Professional Development>On-Site PD

To Understand


Developed by Ellin Oliver Keene
Based on the PD resource, To Understand: New Horizons in Reading Comprehension
Recommended Grade Level: Grades K - 12th

In this seminar, participants will have an opportunity to explore the outcomes of comprehension strategy instruction and the behavioral dimensions of understanding as described in To Understand. Teachers will learn how to help children explore concepts and insights from text much further and in more depth than they may have thought possible.

The seminar is based on the premise that children learn best when taught a few essential concepts, in great depth, over a long period of time and when they have an opportunity to apply those concepts in a variety of texts and contexts. Participants will learn how to focus instruction on the most essential content in literacy learning, K–12, in order to free the time in daily readers' workshops for more in-depth comprehension work. Teachers will have an opportunity to compare the content/standards they currently teach to a set of essential standards based on literacy research. Participants will leave with a clear sense about what skills and strategies are most essential in K–12 literacy learning and what can be eliminated.

Course Goals:

  • Explore what happens in the minds and lives of learners who understand deeply and can retain and reapply what they have learned
  • Discover what kinds of instructional practices lead to more in-depth comprehension
  • Participate in discussions about text that will transform our instruction from asking kids questions about text to truly teaching them to comprehend more deeply
  • Learn what K-12 content matters most in literacy learning and examine ways to teach that content in greater depth rather than skimming over hundreds of skills and strategies that matter less to literacy learners.

For seminar pricing information, please call 800.541.2086, ext. 1402.


2016-17 Heinemann PD Catalog-Journal
Professional Development Catalog-Journal

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