Our Professional Development Services For Teachers

Great teachers move their students along the road to success. Teachers want all students to succeed, yet research has shown that most have not been adequately prepared in evidence-based methodologies, nor given sufficient supported practice to master instructional skills. Our mentors help teachers at every stage in their careers to bridge the gaps in their knowledge and its application.

“Effective professional development for educators involves reflection, discussion, support, collaboration and continuous reference to the classroom and student work. Teachers need an array of skills and knowledge to successfully teach students to read well, and they need to continue to develop their professional capacity throughout their careers.”

—McCardle, Chhabra, & Kapinus. (2009). Reading Research in Action: A Teacher’s Guide for Student Success. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

We Partner with and Empower Teachers by:

  • respecting and responding to each school’s unique culture and climate. As external literacy specialists, our goal is to become viable members of school teams and earn teachers’ trust.
  • beginning by building on what teachers already know and do right.  We recognize that teachers want all students to achieve.
  • providing a customized professional development process that includes modeling, co-teaching, coaching, and reflection.

“Literacy How’s professional development model, with workshops and embedded classroom PD, affords teachers the opportunity to observe model lessons, co-teach with the mentor, ‘debrief’ and reflect in order to form a deep understanding of how to teach students to read.”

—Keely Edwards, Reading Specialist, Irving School, Derby, CT

We Develop Teachers’ Knowledge by:

  • translating quality reading research findings into the most effective teaching for educators at all levels with a particular emphasis on PreK to grade 3.
  • providing guidance in setting high, but realistic goals for student achievement and start with the end in mind through backwards planning using the K-grade 3 scope and sequences we have developed (i.e., curriculum maps).
  • helping create powerful lessons that create pathways for faster automatic word recognition by continuously linking speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
  • offering a variety of professional development workshop models.

We Support Teachers’ Practice by:

  • Wendy.vowelsmaximizing the effective use of resources, including classroom materials and school staff.
  • recommending and developing supplemental materials for classroom instruction.
  • matching the right type of text to students’ needs to give them practice in mastering reading skills.
  • helping teachers learn how to choose from a variety of books—predictable text for children who are learning the alphabetic principle; decodable text for students who need practice applying phonics skills; leveled text for working on comprehension strategies; authentic text to give students the opportunity to read quality literature and different genres.
  • maintaining teachers’ privacy as we work together to hone their instructional effectiveness.
  • sharing literacy how-to tips.

We Help Teachers Achieve Sustainable Gains by:

  • promoting school-wide collaboration to facilitate systemic change.
  • encouraging all those responsible for teaching literacy skills to attend our professional development sessions. These may include general and special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, teachers of English-language learners, reading teachers, literacy coaches, tutors, paraprofessionals, and administrators.

Spanish lesson

  • demonstrating explicit and direct, language-focused literacy instruction for Dual Language Learners (DLL) that highlights the similarities and differences between a student’s first language and English. Learn more about teaching DLL students.
  • training tutors and paraprofessionals to support classroom teachers to differentiate instruction for all students.
  • emphasizing differentiating instruction, based on student assessment, as important for all children, not just for those who struggle or are at risk.  Teachers must know where students are in order to determine how to move them to the next level.
  • interpreting student data for instruction and flexible grouping.
  • explaining how to monitor student growth using formal and informal assessments, especially as a means to guide instruction.  This includes knowing how to understand student errors and give positive corrective feedback, so teaching becomes both diagnostic and prescriptive.