VSRA 2015 Conference

VSRAThis past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend the 2015 VSRA Conference.  This occurred in Richmond, Virginia and was packed with beneficial information within the field of literacy.  One of my favorite parts of the conference was being able to see Dr. Jean present on “No More Worksheets!”.   Dr. Jean’s session was packed with at least ten different activities that engaged students more then worksheets.  Dr. Jean also used song and dance to give us brain breaks.  These songs and dances are geared toward PK-1 students and all are centered on different aspects of literacy.  I was also fortunate to see Kimberly Johnson present on best research based practices for enhancing students writing.  In addition to all of the great sessions I saw, my group and I were very proud to present our session on English Language Learner Students and Literacy.  It was such a great and informational weekend, I can’t wait to use everything I have learned in the future!

Bringing Reading to Life: VSRA Annual Conference 2015

GroupPicThis past weekend I had the opportunity to attend and present at the Virginia State Reading Association’s Annual Conference.  I presented with two of my Reading, Literacy, and Learning classmates.  Our presentation was called “Bringing Reading to Life: How to Integrate Non-Fiction.”  Our presentation focused on combining kinesthetic learning with the use of non-fiction texts in the classroom.  We had a blast sharing our ideas and activities with our session’s attendees, and even learned some new ideas from them during group discussion.  Presenting at the conference was such a great learning experience.  I had never presented at a state conference before, and now I know what to expect.  Another great part of the conference was visiting the vendors.  I liked being able to talk to the vendors and learn about new products to use with students.  My favorite part was learning about “Words Their Way With English Learners.”  Words Their Way has been a staple resource of our program and I cannot wait to check out the their book for working with English Language Learners.  I look forward to attending many more VSRA conferences!

VSRA 2015 Annual Conference

11013567_10152884040903439_6303669568399418966_nI had the pleasure of attending the Virginia State Reading Association’s Annual Conference this past weekend in Richmond, Virginia. It was so wonderful to spend a weekend at this conference and to get to meet and talk with other educators from all different places around the state. I was able to attend a lot of different sessions that were very beneficial. The most beneficial one was called “Meeting Their Needs Through Leveled Text? That’s Magic!” The presenter of this presentation was Julia Dudley-Haley and she was a recent graduate from the Reading, Literacy, and Learning program at Longwood so it was nice to get to watch her present since I am currently enrolled in that program now! She gave us a lot of information and resources on how to find leveled texts for our students and the best part about it was that all of the resources were free! It was wonderful to be able to leave with so many resources that I can use in my future classroom to differentiate for my students.
Not only did I get to attend the conference, I also had the honor to present at the conference with two of my best friends. We did a presentation on content area literacy and how to incorporate literacy instruction into all subject areas. We went over several before, during, and after strategies that teachers can use in their classroom to get students engaged with the text before they read, while they read, and after they read. We also went over some research on why content area literacy is a good thing to use in the classroom. Being able to present at the conference was a very rewarding experience. I have a professional development presentation under my belt and will feel much more comfortable doing it again in the future! I had a wonderful time at the VSRA Annual Conference and I’m looking forward to going to it again in the years to come!

Virginia State Reading Association Conference 2015

IMG_5978The Virginia State Reading Association Conference was a great experience for me as a future classroom teacher. I learned many new and exciting things that I can’t wait to incorporate into my future lesson planning. My two favorite sessions that I attended were Motivating Struggling Readers to Become Independent Readers presented by Kathryn Starke and Making Word Study FUN!!! presented by Denise Legg. Being a presenter at the conference was also a great experience as well. One benefit I gained from attending this conference is the new knowledge of incorporating active engagement strategies into word study lessons through songs, dancing, and movement. I am looking forward to my next opportunity to attend the Virginia State Reading Association Conference.

VSRA Conference 2015 Lauren Flood

Amanda Haynes, Lauren Flood, Megan Crowe and Millie Kidder-Goshorn presenting at the VSRA

Amanda Haynes, Lauren Flood, Megan Crowe and Millie Kidder-Goshorn presenting at the VSRA

I really enjoyed this conference. As a future elementary or middle school teacher, I felt like I learned new, valuable information, no matter what grade I choose to teach. The first session on Saturday was a great way to start off the day, learning new strategies for motivating students. This was able to connect seamlessly to what we are learning in READ 650 (Research) and I felt like I was able to take so much away from this presentation. Even though this presentation was focused on K-3, I had many ideas for transitioning the material for older students. Another presentation that stuck with me was learning about the Virginia Readers’ Choice awards and the books that were chosen as the top picks for middle school and high school. I walked away with great ideas how to use these books effectively in classroom, along with book discussions and possible extension activities. Finally, presenting at the VSRA conference was an extremely fulfilling experience; it is a great accomplishment that I am proud to share with possible future employers and appreciate the opportunity.

