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Professional Development>Off-Site PD

One-Day Workshop:
ALL IN: Comprehension, Conferring, and Engagement

Presented by Dan Feigelson and Ellin Oliver Keene

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What is engagement in reading, exactly? Engagement can be defined, described, and modeled in four ways:

  1. Intellectual urgency—a burning desire to know more, read more, discuss more;
  2. Emotional response to ideas—when ideas and books make us feel deeply or surprise us with emotion we didn't know was there;
  3. Perspective bending—learning that is influenced, enhanced, or altered by others' ideas, and;
  4. Aesthetic Response to learning/reading—being drawn to what we find personally compelling and beautiful.

Many teachers struggle with questions about how to get kids excited about and responsible for their own learning. These quandaries often relate to reluctant learners and too often, solutions focus on offering external incentives rather than helping students develop their own lines of thinking and areas of interest about the texts they read. Individual reading conferences are one key tool to enhance comprehension and student agency.

In this workshop, participants will delve into two questions:

  • What can I do to help students develop internal motivation or, better yet, engagement?
  • How can individual reading conferences lead to children becoming independent comprehension decision makers?

Participants will learn how we can help students take more responsibility for their own learning and their own engagement. The presenters will differentiate between student compliance, participation, motivation, and engagement and suggest that engagement is the goal toward which teachers and students work together. They will explore the ways we can promote child-driven engagement through a balance of whole class and small group discourse, modeling, and conferring with individual readers.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Discuss-up-to-date tactics for teaching reading comprehension
  • Explore ways to help students deepen and extend comprehension of text and content area material
  • Learn a classroom-ready, stepwise approach for individual reading conferences
  • Get practical strategies for sharpening our "kid watching" in reading
  • Learn to help students engage more completely in reading and learning

About the Presenters

Ellin Oliver Keene has been a classroom teacher, staff developer, non-profit director, and adjunct professor of reading and writing. For sixteen years, she directed staff development initiatives at the Denver-based Public Education & Business Coalition. Ellin is the author of Engaging Children: Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning; the coeditor and coauthor of The Teacher You Want to Be: Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching; and the coeditor of the Not This, But That series; to name but a few.

Dan Feigelson has worked extensively in New York City schools as a teacher, staff developer, curriculum writer, principal, and local superintendent. An early member of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, he has led institutes, workshops and lab sites around the world on the teaching of reading and writing. A regular presenter at national and international conferences, Dan is the author of Reading Projects Reimagined: Student-Driven Conferences to Deepen Critical Thinking; and Practical Punctuation: Lessons on Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing.

Who Should Attend?

Classroom teachers of grades K-8, literacy coaches, reading and language arts specialists, curriculum coordinators, and administrators.


8:30 A.M.-3:00 P.M.


The cost of this workshop is $249.00 per person. If you register 3 or more participants at the same time the cost is $239.00 per person.

Upcoming Dates & Locations

05/09/2019 - Brookfield, WI

Register Now:

Availability: Available When: 05/09/2019 Where:
Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel
375 South Moorland Road
Brookfield, WI 53005
Closest Airport: General Mitchell International Airport

Adobe PDFDownload a PDF of the Spring brochure

2018-19 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!

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