COE Professional Development

2023 Sessions:

This summer, the College of Education is proud to present virtual professional learning (PD) sessions to Arkansas teachers via Zoom. TWO HOURS of Arkansas PD credit approved by DESE/ADE will be offered for each session. Please scroll through this page for session and presenter information.

These sessions are NO COST! Space is limited, but session recordings will be available at a later date. 

Arkansas PD credit will not be awarded for those who cannot attend in person via ZOOM.  Recordings of the sessions might be available but viewing will not result in PD credit.  Modifications will be made for persons with disabilities.  Please contact Ashley Cooksey at acooksey@uca.edu prior to the workshop for accommodations.

If you have any questions, please contact us at coe@uca.edu. For technical issues, please contact the TLC at tlc@uca.edu or the Zoom Help Center.


Let’s Talk About Books

June 6th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
Dr. Jeff Whittingham (UCA), Dr. Erin Shaw (UCA), and Dr. Amy Thompson (UCA)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/NIZ3WaT91lo

Presenters will book talk recently read books that have been published in recent years.


Partnering with Parents for Students’ Success

June 6th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by:
Dr. Odunola Oyeniyi (UCA) and Louis Henderson (K-12 Educator)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/QqZ5xgZZSB8

Research shows that when a partnership approach between parents and teachers is evident, children’s work habits, attitudes about school, and grades improve. They demonstrate better social skills, fewer behavioral problems, and a greater ability to adapt and get along. As educators, we want what’s best for our students. Our job is to establish, fostering, and maintain productive relationships with parents so our students can succeed. In this session, attendees will have the knowledge and skills to create meaningful partnerships with parents in their classroom and school community.


Struggling Readers in the Secondary Classroom

June 7th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
James Murphy (Literacy Expert, Consultant, and Author)
Facilitated by: Dr. Amy Thompson (UCA)
THIS SESSION WILL NOT BE RECORDED

In this session, we will discuss the everyday experience of secondary school students who struggle with reading, what classroom teachers can realistically do to support these students, the research around why these difficulties occur, and how they are best addressed. Effective intervention and school systems will be considered as context. The practical aim is for teachers to come away with a range of helpful strategies which can be employed in the regular classroom with minimal cost to curriculum time.


Focused Oral Reading Practice: A New Approach to Fluency Instruction

June 12th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
 Linda Farrell and Michael Hunter (Founding Partners in Readsters. Educators, consultants, and authors)
Facilitated by: Dr. Amy Thompson (UCA)
THIS SESSION WILL NOT BE RECORDED

Fluency programs are often considered the “solution” for struggling readers. This interactive session includes a reading simulation that will illustrate the relationship between fluency, decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.  The focus of the session is to examine the three critical parts of fluency: accuracy, rate, and prosody. It provides a simple research-based framework for assessing to identify which students need fluency practice, developing instruction to meet individual needs, and assessing growth. The new method includes focusing on accuracy before turning to rate. It also is effective at getting students to read with appropriate accuracy and rate the first time they attempt a passage. Participants receive tracking charts based on the three-part framework for fluency instruction.


Exploring the Potential Uses and Implications of AI and ChatGPT in Education

June 13th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Michael Mills (UCA)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/X8NipntS_GI
Slide Deck: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1as5UADSP2XG0coR0qneFLZSPzZiY94SRg4m_R5T__i8/edit?usp=sharing

This session will explore the potential uses and implications of AI and ChatGPT in education. Participants will learn about how AI can personalize learning, automate tasks, and support teachers and students. ChatGPT can improve student engagement, critical thinking, and writing skills. Ethical and social implications, such as data privacy and bias, will be discussed. Attendees will gain insight into incorporating AI and ChatGPT into their teaching practices to enhance student learning and engagement.


