Teaching Writing Skills All Year Long: Chicago

Teaching Writing Skills All Year Long: Chicago

CHICAGO, IL: August 4, 2017

After you’ve devised a plan to launch your writer’s workshop during the first weeks of school, the next step is to look ahead toward the rest of the year. This full-day workshop is designed to guide K-12 teachers through the planning of a yearlong writing curriculum, incorporating mini-lessons, literature, and assessment within a variety of writing units and genres. Kristina will provide lesson plan examples for multiple writing units, then she'll reveal her framework for developing writing units on your own.

Training Topics

  • Acquire practical activities for introducing a new writing genre to students.
  • Learn how to incorporate student anchor papers and kid-friendly rubrics within a unit.
  • Identify procedures for selecting priority writing standards to target within each writing unit.
  • Learn strategies for teaching a writing skill over multiple days to deepen student understanding and gradually release responsibility to the students.
  • Learn effective ways to integrate grammar skills throughout the year.
  • Learn strategies to balance free-choice writing and prompted writing assignments.
  • Discover how to balance first drafts along with final-draft pieces.
  • Receive suggestions for grading student writing and assessing students’ understanding of a genre.

When you leave, you'll be able to:

  • Organize your grade-level writing standards and grammar skills within writing units throughout the year.
  • Plan mini-lessons and corresponding independent activities to develop students’ writing skills.
  • Speed up or slow down any writing unit to meet the needs of your writers.
  • Target isolated skills within intermittent "maintenance" mini-lessons throughout the year.
  • Embed the 6 Traits of writing throughout the school year as you spiral through specific skills that are unique to each trait.
  • Teach writing with confidence and intentionality.

Free follow-up training video:

  • Teachers who attend Launching the Writer's Workshop will be given a complimentary one-month subscription to Kristina's matching video on webPD, Building Kid-Friendly Writing Rubrics (PK-1, 2-12).
  • During the complimentary subscription period, teachers are encouraged to share access with every colleague in their school, allowing the entire staff to learn key concepts from the workshop.

Workshop Excerpts:


K-6 Classroom Teachers    
Literacy Coaches
Literacy Coordinators    
Title I Teachers / Directors
6-12 ELA Teachers
ELL Teachers
K-12 Gifted & Talented Teachers
K-12 Administrators

“I will be able to implement twenty days of lessons right off the bat.” J. Cobb
“I am actually very excited about writing…for once!” K. Scharr
“I have always struggled teaching writing, but this workshop gave me the tools to be successful.” A. Blohm
“Thanks for all your lesson plans & easy-to-implement ideas. I can’t wait to start using these in my classroom. My writing instruction & student achievement are going to explode!” R. Young
“I haven’t been happy with my teaching of writing units for a number of years now. This will help me to rethink & re-energize my writing lessons.” B. Bandy
“Changed the way I see assessment of writing—a growing rubric is a great idea. Well worth giving up two days of summer to attend!” B. Osterfeld
“I have a totally different view of what writer’s workshop can look like! I feel it will make more sense, meet the standards, and show more growth.” D. Grimes
“Reinforced the need to make writing a regular part of the day and our schedule; motivated me to bring joy into writing as I build confidence for a student to be a writer. Well worth giving up 2 summer days!” P. Johnson
“Writing was an area in which I felt inadequate, but this workshop has empowered me to be able to plan and execute my lessons!” L. Warren
“Before this conference, I knew I wanted to be a better writing teacher, but I had no idea how to improve. Now, I feel like I have the resources in a user-friendly format. It’s going to be a great year!” K. Callahan
“I feel I will be able to teach the standards related to writing without feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Kristina was very engaging & practical. I can tell she has teaching experience, and she does not live in an ‘ivory tower’ educational world.” C. McCartney

Graduate Credit

Thanks to a partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute, workshop attendees can earn three hours of nationally-accredited graduate credit. The cost of graduate credit is $300 for each 3-hour course.

Registration information will be shared during the 10 a.m. break of each workshop. After the workshop, attendees have 2 weeks to apply their training hours to the program. The cost of graduate credit is separate from the cost of attending a workshop.

Call Smekens Education toll free to learn more.


Attend one day:
$225 (Early Bird)  |  $250 (Standard)

Attend two days:
$425 (Early Bird) | $450 (Standard)

Attend three days:
$625 (Early Bird)  |  $650 (Standard)

Attend four days:
$800 (Early Bird) | $825 (Standard)


Discounts available!

  • Register at least 15 days in advance and save!
  • Register for more than one day and save!
  • For teams of 3+: Save $6 per person
  • For teams of 10+: Contact our office for a 10% savings

Belvedere Events & Banquets

1170 West Devon Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(847) 534-0600

Lodging Recommendation:
Country Inn & Suites
1160 West Devon Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(847) 985-0101

*To secure discounted room rate, mention Smekens Education and make reservations at least 30 days in advance.
Professional Growth Credits

Certified educators can earn professional growth credits for attending a Smekens Education workshop. All workshop attendees receive a certificate of participation for 5.5 hours of professional development for each one-day workshop. Visit our Continuing Education Credit page to learn more.

Illinois-Specific Credit

As an approved professional development subcontractor, Smekens Education is happy to provide all Illinois teachers with state-approved professional development credit for attending the Elk Grove Village, IL location of the Back-to-School Literacy Conference.