Conference Schedule


Day One - October 19th, 2020

8:00 am CST

Keynote By Rick Ramirez

Reach Them Before You Teach Them

Participants will be engaged in a powerful session that is designed to motivate, encourage and empower educators to build lasting relationships with their students. Rick uses an anecdotal approach that will make you laugh, cry and reflect on your experience as an educator. By the end of this session, participants will be ready to use the same strategies Rick used in his classroom that enabled him to make a lasting impact on his students' lives. Rick will share 5 of his favorite strategies that teachers can use both virtually and in person. All you have to do is remember to be a CHAMPion for your students!

Day One Strands

Numbers Make Sense

Marcy Bernethy - That's a Math Fact, Jack!

Whether you're a nervous novice, experienced teacher, or somewhere in between, teaching math facts is difficult! Come see how Marcy teaches and reinforces math facts throughout the year using a hands-on approach. Get ideas you can take back and implement in your classroom from day one!

Abigail Peterson - Making Math Matter

Struggling with understanding the math standards? Need direction and ideas for explicitly teaching many of the different standards within the 5 major strands of math? This session will break down the 5 major strands of kindergarten math: Counting & Cardinality, Operations & Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Measurement & Data, and Geometry. A plethora of ideas for whole-group instruction, independent practice and assessments for many of the standards, within the 5 major strands.

Kelly Haynes - Math Talks: Making Magical Moments in Math

During this session you will learn WHY we need to do Number Talks. We will learn HOW to implement Number Talks. We will also learn tips and tricks to make number talks fun for you and your students! Number Talks help students develop a deeper relationship with Math.

Deedee Wills - I Love this Game: Math Edition!

What happens when you combine practice with games! LEARNING! Deedee will show you 5 different game structures that your students can play as they gain math fluency.

Keri Brown - Making Math Magical

Gain practical strategies for reaching all levels of learning throughout the standards. Learn quick and easy activities that require little prep. From number sense to 1-to-1 correspondence to counting, stock up on ideas for targeting the specific areas where your students struggle plus ideas for incorporating time-saving assessments.

Shannon Samulski-McCartney - Math 4 Littles in the Real World

Mathematical thinking is all around us however more and more students are coming to school lacking in experiences with real object in the physical world. Join Shannon on a journey through the developmental levels of integrating real world math. Explore fun home-school activities, early problem solving with quantitative pictures, engaging math work mats and daily journals to help littles connect numeracy to understand early math concepts and reasoning. Add in a special featured appearance from "Dotson" from Deck o Dots and the "My Counting Buddy" and this will be session you won't want to miss!

LeAnna Wolkis-Goldstein - Dice, Dominoes & Decks Of Cards- Making Math Memorable For You And Your Students

Explore how to use dots, dice, dominoes and cards to lead your students to mastery of the Math Standards. Encourage your Jr. Mathematicians to record their thinking using objects, words, pictures and numbers. Reinforce math concepts & skills with hands - on, highly motivating and entertaining games! Teachers, whether you are teaching in person or virtually, come join me at ESGI’s TEACHCON! This will be a lively and entertaining session that will fill your “Idea Bucket” for weeks to come!

Digital Get Down

Todd Nesloney - Tech Tools for EduNinjas

Throughout his career, Todd has utilized technology to increase his teaching capacity. In this virtual session, Todd shares some of his favorite tech tools and uses personal experiences and stories to show the true impact of having kids (and adults) create with technology, share their story, and collaborate.

Johora Warren - Making a Virtual Impact

During this session, we will be learning how we can empower our students to create sustainable change in their communities by using technology!

Jacqueline Kilburn & Keri Brown - Has 2020 thrown a monkey wrench into your teaching strategies? You’re Not Alone!

Join your fellow colleague, kindergarten teacher Keri Brown, and the Battelle® Developmental Inventory Product Manager at Riverside Insights, Jacqueline Kilburn, as they discuss:

*How classrooms need to be set up differently in order to keep proper social distancing.

*What new tools and techniques are being used to plan and teach your lessons.

*How do you move forward and plan your day / week knowing that literally tomorrow can become remote instruction instead.

*What new ways are you finding successful for reporting student learning with-in your school / district, as well as the parent/teacher connection?

Dr. Lori Elliott - Making Learning Stick: Top Tips & Tech Tools for Teaching Young Learners

Looking for ways to grab students’ attention and keep it during hybrid/blended/face-to-face learning? Join Lori for practical, effective, and fun strategies to immediately use in your instruction. Discover tips and tech tools for engaging young learners and get them thinking!