Teaching Good Study Strategies in Academically Diverse Classrooms

June 13th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Keith Lenz (UCA)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/2g0et8KsM0I
Slide Deck: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1X7p2RiMYawpP_XkOH4mxyPeSpviurtvn/edit?usp=drive_link&ouid=117097448487041254052&rtpof=true&sd=true

The graduate special education programs of study offered by the Department of Elementary, Literacy & Special Education at UCA ensure that our graduates are highly qualified to implement evidence-based interventions that ensure the success of students with in general education settings. This session will highlight a set of evidence-based practices related to teaching students with different abilities how to study. Our knowledge about good study strategies and how to teach them has grown significantly from the days in which instruction in study skills was included as a short unit in a middle school language arts class. While instruction in study skills was once characterized as habits to develop and general suggestions to guide study, research on how information is processed has helped us better define what must be taught about good studying. This session will present features and types of good study strategies that can be integrated into content-area instruction in inclusive settings and taught more intensively in special education settings as a school’s overall approach to implementing Response to Intervention. Resources for teaching good strategies will be provided.


How Spelling Instruction Can Improve Reading

June 20th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
 Sue Hegland (Literacy Expert, Consultant, and Author)
Facilitated by: Dr. Amy Thompson (UCA)
THIS SESSION WILL NOT BE RECORDED

It’s a challenging task to help all students become literate, partly because students come to school with different backgrounds and varying needs. With effective instruction, most students will develop reading and comprehension skills; however, in every classroom, some students struggle to develop reading skills. There will be even more students who have difficulty with spelling and writing.

Given these realities, shouldn’t we de-emphasize spelling to focus on the essential reading task? Although that seems logical, research indicates that we should do the opposite!

This webinar will discuss the power of teaching reading by teaching spelling. We will examine the information encoded in written words and the functions of our spelling system. We’ll look at examples of complex, challenging words (and some very basic ones) and see how we can use the structural elements within words—their morphology—to unlock their meaning and understand their spelling, reducing memorization requirements for students. And we’ll see that written words are much more than simply spoken words written down.

The concepts discussed in this webinar are essential knowledge for those concerned about literacy. They allow teachers to efficiently and effectively develop reading and spelling skills in their students while expanding their vocabulary development. They hold particular power and importance when working with students with dyslexia or those who struggle with literacy for any reason.


Engage Students in Real Science Using Simple Virtual Tools

June 20th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Allison Freed (UCA), Dr. Lacey Huffling (Georgia Southern University), Dr. Heather Scott (Georgia Southern University), and Dr. Aerin Benavides (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/2YaFtexWJZ0

Teachers will learn to engage students in science using authentic scientific procedures with ready-to-use online tools. Teachers will hear examples of integrating these tools to examine local and global science issues in their teaching. They will create an action plan for using these tools to engage their students in authentic science experiences. Many resources will be shared, and teachers will be asked to collaborate to share ideas and plan collectively.


Creating Your Parent-Teacher Playbook

June 22nd, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Elisabeth O’Bryon (Family Engagement Lab) and Megan Lorio (Family Engagement Lab)
Facilitated by: Dr. Amy Thompson (UCA)
THIS SESSION WILL NOT BE RECORDED

Parent-teacher partnership plays a powerful role in advancing student learning. Learn about actionable, evidence-based practices for collaborating with families to meaningfully impact wide-ranging student literacy learning outcomes. Discover innovative strategies to effectively scale and sustain your own family engagement efforts to promote equity and access for all students.


Reading Above the Fray: 5 Key Ideas and Instructional Swaps from Research for Foundational Skills

June 27th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Julia B. Lindsey (Literacy Expert, Consultant, and Author)
Facilitated by: Dr. Amy Thompson (UCA)
THIS SESSION WILL NOT BE RECORDED

Join Dr. Julia Lindsey to learn about the latest research on decoding and the necessity to bring more precision to foundational skills instruction. In this webinar, we will focus on key findings and instructional moves to ensure your students are proficient readers. Participants will come away with at least one instructional swap to make in the next week.


Games in the Classroom

June 27th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Michelle Buchanan (UCA)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/Kj4H7oHc1nU

In this session, we will explore game-based learning, share our favorite games for learning, and discuss ways to motivate students through game place and game designing. Through game play, students practice social skills while learning content. As game designers, students decide how their peers will think (recall, application, etc.) about the content in order to achieve their desired cognitive commands of the game. Attendees will leave with several ideas for games to implement, including games for student assessment of knowledge.


