Teaching to Achieve Deep Level Reading Comprehension for STAAR

Debbie Whitt Jarzombek

Presenter: Debbie Whitt Jarzombek
Workshop Time: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Registration time: 8:00 am
Registration fee: $349 ($299 for Texas ASCD members)

Please contact our office to schedule this session at your location.

Summary:  Reading involves lifting meaning from the printed page.  Comprehension occurs when skilled readers interact with the text and self-question, infer, make connections, summarize, synthesize and relate. As STAAR requires close reading and an ability to provide text evidence, participants in this session will explore approaches for teaching these important skills.    Topics to be covered in this session include:

  • · 12 Guidelines for powerful reading instruction
  • · Developing strategic actions for comprehending texts
  • · Implications of modern brain research for reading instruction
  • · Strategies that promote students’ self-monitoring of comprehension
  • · Equipping students for STAAR’s close reading and text evidence  requirement
  • · Utilizing think alouds to model effective comprehension strategy use
  • · Developing an understanding of text genres and implications for instruction
  • · Recognizing the power of writing in comprehension skill development
  •    Creating a vocabulary rich classroom environment


Debbie Whitt Jarzombek’s administrative and teaching career in public schools spans thirty years and includes a variety of roles:  curriculum director, literacy coordinator, principal supervisor, elementary principal, elementary assistant principal, Reading Recovery teacher, middle school reading teacher, elementary classroom teacher,  ESL teacher and college education department instructor.  In addition to serving as a Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development board member she also worked for 12 years as a curriculum director for an exemplary Texas public school district and as a trainer for the Texas State Master Reading Teacher Program. Debbie currently works with numerous school districts to implement research based effective literacy practices.

Who Should Attend: Administrators, Principals and Classroom teachers

Realizing the Potential of Literacy Coaching

Dr. Cathy Toll

Presenter: Dr. Cathy Toll
Workshop Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Registration time: 8:30 am
Registration fee: one-day $175 ($150 for Texas ASCD members)
two-day $349 ($299 for Texas ASCD members)

Please contact our office at 512.565.4755 to schedule this institute at your location.

Workshop Overview:
Literacy coaching has swept the nation, and for good reason. Literacy coaching can dramatically increase student success by enhancing teacher decision-making and instruction. However, some literacy coaching does not produce lasting success; in these programs, teachers go through the motions of making superficial changes and then quickly revert to less-successful practices and perspectives. This workshop will help you ensure that coaching in your school or district has lasting effects by providing practical strategies, supported by current research and theory, for coaching that zeroes in on teachers’ concerns, creates partnerships with teachers, makes use of data, and gauges success.

Workshop Agenda:

  • Introductions and overview
  • Coaching models, formats, and outcomes
  • Coaching for teacher learning
  • The coaching conversation
  • Coaches’ roles in professional learning communities
  • Coaching challenging people
  • Finding time for coaching
  • Successful demonstration lessons
  • Optimizing your success
Cathy Toll
Cathy Toll has over thirty years’ experience as a teacher administrator, curriculum leader, and coach. Cathy’s books for literacy coaches are best-sellers, and she has developed an international reputation as a warm, practical, and humorous presenter.

Who Should Attend:

  • Literacy coaches who are new to the job.
  • Experienced literacy coaches.
  • Principals with literacy coaches in their schools.
  • Program and curriculum leaders who work with literacy coaches.

Secondary Reading Comprehension: Removing the Fluency Barrier

Eric with Group

Presenter: Eric Walker
Workshop Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (One Day)
Registration time: 8:30 am
Registration fee: $175 per day ($150 for Texas ASCD members)

Available as a one day institute or a two day intensive academy.

Please contact our office at 512.565.4755 to schedule this institute at your location.

Summary:  Every day secondary English/Language Arts teachers face students with different independent and instructional reading levels within the same classroom. In today's climate of high-stakes testing, they consequently confront a seemingly impossible task: facilitating student mastery of the TEKS SEs when many students read below grade level and need differentiated instruction in order to develop the metacognitive skills necessary for "reading to learn." The first step in addressing this challenge is providing middle and high school teachers with the tools they need to integrate direct instruction in reading into their lessons. This session addresses ways to do this without sacrificing the teaching of rigorous content and the attainment of high standards by all students.
Eric Walker
Eric Walker
is an instructional specialist for secondary reading/language arts in the Dallas Independent School District. Over the last twenty years, he has taught at the middle, high school, and college level and now works with schools serving students in grades 6-12 to promote the use of research-based instructional strategies through classroom demonstrations, workshops, and graduate courses. In addition to writing curricula, he develops district benchmarks and is the creator of the Dallas Schools Television show "The Reading/Writing Express", in which he portrays Conductor Instructor, a guide who takes students on journeys into strategies used by successful readers and writers. For the past three years, he has helped ten Dallas high schools that are organized into smaller learning communities as they have implemented reading strategies across the content areas, and he works continuously to align the written, taught, and tested curricula to ensure that all students succeed.

