Day Three Sessions

Saturday Morning Elementary Section Keynote
7:45 am – 9:00 am

“You Have a Story to Tell: Literacy, Independence, Critical Thinking”
Kristin Ziemke, Master Teacher, Author, Educational Consultant
Grades K-5

For years, we’ve recognized the power of student voice. Today, technology allows us to amplify students’ stories as learners produce, publish, and share in our digital culture. Digital forms of storytelling—like blogs, tweets, and video—invite new audiences, offer diverse feedback, and engage students to collaborate widely. When we place kids at the center of the curriculum, we empower them to create bravely and share their stories with the world.


Saturday Morning Secondary Section Keynote
7:45 am – 9:00 am

“Teaching Practices That Position Students Closer to Reading and Writing Excellence”
Kelly Gallagher, Master Teacher, Author, Educational Consultant
Grades 6-College

How do we decide what and what not to teach? With increased expectations and so little time to meet them, we might heed the words of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Bob Seger, who asks us to carefully consider our “deadlines and commitments—what to leave in, what to leave out.” In this keynote, Kelly will discuss critical decisions that underpin creative teaching, and how these decisions help to move young readers and writers closer to excellence.


Saturday Sessions Round E
9:30 am – 10:45 am

47. “Purposeful Play: Igniting Deep and Powerful Learning Across the Day”
Kristi Mraz, Master Teacher, Author, and Educational Consultant
Grades Pre-K-3

Too often play is set in direct opposition to work, when in reality, play is the engine of learning for children. In this session, Kristi will help you reclaim a playful and joyful spirit by teaching the myriad of ways play can be used to facilitate social emotional and academic growth. She will outline the ways play can be infused within a day, as well as the instructional strategies teachers can utilize to support children’s learning. You will learn how strategies like focused lessons, conferring, small group play, and whole class conversations can build literacy skills, STEM skills, and critical social emotional skills. Charts and tools will be shared alongside lessons that can be used in the classroom.

49. “Catch the Spirit: Bringing Independent Writing Projects into Writing Workshop”
Emily Callahan and Katie Liseo, Crossroads Academy of Kansas City, Quality Hill Campus
Grades K-5

Do you know your students’ “secret writing lives?” The kinds of writing they are eager to try that go beyond the units of study in your writing workshop? Are there poets, playwrights, lyricists, and fantasy writers in your classrooms? Writing is the power tool of nurturing the creative spirit. As classroom teachers, we know the critical importance of building a sense of agency and creativity in our student writers. To this end, Emily and Katie have embraced the idea of “back-up work,” or independent writing projects, that allow students to pursue independent writing projects in any genre and on any topic of personal interest to them. How we teach matters every bit as much as what we teach when it comes to creativity. You will no doubt be inspired to see instructional decision making as the supreme act of nurturing creativity on behalf of student writers.

51. “Making Space for Critical Literacy in Today’s Classrooms”
Joanne Fish, Fontbonne University, and Andrea Dreste-Boyle, University City School District
Grades 3-8

In today’s classrooms, teachers are often faced with the dilemma of whether to inspire young learners to be deep thinkers or to make their way through required curriculum. In this session, Joanne and Andrea will demonstrate how you can accomplish both. You will learn how to make space in your everyday instruction to empower elementary and middle school students to do critical literacy—to think about who is being represented and who is not being represented in the texts they read. Students will learn to question texts that are put before them using critical literacy strategies such as attending to identity, positioning, and power. Through these strategies, students will increase their abilities to make inferences and strengthen comprehension skills. You will leave with several explicitly taught instructional approaches to teaching the reading of text based on the work of Hilary Janks that you can begin using in your classrooms right away.

53. “STEM Journaling toward Higher Thinking”
David Brosch, Sunrise R-IX School District
Grades 6-8

We all know that audience matters, but how do we find an authentic audience for our students? In this session, David will provide multiple options for publishing student writing with a focus on digital writing. Learn how to give your students a reader beyond the classroom walls. You’ll leave this presentation with multiple new ideas for creating, displaying, promoting, and publishing student writing.

