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CLOSING THE COVID GAP

Supporting Literacy, Numeracy, and Social Emotional Learning for Students with Specific Learning Disorders

I am all in for supporting kids with learning disabilities!

May 28, 2021 11am EST - 5pm EST

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Learning Disabilities Association of Canada Conference 2021: Closing the COVID Gap

Practical Professional Development for the Classroom You Can’t Afford to Ignore

About LDAC’s 2021 Conference

The Learning Disabilities Association of Canada is hosting a virtual conference on May 28, 2021 entitled “Closing the COVID Gap:  Supporting Literacy, Numeracy, and Social Emotional Learning for Students with Specific Learning Disorders”.  The learning gap for students with Specific Learning Disorders is an ongoing concern and with the onset of the COVID pandemic, individuals are struggling even more due to school closures, online learning challenges, and mental health issues.

The 2021 Learning Disabilities Association of Canada Virtual Conference is designed to educate teachers on:

  • How to advance literacy in the virtual classroom
  • How to advance numeracy in the virtual classroom
  • The absolute best way to adapt teaching styles to distance learning
  • How to help students with learning disabilities cope with the social and emotional challenges brought on by the pandemic
  • How to develop Teaching Strategies to Support Mathematical Computation and Reasoning
  • How to develop Strategies to Support Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation

Registering for this unique conference means:

  • You will learn how to facilitate effective learning for those with learning disabilities
  • Be energized by the “aha” moments of students overcoming the challenges of distance learning
  • Connect with teachers and experts from across Canada
REGISTERING FOR THIS CONFERENCE ALSO MEANS...

Supporting the cause of advocating for those with learning disabilities and supporting the development of research in learning disabilities

Register Now

More about the programme and why this is important

THE REASON FOR TEACHERS TO ATTEND THIS CONFERENCE COULD NEVER BE MORE EVIDENT!

The learning gap for students with specific Learning Disorders is an ongoing concern and with the onset of the COVID pandemic, individuals are struggling even more due to school closures, online learning challenges, and mental health issues. Achieving curricular objectives has been extremely difficult for school age children. Teachers and parents are stressed trying to support their students and children. Because of the constraints within the educational system as a result of COVID, the gap has been widening even further for students with Specific Learning Disorders.

This conference is relevant to:

Teachers

Parents of children with Learning Disabilities

Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists

Psychologists

Program At A Glance (EST)

Times Duration

Session Title & Description

11:00 – 11:15

Welcome and Introduction

11:15 – 12:00

Keynote – Closing the COVID gap: Early Intervention to Prevent Reading Difficulties

Session Description:

In this presentation, Dr. Siegel will describe a Tier 1 intervention for kindergarten and grade 1.  The intervention, called Firm Foundations, focusses on developing phonological, decoding, and vocabulary skills. It has been proven successful to reduce the incidence of dyslexia in children who have English as a first language and English language learners.

Speaker:
Dr. Linda Siegel Linda Siegel is the former Dorothy C. Lam Chair in Special Education and an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.  She has over 200 publications on early identification and intervention to prevent reading problems, dyslexia, reading and language development, mathematical concept learning, mathematical learning disabilities, and children learning English as a second language.  She has been the President of the Division of Learning Disabilities of the Council on Exceptional Children.  In 2004, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Goteborg University in Sweden.  In 2010, she was awarded the Gold Medal for Excellence in Psychological Research from the Canadian Psychological Association.  In 2012 she was awarded the Eminent Researcher Award from the Learning Difficulties Association of Australia.  She has recently published a book entitled Not Stupid, Not Lazy: Understanding Dyslexia and Other Learning Disabilities. This book is published by the International Dyslexia Association.

12:00 – 12:15

Break

12:15 – 13:45

Supporting Literacy

12:15 – 13:00

Examining Interventions for Students with Specific Reading Disorders

Session Description:
In this session Dr. McNamara will present the latest research around best practices in supporting children and youth with learning disabilities. Session participants will learn about the underlying causes of learning disabilities, the factors that affect the possible trajectories of learning disabilities, and the latest research around best practices in supporting children and youth with learning disabilities. The session will explore learning disabilities across the span from emergent readers to children identified with learning disabilities in the elementary and intermediate grades. This will provide a foundational framework for the information presented in the second part of this session presented by Melanie Grice.

