structured Literacy in her kindergarten class, passionately advocating for explicit teaching. She conducts ongoing professional development for her staff, and welcomes classroom observations to enhance literacy support. Helen Maclean, OCT, A/OGA, CE/OGA

Mara has 21 years of diverse experience at Thunder Bay Catholic and has primarily focused on teaching beginning and struggling readers. As a mother of a child with dyslexia, Mara’s firsthand experience with learning differences drives her quest for effective teaching methods, recognizing that traditional approaches may not be suitable for all learners. Mara is an Orton Gillingham Certified Classroom Educator, is trained at the Associate Practitioner Level, coupled with a 100-hour practicum supervised by Liisa Freure, and presently studies SWI with various mentors. She has been a catalyst for positive change within her educational community. Mara demonstrates her commitment by sharing her knowledge and experience with fellow teachers, families, and teacher candidates. Mara Hockenhull, OCT, CE/OGA

Session with Marc Joanisse, Ph.D. – Dyslexia, language disability and ADHD – what’s the connection?

We are looking forward to listening to Dr. Marc Joanisse!

Session: Dyslexia, language disability and ADHD – what’s the connection?

Although dyslexia is defined as a specific reading disorder, we also know that affected individuals can often show a host of other difficulties in language processing and attention. In this talk I will discuss recent work in my lab examining overlap in the incidence of dyslexia with developmental language disability (DLD) and ADHD. Of particular interest is how children with these comorbid disorders differ from so-called ‘pure’ cases, and whether this can tell us anything about their underlying causes.

Dr. Joanisse has been a professor at Western University since 2000. His research program studies the cognitive and brain bases of language and reading in children, focusing on the joint contribution of biological factors and experience on typical development and impairments. This includes studying phonology, reading and grammar abilities in children with dyslexia and/or developmental language disability, using everything from traditional behavioural techniques to eyetracking and neuroimaging with MRI and EEG.

Session: More Than Words: Sentence Structure Instruction in the Classroom Sentence structure knowledge consists of knowing syntax, the rules that govern sentence building. Spoken and written language are enhanced when students acquire the skills of sentence structure and learn to manipulate, change, and elaborate sentences to make them more complex. In addition to allowing students more opportunities to participate in complex classroom discussion, explicit syntax instruction plays a vital role in reading comprehension and written language. Attendees will learn what explicit syntactic instruction looks like in kindergarten, the Syntax Project Grades 1 through 6, and implications for writing using The Writing Revolution, a writing program created by Judith Hoffman and Natalie Wexler.

Session with Melinda Hinch & Tara Fuerth – More Than Words: Sentence Structure Instruction in the Classroom

Keen to learn more about teaching content from the new B3 Language Conventions continuum?

Melinda and Tara will showcase explicit instructional strategies for teaching sentence structure, and highlight the important role syntax plays in reading comprehension and writing.

Session: More Than Words: Sentence Structure Instruction in the Classroom

Sentence structure knowledge consists of knowing syntax, the rules that govern sentence building. Spoken and written language are enhanced when students acquire the skills of sentence structure and learn to manipulate, change, and elaborate sentences to make them more complex. In addition to allowing students more opportunities to participate in complex classroom discussion, explicit syntax instruction plays a vital role in reading comprehension and written language. Attendees will learn what explicit syntactic instruction looks like in kindergarten, the Syntax Project Grades 1 through 6, and implications for writing using The Writing Revolution, a writing program created by Judith Hoffman and Natalie Wexler.

Join us at #LitLearn2024 in April! Learn more and register https://conference.idaontario.com/

Session with Ayesatta Conteh & Melissa Monette-Smith – Fueling the Flame: Leading Within Your Sphere of Influence

Join ONlit team members Melissa Monette-Smith and Ayesatta Conteh as they uncover ways educators can be changemakers in their buildings. During this practical and relevant session, they will share their experiences and insights as they unpack a literacy toolkit designed to help educators in all roles lead the change.

Session: Fueling the Flame: Leading Within Your Sphere of Influence

Join ONlit team members Melissa Monette-Smith and Ayesatta Conteh as they uncover ways educators can be changemakers in their buildings. During this practical and relevant session, they will share their experiences and insights as they unpack a literacy toolkit designed to help educators in all roles lead the change.

