Adult Education & Literacy Conference

Getting Back in the Game

October 24-25, 2022

Moore Norman Technology Center
13301 S Penn, OKC

Register for only $30!

Keynote Address: Monday, 9:45 am-11:00 pm

Joni O'Neil

Inviting Calm and Managing Overwhelm

Many people have heard of the ‘Fight or Flight’ response but are not clear on the details. The purpose of this presentation is to help people understand both sides of their autonomic nervous system and the power they have to activate their ‘Rest and Heal’ response. When our Parasympathetic nervous system is activated, we have greater ability to be present, aware and manage our thought processes. Participants will learn how to activate their ‘rest and heal’ response and see their brain in a way that separates them from the immediate intensity of their emotion. They will learn how thoughts, feelings and actions interact to create results and gain techniques and strategies to make choices from an authentic place that lead to the results they are seeking. For most people this includes the desire to feel calm, competent and or confident in their situation. When we are feeling calm and confident our ability to lead, teach and connect with others is tremendously improved!

Click on photos to watch a video of the presenter(s) describing the session.

Presentations are sorted within each section by presenters' last name.

Session 1: Monday, 11:15 am-12:30 pm

Ebooks & Reluctant Readers: To Engage or Not To Engage

The ability to read is a pronounced gatekeeper for access to learning and success in the workplace and life. However, many students are reluctant readers who either do not like to read or have trouble with reading as seen in their academic performance (NAEP, National Center for Education Statistics, 2019).

You will learn from our successes and our mistakes from a two year study of teaching preservice teacher candidates how to help (tutor 1:1) 1-6th grade children who were struggling with ELA/Reading skills.
1. Teacher reluctance to try new innovative ideas and properly use technology can be the hindrance.
2. Everyone learns at a different pace and scripted curriculum does not allow for much differentiation if at all.
3. Open discuss and exchange of ideas on what type of literature to use for improvement of literacy skills in the classroom and how to engage parents in the process.

Elevate Your Instruction and Take Your Students to the Next Level!

Today, more than ever, adult learners need to acquire English language proficiency, digital literacy and workplace readiness skills to achieve their academic and career goals. In this collaborative session, you and your colleagues will use Burlington English to explore a variety of useful resources and relevant activities to engage your students, encourage persistence, and promote learning gains. Whether you’re new to Burlington or a veteran user, you will walk away with practical strategies and innovative ideas that will elevate your instruction and take your students to the next level.

Tina Herndon

Train the Trainer: Five Steps to Financial Success

We all measure financial success differently, but all paths to get there require discipline and goals. This session teaches participants ways to financial control—including developing a spending plan, creating objectives, weighing insurance needs and other tools that will help get on the road to personal financial success. Financial First

Joni O'Neil

Adding the Coach Approach to Teaching

In this workshop, participants have the opportunity to go deeper into the process of self-coaching and learn how to use these techniques to inspire, encourage and invite their adult students into ownership of their own learning process and experience. Coach Joni O will share the Coaching Circle process for body and mind management with emphasis on thought management and student engagement. By implementing motivational interviewing techniques and tools teachers can empower their students and improve their chances for success. This process and these techniques are beneficial both inside and outside of the classroom!

Marcus Ripp

TABE Workforce Readiness and Reporting

This session will explore how TABE 11 & 12 is now aligned to over 500 of the Bright Outlook careers posted in the US Department of Labor's Occupational Network (O*Net). This session will cover DRC's TABE Workforce Portal and Reporting System and TABE 11 & 12's link to O*Net. Attendees will discover new ways to leverage student data to inform instruction and assist students with making career choices based on student performance data with TABE. Additionally, attendees will review the newest updates to the TABE family of assessments and provide Best Practices collected from Adult Educations programs across the country.

Saeed Sarani

Impact of Adult Education on Workforce

We will focus on a seamless partnership between adult education and the workforce. The presentation shares the national and statewide statistical impact data and draws a robust action plan on sustainability in the partnership.

Partners in Crime... READING!

I've been guilty of overselling reading. Have you? It's tempting to talk about the virtues of reading and how much pleasure it can bring, forgetting that our adult learners don't feel included and may even feel resentful listening to us. This presentation will introduce you to a pilot project titled "Reading Partners" in which adult readers and teachers/tutors were paired to explore libraries around the metro area and find something they could read together.

