Straight Talk by the Experts® Conference
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Keynote Speakers

Emily Hanford
Dr. David Steiner
Dr. Marilyn Jager Adams
May 27th at 9am -10:30 Eastern:  Emily Hanford-Keynote 
What’s all the fuss about the ‘Science of Reading’?
Emily Hanford, senior correspondent for APM Reports, has sent shockwaves across the US and around the globe with her reporting on the importance of teacher knowledge about the science of reading. In this keynote, Emily will tell the story of how she became interested in early reading instruction, discuss key insights from the scientific research, and share what she has learned from educators across the country about how reading is being taught and what teachers and students need to do better. There will be time for Q&A.

May 28th at 
9-10:30 Eastern:  Dr. David Steiner - Keynote
Title:  Education in a time of Pandemic: COVID-19 and the future of American schools
More information to come

May 29th at  8:15-8:45 Eastern:   Dr Marilyn Adams-Keynote
Beginning to Read
More information to come

May 27th, 2020

Dr. Timothy Shanahan
Joan Sedita
Dr. Freddy Heibert
Dr. Lucy Hart Paulson
Brandon Harvey
 10:45-12:15 Eastern:  Dr. Timothy Shanahan
Title:   Teaching Reading with Complex Text
For 70 years, we’ve told teachers that students need to be taught to read at their
“instructional levels” and we’ve spent substantial amounts of time identifying book levels and testing students to ensure a proper match. However, research has not been supportive of this idea. This presentation indicates that we need to alter our approach to reading instruction – teaching students to read texts that they cannot already read well.

12:30-2 Eastern:  Joan Sedita
Title:  Keys to Comprehension: Topic Webs, Two-Column Notes, Summary
This session presents instructional suggestions for teaching comprehension strategies that can be embedded in any subject in grades 4-12 using content reading materials. Topic webs are graphic organizers that provide the “big picture” before and during reading, two-column notes support thinking while reading, and summarizing after reading helps students synthesize information into long-term memory. These three strategies can be used individually or combined into a comprehension strategy routine. Scaffolds for supporting struggling readers will be included.

2:15-3:45 Eastern:  
Dr. Freddy Hiebert
Vocabulary:  The Key to Unlocking Complex Text
The words that students know predicts comprehension of what they read. Expanding, and deepening, students’ understanding of academic work families is a critical function of successful reading instruction, delivering students benefits across all content areas. Harnessing the power of digital resources has led to a revolution in our knowledge about vocabulary, as we’ve now been able to identify the features of words in large numbers.  Elfrieda (Freddy) H. Hiebert will provide valuable insight into conclusions from this recent scholarly research, and how these conclusions can transform vocabulary instruction in ways that expand students knowledge of words, their ability to comprehend complex texts, and make vital connections across multiple texts.

4-5:15 Eastern:  Dr. Lucy Hart Paulson
Oral Language Structure: Considerations You Need to Know to Better Facilitate
English Learners’ Language Acquisition
The structures across oral languages have similarities and contrasts that contribute English Learners’ language acquisition. A deeper understanding of oral language and these considerations is helpful for educators working with EL students. This session will describe the oral language structures and a comparison of first and successive language acquisition stages along with considerations for literacy development.

5:30 - 7pm Eastern:  Brandon Harvey
Teaching Wonders Curriculum with Digital Resources in this New Age of Teaching online
More information to come

May 28th, 2020

Dr. Howie Knoff
Dr. Nancy Mather
David Boulton
Dr. Jan Hasbrouck
Brandon Harvey
  10:45-12:15 Eastern:  Dr. Howie Knoff
When Everyone is Thinking Alike, No One is Thinking: Ten Multi-Tiered Practices that Explain Why Students Ain’t Learning
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act definition of multi-tiered systems of support allows districts to (re)design their own delivery approaches to meet the needs of their own students. Unfortunately, many districts continue to use never- or poorly-validated response-to-intervention or multi-tiered frameworks advocated by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (or its funded Technical Assistance Centers) or their state departments of education.
This presentation discusses ten science-to-practice approaches that, when integrated into a re-designed multi-tiered system, improve student outcomes, decrease “curriculum and instructional casualties,” and better address the needs of struggling students. These approaches have been implemented, through on-site consultation and technical assistance, in schools nationwide for over 40 years. The biggest question is: “Can educators get past the cognitive dissonance that has created a mindset where ‘Everyone is Thinking Alike, but No One is Thinking.’”

Eastern:  Dr. Nancy Mather
Title:  The Essentials of Dyslexia Assessment
This session will address the definition of dyslexia; the importance of assessing cognitive and linguistic processes, including phonological awareness, orthographic coding, and rapid automatized naming, as well as the primary reading and writing challenges (decoding, spelling, and reading fluency). She will explain how consideration of the concepts of unexpected underachievement and expected underachievement can be relevant components of an evaluation. In addition, she will discuss several challenges that are inherent in the assessment of dyslexia such as difficulties with the current identification procedures; early identification of children; the accurate diagnosis of twice exceptional students; and the complication of assessing individuals who have co-occurring disorders, such as ADHD and/or language impairments.

