Many more breakout sessions will be presented on Friday.  You will have multiple choices in each time slot.

Force Field for Good: Teaching Kindness Through Song and Literacy
At a time when high academic achievement and rising test scores are seen as success, it is easy to forget that real accomplishment in life involves how we live and act everyday.  Force Field for Good, is an ongoing, year long, musical approach to creating a kindly classroom community of students who share a passion for self-reflection and aspire to well being for every member of their class.  Created by Barry and 2nd grade teacher Colleen Mestdagh, the mini-curriculum merges academic learning with social emotional learning.  Come to this session ready to sing, read and write. for information.

Deep Reading Leads to Deep Writing

In this hands-on workshop, Robb will use diverse texts to model easy-to-implement reading strategies—strategies that move students quickly and deeply into texts they have read. She’ll show you how to teach students to move from topic words to developing theme statements. Then Robb will model how to use theme statements to plan and develop analytical paragraphs and essays. Participants will see how a planning sheet contains the content criteria for an essay; they will collaborate with Robb to complete a plan and learn how to write introductions and closings for essays. In addition, Robb will discuss peer editing and why grading second drafts offers students opportunities to revise and edit.

Mirrors and Windows:  What’s On Your Bookshelf? (Part II)
Review contemporary multicultural and urban children’s literature to ensure that your collection and curricula reflect children’s experiences as well as open up windows to the wider world.
This session is designed to build on the research content from the Mirrors Matter session, providing participants with an opportunity to dig deeper on the content and consider the balance of mirrors and windows in their own collections. Hands-on review of texts will allow participants to expand their knowledge of the range of high-quality multicultural and urban children’s literature available. Discussion will focus on practical ways to utilize a balance of mirrors and window books to help children explore common preK and kindergarten curricular themes, including Creative Curriculum studies. Classroom-based case studies will be also be shared to demonstrate the impact of culturally relevant children’s literature on student learning.

Handwriting: A Major Player in Reading & Writing Achievement
Current research supports the fact that fluency in handwriting enables students to produce more text and higher quality of text. The only way for students to be fluent in handwriting is through direct instruction of the formation of letters and consistent practice to build automaticity, yet in many classrooms, handwriting instruction has fallen by the wayside. There are a multitude of reasons for the decline, one being lack of time for instruction – another, the lack of experience or the increased use of technology. In this session, teachers will be given practical solutions for each of these barriers.
 Handwriting is more than a fine motor skill. Research shows that handwriting instruction and handwriting skill impact students’ overall literacy development. Letter recognition is foundational for success in reading.   Evidence from research shows that children recognize letters more efficiently after printing practice versus tracing or locating letters on a keyboard. The handwriting learning method requires the writer to perform a movement that completely defines the shape of the letter in order to build an internal model of the character.
In today’s classrooms the emphasis on student achievement through written expression is at its highest. To write effectively, students must generate ideas, organize those ideas, determine the proper voice for the audience and utilize sources to support their ideas. These steps of the writing process require a tremendous amount of brain power. Current research supports the fact that fluency in handwriting enables students to produce more text and higher quality of text. The only way for students to be fluent in handwriting is through direct instruction of the formation of letters and consistent practice to build automaticity. Just as phonics is a foundational skill for reading comprehension, handwriting serves as the foundation for written composition.
Teachers take students from where they are in their skill development to greater achievement much like that of a coach. Therefore, this session is designed to support teachers through the coaching process as it aligns with handwriting instruction. Teachers will be encouraged to reflect on their current attitudes and habits regarding handwriting and develop a plan of action for including best practices within their classrooms.

Author Connections in the Classroom
Few things excite readers more than the opportunity to connect with the authors of their favorite books.  Liesl Shurtliff, bestselling middle-grade author and avid school presenter, will share the benefits of connecting students with authors through Skype, email, social media, and live school visits. Participants will receive resources to help you connect with your favorite authors and tips on how to make the most of it.

Using QR Codes and Augmented Reality in English Language Arts
Join Monica Burns, author of Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom to learn how scannable technology can energize English Language Arts instruction. You’ll see Monica’s ACES Framework in action and explore how Augmented Reality can transform teaching and learning. This technology is perfect for classrooms with just a few devices or a mix of devices.