Tron Young - Digital Tools for Student Engagement and Feedback

Whether you are teaching remotely or in-person, finding digital ways to engage students and provide quality feedback is essential. Find out how you can creatively us LOOM, Google Slides, and Google Docs to increase student engagement and provide quality feedback. You will finish this session and be able to leave with strategies to immediately use during your instruction.

Mary Amoson - Digital Get Down

Mary will walk you through a few of her favorite digital tricks that have saved her time and energy through virtual and onto hybrid learning. She will cover fun ways to make useful interactive pages to manage small groups if you don't have access to breakout rooms, a few Class Dojo tips and tricks for hybrid teaching, and how to create a countdown to class timer. All these digital tips and tricks are classroom tested and FUN approved.

Janet Corder & Joan Gore - Digital Tools for Early Learners

Your little ones love to use the iPad and computers to play "games", but how can they be used for instruction? You'll be amazed at the things even your young students can do when given the chance to use iPads and computers to create and learn. Walk away with ideas that can be used immediately in the classroom.

Cynthia B. Kaye - 7 Mind-Boggling Digital Resources That'll Take Your Student Engagement Through the Roof

Are you looking to boost your student/teacher/family engagement to new heights? Cynthia and her zoo crew team will share with you how brain science validated her multi-modality approach to creating magical learning experiences. As a lifelong fan of Disney, Cynthia developed a full suite of early educational resources using a patented technology in which 26 zoo animals spring to life in 3D and interact with your students as they learn the foundations for reading and math. You will be introduced to 7 awesome resources and will be given a FREE treat that includes over 6 hours of virtual learning. Join us and see why thousands of PK/K teachers are now relying on Alive Studios products for their classrooms and virtual learning.

Engaging Students

Debbie Clement - Lyrics to Literacy: Read a Song and Sing a Book

Join in the fun as we connect the dots between singing and reading. Jump in with author, illustrator Debbie Clement as she teaches the sign language to her three picture books that are each based on her original songs for children. Your students will happily sing along first and then slowly but surely transition to reading the words of the songs that they have sung. Use the words of affirmation from "You're Wonderful" during this time of pandemic reality to anchor feelings of positive self esteem and connection. Debbie's work is based on brain research and uses both repetition as well as call-and-response techniques to instill patterns within her songs and dances. You're invited to be delighted.

Lupina Vela - Read! Interactive Activities to Engage Primary English Learners

Oral language and vocabulary development are critical in the formation of foundational reading skills for our primary students. So, how do we engage our students, especially EL students, after remote learning this spring and many different blended learning situations this fall? Join us for an interactive session with Lupina Vela, a seasoned EL educator who will share models of teachable moments via engaging classroom and family activities.

Holly Ehle - Maximum Engagement! How to Plan Lessons that Improve Student Engagement and Teach Rigorous Standards

In this session Holly will share suggestions for planning lessons that increase student engagement and teach rigorous standards! Whether you are teaching in-person on on-line, you will walk away with countless ideas on how to create and implement instructional units that peak students' curiosity and turn hard-to-teach standards into lessons they will never forget!

Adam & Trisha Peterson - We Are F.A.M.I.L.Y.!

Adam and Trisha will share their engaging ideas for creating a F.A.M.I.L.Y. feeling in your classroom and school. Focusing on relationships, accountability, meaningful activities, and so much more will help create the community you've always wanted inside your classrooms and hallways. Using tried and true methods from their time in the classroom, Adam and Trisha are sure to leave you with takeaways that can improve relationships, classroom management, and your classroom culture!

Kendrick Thomas - Student Engagement- A Product of Meaningful Work and Meaningful Relationships

In the words of Rita Pearson, " Kids don't learn from people they don't like." In this session we discuss the importance of, and how to create meaningful relationships with the students we serve. Once we capture their hearts through relationships, we dive deeper into what student engagement looks like through the lens of meaningful work. This is work that relates to student lives, shows them the personal relevance of learning, and builds connections between the work, the student, and teacher.

Natalie Jenkins - Embrace, Encourage, Empower - 3 Strategies to Foster Authentic Student Engagement

Building strong relationships is a key component for student engagement. In this session, you will learn the 3 strategies to foster authentic student engagement with your students. Get ready to leave with the tools to welcome, celebrate and connect with your students!

Katie Mense - Engage on a Teacher's Wage

Want to create that perfectly engaging lesson, but don't know how to afford it on a real teacher's salary? Katie will show you how a trip to the dollar store can make any lesson fun and engaging! Come along on this fun adventure as she shows you the kind of mindset..and budget you need to make magic happen in your classroom!

