Dr. Dianna Townsend – Literacy Webinar

Who is Using the Vocabulary?: Engaging Students in Active Practice with New and Important Words

Thursday, April 20, 2017   7-8pm EST


51yHuBUVLjL._SX388_BO1,204,203,200_When students, or any of us, learn new words, they need opportunities to practice with and personalize those words. This is especially true if those words are essential to something they are reading or if they need to use them in their own writing. This interactive webinar will share approaches and strategies that encourage students’ active practice with important words to support reading comprehension and writing. Additionally, this webinar will share instructional and environmental resources that teachers can easily integrate into their classrooms to support all students, and especially those who are struggling with vocabulary learning, reading, and writing. Finally, this webinar will include suggestions for identifying whether or not a vocabulary strategy is a good fit for a specific learning objective, as well as some vocabulary assessment tools that can be adapted to any word list or lesson.

Recommended Reading: Vocabulary Their Way: Word Study with Middle and Secondary Students, 2nd Edition by Shane Templeton, Donald R. Bear, Marcia A. Invernizzi, Fancine R. Johnson, Kevin Flanigan, Dianna R. Townsend, Lori Helman and Latisha Hayes.

Dr. Dianna Townsend is an Associate Professor of Literacy Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate literacy courses and serves as the Graduate Program Director for the Master’s Degree in Literacy Studies. Dr. Townsend is a co-author of Vocabulary Their Way: Word Study with Middle and Secondary Students, and her research has been published in, among other journals, Reading Research Quarterly, The Elementary School Journal, and Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Dr. Townsend facilitates regular professional development workshops on vocabulary instruction, reading in the disciplines, and academic language. Prior to becoming a professor, Dr. Townsend taught high school English and psychology in Massachusetts.

Dr. Tim Shanahan – Literacy Webinar

Complex Texts, Complex Sentences: Grammar and Comprehension in the Time of Common Core

Thursday, October 27, 2016  7-8pm EST


Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.00.40 PMBecause words are important, teachers teach vocabulary as well as trying to provide students with tools for figuring out the meanings of unknown words (e.g., context, reference tools). No similar attention is accorded to making sense of sentences. Students either can interpret the meanings of the sentences that they read or they cannot, but little effort is made to show them how to untangle the complexity of sentences. This is unfortunate since Michigan educational standards require that students learn to read complex text, and one of the major aspects of text complexity is the grammatical complexity of the sentences and the cohesive links that connect the ideas within and across sentences. This presentation will provide explicit guidance in how to scaffold students’ interactions with grammar and cohesion.

Recommended Reading: Shanahan on Literacy – Dr. Tim Shanahan’s blog

Dr. Timothy Shanahan is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chi­cago where he is Founding Di­rector of the UIC Center for Literacy. He has also served as Visiting Research Professor at Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools. He is author/editor of more than 200 publications including the books, Teaching with the Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts, Early Childhood Literacy, and Developing Literacy in Second-Language Learners. His research emphasizes the connections between learning to read and learning to write, literacy in the disciplines, and improvement of reading achievement. Professor Shanahan is past president of the International Literacy Association and received a presidential appointment to the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Literacy. He served on the National Reading Panel and helped write the Common Core State Standards. He was inducted to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2007, and is a former primary grade teacher. For more information, visit his blog: www.shanahanonliteracy.com