Two-day Summer Conference

LEARN, PLAN, & REJUVENATE

For students to succeed with today’s rigorous comprehension standards, it will take more than read-alouds and class discussions. Real mastery comes when educators use explicit instruction to teach core thinking skills that can be applied to any text.

When you join Kristina Smekens for CompCON, you’ll learn how to make your whole-class instruction more explicit and more engaging. Plus, we’ve set aside time for you to plan how and when you will teach the core comprehension standards for your grade level.

When the conference is over, you’ll walk away rejuvenated and ready for the new year. That’s because you will be armed with a yearlong playbook for teaching comprehension, along with the tools and motivation to put best-practice strategies into action.

Dates & Locations

VIRTUAL EVENT

Virtual & Interactive

June 21-22, 2022

IN-PERSON EVENT

French Lick, IN

June 28-29, 2022

IN-PERSON EVENT

Shipshewana, IN

July 12-13, 2022

VIRTUAL EVENT

Virtual & Interactive

July 19-20, 2022

What you will get

The Comprehension Playbook

The essential guide for teaching whole-class reading comprehension instruction

Grade-specific comprehension “plays”

Lifetime access to digital resource site

Grade-specific Comprehension Road Map

Downloadable anchor chart pieces

Support videos to help you implement

IN-PERSON EVENT

N

CompCON Kit containing everything you need for two days of fun & learning

N
Personalized support from Kristina and her team during the afternoon guided work sessions
N

Delicious breakfast, lunch, and snacks

N

High-energy atmosphere and special surprises

N

Fun evening entertainment at each venue

N

The opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle to rejuvenate your passion for teaching

N

Time to browse the bookstore of hand-selected books and resources to support your reading comprehension lessons

N

A completion certificate reflecting 11 hours of professional development

N

Lifetime access to the CompCON “Secret Site”

N

Exclusive access to online CompCON Community after the event

VIRTUAL EVENT

N

CompCON Kit shipped to you containing everything you need for two days of fun & learning

N
Personalized support from Kristina and her team during the afternoon guided work sessions
N

On-demand access to the recordings of every CompCON session through June 1, 2023

N

A completion certificate reflecting 5 – 11 hours of professional development, depending on participation

N

Lifetime access to the CompCON “Secret Site”

N

Exclusive access to online CompCON Community after the event

So much more than a conference

Whether you choose to experience CompCON in person or virtually, you will gain the knowledge and confidence you need to build stronger readers. But the CompCON experience doesn’t stop when the conference is over.

With lifetime access to the members-only “Secret Site,” Comprehension Playbook Digital Resources, and the CompCON Community, you will always have the support you need to implement what you learn.

What you will learn

DAY 1 OVERVIEW

Teach whole-class comprehension skills with explicit instruction

Kristina Smekens will kick off CompCON by highlighting the similarities between teaching reading and coaching an athletic team. Just as an athletic coach breaks down a new play, classroom teachers must provide explicit, whole-class comprehension instruction. Taking on the attitude of a comprehension “coach,” the teacher begins to equip students with a lifelong playbook of reading skills.

MORNING TRAINING SESSION:

Armed with this big-picture understanding, the primary focus of this first morning will be to learn the process for planning and teaching a single comprehension skill across an entire week.

During the morning session, Kristina will:

  • Identify a set of comprehension skills from retelling to synthesizing that honors grade-level standards and best-practice instruction.
  • Define the essential facets of every whole-class mini-lesson, including how to make lessons explicit and honor the gradual release of responsibility (i.e., I do, We do, You do).
  • Detail the explicit instructional points that must be told, taught, and modeled per comprehension skill.
  • Describe the importance of layering instruction across a multi-day mini-lesson series— targeting a new comprehension skill each week.

AFTERNOON COLLABORATION & GUIDED WORK TIME:

During the afternoon, participants will study a single comprehension skill from their playbooks (their Comprehension Playbook). This will include viewing a grade-specific video explanation, dissecting the instructional points provided, and analyzing the pieces of a corresponding anchor chart. During this focused and guided work time, teachers will have access to Kristina and her team to ask questions, seek feedback, and troubleshoot concerns.

DAY 2 OVERVIEW

Map out a year of skills, texts, and writing

Knowing which comprehension skills to teach and how to teach them is the first step. The next hurdle is to determine when to teach these priority skills. The second day of CompCON will focus on creating a yearlong map of comprehension skills that honors developmental readiness and spiraled instruction— all in order to achieve grade-level mastery.