Who Should Attend: Educators and Administrators of secondary English/Language Arts Learners

Mapping Active Literacy

Seven Essential School Wide Strategies Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening in Every Classroom K-12 Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs
Workshop Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (Two Day)
Registration time: 8:30 am
Registration fee: $385 ($335 for Texas ASCD members)

Please contact our office at 512.565.4755 to schedule this institute at your location.

How do we improve and sustain student performance over time? Learners need focused attention on reading, writing, speaking, listening in each classroom whether elementary, middle, or high school. Solutions can be found in seamless, specific, consistent, and clear strategies building between grade levels and across departments systemically K-12. After years of work with K-12 vertical planning through curriculum mapping, Dr. Jacobs has developed a set of seven essential literacy strategies to be employed school wide. Each and every teacher will be viewed as a language teacher. Every math teacher is a reading teacher; every science teacher a writing teacher; every art teacher, a speaking teacher. Participants will receive special attention on how to analyze assessment data to determine with greater precision which strategies are needed in a school. Prospects for applying state standards to your school, developing new initiatives as teams, and monitoring student performance increase dramatically with the application of the model presented using curriculum maps. Communication increases dramatically when teachers integrate these essential literacy strategies directly into curriculum maps across grade levels, departments, and between buildings.

Participants will gain strategies to help their learners:

  • employ the four fundamental note-taking and note-making approaches
  • develop three types of vocabulary rapidly and actively
  • edit and revise written and spoke expression consistently
  • increase quality of points made in discussions
  • interpret assessment results to make improvements on testing
  • translate directions on assignments and tests
  • increase vocal capacity for a range of formal and informal interactions

Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Executive Director of the Curriculum Mapping Institute and President of Curriculum Designers, Inc., has served as an education consultant to thousands of schools nationally and internationally. She works with schools and districts, K-12, on issues and practices pertaining to: curriculum reform, assessment analysis and strategic planning.  She has served as an adjunct associate professor at the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, NYC, from 1981 to the present.  She has worked with the College Board, NBC Sunday Today Show, PBS Teacherline, the Discovery Channel, Children’s Television Workshop, CBS National Sunrise Semester, ASCD, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet Education Department at Lincoln Center, Peace Corps, the National School Conference Institute, the Disney Company, Prentice-Hall Publishing, the Near East School Association, East Asian Council of Overseas Schools, The Tri-Association of Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean,  the International Baccalaureate, the European Council of International Schools, and state education departments. The fundamental backbone of her experience comes from her years as a teacher of high school, junior high school, and elementary children in Utah, Massachusetts, and New York.

Real Reading for STAAR: Teaching Reading Across Content Areas

Jayne Knighton

Jayne Knighton

Real Reading for STAAR: Teaching Reading Across Content Areas
Workshop Time: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm (Two Day)
Registration time: 8:00 am

Registration fees:
Two day Academy: $349 ($299 for Texas ASCD members) 
One day Institute: $175 ($149 for Texas ASCD members)
Available as a one day institute or a two day intensive academy.
Please contact our office at 512-477-8200 to schedule this institute or academy at your location.
Summary:  This institute will provide fresh ideas for integrating reading instruction into any content area, especially when the text is complex and challenging. No longer is it okay for students to read a text at the surface level; they must read deeper.  The state standards (TEKS) and assessment system (STAAR) call for a close analysis of texts that demonstrates critical thinking skills. Through interactive learning, participants will acquire new strategies that can be implemented to meet state standards, encourage student engagement, and make STAAR manageable for teachers to foster student success in real reading.

Components of Institute:

  •  Strategies for before, during, and after reading
  •  Alignment to STAAR and TEKS objectives (including the Figure 19 TEKS Comprehension Table)
  •  Text from a variety of content areas
  •  Memorable methods to engage students in the reading process
  •  Opportunity to practice newly acquired skills

Jayne Knighton is a graduate of Baylor University with a B.S in Education and a M.S. Ed. in Educational Psychology. Additionally, Jayne completed post-graduate work in gifted and talented education, serving most of her career in the area of reading, writing, and gifted education. She worked for fifteen years at Region 10 Education Service Center as an ELAR consultant and later as the Coordinator of Literacy Services.  During her tenure at Region 10, Jayne created and presented staff development trainings in the areas of creative reading strategies and various writing techniques.  She has also worked as a dyslexia reading specialist and taught in gifted and talented programs in the Waco area. 
During her time in central Texas, Jayne taught in grades 1-8.  Known for her high energy and animated presentations, Jayne is passionate about engaging both students and teachers in the reading and writing process.

Who Should Attend: Educators and Administrators of Grades 3-8