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UCF Literacy Symposium Express (2020-2022): Recorded Webinars & Resources

April 28, 2022: Literacy Live & Literacy Anytime: School-based Collaborations on Making the BEST K-12 ELA Expectations Accessible, Applicable, and Fun for Everyone!
Four literacy leaders, Mr. Brent Bechtold, Ms. Kathy Pyle, Ms. Cally Traetto, and Ms. Elisha Zuaro, from the FL K-12 School for the Deaf & the Blind shared how they created a culture of literacy with colleagues across content areas and grade levels. They demonstrated how to make literacy collaborations fun, engaging, and relevant to teachers and reminded us to honor teacher voices and needs when planning professional learning. Four literacy leaders made collaborative decisions and created a framework that engages all in learning about the B.E.S.T. ELA Standards and makes literacy fun, live, and accessible anytime!

Zoom Recording
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March 24, 2022: Reigniting Literacy Through the Power of Collaboration
Ms. Whitney Augustine, a FL DOE, Just Read, Florida! Region 8 Literacy Director shared many lessons learned about the importance of collaboration on teacher efficacy, student, and school success. She inspired attendees to reignite literacy collaborations with colleagues and others in schools and in other professional communities. Here’s her call to action: “Find your team, find your light (again), and share it with colleagues, students, and your community--together, we have the ability and power to change lives.”

Zoom Recording
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February 24, 2022: Igniting Joy in Collaboration
Ms. Sarah Painter, the 2022 Florida Teacher of the Year, and a fifth-grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School in Pinellas County, shared collaboration stories of triumph and resilience over the past two years. She reminds us of the value of joining with others (students, colleagues, parents), owning our practice, serving our students, and of the power of “yet.” Ms. Painter’s message of finding joy in collaboration speaks to every educator with respect, encouragement, and inspiration.

Zoom Recording
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March 24, 2021: Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Integrating SEL into Literacy Instruction (Grades K-8)
Ms. Jolynn Bernard and Ms. Tricia Bennett, from the Center for the Collaborative Classroom, shared about the role of SEL in literacy and academic learning, how to develop students’ SEL competencies, and teaching practices that promote student social emotional competencies. View the recording for tips and ideas for developing positive learning environments and supporting all students’ literacy engagement and social-emotional learning.

Zoom Recording
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March 10, 2021: Using Dialogic Reading to Promote Emergent Literacy & SEL (Grades PreK-2)
Ms. Jody Sylvester, an OCPS Early Childhood Educator, presented on the importance of dialogic reading for students’ language, literacy, and socio-emotional development. Children’s experiences with books are very important to their overall language and reading readiness. Ms. Sylvester demonstrated how teachers and parents can engage in dialogic reading with children and provided many resources and suggestions. View this recording to learn how to use dialogic reading as a way to equip learners with language that helps them express their thinking, questions, and feelings.

Zoom Recording
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PPT Presentation

February 27, 2021: SEL Tips for New Teachers: Surviving the Socio-Emotional Impact of the 1st Five Years of Teaching (Grades PreK-12)
Ms. Deanna Ferrante, a High School English Language Arts, Reading & ESOL teacher, gave an interactive and very informative presentation on SEL for teachers/educators. SEL is not referring only to self-care and self-compassion but also to resilience, decision-making, establishing boundaries and balance, and dealing with personal and/or professional challenges. See the webinar recording for relevant suggestions and resources about educator SEL!

Zoom Recording
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February 10, 2021: How Difficult Can Reading Be for Students with Exceptionalities? (Grades PreK-5)
Dr. Maria Reyes, University of Central Florida, Exceptional Education and Dr. Caroline Pratt-Marrett, University of Central Florida, Exceptional Education, presented an overview of common characteristics of reading difficulties and helped participants gain a better understanding of the challenges students with exceptionalities face when learning to read through simulated reading difficulties. They also shared multisensory evidence-based strategies that promote reading skills and reduce learning barriers.

