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Breakout Sessions

View the Conference Program & Schedule.


Presenters: Jayde Schelling and Trey Sutherland (Campbell County School District)

Title: Educators as “Cultural Brokers” for Our ELL’s at the Classroom and School Levels

Suggested Audience: Elementary Educators

View Presentation Slides | View Presentation Handouts

Abstract: Educators are, at times, the only individuals that are in the position to be a positive cultural transition for our ELL students. Regardless of your role in your school, you are an ESL teacher that is responsible for educating all students equitably. The presenters will address the question: “How can educators reculture their classroom and school to construct a more culturally responsive environment?”  Participants in this session will work collaboratively to practice applicable classroom strategies that empower all students, including our ELL population.


Presenter: Frederica Robin Suess (University of Wyoming)

Title: Teaching ESL to adult learners: What does "intermediate" really mean

Suggested Audience: Post Secondary Educators

Abstract: Second language acquisition is not linear; skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening develop at different rates.  The second-language learning curve can be frustrating for both learner and curriculum designer assessing student needs.   For example, students at the intermediate language level process information by trying their own theories of grammar.  In this presentation, we will identify learner variables, building a more sophisticated understanding of the concept intermediate language learner.


Presenter: Chad Ransom (Teton County School District #1)

Title: Designing and Implementing New Dual Immersion Programs

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

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Abstract: Dual Language Immersion programs are one of the fastest growing program models in the country.  These programs include both one-way and two-way immersion models and can be implemented in a myriad of different contexts.  However, planning and implementing this type of program requires districts to strategically plan for building ongoing support, teacher recruitment, curriculum development, and many other factors.  This session will highlight these important considerations, outline key tasks, and discuss possible pitfalls to a successful implementation for districts to consider when implementing an immersion program.


Presenters: Sandra Hogan, Dixie Brackman, Dea Kobbe (Albany County School District #1)

Title: Promoting Effective Collaboration among Content Area Teachers and ESL Teachers

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

Abstract: This presentation reports on the study that explored the practical possibilities of collaboration among content area teachers and ESL specialists in the K-12 schools in Wyoming.  The presentation focuses on an investigation of the factors that promote and/or hinders effective collaboration from the perspectives of content area teachers, ESL specialists.


Presenters: AJ Swentosky & Jill Armijo (Teton County School District #1)

Title: From PLCs to Interventions: Addressing the Math Needs of English Language Learners within a MTSS Framework

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

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Abstract: Targeted Tier 2 and Tier 3 academic interventions may sometimes be disconnected from the core curriculum and core classroom instruction. This presentation will describe a capacity building model in which ongoing teacher collaboration within and between PLC and intervention processes allows for consistency between Tier 1 classroom instruction and intervention service delivery. The instructional resources used and differentiation strategies implementated are intended to meet the individualized needs of both English Language Learners and non-English Language Learners.


Presenter: Adeline Borti (University of Wyoming)

Title: The English Language Needs of Francophone Students in English as Second Language Context

Suggested Audience: Educators of all Levels

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Abstract: This presentation is a part of a study in which I examined English language needs of 73 Francophone students who enrolled to pursue their undergraduate degree in an English as a Second Language context, Ghana. The focus of this study addresses the needs of ESL undergraduate students in relation to their academic and professional English language needs. The study highlights the need for teachers at all levels to critically employ needs analysis of ESL students while they design syllabi and curricula for ESL students. Findings indicate that the Francophone ESL undergraduate students ascribe varying degrees of relevance to English courses according to their varying academic and career goals and needs.


Presenter: Kelly Matthews (Teton County School District #1)

Title: Co-Teaching Basics and Beyond

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

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Abstract: This session will focus on the foundational basics of co-teaching; what co-teaching is, what co-teaching is not, different co-teaching methods and how each method impacts your classroom in different ways.  Co-Teaching Basics and Beyond will also focus on ways to implement co-teaching into your classroom immediately such as skills in differentiation and the use of center driven instructional strategies.