MORNING TRAINING SESSION:

Participants will learn how to parcel out the numerous instructional points per comprehension skill and plot them to spiral across the year within 3-4 instructional rounds.

CompCON attendees will learn how to:

  • Launch the first weeks of their whole-class comprehension instruction.
  • Spiral their yearlong comprehension skills to build on one another and advance thinking from simplistic to complex.
  • Choose text to maximize teaching time in every comprehension lesson.
  • Weave in weekly writing-about-reading instruction to prepare students for standardized assessment expectations.

AFTERNOON COLLABORATION & GUIDED WORK TIME:

With this deeper understanding, teachers will spend part of the afternoon studying a suggested scope and sequence to then determine how they might revise it to fit their unique district needs. In addition, teachers will begin to list the texts that they will utilize for specific comprehension lessons throughout the year. During this focused and guided work time, Kristina and her team will again be available to answer questions, provide feedback, and troubleshoot concerns.

Get hands-on support

Ever been to a workshop and wished you had time to process the content and plan out your instruction? At CompCON, that’s exactly what you’ll get. 

During the guided work times, we will lead you through the planning of your reading comprehension instruction. With the help of the Smekens team, there’s no need to wonder if you’re doing it right—you will leave with a clear plan, fully mapped out!

Who should attend?

CompCON is for everyone who teaches comprehension!

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K-6 General Education Teachers
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Literacy Coaches & Coordinators

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6-12 Language Arts Teachers
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High-Ability Teachers

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Principals & Assistant Principals

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K-12 Curriculum Directors

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K-12 Special Education Teachers
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ELL Teachers

Your Comprehension Coach

A celebrated educator, author, and literacy consultant, Kristina Smekens has built a reputation for using enthusiasm, humor, and common sense to equip K-12 educators with simple and effective strategies for teaching reading and writing.

As president and lead consultant for Smekens Education, Kristina is constantly developing new strategies to help teachers meet the demands of today’s College and Career-Ready Standards. She shares those strategies with teachers across the United States and beyond through on-site professional development, seminars, and an always-growing pool of print, digital, and video resources.

Kristina has a gift for making the complex seem simple—for showing teachers how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and classroom-tested strategies that work.

Why Educators CompCON

See what last year’s CompCON attendees had to say.

Monica Myers, Literacy Coach
Montpelier Elementary – Montpelier, IN

In-Person Attendee

Tricia Hall, Assistant Principal
North Knox Jr./Sr. High School – Bicknell, IN

In-Person Attendee

Dr. Danielle Hickerson, K-5 ELA Coach
Clay Elementary School – Mableton, GA

Virtual Attendee

Sha Calhoun, Grades 4-8 Teacher
Pui Tak Christian School – Chicago, IL

Virtual Attendee

Jen Pugh, Grade 6 Science & Social Studies
Center Grove MS Central – Greenwood, IN

In-Person Attendee

Amanda Studer, Grade 6 Teacher
St. Raphael Catholic School – Naperville, IL

In-Person Attendee

Barbara Shepphard, Grades 6 & 8 Teacher
R.J. Baskett Middle School – Gas City, IN

Virtual Attendee
Julie Meitzler, Assistant Superintendent
Bluffton Harrison MSD – Bluffton, IN

In-Person Attendee

Mike Kosty, Grade 3 Teacher
St. Teresa of Calcutta Elementary – Windsor, ON
Virtual Attendee

register now

Space is limited at each location.

VIRTUAL EVENT

Virtual & Interactive

June 21-22, 2022

$299/person

$329 after April 1 Early Bird Deadline

IN-PERSON EVENT

French Lick, IN

June 28-29, 2022

$599/person
$649 after April 1 Early Bird Deadline

IN-PERSON EVENT

Shipshewana, IN

July 12-13, 2022
$599/person

$649 after April 1 Early Bird Deadline

VIRTUAL EVENT

Virtual & Interactive

July 19-20, 2022

$299/person

$329 after April 1 Early Bird Deadline

Save $$ when you bring a group

Receive a 10% discount when you register a group of 10 or more. Contact us to unlock special pricing for your group!

2021 Highlights

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CompCON itinerary?