Gina Coss - Let's Get Cookin'

Mmm-mm!! What smells so good?! Ever watch that cooking show that has you run out the house to buy those ingredients and cook up a storm to replicate what you just saw and thought you smelled? Teaching and learning are not much different! Only as teachers, YOU are that Bobby Flay or Rachel Ray who is hooking your students to engage in that powerful and enjoyable lesson. Instead of those spoons and saucepans, though, teachers use the tools of their trade to engage their learners in ways which have their students coming back for not-so sloppy seconds. Join Gina Coss’s session, to re-heat, re-make, or re-sizzle your own methods of student engagement to enhance teaching and learning. Let’s Get Cookin’!

Day Two - October 20th, 2020

8:00 am CST

Keynote By Fran Warren

Stepping Out of Chaos and Into Purpose: I Saved Myself

Pandemic. Racial Strife. Stress from Virtual Learning. Parents. All of these things have teachers who are at their breaking point, but it doesn't have to be that way. Instead of shrinking away, it's time for teachers to step into their purpose- confident, poised, and unafraid.


Day Two Strands

The Need to Read

Shannon Cunningham - Read-Aloud for The Whole Crowd!

Regardless of if your students are virtual, face to face, or a blend of both, Shannon will share some fresh ideas on how to make the most of your read-alouds. From building schema for ESL students and challenging critical thinking, to taking a book cross-curricular, these strategies will re-energize you to spark a love for reading and prepare you to address diverse needs in your read-alouds.

Kim Jordano - Rocking Reader's Workshop!

Are you new to Reader’s Workshop or would you like to see some creative ideas to freshen up your reading time? Well this session is for you! This session will cover getting started, classroom management, reading partners, beginning reading strategies and more! Kim will show you engaging activities to foster comprehension in a child centered way. So let’s “Get Rocking with Readers Workshop!

Nita Creekmore - Let’s Ignite Interactive Read Alouds!

In this session, Nita will discuss the importance of interactive read alouds and how to engage students with an interactive read aloud either face-to-face or virtually! She will discuss her questioning technique and cultivating discussions with students. At the end of the interactive read aloud, students can complete a quick assessment on the ESGI platform!

Donna Whyte - The ABC's of a Strong Reading Foundation

Join Donna to explore how alphabetic principles and sight words can be assessed, progress monitored and taught to each individual reader. Learn to target skills that will enable you to work smarter, not harder and lead to student success!

Kathy Crane - The Systematic Teaching of Reading

When building a new home, a builder's blueprint guides its construction. This blueprint is carefully designed even before the building materials are ordered. Teaching a young child to read should be just as systematic. Join me as I discuss how to carefully plan and sequence your reading instruction to maximize student learning in a fun and play-based way.

Greg Smedley-Warren - Mastering Phonics with ABC Bootcamp

In this session you will learn how ABC Bootcamp can propel your phonics instruction to the next level. Studies have shown an 80% mastery of all 26 letters and sounds by students at the end of the program. You'll learn how to use this vigorous approach to introducing a letter and sound per day as well as techniques and strategies to implement it even if you're required to use a curriculum that moves a bit slower. As you'll see, ABC Bootcamp is completely flexible and can be used in any classroom (even virtually). Don't miss this opportunity to learn how mastering letters and sounds can be done quickly and effectively while still having FUN!!

Angela Griffith - Building a Strong Foundation with Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is one of the most important building blocks of reading! It is a necessary skill that students must learn before they can relate sounds to print. Join Angela as she shares how to develop and boost phonological awareness throughout the year! If you’re ready to move your students from letters and sounds to reading and writing, then this session is for you!

Sam Williams - I Just Got Engaged! - Engagement Strategies for Young Readers

Sam is throwing an engagement party and you’re invited. Leave with a goodie bag full of engaging strategies to develop young readers. The Fab Five are all invited: Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, Fluency, Vocabulary and Comprehension. All your friends are here! So, join the party and have some reading fun!

Save 400 Hours

Mary Amoson

One of the BEST features about ESGI is the automatic reports generated by EGSI. Mary will walk you through how a classroom teacher can use these awesome reports for student data meetings AND how to use this data to guide your instruction in MINUTES.

Jose Cortez & Shawn Pack - Tips to organize your schedule!

Whether you're a teacher, administrator, full-time TPTer, stay at home parent learning to help your child learn virtually, or literally anyone else... you know how important it is to be organized! It can be a struggle to find time to take care of #allofthethings, so we are here to help give you some tips on how to alleviate that stress! Join Shawn and I, Jose, as we share ways that we organize our time, in hopes that it helps and inspires you to try some of our methods for yourself!

Palma Lindsay - Learning Around The House (without driving your parents crazy!)

Are you looking for hands-on learning ideas for your students that will minimize screen time, engage young minds, and help parents too? Discover how to provide highly motivating activities and let ESGI show you how to individualize them to meet the needs of each of your students using simple materials they can find around their house. Help parents to understand the skills their child already knows, needs to know, and how to help them at home while having fun interacting with their child. You’ll never look at flashcards the same way again!

