Keynote Speakers
Elfrieda Hiebert
Dinah Zike
Sheila Valencia
Maria Nichols
Featured Author
Donalyn Miller

Donalyn is the author or co-author of several books about creating engaging and inclusive reading communities for all children. In her first book, The Book Whisperer (Jossey-Bass, 2009), Donalyn reflects on her journey to become a reading teacher and describes how she inspires and motivates her middle school students to read 40 or more books a year.

Donalyn is an award-winning teacher, author, and staff development leader who has taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grade language arts and social studies in the Fort Worth, Texas area.

Library Journal said, “Her approach is simple yet provocative: affirm the reader in every student, allow students to choose their own books, carve out extra reading time, model authentic reading behaviors, discard timeworn reading assignments such as book reports and comprehension worksheets, and develop a classroom library filled with high-interest books.”

The Book Whisperer has been translated into several languages including French and Chinese.

Her teaching awards include TCTELA’s Elementary Language Arts Teacher of the Year (2011), Keller ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year (2010), ESC Region XI Teacher of the Year (2010), TEA State Finalist Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year (2010), Trinity Meadows Intermediate School Teacher of the Year (2010), and Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Region XI Rising Star Teacher (2008). In 2018, Donalyn was awarded TCTELA’s Edmund J. Farrell Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the language arts teaching profession.

Breakout Sessions

Time on Text: Using Eye-tracking Scan Paths to Understand Reading Stamina

Kathleen A. J. Mohr & Stephanie Juth
Professor, Utah State University & Ph.D. Student

Building reading stamina among students is a current literacy trend. Recent eye-tracking research demonstrates issues related to this important reading goal that can inform how teachers could maximize students’ silent reading with comprehension as part of the school curriculum.

Teaching Sequential Text Structure: Books that are Exemplary Models and How to Use Them

Cindy Jones & Nanette Watson & Georgia Bunnell
Utah State University

In this session, we present examples of children’s informational books identified as exemplary models of sequential structure and shares ideas for using these books to help elementary students increase comprehension, retain informational text content, and improve writing.

Vocabulary Instruction: The Heart of Comprehension

Ron Squire
2nd Grade Teacher, Jordan Hills Elementary

This session will provide research-based tweaks that will instantly improve vocabulary instruction. Based on Isabel Beck’s work, teachers will learn how to arrange classrooms that create and support metalinguistic awareness including tiered word selection, and fun, fast-paced multiple exposure practice.

RTI: Reading Intervention Strategies for Elementary Students

Rachel Smith
Dean of Elementary Academics, Freedom Prep Academy

Learn quick and easy RTI intervention strategies for improving in-class intervention instruction for our striving elementary readers. Learn how to help students’ master skills in phonemic awareness, word decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Leveraging Superheroes On and Off-Screen

Rachel Wadham
Education and Juvenile Collections Librarian, BYU

Increase students’ motivation for reading, writing, and speaking by using all the genres of superhero popular culture including books, movies, comics, and graphic novels, to teach core literacy skills that will especially engage reluctant or struggling learners.

Some of Our Best Friends are Books: Writing with Mentors — Text and Others

Nancy Peterson and Keri Measom
Professor, Teacher Education & Instructor, Teacher Education

Looking for ways to match LEARNING to write with a LOVE for it? Join us to celebrate some of our (and your) “best friends” — mentor texts that will inspire kids to see themselves as authors, in word and in craft.

Finding the Best Books for Fact-loving Kids

Terrell Young, Ph.D.
Professor, BYU

Fact-loving kids find nonfiction much more compelling than fiction. The presenter will provide brief book talks about the best nonfiction books of 2018.

Engagement Matters: How to Engage All Students (Including English Learners!) Into the Learning Process

Margaret Osgood Opatz & Dr. Sheree Springer
Reading and Literacy Doctoral Student, University of Utah & Associate Instructor, Urban Institute for Teacher Education, University of Utah

Participants will explore the ABCs of engagement — affective engagement, behavioral engagement, and cognitive engagement — and will receive specific examples of how each impacts the classroom. Participants will leave the presentation with a variety of helpful strategies to engage all learners.

The Magic of Mini-Lessons

Diane Reitz
ELA Consultant

Have you ever wondered how to effectively launch a reader’s workshop that simultaneously builds student independence and self-agency? Come learn what the first thirty days would look like, followed by additional literacy mini-lessons from the remainder of the year.

Exploring the Influence of Revision Instruction and Digital Writing on Primary Student’s Informational Text

Alayne Leavitt Jorgensen
Elementary Instructional Coach

The presenter discusses the results of a study which suggests that an emphasis on revision as part of writing instruction may increase the number of primary writers’ revisions. The use of digital writing may support young writers to make more revisions and more complex revisions, and explicit instruction in revision may increase the overall quality of students’ informational writing.

Engaging in a Culturally-Relevant Life: Literacy at their Fingertips

David Byrd, Ph.D. & Rich Fry, Ph.D. & DeeDee Mower, Ph.D. & Penee Stewart, Ph.D. & Nadia Wrosch, Ph.D.
Professors at Weber State University, Teacher Education and Computer Science

There have been countless ways to teach rote English reading and writing to both Native English Speakers and to English Language Learners. Yet, these pedagogical practices have not fully utilized the current opportunities to combine technology with culturally-relevant stories in order to engage the students within their own background knowledge.

We are no longer accepting breakout session proposals. You may still submit a poster session proposal.

About the Conference

This year, our conference is November 1 and is being held at:

Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
101 West 100 North
Provo, UT 84601
(801) 377-4700


Early Bird pricing ends on October 18. After that, the registration price is $109.

Undergraduate Students