Pat’s 25 years as a reading teacher, and Katie’s 24 years teaching experience in grades K-8, allow us to speak from experience about a wide variety of topics. We are available for consulting work and professional development workshops tailored to the specific needs of your staff and students, depending on the grade level, background knowledge, the diversity of the student population, and specific goals at the classroom, school or district level. Please feel free to contact Pat or Katie to create a custom workshop to fit your school.

Katie is also available to do webinars. These custom designed, interactive webinars using Blackboard Collaborate can be used for group staff development meetings and/or for teachers to access on their own time. This may be your answer to affordable and ongoing staff development that best meets the needs of your teachers. Contact Katie for more information.

Pat Johnson:

Katie Keier:

Although working with struggling readers and/or English Language Learners is our speciality, we can also present on other topics such as:

-developing strong writing workshops

-weaving poetry into your literacy workshops

-using updated children’s literature to teach FOR strategies

-assessment – analysis of running records/and other assessments – to help you plan instruction for struggling readers

-interactive read aloud as an effective instructional tool – moving talk in your classroom to a deeper level

-play and learning

-creating communities of learning that incorporate play and the meaningful learning of state and Common Core standards

-kindergarten specific workshops that show how authentic literacy and math learning is integrated into a play-based kindergarten curriculum, while addressing the demands of state standards

Additional Workshops:

Keeping Our Language and Our Instruction Within the Child’s Zone

Most teachers have heard of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, but how does it relate to your first through third graders who are struggling with reading?  In this workshop we share how to observe, model, support, and instruct those students who are the hardest-to-teach to read.

Making the Most of Your Time with Readers Who Struggle

All teachers have at least one if not several readers who struggle in their classrooms.  Pat and Katie will address how best to understand what is going on with struggling readers in order to best meet their needs. Specific lessons will be shared spotlighting certain strategies. Learn how to transfer responsibility to students for using these strategies independently as part of a reading processing system. This workshop can be ½ day or full day and will include information for teachers in grades K-6.

More Meaning-Making, Less Rote

Meet the needs of your struggling readers in grades 3-6 with focused instruction in small groups.  Learn how to plan, teach, and scaffold these learners using short non-fiction texts, vignettes or short stories, and poetry.

Supporting Young English Language Learners with Literacy Acquisition, K-3

Many primary students who are having difficulty learning to read and write are also learning English at the same time.  Pat and Katie use their many years experience of working in highly diverse schools to share ways to support these learners.  Specific attention will be paid to small group work, book introductions, and building in opportunities for meaningful talk throughout your day.

Inferring – The Heartbeat of Comprehension, K-5

We all want students to comprehend beyond the literal level of texts.  But how do we teach students about inferring?  Is it necessary to learn the word “inferring” in order to do it?  This workshop helps teachers support students as they learn to dig deeper into the articles, books, and stories they read.

Catching Readers Before They Fall, K-6

Teachers don’t need another test to tell them which students are having problems learning to read.  They already know. What teachers want is help supporting those children who are struggling, catching them before they suffer the consequences of school failure.  Pat and Katie will share how they help classroom teachers observe students’ reading difficulties and plan instruction tailored to the needs of individual students.

Harnessing the Power of Shared Demonstrations

Are we jumping too fast from our modeling to independent practice?  Do students need more time learning about strategic actions by “doing it with us?”  In this workshop we will share ways to do interactive teaching, allowing students to take on some responsibility for thinking and comprehending as the teacher guides them through shared demonstrations.  This workshop can be designed for K-3, 3-6, or to include all grades K-6.

Powerful Literacy Teaching Through Inquiry, Interests and Play

When children are engaged in meaningful literacy experiences, learning soars. See how using inquiry based explorations and children’s interests can build a solid foundation of literacy learning. Participants will look at reading and writing to, with, and by children and see how literacy infuses a kindergarten day in meaningful, playful and powerful ways. Through photos, technology and student work samples, teachers will see how planning literacy throughout the day can support the learners in a classroom.

Playful Learning: It’s a Child’s Work

Our youngest learners need rich, meaningful learning experiences from the very first day they enter a classroom. Play is a child’s work, and play is how we can provide these experiences! In this time of raising the bar and increasing standards, how can we stay true to developmentally appropriate practice and playful learning? How can we keep learning fun? Participants will explore ways to meet the needs of all children as well as curriculum objectives and standards, through fun and playful learning and rich child-based experiences.

Literacy Learning for our Youngest Readers and Writers 

Engage your young preschool and kindergarten learners by supporting them in making meaning from powerful and fun literacy experiences. When we make learning fun, meaningful and relevant our young learners are engaged and learning. Participants will learn the key strategies and behaviors necessary for literacy success and see how we can teach these in engaging ways using children’s names, quality literature, children’s interests and technology. Participants will see video clips, photos and examples of student work and learn practical, useful strategies to take into the classroom to support our most beginning readers and writers.

Creating Literacy Communities to Nurture and Expand Our Readers

 Our classrooms are communities of readers and writers, mathematicians and scientists, artists and thinkers. We come together in the fall as a diverse group of learners and spend a year growing, discovering, exploring and redefining ourselves. This is exciting work we do as teachers! So how do we make sure our classroom communities inspire, empower, motivate and support all learners – while teaching the important curriculum and standards that are required?

Katie will discuss:

-structuring the classroom space to nurture and support our literacy learners,

-building community within a comprehensive literacy framework,

-supporting readers and writers identity and how teachers can use statements to help create literate identities,

-the power of read aloud to engage children in conversations that build community.


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