Institute for Educational Development


Location: MANCHESTER
Date: March 20, 2018


$249.00 per person
Group Price: $229.00
*For 3 or more people regestering at the same time

Powerful Balanced Literacy:

Instructional Strategies to Increase Students’ Reading and Writing Skills
(Grades K-2)

NEW Seminar Presented By
Margaret Policastro

Outstanding Teacher, National Presenter and Balanced Literacy Expert

Specifically Designed for Educators Working with Students in Grades K-2: Classroom Teachers, Reading Teachers, Literacy Coaches, Title I Staff, Special Education Staff, Teachers of English Language Learners, and Administrators

  • Powerful, balanced literacy instructional strategies, lessons and assessments to develop a high-impact balanced literacy program to increase your students’ achievement in reading and writing
  • More than 100 easy-to-implement ideas that will work with the reading program you are currently using
  • Balanced literacy routines, formative assessment ideas, feedback tools, language walls, close reading tools, exit slips and much more will be provided for your immediate use
  • Displays, models, video clips, classroom photos, student samples, and a comprehensive resource handbook filled with dozens of strategies and ideas

Practical Strategies

This NEW, highly practical seminar has been specifically designed for grades K-2 educators to help strengthen their students’ reading and writing skills through the classroom-proven method of using a balanced literacy approach. Outstanding balanced literacy expert and national presenter, Margaret Policastro, will provide you with research-based strategies, methods and activities to help you better meet the wide range of needs in your whole class and small group lessons.

The focus of this seminar will be to provide you with innovative and ready-to-use strategies that will help young readers develop the necessary skills to become competent, fluent readers. Margaret will share a wealth of ideas that will help increase the reading skills of all your grades K-2 students, using both fiction and nonfiction books. This seminar will provide the “how” for novice and veteran teachers. Balanced literacy and formative assessment tools and strategies will be provided to help you create the best balanced literacy classroom.

Video clips of real teachers using balanced literacy strategies will be shown throughout the seminar and participants will leave with literacy block routines, feedback tools, language walls, close reading tools, exit slips and much more for you to use right away in your classrooms.

Ten Key Benefits of Attending

  1. Practical Strategies for a High-Impact Balanced Literacy Program
    Innovative strategies to strengthen your literacy instruction using a balanced literacy model
  2. How to Balance Your Literacy Block with the Reading Program You Currently Use
    With a few changes, you can use your current reading and writing program to create a balanced model that will strengthen your students’ reading and writing skills … Small changes with high-impact results
  3. Practical and Doable Strategies for Successful Literacy Routines
    Learning how to set up and manage the literacy routine is key to the success of a balanced literacy classroom … Leave with new ideas, strategies and tips to design efficient and effective literacy routines
  4. Learn How to Merge Balanced Literacy Instruction with Formative Assessment Strategies
    Intentional instruction requires intentional, formative assessment … Discover how you can merge assessment into your instruction for more meaningful results … Examples of assessments that you can incorporate into your instruction
  5. Differentiated Instructional Strategies Perfect for Balanced Literacy
    Meet the wide range of reading and writing abilities including emergent, developing and fluent readers to support their reading progress
  6. Focus on a Balanced Approach to Support Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Fluency
    Engaging, easy-to-implement, hands-on strategies that support the research-based components of increased reading competency … Enhance your reading instruction as soon as you return to school
  7. Timesaving Strategies for Better Managing Balanced Reading Instruction
    Proven, timesaving management techniques to smooth the transition to a more balanced approach to literacy instruction … Increase student achievement with small, flexible group instruction focused on specific skill needs … Provide appropriate challenges for each student – from the struggling to the high-achieving student
  8. From Word Walls to Language Walls in a Balanced Literacy Classroom
    Building students’ language skills is key to learning to read and write … Learn how to use language walls to introduce and practice vocabulary, ideas, concepts … Accelerate students’ language and vocabulary to strengthen reading and writing
  9. How to Make Your Literacy Centers Come Alive in a Balanced Literacy Classroom
    Create centers that encourage the development of argument, persuasion, opinion, and debate … Ready-to-use ideas to create meaningful literacy centers
  10. Receive an Extensive Balanced Literacy Resource Handbook
    You will leave with an extensive resource handbook packed with practical balanced literacy ideas, strategies, activities, tips, sample materials, and resources – all designed for immediate use in your grades K-2 literacy program

