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Pinto Bean Counter
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Professional Learning Facilitators and Literacy Consultants
Cara and Sarah have worked together as Professional Learning Facilitators for the past 10 years. They are both former middle and high school ELA teachers turned Instructional Coaches and literacy researchers with the University of Illinois. For the past decade, Cara and Sarah have worked side-by-side with educators across disciplines in classrooms, sharing research, co-planning, teaching side-by-side, modeling instructional practices, and facilitating teacher inquiry groups. Their work is based on job-embedded principles and places students at the center of everything they do. Their work in school districts is designed to sustain and deepen learning for both teachers and students and support those districts in the development of systemic and sustainable change.
Cara and Sarah are able to provide professional development on a wide variety of topics. They are available for one day, multi-day, and even yearlong projects. Cara and Sarah prioritize responsiveness to your school and/or district’s needs and will work in conjunction with leaders on the ground to develop meaningful professional learning based on your district’s improvement goals, the needs of your teachers, and, most importantly, the needs of your students.
Single or Multi-Day Topics: Reading and Writing Workshop in Secondary Schools, Instructional Coaching seminars, Argumentative Writing across the Content Areas, Disciplinary Literacy, Small Group Work, Developing Collaborative Teams, Creating Sustainable Cycles of Continuous Improvement, Protocols for Looking at Student Work
Sample Framework for Year-Long Projects: Our work is designed to be sustainable and work within existing structures your school or district has that can support on-going professional learning. Ideally, we would work in conjunction with school or district leaders: principals or other administrators, instructional/literacy coaches, teacher leaders and curriculum development staff.
Day 1 – entire staff/department training
Days 2 – 4 – grade level or departmental training
Day 2 – 6th grade ELA
Day 3 – 7th grade ELA
Day 4 – 8th grade ELA
Days 5 – 9 – individual and grade level coaching cycles with staff in classrooms
Day 10 – reflection and forward planning with staff/department
My name is Jalyn Stanley and I have worked in a large urban school district for the past 16 years as a teacher, reading specialist, coach and district staff developer. I completed my undergraduate studies in education at Appalachian State University followed by a Masters Degree in Reading Education from UNC Charlotte. Additionally, I am National Board Certified in Literacy.
I can provide full day, half day or consecutive days of staff development and or coaching in the components of Balanced Literacy. I am specifically interested in leading school staff and administrators in the implementation of a Balanced Literacy teaching model and helping schools get Reading workshop “up and running”.
Some courses I have taught include:
Interactive Read Aloud -Participants study the importance of connecting Interactive Read Aloud to the standards and to the lessons taught in reading and writing workshop. (1/2 day)
Reading Workshop 101 – Participants study the structures of an efficient reading workshop as they learn how to write effective mini lessons and understand the importance of daily independent reading. (1/2 day)
Close Reading – Educators are taught the purpose of Close Reading and how to teach students when close reading is necessary. (2 hours)
Conferring with Readers 101 – Participants will understand the structure of conferences and how to include conferring within the time constraints of reading workshop. They will also learn how to develop a conferring toolkit. (1/2 day)
Academic Conversations – Those in attendance will receive instruction on ways to include accountable talk in the classroom. They will learn how to utilize the five core skills of Academic Conversation. (2 hours)
Now What? Utilizing Data to Ensure Responsive Teaching – Participants will study the importance of using data to inform whole group instruction, small group work, and conferences – analyzing running records and utilizing antidotal notes. (1/2 day)
Director of Literacy and English Language Arts
Educator, Staff Developer, Director of Literacy
Gerrit’s specializes in English Language Arts with a special focus on Balanced Literacy and Workshop Training for grades 3-12. His strengths lie in helping schools build capacity in their teachers and admin. He has worked with hundreds of educators from around the world, fostering stronger teachers, students, and schools. Gerrit’s work starts with helping schools identify specific needs and then developing thorough plans to address those targeted needs.
Gerrit is available for one day presentations, multi-day sessions, and cycles of multi-day sessions.
Literacy Consultant & Staff Developer
Erik Lepis taught in suburban New York where his reading and writing workshop classroom served as a visitation site for teachers across the district and across Long Island as a model for balanced literacy instruction.
He shared his passion for best practices by leading professional development workshops and serving as a labsite classroom for professional development from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project of Columbia University.
Erik later joined the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as a staff developer where he worked in schools nationally, providing balanced literacy support and training — helping teachers implement reading and writing workshops in their classrooms.
As a staff developer, he also served as a curriculum writer for units of study for the teaching of reading and writing and a presenter at summer institutes, workshops, and regional conferences.
Erik is publishing his first book with Corwin Literacy on formative assessments in independent reading in 2018.
He holds advanced degrees in both Early Childhood Education and Educational Leadership. Through his national and international consulting work, he works closely with building and district leaders in helping administrators lead school-wide change and raising student achievement through the teaching of reading and writing.
He is a member of ILA, NCTE, ASCD and the Authors Guild.
Educational Consultant Engagement Specialist
Inspiring Better Engagement!
Cristal McGill received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Arizona State University. Those who have taken her workshops and classes praise her creative style, innovation, and passion for teaching. She has a solid reputation for facilitating upbeat, interactive, and meaningful sessions that are marked by engaginginstructional practices.Part-time for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Cristal designs engaging action-based leadership courses. Most recently she has been awarded an opportunity to coach a collegiate leadership competition with UCCS students.
Her consulting work with Alaska boarding schools is highly rewarding. Each time she works with the residential staff, a unique set of needs arise. Cristal prepares staff to be trauma-informed while developing communication skills, mental health intervention skills, emotional well-being, and resilience. She helps the staff touch and influences the hearts and minds of Native and Indigenous Alaskan youth. Relationship capital pays huge dividends.
Cristal also facilitates dynamic ‘train the teachers to be trainers’ seminars allowing her to model and coach her engaging practices with school districts that require teachers to provide professional development for their peers. She holds these seminars in high regard as sharing the tricks of the trade with teachers is not only fun but provides an impact on their own teaching.
As a leader in the field of engagement practices, Cristal conducts innovative seminars that emphasize teacher resilience, train the teacher as trainers, leadership development, conflict resolution, and communication skills seminars. Workshops with Cristal have a consistent record of increasing attendance, cooperation, and participation due to her consistent facilitation of active learning strategies. Her workshops are loaded with easy to use practical tips and tricks of the trade, a game changer in a professional development experience. Cristal offers one-day to four-day programs customized to your specific needs. Participants walk away with an “explosion” of ideas guaranteed to lift any classroom to an entirely new level.
If you ask Cristal how she stays resilient, she will give you many reasons, but the one she favors most is her experience as a whitewater river rafting guide.
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