The following list presents a sample selection of topics we support through job-embedded professional learning, including workshops, classroom demonstrations, and teacher coaching. We also customize professional learning based on your needs, combining the elements of the topics listed below. All of our workshops combine theory and practical application. With support in both reflection and action, teachers leave our sessions with instructional ideas they can immediately apply with intention.
Who’s Doing the Work: Teaching to Transfer and Independence
This workshop teaches teachers to examine their instruction and identify places where they are doing the work for students, creating dependency, and interfering with student growth. Simple adjustments to instruction can lead to powerful shifts in student engagement and empower students to do the work of becoming better readers. This workshop addresses the following:
- Who is doing most of the work in my classroom? How do I know?
- How do I do less of the work and let students do more?
- How do I develop lessons that give students more responsibility for the work?
- How does student empowerment connect to the gradual release of responsibility?
- What language should I use to give students more responsibility for the work?
- How can I engage students across the gradual release of responsibility?
They Grew Up Reading and Writing: Helping Children Take on the Challenges of Complex Informational Texts
With an emphasis on teaching students a growth mindset and mining their lives to discover their own potential, this workshop focuses on implementing a Reading Wellness lesson that utilizes biographies of people who lived their dreams because they identified their passions when they were children. This workshop addresses the following:
- What does it really mean to be “college and career ready?”
- What can classroom teachers do to nurture “college and career readiness” in authentic ways?
- What role can picture book biographies play in helping students become “college and career” ready?
- How can the “Heart, Head, Hands and Feet” (HHHF) graphic organizer help generate enthusiasm for reading complex informational text?
- How can we help students become more proficient readers while simultaneously helping them embrace the things they are most interested in?
Reading Wellness: Lessons in Independence and Proficiency
Educators everywhere are asking: How do I meet accountability demands without sacrificing my larger goals for helping children become lifelong learners? In this workshop, learn how to move children toward independence and proficiency while nurturing joyful learning in the classroom. This workshop addresses the following questions:
- How do I get kids to read more informational text?
- How do I build students’ ability to read increasingly complex text?
- What role does mindset play in helping children become independent and proficient?
- How do I get kids to read for meaning?
- How do I get kids to read closely and carefully?
- How do I scaffold students without building dependence?
Delving Deeper: Teaching Children to Read Closely and Carefully
In this workshop, teachers learn ways of helping children carefully reread and mine text for its deepest meaning without making it feel like drudgery. In this workshop, teachers will learn answers to the following questions:
- What does it mean to “read closely?”
- What does close reading look like for students of varying abilities and age levels?
- What questioning and prompting techniques help students read for meaning?
- How does reading closely help students become increasingly independent and proficient as readers?
Text Complexity Truth: “Hard” and “Complex” Are Not Synonyms
This workshop helps teachers better understand “text complexity” and how increasingly complex texts contribute to students’ growth and development as readers. This workshop provides teachers answers to the following questions:
- What is complex text, really?
- What is the difference in text that is complex and text that is just hard?
- How does instructional reading level relate to complex text?
- How do I support struggling readers in complex text?
- What steps can I take in my classroom to help my students productively engage with increasingly complex text?
Understanding the Reading Process
Reconnect and explore the innermost workings of the reading process in order to think about how to differentiate instruction and help students integrate their own processes for reading.
- How do readers process text?
- How can I assess students’ reading processes and use this information to help inform instruction?
- How can I teach students about their reading process in ways that help them monitor for meaning and make adjustments when necessary?
“More Reading Please”: Teaching Children to Love to Read
Teaching students independence and proficiency requires that they practice–a lot. This workshop addresses how to fuel the desire to read and increase the amount of time students spend deeply engaged in real reading.
- How much reading practice do students need?
- How do I find time for independent reading?
- How do I change student mindsets about reading?
- How do I help children select texts that are “just right”?
- How do I build students’ stamina for reading?
- What is the role of complex text in independent reading?
Preventing Misguided Reading: Small Group Instruction that Makes Sense
How can small group reading instruction support teachers in helping students become independent and proficient readers? Based on the bestselling book, Preventing Misguided Reading, by Jan Miller Burkins and Melody Croft, this workshop helps teachers rethink student grouping, text selection, and the ways in which they support students when they encounter difficulties.
- How do I manage different student abilities without locking students into levels?
- How do I match students to texts without limiting their opportunities?
- What role does text complexity play when selecting texts for guided reading?
- How do I support students without teaching them to rely on me?
- What are the best prompts for me to use to help students work through the tricky parts?
Common Sense and the Common Core: Understanding the Standards
This workshop helps teachers gain a deeper understanding of the Common Core Standards to better equip them to adjust and align instruction to meet the demands of these standards.
- How are the standards designed to help improve literacy instruction?
- How can I ensure that I truly understand the intention behind each of the reading anchor standards?
- How do I adjust my planning to ensure that I am meeting the demands of the Common Core Standards?
Improving the Quality of Student Writing
Learn strategies that will support students’ efforts to improve all aspects of writing, including idea development, organization, sentence fluency, word choice, voice, and conventions.
- How do I get students to go back and revise their writing?
- How can mentor texts support students’ growth and development as writers?
- How can I use student work samples to help me think about how students can improve as writers?
- How do I balance required writing units with student choice?
- How do I build writing fluency?
Other workshops include, but are not limited to:
- A Workshop Approach to Reading Instruction
- A Workshop Approach to Writing Instruction
- Shared Reading
- Read Aloud
- Interactive Writing
- Increasing Student Proficiency with Informational Text
- Using Formative Assessment to Inform Instructional Decision Making