Strategies for the Content-Area Teacher

Strategies for the Content-Area Teacher

Understanding the Common Core expectations

Content-area teachers have been challenged to raise the bar on literacy instruction. This timely training not only helps all teachers understand their role in teaching reading and writing across the curriculum, it also provides universal strategies for integrating literacy instruction into all subject areas.

Teaching discipline-specific reading strategies

Teaching students to employ discipline-specific reading strategies is an advanced expectation. In this training, teachers from grades 6-12 learn the unique and specialized literacy skills students need to be successful in each of the content areas.

Varying text types and text complexities

Content-area teachers should vary the text types and complexities they provide their students.  With "text” including a wide range of printed, visual, digital, and multimodal options, teachers need to take stock of their reading curriculum. This training equips teachers with strategies for supporting students with varied texts while increasing the reader rigor.

Building background knowledge on unfamiliar concepts

In the real world, successful readers tackle unfamiliar concepts with an arsenal of tools that go beyond the traditional pre-reading strategies. In this session, teachers learn strategies for building background knowledge of complex texts without making the reading experience too easy.

Improving summary-writing skills

One way students demonstrate comprehension is through summary writing.  This training is loaded with practical strategies for teaching students to write strong, complete, and cohesive summaries about content-area concepts.

Supporting inferences with textual evidence

Returning to the text to support an idea or inference is an essential skill for students whether they are in kindergarten or high school. This training will provide strategies for teaching students to move away from simply summarizing text ideas in favor of drawing conclusions that are anchored in the text

Incorporating argumentative writing experiences

Formulating a strong argument anchored in evidence from the text is an important expectation of the Common Core.  This training unveils a variety of strategies to write well-developed and purposeful argumentative responses in any content area.

Targeting domain-specific and academic vocabulary

Vocabulary instruction is no longer about rote memorization. Through dozens of classroom-tested strategies, this training helps teachers identify their core academic terms and provide students with meaningful opportunities to work with and master those words.

Modeling of effective reading and writing mini-lessons

It’s one thing to hear about delivering effective mini-lessons. What teachers really want is to see an effective mini-lesson modeled with real students in a live classroom setting. With this training model, teachers observe as a Smekens Education consultant conducts a 10-15 minute reading or writing lesson addressing a skill of the teacher’s choice. Following the lesson model, observing teachers debrief with the consultant for a few moments to share observations, ask questions, and discuss what skills would be taught next. NOTE: Teachers can slate the day’s schedule to include numerous lesson models conducted back-to-back in order to increase the quantity of lessons teachers can observe in one day. 


Customize Your On-Site Workshop
Brady Smekens, Director of Professional Development, is ready to help match your school with the consultant who is best qualified to meet your unique professional development needs.

Call Brady toll free: (888) 376-0448. | Email Brady

Meet Our Consultants

Kristina Smekens

Teachers feel empowered and encouraged after working with Kristina. She is an expert at developing practical ways for K-12 teachers to apply research-based literacy strategies.
Learn More About Kristina | Email Kristina



Courtney Gordon

Known both for her enthusiasm and expertise, Courtney is a dynamic presenter whose practical strategies resonate with teachers across the K-12 spectrum.
Learn More About Courtney | Email Courtney



Kristi McCullough

A passion for teaching and learning is what drives Kristi, who consistently leaves teachers both excited and well-equipped to apply new literacy ideas in their PK-6 classrooms.
Learn More About Kristi | Email Kristi



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