55. “Is This the Reading Intervention Classroom? Strategies and Activities that Foster Creativity in Reading Workshop”
Anna Osborn, Columbia Public Schools
Grades 6-12

How exactly does creativity fit into reading workshop? Anna will share a variety of strategies that engage reading intervention students in the creative process before, during, and after their reading. In addition to seeing a variety of work samples from reading intervention students in grades 6-8 that could easily be implemented in other grade levels, you will roll up your sleeves, share some text, and get creative yourself.

57. “Let’s Talk about Books!”
Barri Bumgarner, Westminster College
Grades 6-College

As a member of MU’s Saturday Book Group, Barri reads scores of books each year, many of which are nominated for awards (Show-Me, Gateway, Truman, Mark Twain, etc.). Barri reads a multitude of books to stay current with literature and the trends surrounding what is popular, so come to this session and listen to Barri book talk new books, learn about her collaboration with an area school with the Global Read Aloud, hear about her students’ digital novel responses as a book report, and view a few of those DNRs! Leave with a list of trending books and a chance to win a few!

59. “Facilitating Critical Thinking and Civil Discourse in the Secondary Classroom”
Karen Ambuehl and Tricia Owens, Kirkwood School District
Grades 7-12

We all want kids to read and write; however, the skills of critical thinking and civil discourse are increasingly relevant and necessary for students who will confront a world that is undefined and ever-changing. In this session, you will work through the process of how to engage ELA learners in the act of critical reading using Harvard University’s Interrogating the Text process. Karen and Tricia will then demonstrate how to transfer your reading into critical thinking and civil discourse. This hands on session will allow you to experience the learning as students. You will also walk away with resources you can immediately use in your classroom.

48. “Affirming Early Literacy for St. Louis’s Black Children”
Julius B. Anthony, St. Louis Black Authors of Children’s Literature Initiative

Why aren’t St. Louis’ Black Children benefiting from quality early literacy experiences? More than 60% of them are ending third grade unable to read (DESE 2014-2015). In this workshop, Julius and attendees will engage in meaningful dialogue about St. Louis’ early literacy crisis. Julius will also share how allowing children to tell their own stories can be used as a unique teaching reading strategy connecting what they experience at home and at school. You will have fun practicing this approach by telling stories from your own childhood. In addition, Julius will share books published by St. Louis area authors that tell funny and interesting anecdotes about the lives of Black children. This session promises to be informative, interactive, and innovative, presenting research-based early literacy strategies and analysis.

50. “Grow Students’ Writing Using a Growth Mindset”
Vickie Daniels and Melinda Odom, Hollister R-V School District
Grades 3-8

Teaching writing can be a challenge when students don’t feel they have the skills or creativity to write something interesting and valuable. Join Vickie and Melinda and learn how students’ writing can be enhanced through the development and use of growth mindset strategies. You will look at using growth mindset ideas to encourage students to think a new way about their writing—ideas such as using positive peer feedback in the editing and proofreading process, encouraging students to think about and evaluate their own mindsets through writing about their experiences, and letting students research and write about their own fixed and/or growth mindsets. Through hands-on activities, you will explore growth mindsets in the writing classroom, and you will leave with strategies to help your students not only learn about their own mindsets, but use strategies to enhance and/or change their mindsets using while increasing their success as writers.

52. ”Becoming Outspoken: Aloud Allowed—Performance Poetry In and Out of the Classroom”
Michael Salinger and Sara Holbrook, Writing Experts, Authors, Award-Winning Performance Poets
Grades 4-College

The number one fear of mankind is public speaking. Michael and Sara show practical strategies to get even the most reluctant student speaking out loud with conviction. Learn how to use your PIPES, an assessment rubric that breaks down public speaking into five teachable attributes. Plus, you’ll learn tips for staging performances in an academic setting. Come to this session and get loud—it’s allowed!

