Literacy Best Practices Day!

February 2, 2015

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Monday, Feb. 2nd, 8:30am

16615 109 Avenue Northwest

Edmonton, AB

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

Cost: $149 (morning refreshments and lunch included)

Sessions Inquiries:

Kathy Nawrot at

To register:

EPSB staff: click here

Non-EPSB staff: Contact Jan Amundson at or 780-429-8315

What is Literacy Best Practices Day?

  • a day with sessions presented by classroom teachers, school leaders and consultants who will offer approaches and strategies to support thinking and literacy.
  • sharing research-based best practices to promote literacy from Kindergarten to Grade 12.


Keynote: Linda P. Tilley, M.Ed, R. Psych.

Many people have an idea about the behavioural impact of ADHD on children but have little understanding of the neurodevelopmental problems associated with ADHD. This presentation will provide a crash course on the neurophysiology of ADHD and talk about how that impacts behavior in the classroom (not just hyperactivity), motivation, ability to apply cognitive capacity, creativity and self-confidence. This will all be tied into literacy in both a literal and figurative sense, and will end with some (perhaps surprising) practical strategies to help you cope with the ball of destructive creative energy in your classroom.

Stop the Literacy Train … We Forgot the Caboose!

All over the district, the rally cry of literacy is heard. We are intervening, recovering readers, working in leveled literacy and sharing reading strategies wherever we go. We desperately want our kids to learn to read, but we forgot something … what we really want is for our kids to want to read. Come and learn 10 school strategies we use to promote a Mighty Love of Reading at our K-9 school.

Presenter: Dia Macbeth

Target audience: K-9 teachers

Thinking Through Academic Inquiry

The academic research process puts students in critical thinking situations while building essential literacy skills. Today’s world demands that students leaving school are thoughtful, self-managed and resourceful. To build these characteristics, we need to constantly put kids in authentic academic situations that require deep and meaningful thinking, collaboration and creativity. This session will look at a successful approach that you can adapt to fit your classroom.

Presenters: Fred Antoniw & Brent Bigney

Target audience: grade 7-12 Humanities teachers

A Picture Book is Worth a Thousand Words: Children’s literature as the catalyst to rich conversations and inquiry questioning in the classroom

This session will explore the use of quality children’s picture books to provide the “spark” for deep discussion, questioning and wondering with your students. Whether you wish to engage your class in thoughtful discussion on global issues or use these tools as a springboard for curricular specific exploration, this session will be your catalyst to igniting the world of wonder and inquiry with your students.

Presenters: Lori Bosworth & Lorelei Campbell

Target audience: grade 3-6 teachers

More than the Magic School Bus … Linking Literature and Science

Everyone loves the Magic School Bus books and DVD’s, but have you ever wondered if there are more ways to link Literature and Science? Well, there are … and there are lots of them! Come immerse yourself in a world of ways to get your students motivated to LOVE Science and Reading just as much as you do! Curricular topics from kindergarten to grade 3 will be covered!

Presenter: Tomi Brooks

Target audience: grade K-3 teachers

Using Authentic and Engaging Tasks to Develop Language Skills in Division 1 Students

How do we keep students motivated to read and write across subject areas? This session will provide practical strategies, tasks and projects that engage students in learning while motivating them to read and write. It will also bring Inspiring Education and the recent Ministerial Order on Student Learning to life within the Division One context. You will leave with a variety of examples of cross-disciplinary projects and tasks that promote competency development and support effective language learning.

Presenter: Colleen Roux

Target audience: grade K-3 teachers

Inquiry for Beginners

Are you apprehensive about embracing inquiry in your Division 1 classroom? Do you wonder how you can meet all the curricular outcomes? Join two experienced grade one teachers as they share their learning of how emergent curriculum supports 21st century learners, both teachers and students.

Presenters: Linda Nikolai-Wilson & Simone Shirvell

Target audience: Division 1 teachers

Foundational concepts to Support Students of Trauma in Literacy Learning

There is clear evidence that trauma and resulting mental health issues affect the development of the brain in areas of social emotional regulation and executive functioning. Given the importance and complexity of social emotional issues, it is apparent that teachers need to be equipped with a comprehensive understanding of trauma and emotional regulation in order to support literacy learning in the classroom.

Presenter: Jenni Mosier

Target audience: all

Building Blocks for a Dynamic, Authentic Writing Program: Theory coming alive

How do you engage students in dynamic, authentic writing? This session will describe a program designed to develop and enhance twenty-first century literacies through authentic experiences. Skills are embedded in meaningful activities that relate closely to curriculum. All long term and short term assignments will be shared with participants.

