CompCON 2021: a comprehension conference for K-12 educators

French Lick Resort | June 18-19, 2024

Overview      Schedule       What You Get       Highlights

Reading Comprehension Conference

Preparing students to master the standards for reading comprehension requires explicit, skill-based instruction. During the 2-day CompCON event at the French Lick Resort, you’ll gain the methods, materials, and motivation you need to take your skill-based comprehension instruction from good to great.


Gain classroom-tested guidance on how to lead standards-based reading comprehension mini-lessons using strategies that are explicit and engaging.


Utilize guided work time to develop a deeper understanding of the reading comprehension skills for your grade level and how to teach those skills all year long.


Experience two days of fun in a motivating environment—AND relevant PD that will equip you with strategies to start next school year with confidence.

Join us this summer at the French Lick Resort!

French Lick Springs Resort

French Lick, IN

June 18-19, 2024


Rates increase to $649 on April 1, 2024

Groups of 10+ receive a 10% discount. Contact us to learn more.

Can’t make it to French Lick?

Attend our virtual interactive CompCON on June 11-12.

Two days of fun and learning

CompCON Schedule

All times listed are Eastern Time

Day One – June 18

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Registration and breakfast

8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Grade-level skills

9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Lesson planning

10:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Guided work time

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Catered lunch

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Text selection

1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Guided work time

3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Closing session

Day Two – June 19

7:15 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Catered breakfast

8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

First lessons

9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Schedule adjustments

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Scope & sequence

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Catered lunch

12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Guided work time

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Read-write instruction

2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Closing session

What you will learn during CompCON


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.

Professional Development Focus

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 first day, Kristina Smekens will:

  • Identify a set of comprehension skills from retelling to synthesizing that honors college and career-ready standards, grade-level expectations, and best-practice instruction.
  • Detail the explicit instructional points that must be told, taught, and modeled for every week’s comprehension skill.
  • Model how to use The Playbook to craft a week-long series of comprehension mini-lessons that honor the gradual release of responsibility (i.e., I do, We do, You do).
  • Explain the process for selecting text excerpts to maximize teaching time in every whole-class comprehension lesson.

Collaboration & Guided Work Time

During guided work time, you’ll study the print and digital resources for your grade-specific set of yearlong comprehension skills. Then you’ll practice pairing your own texts with Playbook lessons. During this focused collaboration time, you will have access to Kristina and her team to ask questions, seek feedback, and troubleshoot concerns.

Supporting Teachers at CompCON Reading Comprehension Conference

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!


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 reveal how to use a week-by-week approach to introduce new grade-level comprehension skills while continuing to practice skills previously taught.

Professional Development Focus

Whether you follow the provided scope and sequence or a district-required one, day two of CompCON examines when individual comprehension skills are taught across the year.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Launch the first weeks of whole-class comprehension lessons from The Comprehension Playbook while growing reader stamina and establishing independent routines.
  • Analyze your daily schedule to fit “everything” into the reading block or class period.
  • Spiral yearlong comprehension instruction to gradually release from I-do lessons to You-do assignments and assessments.
  • Weave into reading instruction a weekly write-about-reading lesson that complements the broader writer’s workshop and prepares students for standardized test expectations.

Collaboration & Guided Work Time

With this deeper understanding, you’ll utilize guided work time to identify beginning-of-the-year texts to read and essential reading-response skills to teach. In addition, participants will determine their most important takeaways and prioritize their next steps. While working independently or with a group, Kristina and her team will again be available to answer questions, provide feedback, and troubleshoot concerns.