You'll hear the actual words of individual adult learners (ABE and ESL) and find out what books they chose to read with their partners. You'll also be introduced to the details of the pilot project and what we learned. Were we still guilty of the crime of overselling reading? You be the judge!

Kara Robinson

Psychology of Money

For Adult Learners. Each person has a money personality that influences their spending and saving decisions. You will learn how to recognize negative financial habits and attitudes and change them into productive ones.

Session 2: Monday, 1:45 pm-3:00 pm

7-Sentence Argumentative Essays that Pass: Part 1

This class is two sessions. In Part One, participants will be introduced to a writing process that outlines the 7-sentence pattern for the argumentative essay. Students can remember the 7 types of sentences with a simple mnemonic that represents the 7 steps of the process. The process of creating two 7-sentence essays will be illustrated in support of each of the opposing sides in a debate. Videos with these same examples are freely available to use as teaching tools for students, and the whole process is Zoom and Google Meet friendly, too.

In Part Two, we will examine essays written by real students and discuss scoring students' work and how to guide students in the critical thinking necessary to improve their essays.

AJ Crowell & Beth Williams

Take Your Distance Education Offerings to the Next Level

Join us for a look at the brand-new Distance Education Guide from Essential Education! This FREE tool was designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and action steps to move your adult education program forward.

Filled with activities, evaluations, and space for reflection and deep learning, each unit provides instruction in current research, best practices, and tools that will enhance your teaching and administration. Plan to join us for an interactive look at the key concepts of this guide and a walkthrough of some of the many ways it can be practically implemented on your own or with a cohort.

Teaching Digital Literacy Basics to Adults

It is almost impossible to participate in modern society without basic digital literacy skills: nearly every facet of our lives involves some sort of interaction via a computer, tablet, or smartphone. In this presentation you’ll learn strategies for teaching a range of digital literacy skills to adults. In fact, the most important takeaway for your students may be something you haven’t even thought about as a “digital literacy” skill at all! Join one of Pioneer Library System’s digital literacy instructors in this exploration of how you can best help adult learners develop these critical skills, enabling them to confidently use their digital devices to access, interact with, and stay safe in the computer-driven world we now live in.

Utilizing OKCareerGuide for Adult Learners and Special Populations

The purpose of this session is to inform stakeholders of the benefits adult learners can take away by utilizing the free career development online tool, OKCareerGuide. Resources in OKCareerGuide include career assessments, occupation exploration, resume and cover letter development, and additional resources. We will also discuss the diverse needs that come with assisting all populations, including but not limited to individuals with disabilities, English Learners, nontraditional students, out-of-workforce, military, and economically disadvantaged.

Sarah Moore & Eric Beecher

Your First ESL IET? Start Where You Are

The core of the presentation will cover each of the phases we used in the process of creating our first ESL IET. The presentation will begin with the research that led to the selection of our area of focus. Next, you will hear the details of the design phase. This is a critical stage in the process, so at this point in the presentation, we will share relevant tips and advice based on our experience. The implementation and evaluation phases will be the final topics covered. You will hear how we started and finished each cohort during FY21, a detailed account of adjustments made along the way, what we learned, and how we evaluated the process. The final part of our presentation will be an evaluative activity to empower you to start where you are!

Corie Ramirez

Teaching the Skills That Matter in Adult Education

The Teaching the Skills That Matter in Adult Education project (TSTM) trains teachers to integrate the skills that matter to adult students using approaches that work across critical topics. Using the project's tools and training, adult education teachers can teach the transferable skills students need in these critical contexts.

Teri Walker

Outcome Management Using Literacy Nimbus and Salesforce

Collecting the information needed to drive better outcome reporting shouldn’t be painful. This session will demonstrate how to clearly display robust outcomes for stakeholders and students using Literacy Nimbus, an app built on Salesforce™. Topics include: tracking students’ personal goals; longitudinal reporting; achieving skills; using prerequisites; coding qualitative results for quantitative reporting; and tracking and scheduling any assessment.