Adam Peterson - In-Person, Hybrid, Remote? ESGI Is The Answer!

Adam will walk you through the easy-to-implement process of using ESGI to guide your instruction no matter what type of learning environment you are in this year! Take a look at setting up virtual test sessions, in-person social distant assessments, and more. Adam's tips for using ESGI will have you ready to assess and address the needs of your students right away!

Adam Dovico - [email protected][email protected] is not a 4-Letter Word

Simply the word data sends chills down the spine of many educators. Some even see it as a naughty four letter word! But data doesn't need to be scary, especially when it's viewed as a means for improving student learning and not just collecting numbers. Join Adam as he walks you through ways to use your ESGI data and beyond to rethink the way we guide instruction in our schools.

Silvana Spence - Lead Small groups and parent communication with ESGI

How educators can utilize differentiated instruction and communicate effectively about student progress through ESGI.

Katie Mense - E-S-G-I = E-A-S-Y

Katie will give you a crash course in the basics of ESGI. She'll show you just how simple ESGI is to use, how it makes the one-on-one assessment process more efficient, and how to use that information to drive your instruction. After this session, you won't think of ESGI as "just another thing on your plate". It will be the most amazing thing you have ever discovered. Be ready to get back 400 hours of your life!

Rochelle Pokorny - ESGI - It Just Keeps Getting Better!

Is Your ESGI Game Strong? Whether you're brand new to ESGI or a 10-year subscriber, you'll benefit from this session highlighting frequently overlooked features and "all the things" that are new or improved! Don't miss this opportunity to streamline progress monitoring, improve your data management skills, and save you even more time!

The Differentiating Classroom

Kim Adsit - DI Easy as Pie!

Do you have a hard time meeting the needs of all your learners? In this session, Kim will show ways she has organized her classroom so that she can differentiate her instruction with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of benefits. She will share grouping strategies, formative assessments, and intervention strategies that will help your students master the standards in both math and reading while keeping the learning fun and meaningful.

Mike Creekmore - Differentiation through SEL

SEL is a process by which people of all ages are able to successfully work through the many twists and turns life undoubtedly brings our way. Some of us wait till we’re older to learn new skills but imagine the benefits of having these skills at your disposal, as an early elementary student! In a time of chaos and angst, SEL will help your students be the very best version of themselves.

Jamie Hubbard - Have the MOST Amazing, Engaging Day with Play in your Classroom!

Learn how to differentiate for your young learners by using play based activities in your early childhood classroom!

Hilary Statum - Differentiated Center Tips

Do you struggle to create differentiated centers to reach every learner? Join Hilary for a fun-filled session where she shares her top tips to ensure you are meeting the needs of every student - from your students who need a little extra support to your ESL learners to your high achieving children. Return with FREE games & easy ways to create differentiated and engaging activities for every child in your classroom!

Cheryl Turner - Elevating Questions: Techniques That Take Children’s Thinking Higher

Questioning is a critical component of communicating with children. Thoughtful questions instigate thinking and responding and are one of the most powerful ways we gain access to children’s knowledge, interests and thought processes. Our questions are power tools for assessing a child's learning. This session will focus on elevating the questions we ask young children in order to stretch their thinking, scaffold their learning and ignite higher order thinking skills.

Palma Lindsay - Let’s Differentiate, Motivate, & Celebrate Writing!

Let’s start writing! Your students will LOVE the ideas Palma shares from her own differentiated classroom. Create simple, yet engaging, lessons that will have your students begging to write more. Make stories come alive and motivate children to compose complete sentences both verbally and in written form. Your students will thrive as they have FuN creating silly sentences. Discover how ESGI can help meet the needs of ALL of your students by driving your small group writing instruction and instantly providing individualized RTI with the click of one button!

Crystal Radke - Differentiating with Math Manipulatives

Learn quick, easy and fun ways to use dice, dominoes and playing cards to help students to build number sense. Use the same resources while differentiating lessons without adding more time, prep and stress to planning.

Elizabeth Coller - Differentiating Student Relationships

Let's face it, connecting with students in person or online can be difficult! Join Elizabeth as she shares her top 3 strategies on how to differentiate the way you make personal connections with your students.


Dr. Danny Brassell

Bringing JOY Back into Education

Educators (teachers, administrators and staff) did not enter education for the pay or daily accolades from society; they are in it because they care about kids. Come join Danny as he reminds you of your importance as an educator in the every day development of children. He’ll remind you that tech is a tool, not a replacement, for great teaching. Get ready to laugh, sing, dance and play in order to bring the joy back into education.