Developing Comprehension Skills with Struggling Readers

Grades 3-5
October 09, 2017

  • Presented by:
    Susan Thacker-Gwaltney
  • Registration Fee:
    $139 ( $189 for non-members)
  • Location:
    Emmet Street Holiday Inn, Charlottesville

Important Notice

Registration is CLOSED because the conference is full.
If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Event Details

This workshop will focus on exploring the current findings on comprehension instruction in the primary grades. We will use examples from elementary classrooms to identify seven common barriers to student reading comprehension and learn several practical strategies for preventing and repairing breakdowns. The presenter will demonstrate and lead participants through guided practice in selecting read-aloud books as well as follow-up discussions and other activities designed to promote student understanding. Sample demonstrations will include: teaching students how to summarize, teaching students how to identify main idea and details, strategies to promote reading stamina, and activities designed to teach text structure and features. We will discuss how to take a comprehension skill and break it down into a series of concrete steps for learning, using examples designed for their own struggling learners. Participants will walk away with a read-aloud booklist for teaching comprehension skills, along with a menu of hands-on suggestions for supporting students who struggle with comprehension.

Online Follow-up (scheduled two weeks after conference):  Participants will be asked to read one article of their choice (choices provided by presenter will be related to comprehension) and participate in a forum conversation over a 10-day window.  Participants will be asked to relate what they read in their article to a struggling reader in their own classroom.  They will also be asked to report on results of trying out with their students one of the strategies discussed during the workshop.   Participants who post responses at least three times will receive an additional three Re-Certification points.  


Grades 3-5

Classroom Teachers, Special Education Teachers, and Reading Specialists


Susan Thacker-Gwaltney (Reading@Curry)

Susan Thacker-Gwaltney, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia‚Äôs Curry School of Education.  A former special educator and reading specialist, she lives in the Hampton Roads area and teaches face-to-face and online graduate reading courses for teachers who are interested in obtaining their K-12 reading specialist endorsement.  Susan also coordinates the noncredit professional development program for Reading@Curry, working with schools and districts all over Virginia and beyond to develop professional learning academies, and short- term and long-term coaching experiences related to ELA instruction.  She has over 25 years in education and has presented numerous trainings at national, state, and local conferences in the areas of designing classroom reading instruction and interventions for struggling readers.


Event Schedule

Conference Runs from 9:00 a.m.  -  3:30 p.m.

Registration and Breakfast Begin at 8:00 a.m.

Lunch will be served at noon.

All registered participants will receive an email with event details in the week before the conference is held.

Registration Details

The conference fee is $139 for each participant who is member of a school division which is a member of VSUP/VaSCL. 

The registration fee for participants from Non-Member school divisions is $189 .

Registration fees include breakfast and lunch, as well as parking and internet access.

The registration deadline is September 22, 2017.

In the registration form (below), required fields are indicated with a red asterisk.  Mistakes made in completing the form will be highlighted in red.

Once you have submitted the registration, the person or people whom you have designated to receive a confirmation email should see that email (with registration information included) within 24 hours.

Pre-Payment is not required for participation.

After the conference has been held, an invoice will be emailed to the person identified in Billing Information on the Conference Registration Form for each participant.

Notification of cancellation must be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., VSUP/VaSCL Coordinator, at least FIVE BUSINESS DAYS before the event is held . . . or the registration fees will be billed in full.

If a Purchase Order Number is provided on the Conference Registration Form for a participant, the invoice from VSUP will reference that Purchase Order Number.

If you wish to be invoiced BEFORE the date of the event or if you have any other questions about payment, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Registration Fee

$139   ( $189 for non-members)

Hotel Information

1901 Emmet Street
Charlottesville, VA 22901

(434) 977-7700

VSUP/VaSCL room rate.
VSUP / VaSCL Special Rate: $109
Call 434-977-7700 and ask for the VSUP / VaSCL room rate and provide the following VaSCL / VSUP Rate Code: IX9K5.

Or use the LINK below to make your reservation at the special VSUP / VaSCL room rate.


Contact VSUP/VaSCL

If you have questions or concerns, or would like to receive more information about this conference, please contact our Conference Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

October 09, 2017
Developing Comprehension Skills with Struggling Readers
Emmet Street Holiday Inn, Charlottesville