Eastern:   David Boulton
Flipping Learning to Read
Most of our kids go through most of their school years feeling ashamed of their minds for not being good enough as learners. Though many aspects of modern life and school play a part, the most common factor is the artificially confusing challenges involved in learning to read. In this session we will flip everything about the way reading instruction is typically thought about inside-out. Diving below the instructional debates we will use a new kind of technology to illuminate the relationship between the code and the brain and demonstrate, live, in ways you can first-person experience, how children will learn to read in the future.

4-5:15 Eastern:  Dr. Jan Hasbrouck
Making Sense of Fluency Data: What Does ORF Really Measure?
These days the curriculum-based measure of ORF is widely used in schools across the world. Most schools are using one of the several commercial versions of ORF measures available today, including DIBELS 8th Edition from the U of Oregon, or Acadience, or easyCBM, or AIMSweb, or FAST Bridge, or iStation, etc. But what do these ORF assessments actually measure? Why are we relying so much on a 60 second measure of oral fluency on unpracticed text? Is this really fair? And shouldn't we really be assessing our students' comprehension? This session, presented by an expert in reading fluency and curriculum-based measurement, will answer all these questions so that educators will be empowered to collect the right amount data, using the right assessment tools, and at the end of the day, be able to accurately and efficiently use the data to make the best decisions about our students' instruction.

5:30 - 7pm Eastern:  Brandon Harvey
Teaching Wonders Curriculum with Digital Resources in this New Age of Teaching online
More information to come

May 29th, 2020

Dr. Anita Archer
Dr. Kevin Colleary
Dr. Nadine Gaab
Dr. Amanda VanDerHeyden
Dr. Laura Boccanfuso
    8:50-10:40 Eastern:  Dr Anita Archer
Title: Keeping them all Engaged: Optimizing Opportunities to Respond

More information to come

10:45-12:15 Eastern:  Dr. Kevin Colleary
Teaching for Democracy: Knowledge, Evidence and Critical Thinking
Dr. Kevin Colleary presents ideas and perspectives on how our teaching and curricular choices impact educating students for an active role in a modern participatory democracy. Dr. Colleary will discuss how reading, language arts, social studies and other subjects can deepen student understanding about what it means to be a participating, active citizen in their communities.

Drawing on the confluence between a knowledge-based curriculum, 21st century skill development and the work of researchers and writers from around the world, Dr. Colleary shares ideas about what is needed for teachers and communities to strengthen their commitment to teaching for democracy in today’s complex world. He will also examine some of the current challenges facing teachers in an age of increasing access to many different types of information, including helping students build arguments based on evidence and the increasing need for critical thinking skills at all age levels.

Eastern:  Dr. Nadine Gaab
Title:  Screening for Early Literacy Milestones and Reading Disabilities: The Why, When, Whom, How and Where
(At-Risk Students, Dyslexia and Other Learning Issues, Early Childhood, English Language Learners, Equity, Thinking and Learning)

This session will address screening for literacy milestones and reading disabilities, including developmental dyslexia in early grades (pre-K-1st). It will provide the WHY behind the screening movement in this country with a strong focus on the
neurobiology of reading development and reading disabilities. It will further introduce the ‘Dyslexia Paradox’ which can be described as the discrepancy between the current window for identifying struggling readers’ and the window for most effective intervention using scientific evidence. The session will further outline the important constructs to screen for with a developmental lens and discuss practical steps for implementing a screening protocol in various educational or clinical settings. The session will conclude with an overview about different screening instruments and criteria for picking the right screener as well as a discussion about the educational and clinical implications of screening young children.

Eastern:   Dr Amanda VanDerHeyden
Title:  Pragmatic how-to for Math Intervention
Dr. VanDerHeyden is going to deliver a pragmatic how-to for classwide math intervention as a mechanism to rapidly accelerate math achievement, repair past learning gaps, and improve accurate identification of students for intensive intervention.

4-5:15 Eastern Dr. Laura Boccanfuso
Title:  Tackling Academic Slide with the ABii Smart Robot Learning System

More information to come   
Thank you to all of our Sponsors!


Dr. Timothy Shanahan's 
"Which words do you teach?"

Photosynthesis may sound like a big word, but it's actually pretty simple.  You can divide it into two parts:  "Photo" is the Greek word for "Light," and "synthesis," is the Greek word for "putting together," which explains what photosynthesis is.  It is using light to put things together.  You may have noticed that all animals and humans eat food, but plants don't eat anything.  Photosynthesis is how plants eat.  They use this process to make their own food.  Since they don't have to move around to find food, plants stay in one place, since they can make their food anywhere as long as they have three things.

Some scientists argued that these gases have heated up our atmosphere. They say global warming will affect our climate so dramatically that glaciers will melt and sea levels will rise. In addition, it is not just our atmosphere that can be polluted. Oil from spills often seeps into the ocean.
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