Take Writing Instruction to the Next Level

How? Hire Smekens Education to provide customized professional development that targets your school’s unique needs


When Schools Work with Smekens,
Writing Instruction Improves

Your data shows that writing needs improvement, but where do you go from here? Simply doing more writing won’t move the dial. You need a customized PD plan that prepares the whole staff to teach writing with confidence.

Define “Good” Writing

School-wide improvement begins when every teacher understands the common language of the Six Traits of Writing.

Teach Writing Every Day

When teachers learn practical, easy-to-use strategies from Smekens, they can teach writing with confidence.

Achieve Growth in Writing

With a proven game plan for teaching writing all year long, teachers can help students achieve grade-level benchmarks.

What Does
Working with Smekens Education
Look Like?


Teachers learn simple, common-sense strategies to execute best-practice writing instruction right away.


Smekens consultants motivate and encourage teachers with high-energy professional development.


When teachers implement what they learn from Smekens, better instruction results in higher student achievement.

What Does an Effective
Smekens Education
Writing Initiative Look Like?

Improving student achievement in writing requires more than buying a boxed program or an all-in-one textbook series. It takes effective professional learning that prepares teachers to deliver rigorous, standards-based writing instruction all year long.

Strong Kickoff

Teachers have a lot on their plates, and any new initiative needs to be seen as relevant and achievable. That’s why we are intentional about making the first PD session one of the most powerful.

Mini-Lesson Modeling

Professional development becomes even more meaningful when teachers learn a new strategy and then watch as a Smekens consultant models that same strategy with their own students.

Implementation Support

After teachers learn best-practice strategies for teaching writing, the next challenge is to implement with fidelity. With remote and in-person coaching from Smekens, teachers get the support they need to succeed.

Continuous Learning

A strong kickoff sets the tone for a writing initiative, but it’s the learning that occurs afterward that keeps the spark alive. Smekens Education’s on-site consulting, remote coaching, and on-demand videos provide options for every budget.

Professional Resources

When teachers are armed with professional learning and quality resources, they have the tools to improve achievement in writing. To that end, Smekens has developed a collection of books, guides, videos, and classroom tools that can complement any writing initiative.

A Dynamic Team That Loves
Making a Difference

The literacy consultants at Smekens Education have one important thing in common: they all had classrooms of their own where they navigated the real challenges of being a teacher. It’s from those days in the classroom that this team of educators developed the drive to help other teachers succeed.

Kristina Smekens

Kristina Smekens

Courtney Gordon

Bridget Longmeier

Bridget Longmeier

Kristi McCullough

Rachel Remenschneider

Rachel Remenschneider

Smekens Professional Development Topics

Six Traits of Writing

  • Teaching writing with the Six-Traits framework
  • Introducing the Six Traits to students
  • Teaching trait-based writing mini-lessons
  • Establishing school-wide consistency
  • Educating parents on the Six Traits of Writing
  • Assessing writing with a Six-Traits rubric

Writer’s Workshop

  • Launching the writer’s workshop
  • Assigning writing-time tasks
  • Helping students write more
  • Teaching writing with mentor texts
  • Building writer independence
  • Leading effective writer conferences

Writing Units

  • Advancing from drawing to labeling to listing
  • Planning a yearlong scope and sequence
  • Teaching informative writing
  • Teaching persuasive writing
  • Teaching argumentative writing
  • Teaching narrative writing

Writing Mini-Lessons

  • Developing writers with standards-driven lessons
  • Teaching with the gradual release of responsibility
  • Modeling with a “Think-Aloud”
  • Delivering dynamic writing mini-lessons
  • Teaching grammar in context

Writing About Reading

  • Making an inference
  • Writing polished constructed responses
  • Synthesizing ideas before writing
  • Improving extended-response writing
  • Integrating writing into the content areas
  • Writing for success on ILEARN

Writing Assessment

  • Assessing writing based on instruction
  • Building kid-friendly rubrics
  • Tallying points & calculating grades
  • Providing focused & frequent feedback

Progress Starts by
Creating a Common Language
with The Six Traits of Writing

Six Traits of Writing Ultimate Guide Download

When the entire staff has a shared understanding of what constitutes “good writing,” the foundation is in place for powerful growth. With the Six Traits of Writing framework, teachers have the criteria to guide every lesson, assignment, and assessment.

Equip Teachers with Strategies & Resources to Improve Writing

Customized professional development from Smekens Education will take writing instruction to the next level.

Trait-Based Mini-Lesson Courtney Gordon

On-Site Professional Learning

In-person professional development with Smekens allows educators to benefit from customized support that targets specific needs in writing.
Professional Learning

Virtual Professional Learning

Provide high-energy, engaging PD for the whole staff with Smekens Education’s customized professional learning that occurs virtually via Zoom.

Remote Coach Bridget Longmeier

Remote Coaching

After teachers participate in Smekens professional development, they schedule time with their Remote Coach to focus on implementation.

Kristi McCullough six-traits training


When educators attend a virtual or in-person Smekens conference, they get re-energized by learning practical strategies that can be used right away.

Professional Learning

On-Demand Workshops

webAcademy recorded workshops allow educators to participate in Smekens professional development whenever it’s most convenient.
teachers book shopping

Video Subscription

webPD subscribers enjoy yearlong access to 300+ engaging professional development videos that offer K-12 support for teaching reading and writing.

Professional Books

A dealer for several educational publishers, Smekens provides curated recommendations of professional resources to support a writing initiative.

Professional Learning

Mentor Texts

Teaching writing with mentor texts is made easier, thanks to the books and resources available exclusively from The Literacy Store by Smekens Education.

teachers book shopping

Smekens Originals

Teachers love our best-selling “Smekens Originals” because they offer practical, ready-to-use strategies for teaching reading and writing at affordable prices.

Are We the Right Fit for Your School?

Typical PD provider approach

Smekens Education approach
A well-meaning author or expert leads a boring session that leaves teachers grumbling.
Time flies as teachers are engaged in learning that is fun and motivating.

Experts tell teachers what they are supposed to do but don’t explain how to do it.

Down-to-earth consultants share simple and effective ways to make change happen in the classroom.

Professional development materials are plentiful but lack relevance and functionality.
Handouts and materials are attractive, easy to follow, and ready to use.
Concepts and strategies contradict previous professional learning from the same company.

All professional learning is tied together by a core set of vocabulary and strategies that are applied K-12.

You have to purchase an expensive program and resources that accompany the training.

Energy, enthusiasm, and best-practice strategies are delivered without the obligation to buy more.

During on-site professional development, the expert delivers a canned presentation.

Every on-site or virtual consultation is customized to address the unique needs of your school.

Don’t Leave Your Writing Initiative to Chance.
Hire experts who can take your writing instruction to the next level.

Tara Bush, Principal 

Olive Township Elementary – New Carlisle, IN

Nakia Nicholson, Deputy Chief of Leadership Development

District Of Columbia Public Schools – Washington, DC

Susan Wardell, Principal

Holland Township School – Milford, NJ

Julie Meitzler, Assistant Superintendent

Bluffton Harrison MSD – Bluffton, IN

Julie Cox, District Literacy Coach

Danville School District 118 – Danville, IL

Tricia Stanley, Principal

Granville Wells Elementary – Jamestown, IN

Let’s Connect

Complete the form below or call (888) 376-0448.
We are eager to help you achieve your PD goals!