Dublin Villager

Literacy conference has sessions for teachers, parents

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Teachers from throughout the district, state and beyond will come to Dublin City Schools next month to act as students for a day.

The 25th annual Dublin Literacy Conference, slated for Feb. 22 at Coffman High School, offers teachers a day of learning from fellow teachers and authors.

Teachers can choose from sessions ranging from connecting literacy and math to using electronic books in research projects.

Authors Penny Kittle, Don Brown, Bud Hunt, Bryan Collier, Gene Barretta and Kassia Omohundro Wedekind will be featured at the conference as will teachers doing innovative things in the classroom.

Teacher presenters are chosen by a committee made of up representatives from nearly every Dublin City School building. They hear about teachers doing different things to teach literacy, said Lauren Scott, a first-grade teacher at Glacier Ridge Elementary School. Scott is second-in command at the conference.

"As the common core has come, we look at it as literacy," she said.

"It's so much more than reading and writing," Scott said. "It's so much more with the digital piece (and) being able to go online and read blogs ... . We teach digital literacy."

Literacy also extends to other subjects, Scott said.

"Under education literacy is such a huge umbrella now," she said.

"It's such a big piece of what kids are doing. We never really had math (sessions) before but now we encourage it because literacy is such a huge piece of math, especially when it comes to problem solving and story problems."

The conference gives teachers a chance to learn from each other on an integral subject, said Jessica Lockerd, a conference organizer and Riverside Elementary School reading intervention teacher Jessica Lockerd.

"It's just really a great chance to give teachers to learn from each other to learn what's happening in other buildings, other districts and other states," she said. "We have people from Kentucky and Indiana. It's a neat chance to see what other people are doing in literacy in their classrooms. We get to be the students for a day."

Many teachers take what they learn and use it in the classroom immediately.

Scott said she applied a lesson in reading comprehension in the classroom after hearing from an author a few years ago.

"It's such a great opportunity," she said.

"It's nice for teachers across grade levels, schools and communities to come hear great authors and peers talk about what they're doing in classrooms that is very helpful for them... .

"I always hear that people walk away with something they can actually go and do the next week or the next month."

Parents of Dublin City School students can also get lessons on literacy at the conference with two free sessions from authors.

From 9 to 10 a.m. Author and Illustrator Gene Barretta will talk about the life and work of an author.

Barretta is author of books including Jack the Tripper, Neo Leo: the Ageless Ideas of Leonardo Da Vinci and Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones.

Bud Hunt, an instructional technologist, will present "Talking About Family Media and Computing Habits" from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

"In one of the sessions we talk about kids very interested in technology and getting parents to realize how to use that for literacy at home," Lockerd said.

"Kids are used to using these things for literacy at school. It's a nice way to have that home-school connection."

Scott said the session will also cover how to connect amid the distraction of technology.

"This year Bud Hunt will be really good for a lot of people with middle school-aged kids," she said.

"It's on how to balance technology and family time in your home, the aspects of apps and time in your house," Scott said.

"It's about letting children use it, but setting boundaries."

For more information about the Feb. 22 literacy conference or to sign up, look online at dublinschools.net/dublinliteracyconference.aspx. Families must register by Feb. 17.

Comments