54. “Stories in Song”
Leayn Losh, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
Grades 6-12

This session has been cancelled.

56. “Building Deeper Readers and Writers”
Kelly Gallagher, Master Teacher, Author, Educational Consultant
Grades 6-12

In this breakout session, Kelly will focus on the key components essential to building young readers and writers: volume, modeling, choice, and conferring. In addition, he will share numerous strategies proven to elevate student reading and writing.

58. “More Than Just a Rubric”
Amanda Durnal, Blue Valley School District
Grades 7-12

The most difficult task in the ELA classroom (or any classroom, for that matter) is anything that has to do with writing. Many novice teachers enter the classroom not confident in how to teach writing, and even many experienced teachers agonize over how to improve student writing and still manage to sleep or eat or shower…let alone prep for classes, attend invigorating professional development meetings, or even think about having a life. And the grading of writing, especially, can come to be the thorn in the side of any writing teacher. While the information Amanda will share with you in this session may not turn it all into a cakewalk, it is one way you can help your students improve their writing without buying stock in red (or purple, or green) ink.

60. “The Power of TED to Create Community through Story”
Lynn Hagen and Melita Walker, Columbia Public Schools
Grades 9-12

Last spring, Battle High School in Columbia, Missouri presented its first ever TEDx Event, TEDx Battle, an amazing opportunity for their high school students to craft a story, revise with peer and teacher guidance, hone their presentation skills, and ultimately present to a live audience and to a world-wide web audience. In this session, Lynn and Melita will share their process and what they learned. You’ll leave with everything you need to know to create a TEDx-style event in your own classroom or to create your own world-wide web TEDx event.

Saturday Sessions Round F
11:00 am – 12:15 pm

61. “Writing Workshop is For Everyone! Engaging Each and Every Writer”
Kristi Mraz, Master Teacher, Author, and Educational Consultant
Grades K-4

“I can’t write….”
“I have no ideas!”
“How do you spell?”
“I don’t know what to do!”
Writing workshop is a powerful structure that supports the development of literacy, independence, and a growth mindset. Yet, too often, writing workshop can feel inaccessible to struggling writers. In this session, Kristi will provide real classroom supports, lessons, and demonstrations to help you feel empowered to help every writer in your classroom.

63. “Choice and Voice: Writing about Reading in the Social Studies”
Liz Costanzo-Morrison, Parkway School District
Grades 2-8

Come to this session and learn how to promote reading and writing in social studies by using an inquiry based approach, providing your students an opportunity to write about a content connected topic of their choice by reading great texts at the right level. Liz will share ideas to challenge your students to write like social scientists and to support their writing with the tools of social science inquiry.

65. “Revising Revision: A New Approach that Motivates Kids to Do It, and Do It Well”
Steve Peha, Educational Consultant and Author
Grades 4-12

Revision is hard. To work, it has to be workable. Most of the time it’s not. We need to fix this, because revision is the most important thing writers do—and young writers don’t do it enough. In Steve’s consulting work with young writers across the country, he has found four things that make the difference to help kids take on the challenge of revision: (1) Close reading for writing—the use of close reading techniques reversed into tools for revision; (2) Strategy chains—not single strategies, but connected techniques that get more done in less time; (3) Quick-Revs—fast fixes that address small problems before they become big ones; and (4) Comparative Micro-Assessments (CMAs). The essential task of revision is comparing existing text to revised text and choosing the better of the two. When we teach kids how to do this quickly through CMAs, kids learn what good writing is, what it isn’t, and how to turn the latter into the former. In addition to learning all about the four revision strategies listed above, all participants will receive copies of Steve’s new book, Revising Revision.

67. “Figurative Language: Building Metaphors”
Michael Salinger and Sara Holbrook, Writing Experts, Authors, Award-Winning Performance Poets
Grades 5-College

Join award-winning performance poets Michael Salinger and Sara Holbrook as they lead you through several writing clinics that will build the understanding and use of personification and extended metaphor. This approach is great for creative writing classes and scaffolding up students to deeper thinking and literacy.

