Workshops, Seminars & Institutes

Coaching Camp:

2 Days: Individual Attendance Participants learn how to apply what they know about effective pedagogy to their work as literacy coaches. On Day 1, they come to understand the role of a coach in facilitating a teacher’s growth by learning about the Content Focused Coaching model and examining the elements of a successful content- focused coaching session. They build a basic understanding of the main considerations in effective lesson design in order to help teachers plan, implement, and reflect upon lessons. Participants apply the knowledge learned on the first day by analyzing video examples of CLI Professional Developers implementing content-focused coaching on Day 2. The goals of this day are to process their observations, deepen their understanding, and set goals that will transfer into their own coaching.

Two Day Institute Participants learn that a positive classroom culture and rich literacy environment sets the stage for learning and is the core of classroom life. Participants take away strategies for creating a trusting, respectful and empowering classroom so that students will have the skills and attitudes to maximize their learning experiences. They learn how to establish a Classroom Culture where literacy practices can work to their greatest potential while creating a responsible, compassionate and invested student community.

Topics include:

  • Developing a belief system that is conducive to learning and achievement
  • Planning and reflecting on Classroom Culture
  • Using positive language with students that fosters independence and respect
  • Establishing consistent and specific procedures for all aspects of the classroom
  • Creating responsibilities (vs. rules) in the classroom that focus on effort, improvement and lifelong learning
  • Solving behavior challenges with logical solutions
  • Using the elements of books, space, print and time to create an effective physical environment

Creating and Managing the Literacy Environment

Seminar Participants learn how to create a classroom community that promotes kindness, responsibility and respect. They explore successful classroom management strategies and learn how to plan mini lessons that establish the routines and rituals needed to make literacy learning successful. Time is also spent learning how the physical arrangement of a classroom can support independence and scaffold student learning.

Creating and Managing the Literacy Environment II Seminar

Participants take an in-depth look at the elements of classroom culture, which include planning and reflecting, language, procedures and responsibilities. They explore the relationship between these elements and the physical environment (books, print, space and time). They learn how to create and implement effective class meetings in order to develop and maintain a positive and thriving classroom culture. Participants reflect on specific student behaviors related to the physical environment and classroom culture and plan procedural lessons to enhance positive student behaviors. They examine and build upon their set of beliefs and values related to education assuring that their belief system is conducive to learning and achievement.

Intentional Read Aloud K-3

Participants discover the characteristics and importance of using quality children’s books for read alouds, and learn how to plan read alouds with intention and purpose using these books. They dive deeply into the before-during-after structure of an intentional read aloud lesson, learning specifically how read alouds can help to meet Common Core Standards, and how comprehension and vocabulary are developed through intentional read aloud lessons. They examine video examples, and have time to plan lessons.

Phonics and Phonological Awareness

Participants learn how to evaluate and implement effective strategies for teaching phonological awareness and phonics. The goal is to ensure a thorough understanding of relevant concepts and related instructional activities in order to ensure successful literacy development for early learners.

Guided Reading Seminar

Participants learn why guided reading is a critical component of effective literacy instruction. They learn the key role formative assessment plays in determining groups, selecting texts and selecting objectives. They grow familiar with the before-during-after structure of a guided reading lesson and analyze videos of each of these components. Additionally, they explore elements of the literacy environment and classroom culture that are necessary to have in place for guided reading to run smoothly.

Reading Workshop Seminar I

Participants learn how to implement the structure and components of a Reading Workshop model in order to teach reading routines and habits, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary. They examine the characteristics of a mini lesson, the options during work time, the structure of a reading conference, and the importance of sharing and reflecting.

Reading Workshop Seminar II

Participants deepen their knowledge of the components of Reading Workshop by exploring various types of mini lessons, connecting the teaching in the Reading Workshop to other components of a balanced literacy block, and examining effective reading conferences in order to enhance planning and facilitate successful lesson implementation.

Effective Practices in Comprehension Instruction Seminar

Participants learn what research teaches us about the comprehension process and effective comprehension instruction. Time is be spent discussing specific comprehension strategies such as making connections, visualizing and inferring. Instructional methods for explicitly teaching comprehension strategies are shared. Also, participants explore other specific strategies for helping students strengthen their comprehension skills such as wait time, accountable talk and written responses.

Effective Practices in Vocabulary Instruction Seminar

Participants learn how to choose and teach robust vocabulary words, promote word consciousness in their classrooms, and implement rich and comprehensive vocabulary instruction through the Intentional Read Aloud and other best practices.

Writing Workshop Seminar I

Participants learn how to create a community of writers while establishing the structure and components of a Writing Workshop model to meet the needs of diverse learners. They take a close look at the characteristics of a writing mini lesson, the writing conference, the writing process, and the importance of sharing and reflecting.