Critical Thinking and How to Apply It in Everything You Do

For Adult Learners. During this presentation attendees will be able overcome current issues in their everyday lives by applying the 4 steps of critical thinking. By thinking critically, you can present your thoughts in an organized manner. The first step to critical thinking is identifying the issues. Most times when utilize this step we discover that the issue can be resolved by simply looking at the issue from a different perspective. If we cannot resolve the issue by looking at it from a different perspective, then we should move on to step 2-4. Step 2-4 allows us to make the best decision to overcome any obstacle that we may be facing. As lifelong learners, understanding how an issue affects us will not only make us better learners but also, better teachers.

Session 3: Monday, 3:15 pm-4:30 pm

Letha Bauter

Journey to Enrollment (in Adult Education Classes)

Journey to a student's enrollment in your AEFL program. What keeps a student from attending classes? This session will look at barriers a student has to enrollment and employment. We will consider ways that we can address students’ needs and address the barriers they may have. The session will also address resources, community, poverty, behavior, and skills. Attendees will come away with resources and thoughts to increase student enrollment.

7-Sentence Argumentative Essays that Pass: Part 2

This class is two sessions. Refer to Session 2 for class description.

Susan Bohl

Strategies to Help Stop the Great Resignation

Come hear how OKIE811 maintained an incredibly high retention rate during the Great Resignation period. Susan will share strategies that were implemented along the way which helped cultivate trust and engagement with employees.

Don't Teach Them, Let Them Learn

You will learn to be creative in your approach to learners. It is a process of breaking down the barriers between prospective learners and certified tutors. I will explore the various ways to recognize these barriers and overcome the preconceived notions held by both learner and tutor to clear the way for effective learning. There will also be an open discussion to brainstorm ideas.


Amy McCready

Four Cs of Retaining Students

This session will investigate creative, time proven methods to retain students in your program at a higher level.

Christopher Myers & Tina Aniebok

How to Best Utilize Critical Thinking Exercises with Adult Learners

Who are the adult learners? The efficiency of instruction delivered to this target audience is heavily dependent on the ability to accurately answer this question. Join us and learn not only WHO the adult learners are, but WHY they gravitate towards critical thinking exercises and HOW to best implement such strategies into your classroom.

Keeping up with Essential Education - Season 2022

This session will provide a brief update on many new and exciting projects at Essential Education.

1. New Courses - Digital Literacy and Employability Soft Skills are buzzwords for the season. We will demonstrate how students can improve their digital literacy skills and learn the soft skills necessary to get and keep employment by using our new Computer and Work Essentials courses.
2. New ABE and HSE Course Features – We will demonstrate four new course features including how to access our new TI-30XS Calculator lessons and how to quickly toggle between English and Spanish from the Student's Home Room.
3. New Partnerships – The details of our partnership with DRC and how TABE® Test Scores are imported into the Essential Education Learner Management System are not to be missed.

Rebecca Barker

Celebrating My Writing Journey!

For Adult Learners. Description coming soon.

Session 4: Tuesday, 9:00 am-10:15 am

Back to Basics: Adult Learning Theory & Differentiated Instruction

Understanding how adults learn is crucial for effective design and implementation of your adult education curriculum. This presentation will review the fundamentals of Adult Learning Theory and makes connections with theory using differentiated instruction. These connections can improve your instruction as well as improve student engagement and learning. This presentation is interactive, and hopefully entertaining!

Easy Test Prep for Reading, Social Studies, & Science

Participants will be introduced to the “I’m Not Afraid…Anymore!” foldables for Reading, Social Studies, and Science. Each participant will receive one sample foldable for each subject with the opportunity to fold and cut them like the students. The skills in each of the sample foldables will be followed up with specific HiSET® practice test questions to practice the skills presented. Participants will also be given free access to correlations for the skills taught in the foldables for each subject to the HiSET® practice tests.

Jonna Forsyth

Supporting Student Success with GED!

In this session, you will learn how to use free and reduced cost resources from GED Testing Service to support your students from their first test, to their last, including Educator resources from our website, free practice tests, GED Works!, and free access to GED Manager for Adult Educators.. Before we conclude, you will learn more about how to support students beyond the exam, looking forward to further career development.

WIOA - Employment and Training

The Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federally funded education and training program. This workshop will provide information about the opportunities available for adults and young adults (ages 16-24). We have funding to assist with tuition/fees, books, tools, uniforms, equipment, and testing fees. You will learn about the different programs and schools that are available. You will also learn about the employment opportunities available through our work experience and on the job training programs. All of our services are provided at no cost to you.

