Speaker & Presenter Links

61umd+zBVJL._SX396_BO1,204,203,200_NERA is very excited about the speakers and presenters we will have for our 2016 conference!

Click on each of their names to be directed to more information. 

Also, be sure to check out The Teacher You Want to Be published by Heinemann. Not only will editor and contributor Matt Glover be at the conference, so will contributors Vicki Vinton, Renee Dinnerstein, Katie Wood Ray, Kathy Collins, and Thomas Newkirk!


Ralph Fletcher

Ralph Fletcher is a friend to writing teachers everywhere. He frequently speaks at education conferences in the US and abroad, helping teachers find wiser ways of teaching writing. Ralph is the author of many bestselling teacher professional books including Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide; Craft Lessons; What a Writer Needs, 2nd edition; Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, and Breathing In, Breathing Out.

Students know Ralph as the award-winning author of more than 20 books for children and young adults, including Fig Pudding, Flying Solo, Twilight Comes Twice, The Writer’s Notebook, Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid, Also Known As Rowan Pohi, and Guy-Write: What Every Guy Writer Needs to Know.

His newest book is Making Nonfiction From Scratch (published by Stenhouse).

Email: fletcher17@earthlink 
Twitter: @FletcherRalph 

Tom Newkirk

Tom’s most recent books with Heinemann are Minds Made for Stories: How We Really Read and Write Informational and Persuasive Texts,The Art of Slow ReadingHolding Onto Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones and Teaching the Neglected “R” (coedited with Richard Kent). HisMisreading Masculinity has been cited as a significant book for teachers. In addition, Tom is coeditor (with Penny Kittle) of Children Want to Write, a collection of Donald Graves’ writings.

A former teacher of at-risk high school students in Boston, Tom was the former director of the freshman English program at the University of New Hampshire, and the director and founder of its New Hampshire Literacy Institutes. He is now Professor Emeritus at the University of New Hampshire. He has studied literacy learning at a variety of educational levels—from preschool to college. Tom has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field of literacy.

Minds Made for Stories: How We Really Read and Write Informational and Persuasive Texts

Holding On to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones: Six Literacy Principles Worth Fighting For


Jeff Anderson

For the past 25 years, Jeff has worked with writers and teachers of grades, K-12, as a staff-developer, inspiring them about the power and joy of the writing process. He has written four books for Stenhouse Publishers: Mechanically InclinedEveryday Editing10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know and his latest book co-authored with Deborah Dean, Revision Decisions: Talking Through Sentences and Beyond. Jeff recently authored the middle grade novel, Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth (Sterling, 2015) with the second book in the series, Just My Luck,coming out in August of 2016.



Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth

Kathy Collins

“I love organizing a classroom and wrapping my mind around a child in order to figure out how best to meet his/her learning needs and to support students’ hopes for themselves.” Kathy Collins consults with schools and presents at conferences all over the world to support teachers as they implement child-centered best practices in literacy instruction. She is the author of several books, and currently lives with her family in Durham, New Hampshire.

I Am Reading

Growing Readers: Units of Study in the Primary Classroom

Mary Cowhey

Mary Cowhey is the author of Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades. She taught first and second grade Northampton, MA for 12 years. She co-founded Families With Power/Familias con Poder, a grass roots organizing effort among low-income families of color, using a popular education approach, to cultivate grass roots leadership among parents, guardians and youth and to help children succeed. Mary Cowhey has received numerous awards for her teaching and activism, including the Milken National Educator Award and the Anti-Defamation League World of Difference Award. Her essays and articles on education are widely published. Mary Cowhey lives in Northampton, MA with her husband, two children, cats and chickens.


Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades b

Renee Dinnerstein

Renée Dinnerstein has over 40 years experience as an early childhood educator. She has taught both in Italy and the United States and has spent eighteen years as an early childhood teacher at PS 321, one of New York City’s leading elementary schools. She was the teacher-director of the Children’s School early childhood inclusion annex and worked also as an Early Childhood Staff Developer in the New York City Department of Education, Division of Instructional Support, where she wrote curriculum, led study groups and summer institutes, and helped write the New York City Pre Kindergarten Standards. Renée, a past member of the Teachers’ College Reading and Writing Project Early Childhood Reading ‘think tank’, taught in the project’s summer institutes and presented calendar days for kindergarten and first grade teachers. She received the Bank Street Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award in 1999. She is currently writing a book on developing literacy-rich and inquiry-based exploration centers in the kindergarten classroom.


