Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades 3-6

Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades 3-6

Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades 3-6 Learn more about summarizing and main ideas in Rounds 1, 2, and 3 of Summarize Information. And find out the next big steps as you transition into Round 2 of Synthesize Ideas. Duration: 1 hour 2 minutes | Grades...
Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades K-2

Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades K-2

Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades K-2 Learn next steps for Retell Literature—Round 4 for kindergarten and Round 3 for grades 1-2. And find out how your instruction dovetails from Retell Literature into the invisible Story Structure in Text Organization,...
Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades 7-12

Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades 7-12

Playbook Pro | January 2023 Coaching: Grades 7-12 Learn how to jump into Round 3 of Summarize Literature and what common assessments require. Connect the learning from Summarize Literature with Round 2 for Author Choices. Duration: 59 minutes | Grades...
Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades 7-12

Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades 7-12

Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades 7-12 Learn how to jump into Round 2 of Summarize Information and Synthesize Ideas. In addition, receive support on the Readers Write fundamental. Duration: 1 hour 37 seconds | Grades 7-12
Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-6

Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-6

Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-6 Find out how to jump into Round 1 of Comparing Texts and Round 2 of Author Choices. In addition, you’ll receive support for the Readers Write fundamental. Duration: 1 hour 2 minutes | Grades...
Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2

Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2

Playbook Pro | December 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2 Learn next steps for Retell Literature and find out how to start Compare Texts, Round 1. You’ll receive specific support on the Readers Write fundamental and know how to move through the developmental stages of...
webPD | Plan problems into narrative stories

webPD | Plan problems into narrative stories

Plan problems into narrative stories Kid-created pieces often have characters who are walking and talking inside of detailed settings. However, they lack a plot! In order to have a plot, someTHING has to happen to someONE. This conflict is what makes a story engaging!...
webPD | Pre-write in 2 steps with the ABC Chart

webPD | Pre-write in 2 steps with the ABC Chart

Pre-write in 2 steps with the ABC Chart Graphic organizers and outlines, when used alone, presume the student knows what he wants to say and where he wants to say it—at the same time. A more universal strategy to help students cultivate and organize ideas is the ABC...
Target informative writing skills

Target informative writing skills

Learn the most essential writing lessons to embed into any informative writing unit. These include knowing how to pull information from sources, gather and organize the important details, identify a topic/thesis statement, and present interesting facts and expert...
Build rubrics with older writers

Build rubrics with older writers

This session will reveal how 6-Trait rubrics are incorporated into the intermediate and secondary writing curriculum. Additionally, teachers will learn how to create a “kid-friendly” rubric, update the rubric as writers grow, and apply the same rubric to different...
Build rubrics with young writers

Build rubrics with young writers

Students need a tool that defines “good” writing and identifies what the teacher wants. Rubrics accomplish this. However, a rubric must be kid-friendly. Five-year-olds and/or ELLs have to be able to “read” it. This session will reveal strategies to create and grow a...
Assess based on instruction

Assess based on instruction

When writing assessment is directly tied to instruction, students get to practice a skill while it’s fresh, and teachers can focus on meaningful feedback rather than draining their red pens. In this session, learn how to use the Six Traits of Writing to frame writing...
Improve extended responses

Improve extended responses

Extended-reading responses require students to know how to supersize and stack constructed responses. In this session, attendees learn how to teach students to generate strong, multi-paragraph responses that fit a variety of persuasive/argumentative, informative, and...
Synthesize before writing

Synthesize before writing

Traditional research units are time consuming. However, learning to gather, organize, and present information from multiple sources is essential. This session will unveil short research experiences that teach students how to record details from individual texts and...
Teach both reader & writer workshops in K-2

Teach both reader & writer workshops in K-2

Acquire numerous lesson ideas to teach pictorial, labeling, listing, and sentence-writing skills within a daily writer’s workshop. In addition, learn how to integrate those same skills within the write-about-reading lessons taught during the reading block. Duration:...
Write polished constructed responses

Write polished constructed responses

Evidence, elaboration, and explanation are the essential components that need to be included in a polished constructed response. During this session, learn engaging strategies to help students make an inference and embed these essential elements every time they...
Make inferences in 5 steps

Make inferences in 5 steps

Reading comprehension is no longer assessed with literal questions that have right-there answers. Now students must face text-dependent questions that require them to make an inference and support it with evidence. This session demystifies this abstract concept into a...
Improve math writing

Improve math writing

The expectation to write short responses in language arts is well known—but this is also an important component in today’s math class. Beyond showing their work and providing the correct answer, students also have to explain their thinking in writing. This session...
Teach the purpose & impact of grammar

Teach the purpose & impact of grammar

Convention instruction must go beyond memorizing rules. Rather, the instruction should focus on the purpose, function, and impact the grammar skill has on a sentence’s overall message. This session outlines several ways to make your initial grammar lessons more...
Integrate writing into all subjects

Integrate writing into all subjects

In order to write well in math, science, and social studies, the standards require explicit instruction be taught in every content area. This session will show attendees how they can punctuate students’ subject-area learning with short and powerful writing...
Model a strong example

Model a strong example

The most effective writing mini-lessons follow the gradual release of responsibility starting with a strong teacher demonstration and Think Aloud. These teacher tools provide a framework that helps students understand the end goal and the steps required. In this...
Master the mini-lesson

Master the mini-lesson

Highly-effective teaching occurs when educators deliver explicit instruction on standards-based skills during a 10-15 minute whole-class mini-lesson. In this session, learn how to deliver focused and engaging mini-lessons that follow the 4-step process and honor the...
Know the narrative non-negotiables

Know the narrative non-negotiables

Although narrative writing is the third writing mode listed in the standards, it does have a place in today’s classrooms and tomorrow’s careers. This session first digs into the two required elements of every story— generating the problem and crafting its solution. It...
Meet the argumentative standard

Meet the argumentative standard

Before a writer can craft a solid argument that shows two perspectives, he first needs to know how to write persuasively from a single point of view. During this session, learn the subtle, but significant differences between persuasive and argumentative writing. After...
Plan the year of writing units

Plan the year of writing units

Teachers at all levels are expected to provide writing experiences across the three major modes—argumentative, informative, and narrative. However, this does not have to include a single mother-lode unit for each mode that spans weeks and ends with a final draft....
webPD | Overcome “listy” writing with idea development

webPD | Overcome “listy” writing with idea development

Overcome “listy” writing with idea development Long writing does not necessarily equate to strong writing. As we encourage students to write more, add details, and make their pieces longer, we must distinguish between writing that is long and “listy” versus that which...
Playbook Pro | End each round with a W.A.R. lesson

Playbook Pro | End each round with a W.A.R. lesson

Playbook Pro | End each round with a W.A.R. lesson At the end of each round, the Playbook provides a writing-about-reading lesson. We call it W.A.R. in the Playbook. The lessons in the Readers Write Fundamental are all important, but they don’t account for your...
webPD | End writing units with a from-scratch product

webPD | End writing units with a from-scratch product

End writing units with a from-scratch product When preparing a writing unit, teachers consider the new skills to teach and assess. But the point of the unit is not to spend weeks crafting the final product. Instead, the bulk of the unit is spent teaching new skills...
webAcademy | Writing After a Close Reading

webAcademy | Writing After a Close Reading

Learn more about this workshop Want to offer this workshop for the entire staff? Contact us. Session Content Introduction to the workshop Let’s get started! – Handout Workshop Overview Complex Tasks Step 5: Write about reading Choose among three tasks...
webAcademy | Teaching Writing Skills All Year Long

webAcademy | Teaching Writing Skills All Year Long

Learn more about this workshop Want to offer this workshop for the entire staff? Contact us. Session Content Introduction to the workshop Let’s get started! – Handout Workshop overview Start See the big picture Plan with intention Massage the “mother...
webPD | Teach 4 details that imply a text’s main idea

webPD | Teach 4 details that imply a text’s main idea

Teach 4 details that imply a text’s main idea Determining the main idea (or central idea) of any text is the starting point of comprehension. If the reader can’t determine what a text is mostly about, then he can’t analyze it at a deeper level. However, many...
Provide frequent feedback

