Sheri Hamlow and Marni Graveline attended the LDA (Learning Disabilities Association) Conference in Fort Worth, Texas the week of February 18-21, 2019. Besides attending phenomenal educational sessions, Sheri and Marni presented one of ARK’s products – Word Shapes. Their presentation was in a Table Talk format, which provided opportunities for the presenters to share and discuss their research, programs, ideas and products in an informal and interactive setting. This conference was Marni and Sheri’s first time attending, and they were unfamiliar with the Table Talk format. However, they quickly adapted their presentation materials to this informal setting.
Sheri created a welcoming table with Word Shapes that were proudly displayed. Marni was her “Vanna White,” to borrow a Wheel of Fortune name, and helped pass out materials and ask clarifying questions. Within the one hour time frame, attendees chose three Table Talk presentations from a selection of 12. Every 20 minutes attendees heard a soft chime, and then they rotated to their next presentation. Sheri and Marni were fortunate enough to have a variety of attendees at all three of their presentations. The teachers loved the concept of Word Shapes, which is a hands-on learning experience that teaches grammar. There was some jovial discussions about diagramming sentences and how Word Shapes reminded them of how they enjoyed that task (or hated it), and were intrigued by the 3-D nature of Word Shapes. Teachers agreed that it was a great way to help struggling (and non-struggling) students learn grammar and sentence structure. There were many comments about the endless possibilities of creating and expanding their own writing skills.
Marni and Sheri learned that presenting on the Monday or Tuesday would capture the most attendees, instead of the late Wednesday afternoon timeslot when a large percentage of attendees were returning home. Marni and Sheri were able to talk and share with several people before they left the conference. Connections were definitely made over the course of the conference and Words Shapes will be in the minds of many!