2019 KSMO IDA Dyslexia Conference in Kansas City, April 4-5


 

Thanks to all who joined us this year at our conference! Make sure to check back in early 2020 for our next conference event, and fall 2019 for our annual Dyslexia Dash KC and St. Louis.

Thursday night: Learning Disability simulation Register for the simulation here.

Friday: Keynote presentation, “Dyslexia: Getting to the Heart of the Matter”, by two accomplished artists with dyslexia, Mary Harnetiaux and Donna Gargette. Sessions with breakout topics to follow.

Register for a chance to win a trip to the 2019 IDA National Conference in Portland, Oregon!

Already attending? Book a room at the hotel with our special room rate using this link.

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Breakout topics:

Scroll down for a full description of each topic and the biography of each presenter.
– Assessing Pre-Reading Skills
– Using Decodable and Leveled Readers Appropriately
– Multisensory Techniques for Math Instruction
– The Many Forms of Dysgraphia
– Preventing Struggling Readers in Kindergarten and Grade 1
– Focused Oral Reading Practice: A New Approach to Fluency Instruction
– Listen Hear: Assistive Technology and Reading Comprehension
– A New Phonics Based Method for Teaching High Frequency Words
– Lose the Rules: An Easy Way to Teach Reading and Spelling Multi-Syllable Words
– Dyslexia in the Classroom
– The Language in Language-Based Learning Difficulties Explained
– Help! My Student is Stuck at Sound-by-Sound Reading
– How and When to Use Decodable Readers Effectively
– Red Flags of Early Literacy

 

Register today for this unique learning experience!

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Friday, April 5th Schedule

7:45-8:30 – Registration

8:30-9:45- Opening and Keynote Address

Donna Gargett and Mary Harnetiaux – Getting to the Heart of the Matter
Mary and Donna will share their hard-hitting and articulate story of what it feels like to be a struggling dyslexic student and what it feels like when the education system does not see those students. They will also share their experience as mothers of empowered dyslexic children, and as dyslexic individuals who are contributing members of society and their communities. The realness of their compassionate and kind story will leave you inspired and engaged to advocate for those students you know in the classroom.

10:00-10:45 Sessions

Assessing Pre-Reading Skills
Learn to administer and interpret a free assessment that diagnoses pre-reading skills. The data are easy to gather and easy to interpret. Data can be used (1) to pinpoint pre-reading skills strengths and weaknesses and (2) to group students for more effective instruction during small group time. The assessment can also be used to determine whether a student is ready for reading instruction. The free assessment is available online.

Presenter: Michael Hunter, Readsters, Alexandria, VA
Room: Seattle I

Using Decodable and Leveled Readers Appropriately
Teachers use both leveled and decodable readers for beginning reading instruction. The two types of readers are based on different instructional philosophies, sometimes at cross-purposes. Learn the specific differences between the two types of readers and how to use each effectively with beginning readers. Linda will show and compare examples of leveled readers and decodable readers. She will also demonstrate how to use each type of reader so beginning readers develop accurate, fluent decoding while building vocabulary and background knowledge necessary for reading comprehension.

Presenter: Linda Farrell, Readsters, Alexandria, VA
Room: Seattle 2

Multisensory Techniques for Math Instruction
A multisensory math approach begins by building associations in the brain using manipulatives. Representations slowly replace manipulatives as the student builds understanding. Incremental and cumulative instruction gives the knowledge base needed to understand why specific procedures are used and lessens reliance on rote memorization.

Presenter: Olivia Cowin, Horizon Academy, Roeland Park, KS
Room: Kansas Theater
Session also held at 11am

The Many Forms of Dysgraphia
Is writing hard because reading is hard? Or because the physical act of writing is daunting? Or because the process of translating thoughts into sentences is a challenge? Discover the common causes of dysgraphia, what signs to watch for, and how to effectively accommodate in the classroom and beyond.

Presenters: Rachel Libick and Nathan Graber, Applied Learning Processes, Kansas City, MO
Room: Overland Park Club Room

 

11:00-11:50 Sessions

Preventing Struggling Readers in Kindergarten and Grade 1
Curriculum in many kindergarten classes does not prepare all students for success in learning to read. Some K students arrive with fewer skills in place than the curriculum expects. Other students are unable to move at the curriculum’s pace. Some students are simply overwhelmed by the presentation of too much information at one time. To keep these students from becoming struggling readers, K, 1, special education, and intervention teachers need to clearly understand pre-reading skills necessary to be prepared to read and have effective teaching strategies for those students. In this session, we present a comprehensive map of pre-reading skills. The map presents a logical sequence of instruction and guides teachers to break skills instruction into manageable pieces. The session includes practicing some key strategies for instruction.

