Harvest Literacy Conference

Session Descriptions

Why Kids Need Stories More Than Ever: Using Children's Books to Engage Students, Satisfy Standards, and Make School a Laughing Place.

Albert Einstein reportedly once said, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Using these evocative words as a starting point, authors Andrea Beaty and Julia Durango will discuss why children's books still offer one of the most powerful, cross-curricular tools in education. Using a selection of their own books as examples, they will demonstrate a variety of book-based, culturally responsive literacy strategies, such as creative writing exercise, multimedia projects, and inquiry learning activities, which not only address Common Core Standards, but encourage students (and teachers!) to have fun in the classroom.

Andrea Beaty is the author of award winning mid-grade novels and humorous picture books including Iggy Peck, Architect which was a Time Magazine's Top Ten Children's Books of 2007, Winner of the Friends of American Writers Award, and a Bank Street College Best Book. Andrea Beaty visits many schools (pre-k to 8th) each year. Through humor, Andrea shares her knowledge and enthusiasm about writing and the importance of literacy. Andrea's programs incorporate Common Core Standards for literacy and writing. She also offers programs focusing on the 6+1 Traits of writing.

Andrea's picture books include When Giants Come to Play, Iggy Peck, Architect, Doctor Ted, Firefighter Ted, Artist Ted, Hide and Sheep, Hush, Baby Ghostling. Andrea's novels include Cicada Summer, Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies, and the upcoming Dorko the Magnificent.

Julia Durango is the author of picture books, novels, and poetry for children of all ages. Her most recent poetry collection, Under the Mambo Moon, celebrates Latin American music, community, and family ties, and has garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, as well as a spot on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list for 2012-2013. Latin America is also the setting for her award-winning adventure novels, including The Walls of Cartagena, which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and an Américas Award Honorable Mention, and Sea of the Dead, which won both the Parents' Choice silver medal and the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Fiction. Julia lives with her family in Ottawa, Illinois. You can read more about her at JuliaDurango.com.

Initial Literacy Strategies for ELL Students Incorporating Technology

Participants will have the opportunity to realize what an English Language Learner (ELL) feels like in the classroom and learn literacy strategies to assist their ELL students. Participants will be given some Web 2.0 tools to help motivate and engage their ELL students.

Beth Webster graduated from Saint Xavier University in 1999 with a Bachelor's in Education. She went back to Saint Xavier University and received her Master's in Elementary Education with an endorsement in ELL. Beth has been an ELL teacher for 11 years. She is currently an ELL teacher K-5 at Ridge Lawn School in Chicago Ridge.

Snaa Mohammad attended Birzeit University in Palestine where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Arabic Literature and Grammar in 1994. She was also an exchange student at Durham University in Great Britain. Then she attended Saint Xavier University where she received her Master's degree in Elementary Education in 2009. She is currently an Arabic bilingual teacher at Ridge Lawn Elementary in Chicago Ridge. She has been working in the Chicago Ridge district for 12 years.

Spice Up Your Reading Toolbox!

Are you looking to add a little pizzazz to your reading instruction?

Join us for this make and take session filled with fun and creative ideas guaranteed to liven up your classroom.

Amy Vosler has been teaching for 16 years. She has taught first grade, fourth grade, and is a certified reading specialist. Amy is currently a media specialist for an intermediate building as well as the Balanced Literacy trainer for Orland School District 135.

Aimee Weglewski has been teaching for 14 years. She has taught second grade and currently is a certified reading specialist at an intermediate building. She teaches reading and provides training for teachers reading and assessment. She currently works at Orland School District 135.

Real Reading: Teaching the 6 Major Comprehension Strategies

Based on the book Comprehension Connections by Tammy McGregor – Tracey Koeppen will share lesson ideas, posters and handouts for teaching the 6 major comprehension strategies: making connections, inferring, questioning, determining importance, visualizing, and synthesizing.

Tracey Koeppen is a Title One Reading teacher at Ridge Lawn School, located in Chicago Ridge School District 127 ½.

RtI Meets the Common Core State Standards: What this Means for Aligning Interventions to Tier 1 Instruction

Dave will be discussing the importance of aligning selected RtI interventions and strategies with the Common Core State Standards as well as the importance of the communication between classroom teacher and the teacher delivering the intervention.

Dave Snyder is a first year Principal at Liberty School, which is an intermediate elementary building including grades 3-5 in Orland School District 135. Prior to serving as Principal, he was an Assistant Principal for the last four years in this same building and district. Before becoming an administrator, he taught for eight years in grades 1, 4, and 5. Included in those eight years of teaching experience, he was a building literacy coach for two of those years. The literacy coach position included working with students in literacy assessment and instruction for students in grades K-5. Originally from Michigan, Dave moved to Illinois in 2006, where he taught fifth grade for one year prior to becoming an administrator. He is currently working on his Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership at Concordia University Chicago.

Using Technology to Build Literacy Skills

Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas will discover a variety of technology tools to enhance their student's learning experiences. Topics include: blogging, podcasts, digital storytelling, electronic portfolios, Web 2.0 tools, and simulation applications. Students are motivated to apply critical thinking skills when interactive activities are connected to real world experiences.

Kimberly Hauser brings a wealth of technology expertise with over 15 years of experience in technology integration and teacher training within CPS, educational consulting and Frankfort School District #161. Her experience includes years in the education field both as a classroom teacher and technology coordinator.

