Session Descriptions

Early Literacy Conference, K-3 , April 12, 2016

Morning Session 1 9:00am to 12:00pm

Linking Language to Literacy for Dual Language Learners and Other Children, Pre K-Grade 3, who Struggle with Language. Part 1 of 2 Presenter: Sally Grimes of the Grimes Reading Institute


We are in a “Perfect Storm” for helping dual language learners meet proficiency standards because we now know more about Brain Development and Early Language Development for both Mono and Dual Language Learners (DLL’s). What does the research tell us, and how does it inform education at these early levels?


This introductory session is designed to help participants understand how to make informed instructional decisions for children who struggle with language acquisition and listening skills while also involving the community and parents.


Using the highly regarded Scarborough “Rope Graphic”, the presenter will help participants understand not only what happens when one or more of the eight language development sub-skills (such as vocabulary, background knowledge or phonemic awareness) is weak, but importantly…what can be done about it. The focus of the afternoon session uses the information of the morning session to instruct the audience on "what can be done about it".

Morning Session 2 9:00am to 12:00pm

New Hampshire ‘s New Kindergarten Readiness Indicators brought to you by SERESC, highlighting the work of the NH Department of Education. Presenter: Cherrie Fulton


The New Hampshire Kindergarten Readiness Indicators provide parents, educators and communities with a common understanding and standard of what children should know and be able to do as they enter kindergarten. Participants will receive information about the indicators themselves, and the interconnections of skill development in literacy and math. Join the presenter in a discussion of the knowledge and skills our young children need to be successful in school and later in life. You will receive a copy of the Indicators as well as valuable references and resources to use in your program. This workshop is highly recommended for Kindergarten teachers, Preschool Program Directors and parents of young children. Target PK-K.

Morning Session 3 9:00am to 12:00pm


Getting Ready to Learn to Read: a Call From Research to Action brought to you by SERESC. Presenter: Jean Ciborowski-Fahey


This session will showcase the science of the young brain as it begins to wire itself for reading long before children learn to read. Participants will learn: to identify 3 ways that strengthen the neural pathways in the young child’s developing reading brain; how to 'catch children' before they fail at learning to read; and innovative ways to increase family engagement in building the foundational skills for learning-to-read. A Touchdown for Literacy!

Morning Session 4 9:00am to 12:00pm

Developing Students’ Word Consciousness in the K-2 Classroom From Wilson Language Training. Presenter: Connie Steigerwald


Research affirms that vocabulary knowledge is critical to school success. Students come to school with a wide variance of word knowledge. It is essential that the classroom provide a rich oral language environment as well as access to incidental and explicit word learning. Vocabulary growth can be enhanced through direct teaching of word awareness. Word awareness includes an understanding of a word’s structure and its meaning. This session will review the research on vocabulary development and present activities for teachers to use to develop opportunities within a word study lesson such as Fundations® to directly weave vocabulary instruction and talk about word meanings while teaching word structure.

Morning Session 5 9:00am to 12:00pm

Keys to Early Writing -Sentence Sense Activities, from Keys to Literacy. Presenter: Lisa Klein


During this session, participants will review sentence structure and its importance as a foundational skill. Participants will have the opportunity to develop several different “sentence sense” activities, including sentence combining, sentence elaboration, and sentence scrambles. This interactive literacy workshop focuses on developmentally appropriate instructional practices that use oral language skills as a foundation for sentence reading and writing. Related Common Core Standards will be addressed. Participants are encouraged to bring sample classroom reading material that will be used to generate sentence-sense activities. This session presents segments from Keys to Early Writing which combines these components into an instructional routine: engage a community of writers, text structures, writing process, daily opportunities to write, and a writing activity planning guide. Target Audience: All grade K-3 classroom teachers, ELL and special educators, and administrators.

Afternoon Session 6 12:45-3:30 pm

Interventions and Practices for Dual Language Learners and Others who Struggle with Language, PreK-Grade 3. Part 2 of 2 from the Grimes Reading Institute. Presenter: Sally Grimes


Armed with the information from the morning session, participants will be guided through next steps: designing effective instruction, activities and interventions for Dual Language Learners and others who struggle with language acquisition. The need for parental and community involvement will be stressed and suggestions for their involvement will be made.


The presenter will help participants understand which approaches and interventions will strengthen the skills of the learner whose gaps or fragmented skills are interfering with learning. She will offer a hands-on, “nuts and bolts” approach to these challenges, providing teachers with updated information and numerous ideas for activities to develop written and spoken language. Participants will be provided with a “tool kit”, manipulatives and a mini manual of references, including websites, assessments, sources of video clips and curriculum development. The focus is on Pre-K to Grade 3 but educators of older students who are performing below grade level have found these techniques helpful.


Please Note: This “labor intensive” session of hands-on guidance relies on the information gained in the morning session, Part 1. Due to the amount of work being done at the Part 2 level, the presenter will not be able to review the critical information presented in Part 1. For that reason it is highly recommended that participants have completed Part 1 prior to attending Part 2.

Afternoon Session 7 12:45-3:30 pm

Low and High-Tech Assistive Technology to Support Early Literacy , Sponsored by SERESC. Presenter: Heather Gray

Preschoolers with disabilities may lack the same exposure and practice of foundation skills to become successful readers as their non-disabled peers. This workshop will highlight evidenced based practices for modifying and adapting traditional early literacy instruction for learners who have complex learning profiles, such as students with multiple disabilities or students who require augmentative communication.


As a result of attending, participants will be able to: list 3 ways to adapt early literacy instruction for a student with a disability, using assistive technology; compare and contrast the traditional and emergent views on literacy; list at least 3 resources to gain additional information or current research on using assistive technology to access literacy instruction.

Afternoon Session 8 12:45-3:30 pm

Keys to Comprehension: Primary Grades K-3, from Keys to Literacy. Presenter: Margaret Rodero

This session will introduce instructional practices for teaching beginning comprehension strategies related to anything that is “ read, said, or done” throughout the school day. The presenter will focus on how to teach categorizing and main ideas skills, two graphic organizers ( topic webs, two column) and retell/summary through modeling, thinkaloud, and manipulatives.

Afternoon Session 9 12:45-3:30 pm

Integrating Science into Early Writing from SERESC ‘s STEM Center for Innovation and Excellence. Presenter: Judith Sumner


Join Judith Sumner, a science teacher who is also a published author, as she shows the audience how to design writing prompts with specific short investigations that align with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) expectations for K-3: motion, measurements, plant and animal survival, ecosystems, weather, structure and function, heating and cooling and more. The presenter will illustrate several examples. Then, teachers will have a chance to develop their own prompts with guidance from Dr. Sumner.

Afternoon Session 10 12:45-3:30 pm

Keys to Early Writing from Keys to Literacy: Afternoon Session - Writing Throughout the Day


In this session, participants will learn about the three types of writing identified in the Common Core and effective ways to integrate more oral and written composing throughout the school day. We will also address the “reading-writing connection".


In this interactive workshop, participants will generate composing activities based on text sources and are encouraged to bring classroom reading samples (at least one fiction and one non-fiction) that will be used to generate writing activities related to their classroom.


This session presents segments from Keys to Early Writing which combines these components into an instructional routine: engage a community of writers, text structures, writing process, daily opportunities to write, and a writing activity planning guide. Target Audience: All grade K-3 classroom teachers, ELL and special educators, and administrators.