Build Your Brand Without Breaking Your Bank: Part 1

This class is two sessions. Building brand awareness for an organization/business can be a complex and expensive process. However, equipped with the B.R.A.N.D. System, you will learn to define what truly drives your organization, how your operational and marketing decisions can be laser-focused, and the people you serve will remember and advocate for you.

In Part 1, you will learn the Bs and the Ds that frame your brand story, which will inspire and guide future operational and marketing decisions.

In Part 2, you will learn how to create core strategies that allows the people are reaching to experience your brand in a memorable way.

Cover All Your Bases with Accessibility!

15-20% of people worldwide have some form of disability that impacts how they use the Web versus someone who is fully able-bodied. In this session, you will learn what digital accessibility means and begin to learn what plays to use to cover all your bases and reach everyone you teach! You will receive first-hand practice with a keyboard accessibility demonstration and learn how common websites and documents can present issues for individuals with visual, hearing, cognitive, learning, or physical disabilities.

You will also learn about the services that Oklahoma ABLE Tech provides beyond digital accessibility. We are the team you need to learn more about disabilities and how to change the experiences of those who have disabilities using game-changing assistive technology!

Jesús Ramirez

Overview of the Naturalization Process: Eligibility Requirements

You will return to your classroom with answers for your students after learning the steps to achieve naturalization.

Using Color Vowel® for Pronunciation: Part 1

This class is two sessions. Do you want a more interactive way to confidently teach pronunciation? Join me for an introduction to Color Vowel®, an approach supported by brain-based research, which can be quickly and effectively integrated into your lessons. “The color Vowel Chart® is a visual organizer for spoken English. Each color represents a vowel sound” -

Using Color Vowel with your ESL learners will give them the confidence and ability to...
1) unlock new brain pathways for sound awareness,
2) actively analyze and produce spoken English,
3) practice pronunciation independently.

“If Listen and Repeat were an effective way to teach pronunciation, then we would all be able to speak a foreign language.” - Karen Taylor, co-founder of The Color Vowel Approach®

Session 5: Tuesday, 10:30 am-11:45 am

Alan Dale

Motivating Your Students During Challenging Times

This presentation will look at the characteristics of the adult learner and the challenge in getting those students to complete their educational goals. This presentation will explore what is our role as educators and how can we best serve our students and our programs. This presentation will be highly interactive in discussion and sharing of best practices.


Leslie Gelders

Getting Back in the Game with Grant Writing

Writing a funding proposal is like playing a game of basketball. You're competing against other players, determining a strategy, following the time allotted, and can be thrown out of the game if you don't follow the rules.

Following just a few simple steps can help you make it to the finals for grant awards. This interactive session will help you understand easy ways to make your proposals stand out and be noticed. While you may not get a championship ring, you may get much needed funding for your program.

Representative Brian Hill

Sarah Stitt Act

In this session, you will learn about the Sarah Stitt Act. We will discuss the:

• the act's history and how it came about,
• what it entails, specifically what corrections teachers would need to be aware of,
• the estimated results (numbers and percentages) in terms of recidivism and money saved on those who are successful,
• the results expected, and
• other aspects that are important regarding this act.

Language Learning with Literature

You will learn from an adult ESL educator about their successful experience teaching advanced English through reading a fiction novel as a virtual class. Reimagining language teaching beyond traditional manners has the potential to create engaging, meaningful, and unforgettable classroom content and moments.

Build Your Brand Without Breaking Your Bank: Part 2

This class is two sessions. Refer to Session 4 for class description.

Christina Miller

Understanding TABE 11/12 and CASAS to Make Level-to-Level Gains

This session will provide information on TABE 11/12 and CASAS and how the challenges of the tests translate into classroom goals and advancing Educational Functioning Levels (EFL) resulting in gains for post-test scores. We will analyze the AE-College and Career Readiness Standards used to build the test questions on both TABE 11/12 and CASAS. This session will provide a guided, detailed analysis of the breakdown of the domains, categories and skills assessed. Learn how to target the skills needed to make the NRS level-to-level gains that are critical for performance-based funding and that translate into classroom instruction. Participants will preview both A Tutor™ for TABE® and A Tutor™ for CASAS® series that focus on targeted instruction.

Using Color Vowel® for Pronunciation: Part 2

This class is two sessions. Refer to Session 4 for class description.

