VBIDA Spring 2019 Conference Navigating Dyslexia


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Schedule for the day

8:00-8:30 Registration/Morning Coffee/visit Vendors

8:30-9:00 Welcome

9:00-10:30 Keynote Presentation by Dr. Charles W. Haynes

“Early Identification and Intervention for Children at Risk for Reading Disabilities”

How can we identify children early, before the period when they are exposed to formal reading instruction?  Participants in this practical session will learn research-based strategies for early prediction and prevention of dyslexia and related language learning difficulties, before children fail.  There is strong interest in early identification and support for children at risk for dyslexia and related language learning difficulties.    Children’s failure with literacy learning in the early grades often results in a downward academic and social-emotional spiral, and illiteracy is extremely expensive for families and for society at large.   The good news is that when assessed in preschool and kindergarten, specific cognitive-linguistic abilities can predict with 85-90% accuracy how children will perform in word recognition, spelling, decoding fluency, reading comprehension and decoding fluency in later grades. With early detection and systematic enrichment of key pre-literacy skills prior to formal literacy instruction in Grade 1, we can leverage young children’s neuro-plasticity and help them achieve academic success.

10:30-10:45  Break/vendors

10:45-12:00 Breakout Session 1

12:00-1:00 Lunch/Vendors

1:00-2:15 Breakout Session 2

2:15-2:30 Break/Vendors

2:30-3:45 Breakout Session 3

3:45 Vendor Exploration, Certificates of Participation

Register Now!

Breakout Session Descriptions Below

*You will need to select one for each session during the registration process

Session 1 Choices

  • Dr. Charles W. Haynes, Ph.D

-Liven Up Your Students’ Writing: Narrative and Expository Elaboration Strategies

Students who struggle with language comprehension and expression benefit from learning strategies to help them self-regulate their language learning. This session provides practical, research-based strategies for supporting oral and written discourse elaboration for students in Grades 1-4. “Cohesion Circle” and “Detail Circle” techniques for narrative expansion and their application to expository writing will be illustrated through examples of students’ writing. These methods from Dr. Haynes’ and Terrill Jennings’ recent book for teachers, “From Talking to Writing: Strategies for Supporting Narrative and Expository Writing, Second Edition” (2018) provide the basis for this keynote.

  • Dyslexia Panel Discussion

Join our panel of parents, teachers, student and tutor to discuss current topics about dyslexia in our community. Topics discussed can support families and school staff seeking appropriate instruction for students. Learn about their experiences and suggestions for at home and in the classroom. Those attending the session will have the opportunity to ask panel members related questions.

  • Margaret Meyers, M.A., Director of Middle School, Chesapeake Bay Academy, Virginia Beach, VA

-Mindfulness: Compassionate Presence in the Classroom

Mindfulness in the field of education continues to grow, as educators from around the globe learn, teach, and apply the practice in their classrooms. What exactly is mindfulness, and what are the benefits for students, teachers, and the broader school communities who are using these tools? What does the research on mindfulness, especially as it applies to individuals with dyslexia, ADHD, and other executive functioning issues, reveal to us? Join us as we explore the practice together.

  • Lisa Snider, M.S, President of VBIDA, St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, VA and

          Cynthia Davis, M.Ed., Fellow/AOGPE, Riverside School, Richmond, VA

-Let’s Talk about Dyslexia

Cynthia and Lisa will give an overview of dyslexia. Using their years of experience teaching and helping families navigate school settings, they will help you better understand what dyslexia looks like and what can be done about it. Questions to be answered: What is dyslexia? What are the misconceptions people have about those with dyslexia? How do we recognize dyslexia in the classroom? What do we do to support those individuals who have it? Bring your questions. We will save time for discussion at the end.

  • Michael Hunter, M.Ed., Founding Partner, Readsters, Alexandria, VA, co-author of Phonics Blitz, Phonics Boost, and Diagnostic Decoding Surveys

-Effective Vocabulary Instruction: Throw Out the Dictionary!

Virtually all vocabulary experts agree that using the dictionary to teach word meanings is ineffective. If that’s the case, what does work? Learn explicit, multi-sensory instructional approaches to introduce vocabulary words and to cement understanding. The methods used in this presentation are based on research by Ehri & Rosenthal (2007). Learn how to tie pronunciation, spelling, and meaning together in a way that engages students of any age. Participants will receive templates for student-created definitions and they will practice creating their own definitions. The techniques presented in this session are effective with native English speakers and English Language Learners. These methods work because they connect speech, print, and meaning—all without a dictionary.

