National Conference for First Grade Teachers Draws Blueprint for Year-long Success

PR Newswire

PETERBOROUGH, N.H., April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Staff Development for Educators (SDE), one of the nation's leading providers of professional development for K-12 educators, is pleased to announce its I Teach 1st! National Conference for First Grade Teachers, taking place July 7-10, 2014 in Las Vegas.

This highly anticipated annual professional development event offers first grade teachers four days of super-intense focus on the strategies, techniques, tips, and ideas they need to be successful throughout the year.  From the opening keynote to the final session, I Teach 1st! is structured to make every teacher better at what they do. 

"These are especially challenging times for educators," says Kymra Kurinskas, program planner. "The shifts resulting from the Common Core are requiring teachers to find new ways to add rigor to their instruction and build student skill sets. More than ever, teachers are being asked to foster independence, move from emergent to able in literacy, meaningfully integrate technology, use appropriate interventions, and address gaps in learning."

This conference alleviates some of the anxiety teachers face as they try to prepare students to be college- and career-ready and meet new performance expectations. SDE has created an event that defines exactly what first graders need to know by the end of the year and provides the specific tools students need to use these skills going forward.  

How can teachers fit it all in? That's one of the big themes of this conference—powerful daily and yearly planning tactics that teachers can quickly implement to end frustration and take back control of their day and their classroom. "Las Vegas is the place where all the pieces come together in a live, face-to-face format—the practical tools, proven strategies, and powerful tips that drive instructional excellence in the first-grade classroom," Kurinskas adds.   

Attendees' days will be packed with learning, networking, excitement, and fun. New and experienced teachers will master both the basics every classroom educator needs and the groundbreaking ideas that lead to true transformation.   

Attendees may choose from over 160 concurrent sessions, in a wide variety of learning formats—including hands-on, make & takes, and video-based see-it-in-action sessions.  Special attention is given this year to teaching opinion writing and informational text, building on the components of literacy and numeracy gained in kindergarten, and inspiring student independence.  

"I tell teachers to list their biggest headaches and compare them to our agenda. Odds are, the solutions are right there," Kurinskas says.

The quality of the speakers is a huge draw. Attendees will hear and learn from the top names in early childhood education. Each speaker was hand-picked for their depth of insight into the latest research, their understanding of the new challenges teachers are facing, and their charismatic training style.  

This year's lineup includes author and illustrator of the popular Arthur Series Marc Brown who will deliver the opening keynote. Best-selling author and teacher favorite Dr. Jean Feldman will lead the full-day Camp Common Core. Also featured are assessment authors and experts Mike Ford and Mike Opitz.

It's rare for so many nationally respected educational experts, seasoned classroom practitioners, and award-winning authors to be in one place at the same time. "The knowledge and experience of the team of 33 top-quality presenters creates a tremendous benefit for attendees. They are experts at transforming complex concepts into understandable instructional strategies. Just as important, every one of them is dedicated to ensuring each and every child succeeds, including at-risk and struggling learners," Kurinskas says.

I Teach 1st! is the largest grade-specific conference of its kind, and is developed and programmed by a team of early childhood experts with their fingers on the pulse of the latest research and developing trends. Fresh, innovative, impactful—these are the hallmarks of I Teach 1st! and what makes it the most relevant conference out there for today's first grade teachers.

Immediately following I Teach 1st!, teachers can find added value in their trip by attending the Teachers pay Teachers: Supercharge Seller Success event on July 11th. SDE is proud to be working with TPT to reach educators across the country to help in their professional development—both personally and professionally.

About SDE

SDE is one of America's leading providers of professional development for PreK through Grade 12 educators. Through Onsite PD, PD Events, Web-based PD, and PD Resources, the company empowers teachers and administrators across the country with ongoing professional development that is not only research-based, innovative, and rigorous, but also practical, motivating, and fun. All SDE training is presented by the nation's top authors and educational experts, with the goal of creating extraordinary classrooms that prepare students for the evolving demands of the 21st century.

For more information about SDE, visit, or call 1-800-462-1478.

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