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Welcome to the 2012 Arkansas Reading Association Conference Site!

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November 15-16, 2012

Little Rock, Arkansas


2012 Arkansas Reading Association Program


Featured Speakers
Steven L. LayneStevenLayne.jpg
Steven L. Layne serves as full time Professor of Literacy Education at Judson University in Elgin, IL. His experience working at multiple grade levels in the public schools provides a unique camaraderie with teachers and librarians. His award-winning books for children and young adults add another element to his dynamic presentations.http://www.stevelayne.com
Timothy ShanahanTimothyShanahan.jpg
Timothy Shanahan is a professor of urban education at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he serves as director of the UIC Center for Literacy. A former IRA president, he has authored, co-authored, or edited more than 150 publications including Developing Literacy in Second-Language Learners and Teachers Thinking, Teachers Knowing. His research focuses on the relationship of reading and writing, school improvement, the assessment of reading ability, and family literacy.—http://www.childrenofthecode.org/interviews/shanahan.htm

Linda HoytLindaHoyt.jpg
Linda Hoyt has worked as a reading specialist, a staff developer, a curriculum specialist, and a Title I Coordinator. Her special love is creating environments where children engage as active participants in the learning process. She is the author of numerous books including: Revisit,Reflect, Retell: Strategies for Improving Reading Comprehension; Snapshots: Literacy MinilessonsUpClose; Exploring Informational Texts: From Theory to Practice; Make It Real: Strategies for Success with Informational Texts; and Spotlight on Comprehension:Building a Literacy of Thoughtfulness.—http://www.lindahoyt.com/

Danny BrassellDannyBrassell.jpg
Danny is a professor in the Teacher Education Department at California State University-Dominguez Hills and founder of www.lazyreaders.com. He is the author of over 50 journal and newspaper articles and nine books, including 75+ Reading Strategies: Boost Achievement and Build a Life-Long Love of Reading, Dare to Differentiate: Vocabulary Strategies for All Students, and Bringing Joy Back Into the Classroom.

Lisa S. BlackwellLisaBlackwellphoto.jpg
Lisa’s background includes leadership coaching and design and delivery of professional development. She serves as Mindset Works’ VP of Design, Implementation & Evaluation and advises schools and districts implementing the Brainology® approach, which teaches students how the brain functions, learns, remembers, and changes. She has been featured in Time Magazine, New York Magazine, Good Morning America, National Public Radio programs, and many scholarly publications.
—http://www.mindsetworks.com/default.aspx

Kwame AlexanderKwameAlexander.jpg
Kwame Alexander has written 14 books, owned several publishing companies, written for the stage and television (TLC's "Hip Hop Harry"), recorded a CD, performed around the world, produced jazz and book festivals, hosted a weekly radio show, worked for the U.S. Government, and taught in a high school. He resides in the Washington, DC area, where he is the Founding Director of Book-in-a-Day (BID), a program that teaches and empowers teenagers to write and publish their own books.—http://www.bookinaday.org/

Page McBrierPageMcBrier.jpg
Page McBrier is an award-winning author, writing teacher, drama specialist, and arts consultant from Connecticut. She has written over 40 books including Beatrice’s Goat, winner of a 2001 Christopher Award. Some of her other books include Confessions of a Reluctant Elf and the Oliver and Company series.http://www.pagemcbrier.com/

Taryn J SoudersTarynSouders.jpg
Taryn J. Souders lives in Winter Park, Florida. With a background in math education, she is passionate about keeping math fun for young students. This is her first children's book. With the math problem featured as part of the artwork, students get an immediate sense of how to apply and understand the concept of fractions.—http://www.fractionsarefun.com/

Courtney SheinmelCourtneyScheinmel.jpg
As a child, Courtney loved reading and spent most of her money on books. She majored in English and then became a lawyer, but continued working toward her childhood dream of becoming an author. Originally from California, she now lives, works, and writes in Manhattan. http://courtneysheinmel.com


Mike ArtellMikeArtell.jpgMike Artell is an award-winning author, illustrator, TV cartoonist, musician, storyteller and humorist. Each year, Mike speaks to thousands of school kids, business leaders, and educators. He loves sharing cool and creepy science facts from his award-winning books about weather, space, bugs and smells. Mike engages his listeners in language arts wordplay while having fun with his Cajun culture.—http://www.mikeartell.com/

