14 Power Strategies to Boost Reading & Writing
Achievement on Standardized Tests

14 Power Strategies to Boost Reading & Writing
Achievement on Standardized Tests


INDIANAPOLIS, IN—January 9-10, 2019

In this era of high-stakes testing, it’s never been more important for students to enter into standardized assessments with essential skills and personal confidence. Throughout this two-day workshop, teachers in grades 3-12 will learn explicit literacy strategies students need in order to be successful on state and national assessments. (Specific reference will be made to the new SAT, ACT, and AP exams, Indiana assessment, PARCC, & Smarter Balanced assessments.)

The 14 Strategies



1) Read multiple texts in one sitting, juggling different author ideas.


2) Expect a variety of text-dependent questions that are presented in multiple formats.
3) Be familiar with academic vocabulary in order to accurately decode questions and prompts.
4) Attack questions with test-taking tips to identify the best answers.


5) Distinguish between what counts as evidence versus what are just details from the passage.
6) Follow a process for making inferences and answering questions, even when the text is complex.
7) Include explanations that demonstrate how evidence supports an inference.



8) Determine the main idea/theme of a passage and support it with textual evidence.
9) Read charts, graphs, and text features to gain information beyond what is stated in the passage.
10) Evaluate how an author feels about a topic by determining his viewpoint.
11) Draw comparisons across literature and informational texts.


12) Generate an informative or argumentative response after analyzing the literary qualities of a text.
13) Generate an on-demand research writing based on information gleaned from multiple texts.
14) Generate a narrative response that maintains the plot details from the original passage.

When you leave this 2-day workshop, you'll be able to:

  • Identify how today's assessments are different from previous tests.
  • Execute lessons to target Kristina's 14 Power Strategies for succeeding on standardized assessments.
  • Create a sequence of text-dependent questions that keep students rooted in the text and follow the same progression standardized assessments utilize.
  • Tweak your writing-about-reading tasks to mirror the constructed responses on standardized assessments.
  • Hone students' habits for citing specific and relevant evidence.
  • Prioritize the literacy skills that require explicit instruction.

Workshop Excerpts:

Target Audience

3-12 English/Language Arts Teachers
6-12 Content-Area Teachers
K-12 High-Ability Teachers
Teacher Leaders or Building-Level Coaches
Title I, Remediation, Special Education, & ELL Teachers
Building or District-Level Literacy Coordinators
Elementary & Secondary Principals
Curriculum Directors

Free follow-up training video:

  • Teachers who attend both days of this Power Strategies workshop will be given a complimentary one-month subscription to Kristina's matching video on webPD: Citing Textual Evidence (3-12).
  • 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.


What are teachers saying about the Power Strategies workshop?

“I love that these tools don’t just teach to the test—they are just good practice, but they have big pay-offs.” Melissa Warner ~ Teacher Grades 9-12, Center Grove High School, Greenwood, IN

“I’ll be able to pump up our K-4 curriculum to enhance inferring.” Kristen Hankins ~ Instructional coach, Fieler Elementary School, Merrillville, IN

“The workshop was amazing! Kristina provides no-prep activities to take into the classroom and start providing engaging reading/writing instruction immediately.” Kathy Ernst ~ Teacher Grade 3, Peotone Elementary School, Peotone, IL
Call Smekens Education toll free to learn more.
(888) 376-0448
14 Power Strategies to Boost Reading & Writing Achievement on Standardized Tests

14 Power Strategies to Boost Reading & Writing Achievement on Standardized Tests

Attend one day:

$235 (Early Bird)  |  $260 (Standard)

Attend two days:

$435 (Early Bird)  |  $450 (Standard)

Discounts available!

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

The Wellington Fishers Banquet and Conference Center

9775 North by Northeast Blvd.
Fishers, IN 46037
(317) 712-3475

Lodging Recommendation:
Hilton Garden Inn

9785 North by Northeast Blvd.
Fishers, IN
(317) 577-5900

*To secure discounted room rate, make reservations 30 days prior to the event.
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.