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GSC Teacher Education Department Presents at WVRA

The 62nd Annual West Virginia Reading Association Conference was held November 16-17, 2017 at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The GSC Department of Education had nine student representatives who participated and presented at the conference.

Justin Rader, Jared Fitzwater, Michaela Gumm, and Holly Wilson - all members of GSC’s Early Education Student Group (EESG), which is sponsored by Connie Stout O’Dell and Dr. Shelly Ratliff - presented a workshop on ‘Utilizing Children’s Literature and Hands-On Learning to Enhance Cognitive Skills in Early Education.’ Their presentation focused on developing activities that will connect children’s literature to cognitive skills, including a focus on STEAM activities. STEAM is a commonly used acronym relating to academic curricula; it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

The Free Press WV
(l-r) Michaela Gumm, Connie Stout O’Dell, Dr. Shelly Ratliff, Jared Fitzwater, Holly Wilson, and Justin Rader


Five other students, Austin Broussard, Eric Peyatt, Kaitlyn Peyatt, Megan Ruppert, and Lindsey Travis, from Dr. Shara Curry’s Teaching Reading in the Content Areas course, presented a workshop entitled, ‘All Teachers Are Teachers of Reading! How Do We Blur the Boundaries by Including All of the Content Areas in Our Lesson Plans?’ The group focused on various aspects of middle and secondary school literacy instruction, exploring instructional strategies in the areas of comprehension, vocabulary, webquests, and use of trade books.

“The group truly enjoyed the opportunity to attend the reading conference and to network with other professionals in the education field. Our entire department commends these students for their dedication and commitment to education!” said Connie Stout O’Dell, GSC Director of Teacher Education Field Placement.

The Free Press WV
(l-r) Dr. Shara Curry, Eric Peyatt, Austin Broussard, Megan Ruppert, Lindsey Travis, and Kaitlyn Peyatt


“Fellow conference goers, classroom teachers, reading specialists and administrators from across West Virginia gave high praise to our students for their teaching points and the strategies that were used,” said Curry.

The West Virginia Reading Association is an affiliate of the International Literacy Association.

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