Presenter Handouts from the United States Department of Education’s Reading Institute in Anaheim, 2010

photo of Anaheim Convention Center, 2010

Anaheim Convention Center
One Week after MLB's All-Star Game

I attended the United States Department of Education’s Reading Institute in Anaheim, California July 19-21, 2010. It was the first institute I attended from the United States Department of Education and it was phenomenal! I wrote a little bit about it in a previous post.

The presenter handouts from this institute are now available online at At this link, you will find close to ninety presenter handouts and a handful of webinars on topics such as:

  • The big five areas of reading instruction (i.e. phonemic awareness, phonics/decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.)
  • Early learning and literacy
  • Engaging and empowering parents
  • Title I
  • Literacy coaching and literacy coaches
  • Reading in the content areas
  • Professional development
  • The common core standards
  • Response to intervention (RtI)
  • Informational text
  • Enhancing oral language
  • Differentiating instruction
  • Working with English language learners (ELLs)

I originally thought writing a post about the link to the presentation handouts would be easy, but then I began perusing the handouts from the sessions I did not attend because I wanted to highlight a few for you. Well, let’s just say I ended up spending hours reading them. They have to be some of the best handouts I have ever seen from a reading convention. Not only are they from top notch presenters, but most of them can be easily understood without having attended the session.

I am breaking the highlighted handouts into two sections–sessions attended and sessions not attended. In the section on sessions I attended, I am including a few notes, pictures, and a favorite quote or two from each session. I hope to do a more thorough write-up of the sessions at a later time.


#509 – Questioning Skills for Coaches by Stephen Barkley. Stephen is on Twitter as stevebarkley. Favorite quote? “If you read without asking questions while you read, you don’t get insights.” Here is a photo I took of this very funny and energetic presenter:

photo of Stephen Barkley

Stephen Barkley

#538 – “There’s More than One Research-Based Approach to Teaching Decoding.” by Irene W. Gaskins I have been a fan of Gaskins’ work for a long time. This is the second time I heard her speak in person, and she did not disappoint. I particularly enjoyed being able to speak with her one on one before the session began. We spoke about why she created the Benchmark School and decoding by analogy–including important research and researchers in this area. My favorite quote from my notes? “You will never hear Benchmark teachers say, ‘Sound it out.’ We say, ‘What have you already tried?’” Here is a photo I took of her before the session:

photo of Irene Gaskins

Irene Gaskins

#571 – Keynote Speech – Common Core Standards: Implications for Instruction by Michael Kamil. Lately, I have been reading bits and pieces about the common core standards. I felt this was a nice overview. Instead of a favorite quote, I like that he pointed out an unfamiliar website to me: Doing What Works: Research-based Education Practices Online (not to be confused with “What Works Clearing House.”) At, there are three sections: 1) Learning what to do, 2) Seeing what to do, and 3) Doing what to do.

photo of Michael Kamil

Michael Kamil

#645 – Keynote Speech – Implications of Reading Next for Primary Reading Instruction by Catherine Snow. I have heard her speak several times and she always makes me TWRC. I think she is the one who originally led me to the Hart & Risley study which I wrote about at length in this post. I was pleased that she talked about it once again and that so many other presenters did, too. Favorite quote? “Increase the kinds of books that encourage deep reflection.”

photo of Catherine Snow

Catherine Snow

#649 – Generative Vocabulary Instruction: Teaching Core Academic and Content-Specific Academic Vocabulary to Native-Speaking and English Learners by Shane Templeton. I really enjoyed speaking with Dr. Templeton one on one before the session began. You can find him on Twitter as WordsTheirWay and on Facebook as Words Their Way. Favorite quote? This is not word for word, but he said we need to let kids know that we learn how to spell by meaning, rather than by sound. (ex. sign/signature) His handout is probably my favorite out of all of them. It is fabulous! Here is a photo I took of him:

photo of Shane Templeton

Shane Templeton

#651 – Increasing Reading Comprehension with Higher Order Thinking Skills by Alice Thomas. I do not recall ever reading Thomas’ work before, but the title of her session and a little bit of Internet research made me think that the TWRCr in me would love her. I was right. She was phenomenal and I will now seek her out at reading conferences. She pointed out that the amount of information in the handout could be used for a two-day session, but that the slides on the end should stand alone. Favorite quote? “You’re teaching them there’s more than one acceptable answer. That’s how you get thinkers. If you tell them, ‘You’re wrong,’ you kill the thinker.” A favorite quote from the handout? “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein. Here is a photo I took:

photo of Alice Thomas

Alice Thomas

#670 – Implications of the Evolving Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf. I loved that when I was taking her photo, she said, “Someone is taking my picture!” Then she looked at my name tag and teasingly said, “Oh, Julie!” In general, her session was a bit over my head, but her humor was very much appreciated! Favorite quote? “The heart of expert reading is time to think new thoughts.” Here is the picture I took:

photo of Maryanne Wolf

Maryanne Wolf


#504 – Dynamic Vocabulary Instruction by Anita Archer. If you click on her name, you will find six literacy related videos. I have heard teachers rave about her, but have not yet heard her in person. People at the institute raved about her sessions, too.

#521 – Verbalized Vocabulary (Grades K-4) by Susan Ebbers. I mentioned that Susan has an outstanding blog about vocabulary in another post, but I will mention it again here. Be sure to check out her blog, Vocabulogic.

#522 – Outside-In Strategy: Morphemic Analysis in Context (Grades 2-12) by Susan Ebbers.

#578 – Collaborative Strategic Reading by Janette Klingner. The wonderful website, Reading Rockets, has a great post on the Collaborative Strategic Reading strategy by Janette Klingner and Sharon Vaughn. Click here to read it.

#614 – Effective Teaching of Fluency: The Neglected Reading Goal by Timothy Rasinski. You might want to click on his name and then “Presentation Material” to see some more great handouts.

#652 – Neuroscience Approach to Differentiating Instruction by Alice Thomas.

I hope you looked at the entire list of handouts, not just the ones I highlighted. To make it easier, think about a topic you have a lot of interest in and hit the “Control” button while also hitting the “F” button. Then, type your topic in the “Find” box. Since I did not look through them all, I would love to hear about any handouts you found particularly interesting.

Note: I love shared knowledge and shared reflection. If you have something to share or something that pushes thinking in any way, I would love to hear about it. If you do not have time to do that, can you spare a second to click on the stars below to rate this post on a scale of 1 to 10? Thanks a bunch and happy TWRCing! :)

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