You Can't Not Write: Teaching Writing in a Time When Writing's Not Tested

An exploration of MultiGenre Writing in the middle school classroom: what it looks like, how it connects to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and how it satisfies our human need to communicate. Combining research of Tom Romano, Nancie Atwell, and others, this workshop explores authentic writing, genres, and meaning-making in the 6-8 classroom.

Leah Coleman completed her undergraduate work at Miami University in Oxford, OH. She earned her master's degree in reading from Saint Xavier University and is currently working towards a second master's in educational administration. Currently, she teaches 8th grade language arts at Century Junior High in Orland School District 135.

Using Mentor Texts to Enhance Student Writing

Jennifer Drake will show how the mentor texts that we use in read alouds can also be used to teach writing techniques that students can mimic in their own writing. Students can do this in a variety of ways; make books, use a writer's notebook, revise old pieces of writing, etc. The purpose is to encourage students to READ like WRITERS.

Jennifer Cleary Drake has been in the world of education for 10 years. Of these 10 years she has spent 5 years in the classroom with variant grade levels and the other as a literacy coach at Kolmar School in Midlothian School District 143. She currently works with K-3 teachers and students, providing training for teachers and specified instruction for students. Her goal is to not to teach literacy but to IGNITE the passion in students.

Integrating Technology into Information Literacy in the Intermediate Classroom

This session will explore the use of free and inexpensive Web 2.0 tools such as Edmodo.com and Kidblog.org to develop 21st century literacy skills and meet new Common Core requirements. Tools and strategies introduced will not only help educators teach students information seeking strategies and evaluation, but also online collaboration, publication and netiquette.

Chris Bohula is on his 13th year in the intermediate grades with the most recent 8 years as an intermediate technology teacher for 4th and 5th grade students and teachers in Orland Park School District 135. He has a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Development from National-Louis University and will complete an additional M.Ed. in Educational Technology this October from Concordia University.

Inspire the Desire: Reading and CCSS

In this time of educational change and accountability, how do we ensure that we foster the love of reading in our students? This session offers ideas on how to instill reading desire in our students by sharing great titles and authors, as well as incorporating genre awareness. Teaching kids how to read nonfiction CAN be exciting!

Ann Marie Riordan, Ed.D. has been teaching for 18 years, with experience in grades 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, & 8. She has been an enrichment resource teacher for the past 9 years. She has a Masters Degree in Reading and a Doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She currently works as an enrichment resource teacher in Orland School District 135.

Common Core Curriculum in the Primary Classroom

There will be a brief overview of the CCS in grades K-2. Jennifer will cover engaging lesson ideas, resources, and classroom management tips to make the most of the new common core standards. Participants will walk away with read to use lesson plans, a resource page, and a user friendly guide to understanding the common core standards in English and Language Arts.

Jennifer Timmons is a first grade teacher at St. Raphael Catholic School.

Creating Moving Story Experiences for Primary Students

Early childhood professionals know that literacy experiences are essential to helping young students grow as readers. While teachers are encouraged to read to students daily, there are ways to maximize daily book sharing. Teachers typically create a daily story time where they gather students to read a book and then check for understanding by asking questions. However, there is little evidence to suggest that these questioning techniques are the most meaningful for young children. Honoring the students' desire to move and explore, forces us to be creative in sharing stories in a non-traditional engaging manner. Nurturing students' motoric responses to shared stories allows teachers to check for comprehension in an authentic and meaningful way that promotes deeper understanding for all.

Linda Dauksas is an Assistant Professor at Elmhurst College. She has been teaching and leading Early Childhood Programs for over 30 years. Her work centers on meeting the needs of young children, with special needs, and their families. In her current role as Director of the Early Childhood Program she continues to share her passion for preparing teacher candidates to enter the field ready and responsive to make a difference as they serve this promising population of young children.

Judy Fiene is an Associate Professor at Elmhurst College. She has been in the teaching profession for over 30 years. Her doctorate is in Reading and Language and her specialty area is in reading development, specifically reading comprehension and classroom instruction. She has presented her research at local and national conferences and continues to be passionate about helping teachers understand how to integrate reading comprehension into all areas of life.

Struggling Readers

Comprehensive and fluency strategies will be discussed and modeled to help struggling readers succeed. Building reading comprehension through the use of read and think alouds will be addressed as well as the use of authentic materials and real world applications.

Sarah O'Keefe has been teaching for 10 years. She taught primary grades in the inner city for CPS before becoming the Reading Specialist at Summit Hill Junior High in Frankfort. She teaches reading and writing while incorporating RTI interventions to support her students.

Literacy in Science

Science classroom lessons can be easily identified and engrained using various reading strategies. Susan will introduce how children's literature books can be incorporated into the science realm and accomplish this task. This platform of "kicking off" main ideas or a lab comes from a children's picture book that highlights "Big Idea" covered for the day. State standards align as well to this topic and students will be versed in how to effectively use children's books to layout stations, checkpoints, or a major project in the science classroom.

Susan Hartley has been teaching for 14 years. She has a Masters of Arts in Education Curriculum Writing and Instruction with her main concentration being Science. She has taught 7th and 8th graders Literature/Language Arts and Science. She currently works teaching 7th graders Science at Summit Hill School District 161.