Plain Talk 2016 Summer Series
If you really want to increase student learning, first you need to know…
ALL sessions will be held at:
1 Galleria Blvd.
8th Floor, Room 813-814
Metairie, LA 70001
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m.
Plain Talk About Leadership
July 11 and 12
Working Backwards to Propel Forward
Are you challenged with trying to align your written, taught, and tested curricula? Your worries are over! Join a group of school leaders and their teams as we unwrap the basics of the Backwards Design model and show how you can use this model to bring about improved student outcomes.
More specifically, teams will work through the three-tiered model to help you to guide your faculty through the process of identifying priority content, analyzing student data, planning meaningful activities, and linking each to valid assessments. You and your leadership team will leave ready to propel forward by working backwards!
Why begin with the end in mind? To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you are going and where you are now, so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.
Target Audience: School leadership teams, school leaders, and instructional coaches
$445 – includes materials, continental breakfast, and lunch
Jonathan Williams, Ph.D., is CDL’s director of leadership and talent management. He joined CDL to lead our work that supports school leaders in their efforts to improve teacher quality through talent management and development. Jonathan brings over 20 years of experience as an educator to our team. He has worked as an elementary teacher, elementary school principal, associate director of curriculum and instruction, national consultant/principal coach, and, most recently, as director of schools for the Louisiana Recovery School District. Through his work in schools, he has gained extensive knowledge and experience in comprehensive school reform, teacher effectiveness, teacher evaluation methods, and robust, data-driven professional learning communities. A native of New Orleans, Jonathan received his bachelors’ degree in elementary education from Xavier University of Louisiana; and both his master’s in curriculum and instruction, and his doctorate in educational administration from the University of New Orleans.
Linda Farrell and Michael Hunter
July 13, 14 and 15
Getting It Right from the Beginning: Every Child a Reader
Students in grades K–3 are expected to master the reading foundational skills…but far too many do not. All too often, teachers have not been given the knowledge and tools they need to make sure this happens, and too many basal programs and district-designed curricula do not provide the explicit, systematic instruction and sufficient practice that many students need to master these skills.
Fret no longer: Linda and Michael will fill in those blanks for you. This session will focus on filling K-3 teachers’ toolboxes with the evidence-based knowledge, skills, and strategies they need to ensure that every student will master the reading foundational skills of phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency.
You won’t have a dull moment – these three days will be action-packed with engaging, interactive conversation and hands-on activities. You will learn ways to ensure that all students in grades K-3 master the basic reading skills.
Teaching, assessment, and differentiated instruction will be thoroughly explored. An explanation of how each activity is tied to state standards will be given. Topics include:
- Letter names and letter sounds
- Phonological and phonemic awareness
- Beginning and advanced phonics
- Accurate and fluent decoding
- High frequency words
Assessments taught in the session will be made available to participants at no cost. In addition, participants will receive the following bonus fixer-upper materials: (a) fixing b/d confusion, (b) fixing common letter confusions (e.g., b/p, m/n, g/j,), (c) fixing common high frequency word confusions (e.g., where/were, was/saw), and (d) fixing silent e confusions (e.g., hop/hope).
Participants will leave with tools they can use on the first day of school, and with new confidence that they know how to teach young children the basic reading skills they need to become strong readers.
Target Audience: K-3 teachers, reading coaches, reading specialists, curriculum specialists, and leaders; and special education teachers and reading interventionists
$595 – includes materials, continental breakfast, and lunch
Linda Farrell is a founding partner at Readsters, where she is immersed in the world of beginning and struggling readers. Linda designs and presents workshops, writes books, and develops instructional materials for effective reading instruction. She has coauthored several publications with her business partner, Michael Hunter, including Phonics Plug-In, Phonics Blitz, Phonics Boost, and the Diagnostic Decoding Surveys. She is also a coauthor of the Teaching Reading Essentials Program Guide and Coach’s Guide (coauthored with Louisa Moats), and DIBELS: the Practical Manual. Linda was a National LETRS Trainer for seven years. Linda has been presenting workshops and giving speeches on reading instruction throughout the country since 2000. She taught junior high English and was a high school and elementary school counselor. However, it was only when Linda volunteered to teach adults to read that she understood older struggling readers’ needs for explicit phonics and phonemic awareness instruction at the most basic levels. Linda keeps her skills fresh and innovative by working with struggling readers of all ages whenever she has time.
Michael Hunter is a founding partner of Readsters. Michael found his passion for teaching struggling readers by volunteering to teach adults to read in Washington DC. In 2001, Michael left his job as president of a concrete construction company to pursue a career helping students learn to read using the most effective methods available. Michael is co-author with his business partner, Linda Farrell, of Phonics Plug-In ONE, the Practice Packets to Fix Common Confusions, Phonics Blitz and Phonics Boost lessons, and the Diagnostic Decoding Surveys. Michael presents professional development workshops nationally and advises schools and districts on implementation of effective reading instruction. He also continues to create assessments, lessons and other materials to help beginning and struggling readers. He enjoys working with and learning from struggling readers of all ages whenever he finds time. Michael’s work has even taken him to the Republic of Gambia and Rwanda in Africa to train and advise on early reading instruction for the Global Partnership for Education.
