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Neuropsychology of Reading: Differentiating Literacy Instruction

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Facilitator(s): Kathryn Burke
Ashley McPherson
Date:March 12, 2020
Time:9:00 am – 3:30 pm
(includes lunch, which is not prepared in a nut/gluten-free environment)
Location: Edmonton (ERLC Office at Elmwood School)
Room 17/18, 16325 - 83 Avenue
Google Map
Course code: 20-LI-111

Target Audience

Teachers (Grades K to 6); Instructional Coaches; District Leaders/Consultants

Also Recommended For

School-based Administrators

About this learning opportunity

*Note: The following session is part of a Neuroscience for Literacy series designed to deepen understanding of the application of research about how the brain works and literacy learning. By exploring how knowledge transfer, new skill development, and behavioral change occurs in the brain, this can clarify existing assumptions of how students read, write and numerate.

This workshop focuses on how to employ the principles of the neuropsychology of reading in a classroom environment using a Response to Intervention (RTI) model. The five building blocks of literacy outlined by the National Reading Panel (NRP) will be used as a foundation to assess the learning needs of elementary aged students to identify different foundational reading skills and challenges. A model will be introduced that will provide teachers with a scaffold to identify student needs to support differentiated instruction. This brain-based learning model can help teachers easily identify why a student may be struggling and how to help them become more effective readers. Examples of evidence-based reading remediation strategies will be shared. Time will be allowed for hands-on practice and case study analysis.

The following items will be covered during this day-long workshop:

  • Core building blocks of literacy
  • Easy to use model for determining reading skills and challenges that draws from the neuropsychology of reading
  • Introduction to the dual-route theory of reading
  • Identification of at-risk students and/or students experiencing difficulties with learning to read
  • Profile and signs of the different dyslexia subtypes
  • Role of executive function/skills on reading efficiency
  • Use of an RTI model to create a multi-tiered instructional plan
  • Instructional strategies and programming
  • Criteria for selecting the best evidence based reading remediation strategies to address a struggling student’s needs
  • Exploration of case studies to unpack different reading profiles
  • Identification of online resources for further study/classroom use

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This session addresses the TQS competencies

  • #2: Engaging in Career-Long Learning
  • #3: Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge
  • #4: Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

About the facilitator(s)

Kathryn Burke, BA Hon, MA is the Executive Director of the Centre for Literacy, an organization which supports students with learning disabilities. Prior to taking on the leadership of the Centre in 2013, she served for 5 years as the Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta, where she initiated the Right to Read program. Kathryn frequently serves as a guest lecturer on learning disabilities in many post-secondary organizations across Alberta. She is the author of the bestselling non-fiction book, An Accidental Advocate. Kathryn earned her Master’s degree from the University of Calgary and has received numerous awards for her advocacy work.

Twitter: @6Oct (Kathryn Burke)
Twitter: @C4Lit

Ashley McPherson, BEd, MEd is a teacher and resource developer at the Centre for Literacy. Since coming to the Centre for Literacy in 2017, she has been offering intensive reading remediation for students of all ages in French and English. Before teaching at the Centre for Literacy, she taught grades one and two at a Francophone school. Ashley was nominated for the Edwin Parr Teacher Award, which recognizes outstanding first year teachers, in part due to her excellent literacy instruction. She completed a B.Ed at the Campus Saint Jean in 2015 and recently completed a Masters of Professional Education in Literacy Studies at Western University.