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Professional Development>Off-Site PD

Assessing Readers and Writers: What’s the Point? / A Virtual Full-Day Workshop

Presented by Sarah M. Zerwin

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Date and Time

One full-day workshop from 9:30am to 4:30pm Eastern Time (ET).

  • Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Please note that this virtual full-day workshop is scheduled for Eastern Time (ET). If you are in a different time zone, please plan your schedule accordingly.


After more than a year of pandemic-disrupted schooling, it's more important than ever to put students in charge of their own learning. They need classrooms that show them they have the agency to determine their own learning journeys as readers and writers.

Points, numbers, and scores rank, sort, and measure our students, creating an atmosphere of judgment, competition, and individualism. Governed by high-stakes, ever-calculating grades, and coming off a year where students may have been distanced from the support embedded in a strong, in-person classroom community, readers and writers may be unwilling to take the risks necessary for growth.

We can emphasize feedback over evaluation and cater assessment to the unique needs of each student to design the classroom space our students need to do truly authentic work. We can provide feedback that bolsters student capacity to dig into the tough thinking required to read challenging texts. We can provide feedback that cultivates the confidence students need to write to express what they want to say from the depths of who they are.

In this workshop, we'll imagine how to differentiate assessment practices to engage readers and writers powerfully, being mindful of what we can carry forward with us from over a year of unprecedented challenges.

Learning Objectives

  • Create a clear, concise list of powerful learning goals to make differentiated assessment possible.
  • Invite students to design their own learning goals and track their own learning and growth.
  • Cultivate a classroom culture of feedback where students are free to take risks.
  • Invite engagement rather than using points and grades to force compliance or emphasize accountability.
  • Focus grades on students' stories of their learning and growth.
  • Consider reasons why these are shifts we should embrace for good.

About the Presenter

Sarah M. Zerwin teaches high school writers and readers in Boulder, Colorado, where she's paying attention to what she's learned after an unprecedented, disrupted school year, the most challenging in her twenty-six years in the classroom. In a large, comprehensive, public high school, Sarah has worked for the last several years to find grading practices that humanize her classroom, encouraging her students to be readers, writers, and thinkers rather than point collectors. Sarah earned a PhD in secondary literacy curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. She is a teacher consultant for the Colorado Writing Project.

Who Should Participate

Classroom teachers of grades 6-12, literacy coaches, curriculum coordinators, and administrators.

Special 2021 Tuition Fee

The cost of this virtual full-day workshop is $125.00 per person. Tuition also includes access to the recorded workshop for 60 days.


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

11/02/2021 - 9:30am-4:30pm ET, Online

Register Now:

Availability: Available When: 11/02/2021 Where:
Virtual Workshop

9:30am-4:30pm ET, Online

2020-21 Heinemann PD Catalog-Journal
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