July 18, 19, and 20
Maximizing Learning for Every Student: Learn about Learning and Increase Your Students’ Learning Success
Since the main goal of schooling is learning, teachers and students should know a lot about the learning process. Makes sense, doesn’t it? But information about how students learn is absent in most undergraduate and graduate coursework, and in most K-12 schools. Do not fret: supported by John Hattie’s research, and in concert with understanding by Design (UDL), this fast-paced, interactive, three-day session will give you the skinny on the science of how students learn… and thus how we should teach.
It is not enough for us to know our subject matter. To maximize our effectiveness, we must understand the complexities of how students learn, and what to do when they don’t. Just as important, when we teach students about the learning process, we empower our students to understand how they think and learn, and what to do when they aren’t.
Together, we will examine five complex processes that work in tandem with one another: attention, memory, language, processing and ordering, and higher level/critical thinking. A breakdown in any one of these processes pulls the learning down. Thus, we will hone our skills to know when there is a break down, what is breaking down, and which strategies and tactics will get the learning back on track.
Participants will leave with new perspectives and understandings, and a binder packed with strategies and tactics to pave the way for powerful instruction and increased student learning. Participants will also leave knowing more about their own learning strengths and soft spots, and ways to increase their own learning efficiency.
Target Audience: Grades 2–12 teachers, instructional coaches, interventionists, leadership teams, special education teachers, and curriculum specialists
$495 – includes materials, continental breakfast, and lunch
Alice Thomas, M.Ed., is the founder, president and CEO of the Center for Development and Learning (CDL), a nonprofit organization, and has served in this position for over 20 years. Alice’s work is guided by a steadfast belief that all children, regardless of how they look, where they come from or how they learn, can and will achieve school success when provided with highly effective teachers and positive, supportive learning environments. In addition to executive duties, she facilitates professional learning for school leaders, teachers and related specialists. She is a Learning Forward Academy graduate. Alice previously served as a teacher, counselor and intervention specialist. She has taught university graduate courses on differentiating instruction. Alice is the coauthor of the Plain Talk about Learning: How Students Learn and How We Should Teach professional learning curriculum, the Teens & Tots training curriculum for teens who are parents, and the Right from Birth parent/caregiver training curriculum, and she is the editor of CDL’s online blog (www.cdl.org). She is the creator and director of the annual evidence-based Plain Talk Institute. Alice is the recipient of the International Dyslexia Association’s 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence.
Amy Poteet Poirier and Libbie Sonnier-Netto
July 21 and 22
High Quality, CLASS-aligned Instructional Support Strategies for Coaches and Effective Mentor-coaching Relationships
Aligned with CLASS, this interactive session will focus on how to implement early childhood instructional support strategies. Participants will learn ways to facilitate teachers’ development by connecting teachers’ current practices to new ideas, concepts, and curricular content. Videos of real-life classroom experiences will be used throughout the day to enhance participants’ ability to identify dimensions and indicators of instructional support in action, facilitate discussions focused on the expectations for each dimension, and develop strategies to improve teacher/child interactions within those dimensions.
Because strong, positive relationships are at the core of successful coaching, this session will also focus on building and cultivating the relationship between mentor-coaches and teachers. The essential characteristics of effective mentor-coaches will be identified and examined, and strategies will be given to assist participants in forming strong, productive relationships with the teachers they mentor on intentional teaching, developmentally appropriate practices, and high-quality teacher/child interactions. Participants will assess their own mentor-coaching skills and identify practices and skills they need to develop to improve their relationships with teachers.
Participants will leave with ways to (1) increase teachers’ familiarity with CLASS terminology, scaffold coaching, provide individualized support and effective feedback, and set goals tailored to the needs of the teachers with whom they work; and with (2) multi-level strategies to build strong mentor-coaching relationships with both new teachers and teachers with whom they have already been working.
Target Audience: Early childhood instructional coaches, mentors, and leadership teams
$445 – includes materials, continental breakfast, and lunch
Amy Poteet Poirier
Amy Poteet Poirier is an early childhood specialist at CDL. Amy has held multiple positions in the field of early childhood. Early in her career she worked as a teacher, center administrator, and a curriculum and training director. She has also worked as a program monitor, coach and trainer for several statewide programs and as an independent advisor, trainer and consultant. Additionally, Amy is an approved Child Development Associate (CDA) Professional Development Specialist and an endorsed trainer with Louisiana Pathways. Amy knows that children benefit the most from highly effective teachers, and that relevant, on-the-job coaching and mentoring support significantly increases their skills. As an early childhood specialist, she enjoys working side-by-side with early childhood professionals to provide support and thereby positively affect outcomes for young children.
Libbie Sonnier-Netto’s professional focus is in the field of early childhood and early childhood special education. She is driven by the fundamental belief that all children deserve to be cared for and educated by adults who build relationships through responsive caregiving and rich learning environments. Her experience working at both local and state levels has provided her a broad scope of experience, including delivering family support services as a primary service provider to children and their families’ birth to age three in community and hospital settings, establishing a model assessment team for Part C eligibility, coordinating early childhood statewide programs and pilots for children birth to five year olds, and directing an early hearing detection and intervention program. Libbie has served on several local and state-level committees. Along with Sharon Ramey and Craig Ramey, Libbie is the third author of the Four Diamonds Checklist and second author of The Quality System to Achieve Results for Young Children in all Settings (Q-STAR). Libbie is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Human Development with a focus in family implementation science at Virginia Tech with Sharon and Craig Ramey.
4 Galleria Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70001
$109 per night (single/double) plus applicable taxes. To book online, please click or copy and paste the following link in your browser: