Writing Remix Confirmed

Writing Remix Confirmed

 
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Smekens Education Writing Remix 2-Day Workshop
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DAY 1


Six-Traits Essentials
Recognize the 6 Traits within K-12 Student Writing

Recognize the 6 Traits within K-12 Student Writing

This is a great first session for those needing a crash course or a quick refresher on the writing traits, as they will be referenced frequently throughout all Writing Remix sessions. The 6-Traits language is a fabulous tool to support writing instruction and assessment. Participants will walk away with a strong understanding of what each trait looks like in a variety of grade levels and writing genres.

Session 1: 8:00-9:15 a.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Introduce the 6 Traits to Students

Introduce the 6 Traits to Students

This session reveals several ways to introduce the trait language to your students using mentor text, song lyrics, and visual icons. It answers questions like: How long do you spend on each trait? In what order should you introduce them? What do you do after reading a related picture book? Leave this session with a clear vision for how you could introduce the traits to your own students.

Session 2: 9:30-10:35 a.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels


Effectively Apply Mentor Text within a Mini-Lesson

Effectively Apply Mentor Text within a Mini-Lesson

The power of mentor text is that students read and analyze the qualities of strong writing before they are expected to apply them within their own writing. Mentor text can include picture books, exemplar papers, and real-world texts. This session reveals the do’s and don’ts of incorporating mentor text into your mini-lessons and how to choose which texts to utilize for which writing skills.

Session 3: 10:50-11:55 a.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Create Writing Rubrics in the Primary Grades

Create Writing Rubrics in the Primary Grades

Students need a tool that defines “good” writing and identifies what the teacher wants. Rubrics accomplish this. However, they must be kid-friendly. Five-year-olds and/or ELLs have to be able to “read” it. This session will reveal strategies to create and grow a rubric that is visual and includes simple language that our youngest writers understand.
Session 4: 1:05-2:10 p.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: K-2 | ELL Levels 1-2

Assess Writing with a 6-Traits Rubric

Assess Writing with a 6-Traits Rubric

Whether teachers have utilized writing rubrics for years or never heard of the "R" word, this session will reveal how simply a rubric can be incorporated into any writing classroom. Additionally, teachers will learn how to create a "kid-friendly" rubric, update the rubric as writers grow, apply the same rubric to different writing units, and convert writing scores to grades.

Session 5: 2:25-3:30 p.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: 2-12 | ELL Levels 3-5


Writer's Workshop Management
Teach Grammar Skills One Mini-Lesson at a Time

Teach Grammar Skills One Mini-Lesson at a Time

Conventions instruction must go beyond memorizing rules. Rather, focus on the purpose, function, and impact the grammar skill has on a sentence’s overall message. When students know why a reader needs a convention and when a writer wants a particular convention, they then realize the importance of accurate convention application. This session outlines several ways to make your initial grammar lessons more powerful, more visual, and more memorable.

Session 1: 8:00-9:15 a.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Align Conventions within Writing Units

Align Conventions within Writing Units

Many students who can correct sentences in workbooks and pass online quizzes cannot apply appropriate conventions within their own writing. The secret to skill transfer is to avoid isolating grammar in a separate facet of language arts instruction. In this session, attendees learn how to weave the most relevant grammar skills into various writing units all year long.

Session 2: 9:30-10:35 a.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Target the Same Grammar Skill Across Multiple Days

Target the Same Grammar Skill Across Multiple Days

A grammar skill is not mastered in a single 15-minute lesson. There is a developmental progression that occurs across a multi-day mini-lesson series. Participants will study several mini-lesson outlines and learn how to support students as they learn new skills. This includes noticing the grammar skill within mentor text, then trying it within previous drafts, and ultimately applying the skill in a new piece.

Session 3: 10:50-11:55 a.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Assess Mastery of Grammar and Mechanics

Assess Mastery of Grammar and Mechanics

Students need abundant practice with a new grammar skill. This may include a variety of bell-ringer activities, peer-editing exercises, customized self-editing checklists, and more. However, mastery is demonstrated when students can accurately apply the grammar skill within a new first draft. This session reveals how and when to assess students’ growing understanding of new skills while also expecting evidence of skills previously taught.