2015 Virginia State Reading Association Annual Conference

14699_10203788779871163_3781478221348689657_nThis past weekend, I attended the 2015 Virginia State Reading Association Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia! The theme of this year’s conference was “Reading Is Magical”. Jen Eubank and I presented on the topic of motivation regarding adolescent readers to educators, administrators, reading specialists, and literacy coaches from across the state of Virginia and other visiting states. We were extremely pleased and grateful that over 50 people chose to attend our session! Our 50 minute presentation included the following: group discussion (think-pair-share), the definition of an adolescent readers, what the research says, instructional practices, engaging activities, and a wrap-up discussion/what stuck with you? The engaging activities included: Pecha-Kucha, Gummy Bears Story-Telling, Sticky Notes, and Create-a-Story. We provided attendees with a detailed newsletter with step-by-step instructions for each activity, materials needed, time required, and how to incorporate these activities into the classroom. It was a wonderful experience to be able to talk with these attendees as they shared their prior classroom experiences and offered ideas to enhance or modify the activities. Laughter and excitement filled our entire room as attendees collaborated and communicated with one another. An experienced reading specialist stated, “I could see myself modeling and sharing each of these activities with the teachers I work with.”

After presenting, I was able to attend several other featured speakers and concurrent sessions. One featured speaker I loved listening to was Richard Allington, who happens to be the author of one of our textbooks (What Really Matters for Struggling Readers). His passion for literacy is very moving and inspiring. These speakers and sessions provided me with several ideas, resources, and activities that I will definitely utilize within my future classroom. It was exciting to watch my fellow grad students present on topics they have become so knowledgeable of. The amount of support I felt from my professors and fellow grad students was very comforting. We have become one big happy literacy family! There were also lots of vendors at the conference that supplied me with resources, websites, leveled readers, and other books to use within my own classroom library.

I had such an amazing time at VSRA! Reading truly is magical!

49th Annual VSRA Conference

11051906_10155277679790324_5835298297394411123_nThis past weekend, March 12-14, I attended the 49th Annual VSRA Conference in Richmond, Virginia. I was given the opportunity to present on Friday afternoon with Amanda Haynes, Lauren Flood and Megan Crowe. Our presentation was based on techniques for engaging English language learners through speaking, reading, and writing. We had such a great experiencing preparing and presenting our material. It was a great opportunity to speak publicly and to teach fellow educators. Other than being able to present, we really enjoyed the sessions that we were able to choose from and attend. Amanda Haynes and I attended a session titled, “Word study is FUN!” and we learned so many activities to truly make word study fun and engaging . I am excited to implement them into my future classroom. Apart from the sessions, it was just exciting and inspiring to be surrounded by so many educators. It is great how everyone comes together to learn more and to better teach our children. I had a lovely time at this year’s VSRA Conference and I hope to attend in the future.

VSRA Conference 2015

 ConferencePresentation     Last Friday, March 13th, Mary Lacen Kinkel and I were able to present at the Virginia State Reading Association’s “Reading is Magical” Annual Literacy Conference. The Conference took place at the Richmond Marriott Hotel and Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia from March 12th to March 14th. Our 50 minute presentation theme was “Motivational is Marvelous: Engaging Strategies for Adolescent Readers.” The presentation included: information regarding who are adolescent readers; research-based engaging reading strategies for adolescents; and instructional practices and resources for teachers to use in their classrooms. There were a variety of participants who attended our session including graduate students, undergraduate students, program professors, administrators, reading specialists/coaches, and classroom teachers. I believe that this opportunity to present allowed me to network with professionals from around the state, as well as prepared me for future presentations that I may be required to give in my career.

     ConferencePictureThroughout the conference, I was able to visit a variety of vendors, attend numerous concurrent sessions, and attend the general session with featured speaker Richard Allington. I especially enjoyed the concurrent sessions led by my fellow classmates because I was able to learn new literacy ideas and see their hard work come to life! I even gained a wealth of free resources and leveled texts from vendors such as Pearson, McGraw-Hill Education, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Overall, presenting at the “Reading is Magical” VSRA Conference was a highlight in my Graduate career thus far and I have expanded my knowledge of teaching literacy by attending this annual event!

VSRA 2015 Annual Conference

vsraRecently I was able to attend the Virginia State Reading Association Annual Conference in Richmond, VA.  I am currently enrolled in Longwood’s Reading, Literacy and Learning program, and found that presenting at this conference as well as attending different sessions was very beneficial to me.  The sessions that I attended, such as a general session by Richard Allington, highlighted statistics to help us understand how reading (and lots of it) benefits our students.  I also attending sessions by fellow grad students such as Kayla Brock and Kelly Farr (among others) who gave us some great ideas for fun and engaging activities to use in our classrooms. One of the most beneficial sessions that I attended was that of Julia Dudley-Haley who showed us multiple websites where we could find free leveled text! Overall attending this conference not only helped me to develop my skills as a presenter but it also provided me valuable information that will help me in the future as a classroom teacher or reading specialist.

Virginia State Reading Association

IMG_5217UntitledA highlight of the conference for me was learning about leveled text and PALs. I was able to attend a presentation on where to find leveled text on the same topic which is a hard thing to do.  Throughout my time tutoring and student teaching I had a hard time finding materials on different levels that were about the same topic.  The presentation provided me with useful tools on how to create my own text and where to find text.  The other presentation that I found very helpful was a presentation on PALs.  Due to me not having a classroom of my own I have never been able to work on the PALs website so seeing a presentation on how to use the website will help we a lot in the future.  Presenting at the conference was also a highlight because being able to share information to other teachers is very rewarding.  It was my first time ever presenting at a conference and just knowing that some teachers learned information from my presentation was the best feeling.  Overall I learned a lot of useful strategies and tools that will benefit me in the future when I begin my career.

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