Gary SchmidtGarySchmidt.jpg
Gary Schmidt is the author of many well-received books for young readers, including The Wednesday Wars, First Boy, and The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell. His novel Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy was both a Newbery Honor Book and a Printz Honor Book. Gary teaches writing at Calvin College and lives with his wife, author Elizabeth Stickney, and their six children on a farm in Alto, Michigan.—http://us.macmillan.com/author/garyschmidt
Ard Hoyt
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Ard Hoyt was born in Temple, Texas and raised on picture books. From a very early age he discovered that even though he wasn't allowed to cross the street, he could go anywhere in a picture book. He fell in love with the worlds created by Robert Lawson, Steven Kellogg and H.A. Rey. This freedom grew to include his own pictures. Before long Ard discovered that with a white sheet of paper he could change the weather. He knew that he wanted to be a children's book illustrator and dreamed of one day having a book with his name on it next to the great ones.
—http://www.ardhoytbooks.com/

Anna Mackey
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—More than 10 years ago, Anna Mackey began her career in the Little Rock School District in Little Rock, AR, as an 8th grade Language Arts/Reading teacher. From serving as one of the district’s Literacy Southern Regional Education Board representative to being awarded as Campus Teacher of the Year, she was a visible and active educator in the district who wholeheartedly understood her purpose to Motivate & Engage to Reach & Teach students. Whether Anna is teaching students or presenting at educational conferences/workshops using the M.E.R.T. approach, she doesn’t miss an opportunity to recap childhood memories from the South as she compares herself to a R.O.C. K. Simply and plainly, she concludes by saying that as a teacher it is her Responsibility and Obligation to Care for Kids.—http://www.mackeyliteracygroup.com/Founder_CEO.html

Darcy Pattison
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—Darcy Pattison writes both picture books and novels. See the book trailer of her latest book, Prairie Storms, illustrated by Kathleen Rietz. In Prairie Storms, a typical storm is featured for each month as well as a prairie animal in its normal habitat, and the prairie's ecosytem is explored through its weather, especially its storms.—http://www.darcypattison.com/

Sara Pennypacker
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—Sara Pennypacker is a New York Times' bestselling author of children's books including Clementine, The Talented Clementine, Clementine's Letter, Clementine Friend of the Week, Clementine and the Family Meeting, The Amazing World of Stuart, including Stuart's Cape and Stuart goes to School, Flat Stanley books including The Mount Rushmore Calamity, The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery, The Japanese Ninja Surprise and The Intrepid Canadian Expedition, Sparrow Girl, and Pierre in Love. —http://www.sarapennypacker.com/

Julie D. Ramsay
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—I'm currently a 5th grade teacher in a student-driven classroom. I recently completed authoring the Stenhouse book, "Can We Skip Lunch and Keep Writing?" Collaborating in Class and Online. I obtained my National Board Certification and travel to speak, present, and facilitate workshops in applying technology to support authentic learning. I am an adventure-seeker and world traveler who also loves to curl up with a good book and a great cup of coffee.—http://juliedramsay.weebly.com/index.html

Greg Tang
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—Today, Greg is working to develop a more intuitive approach to teaching math, one that combines problem-solving and arithmetic and integrates math with language and art. To read a recent interview click Boston Partners in Education or Teaching K-8 Magazine. In addition to writing his picture books, Greg is also an author for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's new textbook programs in California, Texas, the Carolinas and Kentucky. He wrote the Go Fast Go FarTM mental math series and is creating a line of teaching materials that includes flash cards, math games, and workbooks. His math games NumskillTM and Numskill JrTM have been an instant hit with teachers and students, and his Smart SumsTM andGreat TimesTM flash cards have been widely praised by both teachers and parents alike. More supplemental materials will soon be available on this web site and through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. To watch a short video click You Tube.—http://www.gregtang.com/

Carla McClafferty
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—Carla Killough McClafferty grew up in the small farming community of Tomberlin, Arkansas, where her parents farmed rice and soybeans. Many long, lazy days of her childhood were spent under the outstretched arms of a giant pecan tree. Her elementary school didn't have a library, using instead bookshelves under the windows that filled one wall of the classroom. She says, says, "To this day, libraries fill me with awe and appreciation." —http://www.carlamcclafferty.com/