Dyslexia SA presented our biennial EXPO on Saturday 13 October 2018.
Educators, parents/carers, and allied health professionals alike wandered around the exhibitors stalls to find the right support for their classroom, school or family.
The EXPO was held from 9:00am – 5:00pm at the Education Development Centre, 4 Milner St, Hindmarsh, South Australia, 5007
Dr Mary Dahlgren, Ed.D. who is president of MED Consulting and Tools 4 Reading USA was our keynote speaker. Dr. Dahlgren has lead a project working with eight other literacy coaches in the state of Oklahoma which has provided coaching and professional development for over 100 schools across the state. Mary has worked as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, professional development provider and consultant to numerous school districts and State Departments of Education in 28 states.
Mary is the former Executive Director of Payne Education Center, a non-profit teacher training centre in Oklahoma founded by parents of children with dyslexia. Using her expert knowledge of phonics, Mary has authored the highly successful ‘Phoneme-Grapheme cards’.
Dr Dahlgren is also the author of Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction, a course designed to give teachers hands-on and engaging instructional strategies required for meeting the standards for the teaching of reading.
Dr Dahlgren’s session How do I meet the needs of my students with dyslexia, when I have a full classroom? was received with accolades from all those who attended and her second session: Parent Time: Common questions and myths about Dyslexia and what educators need to tell parents was informative for both parents and educators.
Alison Clarke was our second speaker, Alison has been a Speech and Language Pathologist since 1988. She also holds a Masters in Applied Linguistics and a Cambridge RSA English-teaching qualification. Alison works full-time in her own speech pathology practice in Melbourne’s Inner North. She also runs www.spelfabet.com.au, a website that aims to encourage and assist teachers, parents and others to teach explicit, systematic synthetic phonics to children who are beginning or struggling to read words.
Alison’s session included wonderful practical ideas on teaching phonemic awareness and phonics using games to support explicit instruction. There are many phonics games on the market, but not all of them are fun AND well designed to target specific skills. It is also hard to find games which target higher-level skills like building multi-syllable words. Alison trawled supplier websites and dredged her clinic cupboards, and demonstrated the games she finds to be most useful, including some she created herself.
Lyn Stone is a linguist and author and runs a specialist tutoring practice called Lifelong Literacy, on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Lyn and her staff work with children and adults with learning difficulties. Lyn also writes courses, trains teachers and consults in schools on matters of literacy and language. Lyn’s session: Reading is one thing, but now let’s focus on writing! was fun and informative. Lyn discussed how almost all children who have good initial instruction learn to read, regardless of diagnosis. But, what about writing? Lyn explored writing from the viewpoint that it is one of the most complex things a person can do. It requires far greater expertise, early practice and dedication than reading. Lyn listed the components of fluent writing and how to maximise a child’s chances of achieving this lofty goal. Lyn also looked into ways in which current practice in schools can be geared towards getting all children to improve their writing skills, as well as where to draw the line and fall back on technology.
Our Dyslexia SA EXPO was a resounding success and participants also enjoyed receiving their ‘Participant’s Showbag’ which was packed with extra ‘goodies’ to use in the classroom or at home.
At Dyslexia SA we are looking forward to our next EXPO in 2020! See you there!