Ayesatta Conteh has been teaching with the Toronto District School Board since 2000 and has taught primary, junior, and intermediate grades throughout my career. She is currently the Primary/Junior SERT (Special Education Resource Teacher/Reading Intervention using EMPOWER (Tier 3 reading program) and also teaches Integrated Arts (Dance, Drama, Music) at a K-8 Dual Track school. From a very young age, her late father, a U of T linguistics professor, instilled in her a love for reading and a curiosity for learning and she keeps that flame burning bright in the spaces she occupies. She has completed her Reading Specialist, Reading Teachers Top 10 Tools, Principal’s Qualifications Part 1 and is completing her Acadience K-6 Training. As an ETFO AQ Lead Instructor, she enjoys building community and supporting the learning of other educators across Ontario. As a ETFO Professional Learning Standing Committee member, she continues to advocate for changes that re-ignite the joy in teaching and ensure consistent teacher support and success. Recently, she completed an ETFO video project to create a webcast series about the Language curriculum. Ayesatta is particularly interested in learning how to effectively implement multi-tiered support systems in the school setting to decrease the number of students requiring Tier 3 interventions. She advocates for equity, student achievement and success and strongly believes in the power of collaboration.

Melissa-Monette Smith has been a teacher for 17 years with the York Region District School Board, teaching everything from Core French, Junior Homeroom, Special Education, Regional Literacy and currently, Full-Day Kindergarten. My Structured Literacy journey began when I started teaching in the Student Support Centre. I realized that my pre-service training, the curriculum, and the resources available did not meet my students’ needs. I began consuming information as if my students’ lives depended on it, ultimately leading me to take my Orton-Gillingham Comprehensive and Morphology Plus with the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education. I have since completed other Structured Literacy courses, including Acadience Reading K-6, Acadience Reading Survey and Acadience Data Interpretation, Framing Your Thoughts: Sentence Structure and Paragraph Writing, Morpheme for Littles, and the Reading Teacher’s Top Ten Tools. I currently share my passion for Structured Literacy as a Coach for IDA Ontario’s Introduction to Structured Literacy Course: The Basics of Decoding and Spelling Instruction and as a proud member of the Curriculum Assistance Team for ONlit.org.

Session with Keynote Speaker, Dr. Sonia Cabell – Strive-for-five conversations: Building language comprehension in young children

Dr. Sonia Cabell was a fabulous guest on Season 1 of #ReadingRoadTrip – we’re thrilled she will join us at #LitLearn2024 and present the opening keynote session!

Listen to Sonia’s episode from Reading Road Trip Podcast

Session: Strive-for-five conversations: Building language comprehension in young children

Classroom conversations are important for strengthening young children’s oral language development, which in turn leads to reading success. This session introduces the Strive-for-Five framework that can help early childhood teachers orchestrate conversations that are responsive to children and challenge their thinking. Focusing on the strands of Scarborough’s Rope, the session will provide illustrations of how teachers can have back-and-forth conversations to grow children’s language comprehension through building literacy knowledge, vocabulary, verbal reasoning, background knowledge, and language structures.

Sonia Cabell, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Reading Education in the School of Teacher Education and the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University. Before receiving her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia, she worked as a second grade teacher and literacy coach in Oklahoma and Virginia. Dr. Cabell’s research focuses on early language and literacy instruction, with a particular interest in preventing reading difficulties in young children. She has authored over 70 publications, including peer-reviewed articles, books, book chapters, and early childhood language and literacy curricula. She is the lead editor of the Handbook on the Science of Early Literacy from Guilford Press, and she co-authored Literacy Learning for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers: Key Practices for Educators from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Strive-for-Five Conversations from Scholastic. Dr. Cabell has served as Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator on federally funded research projects totaling approximately $10 million dollars. She has been an advisor or consultant for a variety of national organizations and state departments of education. She can be followed on X (formerly Twitter) @soniacabell.

Session with Melinda Cameron – Explicit Literacy Instruction for Older Students

For educators interested in explicit literacy instruction for older students, we’re happy to welcome Melinda Cameron to #LitLearn2024 in April for her session!