Support ACE-Affected Students with Current High Quality Children’s Books

July 11th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Shoudong Feng (UCA) and Dr. Odunola Oyeniyi (UCA)
CANCELLED

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) seriously affect students’ academic performance and social emotional wellbeing. One way to help counter those negative effects is through book reading experiences accompanied by carefully conducted discussions. Students will develop deeper understanding and powerful strategies to cope with their ACEs when they relate to characters and events in books. In this session, the presenters will introduce to the participants 10 children’s books published in the last 5-10 years that can be used by classroom teachers and/or counselors to share with their students to address some common ACEs such as parents’ divorce or separation, drug abuse, physical/verbal abuse, grief due to death in the family, food insecurity, racial trauma…


Language Development and Learning to Read

July 11th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Susan Perry (UCA)
CANCELLED

In this session, we will discuss factors that promote language development and the difficulties students with language disorders must overcome when learning to read.


Top Tips for Engaging Online Learners

July 18th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Jessica Herring-Watson (UCA) and Noël Gieringer (UCA)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/IkvqlsM6qvQ

Building rapport with and among students in an online setting can be challenging but is vital for authentic learning. In this interactive session, we will describe 20 high-impact strategies to engage learners and build community in an online setting. Based on our experiences teaching both hybrid and online courses in K-12 and college, these tips will be applicable to a wide array of educators. Participants will be encouraged to explore and practice some of the tips we share and, in turn, to share their own best practices for online engagement and community building.


Navigating School Library Laws and Policies

July 18th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by:
 Dr. Erin Shaw (UCA) and Dr. Nathan White (UCA)
THIS SESSION WILL NOT BE RECORDED

Over the past two years and with the passage of specific legislation during the 2023 Arkansas Legislative Session it is important that Administrators and Library Media Specialists understand the requirements of the new laws and policies that affect school libraries. These new laws will also have an impact on classroom libraries. Administrators and library media specialists need to be able to provide guidance for their students, parents, faculty and staff regarding selection, retention and challenge policies for library materials (including classroom libraries). This session will provide an overview of the changes and ways that school personnel can work together to meet the expectations of the laws and ensure up-to-date selection and challenge policies are in place.


Copyright Do’s & Don’ts: A Practical Guide to Help Navigate Through Copyright and Fair Use

July 25th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: 
Brittany Fleming (UCA)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/3sW0TmHylGE

Copyright is a term that educators sometimes shy away from. There is so much to know, so it can be a scary path to venture down. These are issues that we all have been faced with. In this session we will look at Fair Use and how it can help us to legally use materials in our classrooms. The session will also look at common problems that we have all faced when it comes to Copyright. Participants will leave with resources to use at their own schools.


Incorporating Purposeful Technology in a Structured Literacy Classroom

July 25th, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: 
Dr. Amy Thompson (UCA) and Sheri Hight (K-12 Educator)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/Y4hAi4tq-5Q

In this session, participants will be introduced to multisensory technology tools for instruction, intervention, assessment, and accommodation. The focus is purposefully using technology and not for the sake of having technology in a classroom or lesson. Participants will leave with websites, apps, and other tools that can be immediately incorporated into a Structured Literacy lesson or Dyslexia intervention.


Giving Students Agency: Three Ways to Facilitate Student Choice & Voice with Digital Tools

August 1st, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: 
Ashley Cooksey (UCA)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/NiPFXwKtgyk

Creating authentic learning opportunities in online learning environments can be challenging. How do you meet the needs of all students in an equitable, accessible way? In this session, we will explore three teacher-created digital learning tools that can give students agency, choice, and voice in their learning process. Explore boards, choice boards, and hyperdocs can be implemented in any learning environment. Templates, links, and resources will be shared.


Understanding Teacher Agency

August 1st, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Presented by: 
Dr. Charlotte Parham (UCA)
YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/mmFUfMrWniw

Understanding Teachers’ Agency is about teachers and educators feeling empowered and able to take ownership of their learning experience. This relates both to their educating students and to their professional development activities. Teacher Agency is about effectively teaching state standards, following district guidelines with fidelity, and understanding their autonomy. All educators win when teachers understand the power of their agency. In addition, understanding agency empowers teachers to fully contribute to their district resulting in engaging classrooms and stronger school systems.


 

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