What you will get when you attend CompCON at French Lick

Professional Resources


A grade-specific copy of The Comprehension Playbook and a website of digital resources to support implementation


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


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


A completion certificate reflecting 11 hours of professional development


Lifetime access to the CompCON “Secret Site”

CompCON Kit
CompCON French Lick after hours entertainment

A fun learning experience


Delicious breakfast, lunch, and snacks each day to fuel your learning


Fun evening entertainment featuring music, dancing, and games


High-energy atmosphere and special surprises designed to rekindle your passion for teaching


The opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle and feel pampered as you recharge for another school year


Time to browse the on-site bookstore to purchase discounted resources to support your reading comprehension lessons

So much more than a conference

When you attend CompCON in French Lick 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” and Comprehension Playbook Digital Resources, you will always have the support you need to implement what you learn.

How to get to the French Lick Resort

Located in the scenic Hoosier National Forest, French Lick is less than a half day's journey from many Midwestern cities.

Louisville, KY

1 hour 15 minutes

Indianapolis, IN

2 hours

Cincinnati, OH

3 hours

Nashville, TN

3 hours 15 minutes

St. Louis, MO

3 hours 30 minutes

Chicago, IL

5 hours

Experience the French Lick Resort

French Lick Hotel spa

Historic Hotel

Enjoy old-world charm blended with modern, luxurious amenities that will make you feel like royalty.

Relaxing Spa

Unwind at The Spa with a massage, facial, or other signature treatments that are sure to rejuvenate you.

Delectable Dining

Choose from fine dining, casual sit-down restaraunts, along with grab-and-go-options.

Fun Shopping

Stroll through the shops to browse clothing, home decor, or a gift for yourself or a loved one.

Delightful Pools

Take a dip in one indoor pool and two outdoor pools, along with a hot tub and lots of space for soaking up the sun.

Endless Exploration

Hop on the trolley and access more than 3,200 scenic acres, including the remarkable West Baden Springs Hotel.

Reserve your room today

French Lick Springs Hotel Room

French Lick Springs Hotel

Traditional Guest Room: $185/night
(Single or Double Occupancy)

Click the button below and enter:

Group Code: 0624SME
Password: 0624SME

Room block expires May 28, 2024

Bring your family to the French Lick Resort

From bowling to horseback riding to swimming, there is no shortage of family-friendly fun at the French Lick Resort.

French Lick Hotel spa
French Lick Springs Hotel Outdoor Pool 2
The Donald Ross Golf Course

Who should attend CompCON?

A group of teachers at CompCON Reading Comprehension Conference

CompCON is for everyone who teaches comprehension!

K-6 General Education Teachers

Literacy Coaches & Coordinators

6-12 Language Arts Teachers

High-Ability Teachers


Principals & Assistant Principals


K-12 Curriculum Directors

K-12 Special Education Teachers
ELL Teachers

CompCON Presenter: Kristina Smekens

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.

Why educators CompCON

See what past CompCON attendees had to say.

Amy Linkel, Director of Learning Switzerland County School Corp. – Vevay, IN
Avani Samal, Teacher American School of Bombay – Mumbai, India
Phil Shults, Principal Northwest Middle School – Indianapolis, IN

Shari Switzer, Curriculum Director
North West Hendricks School Corp. – Indianapolis, IN

Nancy Brown, Teacher Tilden Hogge Elementary School – Morehead, KY
Jael Carnell, Teacher Turning Point Schools – Indianapolis, IN
Joy Yurk, Teacher St. Paul Lutheran School – Grafton, WI

Audra Locklear, Principal
Connie Alderman, Teacher
Triad Baptist Christian Academy – Kernersville, NC

Keith Young, Teacher Northwest Middle School – Indianapolis, IN

Frequently asked questions

What's included with my registration?

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.”
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: up to 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’ve attended before. Should I go again?
We would love to have you back! Now that you have utilized The Comprehension Playbook, you better understand its facets. And although you will hear essentially the same session content at CompCON this summer, you are in a different mental space now. Consequently, you will likely have many ahas revisiting the information a second time. And, if you attended virtually before, attending the in-person conference would allow you to experience collegial collaboration as well as have in-person access to the Smekens team during guided work times.
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

CompCON Reading Comprehension Conference

Don’t miss the biggest event of the summer!

Kristina Smekens helping a teacher

Have a Question?

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