Writing Workshop Seminar II

Participants deepen their knowledge of the components of Writing Workshop by exploring various types of writing mini lessons, connecting the teaching in the Writing Workshop to other components of a balanced literacy block, and examining effective writing conferences in order to enhance planning and facilitate successful lesson implementation.

Word Study Seminar

In this seminar, participants explore the definition and characteristics of effective word study, addressing word recognition, vocabulary, phonics, and spelling. They understand the role of phonological awareness and phonics in literacy development. They gain familiarity with the stages of spelling development, how it applies to instruction and learn how to administer a sample spelling inventory. Throughout the day, they experience hands-on word study activities such as Making Words, playing word wall games, and sorting, and consider their applications in their own classrooms.

Message Time Plus® Seminar I

Participants are introduced to Message Time Plus®, a shared reading, modeled writing instructional practice. They gain an understanding of how this practice differs from other morning messages and why Message Time Plus® is a powerful tool for helping young readers and writers grow. Participants learn about the structure of MTP and examine videos of teachers using MTP to teach all areas of literacy including phonics, vocabulary and fluency. Time is also spent learning how to plan and to connect this practice to other components in the literacy block.

Message Time Plus® Seminar II

Participants examine a variety of scaffolding techniques used during Message Time Plus® that allow for differentiated instruction. They also focus on different mini lessons that support whole-group learning and student engagement, and learn techniques for managing and motivating students during Message Time Plus®.

Independent Work Time Seminar

Participants explore answers to the question: What are the other children doing while the teacher is meeting with small groups? Teachers learn how to plan and manage independent time that includes independent reading and/or writing, working in partnerships, responding to reading, and literacy stations/ centers.

Formative Assessment Seminar

Understanding and Implementing the Common Core State Standards. After participants learn how formative assessment informs classroom instruction, participants examine the literacy assessments they are currently using to determine whether they are assessing the full picture of literacy, assessing what they are teaching, and whether they are using the data to determine patterns and inform instruction. They participate in exercises to analyze assessment data and determine appropriate instruction, and learn strategies for enhancing their instruction based on assessment data, in order to meet the needs of all their students everyday.

Almost every state in the union has adopted the Common Core State Standards and yet many teachers find themselves perplexed by their implementation. What shifts are essential? What is close reading? How do you fit it all in? During this seminar, we zero in on the English Language Arts shifts associated with the Common Core State Standards and help teachers address these shifts in manageable and effective ways. Teachers look into their existing literacy blocks to see where they can reflect on and refine instruction in order to teach students how to do close reading, how to use evidence when responding to texts both orally and in writing, and how to make sense of academic vocabulary. Utilizing hands on and engaging activities, the focus of this seminar is on turning learning into action. We’ll also take a look at parts of the standards that are particularly confusing or challenging and equip teachers with useful tools and strategies for addressing them. Teachers walk away with a plan for applying their learning back in their classrooms.

Family Engagement

Transforming Family Engagement: Raising Student Achievement Through Effective Partnerships Seminar

Participants will reflect on their own family engagement practices in order to create action plans to authentically engage families in their schools towards a goal of student academic success. Over the course of the seminar participants will learn about the history of family engagement in the United States, discuss how schools and individual teachers can be motivated to do this work, and then will examine those aspects of family engagement that lead to success.

Communicating with Families Workshop

Participants will take a closer look on what it means to effectively communicate with families. They will discuss different communication styles, motivations behind communication, and different formats and methods for communication before creating communication action plans for their own individual classrooms.

Summer Reading Loss Prevention Workshop

Participants are introduced to the concept of Summer Reading Loss also known as Summer Slide. After familiarizing themselves with the latest research in the field and relating it back their classrooms, participants explore strategies and techniques around teaching independent reading skills and developing Home Lending Libraries.

Family Literacy Night Kits General Description:

Schools will receive an all-in-one kit that includes all materials needed for a school to successfully facilitate a Family Literacy Night. Kits will include directions and a time-line for logistical planning, promotional fliers to be sent home, scripts for a facilitator, read aloud books for families to take home and all related workbooks and handouts for participants.

Family Literacy Night Kits Reading with Your Children:

In this workshop families will learn strategies for reading to their children, reading with their children and what they can do when listening to their children read independently. Facilitators will have to model intentional read aloud strategies and will give families tips on how to help with vocabulary and comprehension when reading at home.

Family Literacy Night Kits Writing with Your Children:

In this workshop families will learn strategies on how to encourage writing at home. The workshop starts off with how to create writing boxes for homes use, and then moves into how to recognize grade appropriate writing skills. Families will learn how to temper praise with suggestions for growth, and how to take on writing projects with their children.

Family Literacy Night Kits Preventing Summer Slide:

Over the summer months children who don’t practice their reading can lose many of the skills and strategies that they learned during the school year. In this workshop families learn exactly what summer slide is, and will learn tips and strategies about how to fit reading and other literacy skill into their everyday lives during the summer months. They will learn how to choose just right books for their children and will discover ways to engage their children with reading before, during, and after the story.

