Saturday March 5, 2016 from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST
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Ontario Science Centre 
770 Don Mills Road
Toronto, ON M3C 1T3

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ONBIDA's Literacy & Learning Conference 


ONBIDA invites you to join a full day of informative sessions by experts from the fields of psychology, education, language and technology.  This year's conference focuses on success in the classroom. Our experts will review critical steps in learning to read and write and provide you with a multitude of resources and practical strategies for use in the classroom, therapy sessions, and home.  Join us for a day full of fun and learning!

Intended Audiences: teachers, speech language pathologists, administrators, psychologists, tutors, advocates, social workers, early childhood educators, parents


  • Dr. Dale Willows - Researcher and Professor at OISE, UofT

The Balanced Literacy Diet: A Powerful Professional Development Tool for Regular and Special Education

Dr. Dale Willows and her team have launched a comprehensive multimedia professional development website and a YouTube channel to support evidence–informed literacy education and special education. Both sites are vast and packed with practical information for teachers, administrators, classroom support staff, parents and other professionals who work with students with literacy needs.  Join us as Dr. Willows reviews concepts critical for literacy instruction and demonstrates how to navigate these sites to best meet the varied needs of Ontario’s K-Grade 6 classrooms.


 BREAKOUT SESSIONS 1, 2 & 3 at 12:15 - 1:45pm:

  • Session 1 - Beyond the Magic 'E': An Introduction to Syllables and a few Basic Spelling Patterns - Liisa Freure, M.Ed., OCT, FIT/AOGPE

If your knowledge about syllables is limited to “clapping the beats” and “magic –e”, this is the workshop for you!  Although it is important for students to know how to count syllables, learning about the six basic syllable types can also be an important strategy to help students with decoding and encoding of words.  This hands-on workshop will explain the basic syllable types and touch on some of the basic spelling patterns in English.  Ideas for how to incorporate this teaching in the classroom or tutoring session will be shared.

  • Session 2 - Multi-Sensory Structured Language in FDK - Emily Moore, M.Ed

Emily Moorhead is a Kindergarten teacher who has successfully used a Multi-Sensory Structured Language program to develop early literacy skills in Kindergarten and Grade One students. She will explore how she used focused instruction as part of her full-day Kindergarten program to build foundational literacy skills through daily small-group direct instruction, guided practice, and connection to home.

  • Session 3 - Robust Vocabulary Instruction in the Classroom - Sherry Raffalovitch, MHSc., SLP

The understanding and use of vocabulary have shown to be strong predictors of academic success. In your classroom you will have students who struggle to learn new vocabulary for various reasons.  The great news is that as a teacher you can support these students in their vocabulary growth by using robust vocabulary instruction.  Beck, MCKeown and Kucan (2002) described robust vocabulary instruction as “direct explanation of the meanings of words along with thought-provoking playful and interactive follow-up”. In this session you will learn; why robust vocabulary instruction is critical for many students; who to identify as being “at-risk”, and several hands-on, whole class instructional strategies that you can take home and try in your classroom.  


BREAKOUT SESSIONS 3, 4 & 5 at 2:00-3:30:

  • Session 4 - Read & Write Gold 11 Workshop - David Budd, M.Ed

Read & Write 11 is an outstanding program available to students at school and families at home through the TDSB. It provides reading, writing, studying, and research support tools within familiar applications. Compatible with PC's, Google Chromebooks, iPad, and Android devices, Read and Write 11's customizable toolbar provides many options to ensure every learner has the supports necessary to reach their potential, become more independent, and succeed. This session will provide an introduction and overview of the program, identifying tools such as Predictive Text, Text-to-Speech, Spell Check, Researching, Vocabulary Development, Audio Recording and many others. These tools have the potential to propel the learning and output of students with many different profiles, ranging from Primary to Secondary levels.

  • Session 5 - The iPad and the IEP - Dana Sahian, MSc., SLP

Ever wonder how and if the iPad fits in with your child or student's IEP goals? In this session, Dana will demonstrate a variety of apps and tools on the iPad that can be used to support students on IEP's. Areas discussed will include organization, attention, reading, writing, independence and overall academic success. This session will be beneficial for parents, teachers and other caregivers of students with Dyslexia and other LD's. By the end of the session, participants will have a good understanding of how the iPad can be used as a tool to support many of the instructional, learning and assessment accommodations on the IEP. 

  • Session 6 - Web-based Resources - Jana Leggett, MHSc., SLP   

There are many literacy resources, lesson plans and strategies on the internet; however, many of them are not evidence-based or evidence-informed. Are you looking for quality resources, explanations, lesson plans and strategies developed by leaders in the field of literacy instruction but not sure where to find them?  Join Jana in this session as she takes you through a series of sites that offer research, information, free lesson plans, material and much more to help assist you in your classroom lesson planning. 


The ONBIDA conference also features an exhibit hall filled with products and services that support literacy and allow for important networking opportunities. Catered lunch, coffee/ snack breaks, and parking are included.

Scholarship are Available. Please visit our website for more information.  

Application Deadline: February 1, 2016

Early Bird Deadline: Febuary 14, 2016


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