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

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

MERRILLVILLE, IN—January 23-24, 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

(DAY 1)


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.

(DAY 2)


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?

“The new standards have been ‘scary’ to me. They were extremely overwhelming. The content presented makes them less overwhelming and more attainable.” K. Brown

“Such a valuable resource to prioritize the lessons to prep kids for standardized tests.” J. Warner

“These two days have been extremely beneficial to me. The rejuvenation—and better big-picture understanding of how my students learn and will be assessed—is something I sorely needed after 20 years in the classroom. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with my students and colleagues!” C. Farris

Graduate Credit

Thanks to a partnership with the Midwest Teachers Institute, educators who attend both days of this workshop can earn three hours of graduate credit for just $300. These are non-degree credits which are designed for professional certification renewals and salary step increases. (Check with your district or employers to determine their policies for pay increases.)

NOTE: For Ohio residents, Calumet College of St. Joseph out of Indiana holds an accreditation recognized by the Ohio Department of Education. Education coursework completed and reflected on an official transcript from this university would be accepted for license renewal purposes. If you are employed with an Ohio school and part of an LPDC, you do need to get approval for renewal coursework from your LPDC.

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.
(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.

Holiday Inn, Countryside

6201 Joliet Road
Countryside, IL 60525
(708) 354-4200

To receive discounted room rates, mention Smekens Education and make reservations at least 30 days in advance.
Group Code: SME
Discounted Room Rate: $119
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 through ROE6, Smekens Education is happy to provide all Illinois teachers with state-approved professional development credit for attending this workshop in Chicago.