Provide frequent feedback

Students grow as writers when they are given feedback that is prompt, purposeful, precise, and personal. In this session, learn how to hold conferences and provide students with feedback via compliments and comments. Duration: 48 minutes | Grades K-12 | ELL All...
Tally points & calculate grades

Tally points & calculate grades

Using the Six Traits of Writing as the framework to assess student work is a logical spinoff of trait-based instruction. But converting a Six-Traits rubric to points, and ultimately a letter grade, can seem like a barrier. In this session, learn how to assign value to...
webPD | Teach readers to discern 5 nonfiction text structures

webPD | Teach readers to discern 5 nonfiction text structures

Teach readers to discern 5 nonfiction text structures As we prepare readers to infer a text’s main idea and eventually the author’s purpose, it’s important to build a foundation of understanding about text structures. Stories or narrative texts have a predictable text...
Write in the primary grades

Write in the primary grades

Learn how to guide beginning writers through the four stages of development. This session will focus on cultivating skills in drawing, labeling, listing, and sentence-writing. In addition, learn how persuasive, informative, and narrative writing are represented within...
Foster independent writers

Foster independent writers

When the writer’s workshop is anchored in strong procedures, it sets the stage for building student independence. This session offers practical strategies for handling the “I’m done” writer,  the “I need help” learner, and the “I’m stuck on spelling” student....
Teach with mentor texts

Teach with mentor texts

The power of mentor text is that students read and analyze the qualities of strong writing before they are expected to apply those same qualities within their own products. This session reveals the do’s and don’ts of incorporating picture books, exemplar papers, and...
Help students to write more

Help students to write more

Although strong writing includes all six traits, the first hurdle is to teach students how to write more. This session focuses on the trait of ideas with explicit lessons on developing a topic, adding details, and incorporating evidence. These strategies will increase...
Assign writing-time tasks

Assign writing-time tasks

Students get better at writing when they have an opportunity to experiment with a newly-taught writing skill. This experience occurs during the “you-do” portion of the writer’s workshop. During this session, collect practical ideas for engaging students in purposeful...
Lead a writer’s workshop

Lead a writer’s workshop

To build writers, it’s not a matter of choosing between the Six Traits, the writing process, state standards, or even the writer’s workshop model. All of these components need to occur in tandem. Every writer needs explicit instruction, in-class time to try the skill,...
Closing – Writing for Life

Closing – Writing for Life

Finding time for writing during the school day requires more than announcing journal topics and assigning bell-ringers. In fact, for students to grow as writers, they need explicit instruction and time to practice in both the writer’s workshop and the reading block....
webAcademy | An Introduction to Literacy Stations

webAcademy | An Introduction to Literacy Stations

Learn more about this workshop Want to offer this workshop for the entire staff? Contact us. Session Content Literacy Stations: Let’s Get Started! Literacy Stations: Welcome & overview Literacy Stations: Session 1 Literacy Stations: Session 2 Literacy Stations:...
Keynote – Writing for Life

Keynote – Writing for Life

Finding time for writing during the school day requires more than announcing journal topics and assigning bell-ringers. In fact, for students to grow as writers, they need explicit instruction and time to practice in both the writer’s workshop and the reading block....
webPD | Persuade an audience with rhetorical devices

webPD | Persuade an audience with rhetorical devices

Persuade an audience with rhetorical devices Move beyond teaching students what to say and teach them how to say it. These craft lessons will focus on rhetorical devices—or different ways to impress opinions and express ideas to a reader. There are dozens of...
Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades 6-12

Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades 6-12

Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades 6-12 Learn how to jump into Round 1 of the plays coming up in your Comprehension Road Map: Summarize Literature, Summarize Information, and See Text Organization. Duration: 62 minutes | Grades 6-12
Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2

Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2

Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2 Learn how to jump into Round 1 of the plays highlighted in your Comprehension Road Map: Retell Literature, Ask & Answer Questions, and Retell Information. Duration: 62 minutes | Grades K-2
Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-5

Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-5

Playbook Pro | September 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-5 Learn how to jump into Round 1 of the plays coming up in your Comprehension Road Map: Summarize Literature, Summarize Information, and See Text Organization. Duration: 61 minutes | Grades 3-5
Playbook Pro | Follow lessons with You-do tasks

Playbook Pro | Follow lessons with You-do tasks

Playbook Pro | Follow lessons with You-do tasks After a mini-lesson, students aren’t ready to take the skill from that day’s lesson and implement it alone, flawlessly, with grade-level text, for a grade. With this in mind, it important to plan You-do tasks...
First Day to Test Day – CHECK-IN

First Day to Test Day – CHECK-IN

Kristina updates teachers on specific questions regarding instruction: Keep Writing-About-Reading focus separate from a writer’s workshop where students learn about modes of writing and grammar.Teach Reader Voices during the first 20 days of comprehension...
Playbook Pro | August 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-5

Playbook Pro | August 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-5

Playbook Pro | August 2022 Coaching: Grades 3-5 Enjoy the first Playbook Pro coaching session and learn more about how to roll out the first 20 days of the Reader Voices fundamental. Duration: 61 minutes | Grades 3-5
Playbook Pro | August 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2

Playbook Pro | August 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2

Playbook Pro | August 2022 Coaching: Grades K-2 Enjoy the first Playbook Pro coaching session and learn more about how to roll out the first 20 days of the Reader Voices fundamental. Duration: 62 minutes | Grades K-2
webPD | Deliver information with 4 word-choice techniques

webPD | Deliver information with 4 word-choice techniques

Deliver information with 4 word-choice techniques Although informative writing consists of facts, quotes, explanations, and examples, the writer’s word choice is just as valuable. Teach students to intentionally incorporate relevant and accurate vocabulary with these...
Webinar | Make an Inference in 5 Steps

Webinar | Make an Inference in 5 Steps

Make an Inference in 5 Steps Regardless of a text’s topic, type, or complexity, students at every grade level must learn how to make inferences. Thinking beyond the text is the foundation of every comprehension standard. During this practical and engaging edWebinar,...
Webinar | Plan & Deliver Dynamic Comprehension Lessons