Session 4: 1:05-2:10 p.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: 3-12 | ELL Levels 3-5

Improve Basic Sentence Conventions

Improve Basic Sentence Conventions

As students’ phonics instruction and understanding of sentence-sense develops, young writers are ready for their first conventions mini-lessons. Attend this session for five-year-old-friendly lesson resources and key instructional points to teach spacing between words, ending with punctuation, stretching fragments into sentences, self-editing, and more.

Session 5: 2:25-3:30 p.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: K-2 | ELL Levels 1-2


Text-Based Responses
Integrate Frequent Writing Experiences in the Content Areas

Integrate Frequent Writing Experiences in the Content Areas

In order to write well in math, science, and social studies, the standards require explicit instruction be taught in every subject area. This session will show attendees how they can punctuate students’ subject-area learning with short and powerful writing experiences. This includes providing discipline-specific writing instruction, assigning relevant writing tasks, and assessing content accuracy and basic writing skills.

Session 1: 8:00-9:15 a.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: 3-12 | ELL Levels 3-5

Generate Short & Powerful Content-Area Writing

Generate Short & Powerful Content-Area Writing

It’s expected that students go beyond simply summarizing and regurgitating content-area knowledge. They must apply what they know about a concept in writing. This session outlines a wide variety of short and powerful writing formats that generate informative and argumentative responses across all grade levels and content areas.

Session 2: 9:30-10:35 a.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: 3-12 | ELL Levels 3-5

Write After-Reading Summaries in the Subject Areas

Write After-Reading Summaries in the Subject Areas

Support students as they attempt to write strong, complete, and cohesive summaries that utilize content-area vocabulary. This session will include 10 different strategies including the Key-Word Summary, the Shrinking Summary, Information Pyramids, 20-Word Gists, Framed Writings, and more. Try out several strategies during this session and see authentic student examples executed in various content areas and grade levels.

Session 3: 10:50-11:55 a.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: 2-12 | ELL Levels 3-5

Deepen Content Understanding with Nonfiction Notebooks

Deepen Content Understanding with Nonfiction Notebooks

More than just a landing spot to copy notes from the board, nonfiction notebooks are a place for students to reflect on key concepts and deepen their thinking in writing. Participants will first see various options for setting up, organizing, and integrating this classroom resource in any content area. Then the presenter will reveal numerous notebook-entry writing topics and ideas.

Session 4: 1:05-2:10 p.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Improve Math Talk, Science Talk, and Social Studies Talk

Improve Math Talk, Science Talk, and Social Studies Talk

The research is clear— learning sticks when students have opportunities to process and digest content in chunks. This requires students to pool their thinking and deepen their understanding through conversation and writing. This session will demonstrate procedures for Talk Moves, Timed Mingles, Think-Ink-Pair-Square, and several other classroom-tested strategies to weave conversation and writing into any subject area.

Session 5: 2:25-3:30 p.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: 3-12 | ELL Levels 3-5

DAY 2


Mini-Lesson Instruction
Teach Writing Skills—Not Traits

Teach Writing Skills—Not Traits

We don’t teach traiting— we teach writing. This session describes how to bring the trait language into the writer’s workshop while teaching individual writing skills listed in grade-level standards. Attendees will learn that the 6 Traits are simply six words that help teachers prioritize their lesson instruction and provide students with specific feedback for improvement.

Session 2: 9:30-10:35 a.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels


Emphasize the Trump-Trait of Ideas

Emphasize the Trump-Trait of Ideas

The 6 Traits are not equal. Some traits merely add sophistication to the writing, while others are imperative and essential. The trait of ideas is the most essential trait, and consequently, consumes a large majority of the mini-lessons taught throughout the year. This session will reveal favorite Smekens strategies to support students in developing ideas, adding details, incorporating evidence, and more.

