Invited Speakers

Invited Symposium

NEW THIS YEAR! Join four innovative educators in a deep-dive learning session to help you align best practices in content areas with the Common Core State Standards and Texas STAAR.

Ruth Culham, Greg Tang, Steven Layne, & Danny Brassell
Readin', Writin', and 'Rithmetic: Revisited Through the Common Core State Standards and Texas STAAR

By examining best practices in each of the core content areas, and how they align with the Common Core State Standards and Texas STAAR, teachers and administrators will gain access to effective instructional and learning strategies that make all the difference in the lives of today's students. Special consideration will be given to students who struggle in reading, writing, and mathematics.

Ruth Culham

Ruth Culham is the recognized expert in the traits of writing field and author of over 40 teaching resources published by Scholastic, including 6+1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide, Grades 3 and Up; 6+1 Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for the Primary Grades; and Traits of Writing: The Complete Guide for Middle School, winner of the 2011 Teacher's Choice award. As the author of Traits Writing: The Complete Writing Program for Grades K-8 (2012), she has launched a writing revolution. Traits Writing is the culmination of 40 years of educational experience, research, practice, and passion.

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Greg Tang

Greg Tang is one of the country's most innovative math educators. He's the author of the groundbreaking, New York Times bestselling picture book, The Grapes of Math (Scholastic, 2001); the inventor of the popular math app, KAKOOMA®; and creator of Scholastic's new supplemental math program, GregTangMath.com. Today, Greg is working to develop a more intuitive approach to teaching math—one that combines language, art, and technology, and develops both abstract and algebraic thinking skills (the key to higher math). Greg has B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from Harvard, and an M.A. degree in Math Education from NYU.

Steven Layne

Steven Layne has been recognized as one of the top educators in America by the prestigious Milken Foundation; selected a top middle school language arts teacher by the National Council of Teachers of English; and named to one of the All-Teacher Teams of Top Educators by USA Today. In addition to his more than fifteen years of K-8 classroom experience, Steve has authored 23 books, including Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers (Stenhouse, 2009). Steve directs the Master of Education in Literacy program at Judson University, and he is partnering with a colleague to develop the university's first doctoral degree program. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association. Steve lives with his wife Debbie, their four children, and a much-loved 65-pound collie in St. Charles, Illinois.

Danny Brassell

Danny Brassell is a professor in the Teacher Education Department at California State University-Dominguez Hills and founder of www.lazyreaders.com. He is the author of over 50 journal and newspaper articles and 10 books, including Bringing Joy Back Into the Classroom (Shell, 2011). Danny helps parents and educators inspire kids to love reading and achieve more. He may be contacted at www.dannybrassell.com.

Individual Speakers

When you want to learn more about today's education trends, challenges, and opportunities, you turn to these trusted experts time and time again. This year's slate of Invited Speakers includes:

Debbie Diller

Debbie Diller
Building Student Independence Through Meaningful Literacy Work Stations

At this session, you'll learn how to help the rest of the class work independently while you work with a small group in reading. Get tips for establishing and managing student-centered literacy work stations in grades K-8. Find out how to take what you're teaching and use those same standards and materials to create meaningful independent paired practice.

Cris Tovani

Cris Tovani
Harnessing Literacy Instruction to Meet the Demands of the CCSS

As the Common Core is implemented, teachers are working hard to make instructional shifts to meet its demands. Cris Tovani is also making some instructional shifts. Her first shift is how she is thinking about disciplinary reading and where it "fits" with the thinking strategies she writes about in her first two books. Cris is also rethinking her grade book so that it more accurately reflects students' growth and improvement. During this presentation, Cris will share examples of unit studies that she has done with students. She will also share how she is integrating instruction around the four literacy strands found in the Core in an attempt to give readers of all levels access to complex text.

Lucy Calkins

Lucy Calkins
Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement

Lucy Calkins, co-author of the best-selling book, Pathways to the Common Core (Heinemann, 2012) and author of the brand new series, Units of Study in Opinion, Informational, and Narrative Writing (FirstHand, 2013), will help you turn the Common Core State Standards from a mandate to a mission. First, Calkins will help you look at the CCSS analytically, consolidating and grasping its messages. Then she will help you translate the document into plans for teaching and for school reform. This dynamic session will help you tackle the challenging work of accelerating students' progress in ways that bring them to (and beyond) these ambitious standards.

Stephanie Harvey

Stephanie Harvey
Comprehension at the Core: Close Reading With Understanding

Finding the main idea in a paragraph simply won't cut it in the world of Common Core State Standards. Understanding matters with the CCSS. In order to meet—and even exceed—the standards, readers need to read closely to understand and learn from their reading. But for close reading with comprehension to occur, readers must interact with text and use the text structure, the craft, the features, the signals, the text clues, and even the missing pieces to expand understanding. In this session, learn strategies to put comprehension at the core of the CCSS.

Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Gallagher
Building Deeper Readers in the Age of the Common Core State Standards

The Common Core State Standards in reading call for students to "show a steadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text." Exploring the concept of "fuller use of text," this session will examine strategies that help students move beyond surface understanding, helping them to develop reading skills that ensure they are well prepared for college and career.

IRA's Spring 2013 Resource Catalog
Ad Placement 2
Ad Placement 2
Ad Placement 2