A Day Of Interactive Learning For General Education And Literacy Intervention Educators
JUNE 7, 2019
8:30AM — 3:30PM


Geared Towards Elementary Classroom Teachers, Reading Specialists And Coaches, Special Education Educators, Curriculum Coordinators, And Administrators

Featuring Breakouts Presented By Engaging New England Literacy Experts
Keys to Literacy
EDCO Collaborative

The Education Cooperative



A. Decoding and Fluency Instruction for Struggling Readers, Grades 5-8
Meghan Sebens | Landmark School

This workshop will cover selected decoding and fluency strategies to help support struggling readers in late elementary and middle school years. Instructional practices used at Landmark School for students with language-based learning disabilities will be the focus. Decoding strategies will emphasize use of syllabication and meaningful word parts to break down multisyllable words. Fluency strategies designed to improve reading accuracy, rate, and prosody will be discussed.

B. Developing Speaking and Listening Skills, Grades K-3
Donna Mastrovito | Keys to Literacy

Reading and writing develop on a sea of talk… strong oral language skills provide a foundation for learning to read and write. This workshop will provide practical strategies and activities to develop oral language skills that are tightly aligned with state speaking and listening standards. Scaffolds for supporting peer discussion and participation in dialogic read-aloud will be included.

C. Helping Students Create an Effective Compare and Contrast Essay, Grades 4-8
John Collins | Collins Education

Numerous research studies have shown that compare and contrast essays help students understand content better than any other activity we can do, yet, most students’ essays are superficial — without depth or structure. This session will describe and model a plan to help students create a structure and develop details to produce a multiple-paragraph compare and contrast essay. Participants will leave with a plan and materials they can use immediately.

D. The ABC’s of Spelling Instruction, Grades 2-8
Caitlin Dillon | Literacy How

Why do students spell words correctly in the morning and misspell them in the afternoon? Or make the same mistakes over and over when they have been corrected so many times? Spelling is a developmental skill, teachable in stages. Learn about stages and steps needed to nurture your students’ capacity to learn and retain spellings and become consistent, confident spellers.

E. Introducing the Three Types of Writing to Students, Grades K-5
Lisa Klein | Keys to Literacy

The first three state writing standards require students to compose informational, opinion and narrative writing pieces. This session will provide instructional suggestions and scaffolds for helping students understand the differences among these writing types, including the use of top-down webs to organize the text structures unique to each type.

F. Understanding Dyslexia to Support Students in the Classroom, Grades 3-6
Lauren Mitsis | Private Consultant

This workshop will define dyslexia and identify vulnerabilities of students with dyslexia. Participants will build a toolkit of accommodations for the classroom to support students with dyslexia. They will also learn to identify barriers to learning and explore approaches to support students in processing language, reading, writing, spelling, and executive function skills. Strategies that empower students, build confidence, and help students meet classroom standards will be highlighted.

G. Targeted Intervention for Struggling Readers, Grades K-5
Melissa Orkin | Tufts University

Determining why a reader is struggling and how to match up an appropriate curricula or instructional goal can be a challenging process. This workshop will introduce a practical framework for understanding, assessing and intervening with reading disabilities. The session will focus on using assessment tools that differentiate between the learning profiles of students diagnosed with learning disabilities and those who are not meeting benchmark. Attendees will learn about multiple cognitive and linguistic processes as they relate to the development of literacy skills, the assessment of reading components, and different types of reading interventions.

H. Keys to Comprehension: Topic Webs, Two-Column Notes, & Summary, Grades 4-8
Donna Mastrovito | Keys to Literacy

Students benefit from learning a small set of flexible comprehension strategies that can be applied to reading in any content area. This session will use a practice example to demonstrate how to teach topic webs (graphic organizer), two-column notes, and summarizing to students. Scaffolds to support students who need some support are included.

I. Teaching Academic Vocabulary in the Content Classroom, Grades 4-8
Joan Sedita | Keys to Literacy

This workshop will present research-aligned instructional suggestions for growing academic vocabulary in all content areas. Practical suggestions for previewing unfamiliar words before reading, activities for making connections among words (semantic mapping, semantic feature analysis, categorizing), and templates for teaching words in-depth will be provided.

J. Instructional Blocks: Fitting it ALL In! Grades K-3
Caitlin Dillon | Literacy How

The long list of skills involved in literacy development can make planning a literacy instruction block overwhelming. In this workshop, a clear understanding of the relationships among the components of literacy development will be provided using a graphic organizer called the ALL model. Then participants will be shown how to use the ALL model to decide how and what to prioritize during literacy instruction blocks.