Webinar | Plan & Deliver Dynamic Comprehension Lessons

Plan & Deliver Dynamic Comprehension Lessons In an era when reading achievement lags behind expectations, effective comprehension instruction has never been more important. The entire class benefits from explicit and engaging whole-class mini-lessons that show...
webPD | Integrate 3 ingredients within every claim

webPD | Integrate 3 ingredients within every claim

Integrate 3 ingredients within every claim After acquiring background knowledge on a debatable topic and aligning with a side, instruct students on the three ingredients of an argumentative claim—the type, the scope, and the certainty. Duration: 4:10 | Grades...
webPD | Practice 2-step synthesizing with visuals

webPD | Practice 2-step synthesizing with visuals

Practice 2-step synthesizing with visuals A synthesis occurs when a reader combines two or more details from multiple texts to generate a new idea. As simple as this may sound, achieving a synthesis is a complex task that requires two key steps. Duration: 3:58 |...
webPD | Emphasize the 3 purposes of text features

webPD | Emphasize the 3 purposes of text features

Emphasize the 3 purposes of text features Although the comprehension standards state that text features are to be introduced in grades K-3—all grade levels are to teach students how to apply them. This is where the power of text features sometimes gets lost. Students...
webPD | Strengthen text citations in 3 steps

webPD | Strengthen text citations in 3 steps

Strengthen text citations in 3 steps Students know that they must include text evidence to support their inferences, and many are familiar with common sentence starters like, “According to the passage…” or “The author states…” And yet many still struggle to write....
webPD | Identify 4 reasons to take notes

webPD | Identify 4 reasons to take notes

Identify 4 reasons to take notes Subject-area notebooks can serve as a great incubator for a student’s thinking. But if students tackle note-taking without any overriding purpose, the notebook can become a hodgepodge of words copied from the board instead of a tool to...
Stages of Word Work

Stages of Word Work

Recognize the hierarchy of phonics development from lower to upper grades. Duration: 54 minutes | Grades K-3 / ELL
Root-Word Instruction

Root-Word Instruction

Grow vocabulary knowledge exponentially with explicit lessons on prefixes, suffixes, and bases. Duration: 50 Minutes | Grades 3-12 / ELL
Marzano’s 6 Steps

Marzano’s 6 Steps

Provide whole-class mini-lessons on domain-specific vocabulary following Marzano’s research-based steps to mastery. Duration: 55 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Functional Vocabulary

Functional Vocabulary

Recognize the direct relationship between knowing general academic words and accurately decoding a prompt. Duration: 44 Minutes | Grades 2-12 / ELL
Vocabulary Lists

Vocabulary Lists

Learn the 4-step process for building a grade-level list of domain-specific and general academic words. Duration: 44 minutes | Grades K-12
Summarize Literature

Summarize Literature

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts to advance readers from retelling to summarizing to inferring the theme. Duration: 55 Minutes | Grades K-12
Track Ideas

Track Ideas

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts to teach readers how to track individual story elements and analyze their relationships. Duration: 48 Minutes | Grades K-12
Text Structure

Text Structure

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts to understand the connection between an author’s purpose and the text’s organizational structure. Duration: 53 Minutes | Grades K-12
Perspective & Point of View

Perspective & Point of View

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts to determine character feelings, infer author perspective, and analyze points of view. Duration: 49 Minutes | Grades K-12
Compare-Contrast

Compare-Contrast

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts that move readers from comparing individual ideas to comparing whole texts. Duration: 50 Minutes | Grades K-12
Science of Reading

Science of Reading

Understand that phonics and decoding must be taught in conjunction with comprehension and meaning—and vice versa. Duration: 39 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Context Clues

Context Clues

Demystify the idea of using context clues by showing students what clues to look for and where to look for them. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Make Inferences

Make Inferences

Introduce how the Reading Voice and Thinking Voice work together to figure out something the author never stated. Duration: 40 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Background Knowledge

Background Knowledge

Provide strategies for readers to make inferences despite a lack of text-to-self connections or personal experiences. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Annotate & Note-Take

Annotate & Note-Take

Equip readers with ways to record their thoughts while reading using grade-appropriate techniques. Duration: 45 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
First Day to Test Day

First Day to Test Day

Identify a yearlong scaffold of write-about-reading skills needed to be game-day ready. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades K-3 / ELL
Primary Writing

Primary Writing

Learn developmentally-appropriate writing skills that include textual evidence in pictures, labels, and simple sentences. Duration: 53 Minutes | Grades K-2 / ELL
Constructed Responses

Constructed Responses

Target the essential parts that need to be included in a polished constructed response—evidence, elaboration, and explanation. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades 2-12
Extended Responses

Extended Responses

Demonstrate a deep understanding and synthesis after reading multiple texts on the same topic. Duration: 49 Minutes | Grades 3-12
Narrative Responses

Narrative Responses

Study the four types of narrative read-write prompts, including the text types associated with each and key skills to teach students. Duration: 41 Minutes | Grades 2-12
Research Experiences

Research Experiences

Identify frequent and authentic opportunities for students to execute research in the everyday classroom. Duration: 52 Minutes | Grades 2-12
Subject-Area Reading

Subject-Area Reading

Learn precisely how texts and purposes vary when reading in math, ELA, science, and social studies. Duration: 51 Minutes | Grades 2-12 / ELL
Text Features

Text Features

Move beyond simply identifying text features to targeting the bigger purposes behind the inclusion of these organizational aids. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Word Problems

Word Problems

Teach the technical and close-reading skills needed to comprehend story problems in math. Duration: 43 Minutes | Grades 2-12 / ELL
Digital Texts

Digital Texts

Teach students what the Reading Voice says, sees, and hears when “reading” audio, visual, and video texts. Duration: 48 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Closing Session

Closing Session

In an era when distractions and disruptions are commonplace, delivering effective whole-class lessons is a persistent challenge. To overcome that challenge, teachers need the tools to make their lessons explicit and engaging. During her kickoff to Super Saturday,...
Keynote – Reading Lessons Redefined

Keynote – Reading Lessons Redefined

In an era when distractions and disruptions are commonplace, delivering effective whole-class lessons is a persistent challenge. To overcome that challenge, teachers need the tools to make their lessons explicit and engaging. During her kickoff to Super Saturday,...
webPD | Ask two types of after-reading questions

webPD | Ask two types of after-reading questions

Ask two types of after-reading questions There are two broad categories of after-reading questions that primary teachers should be asking regarding comprehension. Questions that ask about the details stated in the text. Questions that go beyond the details stated in...
Closing Session

Closing Session

In an era when distractions and disruptions are commonplace, delivering effective whole-class lessons is a persistent challenge. To overcome that challenge, teachers need the tools to make their lessons explicit and engaging. During her kickoff to Super Saturday,...
Digital Texts

Digital Texts

Teach students what the Reading Voice says, sees, and hears when “reading” audio, visual, and video texts. Duration: 48 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Word Problems

Word Problems

Teach the technical and close-reading skills needed to comprehend story problems in math. Duration: 43 Minutes | Grades 2-12 / ELL
Text Features

Text Features

Move beyond simply identifying text features to targeting the bigger purposes behind the inclusion of these organizational aids. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Subject-Area Reading

Subject-Area Reading

Learn precisely how texts and purposes vary when reading in math, ELA, science, and social studies. Duration: 51 Minutes | Grades 2-12 / ELL
Research Experiences

Research Experiences

Identify frequent and authentic opportunities for students to execute research in the everyday classroom. Duration: 52 Minutes | Grades 2-12
Narrative Responses

Narrative Responses

Study the four types of narrative read-write prompts, including the text types associated with each and key skills to teach students. Duration: 41 Minutes | Grades 2-12
Extended Responses

Extended Responses

Demonstrate a deep understanding and synthesis after reading multiple texts on the same topic. Duration: 49 Minutes | Grades 3-12
Constructed Responses