69. “60 Second Book Recs: Using Video and Social Media to Promote Reading and Writing”
Ethan Evans and Whitney Zanter, Lathrop R-II School District
Grades 7-12

How do you get kids excited about reading and writing outside of the classroom? The Lathrop High School Library is using social media and video to try to get kids more engaged with books. In this session, Ethan and Whitney discuss ways they’ve tried to make students’ library time more interactive while engaging students outside the classroom. This session will primarily focus on the creation of the #60secondbookrec videos Ethan makes on a weekly basis and how you can incorporate these as projects in your classroom. The presenters will also discuss the various ways they use social media to promote reading and autonomy for students as well as for networking with other teachers.

71. “Socratic Seminar Circles: SWIRLing toward the 21st Century”
Amber Buck, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools
Grades 9-12

Are you tired of lifting the cognitive load in your classroom? Do you want to transfer that responsibility to your students and arm them with the 21st century skills of citizenship, curiosity, creativity, communication, critical thinking, compassion, composure, and collaboration? Well get ready to SWIRL into a new way of teaching. SWIRL stands for speaking, writing, interacting, reading and listening. Using Socratic Seminar Circles, students exercise these five critical skills to process advanced text. In this session, Amber will walk you through an abridged version of the appropriate, research-based approach to an effective Socratic Seminar.

73. “Curriculum and Assessment Updates: English Language Arts (ELA)”
Debbie Jameson and Lisa Scroggs, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Grades K-12

As implementation begins for the new Missouri Learning Standards: Grade Level Expectations in English Language Arts, you need to know how your district’s curriculum and assessments will be affected. In this session, Debbie and Lisa will provide the most up-to-date information about implementation and effects of the new expectations. Time will be available for DESE resources to be shared and questions answered.

62. “Mindset Shift: Makers, Memes and Micro-Writing”
Kristin Ziemke, Master Teacher, Author, Educational Consultant
Grades K-8

Digital forms of quick writing—like tweets, sketchnotes and instagram posts—allow exciting new opportunities for students to generate text frequently across the curriculum to summarize, question, or synthesize thinking. Using online text as mentor text, we can teach students to make an image, diagram, or visual to enhance their writing. Most exciting, micro-writing can support students in not simply revising pieces, but revising their entire voice as students publish online for an authentic audience. You’ll leave this session with new ideas and practical lesson ideas for your own teaching of writing.

64. “Enactment Techniques to Engage Readers with Literature”
Kae Daugherty, Trainer, Missouri Reading Initiative
Grades 6-8

Each of us has struggled with the question of how to engage the reluctant readers in our classes to move from the literal level into the inferential level of comprehension as we study literary texts.  The use of dramatic activities to help readers both experience and learn from text is supported by a wide variety of research.  In this session, you will use drama and art activities to live in the world of the text.  Using these engaging activities (based on the work of Jeffrey Wilhelm) with your students will not only deepen their understanding of the text, but will also enable them to make relevant connections to the broader world.

66. “Cheez-Its or Goldfish?: Using America’s Favorite Snacks to Jump Start a School- Wide Commitment to Writing”
Danielle Johnson, Columbia Public Schools
Grades 5-12

If you want to start a heated debate, simply ask a group of people if they prefer Cheez-Its or Goldfish. That’s just what Danielle’s school did at a back to school meeting three years ago, and the activities that followed made everyone just as passionate about a school-wide focus on writing in the content areas. Using talking to learn strategies, research protocols, and self-assessment techniques, the workshop leaders provided content area teachers with the tools they needed to work together to raise their students’ scores from 50% proficient to over 80% proficient on district constructed response assessments that carefully mirrored tasks on state literacy tests. During this session, literacy coach Danielle Johnson will take you through the same activities and provide you with materials to bring back to your staff to implement your own cross-content writing focus.