K. Planning and Teaching a Close Reading Lesson, Grades 2-5
Lisa Klein | Keys to Literacy

Literacy standards emphasize the use of challenging text at all grade levels and for students to apply close reading skills. Participants will learn how to plan a close reading lesson that guides students to think critically about the words and ideas in a sample piece of text. Suggestions will be provided for selecting and preparing a text sample and generating text-dependent questions.

L. Unpacking Content Area Text for English Langauge Learners, Grades 4-8
Melissa Keh | Bridgewater State University
Mary Hughes | Boston University

Do your students struggle to read content area texts? Do they understand most of the words but still seem to miss the meaning of the sentence? This workshop introduces techniques for identifying the vocabulary and grammar English learners will need to access the academic language of content area texts.

M. What’s EF got to do with it? Executive Functions, Grades K-3
Wendy Stacey | Institute for Learning and Development

Explore and understand executive function processes through a literacy lens. In this hands-on workshop, learn your own executive function profile and ways to enhance your students’ reading and writing skills by trying out research-based lesson plans from the SMARTS executive functions curriculum.

N. Helping Students Write a Powerful Argument or Opinion Essay, Grades 4-8
John Collins | Collins Education

Opinion or argument writing can be the most motivating and most challenging of all writing assignments. This session will provide a strategy to help students overcome the most difficult hurdle in opinion writing: developing compelling reasons with effective supportive details. Participants will learn a school-wide, across-the-curriculum approach to help students develop organized, powerful essays.

O. Making Phonemic Awareness and Phonics Instruction Engaging and Fun, Grades K-2
Joan Sedita | Keys to Literacy

How can teachers make phonemic awareness and phonics instruction child-friendly, fun, and engaging? This workshop emphasizes the importance of engaging children through the use of visual, auditory, and story cues to help them learn letter-sound correspondences to decode and spell words.

P. Developing Sentence Skills to Support Comprehension and Writing, Grades 3-5
Donna Mastrovito | Keys to Literacy

The ability to comprehend and write longer, complex sentences is foundational to literacy achievement in grades 3 and beyond. This workshop provides instructional suggestions for developing syntactic awareness – a fluent understanding of the interrelations between words in sentences. Activities include sentence combining, sentence elaboration, kernel sentence expansion, and sentence scrambles.

Q. A Framework for Literacy Planning in Secondary Schools, Grades 6-8
Diana Malkin | HILL for Literacy

This workshop will lay out the case for a focus on literacy planning in secondary schools. Participants will leave with a basic understanding of reading acquisition through a secondary lens. The session will focus on the structural aspects of literacy planning such as building a framework for assessment and intervention and school scheduling. Finally, participants will review a template for developing a literacy plan that prioritizes the demands and challenges of literacy at the secondary level.

R. Teaching Basic Writing Skills to Struggling Writers, Grades 5-8
Janet Parady | Landmark School

This workshop will present practical instructional methods, modeling and hands-on activities for teaching both single and multi-paragraph writing skills to students who struggle with writing. Scaffolds for differentiated instruction will be included.

S. What’s EF got to do with it? Executive Functions, Grades 4-8
Wendy Stacey | Institute for Learning and Development

Explore and understand executive function processes through a literacy lens. In this hands-on workshop, learn your own executive function profile and ways to enhance your students’ reading and writing skills by trying out research-based lesson plans from the SMARTS executive functions curriculum.

T. Enhancing Critical Thinking Through Collaborative Classroom Discussion, Grades 4-8
Joan Sedita | Keys to Literacy

This workshop provides practical suggestions for helping students develop critical thinking skills through participation in collaborative, peer classroom discussion. “Talk Moves” to help structure and facilitate student discussion based on content reading and learning will be shared and practiced.

U. Screening for Dyslexia, Grades K-2
Melissa Orkin | Tufts University
Jennifer Traverso | Westford Schools

This workshop will provide participants with a research-based framework from which to approach screening and intervention with students in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade. Recent legislation in MA reinforces screening as the first step in identifying and remediating struggling readers and those students at risk for dyslexia. The workshop will feature early literacy skills most predictive of later reading ability, essential characteristics of reliable screening tools and one approach to intervention and ongoing progress monitoring. Tier 2 teaching routines will also be discussed.

V. Math and Science Words: See It, Say It, Do It, Grades K-5
Bill Atwood | Collins Education

This workshop will offer several easy-to-use, engaging, visual, and kinesthetic strategies for building math and science vocabulary. We will briefly explore the important role vocabulary plays in problem solving as well as learning and retaining key concepts. The majority of the workshop will be spent practicing the strategies, playing the games, and planning for implementation. Teachers will leave with a list of key math and science terms and ways to effortlessly weave vocabulary into daily instruction. The workshop is brain-based, fast-paced, and fun.