  • Cindy George, Director of AIM-VA

-Reading made Accessible for Your Students

For students that struggle to read, technology can be leveraged to support their individual needs. Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) and related assistive reading technology promote independence and confidence in the classroom. AIM offers a variety of features to meet a student’s individualized needs, such as text-to-speech, image descriptions, and text annotation. The use of AIM can positively impact student performance by improving grades, increase independence, improve test scores, and increase success.AIM-VA is a Virginia Department of Education grant funded service. We provide materials and support for qualifying students in grades K-12 and their teachers. Come learn how we can help you better service your struggling readers.

Session 2 Choices

  • Robin Hegner J.D., FIT/AOGPE, CDT/IDA, Pathways to Reading Success, Richmond VA

-Adding to Your Parent Toolbox: Strategies to Help your Dyslexic and ADHD Child Succeed at School

Much of a student’s success in school begins in the home. This workshop will provide you with tools to add to your “home toolbox” that will support your child’s academic and emotional success. Topics to be discussed include tools you can use to support healthy brain development, decrease anxiety, and improve reading fluency, organization, attention and confidence.”

While this session is geared toward things that can be done at home, teachers will benefit from many of these strategies as well. In addition, teachers will go away with information to share with parents.

  • Kristin Tait, M.Ed., Principal of Ecoff Elementary School, Chesterfield, VA, 

Melissa Bilik, M.Ed., Classroom Educator/AOGPE, Special Education Teacher at Swift Creek Elementary         School, Midlothian, VA

Gail Kemp, M.Ed., Classroom Educator/AOGPE, Special Education Teacher at Swift Creek Elementary School, Midlothian, VA

-Effectively Using Math Manipulatives in All Strands

The target audience for this session is special education teachers, general education teachers, math specialists, and administrators looking to increase student learning and understanding in the area of mathematics. The session will mostly focus on elementary grades 2-5. We will share a specific structure to put into place in collaborative math classrooms to set students up for success and provide easy differentiation opportunities while also making sure the students are heterogeneously mixed for strategic parts. We will talk about how this structure can be used to actually give you more time to spend on a math topic. The session will also include how to effectively use the VDOE approved aid items for instruction to really support that transition from concrete to representations to abstract.

  • MaryAnna Phillips, M.Ed., Certified/AOGPE, Academic Language Therapist, IDA/Certified Dyslexia Therapist, Atlantic Reading Therapy, LLC, Virginia Beach, Virginia

-Phonological and Phonemic Awareness: A Hierarchy of Skills ~ Part 1

Research shows deficits in phonemic awareness as often being the characteristic early indicator of a child with reading and/or spelling difficulty. This interactive session will explore the phonological skills hierarchy and its importance at each level of the continuum in effectively increasing phonological and phonemic awareness for dyslexic students of all ages. Participants will be given assessment tools and resources as well as lots of hands-on practice using activities to implement in individualized, small group, and large group settings.

  • Dr. Karen Rooney, Ph.D., Director of Educational Enterprises, Richmond, VA

-Dyslexia Evaluation: What should it include? What patterns are important? What should a parent do with the results?

This session will discuss the important components of an evaluation for dyslexia, describe important patterns to identify dyslexia, and plan remediation. The ways parents can help their child based on the test data will also be discussed.

  • AIM-VA

-Literacy Technology: Meeting the needs of diverse learners

In the inclusion classroom, we have students with a variety of learning needs. For students with dyslexia, assistive technology can help scaffold both reading and writing tasks for struggling learners. The session will explore literacy assistive technologies that can be integrated into the classroom. Participants will explore adapted activities designed to increase collaboration, engagement, and independence of students who have varying literacy needs. Join us to learn how to better serve your diverse students in the classroom.

  • Experience Dyslexia Simulation

This workshop is led by Riverside School faculty: Suzie Eklund, A/AOGPE, Director of Language Fundamentals, Nancy Spencer, Fellow/AOGPE, Teacher Trainer and Supervisor, and Mary Raper, A/AOGPE, Language Fundamentals Teacher and Summer Camp Coordinator.

Experience Dyslexia Simulation is a hands-on workshop in which participants are guided through five activities designed to simulate various language related tasks that present challenges and frustrations faced by individuals with Dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Participants will discover how these essential skills can be stressful, tiring, and emotional. After completing the activities, the participants will come together and discuss their feelings and what they have learned from their experience. It is hoped that this simulation will lead to greater empathy and understanding and provide insight into working more effectively with individuals who have dyslexia and or language-based learning differences.

The five stations will include:
• “Learn to Read” simulates a beginning reading problem.
• “Listen to Me” simulates an auditory figure-ground problem.
• “Name That Letter” simulates a letter-word identification problem.
• “Write or Left” simulates a copying and handwriting problem.
• “Unfair Hearing Test” simulates an auditory discrimination problem.