Presenter: Michael Hunter, Readsters, Alexandria, VA
Room: Seattle I Room

Focused Oral Reading Practice: A New Approach to Fluency Instruction
Fluency programs are often considered the “solution” for struggling readers in grades 2 and higher. This interactive session examines underlying skills necessary for fluent reading along with three critical parts of fluency: accuracy, rate, and prosody. It provides a simple research-based framework for (1) determining which students need fluency, (2) developing instruction to meet individual needs, and (3) assessing growth. Participants receive tracking charts based on the new framework for oral reading practice.

Presenter: Linda Farrell, Readsters, Alexandria, VA
Room: Seattle 2 Room

Multisensory Techniques for Math Instruction
A multisensory math approach begins by building associations in the brain using manipulatives. Representations slowly replace manipulatives as the student builds understanding. Incremental and cumulative instruction gives the knowledge base needed to understand why specific procedures are used and lessens reliance on rote memorization.

Presenter: Olivia Cowin, Horizon Academy, Roeland Park, Kansas
Room: Kansas Theater
Session also held at 10am

Listen Hear: Assistive Technology and Reading Comprehension
Text to speech software (TTS) exposes students to higher levels of vocabulary and sentence structure than they would be when reading without support.  Research indicates students who use TTS will decode independently as soon as they are able. Students need to be challenged at their highest level of auditory comprehension while simultaneously seeing the corresponding language in print. This presentation will provide research- based information that shows that students benefit from assistive technology and that “listening” to books will not “hurt” them.

Presenter: Lisa Lower, Auburn Washburn Schools, Topeka, KS
Room: Overland Park Club Room

 

12:00-1:00 – Box Lunch

Vegetarian options available upon request

 

1:10-2:00- Sessions

A New Phonics Based Method for Teaching High Frequency Words
High frequency words are traditionally taught separately from phonics. They are introduced to students in the order of their frequency, or sometimes grouped by subject (colors, numbers, etc.) While this approach may work for many students, struggling readers often have difficulty reading and spelling high frequency words such as saw, was, where, were, etc. Participants learn to organize and teach the words in any high frequency list (Dolch, Fry, etc.) using a phonics-based instructional sequence, including techniques for teaching students to read and spell the 50 or so high frequency words that don’t fit into phonics instruction because of their irregular spellings. Teachers who have used this approach to teaching high frequency words say that all students, not just struggling readers, read and spell high frequency words with much higher accuracy than using the traditional approach.

Presenter: Michael Hunter, Readsters, Alexandria, VA
Room: Seattle I

Lose the Rules: An Easy Way to Teach Reading and Spelling Multi-Syllable Words
Learn how to teach students to easily and accurately read and spell long words. The secret is to focus on vowels, not on rules. Participants will learn to use multi-sensory techniques to teach students to break words into syllables for reading and spelling. This method is explicit, systematic, and multi-sensory. It is also easy! This session is appropriate for students of all ages. The techniques can be used in kindergarten to help students read words such as batman, sunset, and picnic, and in upper grades to help students read citadel, tranquilize, and Madagascar.

Presenter: Linda Farrell, Readsters, Alexandria, VA
Room: Seattle 2

Red Flags of Early Literacy
Red Flags of Early Literacy promotes awareness of typical reading milestones, possible “red flags,” and multisensory strategies related to early literacy instruction. Presenters will discuss how to analyze and address early warning signs related to later reading difficulties. They will provide an interactive discussion regarding possible intervention needs with seminar participants.

Presenters: Allison Caplinger and Judy Cowin, Horizon Academy, Roeland Park, KS
Room: Kansas Theater
Session also held at 2:10pm

The Language in Language-Based Learning Difficulties Explained
The link between spoken language and reading and writing skills has been firmly established. Children with language-based learning disabilities are often diagnosed with dyslexia without their language skills being fully captured. Language is the foundation of literacy, and it must be closely examined.

