41st ANNUAL PBIDA CONFERENCE
READING AND THE ROAD TO RESILIENCE
Saturday, October 19, 2019
The Philadelphia Marriott West in Conshohocken
Kelly B. Cartwright, Ph.D.
Why Don’t My Best (Word) Readers Comprehend Text?
Many times, our students seem to have all of the necessary skills they need to be good
readers (things like phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and
comprehension strategies, to name a few), but somehow, they still struggle with putting
all of these things together in order to comprehend texts. In this session, we will dig a bit
deeper than the familiar skills listed above to explore essential thinking skills, called
executive skills, that support successful word reading and reading comprehension.
Executive skills are self-regulatory skills that help students manage their thoughts,
emotions, and actions, and include things like working memory, inhibitory control (or
self-control), and mental flexibility. These skills are often invisible to teachers and
Saturday Morning Workshops:
AM 1 Teaching Executive Skills to Support Reading Comprehension
Kelly B. Cartwright, Ph.D.
When students have weak executive skills, the results are often painfully obvious in the
classroom. In fact, students who struggle with reading comprehension, despite
appropriate word reading skills, show deficits in executive skills that can persist into
adulthood. The good news for classroom teachers is that executive skills can be taught,
resulting in improvements in these and in reading comprehension. In this session,
participants will learn (1) more about executive skills, (2) specific ways that they support
skilled reading, and (3) research-tested strategies for assessing and strengthening
students’ executive skills, yielding insights and take-home strategies for helping
students achieve a more meaning-focused approach to print.
AM 2 A Developmental Model of Trauma, Growth, and Resilience: The
Place for Language and Reading
Steve Dykstra, Ph.D.
Psychosocial development is often mentioned, sometimes discussed, but rarely
understood in depth. In this session, Dr. Dykstra will present a model of development
well-grounded both in tradition and data that places safety, relationships, and,
particularly, language and reading in essential places in children’s lives. He will explain
how language and reading can function as palliative as well as protective forces in the
lives of children, as both treatment and vaccine for all children, but especially for
children who need it most. He will discuss how the most effective ways of teaching
reading not only serve our children by being more effective, but also by matching the
needs of stressed, traumatized children to manage and overcome their conditions.
AM 3 What EXACTLY is the Difference between Balanced Literacy
and Explicit, Systematic Reading Instruction, and Why Does It
Linda Farrell, MBA, M.Ed.
Understanding the difference between “Balanced Literacy” and “Explicit, Systematic
Early Reading Instruction” is valuable knowledge for teachers and administrators. After
attending this session, participants will confidently know the attributes of the most
effective approaches to early reading instruction. Additionally, they will be able to
evaluate whether the methods being used in their schools and classrooms qualify as
most effective, based on current research. Balanced Literacy is the stated methodology
of many early reading instructional programs and of almost all early reading courses
taught in colleges of education. The National Reading Panel’s meta-analysis and a
number of other research studies conclude that explicit, systematic phonics instruction
yields the strongest results, especially for students from low socio-economic
backgrounds and students with learning disabilities. This session describes exactly what
Balanced Literacy and Explicit, Systematic Early Reading Instruction are and how they
differ, with examples from reading programs using each method. The session also
includes a brief review of the research associated with each of the instructional
AM 4 Session description: On The Value of Language Assessments for Children
with Confirmed/Suspected Dyslexia Workshop
This workshop will review the role of language indyslexia diagnosis and
explain why children with suspected/confirmed dyslexia symptoms must receive a comprehensive
language and social communication assessment in addition to undergoing literacy testing. It will
explain how undetected language deficits can adversely hamper literacy interventions causing the
students to plateau in their reading/writing gains. It will offer explanations regarding which areas of
language should be tested for assessment purposes as well as which speech language testing is
most sensitive to the detection of language and literacy difficulties in children with confirm/suspected dyslexia.
Saturday Afternoon Plenary Session:
The Dyslexia Renaissance: A Paradigm of Opportunity
For more than a century, students with dyslexia have been relegated to the sidelines of
academia. Locked out by the primacy of text-based learning, dyslexics have internalized
the failures of a constrained educational system, resulting in mass incarceration,
underemployment and addiction. A new age of dyslexia is upon us: the proliferation of
EdTech, a renewed focus on individualized education, and a global marketplace that
demands ingenuity have begun to level the playing field for individuals with dyslexia.
Dean Bragonier, Founder and Executive Dyslexic of Noticability Inc., shares his
personal journey and illustrates how highlighting the cognitive advantages of dyslexia
will empower the individual and benefit society at large.
Saturday Afternoon Workshops:
PM 1 Finally! The Big Picture of Reading Instruction: How All the
Pieces Fit Together
Kelly A. Butler, M.Ed.
Come fly with us through The Reading Universe, an interactive session on how all the
pieces of reading instruction fit together. Developed by the Barksdale Reading Institute
for K-3 teachers, literacy coaches, school leaders, pre-service faculty and teacher
candidates, The Reading Universe is a web-based (and downloadable) tool that
creates, for the very first time, “a Big Picture” of reading instruction and then takes apart
the Big Picture to examine and understand the sub-skills of the five components of
reading and the role of assessment.
PM 2 Lose the Rules: Reading and Spelling Multi-syllable Words
Michael Hunter, M.Ed.
Learn how to teach students to easily and accurately read and spell long words. The
secret is to focus on vowels, not rules. Participants will learn to use manipulatives to
teach students to break words into syllables for reading and spelling. The technique is
explicit, systematic, and multi-sensory. It is also easy! This method is appropriate for all
ages. It 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
PM 3 Best Practices in Reading Instruction
Panel: Faculty from AIM Academy, Woodlynde School, & PA Pilot Schools
This session will feature a panel of expert practitioners discussing the best practices
used in their schools. Learn about programs and strategies that have been shown to
improve literacy outcomes. The panel will provide an overview of their programs and will
devote ample time to answering audience questions about implementation, teacher
training, and outcome data.
PM 4 Evaluation and Identification of Dyslexia and other Reading and
Monica McHale-Small, Ph.D.
In October of 2015, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
(OSERS) issued a guidance level which encouraged State Education Agencies and
school districts “to consider situations where it would be appropriate to use the terms
dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia to describe and address the child’s unique,
identified needs . . .” Nonetheless, confusion about the use of the term dyslexia in
school settings continues to exist. Dyslexia is the most researched and best understood
reading disorder, but it is not the only literacy related disorder. This workshop will
provide an overview of the research on dyslexia and related language-based learning
disabilities. Best practices for screening, identification and intervention will be reviewed.
FRIDAY EVENING: Joint PACEC/PBIDA Reception including dinner and awards ceremony.
(Separate Registration Required)
Friday Evening Keynote Speaker: Steve Dykstra, Ph.D.
Reading and Trauma – How Do They Fit Together?
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