Build a Yearlong Reading Calendar
of Comprehension Instruction

Virtual & Interactive Workshop for Grades K-2 Educators


Virtual & Interactive Workshop

Plan Your Comprehension Instruction

If you really want to accomplish something, you better put it on your calendar! This is true in life—and also in teaching. When educators start the year with a schedule for when and how they will roll out specific reading comprehension skills, whole-class instruction goes from good to great.

Led by Kristina Smekens, this live virtual workshop will help teachers start the school year with a personalized calendar for delivering standards-driven comprehension mini-lessons all year long. This two-day workshop includes the expert instruction you expect with the added support of afternoon work time when Kristina and her team will be available to help.

BONUS: Beyond the benefits outlined here, here’s one more reason to register: Educators who register for this workshop will receive 12 months of complimentary access to the Literacy eLessons website that features dozens of comprehension lessons appropriate for every grade range.

Workshop Itinerary

July 21-22

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. – Welcome & overview

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. – Session 1

10:15 – 11:00 a.m. – Session 2

11:15 a.m. – Noon – Session 3

12:45 – 1:00 p.m. – Mid-day recap

1:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Independent work time with Kristina Smekens available for support

Workshop Details

DAY 1 – July 21, 2020

Map out a weekly comprehension target skill

Kristina will kick off the morning with a yearlong vision of whole-class comprehension instruction. Within that vision, Kristina will provide participants with a suggested scaffold of skills from retelling to synthesizing that honors grade-level standards and best-practice instruction.

Armed with this big-picture understanding, the primary focus of this first morning is to learn the process for planning and teaching a single comprehension skill across an entire week.

During the morning session, Kristina will:

  • Provide attendees a list of instructional points per comprehension skill.
  • Model how to layer instruction of those points day after day to build students’ knowledge and know-how for each week’s target skill.
  • Reveal this explicit instruction across a week of mini-lessons that each include the gradual release of responsibility (i.e., I do, We do, You do).

The afternoon will transition into work time. Participants will finalize their own week-by-week map of comprehension target skills. Then they will drill down the order of instructional points to roll out each day of the mini-lesson series. While working independently, teachers will have access to Kristina and her team to ask questions, seek feedback, and troubleshoot concerns.

The day will conclude with a recap of the yearlong vision for delivering whole-class comprehension instruction. Kristina will highlight the facets addressed within Day 1 and prepare participants for what’s coming on Day 2.

DAY 2 – July 22, 2020

Add instructional time for text variety and writing-about-reading

Creating a yearlong map of comprehension target skills and explicit instruction is powerful. However, this alone is not enough. Missing from the day-one calendar are two essential pieces that are required in the standards and tested on state assessments.

Teachers must:

  1. Apply reading instruction to a wide range of text types.
  2. Assess student comprehension through their writing.

With this new understanding, Kristina will model how to take a second pass over each week’s comprehension skill in order to add these missing ingredients.

During the morning session, learn how to:

  • Evaluate when each skill is best suited for literature versus informational text, print versus visual texts, and single versus multiple texts. Plot those decisions within the calendar.
  • Teach students how to articulate their reader thinking in brief constructed responses and longer extended responses. Account for that instruction within the calendar.

The afternoon will again transition into work time. Participants will update their individual calendars to incorporate experiences with various text types and writing-about-reading instruction. While working independently, Kristina and her team will again be available to answer questions, provide feedback, and troubleshoot concerns.

The day will conclude with the last piece of this planning puzzle—a process for choosing just the right text to support each day’s mini-lesson.


Free Access to Literacy eLessons

When you register for this two-day virtual workshop, you’ll receive complimentary access to Literacy eLessons; a library of over 100 lesson videos for K-12 students!

Student watching Literacy eLessons

What Other Educators Say

“Smekens workshops are great because so many things are ready to use. I can hit the ground running.”

Rebecca Taylor

Grade 4 Teacher,
Yost Elementary School, Porter, IN

“I always need new ideas for my classroom and Smekens never fails to deliver!”

Kristin Smith

High School Teacher,
Gilmer County High School, Glenville, WV

“Attending a Smekens event is engaging from beginning to end. You won’t regret it!”

Jessica Hammer

Grade 4 Teacher,
Sacred Heart Model School, Louisville, KY


Meet Your Guide

Kristina Smekens

President & Lead Consultant
After learning from Kristina, you’ll feel excited and ready to apply new ideas in your own classroom. This is because she has a gift for making the complex seem simple. You will learn how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and practical classroom-tested strategies that get results!

Target Audience

Teacher learning at a virtual Smekens workshop

K-2 Classroom Teachers

Literacy Coaches
Literacy Coordinators
Title I Teachers / Directors

K-2 High-Ability Teachers

K-2 Administrators

Workshop pricing

July 21-22, 2020

$219 per person

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I earn Professional Growth Credits?

With prior approval from the attendee’s school district, participants may receive credit for 6 hours of professional development for participating in both days of this virtual workshop. (Credit points are based on morning attendance only since the afternoon is set aside for work time.) After the workshop concludes, attendees will be awarded a Certificate of Participation, which can be used to verify attendance. Visit our Continuing Education Credit page for more information about how this workshop fulfills your state’s unique continuing education requirements.

Can I earn Graduate Level Units?

Through a partnership with University of the Pacific, workshop attendees are eligible to pursue one, two, or three nationally-accredited graduate-level semester credits/units after this virtual event. The cost of graduate-level credit ($62 per credit/unit) is separate from the cost of attending a workshop. For more information, please contact us.

What is the daily schedule?

Workshop itinerary for July 21-22, 2020

9:00 – 9:15 – Welcome & overview
9:15 – 10:00 – Session 1
10:15 – 11:00 – Session 2
11:15 – 12:00 – Session 3
12:45 – 1:00 – Mid-day recap
1:00 – 4:00 – Independent work time with Kristina available for support

What is the cancellation policy?

If you have a change in plans and need to cancel your registration, please submit your request to Cancelations and a full refund may occur at any time prior to the workshop. Upon request, substitutions may also occur when the change is made in advance of the workshop.

Have a Question about this Workshop?

Complete the form below or call (888) 376-0448.