Constructed Responses

Target the essential parts that need to be included in a polished constructed response—evidence, elaboration, and explanation. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades 2-12
Primary Writing

Primary Writing

Learn developmentally-appropriate writing skills that include textual evidence in pictures, labels, and simple sentences. Duration: 53 Minutes | Grades K-2 / ELL
First Day to Test Day

First Day to Test Day

Identify a yearlong scaffold of write-about-reading skills needed to be game-day ready. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades K-3 / ELL
Annotate & Note-Take

Annotate & Note-Take

Equip readers with ways to record their thoughts while reading using grade-appropriate techniques. Duration: 45 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Background Knowledge

Background Knowledge

Provide strategies for readers to make inferences despite a lack of text-to-self connections or personal experiences. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Make Inferences

Make Inferences

Introduce how the Reading Voice and Thinking Voice work together to figure out something the author never stated. Duration: 40 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Context Clues

Context Clues

Demystify the idea of using context clues by showing students what clues to look for and where to look for them. Duration: 47 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Science of Reading

Science of Reading

Understand that phonics and decoding must be taught in conjunction with comprehension and meaning—and vice versa. Duration: 39 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Compare-Contrast

Compare-Contrast

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts that move readers from comparing individual ideas to comparing whole texts. Duration: 50 Minutes | Grades K-12
Perspective & Point of View

Perspective & Point of View

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts to determine character feelings, infer author perspective, and analyze points of view. Duration: 49 Minutes | Grades K-12
Text Structure

Text Structure

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts to understand the connection between an author’s purpose and the text’s organizational structure. Duration: 53 Minutes | Grades K-12
Track Ideas

Track Ideas

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts to teach readers how to track individual story elements and analyze their relationships. Duration: 48 Minutes | Grades K-12
Summarize Literature

Summarize Literature

Acquire a scaffold of lesson concepts to advance readers from retelling to summarizing to inferring the theme. Duration: 55 Minutes | Grades K-12
Vocabulary Lists

Vocabulary Lists

Learn the 4-step process for building a grade-level list of domain-specific and general academic words. Duration: 44 minutes | Grades K-12
Functional Vocabulary

Functional Vocabulary

Recognize the direct relationship between knowing general academic words and accurately decoding a prompt. Duration: 44 Minutes | Grades 2-12 / ELL
Marzano’s 6 Steps

Marzano’s 6 Steps

Provide whole-class mini-lessons on domain-specific vocabulary following Marzano’s research-based steps to mastery. Duration: 55 Minutes | Grades K-12 / ELL
Root-Word Instruction

Root-Word Instruction

Grow vocabulary knowledge exponentially with explicit lessons on prefixes, suffixes, and bases. Duration: 50 Minutes | Grades 3-12 / ELL
Stages of Word Work

Stages of Word Work

Recognize the hierarchy of phonics development from lower to upper grades. Duration: 54 minutes | Grades K-3 / ELL
webAcademy | First Day to Test Day

webAcademy | First Day to Test Day

Learn more about this workshop Want to offer this workshop for the entire staff? Contact us. Session Content First Day to Test Day: Let’s Get Started! First Day to Test Day – Session 1 First Day to Test Day – Session 2 First Day to Test Day –...
First Day to Test Day – SESSION 4

First Day to Test Day – SESSION 4

Raise the rigor to reading multiple texts and composing extended responses—all in one sitting. Provide explicit instruction on academic vocabulary to support students in decoding and responding to prompts.Build on the students’ knowledge of short constructed responses...
First Day to Test Day – SESSION 3

First Day to Test Day – SESSION 3

Advance students beyond making single-text inferences to generating multi-text syntheses. Identify a step-by-step process for reading and annotating multiple texts in one sitting.Dissect how readers integrate ideas learned from multiple sources to generate a new...
First Day to Test Day – SESSION 2

First Day to Test Day – SESSION 2

Reveal to students that their thinking must also be communicated in writing. Define the ingredients to a strong constructed response.Propel students beyond simply stating evidence to explaining it. Duration: 1:17:30 Return to course homepage
First Day to Test Day – SESSON 1

First Day to Test Day – SESSON 1

Target the thinking that students must execute when reading any text. Demystify the inference process in order to answer comprehension questions about complex texts.Attack questions with test-taking tips to support finding the “best” and “most likely” answers....
Keynote – Reading Lessons Redefined

Keynote – Reading Lessons Redefined

In an era when distractions and disruptions are commonplace, delivering effective whole-class lessons is a persistent challenge. To overcome that challenge, teachers need the tools to make their lessons explicit and engaging. During her kickoff to Super Saturday,...
Webinar | Anchor Comprehension Lessons with Anchor Charts

Webinar | Anchor Comprehension Lessons with Anchor Charts

Anchor Comprehension Lessons with Anchor Charts In this video, originally presented as a webinar, Kristina Smekens demonstrates the power in providing visual anchor charts for student learning. Rather than simply displaying them, Kristina shows how to build them...
webPD | Introduce Students to the 3 Reader Voices

webPD | Introduce Students to the 3 Reader Voices

Introduce Students to the 3 Reader Voices In this video, originally presented as a webinar, Kristina Smekens explains that all readers have three voices in their heads: the Reading Voice, the Thinking Voice, and the Distracting Voice. She goes on to share how to...
Webinar | Advance Beyond Doing Reading to Teaching Reading

Webinar | Advance Beyond Doing Reading to Teaching Reading

Advance Beyond Doing Reading to Teaching Reading Our class periods and reading blocks are often filled with students practicing and applying comprehension skills; they are “doing” a lot of reading. However, these experiences cannot replace the explicit teaching of...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Show, Don’t Tell (Grade 7)

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Show, Don’t Tell (Grade 7)

Mini-Lesson: Show, Don’t Tell This mini-lesson challenges writers to use action verbs to show their feelings. Using engaging mentor text, Kristina explains how to include action verbs to show feeling. Duration: 11:33 | Grade 7
webPD | What should be my end-of-year writing focus?

webPD | What should be my end-of-year writing focus?

What should be my end-of-year writing focus? As teachers are preparing to wrap up a school year disrupted by the pandemic, many are wondering what to prioritize in their writing instruction. Regardless of whether students are in first grade or high school, a focus on...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Sensory Mix-Up: 2-Step Directions

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Sensory Mix-Up: 2-Step Directions

Mini-Lesson: Sensory Mix-Up: 2-Step Directions This mini-lesson shows students how to include sensory details in their writing. Using the idea of sand art, Kristina explains how to mix in sensory details throughout their writing. Duration: 14:28 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Patterning First-Liners

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Patterning First-Liners

Mini-Lesson: Patterning First-Liners This mini-lesson shows students how to pattern their own beginnings in writing after mentor text. Using engaging mentor text examples, Kristina shows how to write a good first-liner. Duration: 14:54 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: X-Ray Editing

webPD | Mini-Lesson: X-Ray Editing

Mini-Lesson: X-Ray Editing This mini-lesson shows students how to look for their writing errors when they edit. Using colorful glasses, Kristina demonstrates how to focus on one editing task at a time. Duration: 13:35 | Grade 4
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Consistent Verb Tense

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Consistent Verb Tense

Mini-Lesson: Consistent Verb Tense This mini-lesson explains how to maintain consistent verb tense. Using a sand timer, Kristina shows students the concept of past tense, present tense, and future tense. Duration: 12:30 | Grade 8
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Punctuating Dialogue

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Punctuating Dialogue

Mini-Lesson: Punctuating Dialogue This mini-lesson explains how to use quotation marks in dialogue. Using air quotes and a little history, Kristina shows students how to place quotation marks around what characters say. Duration: 13:57 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Pause for Commas

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Pause for Commas

Mini-Lesson: Pause for Commas This mini-lesson helps students learn how to know where to add a comma. Using the mentor text “Eats, Shoots & Leaves,” Kristina shows students how important the comma is for conveying meaning. Duration: 13:06 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Hearing End Marks

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Hearing End Marks

Mini-Lesson: Hearing End Marks This mini-lesson helps students learn how to listen for punctuation. Using passages without words, Kristina shows students how to listen for different punctuation marks. Duration: 12:41 | Grade 1
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Spacing Between Words

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Spacing Between Words

Mini-Lesson: Spacing Between Words This mini-lesson shows how important it is to include spaces between words. Using dominoes, Kristina shows students what happens if no space is left between dominoes—and words. Duration: 12:07 | Grade K
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Passing the Tower Test

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Passing the Tower Test

Mini-Lesson: Passing the Tower Test This mini-lesson demonstrates how to avoid writing run-on sentences. Using wooden blocks, Kristina shows students how a tower of blocks will fall if too many blocks are added–just like too many words might require more than...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Charting Sentence Fluency

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Charting Sentence Fluency

Mini-Lesson: Charting Sentence Fluency This mini-lesson demonstrates how students can self-assess varied sentence length. Putting aside the Slinky, Kristina shows students another way to check their sentence length to see if they have enough variety. Duration: 11:50 |...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Slinky Sentences

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Slinky Sentences

Mini-Lesson: Sentence Stretching with a Slinky This mini-lesson demonstrates how students can self-assess varied sentence length. Using a Slinky, Kristina shows students how to check their sentence length to see if they have variety. Duration: 14:09 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Sentence Stretching with a Slinky

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Sentence Stretching with a Slinky

Mini-Lesson: Sentence Stretching with a Slinky This mini-lesson demonstrates how students can self-assess varied sentence length. Using a Slinky, Kristina shows students how to stretch out some sentences to make them longer. Duration: 15:02 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Get Outta Here

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Get Outta Here

Mini-Lesson: Get Outta Here This mini-lesson encourages students to replace worn-out verbs with better action verbs. Using the analogy of the verb being the engine of the sentence, Kristina shows students how to replace weak verbs with stronger ones. Duration: 12:27 |...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Sequential Action Verbs

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Sequential Action Verbs

Mini-Lesson: Sequential Action Verbs This mini-lesson shows how to include multiple action verbs in one sentence. Using mentor text examples, Kristina shows students how to add powerful verbs to their writing. Duration: 15:06 | Grade 5
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Brand-Name Nouns

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Brand-Name Nouns

Mini-Lesson: Brand-Name Nouns This mini-lesson emphasizes the importance of using precise nouns instead of vague ones. Using a brand-name cereal box and a generic cereal box, Kristina explains how to use the right word in the right place for good word choice....
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Comparison Details

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Comparison Details

Mini-Lesson: Comparison Details This mini-lesson explains the importance of using good word choice with comparison details. Using the bullseye word choice icon, Kristina guides students through the process of adding comparison details in their informative writing....
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Weaving Description Among Facts

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Weaving Description Among Facts

Mini-Lesson: Weaving Description Among Facts This mini-lesson shows students how to include descriptive details in their informative writing. Using the idea of braiding, Kristina demonstrates how to weave descriptive details among facts. Duration: 14:41 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Show, Don’t Tell (Grade 2)

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Show, Don’t Tell (Grade 2)

Mini-Lesson: Show, Don’t Tell This mini-lesson challenges your writers to add details to show their feelings rather than telling their feelings. Using a magnifying glass, Kristina explains how to add close-up details to show feeling. Duration: 13:18 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Choosing Sides

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Choosing Sides

Mini-Lesson: Choosing Sides This mini-lesson helps students understand that voice is determined by perspective. Using a Rubik’s cube, Kristina explains that one issue or topic could have several different “sides.” Duration: 14:32 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Different Perspectives

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Different Perspectives

Mini-Lesson: Different Perspectives This mini-lesson shows how voice changes based on perspective. Using engaging mentor text, Kristina demonstrates how writing from a unique perspective improves the trait of voice. Duration: 13:27 | Grade 8
webPD | Mini-Lesson: P.A.T. Determines Voice

webPD | Mini-Lesson: P.A.T. Determines Voice

Mini-Lesson: P.A.T. Determines Voice This mini-lesson helps students determine their writing voice based on the purpose and audience for their writing. Using a flipbook, Kristina shows students how voice is different depending on why you’re writing and who will...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Hearing & Naming Voice

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Hearing & Naming Voice

Mini-Lesson: Hearing, Naming, & Finding Voice This mini-lesson explains to students the importance of listening for voice as readers, and then naming it. Using the voice poster, Kristina helps students see how to using feeling words to pinpoint voice in writing....
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Backwards Brainstorming

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Backwards Brainstorming

Mini-Lesson: Backwards Brainstorming This mini-lesson asks students to start with their feelings and then think of a topic. Using the voice poster, Kristina leads students through brainstorming topics based on different feelings. Duration: 14:15 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Writing Purposeful Transitions

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Writing Purposeful Transitions

Mini-Lesson: Writing Purposeful Transitions This mini-lesson helps students understand the importance of using purposeful transitions. Using a road sign, Kristina explains to students how transitions in our writing guide a reader just like road signs guide a driver....
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Organizing a Compare-Contrast

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Organizing a Compare-Contrast

Mini-Lesson: Organizing a Compare-Contrast This mini-lesson explains how to organize a compare-contrast piece of writing. Using a specially wrapped package, Kristina shows students how to pre-write using a T-Chart instead of a Venn diagram. Duration: 13:25 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Yo-Yo Beginnings & Endings

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Yo-Yo Beginnings & Endings

Mini-Lesson: Yo-Yo Beginnings & Endings This mini-lesson shows students how to start and end their writing with the same technique. Using a Yo-Yo, Kristina shows students several different ways to begin and end a piece of writing. Duration: 15:47 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: 10 Types of Introductions

webPD | Mini-Lesson: 10 Types of Introductions

Mini-Lesson: 10 Types of Introductions This mini-lesson provides students with 10 different ways to write or deliver and introduction. Using the train icon for the trait of organization, Kristina focuses on ways to write an introduction that grab a reader’s...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Stay on Topic with Title

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Stay on Topic with Title

Mini-Lesson: Stay on Topic with Titles This mini-lesson demonstrates how writers should only include details in the title that follow the topic they’re writing about. Using a box of cereal, Kristina shows students how a reader expects to read only details that...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Strong Titles

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Strong Titles

Mini-Lesson: Strong Titles This mini-lesson explains the importance of choosing a title carefully when writing. Using two different wrapped gifts, Kristina shows students how a strong title can grab their readers’ attention. Duration: 15:48 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: 4 Steps to Paraphrase

webPD | Mini-Lesson: 4 Steps to Paraphrase

Mini-Lesson: 4 Steps to Paraphrase This mini-lesson explains the 4-step process of paraphrasing. Using hand motions for each step, Kristina shows students how to read a text and then put what they read into their own words. Duration: 15:09 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Adding Details with the ABC Chart

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Adding Details with the ABC Chart

Mini-Lesson: Adding Details with the ABC Chart This mini-lesson shows students how brainstorm for details to improve their writing. Using the ABC Chart, Kristina shows students how to brainstorm for details before they write. Duration: 14:57 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Slow-Motion Writing

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Slow-Motion Writing

Mini-Lesson: Slow-Motion Writing This mini-lesson shows students how to slow down to improve their writing. By acting out different tasks like brushing your teeth, Kristina shows students the importance of slowing down when they write so they can include more details....
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Pump Up Your Writing

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Pump Up Your Writing

Mini-Lesson: Pump Up Your Writing This mini-lesson shows students how to develop their ideas to make their writing better. Using a balloon, Kristina shows students how to “pump” up their writing with added details. With each detail she adds, she blows more...
webPD | Does decoding the prompt ensure test success?

webPD | Does decoding the prompt ensure test success?

