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Register 5 or more and your school will be put into a drawing for a FREE assembly from Jason F. Wright!

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Keynote Speakers
Pam Allyn

Pam Allyn is a world-renowned literacy expert, author, motivational speaker, and Senior Vice President, Innovation & Development, Scholastic Education. She is the Founder of LitWorld, a groundbreaking global literacy movement serving children across the United States and in more than 60 countries. Pam and LitWorld created LitCamp, in partnership with Scholastic, a transformational summer learning solution that combines social emotional learning and literacy skills development.

Pam is the author of 27 books for educators, leaders and families on reading, writing and quality learning, including Every Child a Super Reader (Scholastic, 2015), co-authored with Dr. Ernest Morrell.

Pam has received many awards for her work, including The Children’s Village Legacy of Service Award and the Scholastic Literacy Champion Award, both for bringing the joy and power of reading to children. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College, Columbia University in April 2017.

Pam is featured widely in traditional press and on social media as a literacy expert for both families and educators. speaking to the power of education and literacy to transform lives and to create gender and racial equity and participatory citizenship in every child.

Dr. Brad Wilcox

Dr. Brad Wilcox taught sixth grade in Provo before obtaining his PhD and becoming a professor at Brigham Young University where he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in teaching reading, writing, and children’s literature. Brad grew up in Provo, Utah except for childhood years spent in Ethiopia, Africa. Brad and his friend and colleague Tim Morrision coauthored the textbook Developing Literacy: Reading and Writing To, With, and By Children.  Brad is also the author of the popular children’s book, Hip, Hip, Hooray for Annie McRae!  He and his family have also lived for a time in New Zealand and Spain where he directed study abroad programs for Brigham Young University. Brad and his wife Debi have four children and eight grandchildren. He loves Peanut M&M’s and pepperoni pizza, but he realizes that doesn’t sound too healthy so he is really trying hard to learn to love salads.

Hugo Haselhuhn

Hugo Haselhuhn lives in San Luis Obispo County. He enjoys reading, writing stories and poetry, cooking, and traveling with his bride of 43 years. They have traveled the U.S. and countries of Europe and the Far East enjoying the cultures and people. These experiences are clamoring to get out of his head, out of his journals and on to the pages of a book.

As a teacher of children and teenagers, he knows how to grab their attention and keep them engaged and can find positive lessons in every day experiences. Having five children and 14 grandchildren of his own, he knows a few things about their struggles, desires, fantasies and goals, and writes to fill their needs. He has a passion to have a positive influence for good in the lives of others, especially children, through his writing. Hugo has incorporated lessons to strengthen human relations shared in his stories and the readers are learning through the eyes and experiences of the characters.

Lucas Lightfoot and the Fire Crystal began as a request from his eight-year-old grandson, Luke Cowdell, who wanted help in writing a “chapter book.” Luke is an avid reader with an active imagination. He is also a deep thinker who asks questions seemingly beyond his years. Luke told his grandpa where he wanted to go with this book, and Hugo created the road, painted the scenery and created the characters and adventures along the road. And this adventure awaits you in the Lucas Lightfoot Trilogy.

Breakout Sessions

Group Storytelling

Jason F. Wright

In the session dedicated to elementary educators, Jason Wright — New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling author — will introduce Group Storytelling. This exercise relies on oral storytelling and simple notetaking and is easy for any teacher in any setting. Jason will lead this exercise and attendees will put on their elementary school student hats for the day. In the end, educators will return to their classrooms and media centers with an exciting new tool for their toolbox.

Miss Utah Dexonna Talbot

Dexonna Talbot was crowned Miss Utah 2019 in June. She has done many presentations about “Servesteem” – increasing self-esteem through service. She is also the author of a children’s book, You and Me, which discusses bullying, and loving and accepting others for their own unique selves.

Teach Anything with Theatre

Jessica Winward

Jessica Winward is a classically trained actress from Los Angeles. She is a seasoned teaching artist working with the theatre titans on the West Coast. She is excited and confident that theatre activities including improv, ensemble building exercises, and dramatic experiences can help your students learn and be excited about any subject while checking a few social and emotional learning boxes too. In this workshop Jessica will introduce you dynamic activities that can be shifted into any subject, any age group, and will increase the community and fun in every classroom. 

Bentley the Reading Dog

Kim Irvine & Bentley

From the outside, South Ogden Jr. High School looks like any other school in Utah. Even the inside isn’t out of the ordinary. That is, until you head to the library. Students who go inside the library are getting better reading scores. It’s not that the books are different or even the assignments students are given. “It’s magic. It really is,” said Kimberlee Irvine, who is an 8th Grade English teacher at the school. “I wish I could explain it. But it’s just pretty much Bentley magic.” That’s right. Bentley.

Leveraging Fan Fiction to Master Writing

Marion Jensen

What do you do when they get it? This is an opportunity to explore a rigorous extension activity that will get your students reading and writing like crazy! Published author, Marion Jensen has created an exciting opportunity for students to collaborate with an author to write “fan fiction” along the journey to publication. Learn how to leverage Fan Fiction to help students learn and master the craft of writing.

