I provide in-person or virtual one-hour to full day workshops on diverse ELA topics. I offer week-long courses that I have presented at institutes across the United States.
Here are some recent examples.
1. In 2020, I published "I Hear You: Teaching Social Justice in Interactive Read-Aloud" (Language Arts journal). In the article, I show the planning worksheet, give detailed examples of implementation and extension activities with children, and implications for teaching and learning. It's a deeply practical article. In fact, I included two 3rd grade teachers who implemented this work in their classroom settings as co-authors. After reading the article, I invite schools or teams of K-8 teachers to join me for a one and a half hour Zoom workshop. In the workshop, I show participants: 1. how to choose outstanding children's books for social justice topics and themes; 2. how to plan an interactive read-aloud to open up challenging discussions; 3. how to plan meaningful extension activities; 4. how to invite and open up interactive discussion; 5. how to assess children's learning. Participants leave the workshop with practical next steps to explore social justice topics and themes with their students to work towards repairing the world.
2. In 1990, Prof. Rudine Sims Bishop of Ohio State University coined the phrase "windows, mirrors, and sliding doors" as metaphors for children's books that teachers should make accessible to children in classrooms. In books that are mirrors, children need to see themselves reflected based on who is centered, celebrated, and whose perspectives are heard. In books that are windows, children need to see into the lives of protagonists with heritages and cultural practices distinct from their own. And in books that are sliding doors, children need to be able to make deep personal connections that expand and even transform their identities. In this one and a half hour Zoom workshop, I invite schools or teams of K-8 educators to join me to explore windows, mirrors, and sliding doors for their school contexts. In the workshop, participants will explore: (a) where to find outstanding children's literature for their school contexts; (b) why having this balance of books in their classroom libraries matters; (c) what kinds of books might count for them as "windows, mirrors, and sliding doors" (d) a checklist to assess the balance of books in their classrooms; (e) a critical exploration of a common book for children to realize "who might feel included" and "who might feel excluded" in this book. Participants will leave the workshop with a much stronger awareness of how to be deliberate in the books they provide their students to develop their literate lives.
3. In a full-day workshop, I guide teacher participants in creative uses of the reader response notebook (based in my book) to develop deep comprehension of texts. Teachers learn: (a) an expansive understanding of texts, valuing home-school connections and popular culture texts; (b) the value of keeping ongoing lists to build literate lives; (c) how to make drawing tools and design part of students' reader responses; (d) how to guide students to be generative with their reading response ideas; (e) how to create a sociocultural learning environment for students' notebook responses; (f) ideas for formative and summative assessments, students' self-assessments, and using the notebook as a source for reading conferences. In this highly interactive workshop, teachers learn by trying reader response strategies. Teachers leave the workshop feeling inspired, with new, practical ideas that reinvigorate the RRN for their students.