Mar 25

VSRA Conference

Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the VSRA Conference (Virginia State Reading Association) in Roanoke, VA.  As an ITRT I wouldn’t have initially thought to attend this conference, although I’ve never been let down attending as a classroom teacher.  I am thankful I did go, because I had the chance to spend two full days learning about methods other teachers are using to integrate technology into their Language Arts curriculum.  It will take me some time to sort through all of the ideas I jotted down as I listened to passionate educators share experiences from their classrooms.


I am especially excited to share ideas from the STEM Crazy Teachers, Alisa Downey and Tina Coffey, from Roanoke County Schools.  Their energetic presentation clearly demonstrated their passion for engaging learners.  I loved the way they integrate Language Arts curriculum with STEM.  They use technology in their lessons that we also have access to in Goochland County, so their ideas would be easy to replicate in a similar fashion in our buildings.


I attended this conference because our Reading Specialist at Byrd, Margaret Dickerson, convinced me to present with her.  The title of our session was, “Learning Mash-Up: Integrating Reading, Technology, and Service Learning.”   We shared some of the projects we have worked on at Byrd Elementary School over the last four years, which have used service-learning projects as a way to leverage curriculum and technology integration along with 21st century skills.  We also shared our methods for establishing and carrying out these projects (using the G21 framework).  Although we presented early Saturday morning, it was the most fun I have had presenting in a long time!   Margret and I both care deeply about the projects we’ve carried out at Byrd and the success we’ve had accomplishing goals with students.  It was great to get to know the teachers that attended our session.  They were receptive to our presentation, and as passionate about developing great citizens as we are!


Here is a link to the website we put together to share resources from our session (although it might not make as much sense without the presentation).