Small Group Instruction: Strategies for Diverse Learners

Barbara Andrews

All students must gain proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as in content-area learning. In this session, participants will examine ways to provide instructional equity, as well as ways to target the literacy and content-area needs of all students by using a variety of small-group instructional settings to support all learners. This interactive session will highlight instructional practices that provide access to grade-level standards and topics for all students, as they collaborate and engage in age-appropriate instruction. This “hands-on” session will focus on ways to provide small-group lessons that explicitly foster each student’s ability to grow, to build self-confidence, and to meet higher expectations.

Selecting the Best: My Experience on the 2019 John Newbery Award Committee

Dr. Terrell Young

Terrell Young will share his experience on the 2019 John Newbery Award Committee. The presentation will cover the award function, terms, definitions, criteria, and process. Moreover, he will share his favorite middle grade books published in 2018.

Ramping Up Literacy 365: Closing Every Gap

Pam Allyn

Come hear Pam Allyn talk about her dynamic solutions for summer and extended day learnings: solutions that raise engagement and achievement levels — at the same time! You will be excited by what you hear, and Pam will give you some key information to lift all your students to their highest potential as literacy learners. She will share the deep research-based pedagogy for what really works and some very practical info regarding the signature programs LitCamp and LitLeague that have been taking the country by storm!

Building a Community of Writers

Barbara Andrews

Students are expected to write well if they are to meet the higher expectations of the new standards, but when instruction focuses only on prescriptive writing, the result is often the creation of students who dislike writing. They tend to produce only the minimum that is required, often without the quality and individuality of the writer’s voice. In this interactive session, we will take a close look at the supports provided in a Writers’ Workshop model to build on students’ strengths by modeling and gradually releasing the writing process to students so that we foster the development of skilled, independent writers who perceive themselves as authors. In this session, we will explore the benefits of the Writer’s Workshop model, as well as ways to develop learners who will become confident and proficient writers.

Preparing all Students to Master Phonological Awareness (Phonological Awareness Screener for Intervention (PASI) and Phonological Awareness Lessons)

Mica Byrum, M.Ed.

Multiple researchers have concluded that as many as one out of every ten adolescents has serious difficulties in identifying words, a problem that often stems from a phonological awareness deficit. Since most universal screening tools do not assess beyond phoneme segmentation, phonemic awareness instruction often stops once students are able to successfully segment single-syllable words. As a result, as students move beyond kindergarten and early first grade, phonemic awareness issues tend to fall under the radar.

Creative Graphics, Designed Text, Supplemental Information: Notable Changes in Award Winning Nonfiction Children’s Literature

Marla K. Robertson, Ph.D.

Nonfiction children’s literature is becoming increasingly complex with the use of additional text features and layouts not regularly taught in classrooms. Come explore some recent nonfiction children’s literature that may be used in classrooms to help students navigate these changes.

Writing Prompts

Jason F. Wright

In the session for secondary educators, Jason will lead a writing exercise based on an acting writing prompt. He will share his notion that everyone has two sets of eyes and use this as a spring board for each attendee to being a short story. Jason will close the sessions by reading a few of the stories aloud — anonymously — and prove you can find magic in every single one.

Mastering Multisyllable Words in Five Minutes a Day: An Introduction to Multisyllable Routine Cards (MSRC)

Mica Byrum, M.Ed.

This session will provide an introduction to a multisensory, five minutes a day explicit routine for teaching word analysis skills that includes identifying the six syllable types and syllabication patterns. We’ll share unique gestures for each syllable type, to ensure that students can confidently conquer multisyllable words. Session participants will receive an MSRC Sample Lesson with manipulatives and will be ready to introduce this practical and interactive routine to their students.

Phonics for Everyone!

Toni Lasater & Natalie Walker

“What do I do when I have a student in grades 3-8 who can’t read?” If that is a question that you need some answers for, then this is your class. This class will cover the WHY for teaching phonics and the HOW to help students who are missing skills. We will look closely at diagnostics and how they can help you pinpoint the reading deficiencies. We will share multiple intervention ideas that you can use in your classrooms, including the 6 syllable types to show how this can help students become proficient decoders when facing multi-syllabic words.

Questions and Answers: Teaching Students to Locate and Use Text Evidence

Cindy Jones, Nanette Watson, Georgia Bunnell, Janet Breitenstein, and Nicole Parker

In this session, we will share instructional ideas for promoting literacy using well-structured question and answer informational texts. Attendees will receive a list of exemplary texts and resources for helping students locate and use text evidence in reading and writing.

About the Conference

This year, our conference is October 3 and is being held at:

Mountain America Expo Center
9575 State St
Sandy, UT 84070
(385) 468-2260

Transportation and TRAX

Make it easy on yourself. Ride TRAX if you’re coming from Salt Lake City, Draper or points in between. The Sandy Expo station on the Blue Line is conveniently located across the street from our facility. FrontRunner from Ogden and Provo links to TRAX.

From I-15 heading northbound: Take Exit 293 (UT-151/10600 S.). Keep right to take ramp toward Sandy and the Mountain America Expo Center. Turn right onto W. 10600 South. Turn left onto S. State Street (US-89 N.). The Mountain America Expo Center is on the right.

From I-15 heading southbound: Take Exit 295 (UT-209/9000). Keep left and then go straight towards Sandy on 9000 S. Turn right onto S. State Street. The Mountain America Expo Center is on the left.

Click here for a map, or plan your trip at RideUTA.


Early Bird pricing ends on September 15. After that, the registration price is $125.

Undergraduate Students
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