Join us for
The Lead Learners Summer Institute:

CHOICE 2020

Are you tired of overpriced conferences that make you feel like a loner in a huge crowd and rushed from one overpacked session to the next without space to think and network?

A NEW Conference Approach

We’ve created a summer professional learning event we would like to attend, but never seem able to find — small enough to chat with the presenters and other participants, with resources provided that leave our minds buzzing with new possibilities for working with students and colleagues.

FREE 3 Month Choice Literacy Membership!

We feature Choice Literacy contributors, as well as Hoosier teachers and coaches. You’ll get a chance to meet face-to-face with the writers who have shared their classrooms for years on the Choice Literacy website. If you aren’t already a member, your institute registration includes a 3 month subscription to the Choice Literacy site, so you can continue reading, learning and viewing videos from the presenters’ classrooms long after the institute ends.

Our presenters work full-time in schools.

They know the reality of all the challenges of teaching and leading, yet find plenty of joy in the work anyway. They will be sharing their latest thinking on nurturing young readers and writers, as well as the best ways to coach and mentor teachers.

Celebrate the end of another great year, and get inspired with new classroom design ideas, coaching strategies, and fresh ideas for teaching reading and writing.

Check out these sessions!

Elementary Sessions

These speakers spend their days with our youngest readers and writers…plus still have time to reflect on their practices and nourish educators.

Gradual Release of the Classroom Library

Being Smart about Levels

Literacy Routines in a Primary Classroom

BITSY PARKS

Grade 1 Teacher

Bitsy comforts a crying child after lunch, and realizes how essential it is to continually slow down the fast pace of learning in her classroom.

Got Groups? Making Small Groups Work in an Intermediate Classroom

No Space? No Problem! Simple Designs for Literacy Instruction

DANA MURPHY

Grade 5 Teacher

One way to keep your instruction fresh in a required writing unit is to take on the tasks and topics yourself. Dana finds completing the assignments herself is well worth her time, and gives her a treasure trove of notebook entries to use in her teaching.

Breathing New Life into Familiar Classroom Tools: Jot Lots & Reading Logs

Growing Writers: Using Compliments as Springboards into Learning Progressions

TARA BARNETT & KATE MILLS

Teacher & K-5 Literacy Coach

Tara and Kate have a confession to make: in the first few weeks of school many of their students didn’t write much during workshop. It was only after tackling the issue of writing stamina that they found progress.

Crafting Action Plans & Goals with Teachers for EL Students

Everything You Wanted to Know about Teaching EL Students, But Were Afraid to Ask

STELLA VILLALBA

EL Teacher & Instructional Coach

Stella is at a loss when a teacher is hostile to a new English language learner in her classroom. She considers the unspoken challenges of welcoming students to our classrooms.

Writing Workshop in Kindergarten with Hayley Whitaker

English Language Learners in Middle School with TC Omondi

INGA OMONDI

EL & Technology Instructional Coach
Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation

A Dyslexia Celebration

AMY MARTIN

Educator

Fun and Fascinating Math


BARBARA BOGGS

Educator

Ready, Set, Grow!

SHANNON ANDERSON

Children’s Book Author & Teacher

A Non-Band-Aid Approach to Word Study

JENNIFER WHEAT TOWNSEND

Director of Learning
Noblesville Schools

Top Book Pics: Read Alouds and Minilessons with Ruth Metcalfe

MARY HELEN GENSCH

Title I Coordinator
Whitko Community Schools

Mary Helen explains how to find craft lessons in beloved children’s books. She uses a mentor text with an engaging main character to describe the process. This is the first installment in a three-part series.

Troubleshooting Guided Reading: Working Through Where Teachers & Students Get Stuck

SHARI FROST

Department of Education Chairperson 
Hebrew Theological College

A heavy sigh from a student is a cue to Shari that he has heard the same Martin Luther King Jr. picture book biography one too many times. She shares her top picture book picks for expanding children’s awareness of black history all year long.

Secondary Sessions

Our secondary sessions are led by people who spend their days with teenagers and have learned to leverage choice and creativity so students think deeply and critically. 

GRETCHEN SCHROEDER

11th & 12th Grade English Teacher

Seeing to Learn: Sparking Learning in High School with Video & Visuals

Workshopping the Classics

Gretchen struggles to understand the meaning and value of her teaching when two former students overdose and die in separate incidents, and another is indicted on murder charges. These events lead to a deep reflection on how teachers can move beyond sadness, apathy and envy. 

CHRISTY RUSH LEVINE

Middle School Language Arts Teacher

Quick & Focused Reading Conferences in Middle School

Designing Minilessons in Middle School

Christy finds administrators are questioning the value of read alouds, especially with older children. She shares how she uses the picture book Love in her middle school classroom to launch challenging discussions about timely themes.

PAUL HANKINS

English 11 & AP Comp Teacher

NCTE 2019 Session

T.H.I.S.is Multigenre Composition

Paul describes the power of pairing high school and elementary students in a partner reading program.

MARK LEVINE

Middle School Social Studies Teacher

Using Quality YA Lit & Nonfiction in Social Studies

Integrating More Independent Work in Social Studies Classes

Mark combines reading and thinking aloud in a minilesson to help his middle school students grapple with complex texts.

Leadership and Instructional Coaching

Our speakers might find more time in the day than the rest of us. They are full time leaders and find time to write, reflect and inspire the practices that powerfully impact literacy instruction.

KEYNOTE — Every Day a Choice: Managing the Challenges and Magnifying the Joy

Checking the Pulse: Auditing & Impacting Literacy Instruction

JEN SCHWANKE

Elementary Principal


Jen gets berated by a tire repair shop guy for ignoring routine maintenance. That gets her thinking about what needs routine maintenance in classrooms.


Literacy Walks

Feedback that Fortifies

MATT RENWICK

Elementary Principal

If you want to get a quick snapshot of literacy instruction at your school, do an environmental walk. Matt shares his process and notes from one of these walks, as well as the issues they raise.

Observing, Co-Teaching or Collaborating: Deciding What Coaching Role to Take in Classrooms

Are You Coaching Stressed Teachers? The Power of Brain Dumps & Coaching Logs to Build Relationships

DAVID PITTMAN

Elementary Instructional Coach

Too much email, too much paper, just too much. David finds “brain dumps” are a useful tool for helping teachers sift through and clarify what’s important to work on with a coach.

Setting Goals to Focus on Student Work and Guide Teacher Instruction

TARA BARNETT & KATE MILLS

Teacher & K-5 Literacy Coach

Tara and Kate have a confession to make: in the first few weeks of school, many of their student didn’t write much during workshop. It was only after tackling the issue of writing stamina that they found progress.

The Multiple Communities of Coaching: Finding Clarity, Connection and Growth

Better Classroom Visits? Yes, Please!

CATHY MERE

Elementary Literacy Instructional Leader

Sending books home with young readers is essential. Cathy gives lots of tips for designing a take-home books program and communicating with families about what young readers need.

Leading a Reading Movement: The Importance of Small Group Reading Instruction

LEE SNIDER

Elementary Principal
Wawasee Community Schools

Lee explains why it is important for coaches to schedule in-class time with every teacher, and how principals can help in supporting this work.

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