Presenter: Susan Kosanovich

Target audience: Grade 3-6 Language Arts teachers

Creating a Vision of Success with the Six Traits of Writing

Have you looked at student writing and wondered where to begin? Have you puzzled over rubrics for writing assessments and thought, “How will I use this with my students?” How do we describe writing goals for students? What kind of feedback best supports their learning? If you have asked these questions, you are not alone. This session will address the use of the Six Traits of Writing as a tool to give students the vocabulary for thinking, speaking and working like writers. We will look at samples of student work and use the traits of writing to give students meaningful next steps for learning. Our focus will be on providing assessment for learning to give students a vision of success.

Presenter: Marge Kobewka

Target audience: Grade 1-6 Language Arts teachers

Games Guaranteeing Teenagers Get It!

If students are engaged and having fun while learning, a teacher’s job gets easier. Games will be taught that can be used for teaching vocabulary, literature analysis, organization of writing and group work skills. Not only will you play these games during the session, but you will leave with templates and assessment tools you can use in your classes.

Two sessions – one on reading, one on writing

Presenter: Barb Fouts-Melnychuk

Target audience: Grade 7-12 Language Arts teachers

Paint a Poem, Read a Painting, Feel the Value of our Forests

You want me to do what? Teachers are expected to guide their students in the development of cross-curricular competencies. Come and hear how two grade 6 teachers worked collaboratively to engage their students in the integration of Science, Language Arts and Art.

Presenters: Brenda Braun, Denice Gubersky

Target audience: Grade 4-6 teachers of Language Arts, Science, Art

What’s Up With Alberta Education’s Literacy Benchmarks?

How is Alberta Education supporting teachers in this province with literacy? We will share with you what has been happening with the Literacy Benchmarks. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions, provide expertise and insights on the benchmarks so that, together, we can create a tool to support all educators in this province.

Presenters: Shelley Wells, Alberta Education

Jill Usher, Alberta Education

Target audience: All

What Really Matters When Working with Struggling Readers in the Classroom?

Have ever asked yourself, “How do I help my struggling readers?” If so, you will want to come and hear the critical things that all elementary classrooms should have in place to help struggling readers be successful. Teachers will leave with practical ideas to take back to the classroom, along with an understanding of the research behind these practices.

Presenter: Jennifer Kennedy

Target audience: Grade 1-6 teachers

Using Picture Books to Support Literacy in the Classroom

How can I engage students in my teaching? Is there more that I can do to help my English Language Learners? This session will take a look at using picture books to support classroom teaching and to enhance the use of comprehension strategies for all students, including English Language Learners.

Presenter: Patrick Reilly

Target audience: Grade K-6 teachers

Connecting Kids to the Outdoors to Make Connections in the Classroom

In this session, I will demonstrate how I use my outdoor education trips to emotionally connect kids to the outdoors. This connection validates and authenticates what I do in the classroom.

Presenter: Gord Thorpe

Target audience: All

Empowering Students by Co-Creating Criteria

Creating criteria for success with our students is not only empowering for students, it can directly impact their growth as learners. This session will explore examples from elementary classrooms of co-creating criteria for a variety of activities and products in literacy learning. Hear how teacher begin these conversations with students. See real-life examples to get you started on your journey to co-creating criteria, or to spark ideas for next steps with your students. Participants may wish to bring a sample from their own classroom experience.

Presenter: Jill Kwasniewski

Target audience: Gr. 1-6 teachers

Reading (or not) the Awkward Spirit

Statistics show the rates of Autism and Asperger Syndrome are increasing. Come and hear the first-hand experiences of an educator who has had to struggle to accept and understand the personal impact of Asperger Syndrome. This informative and often humorous session will give you a real view into the world of children with this diagnosis and will suggest ways to help these children survive in a world which perceives them as ‘different’.

Presenter: Terri Robson,

Target audience: All

Measuring What They Know: Developing ELL Friendly Assessment Tools

This session explores ways to assess understanding and proficiency of concepts for those students who are new to the English language. These tools allow students to provide evidence of understanding without the need to articulate knowledge verbally or in writing. Examples of adaptive strategies and ELL friendly tests will be shared.

Presenter: Karlie Carter: Teacher - Londonderry

Target audience: Grade 4-12 teachers

Read&Write for Google: Universal Tools to Support Literacy for all Students

From non-readers or writers with specialized needs to students working above grade level, Read&Write for Google offers numerous tools to support ALL learners in developing their reading and writing skills. This session will highlight the core features of Read&Write for Google and proved suggestions of how these tools can be used in the classroom. Participants will leave with installed software and ideas they can use in the classroom tomorrow.

Presenter: Will Rice: Consultant – District Technology

Target audience: All

This is Not Your Parents’ Library

The library you grew up with is changing. In keeping with the new Ministerial Order on Student Learning, Alberta Education has developed a new policy on Learning Commons. Come and explore how this policy could affect the library in your school.


Target audience: All