Session: Explicit Literacy Instruction for Older Students

This professional workshop focuses on maximizing the effectiveness of explicit literacy skill instruction for older students, including those with exceptionalities. The case study of SpellRead program implementation in a Nova Scotia Regional Centre for Education context will be used to provide real actionable takeaways for classroom set-up and routines. Additionally, the often-overlooked topic of behaviour management will be addressed.

Melinda Cameron has dedicated her life to teaching literacy, and recently earned her Research Master of Arts in Education from Mount Saint Vincent University to further her knowledge of effective reading instruction.

Michelle Courville et Jessica Ortega – De la communication orale à la lecture efficace! Comment la conscience phonémique comble l’écart de la lecture.

Session: De la communication orale à la lecture efficace! Comment la conscience phonémique comble l’écart de la lecture.

Appel à toutes les éducatrices et tous les éducateurs passionné(e)s! Imaginez une classe où les interactions orales quotidiennes transforment les élèves en lecteurs confiants et fluides. Rejoignez-nous pour découvrir comment la conscience phonémique, enracinée dans la communication orale, constitue les fondements des compétences en lecture efficace. Venez chercher votre trousse d’outils prête à être utilisée immédiatement dans votre classe. Sérieusement, nous simplifions la vie du personnel enseignant

Michelle Courville, originaire de Sudbury, Ontario, est conseillère pédagogique en français langue seconde au conseil scolaire de Durham. Avec 27 ans d’expérience dans l’enseignement de divers programmes de FLS, y compris le français de base et l’immersion française, Michelle est une avocate passionnée de l’éducation en français. Sa connaissance approfondie des techniques pédagogiques, des programmes d’études et des meilleures pratiques d’enseignement a contribué de manière significative à l’amélioration des programmes de français et à l’acquisition du français langue seconde. Au-delà de son rôle, elle soutient activement ses collègues éducateurs sur son compte Instagram, en partageant des ressources et des idées précieuses. De plus, Michelle détient des certifications démontrant son engagement à l’amélioration continue. Michelle motive les enseignants dans sa quête de renforcement des capacités des enseignants au sein de son conseil en partageant ses expériences et ses connaissances sur l’enseignement de la lecture fondé sur les données probantes et la littératie structurée.

Jessica Ortega est une enseignante d’immersion française au conseil catholique de Durham. Titulaire d’une maîtrise en éducation sur les langues et la littératie et d’un certificat d’enseignement de l’anglais à l’étranger, Jessica a développé une passion pour favoriser la compétence linguistique. Son dévouement pour l’apprentissage et son expérience de l’acquisition d’une langue seconde se transmettent facilement à ses élèves qui participent à des leçons de littératie structurée fondés sur la science de la lecture. Avant de devenir enseignante, Jessica travaillait comme conseillère d’apprentissage pour une organisation non gouvernementale (ONG) au Pérou avec des communautés autochtones. Jessica s’est engagée à faire progresser l’éducation en littératie et en langues en les rendant accessibles et efficaces pour divers apprenants en créant et en partageant des vidéos sur ses médias sociaux. Ses ressources permettent aux élèves, aux enseignants et aux parents de renforcer les compétences linguistiques à la maison et en classe.

Session with Megan Gierka & Nicole Ormandy – Integrated and Accelerated Language and Literacy Instruction for English Learners

Effective instruction for multilingual learners requires careful consideration of cross-linguistic transfer and the integration of oral language skills! Learn more at #LitLearn with Megan Gierka & Nicole Ormandy from AIM Institute.

Session: Integrated and Accelerated Language and Literacy Instruction for English Learners

Students who are learning to read must become aware of the smallest segmented parts of spoken words (phonemes) that are represented by graphemes (letters and combinations of letters) in written words,” (IDA, 2022) and as such, teachers have the responsibility to deliver evidence-based instruction that facilitates students’ acquisition of these early literacy skills. Now consider the additional layer of educating a rapidly rising English learner population. To support the acquisition of both language and literacy, specialized teacher knowledge is required. This session explores research from two seminal literacy reports to support an integrated approach to phonemic awareness, phonics, and handwriting instruction, and the importance of capitalizing on two key adjustments—oral language proficiency and cross-language transfers – to advance second language and literacy acquisition among ELs.

