More Information on Customized Workshops


Integrated Unit Design

In this workshop, participants learn a step-by-step approach to designing rigorous units of study that are aligned with content standards while integrating the Common Core State Standards. By the end of the workshop, each participant will leave with an outline of a unit that they have designed to teach in his or her specific classroom. Gwen is available for support following the workshop to help refine lessons, develop needed resources, and provide feedback on the unit.

Best Practices in Grammar and Usage Instruction

Research shows that the “worksheet” approach to teaching grammar and usage has little impact on students’ conventions when writing. This workshop presents a variety of research-based approaches to teaching grammar and usage that transfer to students’ writing. Participants will leave this workshop with a plan of action and the tools to integrate grammar instruction into their writing units. Follow-up support from Gwen is available to help develop and refine lessons as well as gather resources.

Learning Progressions in the Common Core Writing and Language Standards

What is your school’s roadmap for learning, from grade to grade, in ELA? This workshop helps teachers understand the learning progressions integrated into the Common Core State Standards for ELA, specifically in writing and language. By the end of the workshop, participants will have a clear view of what is expected of students in their current grade as well as the grades prior and following. Resources will be provided that lay out the progressions for writing skills, grammar, and usage in a clear format. Schools can use this information to help create a writing program that builds upon itself from year to year. Using these learning progressions helps students and teachers know where they are going and develop a plan regarding how to get there.

All-School Writing Assessment Data Discussion

This is a two-part workshop. The first part is dedicated to discovering what “proficient” writing looks like at each grade level. Participants spend time looking at actual student writing to collaborate and come to agreement on scoring practices. Once the staff is calibrated, they spend time scoring pieces from their all-school writing assessments. Data is collected and recorded to be used in the second part of the workshop. The second part of the workshop is dedicated to analyzing the data and how it will influence instruction. Participants leave the workshop with specific instructional goals for their students and strategies to reach them.

Best Practices in Writing Instruction

In this hands-on workshop, participants learn and practice a variety of research-based teaching strategies that get results.

Disciplinary Literacy – Reading and Writing Like a Historian, Mathematician, or Scientist

There has been much talk about how the Common Core State Standards require all teachers to be teachers of literacy. What does this mean for content-area teachers? What does it look like? This workshop engages participants in an in-depth discussion regarding what literacy looks like in each discipline and effective strategies to teach disciplinary literacy without compromising the teaching of the content. Participants leave the session with an action plan and tools that can be used to design a unit or lesson plan that meets content standards as well as disciplinary literacy standards from the Common Core State Standards. Gwen is available for follow-up team meetings to support teachers as they take on this shift in their content-area teaching.