Elizabeth (Liz) Willner

Adding JOY to Reading with Your Children

For Adult Learners. In this session, adult learners will be introduced to JOYful ways to read picture books with children. We will work on how to choose books, how to practice reading books, and how to make reading time enJOYable for you and your children. Yes, you CAN read aloud with your children!

Kayla Woodberry & Kathy Gooding

Unite Us: Collaborating To Meet Community Needs

This session will give an overview of Unite Us, a coordinated-care network providing access to needed resources in the state of Oklahoma. During this session, you will: --Learn the history of Unite Us in Oklahoma --Hear what makes this network successful --See a live demonstration of the network --Have the opportunity to become a network partner Join us to learn how to address social determinants of health at no cost in your community!

Session 6: Tuesday, 1:00 pm-2:15 pm

Rebecca Barker

Celebrating Your Learner’s Writing!

Celebrating Your Learner’s Writing
• Are you ready to learn three strategies to help your learner with writing?
• Are you ready to help your learner write and inspire others?
• Are you ready to encourage your learner to write a story for Volume 13 of Celebrating
Our Journey?

This is the workshop for you!

Learn techniques that will help your leaner improve reading, writing, and critical thinking skills and become a published author at the same time. The workshop will provide ideas to help your learner consider a topic for his story, organize his thoughts, put the thoughts on paper, review the story, and submit the story for publication.

Celebrating Our Journey is published every other year and all authors as well as their instructors will receive a free copy. This is one opportunity you don’t want to miss!

Critical Thinking and How to Apply It in Everything You Do

During this presentation attendees will be able overcome current issues in their everyday lives by applying the 4 steps of critical thinking. By thinking critically you can present your thoughts in an organized manner. The first step to critical thinking is identifying the issues. Most times when utilize this step we discover that the issue can be resolved by simply looking at the issue from a different perspective. If we cannot resolve the issue by looking at it from a different perspective, then we should move on to step 2-4. Step 2-4 allows us to make the best decision to overcome any obstacle that we may be facing. As lifelong learners, understanding how an issue affects us will not only make us better learners but also, better teachers.

From the Big Chair: Change Management to Guide Your Program

So you're in the big chair, now what? When leaders lead well, they make it look effortless. But it isn't. Leadership costs, and leadership is heavy. Whether you are leading a business, a division, a team or a classroom, navigating change management is vital to your success as a confident and visionary leader.

Open Minds Tutor Training Online

Did you know ODL's Open Minds Tutor Training is now available online? Potential tutors can now work through the training on their own time and at their own pace. This online version is free for all Oklahoma literacy organizations that use the Open Minds training. Come learn more about this option for getting tutors trained and into the field.

Andrea Miller

Wrongful Conviction Cases in Oklahoma

In recent years the problem of wrongful convictions has been at the forefront pop culture. In this presentation you will learn the realities of wrongful conviction cases, who gets wrongfully convicted, and what the Oklahoma Innocence Project is doing about it.

Christina Miller

Teaching Skills That Impact GED® Test Scores

Data from GED® testing gives us insight into what skills we need to focus on that will impact your learners’ test performance. Join us for a close look at the High Impact Indicators compiled by GED® Testing Service that highlight foundational skills and specific critical thinking skills. These High Impact Indicators focus on each subject on the GED® Test and have been included in our newest GED® series. Teacher will learn what to look for in their students’ work and be able to address those skills identified as useful in building curriculum that will impact student scores on the GED® Test. We will also review using active teaching techniques to build critical thinking skills.

Rhythm and Chants with Color Vowel®

Do you want a quick glimpse into a Level 2 Color Vowel course? Join me for a fun and rhythmic use of Color Vowel®, a pronunciation approach supported by brain-based research, which can be quickly and effectively integrated into your lessons. No musical training necessary, just be willing to try and keep a beat and play with words and phrases. Using rhythm and chants with your ESL learners will give them the confidence and ability to...1) bypass Broca’s area (language part of the brain) to hear and make English sounds, 2) use the rhythm of English to be comprehensible, 3) practice words and phrases independently. “Using musical reinforcement of language helps learners bypass Broca’s area and create a foundation for automaticity of speech.” - Karen Taylor, co-founder of The Color Vowel Approach®

Are you ready to suit up?

Registration is only $30!