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ELA Spotlight







Bringing Words to Life

Coming May 4-June 1, 2022

Grab your second edition copy of Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction and join us in advancing reading comprehension through vocabulary instruction.  Moats and Tolman indicate once students learn the alphabetic code, vocabulary is the single most important factor in increasing reading comprehension at and beyond the fourth grade.

Join us in text-based learning about how to engage students in robust vocabulary instruction through reading, studying, and discussing Bringing Words to Life, Second Edition by Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, and Linda Kucan.   Grounded in research, the book explains how to select words for instruction, introduce their meanings, and create engaging learning activities that promote both word knowledge and reading comprehension.   Packed with information on how to teach vocabulary and how to transfer it into student lexicons, this book contains strategies that are adaptable to students of all ages.   Click HERE to register!  Twenty-five registrants will earn a free copy of Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction.  Zoom meetings will occur on Wednesdays, running from May 4 - June 1, 2022, at 7:00-8:30 pm. 


Summer Academies:  Click HERE to register!

JUNE 7-8: Manhattan, JUNE 21-22: Goddard, JULY 12-13:  Garden City, JULY 19-20: virtual 


K- grade 3

Day 1: dedicated to foundational literacy and data-informed practice for struggling readers 

Title: Developing Strong Readers: Start with Language! (Melissa Brunner & Jeri Powers)

 Description: Students entering school with strong oral language skills tend to learn how to read and write more easily than those with lower vocabulary and language. However, language development is frequently omitted from instructional practices, causing students to not achieve their full potential. This session will address critical information regarding developmental milestones in language, its connection to literacy and dyslexia, along with practical and powerful learning activities you can implement in your classroom.


Title:  Literacy Assessments: How Can I Make them Meaningful in My Classroom? (Jeri Powers & Melissa Brunner)


Description: Screeners, Diagnostics, Progress Monitoring…so many types of assessments! How can you create a meaningful assessment system in your classroom that guides your instruction by monitoring student progress? This session explains the purpose of various assessments and how you can use them wisely and efficiently.  You will leave with a clearer idea of what you need, why you need it, and how to get it done!


Day 2:  


All Tiered Up: Vocabulary Instruction (Dr. Rose Olmstead, Becky Alexander, & Jennifer Hansen)

Building Text Sets: (Megan O’ Neill) 

Gaming Grammar: How to Transfer Grammar into Writing  


Grades 4-12 


Structured Literacy in the General Ed classroom (4-12)

Tackling Complex Text

Gaming Grammar: How to Transfer Grammar into Writing

Reading-Writing Connections: Strategies that Develop Critical Thought and the Written Message

Developing Academic Discourse and Critical Thought

Synthesis Writing: Combining Sources



Please contact Joann McRell for additional information at  jmcrell@ksde.org or 785.296.2144.


KSDE has an English Language Arts listserv available for those interested in receiving information about upcoming trainings and current updates with standards and assessments. If you would like to be added to this list, please email Joann McRell at jmcrell@ksde.org.




Joann McRell

  • English-Language Arts Consultant

  • jmcrell@ksde.org

  • (785) 296-2144

Juanita Anderson

  • Administrative Assistant

  • janderson@ksde.org

  • (785) 296-1978


The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. (more information...)

To accommodate people with disabilities, on request, auxiliary aides and services will be provided and reasonable modifications to policies and programs will be made. To request accommodations or for more information please contact the Office of General Counsel at ogc@ksde.org or by 785-296-3204.

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