Sarah Jackson (1st Grade Teacher)

VSRA (Virginia State Reading Association)

I never have had the chance to go to the state reading conference and I couldn't pass it up this year.  A new requirement for teachers to renew their teaching license is that we must be trained in Dyslexia.  I was able to acquire this training on the first day of the reading conference and will now be able to renew my license.  In addition, I went to many sessions that will enhance how I teach reading and writing.  One session taught me the best way to teach vocabulary instruction, another session showed me how do "decoding webs" to make it easier for a child reading to decode words, another session showed me how to use STEM projects to promote writing, another session showed me how to use graphic narrative writing to teach beginning, middle, and end and various writing skills while making it appealing and doable for young writers.  The keynote speakers were celebrities in the reading and writing community, so it was nice to hear from all the people whose books I've read and use to teach with.  I walked away from this conference with a host of new ideas that I am already using in the classroom.

GYTO (Get Your Teach On)

As a first grade teacher it is hard to find conference that focus solely on the Kindergarten and first graders.  This conference was able to provide a level of understanding of young children that most conferences cannot.  At this conference I learned the cutting edge and hands on techniques to teach reading, writing, science, and social studies.  Deanna Jump was the main speaker for the conference and she is a legend for K and 1 teachers.  I was great to hear how she teaches writing and I no longer feel confused on the most effective way to teach writing to first graders who are typically are very needy writers.  Deanna Jump's reading techniques are also easily incorporated into my reading instruction.  I also loved that Deanna Jump brought in a speaker who was an expert in teaching science to K and 1 children and a speaker who was revolutionizing techniques on how to make social studies more relate able to young children.  I left this conference feeling valued for the work that I do and re-energized for my classroom.  I cannot wait to use these new ideas and techniques in my classroom.

Thank you for providing myself and my students this opportunity!

Sarah Jackson