Each year students should progress and demonstrate an increasing sophistication in the craft of writing. Elementary students should demonstrate the ability to use linking words and phrases to connect opinions, reasons, and ideas, and to signal event order. Junior high students should use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion, clarify relationships, and convey sequence. They should use precise words and phrases, descriptive details, and sensory language to capture action and convey events. To meet these goals students must be able to write a range of sentence patterns. They must be able to create compound and complex structures that accurately reflect depth of thought and clear relationships. Prior to the workshop, participants are encouraged to purchase Tools Students Need to Be Skillful Writers: Building Better Sentences by P Hostmeyer.
Reading Comprehension in the Content Areas
This workshop offers an array of activities designed to help students deepen comprehension and develop crucial reading skills in the content areas. This workshop will focus on strategies and activities that will help students become independent readers able to organize and use information.
QAR – Question Answer Relationship
Research shows that when QAR is taught to students and practiced in class for as little as eight weeks reading comprehension improves significantly, with average and below-average students showing the greatest improvement. Once students understand the types of questions, they can identify and use correct sources to construct complete answers. QAR empowers students as they develop reading comprehension. It becomes the basis for a common instructional vocabulary that can be used across all grades and disciplines.
Setting up a Writing Workshop
To become proficient writers, students must write routinely over extended time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. Research shows that writing workshop will promote accelerated progress. This workshop will help educators to establish goals for writing workshop. Participants will also learn how to manage a writing workshop and how to encourage students to take responsibility for their progress.
This workshop will focus on student rubrics for expository, narrative, and persuasive writing. Participants will learn how to develop and use grade-appropriate rubrics aligned to high stakes testing. More importantly, participants will learn how to have students take the responsibility to use the rubrics to assess and revise their own writing. When students use rubrics for revision, the workload for scoring essays is drastically reduced.
What do you want in a spelling program? This workshop will show teachers how to develop a spelling program that will empower students. Based on the research of Rosencrans, Snowball, and Bolton, this workshop takes a close look at brain research, assumptions about learning, and how that knowledge can be merged with the crucial elements of spelling instruction. Participants will learn three tools and six spelling strategies that make students independent spellers. Topics covered will include the following:
- Using strategies while writing
- Creating a positive attitude toward spelling
- Developing and using an understanding of spelling strategies
- Embedding the spelling program into the writing workshop
Storytelling for Enrichment
Storytelling, the oldest form of communication, enriches language development in the classroom. Students who learn to tell stories learn patterns of language and develop rich vocabularies. Storytelling strengthens reading and writing skills as well. As students develop with characters, they develop empathy for others and vicariously experience adventures and emotions. This high-energy workshop provides teachers with ample materials to establish story telling in the classroom.
Reading and Writing Poetry
This workshop offers an array of activities designed to help students analyze and appreciate poetry. More importantly, it will provide numerous ideas that enable students to create original poems. Your students will be dazzled by their own brilliance.
Good readers use a variety of strategies to comprehend text. Reciprocal teaching is a discussion technique that helps students to develop some of these strategies. The National Reading Panel recognizes reciprocal teaching as an effective teaching practice that unquestionably improves student comprehension. Students assist one another in a cooperative setting to understand and apply the four strategies: predict, question, clarify, summarize. This teaching method requires a high degree of teacher modeling and student practice.
Socratic Questioning and Dialogue
Socrates believed that it is far more important to enable students to think for themselves than to provide them with the right answers. This workshop will demonstrate how Socratic questioning can engage students in dialogues. Socratic dialogue encourages divergent thinking. Participants will examine a common text and then work as a team to answer open-ended questions. The goal is to have participants think critically, analyze multiple meanings, and express ideas with clarity and confidence free of bias. Participants will see the value of respectful, thoughtful listening instead of interruption. Participants will be encouraged to paraphrase essential elements of ideas before sharing support or opposition.