Normalizing Confusion

How Teachers Can Prepare Students for Reading

Without a Lexile/DRA/Running Record Score

January 29, 2019  (10:00-3:00 Central Time)

Location:  Peabody College at Vanderbilt (Wyatt Center Room #223, Parking Directions)

Speakers:  Dr. Justine Bruyere and Dr. Emily Pendergrass, Vanderbilt

Audience:  Reading Teachers in Grades 1st - 6th



What does instruction designed to improve literacy achievement look like?  How do we ensure that we, as teachers, are fostering a love for reading - not just relying on close reading skills and running records for good reading teaching?  Attendees will hear about the power of choice reading, a reader's tool kit as well as technology and the arts through reading.  Furthermore, we will touch on mentor text selection and how to bring critical literacy thinking routines into your classroom. 

10:10Choice Reading & Strategies "Sign Posts"
10:40Technology in Reading
11:20Critical Literacy Introduction
12:30Critical Literacy Lessons & Group Work
1:30- 3:00Roundtable Discussions by Grade Levels



Dr. Emily Pendergrass

Director, Reading Education Program, Department of Teaching and Learning
Senior Lecturer, Literacy Education, Department of Teaching and Learning

Emily Pendergrass taught elementary and middle school students for eleven years.  While working alongside middle school students, she finished her Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia.  While at UGA, Emily worked extensively with the Red Clay Writing Project, part of the National Writing Project.  Currently, Emily teaches courses in Reading Education where she is the also the Director of the Reading Education Specialists Program.  Additionally, Emily works closely with the local public schools in literacy coaching and facilitating professional development workshops. For more information, check out her website

Areas of specialization: 

Struggling readers in the context of reading as a community practice, with special reference to professional development and new literacies including technologies


Dr. Justine Bruyère

Lecturer, Reading Education Program, Department of Teaching and Learning
Lecturer, Master of Elementary Education, Department of Teaching and Learning

Justine Bruyère has worked as an educator, researcher and mentor for the last 15 years. As an elementary school teacher Justine’s efforts were focused on engagement strategies and bringing the arts into the classroom, specifically involving lower school classrooms.  In 2017, Justine completed her PhD in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning from the University of Toronto, OISE. Justine's interest areas of research combine multimodal learning, the arts, literacy, and action research.  Currently, Justine teaches courses in the Reading Education and Elementary Education programs at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University.

Areas of specialization:

Literacy, reading and writing development, education through the arts
Second language learning, ELL, early literacy learning
Curriculum and instruction, action research and qualitative research methods.


Member Schools:  $150/person

Non-Member Schools:  $225/person

Lunch is included with registration.

TAIS will mail an invoice to your school in January.


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