July 31, 2014

Consulting Services

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With six shifts and thirty-two national standards in literacy, schools are in the uncomfortable position of figuring out where to begin implementing the Common Core: What do these standards say? How do they fit with your priorities for literacy instruction? What professional development will you need?  Are your curricula aligned and, if so, how well are they aligned?

Education is undergoing rapid change. With almost forty years of combined experience as educators, we are committed to closely examining the changing educational landscape. We are poised to be your common sense guide through the Common Core, holding closely to balanced perspectives on literacy instruction.

We invite you to join us daily as we share information, perspectives, and ideas that will both inform and inspire as you journey into the next era of literacy education.  We also want you to use this site as your sounding board for questions and concerns about the Common Core. Share your most pressing questions today so that we can be sure to address what is foremost on your mind!


Jan Miller Burkins

Jan Miller Burkins is a bestselling author for the International Reading Association. She attended the University of Kansas where she earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in reading. Jan was an elementary school teacher for seven years and an elementary literacy coach for six years. She has worked as a part-time assistant professor at the University of Georgia, and has published three books about literacy and literacy coaching. Her latest book, Preventing Misguided Reading, was co-authored by Reading Recovery teacher Melody Croft, and was instantly an IRA bestseller. As the founder of Literacyhead.com, Jan works with a team of educators and artists who collaborate with children’s book authors and illustrators to create instructional materials that use visual art to engage children in reading and writing. Currently, Jan is a full-time writer, editor, and consultant. Her work includes speaking engagements, presentations at conferences, professional learning support for school districts, and curriculum development for schools and other agencies working to improve the literacy learning of children. You can learn more about Jan’s work at janburkins.com


Kim Yaris HeadshotKim Yaris, an educator for 19 years, is a Literacy Consultant and the Executive Director of Literacy Builders, an online resource for lessons, reflections, and professional book reviews. In addition, Kim works as an independent literacy consultant. Her consulting calendar takes her into schools every day, facilitating teacher workshops, staff development seminars, in-class demonstration lessons, and curriculum planning sessions. In addition, Kim speaks at literacy conferences, to parent groups, and to special interest groups on an array of topics related to literacy. Prior to becoming a Literacy Consultant, Kim worked as an elementary classroom teacher in Cold Spring Harbor, New York and Scituate, Massachusetts. She received her M.Ed in Reading from the University of New Hampshire.  Find out more about Kim at Literacy Builders.



  1. Everlette says:

    With such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom of reading, I would like to know what you could recommend to a new reading teacher that is starting out with all the new common core implementations?

    • Our best advice is as follows: 1. Think carefully about which texts you use with your students. When instruction is preceded by careful, thoughtful text selection, Common Core alignment becomes much easier. 2. Work to understand text complexity. Know the difference between complex text and hard text. 3. Pay very careful attention to what your students’ needs are as readers. Keep your eye on the standards as you plan responsive instruction but remember, children first. Hope this helps!

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