68. “Quiz Me! Digital Tools to Assess Students”
Melissa Kaufman, Hazelwood School District
Grades 6-8

Need new ways to assess your students? Want to gamify your assessments? Looking for tools to help your students to review content, both in and out of class? Want to offer self-paced digital quizzes or homework? Come to this session and learn about several ways to assess students using digital tools, including Kahoot, Quizizz, Google Forms, and EDpuzzle. You will learn the differences between each tool and the advantages of using each tool in your classroom. Each tool works well with a 1:1 or BYOD classroom, but can also be modified for use in small groups or less technology-heavy classrooms. Come and practice using each tool and develop quizzes or assessments that you can use the next day!

70. “Writing and Learning through Scenario-Based Assessments”
Amy Lannin, University of Missouri, and Julie Sheerman, Missouri Writing Projects Network
Grades 7-12

Authentic assessments put students into situations in which they combine their content knowledge and communication skills in order to learn and to demonstrate their learning. Creating such assessments can be a challenge. In a statewide STEM Literacy Project, Amy and Julie have engaged teachers and their students in Scenario-Based Assessments in which students receive a set of texts, charts, graphs, or maps in order to reason their way through a real-life scenario. Their task requires careful reading, synthesizing information, and writing. Such an assessment creates insight into what students know and how they can comprehend and communicate that knowledge. In this session, Amy and Julie will share examples of these scenario-based assessments, their uses, and their challenges. These assessments model the integration of STEM concepts and literacy practices as well as being excellent examples of writing to learn.

72. “Zombies, Molotov Cocktails, and Trail Mix: Engaging Students that Have Given Up”
Lea Hickerson and Kati Nilges, Rolla Public Schools
Grades 11-12

Motivating students, especially those that have effectively given up, is a monumental task, and even the most veteran teachers struggle with keeping kids engaged throughout the learning process. In this presentation, Lea and Kati focus on motivating kids who hate English and reading with the use of a non-traditional classroom text. Through their exploration of Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide, they will bring to light the way kids can use what they read, instead of allowing the reading process to stop when they close the book. You will look at how you can meld popular zombie culture with skill sets such as researching and vetting sources to supplement information and to satisfy curiosity.

74. “Using Twitter as a Tool for Professional Development”
Tori Grable, St. Joseph School District
Grades Pre-K-College

Twitter has tremendous potential as a resource for professional development. Come to this workshop to learn how to set up a Twitter account for professional use and how to identify Twitter users and Tweets that can help inform you about current pedagogical thought and practices in your area. You will also learn how to use Tweet Deck to manage multiple Twitter accounts and/or to follow multiple Twitter users and/or topics.

Elementary Section Post-Conference Session
1:45 pm – 4:30 pm

“Mindsets for Learning: Teaching the Habits of Joyful, Independent Growth”
Kristi Mraz, Master Teacher, Author, and Educational Consultant
Grades K-5

In this post-conference session, you will learn how you can leverage the powerful instructional strategies of storytelling, self talk, reflection, and goal setting to teach students to have positive, powerful mindsets. You will learn the research that supports teaching stances like flexibility, empathy, optimism, resilience, and persistence. You will learn how structures like conferring and whole class conversations can be used to create classroom communities of joyful effort, while still meeting benchmarks along the way. Classroom charts and lessons will be shared alongside tools to ensure that you’re able to keep this powerful work going all year long.


Secondary Section Post-Conference Session
1:45 pm – 4:30 pm

“Read the World Now: Moving Beyond Text-Based Literacy”
Kristin Ziemke, Master Teacher, Author, Educational Consultant
Grades 6-12

Today’s digital classroom seeks to combine rich literacy instruction with 21st century tools to engage students in meaningful learning experiences. New devices invite students to read beyond the text and use multimedia–images, video, infographics–to add layers to their thinking. In this new learning landscape, we need to rethink what it means to “read” and craft lessons that explicitly teach students to analyze a photo, closely read a video clip, and read the world. In this session, you’ll investigate new entry points for all learners and share ideas for empowering students to author their own messages as content creators in this participatory digital culture.