View the recording to engage with the simulated reading difficulties and learn more about evidence-based reading strategies to support students with exceptionalities.
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January 30, 2021: Addressing SEL through Family Engagement (Grades 6-12)
Lea Herbert, National Certified Counselor and Dr. Ann Shillingford-Butler, University of Central Florida, Counselor Education, presented many relevant research-based suggestions for parents and teachers related to students’ socio-emotional wellness. They offered many tips and concrete tools for building parent/family engagement in at-home and in the workplace SEL practices. SEL is not yet another thing to do. Instead, it is the foundation for student learning!

View the recording for tips, tools, and ways to support families’ engagement in students’ socio-emotional wellness.
Passcode: 0f1Z$F6%

January 13, 2021: Elevating Inclusion with Children's Literature (Grades K-5)
Sarah Hall (2020 Seminole County Public Schools Teacher of the Year) and Melissa Pappas (2020 Orange County Public Schools Teacher of the Year) shared lessons learned and meaningful and interactive resources related to children’s literature. Literature that is rich, diverse, inclusive, and representative creates firm pathways for children’s language, literacy, and socio-emotional skills. Check out the rich resources and classroom suggestions.

View the recording for many examples of children’s literature instructional tools, and practices that support children’s literacy and socio-emotional development.
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December 12, 2020: Providing Social Emotional Learning and Early Literacy Instruction within the MTSS Framework
A child’s social-emotional well-being and academic learning are interdependent. Given today’s remote, flipped, and blended teaching and learning contexts, there is a great need for teachers to view students’ SEL as a mediator for developing early literacy skills within an MTSS framework. Addressing children’s SEL, behavior, trauma, and academics should not be done in isolation.

View the recording for details about why and how to embed SEL withing the MTSS framework.
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December 2, 2020: Academic Literacy and ELL: The Power of Culturally Relevant Age Appropriate Text for Language Acquisition

Ms. Sackna-Ebuwa emphasized that culturally-relevant teaching creates a bridge between students’ backgrounds and experiences with learning in the classroom. She shared many interactive ideas for scaffolding ELLs’ academic language and literacy skills. Sample strategies included using: (a) academic and content vs. general language word walls; (b) visuals such as highlighting words (e.g., nouns, adjectives, key details); (c) academic power phrases; and (d) engagement summary sentence frames.

For more information email

November 21, 2020: Resilient Children and Neurobiology: Helping Kids Overcome Chronic Stress and Trauma
Dora Henderson’s interactive presentation was full of brain-based tips and easy ways to help children and teachers overcome chronic stress and trauma through play and breathing exercises that calm the mind and create space for children to engage in learning. For more information, contact Dora Henderson, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional & Registered Play Therapist at


November 11, 2020: PBS Kids for Grownups!
This presentation is chock full of amazing and relevant resources for teachers, educators, parents, and students! Check out the myriad of resources on literacy, socio-emotional learning, connecting with students in today’s remote and hybrid learning contexts.

Zoom Recording
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COVID-19 Professional Learning Resources

Digital Libraries & Materials to Access and Read from Home

Author Mo Willems offers new ways of writing through drawing and doodling as well as videos, activities, and teacher guides that align with his books.

Author Rick Riordan offers teacher guides, articles, and quizzes, and videos to his popular books.

Edutopia offers information and resources in digital assessments, integrated studies, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, teacher development and technology integration. 

Encourage Students to Journal (Middle School Age Group).

Epic provides access to their digital library with over 35,000 books, audiobooks, videos and quizzes. Free access is available until June 30, 2020. Teachers and parents may assign readings to their Elementary-aged students and track progress.

Free Resources for Science and Math from Educators from the National Science Teachers Association.

Great YouTube channels for middle schoolers and high schoolers for learning from home during COVID-19 school closures.

Google and Virtual Tours of Museums Around the World.

If your students are interested in read-alouds with some of their favorite KidLit authors, encourage them to visit this link to determine when to log on and listen!

International Children’s Library provides access to a variety of historical and contemporary books for all ages that represent a wide range of cultures and languages.

KidLit Authors provides free tools for online teaching and learning during school closures.

Little Free Library is a neighborhood book exchange where people can take and leave books for others to enjoy.

Penn State center for Science and the Schools (K-12 Science resources).

