Reading in the Rockies 2022 – Saturday Program


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SPEAKERS SCHOLARSHIPS FRIDAY PROGRAM SATURDAY PROGRAM

Saturday, October 8th

Saturday, October 8, 2022 – Day Two

(Please note that session times and descriptions may vary slightly from what is currently posted below, but will begin at 8am and go to no later than 4:30pm.)


Registration & Continental Breakfast – 7:00 to 8:00 am

Welcome Remarks & Inspirational Speakers – 8:00 to 8:20 am


Saturday Opening Session

8:20 to 9:50 am

Laura Gutermuth Anthony, Ph.D.

Unstuck and On Target: Improving Executive Functioning and Helping Children become More Flexible, Organized and Resilient

For students with executive function challenges, problems with flexibility and goal-directed behavior can be a major obstacle to success in school and in life. Dr. Anthony will speak about how to explicitly teach executive function skills in today’s environment.


Poetry Slam 9:50 to 10:20 am

Jovan Mays


Break – Visit Exhibitors, Poster Presentations, & Bookstore – 10:20 am to 10:45 am


Saturday Morning Breakout Sessions

10:45 am to 12:15 pm – Choose 1 of 6 possible sessions


Jovan Mays

Teaching Poetry

“I got into poetry like most of us do, in the second grade classroom around a teacher in a rocking chair. I learned that words have sounds. Over time that learning deepened for me because I had a grandma who was good about keeping my pencil sharpened and active.”


Nancy Cushen White, Ed.D., CALT-QI, LDT, BCET

Dysgraphia and Handwriting: Handwriting is More Important than You Might Think

Explicit handwriting instruction, carefully and purposefully integrated into the teaching of reading and written expression, is important! Handwriting and keyboarding are not skills that develop naturally; they need to be taught. Which is better: Manuscript, Cursive, or Keyboarding? Use of keyboarding has not eliminated the need for accurate, automatic handwriting and spelling. Writing—but not typing—helps build important neural connections in the brain, strengthening the orthographic loop of working memory—which integrates letters and written words in the mind’s eye with sequential hand and finger movements during writing (Berninger, 2013). Longitudinal research (Berninger, 2012) demonstrates that individual differences predict which students do best with manuscript, cursive, and/or keyboarding—and when. All three should be taught to all children so they can become multi-lingual by hand in the information age (Berninger, 2013).

For handwriting to become functional, students must learn the unique sequence of movements needed for the formation of each individual letter (handwriting). Once children can form legible letters, the goal of writing instruction becomes automatic letter formation—with minimal effort so mental resources can be devoted to generating thoughts, translating thoughts into written spelling, sentence structure, and text organization. Likewise, the goal of teaching keyboarding is automatic typing without the need for looking at the keys. Emphasis is on building automatic associations between the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (writing and speech) channels for language learning that will lead to automatic recognition and retrieval—and lessen the load on rote memory. Speed will come with targeted and consistent practice—as the unique sequence of movements for forming (and connecting in cursive) each letter is automatically recalled; the same is true for automatic keyboarding. Student work samples and video clips of handwriting instruction will be included as part of the PowerPoint presentation.


Antonio Fierro, Ed.D., Chief Academic Advisor for Tools 4 Reading

English Learners: A Closer Look at Word Study and Cross-Linguistic Transfers

Every word has a story to tell. The more we know about how our language works, the better we can help our students acquire the language and develop literacy skills. This session will compare the orthographic structure of English and Spanish with a contrastive analysis of consonants and vowel phonemes in both languages.


Craig Knippenberg, LCSW, M.Div.

Exceptional Students: Understanding and Supporting Social, Emotional and Self-Esteem Development

This session will deepen your understanding of how neuro-exceptionalities impact a student’s social and emotional success. You will learn about easy to comprehend and applicable neurological concepts from his book: Wired and Connected: Brain-Based Strategies To Ensure Your Child’s Behavioral, Emotional and Social Success. He will discuss the three key building blocks for development and provide evidence-based hands-on parenting tips for promoting the well-being of your child.


Amy Dobronyi, COKID

A Crash Course in Dyslexia Advocacy

IEPs, 504s, Read Plans, MTSS, RTI, Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My! There are many acronyms and things to know when advocating for your child with dyslexia. Where to start? What resources are out there? What questions should I be asking? Join us to learn how to advocate for children struggling in school. Together we are our children’s best advocate!


Matthew A. Fisher, MS, Associate Director of Admissions at The Gow School

10 Pearls of Executive Function for the Classroom and Beyond

Executive function impacts our students both in the classroom and in daily life. In this session we will cover 10 techniques to help improve executive function in the classroom and help get our students back on track. We will cover topics from organization (both notes and paperwork), time management, and study tips. We will both cover techniques and see samples of what can be done to help get our students back on track.