W. A Model of K-6 Literacy Assessment That Drives Instruction
Cara Dellaterra | HILL for Literacy
Shira Cohen | HILL for Literacy

The purpose of the session is to provide an overview of how to improve the utilization of assessment data within a multi-tiered instructional model. Workshop content will focus on building a comprehensive assessment framework, establishing routines and structures that support a data meeting process, and using insights from the data to drive more meaningful instruction. Participants will be given new tools to evaluate current assessment practices, build a multi-tiered assessment framework to determine an instructional focus with higher levels of accuracy, group students for instruction and match them to appropriate instruction. The end goal is the ability for you to better optimize assessment data so each student has the right instruction leading to improved outcomes in your classroom, school and district.

X. WAGS and Mini-WAGS: Tools for Planning Content Writing Tasks, Grades 4-8
Lisa Klein | Keys to Literacy

How often do your students turn in writing assignments that do not meet your expectations? This workshop will present two tools that teachers can use to develop and share details for writing tasks: a WAG (Writing Assignment Guide) for longer, formal writing assignments, and a Mini-WAG for shorter writing tasks. Teachers of all subjects will learn how to use these tools that include these sections: specific goals for the assignment (length, content and text structure requirements, source requirements), models and scaffolds, and opportunities that will be provided for feedback, revision, and peer collaboration.


8:00-8:30 Registration

8:30-9:55 Session 1

9:55 – 10:05 BREAK

10:05-11:30 Session 2

11:30-12:30 LUNCH

12:30 – 1:55 Session 3

1:55-2:05 BREAK

2:05-3:30 Session 4
Available until April 15th


Bill Atwood, M.Ed., Collins Education Associates

Bill Atwood has over 30 years of experience in public and private schools and is a recipient of a Presidential Award for excellence in Math and Science Teaching. His books, How Did You Get That? Improving Open Responses in Math (Collins Education Associates published 2011), Tell a Story About a Time: Improving Narrative Writing (to be published 2020) and a dynamic DVD, Math Words In Motion: Improving Math Vocabulary (2014), describe strategies that improve both thinking and writing skills. Bill is a national presenter known for his sense of humor, enthusiasm, and ability to focus on practical ideas that teachers can implement easily. Bill has been a part of the adjunct faculty at Endicott College, Castleton University, and Worcester State College.

John Collins, Ph. D., Collins Education Associates

John is the founder and managing director of Collins Education Associates (CEA). He is a former teacher and a respected author of professional development materials for teachers. He now works as a consultant and coach in classrooms throughout the United States and internationally including Australia and China. John is a master trainer with an unrelenting commitment to improving student achievement through writing. His presentations combine great activities with humor, energy, and a passion for teaching.

Cara Dellaterra, B.A., HILL for Literacy

Cara is currently a facilitator at HILL for Literacy, Inc. Recently, in her role as HILL Facilitator, she served as the Boston-based Data Collection Manager for a Goal 3 IES Grant (ECRI: Enhancing Core Reading Instruction) for the University of Oregon. Prior to working at the HILL, she was a second-grade teacher in an urban school system. Cara has also held positions incorporating technology into education and working with high-need students. Ms. Dellaterra’s research interests include facilitating effective literacy instruction, working with English Language Learners, and the whole-school change process.

Caitlin Dillon, Ph.D., Literacy How

Caitlin provides training and coaching to teachers in Connecticut school districts through Literacy How, a literacy PD and consulting company. As a classroom teacher and tutor she has taught many children and adults to read or become better, more confident readers and spellers. Her mission in life is helping teachers utilize what research has confirmed as the best approaches to help students develop maximal literacy skills in order to bring greater joy and decrease suffering in the lives of students, teachers, families, and school communities.

Shira Cohen-Goldberg, M. Ed., HILL for Literacy

Shira s Director of Product Development at HILL for Literacy, Inc. She received a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in English and Education, a certificate in Program Planning, Management, Monitoring and Evaluation from Boston University and an EdM in Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to working at the HILL, she was a Literacy Coach in Chelsea, MA. She also served as a Reading First Implementation Facilitator for the Massachusetts Department of Education, and a classroom teacher in New York City and California.

Mary Hughes, Ph.D., Boston University

Mary is a lecturer in the Language Education Program at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. She teaches courses in linguistics, language acquisition, and language education. Her second language acquisition research focuses on instructing English learners on on complex grammatical structures, and her first language acquisition research focuses on the interaction of syntactic and discourse-pragmatic effects in he acquisition of referential choice.

Melissa Latham Key, Ed.D., Bridgewater State University

Melissa is an Assistant Professor in the TESOL Program at Bridgewater State University. She teaches courses in assessment, second language literacy development, and supporting ELLs in urban contexts. She formerly taught high school English and ESL for twelve years. Her research has focused on bilingualism across the lifespan and second language reading.

