Posts tagged VSRA

VSRA Conference 2016

I recently had the VSRAopportunity to attend the Virginia State Reading Association 49th Annual Conference in Norfolk, Virginia. This was a weekend conference full of literacy speakers and concurrent sessions from around the state. My peers, Alyssa Cardwell and Emily Swale, and I were lucky enough to be the speakers at one of the sessions on Friday morning. We gave a presentation on “Integrating the Arts into Literacy” which included information about how to implement music, theater, and visual arts into the elementary and middle school literacy curriculum. We discussed multiple strategies and had many hands-on activities to go along with our information. Our audience seemed very engaged and were happy to take away some of these activities to use in their own classrooms.

After our session was over, we were able to attend several of the other sessions available at the conference including one very informative session that focused on writing in the primary grades. I left with many free resources and ideas about how to make literacy, not only fun, but effective in my own future classroom. I am glad I was able to attend this conference as well as to have had the experience to present to a group of educators. It was definitely a worthwhile experience and I look forward to attending another conference in the future!

VSRA Conference 2016

Sarah Wells, Lindsey McGibbon, and Alexa Russell after presenting "Loving Literacy: Keeping Kids Konnected"

Sarah Wells, Lindsey McGibbon, and Alexa Russell after presenting “Loving Literacy: Keeping Kids Konnected”

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 2016 Virginia State Reading Association in Norfolk, Virginia. This year’s conference theme was “Exploring the Depths of Literacy.” My partners, Lindsey McGibbon & Sarah Wells, and I were eager to deliver a presentation called Loving Literacy: Keeping Kids Konnected. Unfortunately, due to many different circumstances; attendance at our concurrent session was limited. We were very pleased to have the support from our professors and classmates.

By attending the conference, I gained knowledge in the field of literacy, was enriched with new teaching methods and tools to enhance my professional development, and interacted with authors, local and national literacy professionals, and hopefully future colleagues. It was also a great pleasure to support and learn from my classmates who presented at the conference.

VSRA Reflection on Media Literacy

Exploring Deconstruction and Construction of Media Literacy in Education Today

Exploring Deconstruction and Construction of Media Literacy in Education Today

The VSRA conference supported my professional development in a way that no other professional development experience has.  I was able to collaborate with people in varying aspects of our field.  This allowed me to build contacts and resources that I would not have had access to otherwise.  I met Professors, Researchers, Authors, Superintendents, Reading Specialist, expert teachers, and other graduate students.  The experience was irreplaceable for me.  I have grown professionally and academically.  Presenting in class or demonstrating lessons for faculty or students is no longer a situation that makes me anxious.  Experiencing presenting in this forum gave me the necessary tools to further my academic career and my professional career.

2015 VSRA Conference Presentation

WP_20150314_10_01_10_ProThis year, I had the privilege of not only attending, but also presenting at, the 2015 Virginia State Reading Association (VSRA) conference held in downtown Richmond, Va. The VSRA is the preeminent literacy education institution within the commonwealth and this was my first time attending the conference. This year’s conference theme was “Reading is Magical,” which was truly fitting. I was immediately impressed by the diverse professionals I met, from classroom teachers to reading specialists to school administers, who were all passionate about improving reading (and all literacy) instruction in their schools. It was also a great pleasure to support and learn from many of my Reading, Literacy, and Learning program classmates and professors who also presented at the conference.

My partner, Carol Pippen, and I delivered a presentation entitled “Reading Between the Pixels: Media Literacy Instruction in the Digital Age.” Our presentation discussed the growing importance of media literacy as advancements in technology permits constant exposure to media messages. We make the case that media literacy, or the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media messages, is vital for full societal participation in the digital/information age. In addition, we also provided several examples of how media literacy can be taught in the classroom


VSRA Conference 2015

GroupPicLast weekend I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Virginia State Reading Association Conference held in Richmond, VA.  I presented with two classmates from the Reading, Literacy, & Learning program, Erica Shelley and Leighan Worden.  Our presentation was titled “Bring Reading to Life: How to Integrate Non-fiction” and took attendees through research supporting students’ needs to get up and move while learning as well as some activities to be used in conjunction with non-fiction texts in the classroom.  Although we were the ones presenting, I walked away with many new ideas of how to incorporate movement into my daily lessons as a soon-to-be teacher.  I found the experience of attending the conference very beneficial and learned about many new and different teaching techniques and ideas that I cannot wait to try out in my future classroom.  I will definitely be attending VSRA Conference 2016 in Norfolk next year!

VSRA 2015

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I was able to attend the VSRA 2015 Conference on March 13th, 2015. I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend a conference like the VSRA. I had no idea how large this conference was going to be but I was blown away by it! I was able to hear several speakers including Dr. Snow and Nicole WIngo, both from Longwood University. Dr. Snow presented a presentation on PALS testing and Nicole presented a presentation on engaging students in the classroom. Both presentations were very informative and I took away a lot of new information. It was so exciting being surrounded by so many educators and meeting several of them (and seeing some “old” friends there as well was exciting!).  It was also exciting to walk around and look at the different vendors. Several passed out samples of their new products which was neat to see and many gave free books (which you can never have too many books for your classroom!).

Virginia State Reading Association Conference 2015


Last week, I took the wonderful opportunity to attend and present at the Virginia State Reading Association conference in Richmond, Virginia. The theme of the conference was “Reading is Magical”. While attending the conference, I learned many different strategies from experienced reading specialists and literacy coaches that I can use as a reading specialist/coach. I was able to see and hear about how an experienced reading specialist worked with another reading specialist as a team to successfully and effectively meet the needs of the entire student and teacher population in the school. I also collected great resources that will be useful for me as a classroom teacher and/or reading specialist/coach.





The topic of my presentation was “Let’s Get Engaged!”.   It was a 50 minute research-based presentation about motivation and engagement. Teachers, reading specialists/coaches, graduate students, professors, and administrators attended my session. I had the attendees participate in different activities they could use as educators and facilitators. The examples could be manipulated and implemented in their field based on the content focus and need of the students. Overall, being able to attend and present at this conference has given me more experience and confidence with presenting and networking with other educators and facilitators that will help me with my career.

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!

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