On-Demand Professional Learning

Choose your own adventure with...

This course was designed to support schoolwide or districtwide growth and change using the reading workshop instructional model within a balanced literacy framework. There is a storyline that arches over the entire course if you choose to view it from start to finish. There is also a storyline arching over each module which can be used as individual puzzle pieces to differentiate for the various needs of your staff. And then many individual lessons can be used in isolation for quick bite-sized PD. In other words, you can "choose your own adventure" to customize for your professional learning needs.

Free Consultation

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A member of our team will meet with school leaders to discuss professional learning options and ways to most effectively utilize this tool.

Course Curriculum

Here's what is included...

  • 01


    • Welcome to This Course

    • Overview of This Course

    • How to Use the Course Features

  • 02

    Module 1: Building Background


    • An Introduction to Best Practices

    • Clarifying Some Terminology

    • Rationale

    • What is Your Literacy History?

    • Reflecting on Our Literacy Histories: What Grows Readers?

    • What the Research Says About Effective Literacy Instruction

    • Reflecting on the Research Part 1

    • Reflecting on the Research Part 2

    • Reflecting on the Research Part 3

    • Reflecting on the Research Part 4

  • 03

    Module 2: Leveraging Balanced Literacy in the Reading/Writing Workshop

    • Why Focus on Balanced Literacy?

    • Balanced Literacy Components

    • Importance of Oral Language

    • Recommended Times

    • Gradual Release of Responsibility

    • Another Look at Balanced Literacy

    • What Happens During Independent Time?

    • Does This Really Work?

  • 04

    Module 3: Balanced Literacy Components

    • Introduction to Read-Aloud

    • Introduction to Shared Reading

    • Introduction to Word Study

    • Introduction to Small Group Instruction

    • Introduction to Independent Reading

    • A Balanced Approach to Reading for English Leaners

  • 05

    Module 4: Overview of Reading Workshop

    • 2-Year-Old Bike Rider

    • What do readers need?

    • Why Reading Workshop?

    • Workshop Structure

    • English Learners Need Predictable Structures

    • BONUS: Thoughts About Literacy Centers

    • Literacy Essentials Connections in the Reading Workshop

  • 06

    Module 5: Minilessons

    • Introduction to Minilessons

    • The "Minnie" on the Mini

    • Architecture of a Minilesson, Common Pitfalls, and Useful Tips

    • Minilesson Planning Template (Crowd Favorite!)

    • Let's Observe a Minilesson

    • How to Distill a Lesson (and Save Planning Time)

    • How to Plan a Lesson (and Save Time)

    • Reproducible Cheat Sheet and Planning Template

    • Supporting English Learners During Minilessons

    • Reflecting on Our Minilessons and Setting a Goal

  • 07

    Module 6: Book Access

    • Just-Right Texts

    • Choice

    • Access to Books

    • Books to Support English Learners

    • Book Access Bonus

    • Literacy Essentials & Book Access

  • 08

    BONUS: Unpacking the Calkins Reading Units of Study Kits

    • What's in Your K-2 Kit?

    • What's in Your Grade 3-5 Kit?

    • Accessing Heinemann Resources

    • K-2 Read Aloud and Shared Reading Resources

    • 3-5 Read Aloud Resources

    • Units, Bends, and Sessions, Oh My!

    • Planning Tips: Understanding the Storyline of the Units

    • Planning Tips: Tabbing the Sessions

    • Additional Unit Resources to Support English Learners

    • PD in a Box! (K-2)

    • PD in a Box! (Grades 3-5)

    • Supporting Families with the Units of Study

Your Instructors


Annemarie has a passion for growing readers, cultivating writers, and empowering teachers! She has 33 years of teaching experience--15 years as an elementary teacher and 18 as a K-6 literacy specialist/consultant in schools across the U.S. and Canada. During 7 of those years, she served on Lucy Calkins' Units of Study Team (TCRWP) and for the past 18 years, she has been an instructor for the Bureau of Education and Research (BER). She is also the founder of www.Teacher2Teacher Help.com, a website of free resources for elementary teachers. Her goal is to provide engaging, practical, and relevant strategies that inspire teachers to grow lifelong readers and writers in their classrooms.

Annemarie Johnson

Literacy Specialist

Your Instructors


Jenna Furr spent the first seven years of her teaching career as a first-grade teacher. Jenna's classroom wasn't just a place for 6-year-olds to learn, but it also served as a lab classroom for her colleagues to observe reading and writing workshop. She found joy in teaching teachers and soon transitioned into a her district's Literacy Coach role supporting K-12 teachers across 7 schools. After taking a parenting leave to raise her three small children, Jenna was able to continue supporting teachers through literacy consulting opportunities. As a mother & teacher, Jenna is passionate about growing the love of reading and writing with her two favorite kinds of people…educators and children.

Jenna Furr

Literacy Specialist

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