March 12, 2019 Preparing Students to be Successful Writers:
Handwriting (forming letters accurately at a minimum rate), spelling (segmenting and spelling words and sentences) and sentence construction (through sentence frames, expansion and combining exercises) are necessary foundation skills for written composition. However, if students are not fluent in these skills they will expend vital cognitive energy on how to form letters, spell a word and construct a sentence rather than on conveying the thoughts and ideas they wish to communicate in their written expression. Students with these challenges will find the writing process difficult and laborious. In this session, Dr. Archer will review the research on these foundational writing skills and participants will learn critical instructional routines that can be embedded into daily classroom instruction to promote mastery of these skills.
March 13, 2019 Successfully Teaching Reading Foundation Skills:
The ability to accurately read words and to apply decoding strategies to unknown words are necessary, though not sufficient skills, for reading comprehension. Simply stated, there are no comprehension strategies that are powerful enough to compensate for the fact that a student cannot read the words. In this session, Dr. Archer will review the current research on the importance of establishing a strong foundation beginning at the kindergarten level and spanning through third grade. Phonemic awareness, decoding skills, and procedures for increasing students’ skill at decoding both short and long words are essential building blocks to becoming a successful reader. However, if decoding is laborious and slow, vital cognitive resources are focused on decoding rather than comprehension. Thus, it is important that students are not only accurate but are also fluent readers. Dr. Archer will review the research on fluency and procedures for increasing fluency including independent reading, effective reading practice in all classes and use of repeated reading procedures.