Reading Rockets offers literacy and learning resources to keep kids learning at home!

#Savewithstories on Instagram and Facebook will be reading fun and engaging stories for your children to watch.

SERP Resources for K-12 Educators in ELA, Math, Science, & Social Studies.

Scholastic offers resources for 20 days of home learning for students in grades PreK-6 as well as resources and information on how to integrate Socio-emotional learning into literacy instruction.

Scholastic Virtual Book Festival

Story Line Online streams videos of famous actors reading children’s books that cover topics related to Socio-emotional learning.

The American Middle Level Education (AMLE) offers an abundance of literacy links and resources for adolescents.

The International Literacy Association has compiled a list of free online resources that include virtual fieldtrips and blended learning for enhancing digital teaching and learning.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) offers lesson plans, quick reference guides, books and other helpful activities for students K-12 and students in college as well as information on the integration of literacy and Socio-emotional learning.

National Council of Teachers of English--Find Yourself in the Stories of Teaching

The School Library Journal has gathered a variety of free online teaching tools for while schools are closed.

This website has lists of free learning resources and tools as well as free books, stories, and video channels.

Two school librarians compiled a list of resources to enhance digital learning, stay up to date with the latest Coronavirus news and provide links to ebooks and audiobooks. 

Literacy & Learning Resources for Educators & Parents

32 resources for entertaining energetic preschoolers during daycare and preschool closures.

Annenberg Learner provides K-12 multimedia classroom resources for teaching a variety of topics and subjects.

Coronavirus closing your kid’s school? One parent’s plan for Daddy School.
CPALMS offers over 900 interactive Original Student Tutorials!
Disney books YouTube channel.

Disney’s free online resources for teachers and librarians.

EdSurge offers insights on how to support teachers and students during the crisis around COVID-19.

How to engage kids in learning when schools are closed.

NewsELA offers articles on Socio-emotional Learning topics for elementary, middle, and high school students.

PBS Kids Resources on children’s socioemotional learning needs.

PBS Kids Weekday Newsletter offers activities and tips you can use to help your kids play and learn at home.

News-2-You Curriculum Samples, designed for learners with exceptional needs.

Publisher guidelines on fair use for online Storytime & Read-alouds during COVID-19 school closures.

Resources for Instructional Coaching.

The School Library Journal composed a “Classroom Bookshelf,” which provides links to ebooks, audiobooks, author/illustrator resources, and podcasts for students in grades K-8. offers articles and resources for family engagement and student success for serving populations with exceptionalities. offers articles and resources for teaching and student success for serving populations with exceptionalities. 

Teaching Resources and Information on Coronavirus

Due to COVID-19, teachers are tasked with altering lesson plans and modifying course delivery. Read this article by Edutopia, where teachers from China share their knowledge and advice.

National Public Radio (NPR) offers a child-friendly comic that explains the Coronavirus Pandemic in a child-friendly way.

PBS Kids for Parents offers videos, activities and suggestions for children ages 2-8! They’ve created a helpful post on how to talk to kids about the coronavirus. 

Scholastic Classroom Magazines offers leveled reading options and activities for students K-12. Check out the resources they’ve gathered to teach our world about the Coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website continuously provides updates regarding COVID-19. Visit their site for the most current information.

Visit “Coronavirus: Latest Updates and Tips” on the Understood website for specifics on discussing this topic with children.

2019 Literacy Resources

Creating Readers, Supporting Readers

Books and Booklists for Young & Young Adult Readers

April 2019 Events that Celebrate Reading

2008-2018 Symposium Resources

20th Annual Literacy Symposium (2018) Resources

19th Annual Literacy Symposium (2017) Resources

18th Annual Literacy Symposium (2016) Resources

17th Annual Literacy Symposium (2015) Resources

16th Annual Literacy Symposium (2014) Resources

15th Annual Literacy Symposium (2013) Resources

14th Annual Literacy Symposium (2012) Resources

13th Annual Literacy Symposium (2011) Resources

12th Annual Literacy Symposium (2010) Resources

Central Florida Future article on the 11th Annual Literacy Symposium

11th Annual Literacy Symposium (2009) Resources

Video Links

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