Speaker:
John McNamara, Ph.D.Professor and ChairDepartment of Child and Youth StudiesBrock UniversityBiographical Information
John McNamara is a Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in child psychology with a focus on language and learning disabilities. His research is aimed at exploring how literacy programs can support children and their families. John completed his Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University and has an MA and BA in psychology from Brock University. He also obtained his teacher certification at the University of Kent in England.

13:00 – 13:45

Effective Teaching Strategies to Support Reading and Writing

Session Description:
In this session Melanie will share practical applications of the research presented by Dr. John McNamara. After exploring the underlying causes of learning disabilities and the latest research around supporting children and youth with learning disabilities with Dr. McNamara, session participants will learn about essential practices to support reading and writing to improve student learning. Participants will also explore the impact that these strategies have as students move from primary to intermediate grades.  The session will provide practical approaches that are fundamental to teaching literacy to vulnerable readers and ultimately supporting the learning and achievement of all students.

Speaker:
Melanie Grice, B.Ed., MA Teacher Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board  Biographical Information
Melanie Grice is a teacher with the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board. She currently teaches in the intermediate division and is qualified to teach students from grades K-12.
She completed her MA in Child and Youth Studies at Brock University, with a focus on supporting students with learning disabilities in literacy. Specifically, her research is focused on addressing the summer learning gap for students with learning disabilities. Melanie completed her Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science from Brock University.

 13:45 – 14:00

Break

 14:00 – 15:30

Supporting Numeracy

14:00 – 14:45

Exploring Developmental Dyscalculia:
Understanding Specific Learning Disorders in Math

Session Description:
Around 5% of school-aged children present with persistent difficulties learning numerical and mathematical concepts and skills. Despite the well-known consequences of poor numerical and mathematical skills, research into the symptoms and causes of mathematical learning difficulties lags behind progress in the scientific study of the typical and atypical development of reading and literacy skills.

In this session, Dr. Ansari will discuss what is known about mathematical learning difficulties (Developmental Dyscalculia) by drawing on research from Cognitive Psychology and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. He will also discuss the potential causes of Mathematical Learning Difficulties. He will show that there is no single cause for Mathematical Learning difficulties, but rather that such difficulties are influenced by the home and school environment as well as biological factors. Moreover, he will discuss how Mathematical Learning Difficulties relate to other learning challenges, such as Developmental Dyslexia and Mathematics Anxiety. Furthermore, Dr. Ansari will discuss what is known about evidence-based approaches to screening of young children who might be at risk of developing mathematical learning difficulties. Finally, he will provide a detailed overview of recommendations from research for how to help children with mathematical learning difficulties compensate for and overcome their difficulties.

Speaker:
Dr. Daniel Ansari – Western

Daniel Ansari is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning in the Department of Psychology  and the Faculty of Education at Western University in Canada, where he heads the Numerical Cognition Laboratory (www.numericalcognition.org). Ansari and his team explore the developmental trajectory underlying both the typical and atypical development of numerical and mathematical skills, using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods. Ansari has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is member of the The College of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science as well as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

 

14:45 – 15:30

Teaching Strategies to Support Mathematical Computation and Reasoning

Session Description:
In this session, Sarah will discuss ideas on how to support learners in multiple environments (online, blended, face-to-face) with building mathematical understanding. An emphasis on ensuring understanding at each step of instruction using whole class formative feedback and ways to engage all students in problem solving will be discussed, along with an introduction to critical elements for remedial math lessons which promote growth and skill development.

Speaker:
Sarah Hamilton
Sarah Hamilton is a mathematics educator and K-12 researcher whose experience includes working for the past 13 years at Calgary Academy, a school who specializes in teaching students who learn differently. Her Master’s of Education focused on mathematics education, instruction and pedagogical approaches, and student resiliency. She is currently completing her Doctor of Education degree at the University of Calgary, with a focus on collective knowledge building and collaboration. She is a passionate believer that all students can learn and love mathematics given the right opportunities.

15:30 – 15:45 Break
15:45 – 17:15

Supporting Social and Emotional Learning

15:45 – 16:30

Strategies to Support Social and Emotional Learning

Session Description:
Dr. MacMillan will provide a brief overview of the mental health challenges often faced by individuals with learning disabilities, and then identify some of the basic principles in supporting their social and emotional health.  By the end of the session participants will have a clear understanding of the mechanisms of supporting social and emotional learning for individuals with LD, as well as some practical steps and evidence-based tools to do so in the classroom and at home.

