Posts tagged VSRA

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.

Virginia State Reading Association Conference 2015













This weekend I attended the Virginia State Reading Conference in Richmond, Virginia.  This conference was packed with a speakers and sessions we could attend to help grow our professional knowledge of teaching literacy in the classroom.  It was a great learning and networking experience for me.  I was not only able to attend informative sessions that have given me  tools to use in my future classroom, but I was able to network and meet teacher, students, administrators, and reading specialists from all over the state.  I gained so much new knowledge from this conference.  Each session gave me new tools, resources and ideas to use in my classroom.  The vendors their also supplied me with books and resources to use in my future classroom.  The most rewarding experience was being able to present at the conference.  My partner and I presented on literacy centers in the classroom.  We had a packed house of 60+ people.  This experience allowed me to strengthen my public speaking skills as well give me practice into what I will be doing as a reading specialist or teacher.  After our session was over we were even asked to present to a group of teachers in a surrounding county.  We both were very proud of our work and were glad that people got a lot out of our session.  Attending this conference was a great experience and has really supplied me with tools that will grow my knowledge as a student and teacher.   I cannot wait to began using what I learned this weekend in my own classroom.

Virginia State Reading Association

VSRA pictureKayla Brock and I were one of the first sessions to present on the first day, Thursday, March 12, 2015.  Our presentation was entitled “I Like to Move-It, Move-It: Literacy in Motion”.  We were incredibly grateful to have over 50 people show up to our presentation and listen to what we had to say about the importance of incorporating movement into to classroom.  Our audience was more than willing to participate in our activities and they came with some great questions and suggestions as well!  After our presentation was over, I decided to stay for the rest of the conference to support my fellow classmates and take away as much as I could from a wonderful weekend.  Within the convention center, they had vendors that provided wonderful resources so one of the biggest benefits gained from this conference was all of the resources and materials I received to incorporate into my future classroom.  I am very grateful for having the opportunity to present and attend such an amazing conference and I look forward to next years!

Virginia State Reading Association Conference 2015


From March 12 through 14, I was able to attend the Virginia State Reading Association annual conference held in Richmond, VA.  The conference was a wonderful opportunity to attend numerous sessions each day and included featured speakers as well, and well known authors such as  Jeff Kinney (author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid).  I was able to attend several different sessions that covered many different topics.  I enjoyed being able to pick from so many presentations to attend and feel like I was really able to gain valuable information from the sessions that I can one day apply to my own classroom as a teacher.

During this conference, I was also able to present a presentation of my own with a classmate.  Our topic was titled Literacy Centers: That was Easy.  Our room reached full occupancy about 8 minutes before it was scheduled to start, and our presider had to close the doors and post a sign saying the room was full.  It was very exciting to not only have the opportunity to present at the VSRA conference, but it was a great experience to have so many people attend our presentation.  Following the presentation, my co-presenter Leah and I were invited to give our presentation at a school district.  The reading specialist for the county asked us if we would bring our presentation to her county to give a professional development session to the teachers in her schools.  We were both very excited.  The excitement was followed up by a different school system then encouraging us to apply to their school district for open positions they had.  The networking and opportunities gained from giving this presentation was a great experience for me.

I truly had a wonderful time at the VSRA conference.  It was nice to hear presentations from teachers all across Virginia.  I gained many valuable ideas from those presentations on topics such as journals, literature circles, blogging in the classroom, text investigation, and so many more.

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