Dan Feigelson

Dan Feigelson has worked extensively in New York City schools as a teacher, staff developer, curriculum writer, principal, and local superintendent. An early member of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, he has led institutes, workshops and lab-sites around the world on the teaching of reading and writing. A regular presenter at national and international conferences, Dan is the author of Reading Projects Reimagined: Student-Driven Conferences to Deepen Critical Thinking, and Practical Punctuation: Lessons in Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing. He lives in Harlem and Columbia County, New York.

Reading Projects Reimagined: Student Driven Conferences to Deepen Critical Thinking

Practical Punctuation: Lessons on Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing

Literacy For All Blog 

Matt Glover

Matt Glover has a deep interest in nurturing the thinking and decision making of teachers and students and is currently a full time educational consultant spreading his knowledge and experience across several continents. He is the co-author with Kathy Collins of the book I Am Reading: Nurturing Young Children’s Meaning Making and Joyful Engagement With Any Book and the co-editor with Ellin Keene of The Teacher You Want to Be.

He also coauthored with Mary Alice Berry the book Projecting Possibilities for Writers. He partnered with Katie Wood Ray for Already Ready and Watch Katie and Matt…Sit Down and Teach Up, a video enhanced ebook that combines video and text to examine conferring with young writers.

A nationally known literacy consultant, Matt is a frequent presenter at conferences and in school districts on topics related to nurturing writers and supporting children’s intellectual growth and development. Matt has been an educator for over 20 years, including 12 years as the principal and instructional leader of Creekside Early Childhood School. Matt lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his wife and four children.

I Am Reading

Projecting Possibilities for Writers: The How, What, and Why of Designing Units of Study, K-5

Doug Kaufman

Doug Kaufman teaches at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. He has worked in schools across the country to help create spaces where students can care about their reading and writing. Doug wrote Conferences and Conversations:

Listening to the Literate Classroom, an inside look at Linda Reif’s classroom in action as she establishes goals, teaches and learns in her efforts to extend her students’ literacy. His latest book, Teacher, Inventor: How to Take Your Teaching Back from the Pre-Packaged Writing Programwill be published by Stenhouse in 2016.

Teacher, Inventor: How to Take Your Instruction Back from the Prepackaged Writing Curriculum (2016)

Conferences & Conversations: Listening to the Literate Classroom

Katie Wood Ray

In Pictures and In Words: Teaching the Qualities of Good Writing Through Illustration Study

Already Ready: Nurturing Writers in Preschool and Kindergarten

Franki Sibberson

Franki Sibberson has been teaching in Dublin, Ohio, since 1987. She has taught kindergarten through fifth grade, and been a reading interventionist and teacher support specialist, and library media specialist at Riverside Elementary School. Franki is a member of the Elementary Steering Committee for the National Council of Teachers of English. She is a regular contributor to Choice Literacy, a website for literacy leaders.

Franki and her husband have two daughters.

Franki also blogs with colleague Mary Lee Hahn. They write about children’s books, professional books and adult books that they are reading at www.readingyear.blogspot.com.

With Karen Szymusiak, Franki has co-authored many books and videos on teaching reading in the intermediate grades. Those publications include: Beyond Leveled BooksStill Learning to ReadDay-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop and The Joy of Planning. Franki blogs regularly at “A Year of Reading and she is also a regular contributor to Choice Literacy.

Digital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8

Day to Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop


Vicki Vinton

Vicki Vinton is a literacy consultant and writer who has worked in the New York City public schools and in districts around the country for numerous years. Vicki is the co-author of What Readers Really Do: Teaching the Process of Meaning Making (Heinemann, 2012), which has been called “the best book…about reading in the age of the Common Core” (Kim Yaris of Literacy Builders) . Her other books include The Power of Grammar: Unconventional Approaches to the Conventions of Language co-authored with Mary Ehrenworth of the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project, and the novel The Jungle Law (MacAdam/Cage, 2005). She is also the voice behind literacy blog “To Make a Prairie” where she regularly shares resources, new ideas and work she has done in schools around the country.

What Readers Really Do


The Power of Grammar


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