Literacy Trainings for Pre-K Educators

Blueprint for Early Literacy: An Introduction

Participants are introduced to the materials and content of the Blueprint for Early Literacy curriculum. They examine the scope and sequence and walk through the theme guides, exploring lessons plans that include intentional read alouds, Message Time Plus®, literacy centers, and small group learning. They take part in some Blueprint activities in order to understand how to begin to implement this curriculum in their classroom and watch videos to see the curriculum in action.

Supporting Play in Pre-K

Play IS the work of children!  In this seminar, teachers learn about the benefits of play and how it helps children develop cognitively, socially and physically.  Through hands on activities, videos and discussions, they learn about and experience different forms of play such as object play, block play and locomotor play. Dramatic play is spotlighted as well especially in connection to reading aloud. Teachers many roles in guiding and supporting play are explored – from setting the stage by creating an engaging environment where children will feel motivated, to being a play buddy where they engage in play themselves to support children’s curiosity, creativity and language development. Several strategies for preventing or responding to playtime challenges are also discussed.

Classroom Culture

Highlighting the teachers’ central role in the emotional life of their classrooms, participants will learn how to create a Classroom Culture that promotes kindness, dignity, and mutual respect.

Participants take an in-depth look at the elements of classroom culture, the foundation for a thriving and positive learning community, and consider tools for helping to shape it. Teachers are encouraged to plan, model, practice, and reflect upon the language they and their children use as well as their procedures. They will learn how to plan mini-lessons that establish the routines and rituals needed to make learning successful and fun. Participants will also look closely at creating responsibilities to form guidelines and structure for the classroom. They will discuss how responsibilities should be established with children giving them a sense of ownership and empowerment. The Power of Three, a tool for collecting and reflecting upon classroom responsibilities, will be highlighted. Throughout the training, participants also consider how to include and share the information they are learning with the families of the children they serve.

Classroom Environment

In this seminar, participants learn how to connect their understanding of child development to the creation of a classroom environment that supports and promotes children’s growth. Participants explore ideas on how to design a classroom space that is welcoming, engaging, and offers children the opportunity to explore, learn, and play. Through photographs, video, and discussion, participants will learn how to create purposeful, high quality centers that contain authentic literacy materials and books and developmentally appropriate activities. The importance of print that promotes independence and nurtures children’s growth is also highlighted. The participants will leave the training feeling invigorated about creating a positive, engaging physical environment that reflects their understanding of how children learn.


Fostering Language Development

Strengthening children’s speaking and listening skills is one crucial pathway for later success in school. High quality talk, with its emphasis on robust vocabulary, rich conversations and positive interactions characterizes classrooms where children’s oral language skills thrive. In this seminar, teachers learn about the components of children’s oral language development and how to assess, record, and support children in growing these skills. Through the use of readings, videos, and hands-on activities, participants will better understand the power of talk, develop strategies to promote language and communication skills, and consider ways to partner with families to share this information.


Intentional Read Aloud

Participants will discover the characteristics and importance of building a culture of literacy in their classroom, one in which a love of books and reading aloud are valued. This training will emphasize using quality children’s books for read alouds and will allow participants to dive deeply into the before-during-after structure of an intentional read aloud lesson. Engaging children in read alouds while focusing on explicitly addressing comprehension, vocabulary, phonemic awareness and phonics skills will be highlighted. They will examine video examples and have time to plan lessons.

Message Time Plus: Rethinking Your Morning Message

Morning message is a feature found in many curriculums. However, it is often pre-written and posted when the children arrive each morning and its content is fairly repetitive. Message Time Plus® is a differentiated, modeled writing and shared reading instructional practice that has great impact on children’s literacy development because it is intended to reflect the life of the classroom. MTP
connects to other instructional practices through its objective and content, and is planned to meet the needs and interests of the group of children in front of you. As a result, MTP is truly an authentic literacy experience. In this training, through the use of videos and guided practice, participants learn each step of the MTP process and plan lessons to implement back in their classrooms.

Using Songs & Rhymes to Develop Phonemic Awareness

Participants learn how songs and rhymes can support the development of phonics, phonemic awareness, and phonological knowledge in young children. They explore methods and strategies for incorporating activities with rhymes and songs into daily instruction such as Reader’s Theater.

Writing in Pre-K

Preschool teachers have a unique and important role in supporting children’s growth as emergent writers. In this training, participants will learn about the stages of writing development in order to better appreciate and understand how children move from making random marks on a page to composing texts with identifiable letters and words. Participants will explore different ways to engage children in writing activities, such as interactive writing, so they can plan with more intentionality and engage children in high quality instruction. Participants will also learn how to enhance their classroom’s literacy environment to give children access to print, writing tools, and materials that provide them with multiple and diverse opportunities for writing. Through the use of readings, videos, and hands-on activities, we will focus on helping participants learn how to offer warm and targeted support so young writers can flourish.


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