An Innovative Scheduling and Literacy Problem Solving Team            

In this section we describe Workshops that can be adapted to meet the particular needs of a school, school district, or parent group.

Presented by Robert Lynn Canady

Presented by Carol E. Canady

WORKSHOP 1Grading Policies and Practices to Increase the Odds for Student Success 

The implementation of certain school policies and grading practices can encourage or discourage student motivation.  Historically, many grading practices were focused on sorting and selecting students.  With the accountability factors operating in schools today, in this workshop, we focus on what we have learned during the past two decades about teaching, assessing and reporting learning and the relationship of these factors to student motivation.  Grading issues and policies related to student motivation and valid assessments, along with suggestions for improvement, will be offered.

WORKSHOP 1: Instructional Moves to Get Pre-K and K Students Reading
Increasingly, students are expected to read by the end of Pre-K or at least by the first quarter of the Kindergarten year. In this workshop, we will: 
  • compare characteristics of emergent and beginning readers;
  • recommend a sequence for phonological (sound) awareness instruction;
  • share and practice teaching strategies for providing diagnostic teaching at each phase of the PA sequence. 
Remarkable reading gains typically have been achieved in Pre-K and K when teachers then implement these strategies in their own classrooms.
Building the Elementary School Master Schedule

Major goals of this workshop are to assist participants in designing master elementary schedules that:

  • Provide teachers at each grade level with common daily planning periods;
  • Provide a daily intervention/enrichment (I/E) period for students;
  • Reduce fragmentation of the school day and school programs;
  • Blend support programs and reduce stigmatization of students;
  • Provide reduced groups in reading and mathematics, possibly eliminating the need for traditional seatwork/center activities.

With the above structures in place, typically we observe a reduction in discipline problems and improved student achievement based on standardized test scores.

WORKSHOP 2Word Study: An Essential Element of Effective Literacy Instruction

Phonics/Spelling and Vocabulary have been identified by the National Reading Panel as essential to effective literacy instruction. Word Study is a developmental approach to teaching Phonics/Spelling and Vocabulary. In this workshop, we will: 

  • contrast traditional vs. developmental spelling instruction;
  • Introduce 5 stages of spelling development;
  • review a recognized sequence for WS instruction; 
  • model and then practice conducting explicit sorts. 
Effective integrated word study lessons will be shared with an emphasis on applying word study instruction to authentic reading and writing tasks. 


Building Middle School Schedules to Provide Extended Learning Time for Reading/LA, Math, Advising & Tutorials

With increased student needs identified in Grade 9, middle grade programs and schedules are receiving increased scrutiny. Workshop participants will explore various middle school schedules such as those that:

  • provide additional time in reading/language arts and mathematics;
  • provide tutorials and interventions during the school day;
  • allow students who have failed up to three courses to earn recovery credits during/after Grade 8.

WORKSHOP 3Successful Literacy Teams: Key Scheduling, Assessment, Flexible Grouping and Instructional Initiatives

Literacy team members deliver appropriate reading instruction to students in their assigned classrooms while also ensuring the ongoing, job-embedded learning of the adults who teach literacy. In this workshop, we will examine:

  • key scheduling, assessment, flexible grouping initiatives;
  • instructional initiatives for ensuring school-wide success.

Participants will consider application to their school settings.


Designing High School Schedules to Increase At-Risk Student Graduation Rates

For at least 40 percent of students, Grades 8, 9 and 10 have become the “Make It or Break It” years. By the end of Grade 10, nationally we have lost over one-third of our students (in some urban areas the loss is over 60 percent). This tragic loss of human potential, now is called “The Silent Epidemic.” To support, accelerate, and increase the graduation odds for these students, in place of providing traditional schedules with core classes spanning a full school calendar year, progressive scheduling alternatives designed to support and accelerate students are offered such as:

  • Balancing student work load in core classes with a large homework load;
  • Balancing the workload for teachers who teach these students so these teachers can perform the most productive teaching functions;
  • Reducing the amount of failing time for these students;
  • Providing support/tutorials during school hours;
  • Varying school hours for core classes such as beginning some primary core classes after 10:00 a.m. or even noon.

Workshop participants will review at least four schedules that incorporate the above five factors and study pros and cons of each.

WORKSHOP 4: Fluency Instruction: An Important Bridge to Reading Comprehension often suffers until readers have achieved fluency, the ability to flow with their words as they read. In this workshop, we will learn a progression of multiple fluency strategies designed to help students improve oral reading accuracy, rate and expression. Techniques for assessing fluency can be trained and practiced as well.

WORKSHOP 5: Student-Centered Reading and Learning Strategies

Student-centered reading and learning strategies can help students comprehend information and ideas at a higher level. In this workshop, we will learn a number of research-based principles for use before, during and after reading, viewing, or engaging in thoughtful action. Participants will observe particular strategies in actual classrooms and also will practice using them.

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