Presenter: Maggie Block, Metro East Therapy, Edwardsville, IL
Room: Overland Park Club Room

 

2:10- 3:00 Sessions

Help! My Student is Stuck at Sound-by-Sound Reading
A student has clearly developed phonological and phonemic awareness and demonstrates mastery of letter names and sounds. Yet this student does not move beyond reading by sounding each letter aloud then blending the sounds into a word. Many teachers describe their lowest students this way, and they don’t know how to help the student move to whole word reading. We’ve helped a number of students who are stuck at the sound-by-sound reading stage. Most students we encounter who don’t move easily beyond sound-by-sound reading are in grades 1 to 3; but we have also worked with a few grade 4 and 5 students who are in special education or Title I classes. Participants will (1) learn steps to take to help this student, (2) receive some sample exercises to help students move beyond sound-by-sound reading, and (3) practice some of the exercises.

Presenter: Michael Hunter, Readsters, Alexandria, VA
Room: Seattle I Room

How and When to Use Decodable Readers Effectively
Teachers often ask us how to include decodable readers during phonics instruction. This session answers that question. Teachers will learn how decodable texts enhance phonics instruction, when to start using decodable text, when it is appropriate to move away from decodable text, and how to track students’ progress with decodable texts. Teachers will also learn the importance of using decodable text to practice a new advanced phonics pattern is taught, even though students are capable of reading grade level text independently.

Presenter: Linda Farrell, Readsters, Alexandria, VA
Room: Seattle 2 Room

Red Flags of Early Literacy
Red Flags of Early Literacy promotes awareness of typical reading milestones, possible “red flags,” and multisensory strategies related to early literacy instruction. Presenters will discuss how to analyze and address early warning signs related to later reading difficulties. They will provide an interactive discussion regarding possible intervention needs with seminar participants.

Presenters: Allison Caplinger and Judy Cowin, Horizon Academy, Roeland Park, KS
Room: Kansas Theater
Session also held at 1:10pm

Dyslexia in the Classroom
In this session, teachers can learn an incredible support system within the classroom for students with dyslexia. Educators will learn ways to accommodate students with dyslexia across multiple settings. Components of a structured literacy approach will be discussed.

Presenters: Jennifer Kidd, Alison Schreider, Chelsea Artzer, Farley Elementary, Topeka, KS
Room: Overland Park Club Room

 

3:00-3:30 Visit with Vendors

A special thanks to our vendors and sponsors for helping to make this conference possible! Check back here for a list of who you can find.

 

More About the Keynote Presenters

Donna Gargett
Donna Gargett holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has worked in the human services field since 2002. Donna has also committed to serving children and was a director of children’s programs since 2000. As a Director she successfully led her staff at the private day school to accreditation through National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). Donna was recognized for providing excellent service to not only the children but their families. She provided parenting trainings and resources to families. After starting her own family she shifted gears back to social services and advocating for children.

In 2016 Donna accepted the position as a State Leader for Decoding Dyslexia. She realized that she was needed in Onslow County to provide resources for students with learning disabilities. She answered that call as founder of nonprofit -Blank Canvas Awareness Art (BCAA). She has successfully applied her training for parenting classes to provide parents with a better understanding of their child’s diagnosis. Both Decoding Dyslexia NC and BCAA aim to provide resources for those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. She has been a resource to other non-profits and to the EFMP in aiming to provide resources so our students can reach their full potential.

Mary Harnetiaux
Mary Harnetiaux is an accomplished St. Louis artist. In high school she began to feel the weight of her hometown community and its void of culture. She struggled in school because she was severely dyslexic and there was no dyslexia awareness whatsoever in her school (even still to this day). She failed daily in this environment and her school experiences were damaging to her self-esteem. She found profound comfort in her artistic abilities and honed in on her strengths instead of being defeated in her inability to shine in the classroom.
She is a strong voice for the dyslexic individual no matter where she lives, but her extended dyslexic family still resides in Missouri and her heart will always be there with them.

In 2016 she co-created a global social media network page called, Dyslexia Inspired. The social media page is designed to connect people to their creativity and joy and celebrate dyslexia. She has a body of art that represents her dyslexia. Her piece called, “The Advocate” is currently on exhibit at the Jacksonville Airport in NC, for Dyslexia Awareness Month.

In 2002, she co-founded a non-profit organization called Our Common Ground (OCG). The mission of this organization is to bring culture and art to the rural community. She feels that there needs to be other community outlets in which to showcase local talent and highlight outside-the-box thinkers.

 

More About the Breakout Presenters

Chelsea Artzer has seven years of experience in elementary as education as a general education teacher and instructional facilitator in Auburn Washburn USD 437 in Topeka, Kansas. Chelsea graduated from Washburn University with a BS in Elementary Education. She earned a master’s degree in school leadership from Baker University. Chelsea is working toward a doctorate degree in curriculum and instruction through the University of Kansas.

