National Conference for First Grade Teachers Innovates with Interactive Learning Formats

PETERBOROUGH, N.H., May 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Staff Development for Educators (SDE), one of the nation's leading providers of professional development for K-12 educators, is pleased to announce a variety of engaging learning formats at the I Teach 1st! National Conference for First Grade Teachers, taking place July 7-10, 2014, in Las Vegas.

The 2014 conference will feature 130+ lively sessions in which attendees will participate, interact, observe learning in action, and gain motivation and energy to sustain them the rest of the school year.

"Today's conference goers have much higher expectations than in the past. Having someone read research at the front of the room is not learning. First-grade teachers, in particular, want something more. They want to be involved in their learning. We have found the key to getting them to our conference, and ensuring they leave knowing exactly how to transform their instruction and impact, is engaging learning formats," says Kymra Kurinskas from SDE, who planned the program.  

According to Kurinskas, attendees can pick and choose from innovative sessions that provide unique learning experiences. Video-based See It in Action sessions are packed with practical how-to's for confidently integrating and implementing best practices. In the "Techie Throw-down," teachers who want to use technology in their classrooms, but are unsure how, will watch technology experts Lori Elliott, Ed.D. and Laureen Reynolds debate various tools. Attendees will leave with sample lesson ideas, teaching methods, and more. Informal roundtables will engage attendees in discussions with presenters and colleagues related to some of the most relevant happenings in education today, including fostering independence and ELA shifts. At the "Pinterest Party," teachers will share in a comprehensive potluck of recipes for classroom success. Over two dozen hands-on sessions invite teachers to get tactile as they practice and apply strategies to increase retention and comfort level. In addition, 19 "Make & Take" sessions suggest attendees bring simple, everyday materials and engage in making ideas they can share with their students or use as models for their own creation later.  

Back again this year are the popular children's author signings. This July, teachers will have the opportunity to meet two of their favorite authors and have them sign copies of their beloved books. SDE is proud to present a book signing with Marc Brown, best-selling author and illustrator of ARTHUR on PBS, who will deliver the conference keynote. Also signing will be Anna Dewdney, author and illustrator of the Llama Llama series, who also will present at the conference.

New this year is a full-day Common Core Camp led by the beloved Dr. Jean Feldman. She'll immerse participants in strategies for tackling the standards through music, movement, interaction, and make-n-takes.

Another critical factor in creating a unique learning experience is content—the right kind of content that engages attendees and drives action. "First grade teachers expect and need the information to be relevant. They are much too busy otherwise. At SDE, we start our planning by asking: What are the most discussed topics this year among first grade teachers?  We decide how this conference can provide exclusive insight into trending issues. And then we sort, crunch, and present the newest and freshest information into concise, easy-to-digest session formats for busy teachers," explains Kurinskas.  Themes to be explored this summer are Common Core State Standards, integrating technology, addressing learning gaps, and using appropriate interventions. 

And who is presenting the content can be just as important—or more—as the topic. "Many people can hold a discussion about a topic. But only a select few are considered experts on it. Our conference roster features the most uplifting, inspiring, and knowledgeable speakers, authorities, and authors. We know they are the secret to creating a stimulating learning atmosphere that awakens participants' interest and allow them to re-energize their thinking," declares Kurinskas.

"Interactivity, relevant content, high-quality speakers—this is the glue that holds all the pieces together and ensures a conference that is a launching pad for new ideas, a stage for audience input, and an overall unforgettably compelling experience for every attendee," says Kurinskas.

About SDE
SDE is one of America's leading providers of professional development for PreK through Grade 12 educators. Through Onsite PD, PD Events, Web-based PD, and PD Resources, the company empowers teachers and administrators across the country with ongoing professional development that is not only research-based, innovative, and rigorous, but also practical, motivating, and fun. All SDE training is presented by the nation's top authors and educational experts, with the goal of creating extraordinary classrooms that prepare students for the evolving demands of the 21st century.

For more information about SDE's national conferences, educators are encouraged to visit, or to call 1-800-462-1478.

Read more news from Staff Development for Educators.

SOURCE Staff Development for Educators


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