Lisa Klein, M.Ed., Keys to Literacy

Lisa is a senior trainer for Keys to Literacy, a national literacy professional development company based in New England. She began her teaching career at the Landmark School for students with learning disabilities. Lisa was also an elementary classroom and reading resource teacher at the Palm Beach County Schools, FL. Her work as a literacy trainer and consultant has included district-wide reading and writing professional development in schools across the country. She also currently serves on the board of trustees for the Gate City Charter School in NH.

Diana Malkin, M.Ed., C.A.G.S., HILL for Literacy

Diana has had the privilege of working in public education for over twenty years, with experience at all levels, from Kindergarten through Post-secondary settings. She has worked as a general educator, a special educator, a school leader and a school psychologist at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Diana has also taught graduate level courses in Literacy and Assessment. For many years, Diana led a team of educators that designed implementation models, provided professional development to teachers and administrators and monitored the implementation of school wide programs in special education and student support for urban, suburban and rural school change projects across the country and in the United Kingdom. She also worked with school systems in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York to design, execute, and then sustain research-based models of continuous literacy improvement through a multi-tiered system of support. Additionally, she is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.

Donna Mastrovito, M.Ed., Keys to Literacy

Donna is a senior trainer at Keys to Literacy, a national literacy professional development company based in New England. During her 30+ year career in the Worcester Public Schools, Donna served as a classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, reading specialist, and literacy coach. Donna worked at American International College where she developed and taught literacy courses, provided support to other adjunct instructors and supervised practicum students. Donna is the author of the children’s book Unpopular Animals and was a finalist for Worcester’s Teacher of the Year award in 2012.

Lauren Mitsis, M.Ed., Private Consultant

Lauren has been an educator for over 20 years. She is currently the Reading Specialist at the Park Street School for kindergarten through sixth grade. She is an Educational Consultant, focused on literacy instruction, and is Orton Gillingham Certified through the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.

Melissa Orkin, Ph.D., Tufts University

Melissa is a developmental psychologist who specializes in the assessment and remediation of students with language-based learning disabilities. Dr. Orkin is trained as an Orton Gillingham Practitioner, and has worked as a reading teacher in the classroom, and in clinical settings. She currently provides educational consultation to public and independent schools through a private practice called Crafting Minds. She also instructs on learning disabilities at Tufts University and contributes to publications on a variety of educational topics including literacy development and executive function skills.

Janet Parady, M.Ed., Landmark School

For over 35 years, Janet has been a tutor, teacher, academic advisor and head of the Language Arts Department at the Landmark School for students with learning disabilities. Janet has presented seminars for educators and parents throughout the U.S. about methods for teaching literacy skills, and she has been a literacy consultant to schools in New England and Puerto Rico.

Meghan Sebens, M.Ed., Landmark School

Meghan is the reading supervisor, testing coordinator, and an academic advisor at Landmark School’s Elementary/Middle School. She has taught a variety of subjects during her time at Landmark. Megan received her B.S. from Macalester College and her M.Ed. from Simmons College.

Joan Sedita, M.Ed., Keys to Literacy

Joan is the founder and president of Keys to Literacy and author of the Keys literacy professional development programs, books, and online courses. She taught and was an administrator at the Landmark School from 1975-1998. Joan was a lead trainer in MA for Reading First, a national LETRS author and trainer, and adjunct instructor at Fitchburg State and Endicott College. Since founding Keys to Literacy in 2007, Joan has supported district and state literacy initiatives across the country. In addition to the Keys to Literacy publications, Joan has authored numerous articles and book chapters including the Adolescent Literacy chapter in Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills (J. Birsh, Ed).

Wendy Stacey, M.S., Institute for Learning and Development

Wendy is the Director of Reading and Language at the Institute for Learning and Development in Lexington, MA. She holds a master’s degree in learning disabilities, is a certified special educator, and has been teaching for over 20 years. In her current position, she assesses and instructs students with language-based learning disabilities as well as provides consultation services with surrounding public and private schools. Wendy was a member of the team that designed, taught, and researched the SMARTS executive function curriculum. She is also a contributing author to Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom (Guilford Press, 2010) and The Power of Peers: Enhancing Learning and Social Skills (Guilford Press, 2015).

Jennifer Traverso, M.Ed., Westford School District

Jennifer has been teaching for over 20 years in grades 1-8 and as a Title I Director. Her current position is K-5 ELA Curriculum Coordinator in the Westford, MA school district. Previous experience includes being a Reading First implementation facilitator for MA DESE. Jenn also is a training consultant for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, and adjunct faculty at Fitchburg State University.