Maggie Block is a speech-language pathologist and private practice owner in Edwardsville, IL. Her practice, Metro East Therapy, focus on diagnosing and helping children with language-based learning disabilities.

Allison Caplinger graduated with a Bachelor of Science from DePauw University in 2014 and the Master of Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Kansas in 2017. She is a member of the Kansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. While studying at KU, she worked as a research assistant on projects exploring early literacy intervention.

Judith Cowin graduated from Ohio State University and has been a licensed teacher for Children with Learning Disabilities K-12 for over 20 years. She is a member of the KS/MO branch of IDA, serving two terms as a Board Member. Currently, Judy is the Director of the tutoring Center at Horizon Academy., while completing a practicum at the Certified level through the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.

Olivia Cowin graduated with a BGS from the University of Kansas and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education from Pittsburg State University. Olivia teaches at Horizon Academy and tutors in both reading and math. She is completing a certified level practicum through the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators and a multisensory math practicum through the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center.

Linda Farrell is a founding partner at Readsters, located in Alexandria, VA. Linda has the career of her dreams, which is helping children, adolescents, and adults learn to read. She works nationally in schools helping teachers implement instruction that insures all students learn to read. She often works in the classroom modeling effective instruction and coaching teachers. She presents workshops all over the country about effective instruction for beginning and struggling readers, and she often models instruction in the classroom. Additionally, Linda helps schools design and implement effective reading instruction in all grades. She has written a number of diagnostic assessments and instructional materials with her business partner, Michael Hunter. In the last four years, Linda has worked in Africa helping children learn to read in languages she doesn’t even speak!

Nathan Gruber – Growing up with family members who struggled with severe learning disabilities and who failed to receive adequate intervention has helped foster in Nathan Graber a passion for helping learners to succeed and grow, not only during school, but in everyday life as well. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and a minor in French from William Jewell College. Nathan joined the ALP team as a full-time clinician in 2015.  He spent 2017 in Northeast China using the concepts, methodologies, and skills learned at ALP to teach English to children, many of whom had no prior experience with the language or the concept of language as a phonemic construct. Returning to ALP in 2018, Nathan moved into a supervisory role and now helps to oversee testings, client diagnoses, individualized treatment plans, and clinician training.

Michael Hunter is a founding partner at Readsters. Michael found his passion for teaching struggling readers as a volunteer teaching adult nonreaders. He is now dedicated to helping teachers teach all students to read. Michael has co-authored instructional materials with his business partner, Linda Farrell. Michael presents workshops and advises schools nationally. He continues to create materials for beginning and struggling readers. He enjoys working with and learning from struggling readers of all ages. His work with reading has even taken him to Africa to consult on early reading instruction.

Jennifer Kidd has 17 years of experience in elementary education as a general education classroom teacher, special education teacher, literacy instructional coach, literacy interventionist, and math interventionist. Jennifer graduated from Baylor University with a BS in Elementary Education with reading specialization. She earned a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of North Texas with certification as an educational diagnostician. Jennifer currently serves as literacy interventionist at Farley Elementary School in Auburn Washburn USD 437 in Topeka, KS. She teaches multiple students with dyslexia utilizing a Structured Literacy approach.

Rachel Libick is the Owner and Executive Director of Applied Learning Processes. She purchased Applied Learning Processes in 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English. She joined the ALP staff in 2009 and has worked as clinician, tester, and supervising clinician. She has experience in testing and diagnosis as well as extensive training and experience in Lindamood-Bell methodologies. During her tenure at ALP, Rachel has helped develop new clinical strategies, create training programs, and recently developed a long-distance program tailored to the intensive treatments ALP provides. She regularly consults with parents and other professionals, and writes individualized treatment plans for clients.

Lisa Lower is a Special Education Facilitator in the Auburn Washburn School District.  She has been a resource room instructor and itinerant instructor as a Teacher of Deaf/Hard of Hearing and an Adaptive Special Education resource room instructor for over twenty-five years. Her focus of instruction has been on language acquisition and assistive technology.  She has presented locally on the topics of assistive technology and deaf education and currently represents special education teachers on the Professional Standards Board for the Kansas State Department of Education. She holds a M.A. in Deaf Education from the University of Northern Colorado and a M.S. in Adaptive Special Education from Emporia State University.

Alison Schneider has 9 years of experience as a general education teacher. Alison graduated from Benedictine College with a BA in Elementary Education. She is working towards a master’s degree in administration. Alison is currently a third grade teacher at Farley Elementary School in Auburn Washburn USD 437 in Topeka, Kansas.

 


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