All times listed are Eastern Time

DAY 1: IN-PERSON
7:00-8:00 – Registration & breakfast
8:00-9:30 – Session 1
9:30-9:45 – Break
9:45-10:30 – Session 2
10:30-10:45 – Break
10:45-11:30 – Session 3
11:30-12:30 – Lunch
12:30-3:00 – Work time / planning / collaboration
3:00-3:30 – Closing session

DAY 2: IN-PERSON
7:15-8:00 – Breakfast
8:00-9:30 – Session 4
9:30-9:45 – Break
9:45-10:30 – Session 5
10:30-10:45 – Break
10:45-11:30 – Session 6
11:30-12:30 – Lunch
12:30-2:30 – Work time / planning / collaboration
2:30-3:00 – Closing session


DAY 1: VIRTUAL
9:00-9:45 – Live opening session
9:45-10:30 – Session 1
10:30-10:45 – Break
10:45-11:30 – Session 2
11:30-11:45 – Break
11:45-12:30 – Session 3
12:30-1:30 – Lunch
1:30-4:00 – Work time / planning / collaboration
4:00-4:30 – Live closing session

DAY 2: VIRTUAL
9:00-9:15 – Live opening session
9:15-10:30 – Session 4
10:30-10:45 – Break
10:45-11:30 – Session 5
11:30-11:45 – Break
11:45-12:30 – Session 6
12:30-1:30 – Lunch
1:30-3:30 – Work time / planning / collaboration
3:30-4:00 – Live Closing session

What's included when I attend CompCON in person?

Beyond two days of fun, high-energy sessions, CompCON In-Person attendees will also receive:

  • CompCON Kit containing everything you need for two days of fun & learning
  • Grade-specific Comprehension Playbook with digital resource site
  • Support from Kristina and her team during the afternoon work sessions
  • Breakfast, lunch, & snacks both days
  • Lots of fun, entertainment, and special surprises
  • A completion certificate reflecting 11 hours of professional development
  • Lifetime access to the CompCON “Secret Site”
  • Exclusive access to online CompCON Community after the event
What's included when I attend CompCON virtually?

Beyond two days of fun, high-energy sessions, CompCON Virtual attendees will also receive:

  • A CompCON Kit shipped to you containing everything you need for two days of fun & learning. (No extra shipping charge for U.S. residents. International registrants will incur additional shipping charges).
  • Grade-specific Comprehension Playbook with digital resource site
  • Support from Kristina and her team during the afternoon work sessions
  • On-demand access to the recordings of every CompCON session through June 1, 2023
  • A completion certificate reflecting 5 – 11 hours of professional development, depending on participation
  • Lifetime access to the CompCON “Secret Site”
  • Exclusive access to online CompCON Community after the event
Can I earn Continuing Education Credit?

With prior approval from the attendee’s school district, participants may receive professional development credit for participating in CompCON (In-person: 11 hours, Virtual: 5 – 11 hours depending on participation). After the conference concludes, attendees will be awarded a Certificate of Participation which can be used to verify attendance.

Visit our Continuing Education Credit page for more information about how this workshop fulfills your state’s unique continuing education requirements.

Can I earn Graduate-Level Units?

For an additional fee of $62 per credit/unit, CompCON attendees are eligible to pursue 1-4 graduate-level university semester credit units from the University of the Pacific, Center for Professional Development and Continuing Education. Please check with your district to determine course acceptability.

Do you offer a group discount?

Yes! For groups of 10 or more, take 10% off the current registration fee. Contact us for special pricing and arrangements.

How can I convince my administrator to let me attend?
Download and edit this Word Document to share with your administrator the benefits of attending CompCON!
I attended last year. Should I go again?

We would love to have you back! However, the 2022 CompCON event will be essentially the same as last year’s conference. So most educators who attended in 2021 will be spreading the word, encouraging their colleagues to attend instead! However, if you are an administrator or you work closely with curriculum, you may want to return with a group of educators attending from your school/district.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations of in-person attendance can occur up to 10 days prior to the workshop. In such cases, a refund, minus up to 5% transaction fees, will be available. Cancellations occurring less than 10 days prior to the in-person workshop do not qualify for any refund.

For virtual/interactive registrants, cancellations can occur at any time prior to the shipment of the CompCON Kit. In such cases, a refund, minus up to 5% transaction fees, will be available. After the Kit has been shipped, cancellations do not qualify for a refund.  Substitutions may occur at any time.

If you need to cancel your registration, please submit your request to workshops@smekenseducation.com.

CompCON 2021: a comprehension conference for K-12 educators

Don’t miss the biggest event of the summer!

Have a Question?

Complete the form below or call (888) 376-0448.