Cultivating a Word Conscious Classroom

July 16, 2019, 9:00 am- 12:00 pm
Session cost: $75

Session will be available for live distance learning through Google Hangouts. Session will not be recorded.

Vocabulary is one of the greatest predictors of future reading success across all ages.  Wide reading is the most powerful way to build vocabulary, yet children with learning differences have usually suffered the effects of reduced exposure to vocabulary.  Unfortunately, gaps in vocabulary knowledge widen as children age, and it becomes increasingly difficult to close those gaps. Beck, McKeown, & Kucan argue that the answer lies in word conscious classrooms that promote robust vocabulary instruction. This presentation will provide educators with strategies to develop, reinforce, and support word knowledge in their classrooms.

Participants will engage with a variety of educational technology tools, from vocabulary specific to broad tools that can be used to create activities for engaging word based lessons.






Theresa Collins is a Fellow of the AOGPE and IDA Certified Dyslexia Therapist.  Currently the Director of Language Training and Director of Southport Teacher Training Institute at The Southport School, she has been an Orton-Gillingham practitioner for over 30 years.  She first developed her interest in learning differences while pursuing her B.A. in Psychology at Colgate University. She later earned her M.S. in Educational Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany.  She has presented at various conferences, including the Annual Conference of the International Dyslexia Association, the New York and New Jersey branches of the IDA, the annual conference of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, the annual conference of the Assistive Technology Industry Association, Learning Ally’s Spotlight on Dyslexia, and the Assistive Technology Conference of New England.  




Sharon Plante, an educator with over 23 years of teaching experience in special education, currently serves as teacher and Director of Technology at The Southport School.  As a Classroom Educator certified Orton-Gillingham tutor (CE/AOGPE), she uses her training and understanding of technology to empower students with learning disabilities.   Sharon is the co-author of Using Technology to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities, which highlights the incorporation of technology through the Universal Design Model to reach all learners.  She has presented at International Dyslexia Association(IDA), Assistive Technology International Association (ATIA), The Dyslexia Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Northeast Association of Learning Specialists (NEALS), and Spotlight on Dyslexia via Learning Ally. Sharon is a member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools Commission on School Growth and Collaboration and the Connecticut Regional Director for the Northeast Association of Learning Specialists.