An architect of school improvement systems, Megan Gierka, Ed.D. is a Senior Content Developer at AIM Institute for Learning and Research. In this role, Megan writes course content, develops training, and synthesizes the latest research findings into classroom practice and applicable tools. Prior to this role, she served a decade in the public school system as a teacher, reading specialist, and instructional coach. Megan holds a BS.Ed. in Elementary Education, M.Ed. in Reading Education, and Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Nicole Ormandy, M.S. Ed. is the Senior Director of Content Development at AIM Institute for Learning and Research. In this role, Nicole consults with researchers and literacy experts across the nation to synthesize and disseminate practical information and evidence-based strategies through presentations and online course content. Nicole was previously an Elementary and Special Education teacher, where she wrote curriculum and mentored colleagues and student teachers. She received a Master’s of Science in Special Education and a CERI Structured Literacy Classroom Teacher certificate.

Chantal Lafontaine – La lecture à voix haute : une pratique gagnante

Nous sommes ravis d’accueillir Chantal Lafontaine pour sa session en français : La lecture à voix haute : une pratique gagnante!

Dois-je arrêter d’utiliser des livres imagés dans un modèle d’enseignement explicite et structuré des connaissances et habiletés fondamentales en lecture? Quelle est la place de l’album jeunesse dans un bloc de littératie structuré? Comment insuffler l’amour de la lecture tout en guidant les élèves vers l’apprentissage systématique du code? La lecture aux élèves est-elle aussi gagnante chez les plus vieux?

Cet atelier se penchera sur ces questions en présentant ce qui peut être mis en place pour nourrir les lecteurs, jeunes et moins jeunes, à développer des habiletés qui alimentent la compréhension du langage, et, par conséquent, la fluidité et la compréhension en lecture. À quoi sert la lecture aux élèves? Quelles habiletés y sont travaillées? Comment faire? Comment recueillir des preuves d’apprentissage? Voici les thèmes de cet atelier qui vous proposera à la fois des idées concrètes d’activités ainsi que de nombreuses ressources!

Chantal Lafontaine œuvre depuis 21 ans au Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, en tant qu’enseignante au primaire/moyen et conseillère pédagogique en littératie, ALF et PANA. Depuis ses débuts en enseignement, sa passion pour l’enseignement de la littératie l’ont incité à s’impliquer dans l’élaboration de nombreuses ressources pédagogiques pour le personnel enseignant francophone de l’Ontario telles que des vidéos de modélisation, des plateformes d’apprentissage interactif pour les élèves et des guides pédagogiques pour les enseignants. Au cours de ses dernières années en tant que conseillère pédagogique, le cœur de ses efforts a été consacré à l’accompagnement du personnel enseignant francophone dans la mise en œuvre de pratiques d’enseignement de la lecture et de l’écriture fondées sur des données probantes. D’ailleurs, elle collabore présentement avec ONLit.org afin de pouvoir naviguer avec tous les enseignants francophones de la province vers l’adoption du nouveau programme-cadre de français.

Dr. Valentina Contesse – Maximizing the Effectiveness of UFLI Foundations Lessons

Dr. Valentina Contesse – Maximizing the Effectiveness of UFLI Foundations Lessons

Session with Dr Valentina Contesse: Maximizing the Effectiveness of UFLI Foundations Lessons

For maximum results, foundational reading skills instruction should be explicit and systematic. It should also incorporate key high leverage practices, such as ample opportunities to respond and targeted feedback. This session will examine these principles of effective instruction and provide examples of how to incorporate these practices to maximize the effectiveness of UFLI Foundations lessons.

Dr. Valentina Contesse is a clinical assistant professor of special education in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies at the University of Florida (UF). Dr. Contesse works for the University of Florida Literacy Institute (UFLI) and is the co-author of UFLI Foundations: An Explicit and Systematic Phonics Program. Her research focuses on early literacy instruction and intervention, teacher preparation and training in reading, and the effects of performance feedback on the implementation of evidence-based instructional practices. Dr. Contesse teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in various UF teacher preparation programs and coordinates professional development for practicing teachers focused on evidence-based reading instruction.