Professional Development

Conferences and Workshops

I offer workshop sessions and keynotes for conferences. Recently, I traveled to Birmingham, Alabama for the Mid-South Reading and Writing Conference where I delivered  a keynote, “Close Reading: What It Means for a Writer” and a session focused on using nonfiction mentor texts in the classroom.  I enjoy being busy and often do a morning and afternoon session or sessions over two days.

At conferences, my sessions include how to use mentor texts to help students become more successful writers. I offer sessions on all the types of writing and how to use mentor texts to imagine the possibilities. Specific workshops on building content with nonfiction mentor texts, understanding organizational patterns, building a writer’s identity, embedding grammar and mechanics instruction into writing workshop and across the day,  how to use a writer’s notebook (finding topics to write about), peer conferring, and tips for quick and easy ways to use formative assessment daily are a few of my favorite conference sessions.

Professional development days are often tailored to a district’s needs. Organizing and maintaining writing workshop, writing in the content areas, developing a balanced literacy approach, using mentor texts to support and develop student writers, grammar and mechanics instruction across the day, building vocabulary and developing a love of words, using poetry to build readers and writers, and formative assessment tools are some of the most current topics requested by schools and districts.  Sometimes, a professional development day is followed with several days in the classroom to consult with teachers, co-teach and plan, or demonstrate with model lessons. Currently, I have been in one district as a literacy coach for middle school ELA, social studies, and science teachers. It has been a wonderful experience.  Additionally, I am in a few districts for model writing lessons in grades K-5 and instruction and demonstration lessons for text dependent analysis.

Although I am willing to come by myself, I do have three wonderful co-authors: Rose Cappelli, Diane Dougherty, and Stacey Shubitz. Rose and I have written three books on mentor texts. In May, the second edition of Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children’s Literature.  Diane and I co-authored Grammar Matters and our newest book, A Closer Look: learning More About Our Writers with Formative Assessment.  WelcomeToWritingWorkshopWelcome to Writing Workshop is out this March 2019 with Stacey Shubitz.  This book is a great addition to texts for undergraduate students and preservice teachers. It will support new teachers who want to support a writing workshop in their classroom. Video clips and specific descriptions of key components of workshop make this book user-friendly and helpful.All the books are publshed by Stenhouse.

Two additional projecta are also in the works for a book about reading workshop and a book about raising social awaremess with quality literature. I hope to be able to share more about them with you this summer.