Session 3: 10:50-11:55 a.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Organize Ideas Before Drafting

Organize Ideas Before Drafting

Students must be able to write an organized first draft. This requires that they have the skills needed to gather relevant details, group them together, and present them in a logical order. This session will provide a sequence of mini-lessons to support students in achieving this, including how to apply this thinking to the three most common graphic organizers used during the pre-writing process.

Session 4: 1:05-2:10 p.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: 3-12 | ELL Levels 3-5

Plan the Year of Writing Units

Plan the Year of Writing Units

All teachers are expected to provide writing experiences across the three major modes—persuasive/argumentative, informative, and narrative. However, these units do not have to span weeks and end with a final draft. Rather, learn how to spiral through the same skills in multiple mini-units that provide students with numerous writing opportunities.

Session 5: 2:25-3:30 p.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: 2-12 | ELL Levels 3-5


Genre-Specific Units
Confer with Writers Daily

Confer with Writers Daily

Meeting with every writer every day is a daunting task. However, group conferring is a way to touch base with more students more frequently. This session will outline the four-step rhythm to such an efficient teacher-writer meeting. In addition, acquire examples of trait-specific feedback, sample forms for documentation, and a procedure for peer conversations.

Session 2: 9:30-10:35 a.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Fine-Tune Author’s Chair Procedures

Fine-Tune Author’s Chair Procedures

The writer’s workshop concludes with an Author’s Chair where a couple of students share their writing with the rest of the class. This should be a productive and powerful activity— but for many, it’s not. After identifying what’s working and what’s not, attendees walk away with a set of procedures that transform the Author’s Chair from a show-and-tell activity to a powerful and purposeful celebration of great writing accomplished that day.

Session 3: 10:50-11:55 a.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Execute the 4 Steps of a Dynamic Mini-Lesson

Execute the 4 Steps of a Dynamic Mini-Lesson

Everyone says they teach mini-lessons, but what are they, really? During this session teachers learn the four steps of a powerful 10-15 minute writing lesson. Learn the hallmarks of highly-effective teaching that include student engagement and the gradual release of responsibility. This session will also include a live mini-lesson modeled by the presenter and several video clips from real classrooms.

Session 4: 1:05-2:10 p.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels

Foster Independent Writers

Foster Independent Writers

Teachers struggle to keep their writers focused and on task during in-class writing time. This session offers practical strategies for handling the “I’m done” writer and the “I need help” student. Walk out the door with several routines and procedures that will build writer stamina and student independence, regardless of their age or grade level.

Session 5: 2:25-3:30 p.m.
Presenter: Kristi McCullough
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels


Hot Topic Repeats
Strengthen Short Constructed-Response Writing

Strengthen Short Constructed-Response Writing

Students are assessed in reading through their writing. This session begins with a quick review of how the inference and its evidence are both part of a constructed response. The rest of this session focuses on the essential ingredients to a well-written constructed response utilizing the Yes, MA’AM strategy. Participants will learn to repeat key words, cite textual evidence, and conclude a constructed response with a written explanation.

Session 2: 9:30-10:35 a.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: 2-12 | ELL Levels 3-5

Generate Long Extended Responses Based on Reading

Generate Long Extended Responses Based on Reading

Extended-reading responses are longer essays that require students to know how to supersize the Yes, MA’AM formula. This concept works for any informative or argumentative writing prompt based on provided passages. In this session, attendees learn how to teach students to generate a strong, multi-paragraph response that includes a powerful combination of textual evidence and its significance.

Session 3: 10:50-11:55 a.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: 3-12 | ELL Levels 3-5

Generate Opinion-Based Reading Responses

Generate Opinion-Based Reading Responses

Young writers are expected to write simple persuasive pieces, and they have to respond to their reading. Why not combine these two expectations? Teach students how to share their opinions about characters, settings, ideas, and concepts learned from their reading. This session reveals numerous lesson concepts to improve students’ opinion writing tied to popular picture books read in the primary grades.