Does decoding the prompt ensure test success? Many ELA standardized assessments include a complex task. These often require students to combine several reading and writing skills in order to produce a longer written response. To succeed at such a task, students must...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Narrow Down to a Thesis

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Narrow Down to a Thesis

Mini-Lesson: Narrow Down to a Thesis This mini-lesson demonstrates how to drill down a topic/idea to a specific thesis statement. Using nesting boxes, Kristina delineates how to take a huge concept and narrow it down to a sentence that includes the three essentials of...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Narrow the Topic (Grade 3)

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Narrow the Topic (Grade 3)

Mini-Lesson: Narrow the Topic This mini-lesson explains the importance of narrowing a topic when writing. Using nesting boxes, Kristina demonstrates how to move from a broad topic to a more specific, narrowed topic. Duration: 15:34 | Grade 3
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Narrow the Topic (Grade 5)

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Narrow the Topic (Grade 5)

Mini-Lesson: Narrow the Topic This mini-lesson explains the importance of narrowing a topic when writing. Using nesting boxes, Kristina demonstrates how to move from a broad topic to a more specific, narrowed topic. Duration: 15:47 | Grade 5
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce Argumentative Writing

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce Argumentative Writing

Mini-Lesson: Introduce Argumentative Writing This mini-lesson includes an explanation of the differences between persuasive and argumentative writing. Using the imagery of scales, Kristina helps students understand how writers balance their writing with pros and cons...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Adding Details with Carets

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Adding Details with Carets

Mini-Lesson: Adding Details with Carets This mini-lesson shows students how to add more to their writing. Kristina helps students see how to use a caret to add more details to their writing. Duration: 14:04 | Grade 1
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Read Up, Write Down

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Read Up, Write Down

Mini-Lesson: Read Up, Write Down This mini-lesson demonstrates a strategy for self-editing. Kristina shows students the importance of lifting their papers when they self-edit. When they write, their papers are flat on their desks. But when it’s time to...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce Text Features

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce Text Features

Mini-Lesson: Introduce Text Features This mini-lesson introduces the concept of text features. Using the Guinness Book of World Records, Kristina points out different kinds of text features and their importance. Duration: 13:56 | Grade 3
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Main-Idea Newspaper Headlines

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Main-Idea Newspaper Headlines

Mini-Lesson: Main-Idea Newspaper Headlines This mini-lesson helps students to understand the concept of a main idea and how to identify it within a text. Using newspaper headlines, Kristina shows students how to look for the clues from the text to create a...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Writing a Strong Summary

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Writing a Strong Summary

Mini-Lesson: Writing a Strong Summary This mini-lesson walks students through the process of writing a summary. Using a sports analogy, Kristina explains the difference between a retell (the play-by-play) and a summary (the highlights/ESPN SportsCenter). Duration:...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Recalling the Details of a Story

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Recalling the Details of a Story

Mini-Lesson: Recalling the Details of a Story This mini-lesson helps students remember the details from a story they’ve just read. Using the ABC Chart, Kristina shows students how to collect their thoughts as they recall characters, settings, and events from the...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Recall & Retell with ABC Chart

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Recall & Retell with ABC Chart

Mini-Lesson: Recall & Retell with ABC Chart This mini-lesson guides students through the process of retelling a story. Using the ABC Chart, Kristina helps students first collect the details they remember. Then, using a 3-box storyboard, she shows them how to put...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Improving Peer Revision

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Improving Peer Revision

Mini-Lesson: Improving Peer Revision This mini-lesson helps students make the peer-revision process powerful. Kristina provides specific questions students can use in order to give meaningful feedback to their peers. Duration: 12:22 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Revise in 3 Steps

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Revise in 3 Steps

Mini-Lesson: Revise in 3 Steps This mini-lesson teaches the importance of revision in writing. Using Play-Doh as a trigger, Kristina has the students experience the entire writing process in a few minutes—including revision. Duration: 13:09 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Make Room for Revision

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Make Room for Revision

Mini-Lesson: Make Room for Revision This mini-lesson demonstrates two ways students can make room in their writing for revision. Kristina demonstrates the process and invites students to try both during writing time. Duration: 14:48 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Make Room for Revision

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Story Surgery

Mini-Lesson: Story Surgery This mini-lesson introduces students to a new revision strategy—story surgery. Using a fake liver as a visual trigger, Kristina shares how to cut up the writing to “mess with its guts.” Duration: 12:45 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Make a “Done” List

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Make a “Done” List

Mini-Lesson: Make a “Done” List This mini-lesson shows students specific ways to revise their writing when they think they are finished. Kristina creates a “Done” List with the students to demonstrate that they can still make changes to their...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Readers Make Inferences

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Readers Make Inferences

Mini-Lesson: Readers Make Inferences This mini-lesson introduces students the process of making an inference. Using a magnifying glass, Kristina shows students how to look for clues like a detective. Duration: 13:31 | Grade 4
webPD | Classroom Activity: Stand Up, Sit Down  (Grade 4)

webPD | Classroom Activity: Stand Up, Sit Down (Grade 4)

Classroom Activity: Stand Up, Sit Down (Grade 4) This classroom activity allows students to review content. The initial video includes instructions. Kristina adds an element of fun to the review by having students share the content in engaging ways. Duration: 7:40 |...
webPD | Classroom Activity: Stand Up, Sit Down  (Grade 2)

webPD | Classroom Activity: Stand Up, Sit Down (Grade 2)

Classroom Activity: Stand Up, Sit Down (Grade 2) This classroom activity allows students to review content. The initial video includes instructions. Kristina adds an element of fun to the review by having students share the content in engaging ways. Duration: 7:22 |...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Turn Fragments into Sentences

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Turn Fragments into Sentences

Mini-Lesson: Turn Fragments into Sentences This mini-lesson helps students learn how to turn words and phrases into complete sentences. Using Spider Legs, Kristina demonstrates an engaging way to revise a first draft, turning fragments into sentences. Duration: 16:07...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Support Writers with Frames

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Support Writers with Frames

Mini-Lesson: Support Writers with Frames This mini-lesson shows students how to make their writing longer and more organized. Using pictures about learning to hit a baseball, Kristina shows how writers need support, too, when learning new skills. Duration: 15:26 |...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Listing Related Details