Presenter: Joan James (University of Wyoming)

Title: Innovative Teaching Ideas That Provide Differentiated Instruction to Meet the Needs of ELLs

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

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Abstract: In this session, I will share innovative teaching ideas that engage all students including ELLs in meaningful, memorable, and intrinsically-motivating and differentiated standards-based learning. These engaging teaching strategies include simulations/role play, literature circles, exploration research project presentations, problem-based learning, outdoor education, and more. Session participants will be prompted to consider how they can implement similar teaching ideas to effectively impact the academic learning and motivation of all their students.


Presenter: Chris Bessonette (Teton County School District #1)

Title: Word of the Week? How about 10! Vocabulary instruction to increase word learning for your students

Suggested Audience: Elementary Educators

Abstract: In this session I will describe an efficient way to teach between 10 and 12 vocabulary words each week in only 20 minutes per day.  Working with Dr. Patrick Manyak from the University of Wyoming, the second grade team at Jackson Elementary School has implemented this protocol to teach students more words across content areas.  Word selection, instruction and assessment will be shared through videos, photos, documents and student work samples in an effort to make this vocabulary instruction accessible to all kindergarten to 5th grade teachers.


Presenter: Nate Hartsock (Uinta County School District #1)

Title: Promoting effective interaction for ELLS in the classroom

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

Abstract: This session will be based around ELL students and how to increase interaction in the mainstream classroom and ELL classroom. We will be focusing on different techniques to get those students involved in speaking in the classroom. This session will require participation and will be hands on.


Presenters: Heather Goodrich and Stephanie Hardeman (Teton County School District #1)

Title: Language Functions: The Key to Acquiring Language and Content

Suggested Audience: Educators of all Levels

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Abstract: In this session participants will discuss the merits of writing language and content objectives, identify critical language functions that students must acquire in order to be successful, and then create a 3-part Language Function Chart to be used for scaffolding learning across all content areas for all students.


Presenter: Linda Hutchison (University of Wyoming)

Suggested Audience: Secondary Educators

Title: The Language of Mathematics

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Abstract: Mathematics is a language that cuts across other languages but not always in the same ways. We will discuss various quantitative literacy ideas as they apply for teaching mathematics to English language learners. Ordinary English vs. Mathematical English will be discussed. Research on symbols and graphical literacy will be highlighted.


Presenters: Becky Dechert and Shaily Krantz (Fremont County School District #25)

Title: Effective Collaboration Strategies For Classroom/Content and ELL Professionals

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

Abstract: This presentation provides practical strategies for effective collaboration between classroom/content area teachers and ESL specialists in K-12 schools.  The presenters will provide activities for reading, writing, listening, and speaking that address and enhance learning in both content and ELD standards.


Presenters: Janie Massie and Ellen Kappus (Teton County School District #1)

Title: Newcomers and Refugees: The Struggle is Real

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

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Abstract: Now more than ever, we have been given the task of guiding the lives of some of our most vulnerable students into our schools and communities. How can we help these students overcome the insurmountable job of assimilating while also learning language and content? This is an interactive session designed to give you some tools and take home activities that will help make your elementary and secondary newcomer students’ transition into the classroom more welcoming and engaging.


Presenter: Dorly Piske (Wyoming Partners of the Americas)

Title: Children's Books and Creative Language Learning Projects for ELLs

Suggested Audience: Educators of All Levels

Abstract: Inspired in children's books by Saxton Freymann, participants can explore endless possibilities of working with student-created food sculptures in language classes to get them talking ad writing. Activities inspired in additional children’s books applicable for English language learners of all ages and proficiency levels will be discussed.


Presenter: Alivia Bingham (Teton County School District #1)

Title: ELL Tech Tools and Apps for any Content Area

Suggested Audience: Elementary and Secondary Educators

Abstract: In this session, participants will explore high-tech, low-tech, no-tech tools and strategies to use with students to develop effective Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing skills. Participants will be able to connect language skills to appropriate tools, and future work skills to technology strategies to develop independence in students. Finally, participants will be able to assess the challenges students learning a new language have with grade level content and recommend and integrate appropriate tools for those students.


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