Back to All Events

2018 - SC IDA Regional Conference

  • Sandhills School 1500 Hallbrook Columbia, SC (map)

2018 SC IDA Regional Conference

Multisensory Math and Literacy: Strategies for Struggling Students

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Sandhills School, Columbia, SC

Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to hear from some of the nation's leading experts on math and literacy. Covering a breadth of areas from fractions to close reading, there promises to be something for everyone.

A nationally certified Academic Language Therapist and former classroom/demonstration teacher, Marilyn Zecher is a specialist in integrating a multisensory Orton-Gillingham based instructional approach to the teaching of mathematics with evidence based strategies from the What Works Clearinghouse, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Common Core State Standards. She specializes in multisensory math, literacy instruction and study skills.

Ms. Zecher trains nationally for The Multisensory Training Institute of the nonprofit Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center in Rockville MD.  Her courses and workshops have also been offered through several universities including The University of Southern Mississippi, Loyola University Baltimore, Auburn University and IMPACT2 Stem Training at Mississippi State University.


Multisensory Math:  Scaling the Third Grade Wall-Multiplication

Developing multiplication fluency is a significant hurdle for many students with dyslexia.  Even when grounded in an understanding of the underlying concepts, retrieval of math facts is difficult because it depends on word retrieval, a deficit for those with language disabilities.  For those students who struggle it is sometimes called the Third Grade Wall, yet these skills are essential for higher math. This introductory hands-on workshop will focus on ways to develop fluency and truly comprehend the meaning of multiplication and division concepts.  The methods are appropriate for all students but essential for some.


Multisensory Math:  Fractions are Our Friends

National test scores demonstrate that students with learning challenges struggle with specific concepts and operations in the hierarchy of skills necessary for higher math.  No area of difficulty appears to be more pronounced than that of fraction concepts.  Evidence suggests that students who receive multisensory instruction using manipulative objects master fraction concepts and operations more thoroughly and retain that information longer.  In this approach, the instructional language paired with hands-on practice holds the magic key. Join us for three hours of fraction fun and learn how to make fractions your friends.


Joan Sedita is the founder of Keys to Literacy, a literacy professional development organization based in MA. For over 35 years, Joan has been an experienced educator and nationally recognized teacher trainer. She has authored multiple literacy professional development programs, including The Key Comprehension Routine, The Key Vocabulary Routine, Keys to Content Writing, Keys to Early Writing, and Keys to Close Reading. Beginning in 1975, she worked for 23 years at the Landmark School, a pioneer in the development of literacy intervention programs. As a teacher, principal, and director of the Outreach Teacher Training Program at Landmark, Joan developed expertise, methods, and instructional programs that address the literacy needs of students in grades K-12. Joan was one of the three lead trainers in MA for the Reading First Program and is a LETRS author and trainer. She is also an adjunct instructor at Endicott College. Joan received her M.Ed. in Reading from Harvard University and her B.A. from Boston College.


Keys to Academic Vocabulary Instruction

This workshop will provide instructional suggestions for teaching a combination of direct and indirect instructional practices that have been identified consistently in the research as most effective for growing student vocabulary in any subject area. The following topics will be covered:

  • Activities for previewing vocabulary before reading

  • Four activities for teaching words by relating them to background knowledge and related words

  • Selecting specific words from content to teach in-depth

  • Using vocabulary templates to learn everything about an academic word

  • Using word parts to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words


Keys to Close Reading

Close reading means figuring out what a text says by thinking critically about the words and ideas in the text. It is sometimes described as deep readingreading like a detective, or dissecting text. Most students need explicit instruction for how to read text closely, and educators can provide this instruction by planning and conducting close reading lessons. During the workshop, participants learn how to plan and conduct a close reading lesson. The following topics will be covered:

  • Definition and characteristics of a close reading lesson

  • Planning a close reading text: how to select sample text, analyze text complexity, generate questions, plan think aloud

  • Generating text-dependent questions

  • Stages of a close reading lesson


CONFERENCE FEES* (Lunch and refreshments included):
$95 Standard Registration
$80 IDA/LDA Member
$50 Student
$75 Group Registration  (5+ teachers from one district or school)

* All profits go to the SC Public Library Dyslexia Bag Project.

Register at

Earlier Event: November 1
Lunch & Learn