Skip to main content
Search Mobile Navigation

Professional Development>Online PD>Live Webinars

Between the Commas - and Beyond!

Presented By Martin Brandt

DownloadRegister Now

Date and Time

Three, 75-minute webinar sessions from 6:30pm to 7:45pm Eastern Time (ET).

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2021
  • Tuesday, March 23, 2021
  • Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Please note that this webinar series is scheduled for Eastern Time (ET). If you are in a different time zone, please plan your schedule accordingly.


In his book Between the Commas, Marty Brandt argues that a deeper understanding of the sentence is the most crucial element for teachers to help their students grow as writers. To this end, he identifies three main pillars of writing instruction that help produce student growth:

  • Sentence Focus: the choice of the grammatical subject, which plays a major role in some of our students' greatest struggles as writers.
  • Sentence Development: the process of helping students develop confidence with the phrase and clause forms that go into the creation of longer sentences.
  • Sentence Coherence: the ability to write sentences that work together, based on the ability to anticipate the needs and expectations of the reader.

In this webinar series, Marty will take participants on a tour of the three pillars, expanding on the arguments he makes in his book, introducing some new exercises, and encouraging participants to apply the three pillars to their own practice, whether their classroom is in virtual or physical space.

The following is a description of the learning objectives to be met within each session of this series:

SESSION 1: Get the "Awk" Outta Here: Understanding the Importance of Sentence Focus

  • Defining and exploring the importance of sentence focus
  • Further exercises and activities that help students better understand how to make the best choice in answering questions and writing prompts
  • Exploring how an understanding of sentence focus can help us to respond more positively to our students' most challenging work

SESSION 2: Possibilities over Proscriptions: How to Encourage Sentence Development

  • Activating students' aptitude for grammar
  • Creating sentence modeling and manipulation exercises from your course content
  • The positive implications for growth that arise from a "Latency" approach to comma splices and fragments

SESSION 3: Coherence: Making Sentences Work Together

  • Anticipating the needs and expectations of your audience
  • Introducing and explaining the Coherence Model
  • Using the Three Pillars to respond positively to student writing


Marty Brandt is an English teacher at Independence High School in San Jose, California. Between the Commas is his first book, the product of almost thirty years of classroom practice. He is an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing Project, former winner of the California Teachers of English Award for Classroom Excellence, and the recipient of an Outstanding Teachers of America Award from the Carlston Family Foundation.

Who should participate?

Classroom teachers of grades 6-12, instructors in college composition and English education, literacy coaches, curriculum coordinators, and administrators.

Special 2021 Tuition Fee

The cost of this three-part webinar series is $95.00 per person. Tuition also includes access to the webinar series recording for 60 days.

Related Book

To support your learning in this webinar, we highly recommend Between the Commas: Sentence Instruction That Builds Confident Writers (and Writing Teachers).


Registrants will receive multiple emails from Heinemann, including enrollment confirmation, which also serves as your tuition receipt and contains some basic instructions. If you have not received your confirmation email within 48 hours of your registration, please contact us at or 800-541-2086, ext. 1151. Approximately two days prior to the event date you will receive an email with the PD event's Zoom link and log-in instructions.

We highly recommend you test your computer readiness by clicking on this link.

If your computer needs any software upgrades, Zoom will walk you through the updates.

Note: We encourage group participation; however, we require that each person be registered and provide a unique email address.

Registration Form

Our Registration Form is now standardized to be used for any Heinemann PD Services open-enrollment event. Download our new PD Event Registration Form here.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

03/16/2021-03/30/2021 - Starts March 16, 2021- 6:30-7:45pm EST

Register Now:

Availability: Available When: 03/16/2021 - 03/30/2021* Where: Online

2020-21 Heinemann PD Catalog-Journal
Professional Development Catalog-Journal

Download and share the latest issue of our Professional Development Catalog-Journal, edited by Ellin Oliver Keene – now with even more articles and content to help advance your practice!

Browse today!