Institute 12: Meeting the Differentiated Needs in Early Literacy Using the CCSS: Assessment and Instruction
Reading Today Online asked all of the Institute Chairpersons for IRA San Antonio to respond to three questions designed to give our readers and all prospective attendees a better understanding of the insights and benefits they will gain from these day-long programs. Below are responses from Institute 12 Chairs Lesley Morrow, Billie Enz, Diane Lapp, and Judith Schickedanz.
What is the professional urgency that this institute is designed to address?
We know that if our children are on level by grade 3 they are likely to stay on level and succeed in reading. Only 10% of those who are not will ever reach grade level. With the addition of perks we can save $7.00 a child on additional preventative measures in the future. Early Literacy has the responsibility to help our children be fluent by third grade. There is no necessity for the fourth grade slump which in many schools is now being called the third grade slump.
What types of literacy professionals is this institute designed for?
This institute is a must for teachers, supervisors, librarians, coaches, and administrators who deal in early literacy.
How will attendance at this institute help those literacy professionals “make a difference” in their work?
In this institute we emphasize the necessity for engaging children in the language arts all day long. Reading is a skill from which we learn new things—new things that are exciting, relevant, and that children want to read. Reading needs to be about children’s interests such as sports, pop culture, technology, nutrition, etc.
In an outline of an excellent Language Arts Program foundational skills, oral language, listening, vocabulary, visual literacy, comprehension, and fluency will be modeled in content area lessons. This will be done by the best researchers, practitioners, and entertaining speakers in the country. The BIG message is we must teach literacy purposefully all day long in in explicit instruction and intentionally through art, music, science, play, social studies, and math in early childhood.
Our keynote speaker is an author of children’s literature, an academic, and a consultant. Dr. Lester Laminas will motivate you with his dynamic presentation on "Flirting with Literacy: Sparking a Life-Long Love Affair with Literature." We will have nine different workshops throughout the day from which you have to choose. The workshops are interactive, and will be filled with strategies. In the workshops there will be:
- videos demonstrating best practice
- town meeting style presentations to get you to tell us what you think, and
- discussions to share your ideas
A new feature in our institute is a panel of distinguished experts each speaking briefly about key topics in early literacy multicultural literature, new Head Start Literacy Initiatives, and classified children in early literacy. Richard Allington will address the following: “We could Teach Them All to Read, But Will We?”
The day also includes a keynote at the end by William Teale, who will tie up loose ends that deal with our theme of the CCSS, diversity, and an integrated curriculum.
We end with our lovely “High Tea” for refreshments and reflections.
We have no formal presentations but the purpose is to interact with the speakers. This has been a highlight of our program every year. The institute with its many features, speakers, and topics will address the Common Core with young children, differentiated instruction, the joy of literacy, and the diversity of our students.
This early literacy institute has been an institution at IRA for at least 25 years. We feel we have brought you the best, the brightest, and the most informed speakers to talk about the most crucial topics about early literacy today. We know you will leave with a wealth of information to turnkey into your school programs.
Registration Information: This preconference institute will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19 before the 58th International Reading Association Annual Convention begins on Saturday, April 20. Register online for this or another institute and/or to register for the annual convention. Call 888-294-9167 or 415-979-2278 to find out how to register by phone, fax, or mail. To learn more about convention events in San Antonio, visit the annual convention website and the online itinerary planner (iPlanner), or read more Reading Today annual convention articles.