Session 4: 1:05-2:10 p.m.
Presenter: Kristina Smekens
Audience: K-2 | ELL Levels 1-2

Redefine the Research Process

Redefine the Research Process

Beyond viewing “research” as a massive unit that culminates with a multi-page product, students need to know how to gather, organize, and present researched information on a regular basis and at every grade level. This session will demonstrate how to execute the research process in short, simple products all year long.

Session 5: 2:25-3:30 p.m.
Presenter: Courtney Gordon
Audience: K-12 | ELL All Levels


 
Smekens Education consultants Kristi McCullough and Kristina Smekens and Courtney Gordon
Smekens Education consultants Kristi McCullough, Kristina Smekens, and Courtney Gordon
 

Pick your mix

  • Choose from 25 unique breakout sessions!
  • Immerse in one of 5 strands or pick your mix.

Make the investment

  • Receive a binder containing full-color handouts from every session.
  • Gain lifetime access to digital web resources, including lessons, videos, photos, whiteboard documents, and more.
  • Enjoy complimentary breakfast and lunch.
  • Earn up to 11 hours of continuing education.

Something for everyone

For veteran writing teachers:
  • Re-energize your teaching with a refresher on specific writing topics.
  • Choose sessions that will "fill in the gaps" of your writing training.
  • Dive into topics that are targeted for your specific grade range.
For new writing teachers:
  • Atttend multiple sessions from the same topic strand in order to build a strong foundation in a single facet of writing instruction.
  • Choose sessions that address your greatest weaknesses in teaching writing.

On-site BOOKSTORE!

Teachers always look forward to browsing through the wide selection of professional books, picture books, and other resources available on site from The Literacy Store. As always, attendees will enjoy a 15% discount on all in-stock titles. For an advance look at what The Literacy Store has to offer, visit www.TheLiteracyStore.com.

Testimonials

What are teachers saying about Smekens Education writing instruction?

“My mind has just been blown today & I want to go back & revamp my writing.” K. Helm

“This workshop is for the beginning writing teacher as well as the experienced teacher.” S. Taylor

“We all know we have to teach writing and even what we have to teach, but today helped me learn HOW to teach so that the students understand how to write.” C. Janssen

“Although I have been a Lucy Calkins fan, your workshop has helped me to picture the entire unit of informational writing in a more concise and productive manner. I like the idea of teaching 2 topics and then produce (then repeat during the week). I believe that would “mix & match” both Calkins and Smekens.” E. Dierks

“As a secondary ed English major, I was taught how to write, and how to analyze, and how to teach in general; however, I was never taught how to teach others to write. Now, I finally have a solid place to start! You have finally given me the piece that I have been missing—the instruction on how to teach writing!” C. Duensing

“I am a high school teacher, and I needed more ideas in prepping my students for the ECA. These ideas/techniques not only help in prep, but they help with good writing and thinking skills.” C. Schaefer

“The Smekens conferences provide so much valuable take-and-use materials that just make sense. I went to the preparing for state tests & really decided to focus in on constructed response & ramping up the writing. My 10th graders had a 96% pass rate on ECA and 98% pass for the writing section. Unbelievable! Info that just makes sense!” A. Schalk

“As educators, it is our responsibility to excite and motivate our students to keep going when they find something difficult or are struggling. Kristina does this for me every time I attend a workshop! Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Additionally, the continued support she and her team offer are invaluable.” S. Hoover

 


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 this workshop in Illinois.

Graduate Credit
 

 

For an additional fee, attendees may earn three nationally accredited graduate-level credits from the Midwest Teachers Institute and their university partner, Colorado State University-Pueblo. These non-degree credits are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. (Check with your district for approval prior to making a commitment.)


Midwest Teachers Institute (MTI) — 3 credits/$375

  • Attendance at both days of the Writing Remix, plus additional coursework related to the workshop, is required for credit.
  • MTI has an exclusive agreement with Colorado State University-Pueblo to provide teachers with an official transcript.
  • Colorado State University-Pueblo is nationally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. MTI courses through CSU-Pueblo are accepted in all 50 states.


Check out the Smekens Education

Six-Traits Hub