Session 3 Choices

  • Sheri Hight, PALS Support Specialist, Special Education Advisory Committee and Decoding Dyslexia Hampton Roads Chapter, Virginia Beach, VA

-Breaking the Reading code and the Dyslexic Reader

Attendees will have a clear understanding of how we learn to read, “breaking the reading code”, what areas of the brain are involved in that process. Each step of the reading code will be explained and when it occurs and what to expect at each stage of the process. Attendees will learn what this can look like for dyslexic learners; I will discuss my own experience with both of my boys. It was different for each of them. We will also discuss the emotional impact of being dyslexic and learning to read and break the reading code. We will also discuss the other emotions a dyslexic learner can experience throughout their day. And the impact early identification versus late identification can have on a dyslexic learner.

  • Margaret Meyers, M.A., Director of Middle School, Chesapeake Bay Academy, Virginia Beach, VA

-Mindfulness 2.0

Do you already have a deeper understanding of what mindfulness is? Do you have a personal mindfulness practice? Did you attend the mindfulness session during last year’s VBIDA conference? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please join us as we highlight the current research on mindfulness in education, enjoy some deeper practice time together, and discuss ways to remain connected to this broader movement

  • Joan Charles, NBCT, Implementation Specialist for Really Great Reading

-Erasing the Misery of Reading and Spelling Multisyllabic Words

When students don’t have strategies for reading big words, they often guess, skip or misread words. They struggle to comprehend complex text and read below level. Learn how to provide functional strategies that can be applied to many big words. As a result of participation in the session you will learn how to teach students to read and spell long words using some very functional, simple techniques, identify a scope and sequence in which to teach powerful multi-syllabic words and receive a list of words that are effective for teaching parts of the scope and sequence.

  • MaryAnna Phillips, M.Ed., Certified/AOGPE, Academic Language Therapist, IDA/Certified Dyslexia Therapist, Atlantic Reading Therapy, LLC, Virginia Beach, Virginia

-Phonemic and Morphemic Awareness ~ Part 2

In Part 2 of this interactive session, participants will continue working through the phonological skills hierarchy and will practice using activities to increase phonemic awareness. An introduction to morphemic awareness will also be included.

  • Marie Sexton, M.Ed., PRSE, founder and owner of Tidewater Learning Center, President/CEO of Sinkinson Dyslexia Foundation. Tidewater Community College’s Educational Diagnostician, Virginia Beach, VA

-The Proof is in the Pudding: 38 Years of Experience Evaluating and Remediating Dyslexia, and What’s Proven to Work

Although dyslexia is becoming somewhat more of a prominent topic in our communities, there is still much confusion about how it is diagnosed, when to assess a child, and what type of instruction works best. In this session the presenter addresses these questions and describes her experiences and discoveries of what has proven to work over 38 years as an educational specialist and educational diagnostician. Individuals attending this session will have ample opportunity to ask questions that pertain to their personal needs and experiences regarding dyslexia. Dysgraphia and dyscalculia will also be discussed.

  • Experience Dyslexia Simulation

This workshop is led by Riverside School faculty: Suzie Eklund, A/AOGPE, Director of Language Fundamentals, Nancy Spencer, Fellow/AOGPE, Teacher Trainer and Supervisor, and Mary Raper, A/AOGPE, Language Fundamentals Teacher and Summer Camp Coordinator.

Experience Dyslexia Simulation is a hands-on workshop in which participants are guided through five activities designed to simulate various language related tasks that present challenges and frustrations faced by individuals with Dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. Participants will discover how these essential skills can be stressful, tiring, and emotional. After completing the activities, the participants will come together and discuss their feelings and what they have learned from their experience. It is hoped that this simulation will lead to greater empathy and understanding and provide insight into working more effectively with individuals who have dyslexia and or language-based learning differences.

The five stations will include:
• “Learn to Read” simulates a beginning reading problem.
• “Listen to Me” simulates an auditory figure-ground problem.
• “Name That Letter” simulates a letter-word identification problem.
• “Write or Left” simulates a copying and handwriting problem.
• “Unfair Hearing Test” simulates an auditory discrimination problem.

Hotel Information

Hotel is available Friday and/or Saturday and is located right across from the convention center. Our block rate is $99+tax and must be booked by March 8th to receive the discounted rate.

VBIDA Booking Link: Book your stay!

Group Name: Virginia Branch of International Dyslexia Association

Group Code: VBD

Check-in Available: Friday, March 22, 2019

Hotel Name: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Virginia Beach

Hotel Address: 1900 Pavilion Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Phone Number: 757-422-8900