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Listing Related Details

Mini-Lesson: Listing Related Details This mini-lesson helps students understand how to list multiple details for a topic. Using the train trigger and a grocery list, Kristina shows students that all items on a list should go together. Duration: 15:33 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: 3 Reasons to Indent

webPD | Mini-Lesson: 3 Reasons to Indent

Mini-Lesson: 3 Reasons to Indent This mini-lesson shows students how to indent their paragraphs for different reasons. Using the image of a “dent” in clay, Kristina shows three specific reasons for indenting a paragraph. Duration: 15:25 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Changing Sentence Speeds

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Changing Sentence Speeds

Mini-Lesson: Changing Sentence Speeds This mini-lesson helps students understand how to intentionally create long or short sentences based on topic and purpose. Using engaging examples, Kristina models the process of deciding what length is best based on the topic and...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Supersizing Sentences

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Supersizing Sentences

Mini-Lesson: Supersizing Sentences This mini-lesson encourages students to stretch their sentences to new lengths. Using supersized fast food, Kristina helps students understand how to make their sentences more detailed and developed. Duration: 14:28 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Hearing Punctuation

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Hearing Punctuation

Mini-Lesson: Hearing Punctuation This mini-lesson helps students to hear punctuation when they’re reading their writing aloud. Using a high-interest text, Kristina helps students learn to listen for end marks. Duration: 13:03 | Grade 2
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Understanding Parallelism

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Understanding Parallelism

Mini-Lesson: Understanding Parallelism This mini-lesson emphasizes how using parallel structure in writing improves the sentence fluency. Using colored beads as a trigger, Kristina demonstrates how to revise phrases to follow a pattern that makes the writing more...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Choose the Best Adjectives

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Choose the Best Adjectives

Mini-Lesson: Choose the Best Adjectives This mini-lesson focuses on how to select the best adjective to describe a noun. Using engaging pictures, Kristina helps students brainstorm possible words and then helps them determine which is the best one for a specific...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Self-Edit a Digital Draft

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Self-Edit a Digital Draft

Mini-Lesson: Self-Edit a Digital Draft This mini-lesson deals with how to self-edit a first draft off of a screen. Kristina shares three tips for finding errors in an on-screen draft—even if a student has just written the draft. Duration: 18:48 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Faces & Words with Feelings

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Faces & Words with Feelings

Mini-Lesson: Faces & Words with Feelings This mini-lesson demonstrates how voice can be shown in both pictures and words. Using mentor text to demonstrate, Kristina shows kindergartners how to use facial expressions in their drawings to convey emotion. She also...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Add Beginnings & Endings to Middles

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Add Beginnings & Endings to Middles

Mini-Lesson: Add Beginnings & Endings to Middles This mini-lesson helps students understand that all writing should include three parts. Using writing samples, Kristina shows how to add a beginning and an end to what most students write—just a middle. Duration:...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Puff Up a Pre-Write Mini-Lesson Series

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Puff Up a Pre-Write Mini-Lesson Series

Mini-Lesson: Puff Up a Pre-Write Mini-Lesson Series This mini-lesson series reminds students of pre-writing with a list and how that provides the ideas to include in a writing. Using the compression bag trigger and different lists of ideas in her Think Aloud, Kristina...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Puff Up a Pre-Write

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Puff Up a Pre-Write

Mini-Lesson: Puff Up a Pre-Write This mini-lesson reminds students of the function of a pre-write and how it provides the ideas to include in a writing. Using a compression bag (and sound effects), Kristina shows students how “puff up” their ideas during...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce a Synthesis

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce a Synthesis

Mini-Lesson: Introduce a Synthesis This mini-lesson uses what the students already know about the Reading Voice & Thinking Voice to help them take the next step in inferring ideas. Using a baking analogy, Kristina helps students understand the abstract concept of...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Juggling Nouns & Pronouns

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Juggling Nouns & Pronouns

Mini-Lesson: Juggling Nouns & Pronouns This mini-lesson demonstrates how to determine when to use a noun and when it’s best to replace it with a pronoun. Using a basketball team analogy, Kristina walks students through the process of deciding when to...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Pre-Write Action Verbs

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Pre-Write Action Verbs

Mini-Lesson: Pre-Write Action Verbs This mini-lesson encourages students to include action verbs in their writing. Using a comparison between name-brand batteries and generic, Kristina shows students how to make powerful verb choices when they pre-write. Duration:...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Sticky Dot Details

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Sticky Dot Details

Mini-Lesson: Sticky Dots This mini-lesson encourages students to add more details to their writing. Using different colored sticky dots, Kristina demonstrates how to add details by writing more than one sentence about each idea. Duration: 15:14 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Add More Colorful Sentences

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Add More Colorful Sentences

Mini-Lesson: Add More Colorful Sentences This mini-lesson encourages students to add more sentences to their writing. Using colorful gel pens, Kristina offers incentive for writing additional sentences—a new color for each added sentence. Duration: 14:32 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Choose a Position in 4 Steps

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Choose a Position in 4 Steps

Mini-Lesson: Choose a Position in 4 Steps This mini-lesson leads kindergartners through the 4-step process of picking a side on a debatable topic. Using a blue hat and a red hat, Kristina makes it clear which side she is taking as she lists evidence from the text for...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce Functional Vocabulary

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce Functional Vocabulary

Mini-Lesson: Introduce Functional Vocabulary This mini-lesson introduces students to some of the academic words they might encounter in standardized testing. Using a fidget cube, Kristina helps students understand the importance of knowing how to interpret academic...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Read Little Words in Story Problems

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Read Little Words in Story Problems

Mini-Lesson: Read Little Words in Story Problems This mini-lesson shows students the significance of little words used in math story problems. Kristina offers 3 tricks to support students in their reading comprehension of word problems. Duration: 24:17 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Read on Screen; Note on Paper

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Read on Screen; Note on Paper

Mini-Lesson: Read on Screen; Note on Paper This mini-lesson shows students how to make notes while reading on screen. Using a fidget cube and engaging text, Kristina explains the importance of making notes on paper. Duration: 24:17 | Grade 6
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce Annotation

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Introduce Annotation

Mini-Lesson: Introduce Annotation This mini-lesson introduces the how and why behind annotating text. Using a picture of tracks in the snow, Kristina helps students understand the importance of making reader notes along with annotation codes. Duration: 17:58 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Model a Synthesis (Upper Grades)

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Model a Synthesis (Upper Grades)

Mini-Lesson: Model a Synthesis This mini-lesson uses mentor text to demonstrate the process a reader goes through to synthesize ideas. Using a cake mix as a trigger, Kristina helps students understand the necessary ingredients required for synthesis. Duration: 9:41 |...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Model a Synthesis (Primary)

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Model a Synthesis (Primary)

Mini-Lesson: Model a Synthesis This mini-lesson demonstrates the process a reader goes through to synthesize from a text. Using a cake mix as a trigger, Kristina helps students understand the process of making a synthesis. Duration: 8:49 | Grades...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Value Multiple Sources

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Value Multiple Sources

Mini-Lesson: Value Multiple Sources This mini-lesson shows students the importance of reading more than one source. Using a set of images, Kristina helps students recognize how new information is added with additional pictures. Duration: 7:05 | Grade...
webPD | Mini-Lesson: Decode the Prompt

webPD | Mini-Lesson: Decode the Prompt

Mini-Lesson: Decode the Prompt This mini-lesson helps students learn how to read a prompt and how to write to a prompt. Using a decoder ring, Kristina helps students learn the secret for understanding the academic language used in prompts. Duration: 18:04 | Grade...
webPD | How do you prepare kids to decode prompts?

webPD | How do you prepare kids to decode prompts?