Speaker:
Karen MacMillan
Karen MacMillan has been a Registered Psychologist in Alberta since 2003.  She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and is an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.  Dr. MacMillan has been an Executive Co-Director of Foothills Academy since 2015, and she is actively involved with a variety of external committees, including the Board of Directors for the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC) and the Professional Advisory Committee for the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada (LDAC).

16:30 – 17:15

Strategies to Support Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation

Session Description:
Executive functioning skills are central to school readiness and achievement. Many students with learning disabilities struggle with executive functioning and the disruption to their learning during the pandemic can exacerbated this. In order to access the curriculum, feel confident and prepared and make the transition to the next grade level, no matter what the format; students will need to reset their EF skills.  We have learned that EF skills can be improved by utilizing interventions that provide students with opportunities to practice their developing EF skills at increasing levels of challenge.

In this session, Kim will present strategies on how to create a classroom that supports and then builds students EF skills, how to reach out to parents before the school year starts and she will briefly touch on what a teacher needs to help them get back into new year – refreshed and ready.

Speaker:
Kim McLean
Kim McLean, M. Ed; has been a special education teacher for over 35 years and is currently the Principal of Foothills Academy; an independent school for students with learning disabilities and a teacher evaluator for Alberta Education with degrees from Brock University and Lesley University. She recently completed a certificate on the “Neuroscience of Teaching and Learning” from the University of Calgary and contributed to an Infosheet on Understanding Dyslexia designed by Alex DeGrace, MD for the UBC Medicine FLEX Program.  Kim is a member of the LDAC’s research committee and a provincial representative.  Kim presents workshops and webinars for parents, teachers, schools, post secondary institutions, and businesses around North America on topics ranging from; the brain and learning how to read, class management, critical thinking and learning disabilities and executive functioning. Kim was very honored to have been the recipient of the “National Educator of the Year” award from the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada.

17:15 – 17:30

Wrap up and closing

Speaker: Lynne Wawryk-Epp

STILL ON THE FENCE?TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SPECIAL PRICING!

MOST CONFERENCES WITH CONTENT AND EXPERTS SIMILAR TO LDAC’S EVENT CAN EASILY CHARGE $300…BUT WE’RE NOT GOING TO CHARGE YOU THAT!

This conference is going to help you get ready for the upcoming academic year and will show you exactly how to facilitate effective learning for those with learning disabilities. It will take you by the hand, showing you step-by-step to be energized by the “aha” moments of students overcoming the challenges of distance learning. It will also connect you with teachers and experts from across Canada.

If that in itself hasn’t convinced you, the price for all this is $35…

P.S. – Every minute you wait to get access to the 2021 Learning Disabilities Association of Canada Virtual Conference is another minute you will miss out on the lessons learned by others. Put the power of experts from across Canada to work for you so you can quickly and easily facilitate effective learning for those with learning disabilities, be energized by the “aha” moments of students overcoming the challenges of distance learning and connect with teachers and experts from across Canada!

Key Dates

Registration opens

March 16, 2021

Early Bird registration deadline

April 15, 2021

Standard registration deadline

May 14, 2021

Late registration starts

May 15, 2021

Conference starts

May 28, 2021

More about the programme and why this is important
THE REASON FOR TEACHERS TO ATTEND THIS CONFERENCE COULD NEVER BE MORE EVIDENT!

The learning gap for students with specific Learning Disorders is an ongoing concern and with the onset of the COVID pandemic, individuals are struggling even more due to school closures, online learning challenges, and mental health issues. Achieving curricular objectives has been extremely difficult for school age children. Teachers and parents are stressed trying to support their students and children. Because of the constraints within the educational system as a result of COVID, the gap has been widening even further for students with Specific Learning Disorders.

Register Now

Registration Form

A certificate will be issued to delegates with the total hours attended.

LDAC-ACTA appreciates the support of:

Sponsors / Partners

Gracious thanks to our platinum level patron, Roger Casgrain and Collette Charest

Sponsors

Supporting Partners

Schedule
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