Specific Topics


Here's what you'll learn:
  • Practical, realistic strategies for balancing your literacy instruction for greater student success in reading and writing … More than 100 take-away strategies to use immediately
  • Tools, resources and strategies that can be used right away in the classroom to create a balanced literacy routine
  • Easy and doable ways to incorporate formative feedback to drive your instruction
  • Research-supported ideas and best practices along with the balanced literacy model and framework
  • Strategies to implement read-alouds, guided reading, centers, and independent reading and writing
  • How to make sure the instructional shifts (argument, debate, finding evidence from text, classroom discourse and more) are integrated within balanced literacy practices
  • Strategies for making the read-aloud interactive to elicit engagement and classroom discourse
  • How to better manage students and materials to keep your balanced literacy instruction on track for success
  • Ways to better organize groups of students by their common reading goals for more targeted instruction
  • Detailed steps for managing meaningful literacy centers that keep grades K-2 students reading and writing while you teach small groups
  • Highly effective strategies to help your students more effectively navigate informational/nonfiction text for comprehension
  • How to determine the appropriate text selection for each of your students
  • Instructional formats that scaffold students as they integrate multiple comprehension strategies during reading
  • Dramatically increase student interaction with the text for deeper comprehension and recall of information
  • Practical suggestions for addressing the obstacles to student progress in fluency, word recognition and comprehension

A Message from Your Seminar Leader

Dear Colleague:

I have been very fortunate in my career to have spent many years as a classroom teacher, reading specialist/coach and teacher educator working with children and teachers to create and manage literate environments. More specifically, I have spent the last 20 years assisting teachers to create balanced literacy classrooms and schools. This work has been beyond rewarding as I get to witness and observe first-hand the remarkable outcomes for students, teachers and the entire school community. Creating a balanced literacy classroom can transform your teaching and greatly increase your students’ learning.

This seminar will highlight the strategies and tools needed to create a rich balanced literacy classroom environment and curriculum. Developing a literacy routine that includes the tenets of balanced literacy (read-alouds, shared reading, guided reading, centers, and independent reading and writing) form the foundational practices necessary for success. How to begin the process and what you can expect your classroom to look like will be shared. Moreover, understanding the key role that language plays will be a critical part of this workshop. Language is the foundation in which all aspects of literacy are rooted. The balanced literacy model and framework will give you the practices necessary to achieve growth in student performance.

No matter where you are in your quest to understand balanced literacy instruction and formative assessment, this seminar is for you. You will leave with all the information, tools and strategies to forge forward in making your classroom shine with the best practices of balanced literacy.

Sincerely,
Margaret Policastro, Ph.D

P.S. You will receive my extensive resource handbook filled with practical ideas, strategies and lessons you can use immediately!

Who Should Attend

Educators Working with Students in Grades K-2: Classroom Teachers, Reading Teachers, Literacy Coaches, Title I Staff, Special Education Staff, Teachers of English Language Learners, and Administrators.

Special Benefits of Attending

  1. Extensive Resource Handbook:
    Each participant will receive an extensive resource handbook specifically designed for this seminar. The handbook includes:
    • Foundational and practical knowledge to create a balanced literacy classroom that will significantly increase student achievement in literacy
    • How to create outstanding 4-in-1 balanced literacy lessons and routines surrounding the tenets of balanced literacy (read-alouds, shared reading, guided reading, centers and independent reading and writing)
    • Specific suggestions to merge balanced literacy instruction with formative assessment tools for student feedback and self-monitoring
    • How to facilitate classroom discourse within the balanced literacy classroom through the use of interactive read-alouds, language walls and much more
  2. Meet and Share:
    This seminar provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to meet and share ideas with other educators interested in enhancing their grades K-2 literacy instruction.
  3. Consultation Available:
    Dr. Margaret Policastro will be available at the seminar for consultation regarding your questions and the unique needs of your own literacy program.
  4. Semester Credit Option:
    Brandman University Logo Graduate level professional development credit is available with an additional fee and completion of follow up practicum activities. Details for direct enrollment with Brandman University, part of the Chapman University system, will be available at the seminar.
  5. Meet Inservice Requirements:
    At the end of the program, each attendee will receive a certificate of participation that may be used to verify hours of participation in meeting continuing education requirements.