How do you prepare kids to decode prompts? A key part of preparing kids to decode prompts includes includes equipping kids with the skills and habits to read and interpret writing prompts accurately and independently. Students need to be able to read a prompt,...
webPD | How do I support students’ summary writing?

webPD | How do I support students’ summary writing?

How do I support students’ summary writing? If we want to teach students how to synthesize ideas, we have to start by teaching kids how to summarize them. After all, a student can’t think beyond the text if he can’t think about the text. That said, teachers at...
webPD | Where do I start when teaching theme?

webPD | Where do I start when teaching theme?

Where do I start when teaching theme? Even though determining a text’s theme is an expectation from grade 1-12, many educators wrestle with how to teach this ELA standard—and plenty more students wrestle with how to figure it out. To help students master inferring a...
webPD | How do I manage whole-class discussions virtually?

webPD | How do I manage whole-class discussions virtually?

How do I manage whole-class discussions virtually? Creating a classroom where all students are participating in the in-class discussion is hard. And when you put masks on those same kids or set them in front of webcams, the conversation is quickly stifled. Although...
webPD | How do you engage students during a virtual read aloud?

webPD | How do you engage students during a virtual read aloud?

How do you engage students during a virtual read aloud? Long before the pandemic, teachers have been applying tricks of the trade to lead classroom read alouds that draw students in and keep them engaged. But now that many teachers are conducting read alouds in a...
webPD | How can I conduct formative assessment virtually?

webPD | How can I conduct formative assessment virtually?

How can I conduct formative assessment virtually? Throughout the instructional process, it’s important for teachers to utilize formative assessments to evaluate the progress of students’ learning. After all, we don’t want to wait until the end of a unit to learn that...
webPD | How do I create a digital 6-Traits bulletin board?

webPD | How do I create a digital 6-Traits bulletin board?

How do I create a digital 6-Traits bulletin board? For years, Smekens Education has been advocating for teachers to kick off their introduction to the Six Traits of Writing with a bulletin board that grows and evolves as the school year progresses....
webPD | How do I overcome my own biases?

webPD | How do I overcome my own biases?

How do I overcome my own biases? As educators seek to build more equitable classrooms, an important first step is to acknowledge that even the most well-intentioned educators possess inherent biases. These baked-in perceptions of the world are shaped by a variety of...
webPD | How can I use Flipgrid to practice fluency?

webPD | How can I use Flipgrid to practice fluency?

How can I use Flipgrid to practice fluency? As educators continue to sharpen their skills using technology in the ELA classroom, Flipgrid can be used to help teach fluency to students. Flipgrid is a free classroom tool that has grown in popularity since the increase...
webPD | How can I use Flipgrid in math?

webPD | How can I use Flipgrid in math?

How can I use Flipgrid in math? Flipgrid is a free classroom tool that has grown in popularity since the increase in remote learning. Check out this step-by-step guide to set up a math lesson on Flipgird. Duration: 3:05 | Grades...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading Learn how to ramp up the rigor in your reading while honoring the gradual release of responsibility. Find out how to immerse students in complex text and achieve a close reading while they learn how to synthesize their...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Content-Area Literacy

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Content-Area Literacy Learn how to integrate literacy skills into the content areas. Whether teaching science or social studies or math, students need to know how to read closely and how to write about what they read. Duration: 106 minutes...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: 6-Traits Launch

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: 6-Traits Launch Learn how to take the six ingredients to good writing and share them with your students. You’ll learn how to recognize the traits within student writing and then learn how to communicate the six traits to your writers....
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: 6-Traits Mini-Lessons

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: 6-Traits Mini-Lessons Learn how to teach a 6-Traits mini-lesson for daily writing instruction. Find out how to include all the right elements in each short 10-15 minute lesson as well as how to plan for multiple days of lessons to teach...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: 6-Traits Rubrics

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: 6-Traits Rubrics Learn how to introduce the concept of a rubric to your writers. Then, build a kid-friendly rubric based on the 6 Traits. Create writing examples, being sure to include every level of ability represented in your class. As...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Argumentative Writing

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Argumentative Writing Learn how to teach your students to write argumentative pieces that include evidence. Watch as Kristina Smekens models how to help students discover how to align with the strongest position rather than just their own...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Informative Writing

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Informative Writing Learn how to provide everyday opportunities for research that can result in a variety of product options. Find ways to teach students how to organize their source information while avoiding plagiarism. Learn how to...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Writing About Reading

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Writing About Reading Learn how to teach your students to cite evidence as well as how to weave in the citations necessary to identify their sources. Discover ways to use writing after a close reading to assess understanding as well as how...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Vocabulary

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Vocabulary Learn how to teach vocabulary to support acquisition of words as well as understanding of academic vocabulary that students will find in standardized assessments. Duration: 61 minutes | Grades 6-12
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Comprehension Mini-Lessons

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Comprehension Mini-Lessons Learn how to teach students the comprehension strategies they need to be successful readers. Watch as Kristina Smekens shows you how to introduce the comprehension strategies at the beginning of the year and then...
Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Standardized Test Prep

Learning Path | Grades 6-12: Standardized Test Prep Learn 5 strategies that will improve your students scores on reading assessments. Discover simple ways to prepare students for the type of academic vocabulary they will encounter on tests. Find out how to show...
Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Guided Reading

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Guided Reading

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Guided Reading After launching your reading block and literacy stations are up and running, begin working with small groups for guided reading. Learn the procedures and best practices to manage differentiated small-group guided reading...
Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Guided Reading

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Literacy Stations

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Literacy Stations Learn how to introduce literacy stations within your reading block. Discover how to build stamina with the Classroom Library station and how to introduce new stations with procedures that keep your classroom running...
Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Guided Reading

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Comprehension Mini-Lessons

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Comprehension Mini-Lessons Learn how to teach students the comprehension strategies they need to be successful readers. Watch as Kristina Smekens shows you how to introduce the comprehension strategies at the beginning of the year and then...
Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Guided Reading

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Vocabulary

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Vocabulary Learn how to teach vocabulary to support acquisition of words as well as understanding of academic vocabulary that students will find in standardized assessments. Duration: 60 minutes | Grades 3-5
Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Guided Reading

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Rigorous Reading

Learning Path | Grades 3-5: Rigorous Reading Learn how to ramp up the rigor in your reading while honoring the gradual release of responsibility. Find out how to immerse students in complex text and achieve a close reading while they learn how to synthesize their...
webPD | How do you model the Distracting Voice?

webPD | How do you model the Distracting Voice?

How do you model the Distracting Voice? Many teachers have been making the reading process more visible for students by introducing the Reading Voice and Thinking Voice during whole-class mini-lessons. When teachers use anchor text to model these two voices, it...
webPD | How do I effectively teach students to Turn & Talk?

webPD | How do I effectively teach students to Turn & Talk?

How do I effectively teach students to Turn & Talk? Whether you’re teaching in person or virtually, the challenge of getting every student involved in the learning is not a new one. The fact of the matter is, some students don’t have the desire, the...
webPD | How can I use Flipgrid to practice retelling?

webPD | How can I use Flipgrid to practice retelling?

How can I use Flipgrid to practice retelling? Educators have been bombarded with all types of online resources designed to make teaching during a pandemic more manageable. But one tool that has emerged as a consistent favorite is Flipgrid by Microsoft. Duration: 3:04...