• Summer Literacy Institute 2014: Featured Presenter Sessions

    Tuesday, July 14 - Peter Johnston

    Morning Session: Opening Minds and Hearts

    The classroom choices we make, particularly our language choices, influence the qualities of classroom learning communities, students’ comprehension, their social relationships, their intelligence, their self-regulation, and how they handle uncertainty and difference. This talk shows how apparently small changes in classroom talk open children’s minds and hearts and change their academic and social futures.

    Afternoon Session: Developing Persistent, Strategic, Literacy learners

    We want our children to become flexible, persistent and collaborative problem solvers, particularly in literacy, but also in other areas of their lives. We want them to take on challenge for learning rather than avoid it, and when they are unsuccessful to become more strategic. This talk shows how to accomplish these goals.

    Tuesday, July 15 - Frank Serafini

    Morning Session: Reading Workshop 2.0: Teaching Reading in the Digital Age

    This presentation will focus on the changes happening in reading instruction in light of the Common Core Standards and the Digital Revolution. In this workshop, we will look at the features of new texts being used in contemporary classrooms, the lessons necessary for comprehending digital and multimodal texts, and the digital resources available for reading, sharing, discussing and analyzing print-based, digital and multimodal texts. A framework will be shared that demonstrates how the reading workshop structure provides instructional opportunities and reading strategies to help students comprehend and interrogate digital and multimodal texts. Various online resources and student examples will be shared.

    Afternoon Session Exploring Picture Books from Two Perspectives: Author/Illustrator and Children's Literature Professor

    This session will blend the creative processes of an expository picture book author and illustrator with the theoretical and pedagogical lens of a literacy educator. Drawing on his own creative processes, Frank will share how he designs and creates expository picture books to enhance young readers’ appreciation and understanding of the natural world and various environmental biomes. In addition, Frank will discuss the relationship between creating picture books and using them to help readers develop effective comprehension strategies.

    Wednesday, July 16 - Jennifer Serravallo

    Morning Session: When Texts Get Complex: Assessment, Goal-Setting, and Getting to the Next Level

    What does it take to support a reader moving from one level to the next? How quickly should students progress? What are some ways to help students get “un-stuck” when they seem to stall out at a given level? In this session, the presenter will provide practical and manageable ways to look at data, and will present practical solutions to the above questions.

    Afternoon Session: Teaching Reading in Small Groups

    Strategy lessons can be a powerful way to maintain the individualized feel of a conference while being more efficient with your instruction. An alternative to guided reading where students work on skills at their instructional level, these small group lessons can help teachers to shore up skills and strategies as students read independently. Through lecture, activities, and video this workshop will engage participants in developing an understanding of the valuable methods surrounding small group strategy lessons.

    Thursday, July 17 - Steven Layne

    Morning Session: Confessions of a Reading Arsonist

    With his trademark combination of humor and heart, Steven Layne tackles one of the most significant issues in reading instruction today: How to engage reluctant readers. Teaching the skill of reading is viewed by many educators as a major objective; teaching the will of reading is too often an afterthought. Dr. Layne's charismatic blend of anecdotes and practical suggestions for the classroom are sure to fan the flame of literacy into a raging inferno, inspiring teachers as well as their students to keep the bedside lamp on just a little bit later into the night.

    Afternoon Session: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers: Great Ideas You Can Put in Place Tomorrow!

    Energetic author and educator Steven L. Layne promises a presentation to delight, empower, and motivate every teacher of literacy in grades K-12. How do teachers ignite a passion for reading in kids who live in a world that offers them a hundred choices and ways to spend their time? This fast-paced workshop offers practical ideas for the classroom that will keep kids reading and loving books. Great titles—old and new—will be highlighted.

  • rATES 

    • $445 Early-bird conference rate
          (Register on or before June 9th)
    • $495 Regular conference
    • $150 Two graduate credits

    If space remains, one-day registrations may be accepted at $150 per day.


    Parking is free in all university lots during summer (except for the Anderson Center ramp, which has an hourly charge). Please observe the restricted or no parking spaces. Street parking is available on the side streets adjacent to Snelling.