Sit Down Lunch – 12:15 to 1:15 pm – Visit Exhibitors, Poster Presentations, & Bookstore


Saturday Afternoon Breakout Sessions

1:15 to 2:45 pm – Choose 1 of 6 possible sessions


Laura Gutermuth Anthony, Ph.D.

Advanced Implementation Tips and Tricks: Unstuck and On Target in Schools

Dr. Anthony will share lessons learned from her ongoing implementation project to help you get Unstuck and On Target up and running in your schools. With plenty of time to answer your specific questions, she will discuss practical issues such as:

  • How do I pick the right students for EF supports?
  • How do I form a group? Can I do Unstuck individually? Can I do it virtually?
  • Who usually runs the groups?
  • How do I include Executive Function in IEPs?
  • How can I support my students and their parents at home?

Sally Pistilli, Director of Dyslexia Resource Group, A/OGA, CERI-SLDI

Dyslexia 101-Success Tools for Empowering Students in the Classroom

So, you think it’s dyslexia. What now? This session provides an exploration of this common learning difference, beginning with the early warning signs and characteristics you will observe. We will then investigate what appropriate assessment and effective remediation looks like, incorporating the accommodations and assistive technology that can best support your students in the classroom. Included are a series of group activities designed to allow attendees to experience what it feels like to be dyslexic. Leave with a knowledge base that will allow you to empower these bright young learners!


Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D., StepStone Psychological Assessment and Therapeutic Services

Everything You Wanted to Know About Diagnosing Dyslexia, ADHD, and Other Common Learning Disorders

This interactive presentation introduces the audience to the clinical evaluation process to diagnose Dyslexia, ADHD, and other common learning disorders. It begins by introducing evaluation by comparing it to assembling a puzzle, where the clinician gathers specific information from different areas of functioning, with each area being a specific piece of the puzzle. At the conclusion of the assessment sessions, the clinician assembles the different pieces of information to put together an overall profile of the learner. The general evaluation process, areas of functioning, learners’ profiles, IEPs, 504s, and accommodations will be discussed.


Lynn Kuhn, M.A. (SL, LD, ED), CCC-SLP, Language-Literacy Links Consultant, National LETRS/LETRS-EC Professional Learning Facilitator, Certified Dyslexia Practitioner, IDA-RMB Past-President

Never Too Late: Supporting the Success for Older Struggling Readers

Do our older students know the mechanics on how to read big words? We know that reading big words accurately and fluently empowers them as learners and is essential to the goal of reading: comprehension. As students move beyond reading simple texts, they will encounter many more multisyllabic words. Let’s build students’ decoding skills so they can read and spell complex multisyllabic words and in turn learn about the meaningful relationships between words that will contribute to vocabulary growth. This session will provide practical strategies to embed into one’s existing reading instruction in grades 3 and beyond. If older students have a strong understanding of how syllables and morphemes work, how to internalize the parts, and be able to read the word and figure out its meaning, they can eliminate guessing and increase accurate decoding! We should NEVER GIVE UP on a student. They deserve the RIGHT to quality reading instruction at any age.


Cindy Kanuch, MA Ed., CALT, A/OGA, C-SLDI, Principal of Orton Academy & Linda Slothower, M. Sc. Ed., Retired Principal D11, Instructional Coach at Calhan Elementary School

Diagnostic Spelling: How Spelling Errors Can Inform Instruction

By analyzing spelling assessments, teachers can develop differentiated instruction to meet student’s phonological, phonics, and orthographic needs. In this hands-on seminar, participants will learn how to ditch the traditional system for teaching spelling and learn an approach to meet students at their orthographic developmental level.


Phillipe Ernewein, M.A., Director of Education, Denver Academy

What Diverse Learners are Teaching Us

Starting with asking the right question, “How are you smart?” instead of “How smart are you?” – this session will highlight the insights learned from students about their struggles with learning and provide specific strategies teachers can use to enable students to reach their fullest potential. The session will include video clips of students sharing their own stories, as well as specific strategies to create a learning environment that honors diverse learners.


Break – Visit Exhibitors, Poster Presentations, & Bookstore 2:45 to 3:00 pm


Saturday Afternoon – Synthesis Session

3:00 to 4:30 pm (required for ASU Graduate Credit)


IDA-RMB Board Facilitators & Select Speakers

Synthesis Session

At this session, attendees and moderators will reflect on a series of questions designed to help synthesize learning from the conference. This session can also be used for the purpose of school or district planning among colleagues. It is an opportunity to gather with colleagues, IDA-RMB board members, authors, and speakers around the table for work sessions and conversation. We are better when we work together!



Please turn in your name badge after your final session to ensure that we will email you the link to our conference survey, so you can download your one or two-day certificate of attendance.


CLICK HERE to view Friday’s Schedule

Thank you all for making this a wonderful 2022 conference!