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Literacy Education Conference |College of Education

6th Annual UW College of Education

Literacy Education Conference

and Open House for UW's Literacy Research Center and Clinic

September 26-27, 2014

UW Campus, Laramie

Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) renewal credit will be offered for Wyoming certified teachers.
UW graduate enrichment credit 5959 ($50 per credit hour) will be available

Registration closed.

PLEASE NOTE: Participants should bring an example, lesson, unit, or other work
from their classroom that they would like to examine in light of current issues
and trends in academic language and vocabulary instruction.


Keynote Speaker: James F. Baumann, University of Missouri

Vocabulary: The Key to Reading Comprehension

Jim Baumann
Abstract: Research documents that vocabulary knowledge is strongly related to reading comprehension. Additionally, there are numerous research studies indicating that teaching word meanings from and conceptual knowledge associated with texts students will read significantly enhances their understanding of, appreciation for, and learning from those text. In this presentation, Jim Baumann will (a) address the strong—but sometimes vexing—relationship between vocabulary and comprehension; (b) provide theoretical and empirical background on the nature of vocabulary lessons and activities that promote students’ reading comprehension; and (c) present many research-based examples of vocabulary-to-comprehension instructional strategies and activities that primary-, intermediate-, and middle-grade teachers can implement in their classrooms.


  1. Bring together pre-K, elementary, and middle level Wyoming teachers and librarians to explore current issues and trends in academic language and vocabulary instruction for pre-K, elementary, and middle level classrooms.
  2. Explore current principles and practices for vocabulary instruction as it relates to reading comprehension and academic language (Common Core State Standards).
  3. Introduce Wyoming teachers to the resources available at UW’s Literacy Research Center and Clinic.


Friday, September 26
Literacy Research Center and Clinic, Education Annex (basement)
Map of UW Campus

5:00-6:30p.m. Registration, hor d'oeuvres, open house and tour of the Literacy Research Center and Clinic (LRCC)
6:30-8:00 Jim Baumann, Vocabulary Instruction in Action (Video lesson demonstration; Question and answer session)
8:00-9:00 Meet and greet with Jim Baumann, UW literacy faculty, and teachers from around Wyoming.

Saturday, September 27
Education Annex

8:00-8:30a.m. Breakfast, coffee, registration
8:30-10:00 Talk that Teaches: Refining Teacher Language During Vocabulary Instruction (Elementary)
Presenter: Dana Robertson

Talking the Talk: Vocabulary Instruction in English, Science, and Social Studies (Upper elementary / Middle level / Secondary)
Presenter: Vicki Gillis

It All Adds Up: Building Vocabulary in the Intermediate Math Class (Middle level)
Presenters: Amy Spiker and Aaron Kugler

Voracious Vocabulary: Exploring words Through Picture Books (Early Childhood/Primary)
Presenter: Jennifer Geringer

Reading, Writing, and Repetition: Songs, Stories, and Poems to Teach Reading and Writing (Early Childhood / Primary)
Presenter: Steve Bialostok

A Framework for Effective Vocabulary Instruction for English Language Learner Success (All levels)
Presenter: Jenna Shim and Adil Bentahar

Early Literacy Throughout the Day in Preschool Classrooms (Listed as "Developmental Disability Issues in Early Childhood Vocabulary Development" on registration website) (Early Literacy [birth to five])
Presenters: Michelle Buchanan, Nikki Baldwin, Samara Madrid and teachers from ECEC

For the Love of Reading:  Promotional Programs in the Elementary & Middle Schools & Home That Really Work! (Librarians)
Presenter: Nancy Baumann

Workshops repeated (with the exception of the session for Librarians)

Listening to Librarians: How can LRCC Support Your Work? (Librarians)
Presenters: Tammy Mielke and Cass Kvenild


Keynote speaker: Jim Baumann
Vocabulary: The Key to Reading Comprehension
Lunch provided


Work in groups - either grade level or content area

This is a time to plan for implementation with the example, lesson, unit, or other work that registrants brought from their classrooms.

Past Events

5th Annual UW College of Education Literacy Education Conference, October 4-5, 2013

A few workshop highlights:

Gene Gagliano encourages creative writing in the classroom.

Encouraging Creative Writing in the K-8 Classroom - Gene Gagliano

This workshop was based on Gene’s 34 years as an elementary teacher, plus his experience as an author.  The main emphasis was encouraging creative writing in the elementary and middle grades.  Gene showed how to use sensory triggers for mining story ideas, creating characters using hats and art work, and demonstrated showing and not telling in writing. Using the Ten Step Story method he developed while teaching, Gene showed participants how to help students focus their writing ideas into a story with a beginning, middle, and end, and then how to expand the idea with revision.  (Picture to the left shows participants creating characters with Gene Gagliano looking on.)



Participants learn how to incorporate writing with art and math.

Variations on a Theme: Integrating Literacy, Art and Science in the Classroom - Wendy Bredehoft, Heather Bender, & Sylvia Parker

In this hands-on workshop participants explored how inquiry-based learning rooted in visual imagery can weave together modes of learning, including writing, art, and science. Using original art as the starting point participants investigated botanical cycles, created art to encourage deeper exploration of those cycles, and reflected on those processes through writing and discussion.  (Picture to the left shows Heather Bender from UW's American Heritage Center demonstrating to participants how to create blueprints on fabric.) 

Workshops offered:

  • Learning Through Life Stories:  A Memoir Writing Workshop, William McGinley
  • Reading Comprehension and College Readiness, Stephen Newton
  • Integrating Literacy, Art, and Science in the Classroom, Wendy Bredehoft, Heather Bender, & Sylvia Parker
  • Encouraging Creative Writing in K-8 Classrooms, Gene Gagliano
  • Preparing Students for College Writing Requirements, Rick Fisher & Megan Marshall

Keynote speaker: Dr. Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, University of Michigan


Resources from 4th Annual UW College of Education Literacy Education Conference, September 21-22, 2012

Workshop: Bridging the gap: what is required for success with college-level literacy demands

Guide for class research project

Selection of UW writing prompts


Bridging the Gap PowerPoint Slides


Keynote speaker: Dr. John Guthrie, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland


Other Links of Interest

Colorado Council International Reading Association -

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